Thursday, January 3, 2019

GaryCon 2019, My Schedule

With my Schedule of games that I am running completed, now to finish the cheap seats

The Greg Barry Invitational Drunken Dungeon Master Challenge -                  Survey is completed for players. 

Monty Python Fluxx Tournament - working on Prize support

                           Adventure is completed and ready to run

Dangerous Journeys  - The Hour of the Wolf - 

Donner Dinner Party, 
                                     Board Game

Foo-Fuu TOON… Catch that Bird - 
                 Completed, working on additional TOON Characters

PIZZATOON / Toona Beach Blanket Jam Jivin' Party - 
                Completed, working on additional TOON Characters

Sparkle*Kitty Nights by Breaking Games 
                                                                 Card Game
The Pirates of Dark Water, the Lost Episodes - 
                                  Printing and Play testing

Now that my schedule is the way I wanted it... time to get back to marketing my games

There are 2  Games I am worried about, First is the Dangerous Journeys game. This is the game I always wanted to write for AD&D 1st Edition but it never felt I could do it in the System without losing some of the credibility of the game the way I wanted it.  I did not get any players at Thursday, 9:00 AM at the Last GaryCon and was asked to run it at the next one I attend... So hopefully 6 PM is the magic hours for me

There are very few games that I would call my Masterpieces... here is the List


So you think You have an Attitude? (Part one and two)

Entrance to Classarri


Hour of the Wolf (Dangerous Journeys) 

These are games that define my style and influences

I try to bring the best games that I can to GaryCon 

I think the Pirates of Dark Water game is a really good look at something I enjoyed. The game play is fair and balanced and players have a say in the making of the characters 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

NEW TOP Board Games December Edition

December Top Board Games and List of best of 2018

Revised my post on games, this being December... I have new favorites

I do a lot of demos so for me to get excited about a game and add it to my "I will always love to play this at game night" list, the game has to be FUN and under 90 Minutes in play time. 

I am not a long game player, at game nights I like to play several games with some quick filler games. I also prefer more than 4 players since I can do those games at home.... 

Here is my list of the best games I have played that were released in 2018. This is in Order from what I like to play and carry to more game nights

1 - Space Base
2 - Star Trek Flux
3 - Tower of Madness
4 - Rise of Tribes
5 - Gizmos 
                 (Not owned, but I really loved this game)
6 - Fist of Dragonstones   
                 (does not make it to the table enough, people don't appreciated the auctions games )

December Top Board Games

I am going to break these into Small sided games, Medium and Party Games, 5 Each

Small Sided, 
                  Less than 5 Players

1 - Compounded

This is a game where you use elements to create compounds and score points.. it has a real good feel to the game and they got everything right and the details are fantastic

2 - Space Base
This game has you paying attention all the time due to the passive turns on which you have to decide how to play the dice and earn rewards. it is a fine engine building game and goes faster then it seems

3 - Rise of Tribes

Dice and Meeples, people !!! Seriously, this is a fun game that can be played in an hour or 90 minutes if people think too hard... I spent 4 days at GenCon demoing this and finally got to play the day I got home. 

4 - Any Fluxx versions

Either you play for 15 minutes or the game gets very frustrating after a long play.. I love this when it goes about 30-45 minutes at the longest.. set a timer and start over.  I have Firefly, Batman, Star Trek, Star Fluxx, Fluxx, Chemistry, Monty Python and Drinking

5 - Head of Mousehold

It is quirky and fun, the strategy you need is more than would be expected in this game... 

Medium size Games 
                      (6-8 Players, Not Party Games)

1 - Tsuro / Tsuro of the Seas

Tile placement, follow the path games, the Seas offer a bit more in the play by adding monsters 

2 - The Thing, Infection at Outpost 31

Everyone who plays this seems to be impressed, based on the John Carpenter movie, this is a a game where you try to identify the Imitations and stop them from leaving the base.. 

3 - Roswell 51
All against the Director in this whimsical game of Surviving an Alien invasion while being in a Retro SciFi film... The Theme is amazing, and it takes a strong personality to keep the film going and going... until the 4th and final reel

4 - Not Alone

All against one in this game of choosing placement cards... I do enjoy this

5 - Slide Blast

Tile placement to make the longest slide, points for helping other players

Party Games, 
                        more than 6

1 - Donner Dinner Party

Probably the best Social deduction game on the market, quick and easy to play (7 rounds) feed everyone or vote one of the party to (well, you know) 

2 - Sparkle*Kitty / Sparkle*Kitty Nights

Don't let the name fool you, this is a great game for adults...Teens and kids.. Can be quite cutthroat and lots of fun

3 - Sushi Go Party

This is simple a quick play game with 3 rounds of Pass and Play... there is a bit of strategy involved but nothing too complex.  

