I’ve been meaning to catch Otto Schmidt’s THE WEEKEND for a long time now. It’s been tough, as June is a busy month usually with high school age kids. Now that one is in college and the other is in his last year, I thought I’d spread my wings a little and manage a day trip. Here are my observations. Continue reading →
Posts Tagged ‘Convention’
With Gencon ticket sales going on, I am extremely pleased to report that there are (right now) six tickets left for the Tyrants of Saggakar events (out of 36). Hurry up and secure your seat(s). There is also one adventure marked as “NeoExodus” that wil…
Here is my Origins After-Action Report. A short overview of how this past weekend went. The good, the bad, the plan for next year.
This year my trip to Origins was twice the distance: three hours from Nashville to Louisville and three hours from Louisville to Columbus. I-65 then I-71. I had a quick stop in Louisville to spend some time with Julie and watch the kids sleep.
As an idiot, I forgot that I did not have an 8 AM slot on Wednesday! I could’ve slept until 7am! Oh well. I was there and ready to do stuff. I got time to chat with James-Z from PCI and with others.
The rest of the day I played Arcanis and Legend of the Five Rings.
Thursday, I GM’d some WitchHunter, Blood Moon on the Seine, the start of the year 2 story arc. In the evening, I got to play some more Arcanis with my good friend Chad.
Friday, I played a game of Shaintar “kinda organized play.” I will have more to post about this campaign in another post. The afternoon slot, I got to run “TOS1-01 In the ArchDespot’s service” which is on the intro mods to Saggakar. The game went well, though I decided to reorganized the player handouts a little after the game, make them more “organic” and “natural”.
The evening, I had initially planned to play WitchHunter, but the table did not go off. As a backup, I wanted to play L5R, but they had a non-Heroes of Rokugan Larp.
So I got to my first choice of LARP: Arcanis. Everyone wanted to see me in my dress & wig again. I settled for the red nail polish (it was all I had in my medicine box). I must admit that I had a lot of fun throughout the LARP. I did what I would expect Kermina to do: stick with the richest most available man (which in this case, was Lord Varo played by Eric-W of PCI). I was a social butterfly, going from here to there, and fleeing from the gnomes (who are like, so TOTALLY disgusting, and like filled with cooties, and like they are TOTALLY like ewwwwh!)
So I managed to get myself invited to Tomo-Khan’s wedding. However, to conclude the wedding, I had to agree to attend with a gentlemen of the Khan’s wife’s choosing. Wishing to claim some credit in this wedding, I agreed.
BUT THEN, I WAS UNDONE!!!
Her terms were that I attend the wedding with that horrendous thing that is Temi-do the gnome. I almost puked in my mouth when she announced it. Barely an intelligent creature! Gah!
Note In Arcanis, gnomes are deformed creatures who are the children of dwarves and men. Gollum would readily be a hot-looking one. My character is particularly prejudiced against them, as she finds them extremely distasteful…
Note 2 Temi-do is Chris-C’s character who pursued me throughout the LARP (and all the way back to Arcanicon). I love playing with him because he’s not only a great player but his character is very unique. He likes to make my character feel uncomfortable by being near me. That will no doubt be a plot in one of next year’s LARP or Arcanicon event. I dunno exactly when/where it will be. It’ll be a very fun and interesting event that’s for sure!
On Saturday, I played the last of the Arcanis Hard Point adventure before getting in on the two-rounds battle interactive. For the first time in… well ever, Kermina managed not to be a burden to her party, and actually managed to be quite helpful!
Yes! I was quite surprised myself. I served as healer, did some fighting, did some dancing, I did take a fair amount of damage.
Origins is a great convention, the venue and size of it makes it conducive to talking to people, sit down at a random table for a game, and just “relax” – I know it is rather odd to say, but the pace of Origins is much different than GenCon’s, which to me feels much more business-like, stressful and requires a lot more running around. I would say that the two are completely different.
Arcanis. The story, the execution, the people, All of these are high points for me. I really enjoyed the Arcanis larp and the battle interactive. It got hairy, scary and brutal all at once. With the final result that I now have a date at one of next year’s major events where I will have to accompany Chris-C’s gnome character.
