WisCon, the annual feminist sci-fi convention in Madison, Wisconsin, is my favorite conference of the year. It is a wonderful mix of academia, pop culture fandom, creative exhibitions, and parties with some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.
This year’s WisCon will be quite busy for me, as I will be presenting an academic paper on Jem and the Holograms and identity formation in the age of social media as well as participating in several panels on gender and gaming to be announced soon. Watch this space!
But I think the thing I am most excited about is the Table Top Game Night session I will be running on Friday night, where we will be playing….
Welcome to the Knoll St School for Wayward Kittens! KSSWK is a big house where orphaned kittens are fostered until they are big enough to be adopted by their forever homes. To the humans, KSSWK is just an ordinary home where they take in kittens who need some love – but to the kittens, it’s like a school where you learn to be a real cat. As a student at KSSWK, you’ll go on exciting kitty adventures and learn important lessons about how to grow up into an awesome cat. Your most important lesson will be how to control your laser – a unique and powerful supernatural ability that the humans don’t know about!
It is an absurdly fun and cute tabletop role playing game designed to be accessible for beginners but still robust enough to entertain experienced players.
From my review:
You don’t even need any fancy dice to play, just a couple of decks of standard playing cards. Players are dealt a random hand of cards to spend when they interact with the environment, an NPC, or another player, but they are able to choose which card to use in each situation, meaning that the game still contains elements of both strategy and luck but without the need for complex math or endless charts and tables.
The game also dispenses with standard RPG mechanics like experience points, replacing them with a “report card” that assesses the kittens’ progress in each of their catty classes. Each game has players working towards two lessons: a Professor Lesson, assigned by an adult cat NPC and shared by the group, and a Personal (Purrsonal??) (Editior’s Note: Meg, you are a monster) Lesson representing a weakness each unique character needs to improve. Making progress toward learning your lessons strengthens the power of your laser (aka “levels you up”).
Sound fun? Of course it does!
If you are coming to WisCon, set aside some time on Friday, May 27th starting at 8pm to come and play!
And while you are at it, check out the Programming Panel Sign Up and Interest Survey to get a sense of the amazing stuff we will be talking about at this year’s con. And if you have a lot to say about a topic, why not volunteer to be on a panel or to moderate one? Sign-ups close on March 18th so start browsing now!
I promise it will be a good time!