Friday, March 16, 2018

GaryCon 2018 - Friday

GaryCon - Friday - Killed by a little Girl

                        Looking far too serious for wearing this shirt. I blame the lack of Coffee
The 5 foot long table mat

First, let me say that I have to do a post for every day, the stories and memories are amazing... I just want to get everything correct while it is still fresh in my mind... It was such a whirlwind of activity

Friday morning is when (when I attend , of course) I run my PizzaTOON Game.. I gave the players an option on what the second feature short would be and we went with
Toona Beach Blanket Bingo Jam Jivin' Rock Scissors Paper Party

I had 2 families and another player, everyone was excellent, Imaginative and mostly insane (three qualities of a really good good game)

The father of the larger Brood took the character and went through time to create an entire society, change governments based on whims and gave full descriptions on building a new society (revolving around his one subject, himself), then returning to the present  (and he did so in 3 minute segments !) 

I have run this several times and while certain events have made me laugh out loud (yeah-I typed it out), I never had 2 families playing and enjoying the game as much... Not to disparage the other gentleman playing , I found him amazing also and he never missed a change given...   Aside from the lack of dancing during the Donut dance, this was one of the best times I have had running this game

Did I mention donuts.... OH MY GOD !!! My Friend George delivered donuts from BITTNERS BAKERY. Everyone should have one when attending GaryCon,  but you have to dance joyfully at my game in order to get one... or be the table closest and get them after I disturb your table

The Main EVENT

Soon after my TOON game, I had to go to

                To the Survivors Go the Spoils
Heidi’s game at GaryCon IX tested your stalwart adventurer! Don't miss this rare opportunity to have Heidi Gygax, daughter of the late E. Gary Gygax, DM a gathering of stalwart adventurers, who start at their favorite pub. Remember that this is fantasy and your character only dies if it wants to (tongue-in-cheek). Roleplay is strongly encouraged. Characters will be provided and fun will be had.

I choose this because I had played in Ernie's game 2 years ago, it fit into my schedule and Eric Garland (Who I have gotten to know since my last time at GaryCon) was in the mix
A Moment in time, I like to watch people playing games:

Before that, I was wondering around, and I saw a Group playing Harry Potter:Battle at Hogwarts, my daughters favorite game.  It was not the game that really caught my attention, but the people playing the game. It was Luke Gygax and his 3 daughters taking time to sit and enjoy a game and NO one bothered Luke... These are the memories that make GaryCon and sometimes you forget that the people running the show are just looking to play games

I encourage everyone if they can, to volunteer because it takes that much more off of the other volunteers and allows them the time to participate in this preoccupation we all love.

So I walk into the room, do not see Heidi, but I see my pal Edwin.. I turned to walk out and her was like "Hey Greg, your in the right room, sit the F*** down"   Yes, it is cool to be treated as a friend...

So, I am sitting get prepared to play, and Luke comes in with his kids, then Jeff Leason and Elise.

So now I am in a game run by Heidi, assisted by Edwin, with Luke, His oldest daughter, Elise and Jeff and several VIPs including Eric Garland. Did I mention that this was Elise first time playing since she was young because the boys teased her... So all the Gygax who play (Except Ernie) are in this game.

I will state that during a game, I never miss a chance to be flamboyant or to die a most spectacular death... I aim to entertain

Let me say for the record that Heidi should run more games and I will try my best to be there when she is running. I do not like playing in games that I run because I may get to thinking how I would do that better, not pause, look up stuff.... I have also mentored several DM's to improve their skills.

That said, The flow, the pacing, the players... everything felt great and ran pretty good... It was the most relaxed I have been in a game in a long time. and bringing a couple of rounds of beer did not hurt either

Then, Luke's daughter killed the last thief

I felt it was my time to make a heroic (stupid) gesture, One thief had died and I was the remaining one. I climbed on a ledge that was partially over a pool of  water where I was met with a lobster type creature (they did a good job on the monster descriptions, BTW)

The lobster attacked and knocked me unconscious,  my only hope was Luke's daughter, the Fighter, coming to my rescue. She hopped up on the ledge, announced she was kicking the lobster into the pool of water below... Promptly failed her DEX check, kicked the thief into the water, where I drowned.... and thus ended Mezzo the Unselfish..