It was the first Arcanis BI that my character acted as the main healer (there were a lot of others, but I think I cast more healing than anyone else). Normally, I am a skirmished dancing around the edges of the battlefield this time, I did some of that, but having improved my spell casting abilities, I could easily heal people and perform a few other maneuvers.
Again this year, I only ran a very small portion of my own events (1 to be exact). That said, the players I had made my job as a GM both easy and thoroughly enjoyable. After the game, I decided to reorganize how my player handout were arranged so I did a little bit of house cleaning last night after the game.
The HQ lines throughout the weekend remained rather long. I’m not 100% sure what the problem was, but it is greatly frustrating when you have 8 people sitting behind the desk, and only two are working through a huge line of customers. I thought it didn’t look good and was frustrating when you had only a short break. Now the people were really nice and efficient, but taking some of the rush would help. And no, I’m not talking about the initial line (against which there is little to do)
The Lower Attendance proved to be something that was not ideal. That said, a number of factors played into this: the school year in three nearby states (Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio) either ended DURING or AFTER the con, the beautiful weather, all played into this.
I did not get a chance to play any of the WitchHunter events. I did get to run two WH events to back up my man Clint. Both of which went well and I had a blast sending werewolves, satanic cultist, and vampires against my unsuspecting table of players. It was great.
Next Year’s Plan
With the low number of ticket sales, I have been debating whether I should simply forego GMing events next year and focus on playing. Make Origins my play-holiday. With any luck, the kids might be come with me, particularly Jojo…
Who knows? I am definitely thinking about it.
Focus on playing Arcanis and others games. That could be really fun!
I just need to get Julie to approve my plan…
My CUNNING plan.
Origins 2015 is in the books and I had a great time at the convention. Only my second gaming convention; I attended my first board game convention last year at Gen Con. While Gen Con was an overwhelming experience where I only felt like I touched a sma…
: For starters, B49 seemed very lightly attended. It wasn’t the standard cheek by jowl situation in the Salon areas, and the usual mob of costumery seemed greatly diminished. I like Science Fiction conventions quite a bit, but I’ve never been one of the faithful– meaning, I don’t wear costumes, I don’t “filk”, I don’t wear a lot of buttons. So SF Con Fandom isn’t really my thing– I’m not part of that culture. I read books, and I like SF authors, and like to hear them talk, and buy books. So that’s what I come to a convention for– and maybe see indie films and play some games. In that respect, we were only partially successful, but that’s fine. Continue reading →
As I do for all the HMGS Inc shows (and other conventions), I have created a Guidebook App for you to download and use as a sort of electronic program booklet for the duration of your stay at the convention. Continue reading →
This weekend is Lexicon in Lexington KY. I will be there all day saturday to run some Legacies. The first two parts of the Battle for Gytha series: Plains of Sametia and Knee Deep. But also Ablaze went the swamp, the first battle interactive of the se…
In which the author presents part two of two of Matchbox and Hot Wheels car conversions for a Post-Apocalyptic fun fest! Continue reading →
I realize it is a Monday and that you are all excited but this has been on my mind all weekend. I have been thinking about Gencon recently as a number of people have mentioned to me that they did not plan to attend because it became too big. Now being…
(Meant to post this last week) Two weekends ago, I travelled to Memphis for MidSouthCon 33. This was the first con I was to attend in Tennessee and I was looking forward to it. I happened to learn of the con through my friend Geri who was posting havin…
So for the second year in a row, I attended Arcanicon – this year in Chicago. For the second year, it was awesome. So many story lines, so many things people did, so many memories. For the past two years, the big draw to me, was the day-long special. …
So Arcanicon is upon us again. Last year, I had such a blast playing in the day-long special, I was lucky to play on a table with Paul, Nicole and Eric, who I got to join again at the battle at Gencon. Our adventures were quite memorable. During that a…
Deep within the snow banks of the North East, Total Con 2015 stumbles forward to provide good games and good times for all. TotalCon 2015 was held in Mansfield Massachusetts and marks a return to the convention scene for myself after a bit of a hiatus. There was a lot of BattleTech on the agenda […]
The New Guidebook for Cold Wars 2015 is published and available for download. This article takes you through the process and reveals what’s new (which ain’t much!) Continue reading →
This year’s Winter Fantasy was one I was very much looking forward to attending. It would be the first time I would bring adventures written by me to the con and I was really excited.
