GP Adventures Website Goes Live

If you have read Gygax Magazine #3, you would have seen part of the Hobby Shop Dungeon with the finely crafted THE MARMOREAL TOMB OF GARN PAT’UUL. If you liked what you saw there, this next one is a no-brainer. With the official opening of the GP Adventures website you can finally get your hands on the Halls of the Beggar King, “This 38-page digital offering presents an inside look into GP’s design process. Once an exclusive preview for the Gary Con VI convention in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, it features a single, complete level detailing 117 areas of the Beggar King’s hideout on the coast of the Duinnsmere and north of Nester’s Folly, the Hobby Shop Dungeon.”

Also on sale is “a Child’s Tale by Ernest Gary Gygax Jr., Nerissa Montie and Simon Todd.”, Sammi-Zowa Versus the Dueling Dragons.

I missed out on getting Halls of the Beggar King at Gary Con VI in print, so I was jazzed to see the .pdf up on the site. I saw Sammi-Zowa at Gary Con, but I failed to pick it up there as well.

Thankfully you can now navigate your browser over to the GP Adventures website, and grab them up for yourself.

Sammi

Also got my Free RPG Day shirt in!

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Gary Con VII Dates Posted

The official date for Gary Con VII has been posted up on the Gary Con site.

I hope to see you all there! I had such an amazing time this past March, really looking forward to the next one.

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Gary Con VI Recap.

I got back from Gary Con VI just a few days ago and I have to say, it was an absolutely amazing Con and experience.

I left Connecticut in the morning on Tuesday March 25, 2014. We drove up to I-84 to cross New York State near Newburgh and the Hamilton Fish, it’s then a nice, pleasant drive down to Scranton and then to I-80. We stopped for the night near Toledo, OH, which was my goal for a solid day of driving. The next day, it was wake up and drive the 4 or so short hours to the Lake Geneva Ridge Resort and Gary Con VI!

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We got there around 1 p.m. on Wednesday and settled in our Lake-View room. Great room, lovely view and overall, a very, very nice place to stay (great bathrooms!). After a quick nap, we went to get some food from the bar. I can’t say how amazing it was for me to sit in this hallowed hall and stare out at the Lake while having some bourbon. I ordered a fantastic grilled cheese and some beer and cheese soup made with a local brew, Spotted Cow. Both were glorious to behold and ingest. (Next time I bring back some Spotted Cow!) That evening, I was scheduled to play a Newbie Night game of Star Frontiers, which was cool as it was all people playing and running it who were making this their first trip to Gary Con.

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Photo by Mark CMG.

It was nice to finally be able to play Star Frontiers, as I have never played nor owned it and it’s one of my “gotta own it someday” games. We played the classic scenario Crash on Volturnus. I played a human military guy and was able to take out a few baddies. Driving/travel fatigue got to a few of us while we were doing the Hex-Crawl portion of the module (nice to refresh myself on Hex-Crawls) and when I got back from bringing the wife some food, the game had disbanded. Our generous GM offered to give the box set he used for the adventure to one of us. It was down to two of us who wanted it. An epic percentile roll-off ensued with my opponent rolling a 47, which I then promptly followed up with a 46! Only at Gary Con. There was no other way this could/should have gone down, other than me actually winning of course. I was *this* close!

I got settled for bed because I knew the next day was the start of the Con itself and my game of the Hobby Shop Dungeon with Ernie Gygax DMing was at Noon!

Thursday. After waking up and hitting the modest Dealer’s Room, I was able to procure my copy of the Whisper and Venom Compendium Hardcover from Lesser Gnome’s Zach Glazar and I finally met Thopas himself, John Hammerle! Both great guys with an excellent product that you should give them money for. Also in the Dealer’s Room were Jeff Easley and Larry Elmore, amazing artists I don’t need to tell you about, it was great to see their paintings and prints. I was able to snag a copy of the 1981 AD & D DM Screen that I have been wanting to replace for years, the one with the Dave A. Trampier art adorning it. Later in the day the news broke of his death at the Con, I’ll cherish this screen even more now.

After a bit more poking around, I set off for my Hobby Shop Dungeon game. We assembled in the VIP room and quickly found out the game had been moved upstairs. With 12 people playing, my table space was at a minimum (none of that stuff was even mine!) so I kept my books and dice on the TV stand next to me.

It was refreshing to have a DM ask who the Caller would be and who would be the Mapper. We were all admonished when Ernie realized none of us brought graph paper to the table. I was going to pack some too, dang-it!