As I was reading my Next Character sheet, Mystico the Daring, she was reclaiming and looting my half eaten corpse. They brought the bodies along to use as bait. She kept my stuff and did not share...

It was my most spectacular death of the weekend... and she colored in my sheet somewhat... later I realized it was a wound

Luke's daughter was great in the game, she had good ideas and brought a lot to the game (other than my demise) It may be that I enjoy playing games when kids are there. It cuts down on the language

Then Eric brought out My Nemesis 

Shortly there after, while we were having a great time, Eric brings out "The Drink of His People"

Irish?        NO
Scottish?  NO

Kentucky !

I will report that I was up to the challenge and attempted to do away with the bourbon

Drunken Dungeon Master and the Drunken Dwarven Bar rampage

I showed up at my next game (6:00 PM CST in the Westgate C WGC-395)  very tipsy and not much more to put me over the top....

The Game was  "AD&D—So You Think You Have an Attitude?" 
               "Genertic characters provided are lame." (Apparently, so was my typing skill check)

Only Dwarves need apply. 13th-15th level. Bring your own or be issued a generic. The followers of the God of Attitude and Drink are sent on a quest for the Ultimate Ale.

I have run this game many, many, many, many times, a fact that I had to rely on because the Spotted Cow beer happy hour was about to start and I again was happy and up to the challenge.

So I tell the players that gather "This may not be the best adventure of your con, but it will be the most entertaining!"

Somewhere around 8:00 PM, I have no memory going forward... The following day, I figured there would have been a complaint about the drunk guy running the dwarven game..  It seems that from all accounts, I did a great job and much fun was had

I do remember running into a one of the live action players, the women with the finger pommell and telling her about the Bodhana group and Save Against Fear convention and that I did not embarrass or harass her in any way (she gave me a card that I have somewhere in front of me)...

I heard comments like

You were amazing and should run some all improv games
I had a great time
You killed it, we zoomed through through that adventure
How do you feel today ? 

We finished at 9:30 and all accounts I hear were good. I do apologize to anyone who only had a great time, I fell short of my goal of providing a most excellent time (Though I absolutely nailed the most entertaining promise I made from all accounts)

George tells me he ran into me at 8:30 and it seems everyone was having fun from my account.. if not see me at the next GaryCon I attend and I will buy you a beer on the Friday night between 6-8

I went to sleep around 11, then my Roommates came in drunk and chatty at 3:00 AM... Amazing day

Thursday, March 15, 2018

GaryCon2018 - Thursday

GaryCon Thursday 

I had a list prior to going to Lake Geneva that I wanted to accomplish.

A)    Have Margaret Weis autograph my book
B)         Pick Up a limited run Print by Larry Elmore
C)               Attend FrankenParty  (Accomplished Joyfully)
D)                    Promote The Bodhana Group and Save Against Fear

E)   Enjoy Every Moment

I managed to get into EVERY game I wanted to play in and that was amazing

Walking to get my coffee, I met Jeff Leason and had a good conversation as we walked the Brisk outside from the forums to the main lobby. He was assisting Heidi Gygax in her game that I had a seat for..  (Ok the back of my mind knew the name, but did not connect it)

I knew 2 of my games were not going to run and I was not going to try to run them except for the fact that I got a personal email from Luke Gygax requesting I attempt to run my Dangerous Journeys game (OK, so he was responding to another request I made, but when a request is made...)

So I setup my table, as the picture and wandered around for a while talking to people in the Forums area for about 40 minutes before claiming defeat

Spent the next while just wandering and watching a few games (the Craig Martelle / Stephen Lee game looked awesome, wish I had gotten there earlier to try to jump in and play) before heading to the Dealer room to check things out. 