I spent the evening of Thursday at home with my wife and kids. It was very enjoyable… I got to watch Wifetime or some other chick-flick… It ended with a wedding and everything was good. I called out the ending at the start.
I woke up at 3am, finished loading the car and off I went. Reached the Grand Wayne Center around 7:15am ready for some action. I set up my banner and waited. I had few tickets sold and I purchased tickets to play the Arcanis adventures and returned to wait. Throughout the day, I filled my tables with released GMs. And was able to run 3 out of 4 of my projected slots.
Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening, I got to play some Arcanis. Here, unfortunately, there were a few hickups. The kind of hickups that ruin events, but that aren’t anyone’s fault per se. One of the table didn’t go too well, on the one hand, the GM was tired, on the other, some of the players didn’t care and just wanted to leave. You know, THAT kind of table. I was tired and didn’t push hard on some items and well… I ended up screwed. Big time. The kind of screwed level where you wonder if you want to play some more… I’m definitely unhappy about how things went down, but can’t really complain as I am not completely without blame either… I will most likely put together a post once I am able to put things into perspectives.
The Sunday morning did not go off. Although I was ready to go, I took the option of driving back home instead.
Allow me to put down some high and low points of the con.
The Good Stuff
Very open atmosphere There is a fun atmosphere around the con, one of camaraderie I have not seen a lot at other events. It is refreshing and just a blast to see.
Great organization I cannot say enough good about the organization. Dave (the Baldman) runs a very tight ship with a staff that is not only very competent, but friendly, knowledgeable and extremely efficient. Show up at your muster and in a smooth way, you are shown to your place. I went to HQ upon my arrival and I was handed a clear and very clean sheet with my table (it was the same throughout the con), and shown where it was.
Seriously, to anyone who organizes game days and conventions, Baldman’s games’ organization is one that can give lessons to a lot of you. Yes, they have some added tracking but the whole thing runs smoothly. They have access to whatever you need as a GM.
Long-time friends Living Greyhawk was more than “just” an organized play campaign. It was a social network. A large and self-sustaining network in which I met great people, and made connections I will cherish forever, I will name Les-F, Konrad-B, Jay-B, the Baldman himself, Chris Tulach, Greg-M to name but a few. I got to hang out with them – albeit shortly. I do not think any campaign since has generated the type of friendship LG did… *sigh*
The Location I can already see some readers going “Really? You are talking about Fort Wayne, IN!” Well I can understand the comment. However, the Grand Wayne Center is located in downtown Ft Wayne. Meaning there is food in fat gamer walking distance. And not “just” one, but the best is “King Gyros” next door. I LOVE Greek food and partook often. It was good.
The Liberty Dinner Halfway across town, this unassuming dinner is a true gem I love to patron. They have large plates at a decent price.
The Bad Stuff
Low attendance Perhaps the biggest drawback of the con was the low attendance. For me, Winter Fantasy will always remain that enormous New York hangar of 2004. I have been talking about the con to everyone, but in the end I don’t know what I can do. I really hope that next year’s will be bigger. I will be putting together a Legacies program myself, with the hope to bring in more people, and hopefully cross-pollinated with the Arcanis/Witch Hunter crowd. Seriously, the bigger the attendance, the more game options there will be. If you have a chance to go, come. Really. This is a great con. If you have a chance, please come.
Almost exclusively 5e/Wizards centric/ few other options This one is more a con for me, rather than for other, but the focus, and majority of the attendance is clearly on 5e. Again, not a bad thing, but not a big thing for me. 90%+ of the tables played were 5e, which had a strong presence. Good to see the community thrives.
No other Pathfinder This is one that keeps puzzling me as to why the Pathfinder Society does not support this local con any more. I know “things” happened, but. FOR PETE’S SAKES, GROW UP. The gaming community is not big enough to play these type of fight games. Indiana, Ohio & Michigan VOs, that is a FAIL on *YOU*. As is, I can say that I am the only Pathfinder available out there.
I really plan on attending next year, hopefully see the team and get to run more and new exciting games.
Apart from “the table”, I had a great time.
The first time I went to Winter Fantasy was back in Jan 2004. At that time, it was in Secaucus, New Jersey. Or “New York” as we foreigners referred to it. I remember our original plan: gather in Sherbrooke, play an LG game there. Then sleep for 3-4 hou…