4 - Fuji Flush

This card game is the perfect party filler game... simple and fast play to get several replays.

5 - Telestrations, all versions
Here is a Draw and Guess game where you do not have to know how to draw and the more wild the guess, the funnier the game is.. It comes in a 12 Party Pack, An 8 player pack and 8 Player After Dark (Adult) version
Everyone draw and passes to the next person who guesses, then you pass to the next person who draws from the guess   The best is when all is revealed at the end of the game... 


Some other games to Consider

1 - Monty Python Fluxx and Star trek Fluxx (Original Series)

2 - Nefarious

4 - Dastardly Dirigibles
A seemingly simple game that cause frustration when you are forced to change your airship plan.. but lots of fun to play, again a fairly quick game 

5 - Brew Dice

6 - Fist of Dragonstones

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Advice from a Grey Beard on Attending a Convention

Updated 10/31/2018

Attending a Convention 
                                  Running Games at a Convention  
                                                                         Volunteering at a convention

Over the years I have been to numerous conventions and gatherings... I have always managed to make the most from being at Conventions...

I am going to break this up into a few different parts because the experience of Attending a Convention is vastly different than running games or organizing conventions

The Following rules apply to every situation

  1. SHOWER EVERYDAY of the CON, more than once if needed
  3. Carry Spare T-Shirt, Deodorant and a travel Towel... Do a quick wipe and dry as needed and change the shirt
  4. Do not use any cologne, chances are you do not know how to apply it and someone next to you will get  NAUSEOUS 
  5. HAND SANITIZER - become very familiar with this, do not trust that others will be diligent 
  6. AVOID ANY KIND OF BODY SPRAY, including Body Washes and Soaps with Scent

      7.   IF YOU ARE SICK, STAY HOME... 
             Even a mild cold or illness can become severe with many people
               If you think you may be getting sick, wear a Surgical mask...

               THINK of the people around you,
               we all put out money to attend, and sometimes things just do not work out

I also recommend starting a Immune booster 5-7 days before any convention...

Attending a Convention 

Attending is probably the most stress free way to go. All you have to do is:

Buy Tickets:  Check
Clear the date:  Check
Show Up: Check

Now if it is a gaming (RPG, Tabletop or Console) convention, you will need to register for games before you go, and you have to know your logistics as to where the games are so that you can try to avoid running from one end of the con to another to make your games

1.     Try to avoid back to back games that are not within 5 minutes of each other
2.     Try to avoid carrying too many things with you
3.     As player, I try to have: 
a.      Dice 
b.     A Rule book if needed
c.      Spare Character sheets or premade ones 

4.     Some General items to have should be       
a.      Tissues or napkins    
b.     Gum, cough drops, or candy
c.      Hand Sanitize
d.     Drink

Traveling to and From a Convention, (staying on Site)
This takes a little planning.. but I have found the following to be invaluable

A: Bring a case of water with you per person
B: Twice as many shirts as you think you will need
C: Protein bars, carry with you, this will fill you and keep you going
D: Learn what the stores are in the area you are going to be at
         Bakery, Liquor Store, Walmart, Target... Just in case
E: plan on what you bring home (I always bring a case for Posters)

Merchant Room - 

When you attend, it is best to have an idea of what you are spending and stay within a budget.
I try to think of what I might spend money on and then bring extra.
What I do look for at a con is something a bit different, so I look at the vendors and if I do not have it in my budget, I get their card and find out where I can see them next or order from them.

Be prepared for an unexpected purchase when you go. For Example, I had planned on playing in one game, talked my way into another game, enjoyed that game so much that I bought the rule book immediately after the game... shown below

Also bring items for Signatures if their are VIP at the con, Most RPG VIPs will sign anything for FREE, others such as at Comic cons, charge fees for Signatures and Pictures.

Signed By Margaret Weis, who produced the game system and played in the game I was in. 

Comic Cons are a world by themselves, Utterly overpriced, over attended and very crowded.

For some of the bigger Comic Cons, you must get tickets in advance because the sell out (Hence the price gauging)  I attend very few of these simply because once you pay the $100 person, then you have to buy Autographs and Autograph packages.  Many of them have become just MONEY GRABS, sign and move on, no chat, no pics unless you have a Pic ticket...

If you can find a smaller one, with a one day ticket available for under $50, then go if you can...

You can find value at Comic Shows and Cons and sometimes, your favorite actor is just a few miles away

Running Games at a Convention

Running game adds a whole new level to the con experience:  People are signing up to play in your games and want a really cool experience.  Plus you are giving back to the CON...