Then I went to the Artist Area, and went to find Mr. Elmore, the Legend
He was a bit late getting there but I did get to chat with others in the room. I was looking at Jeff Easley's stuff and after standing there for 5 minutes looking, I moved on

As I was walking out, Larry Elmore arrived. I gave him a few minutes then went to make my purchase... As he was signing it, he said that he only had a few more left... Then I pulled out My Dangerous Journeys book for him to sign.... 

I bought the final version last year

After that, I tried and succeeded to meetup with Stephen Lee of  Fireside Creations.

I had been talking to Stephen about games on facebook and friends for a while and it was great to meet him in person. He graciously offered me space on his table for The Bodhana Group and Save Against Fear Convention (Located in Harrisburg, PA - October 12-14, 2018) ... When he put then in the front left corner, I was floored...

Next was my play time !!

I headed to my Firefly fly game (Dan earlier asked me to join the earlier game, but I had to get the print before they sold out) 

Arriving after several people my character choice was limited, and no way was I going to be able to play Jayne in this game. That is reserved for the guest of Honor, Margaret Weis. I choose Inara, the Companion

Margaret offered up a prize(A Joey the Tug figure) in addition to the prize Dan ordered (Hand made Leather Dice Cups) 

I have to say that Dan did a great job with teaching the Mechanics at the start of the game with a Unification Day Barroom brawl, during which, I utilized my feminine ways to distract to of the men attempting to beat up the crew by making eye contact and flapping the collar of my shirt. 

We were fighting robots programmed to kill Brown coats...toward the end we needed to shut the ship down.

I will say that it is great to see Margaret play Jayne and take delight in bantering with everyone while using Vera with armor piercing bullets to kill robots

Margaret Weis

Daniel Gosz

These guys were great and ended up playing in my next game

So I decided that I was going to take the lead on this one and go ahead and bring Kaylie

I escorted Kaylee down to the engineering room I knew there'd be some trouble on the way so I was prepared for this and then Dan asked  “hey are you going to take a gun” so I thought for a moment I said “I'll take a gun but I'm never going to use it” I could see he was a little bit miffed about that

As we approach the robots I said “I am the Companion of House Madrassa, I was requested to be here by the captain” so the robot said that does not compute and I said “I am clearly Alliance and therefore you must let me pass as I have authorization to be here”  “And this is my lady” (Pointing to Kaylie)

With that Dan did not see that coming so I completely completely tossed a new wrinkle into the into the game. After rolling a few times, He allowed me to enter and complete our task

So then at the end of the game they were voting for the best player and everybody based on that performance and other subtle things I did,  they voted Inara. Of course I didn't vote for myself so I voted for another,but aside for me it was unanimous that they thought I did the best job playing (not the best job playing the role but the best job in that game playing any role of that game)

I had asked earlier how to get a copy of the Joey the Thug figure from Margaret and if anyone there was selling them and she said no, so I told her that I would order one after the CON is  over but seeing that she signed the figure I can't open it

I will need to order another one to put it together and put it on my shelf I'll never paint it but it will look amazing put together I think so that was my Firefly game and then I had another game to run after that game

My next game was "The Master Stroke"

This was written for GaryCon, also has the least amount of character background of any game I have ever run

The premise was that based this game on a Song that was about a painting. All the elements of the song are in the game and what the song focused on was the main parts of the adventure

I will admit that these players were enjoying the role playing and we took too much time in some places, but I think is was well received, Every single player did not punch me in the face and they were all engaged the entire time. I consider that a WIN

I do not have any pictures from this game... so if any has some, I would appreciate it.

FYI: Everything on my list was completed by that evening

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pre GaryCon 2018.. Tuesday/ Wednesday

GaryCon Revisited... 
Precon Activities and FrankenParty

I was also going out to GaryCon to Run games, play in a select few and spread the word of a Convention called


Sponsored by the The Bodhana Group

We started out at around 3 from Allentown, after failing to acquire the drink of my people.
Blue Mountain Winery's White Merlot

Ok, maybe not the drink of my people but I really like it.