I chose to play with a Gnome Illusionist/Thief and we decided to start on Level 6 and work our way up and out of the Dungeon. The very first room we walked into, we encountered a Basilisk, which promptly turned two of our party to stone (one poor fellow was never revived from his statue state). I luckily had memorized Gaze Reflection, so I figured I was going to be the Hero of the Day. I walked into the room with confidence and threw my spell, only to have it essentially miss the Basilisk’s gaze and dissipate in one round. Oh well, time to try a Wall of Fog on my next turn, which was much more effective, allowing us to slay the beast with no more players being tuned to stone. The beast was slain but I was able to get one final attack on its corpse, digging my blade into the vile creature, I declared that I had in fact slain the beast, even though it was already dead. Gnome technicality.

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Photo by Mark CMG.

During the game, I kept freaking out because I wanted a Gary Con Challenge Coin and I was worried I would miss out on them since I was playing in this game until after the Dealer’s Room closed. My stupendous wife went down and got me one during the game. I love it sooo much!

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We ended up with a bit over 20,000 Victory Points, as we only made it up to the 5th Level. All in all a great game I was honored to be a part of.

Things I learned during this session: Bring graph and hex paper. We fought a monster that Ernie said he has never fought in all his years of playing, and I forgot to ask what it was :/  Edit: From Ernie “Wind Walkers a mated pair!”  When faced with a task that seemed we would not accomplish, opening a door, Ernie said “It must be insurmountable!” Then, someone promptly made the roll and we succeeded. What a great line. There is nothing like old-school playing. Paladins need to take off their helmets when Detecting Evil. ALWAYS take Read Magic. Ernie missed a door in describing a room, instead of backpedaling, he just said the door was covered in cobwebs in a dark corner of the room so we must have missed it. Great save. When using a shield to block falling debris, the DM rolls damage as normal and then the player gets to roll a d6 for each die the DM rolled. A player getting a 5 or 6 on the roll meant 1 or 2 points of damage were negated by the shield. Good call.

Friday: Goodman Games Seminar, The Ride of the Black Eagle with Doug Kovacs, Whisper and Venom with Zach Glazar.

The “What’s New with Goodman Games” Seminar ended up being quite the forum for announcements. New DCC DPG module Kickstarters, a Judges Screen and the big news: The Metamorphosis Alpha 1st Edition Kickstarter. It’s always great to see Doug Kovacs art upclose as well.

The Ride of the Black Eagle DCC RPG game with Doug Kovacs as Judge was really fun. We were a little slow to get started as we were eating and chatting, but once we got rolling, it was a blast. Doug blew my mind with a creature he had created (which I won’t spoil here) that was really a treat to interact with. I played a cleric of Ronnie James Dio and my wife played a fortune teller thief. Great game with great people. It was a pleasure to meet them all.

Photo by Mark CMG.

Photo by Mark CMG.

Photo by Mark CMG.

Photo by Mark CMG.

Friday Night it was time for Whisper and Venom. It’s no secret I love this setting, also I’m running Labyrinth Lord for my weekly group, so this was a perfect fit. This was another fun game with a light-hearted group of players. It turns out Thopas is exactly the kind of jerk I expected him to be, so I have plenty of first hand knowledge to use against my players as we enter Whisper and Venom in the next week or so. I was excited to meet and play with the guys from Lesser Gnome, hanging out with them was a highlight of the Con for me.

Photo by Mark CMG.

Photo by Mark CMG.

Photo by Mark CMG.

Photo by Mark CMG.

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Saturday, I was booked for a game of DCC RPG at 10a.m. (The Second Phantasmagoria) with Michael Curtis Judging, but I awoke with a pounder of a headache and decided to just take it easy for my last day of the Con, as I was going to be driving another 12 hours the next day and I didn’t want to be a less than decent player. We spent some time walking around the Resort and grabbing photos.

 

I enjoyed a nice Maduro Padron outside by the fire. My wife bought me a piece of original art from Pete, of a really cool Dwarf (Hammerfist the Rightous), which she said reminded her of me. It will look great on our wall! We also went to Anthony’s Steak & Seafood House so we could branch away from the Gary Con menu and get a nice steak.

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Got in a game of Uncle Chestnut’s Table Gype as well.

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Sunday morning, we checked out and I had my last walk around the Resort. I’ll tell you this, I’ll take Gary Con any day over Gen Con at this point. It’s like the Four Best Days in Shopping Vs. The Four Best Days in Gaming…guess which is which.

Monday, on the way home, I decided we would stop off in Orange County, New York and see the Orange County Choppers building and get some lunch at the OCC Cafe. I watched the show for years and never made the one-hour trip to check it out, so we went for it on Monday. We also stopped by Paul Jr. Designs, but a cop was busting someone right in front of the entrance, so we kept on driving by.

I WILL see you next year!

I think I’ll shoot for NTRPG Con as well next year, we’ll see…

Things to do next year: Try to get in on Circus Maximus somehow, play a game of Dungeon! on Dave Arneson’s ping pong table, drink more Spotted Cow, remember my business cards so I can promote my dang blog.