I started running games at cons because I only trust a few people to run games for me as a player.
it was my way to attend and have fun. Almost all CONS will waive the registration fee for the con. and when I first started attending, CONS sold games for 3 dollars and bought back the ticket from the Dungeon Master for 1 dollar.. I ran Lots of games at those CONS and spent a majority of my dollars in the dealer room.. mostly on dice and figures

Typical times for playing are: 
  • 2 Hours (Mini Slot)
  • 4 Hours (the typical amount of time)
  • 8 Hours (Double Slot)
I prefer 4 hour slots because I can run more games, typically, I do 2-4 games a day - 8 AM, 12 PM, 4 PM and 8 PM... sometimes a 12 AM.. .

Your Responsibilities as a DM / GM / Storyteller / Animator / Ombudsman
  • Be on time
  • Be organized
  • Bring Extra Pencils
  • Bring Extra Dice
  • Bring Additional Characters
  • Bring Character Sheets
  • Bring note pads
I try to plan as if someone is walking by and at the last moment decides to play. I do not lend dice easily but I keep 3 sets with me that are expendable and losing them is no issue (You will lose dice and gain dice at conventions if you run games, it just happens)

In Addition, I always try to do the following:
  • Have water and Ice Tea available at the table
  • Napkins, always needed
  • Gum or mints or packets of skittles
I find that if the players are on your side from the beginning, they will accept anything you throw at them or do to them. If I am running a Role Playing intense game, then I usually reserve killing for a bone headed move... 

I have no qualms about killing players, I prefer providing a tough challenge where they may be killed...

During the Game
  • Know the Material !!!
  • Be Organized
  • Be Energized
  • Dig deep, be unique
  • Don't be afraid to try it
  • Don't Dream It, BE IT !!!!!
The more you bring the game to life, the better your players will respond. I use lots of different vocals and hand gestures... many people can attest to my horrible Jamaican accent and my equally well done other accents... 

I have all my notes ready to go and it is a simple tear of a centimeter to hand it over...

Game flow is important, anything that stops the action or pauses for too long is not helping the players to enjoy the game

My goal has always been to have the most talked about game at the convention, if they are talking about it and people are standing around watching the show.. then I have done it.

Volunteering at a convention

This is another way to enjoy the show without having to pay... I am horrible at this option.. Somehow most cons do not like the large glass of Jack and Coke I like to have while volunteering.. (hey, it's my playtime also) 

My favorite was working the Registration table Friday afternoon, first day of the con, we arrived early and unpacked the booze.. made a large stiff drink and went to the table, we checked people in and sold game tickets... 80% of the crowd knew me and I entertained them as we went about everything... 

Nowadays, you just cannot do things like that... but I implore you to use this option to save a few bucks for the Dealer room

Demoing board games at Cons

This is a great option, I got a free pass to Pax Unplugged in 2018 and the following package for GenCon 2018

Hotel room next to the Convention center (4 people) 
Full Exhibitor pass 
Lunch money
8 games from the company I demo for
6 games from another demo I picked up
I ended up spending about 125 out of my pocket and 50 was for parking

Demoing and running games has given me a change to attend more cons and requests to demo other places and save hundreds if not, thousands, of dollars

These are Cons I run games at, or attend with the exception of GenCon.. I only included that by default of my own doing

A lot of Cons register themselves using this tool making it easier to find all the information you need

Con that I will be running games at, it raises money for a good cause and this should be a great event

Con for Old school gaming and new games, inspired to Celebrate the life well played - Gary E. Gygay, Co-Creator of Dungeons and Dragons

This is the link to Dexcon in Morristown, NJ, I attended in 2016 and in 2018
It is a fun con that tries to do alot of things..
Occurs Every August, massive RPG Gaming convention, the largest in the world, 2018 will be the 51st year

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Gencon Saturday and Sunday

I have to admit I do not have much to say about these days... I did demos, attempted to go hangout with Bree and failed and ended up just exploring the con and walking about Indy

Met up with Tim in the morning.. and had some coffee while waiting on events to start

Margaret Weis's booth

After doing demos I went to go play a prototype game with the crew from Breaking Games, Shari, Peter, Astrid, Bree and (cannot remember her name) it was a cool word game, and I lost badly

Then I attempted to go with Bree to a meetup for the Heavy Cardboard gamer group, but my voice was so bad that I had to bail. I went back to my room and grabbed my bourbon... then went on walk about

Walk about

I did way too much walking


Not much to say, finished up Demo and left Indy... with some very cool memories of being at GenCon

The 8/8's

Denis and Cosmo Joe

with JC from Foxmind Games

I will say that I have my Geek-out Moment on Sunday... I really do not get the whole CosPlay thing, but when  came as 2 Sparkle*Kitty princesses, It was really amazing

Final Pictures before heading Home