Saturday, August 14, 2010

My First Gaming Convention - Day 2

Today was Saturday and Day 2 of Dragonflight XXXI here in the Pacific Northwest. And for the second day this week, I made it over to Bellevue despite the horrendous traffic. Saturday afternoon freeway driving is pretty bad in the summertime anyway, but in 90+ degree weather? Hoo-boy!

Today, I was signed up to run Mr. Raggi's Death-Frost-Doom (using B/X or "Redbook" as it appears to be known in these parts...I also had Labyrinth Lord on prominent display at my table). My time-slot was the 2pm-6:30; Saturday afternoon and prime time. After yesterday's strikeout, I was pretty excited!

I spent the morning working up suitable pre-gens (thanks to B/X this only takes about 40 minutes to get eight) as well as printing up the DFD pdf. Oh, yeah...and running to the store to buy more printer paper halfway through the job (dammit). Still had a chance to read through the whole thing, make mental notes of important stuff and got to the place early, unlike yesterday.

And again, no one signed up.

I I am batting exactly .000 in my last three attempts to get a game going. So much for the "fear of running games for strangers;" either I must appear to be pretty scary myself, of B/X D&D is completely passe! Or something!

Actually...there appears to be a lot more going on than that, but that's all for a separate post. As with yesterday, I got enough material for another half-dozen posts or so, which I will hopefully get to over the next week or so while decompressing from the weekend.

I would also like to say that, again, I had a total blast at the Con! I'm heading back tomorrow straight after breakfast, hopefully in time for the auction going on between 9 and noon.

Why was today so great? Well:

- Even though (again) no one showed up at my table, I got invited to join another game that was short a player or two. I ended up playing an indie game called PDQ that I've never even heard of, let alone played or owned (and I've got several indies on my shelves). It was crazy and funny and fun mainly due to the GM and the chosen setting (it's a rules-light game). And it deserves its own post.

- Made some great contacts. The folks playing PDQ are part of outfit called the Emerald City Gamefest who not only play a regular weekly game and are open to new players, but they're in my neighborhood! Not just my neighborhood, but they game at the same coffee shop I frequent every Friday and from which I often blog! Not only that, they run their games on Thursday nights...the night I've been looking to find a regular game (since Fridays are my day off), last December? Wow...I told you folks, Greenwood is God's Country. Too cool.

- In browsing the vendor booths, I made not one but TWO great scores. Some folks from brought their boxes of used games out of the basement, and I was able to big up two things I've been wanting for awhile. 2nd edition Star Wars (from WEG), and a complete boxed set of Twilight 2000! Hoo-boy! Now I can go back to the American Eagle booth and clean out all those mint-condition T2000 modules at 50% off. What a deal!

- In other vendor news, chatted with Tim over at Gary's and found out about the auction (I had been unaware there was such a thing going on), and am excited to get in on that!

That's a lot of good stuff going on considering everything else. The "everything else" isn't just people not showing up to my's my perception of the state of the role-playing hobby itself. Man O Man...what the hell is going on with gaming?

But THAT is totally a different blog topic for another day. It's after midnight now, and my eyes are having a difficult time staying open. I think I'll thumb through my Twilight 2000 a little before turning in...I've got one last busy day ahead of me!

G'night, folks.
: )


  1. Wish I were there. Instead, I'm in Spokane visiting...wait for it...In-Laws!!!

    I've heard of PDQ. I've read the basic rules that I downloaded from the publishers site. The read-through didn't do anything for me. I'll have to take a second look at them though.

    I'm looking forward to the future posts on all of the topics you've mentioned.

  2. PDQ is a really neat system. That said, I didn't warm to it until I read the pulp fantasy rpg based on it; Jaws of the Six Serpents, I think. The magic system still seems a bit clunky, but on the whole I really like it. It's right there with Green Ronin's Dragon Age as the top rules-light fantasy rpgs I want to play but probably never will!

  3. PDQ is a fun little system - I think more people have heard of Truth and Justice (the superhero game that uses it) but my favorite version so far has been the one in Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies. You just can't go wrong with a flying pirate ship!

  4. One interesting thing about 'old school' materials is that it seems to do okay on the web but its con presence does not seem quite so bright. The author of Weird Fantasy made mention of something similiar on his blog a few weeks ago. Good thing the internet is biger than a local con!

    Congrats on possibly finding a group. Hope things work out well there. I often enjoy playing with new people because it's a new mix up and I get to see how other people play the game.

    Congrats on finding a new game. That can be exciting in and of itself, especially getting to play. There is often a huge difference between the reading and playing of games.

  5. I had a serious PDQ crush last summer and I still hope to play it some day. I adore Truth & Justice and S7S is really spiffy. I wish you the best with your new gaming adventures. I'm really curious to see how it works out for you and how it meshes with your old school sensibilities.

  6. Recruiting people to a game they don't know about is hard work. If you want to run a game at a store you will have to spend two to three weeks, spreading flyers around and have notes up all over town. Doing that nobody might still not show up. I never understood why that is so.

    Great to hear you are having a blast at the con, though! I never "got" T2k myself but you sure got a killer deal.

    I look forward to hear about the adventures with the newly found local gamers.

  7. Take heart. Last year at Dragonflight, my buddy and I were set to run two sessions of Good King Despot... and got one (1) player. He's turned out to be a player in our campaign, but there does seem to be a need for focused recruiting to fill the spots.

    So for Scott's A1 mini-con, we recruited from old school websites and such. I found out he didn't know of you and your blog so I passed on the address and he said he's sent you an invite. It does look like we'll have enough for two concurrent crawls.

    If I had gone to Dragonflight, I sure as hell would have signed up for Death Frost Doom. As luck would have it, I've been home sick (who gets sick in August, wtf?) and my girlfriend and I kept each other company while she studied for finals.

  8. @ Narmer, Kelvin, and DrNunch: I will post a full deal on PDQ pretty soon. They enticed me by mentioning "Truth & Justice" and "superhero RPG"...but that is NOT what was played. Still turned out cool.
    : )

    @ JoeG: Thanks for the congrats. I have more to say regarding the first paragraph of your comment, but it needs a big ol' blog post...
    ; )

    @ Risus Monkey: I heard the name "Risus" and "Risus Monkey" bandied about quite a bit at the con...are you a local (Northwest) gamer?

    @ Andreas: T2K is...well, shit. That's a whole 'nother blog post as well. Sorry.
    ; )

    @ Red: Man, I've been sick all week and the WTF goes double for me, but I wasn't about to let it keep me out of the Con after I missed it last year (the first year I'd heard about it!). I wish you HAD been there to play DFD. *I* still want to play it!

    By the way I got Scott's evite, but I'm not sure I'm going to make it all the way to Maple Valley that weekend. It sure would be cool, though. Thanks for thinking of me!
    : )

  9. Alas, I am not a Northwest gamer. I'm a DC-area gamer with a pretty active blog ( I blog about Risus ( because I love the game and I saw a niche opening, but I really like all sorts of games.

    I'm thrilled that folks mentioned me. :)