We headed toward the west in anticipation of the much gaming that was about occur. Three set out in search of finding the greatest gaming adventures and sleep deprivation

Luke, George and I loaded up. being the one running games, I had the most stuff.

The conversation was moving great and we were having a good time discussing many aspects of the game and what we hoped to do over the weekend.

We drove though many snow storms and it came down really good a few times. The worst was in the middle of Indiana at about midnight, the snow and lack of lighting made it appear that we were going through HYPERSPACE

So we arrive in Kenosha at nearly 2:00 AM CT, we hit the Walmart for some supplies and then off to the IHOP (the only place other than Walmart that is open all night)

We grab a bite to eat, the waitress says she can take or check anytime... I let her know we had no place to be for a couple of hours so we just hung out there for a while...until the sun started to come up then we made our to:

Then we went to the Hotels (George was at the Comfort Inn, his room was ready) to get rooms... so back to the comfort inn to take a nap, even though it was only 1.5 hours, it was enough

Taking a Tour

We found our way upstairs and had a smoke, looking up I noticed I was late... 

But that's another story.. Upstairs we found Derrick White and Nathaniel Sims setting up the 

Wall of Remembrance and the Table of Honor

Derrick offered us the first chance to get the ball rolling on the wall... I added #PLAY4WYATT and got mad propps from Nathaniel, who knew the background

I added my good Friend Shaun Nelson, who created and then inspired the Donut Dance in my PizzaTOON game... I forgot Fog (Rob Wisbeski), an all around good person

We go back to the Grand Geneva and get into line for registration. Talking to several people and overly excited. I run into Edwin earlier and let him know we drive him to FrankenParty... I get through the line, the guy hands me my shirt and cups and I am like "There should be more for me..." nope, nothing "I am a GM also" The GM Check in is in the meeting room... OK, so I go there, get my additional Cup, Shirt and game packet and realized, I did not get my Swag bag and George did not either... Then I saw that my friend Luke H. did...I saw Luke Gygax right there talking to Tim Kask so I let him know (go straight to the top if it a good option) Anyway, he gets it resolved and we get ready to go to FrankenParty

2 years ago, I accidentally met Edwin, he just saw me and asked for a ride.. He treated me well and I try to treat everyone I meet with this Motto "Be Excellent to Each Other!" So when he asked, I offered a ride as I will continue to do when I attend

My 2 travel companions have never been to Frank Mentzer's and Frank asks for a little donation... Edwin told us not to worry about it that he would cover our donation... 

Was able to see many people I knew and the Food was Increadible. Frank and Debbie do a fantastic job. We had plenty to eat and Drink and lots of great deserts (Sorry but I did not even have one little cookie, stuck to cheese and fruit in mild amounts)

Mike the Magician was there and entertained everyone

Frank was doing demos of his new game   
Fairy Tale Games

I have to say everyone was in Rapture by this simple and fun game it's built around using cards and things like heart mind body and Magic.

No character sheets but you get playing cards playing cards. The higher the card, the better the power is

You can swap cards to match your skill if you did not get a match while maintaining what your character is... when you needed to something better in the game, you swapped for a higher card

Once you know what your characters doing in the town you tell them what your character strength is either heart, mind, body, or magic

In the game I was in I decided I was going to be a farmer but then somebody stole pig farmer so I became wheat farmer so my magic ended up being I was able to grow wheat so that was my magic and as we discovered there was a bear which is actually princess in it in a Magic bear skin in a wheelbarrow that took you anywhere so her wheel barrel took her to our town once she was in our town that it was up to us to figure out what was going on we just stumbled across this we didn't know what was going on why she was there and what we did, I ended up at the end of the demo using my Magic to hide the bear from the hunters

We discussed about whether it was Frank running the game that amazed us or the game itself, you need to be able to think on the fly in order to run the game and a sense of timing is pretty good. I think I can run this game almost as well as Frank (without the Legend aura)

It was amazing to be at Franks again, and have such a kickoff to the con

Next Part 2 Thursday, Fun with Dan and Jayne