Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fisher-Price My First Gaming Convention

GaryCon III has been over for a few days now, but I am just now getting a moment to write a short blurb about it. It was my first-ever gaming convention, and it was a TON of fun. I got in about 24 hours of gaming between Friday and Saturday.

Here are the highlights of the weekend:

  • Got a sweet long-sleeve GaryCon III t-shirt
  • Bought a numbered copy of the adventures Tim Kask ran for GaryCon I & II
  • Bought the Black Blade Publishing imprint of the huge tome that is OSRIC. I'm not a big AD&D guy, but it is a very nice book and looks like it has some good stuff in there. At $26.00 for a 400+ page hardcover, it was pretty much a no-brainer.
  • Bought a number of OSR modules, including Skull Mountain and Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent, among others.
  • Played lots of AD&D (for the first time since I started gaming with 2e), including a game run by Frank Mentzer, thanks to Chainsaw of the K&K Alehouse, who graciously gave me his spot
  • Got my Rules Cyclopedia signed by Frank Mentzer, and my Deities & Demigods signed by Jim Ward.
  • Got to playtest the new Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG by Goodman Games (Highlight of the weekend. This game is fucking AWESOME!)
  • Got to try out Humanspace Empires
  • Saw a co-worker there that I never knew played D&D. He and his wife might be joining our gaming group.

I know that GaryCon isn't a big commercial thing, but one thing that was both a blessing and a curse was the relatively small vendor area. It would have been awesome to see a bunch of old TSR stuff for sale. I budgeted myself $300 to spend the entire weekend and I only spent about $120. Just an idea, but Noble Knight isn't that far, and it would've been cool for them to pack up some out of print TSR stuff and sell it at the convention. Although if I take a step back and look at the big picture, these wishes of mine probably aren't that reflective of the convention's attendees as a whole. I am a relative newcomer to the OSR, and as such, my wish list of gaming goodies is still quite long. However, a lot of these other guys that have been around and playing these games for a long time likely already have most of the stuff they want, and don't go to the convention to shop.

Another nice thing was the relatively small size of the thing. I think about 400 attendees were reported, which I felt was pretty much perfect for a guy like me, who tends to get claustrophobic and anxious in large dense crowds. Even photographs of the big comic cons and GenCon make my head swim. In spite of it's smaller scale, I could have attended 10 times over and not even put a dent in all the games available. It was all about the gaming, and there was plenty to be had.

In summation, it was an awesome experience, and I highly recommend this convention. I will certainly be attending again.

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