Disclaimer: Some photos were taken by Mark CMG of Creative Mountain Games, and borrowed from his postings in the GaryCon Facebook Group (these photos say “Photo by Mark CMG.” in the comments of the appropriate photos). Please purchase the module Fighting Fire, the proceeds go towards helping Ernie Gygax recover from a devastating fire earlier last year. I proudly own a copy, you should too.   🙂

 

Dwarven Forge is the Best.

When I owned my comic and game store, I had a shit ton of Dwarven Forge resin pieces. I had to sell them when the store closed. I have been wanting them again ever since. Now, with Dwarven Forge’s Game Tiles, that day has arrived! The Kickstarter is shipping out and I got mine. I’ll get more pics up (since I’m no longer crying over GenCon) as I work on my Halloween Labyrinth Lord game of The Tomb of Horrors!

And yes, I’ll stop neglecting this blog, I was a bit butt-hurt over missing all of my conventions this year, so I took it out on the blog (which was designed as a GenCon Blog).

On a similar note, I’m booked for GaryCon VI, with a room booked at the Lodge. This will be my first trip to the Lake Geneva area and I can’t wait. Well, other than the time I drove to Milwaukee for Gen Con, but it’s not the same thing.

Soon, more Kickstarter crap to show. Deadlands Noir, Hell on Earth Mini’s, Alea Tools’ new colors and Dwarven Forge Game Tiles.

UPDATED: Added more pics Oct. 24, 2013 11:12 a.m. Also, I should mention that I got 3 painted sets, a painted Chamber of Sorrows and a Painted Dungeon Dressing Pack.

Gen Con 2013

So, this blog was originally conceived as a way for me to blog about Gen Con, to put my own thoughts on The Best Four Days in Gaming out there.

Last year it went better than I expected, I had a great Gen Con, I blogged quite a bit and got a whole bunch more hits than I expected to get.

This year, I’m missing the Con for the first time in a decade or so.

So, by extension, I’m probably not gonna blog about Gen Con this year. I’m not gonna be there, so I’m not gonna waste my time and energy doing research and linking and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Yeah, so if you go, have a blast. If you play in The Duke Tournament, send me a pic of your Swashbuckler Tile and let me know how it works for ya.

Hopefully, I’ll make GaryCon. We’ll see. Life has been topsy-turvy for the past few months and it’s only gonna ramp up in the next few.

TLDR: I’m not going to Gen Con so everything sucks. Nyah.

GaryCon

Safe travels to everyone heading out to GaryCon! I have a badge and had a room at the Lodge but had to cancel, just couldn’t get the time off to drive there and back.

I’ll see you all at GenCon! Once again I’m staying at the JW and will be there for Trade Day. I expect I’ll be posting more as I am getting into GenCon mode.

GenCon 2012 Recap Part 2.

Part 2 of my GenCon Recap. New information is written in a Swamp color. Photos have been added as well.

Welcome to Episode Deux of my three-part Pre-GenCon babbling, wherein I continue to talk about the booths I want to see.


Eagle & Gryphon Games
:
 Booth: 1603

Pirate Dice: Here we go again, folks. Pirates. Ships. Dice. But, this looks good, I love dice and I helped this one via Kickstarter as well. Verdict: Want to Demo/Kickstarter. Conclusion: I did not get to see the game, I heard that people did, I just happened to not. Still a backer and still looking forward to getting the game.

Exile Game Studio: Booth: 419

Hollow Earth Expedition: Love these guys. It’s a tradition each year to make sure this is one of the first booths I visit. The first year Exile was at GenCon, I met Jeff Combos and Sechin Tower and fell in love with HEX. It’s a great game, I urge you to check it out. I just read they are working on a Kickstarter soon, I’m sure I will be following that one. Hopefully I’ll see some more of the Mars stuff they have been working on. Verdict: Have to See. Conclusion: Always good to see Jeff and Sechin. I got in early to the Dealer’s Hall on Thursday because of my Trade Day Badge. It was nice to avoid the crowds and just say hi. I picked up Deadfellas and got in their Kickstarter for Perils of the Surface World.

 

Mad Science Institute with author Sechin TowerMr. Tower wrote this nifty little novel Mad Science Institute. Check it out. You can get a Kindle version right now for 99 cents on Amazon. Anyway, I’m playing in a Hollow Earth Expedition game based on Mad Science Institute run by Sechin Tower. How cool is that? Verdict: Can’t Wait! Conclusion: Excellent game! Run by Sechin, it was my first RPG played at GenCon this year and was a great way to kick off my gaming for the weekend. I picked up a hard copy of his novel, Kindles are cool and all, but I love to read BOOKS.

  

Fantasy Flight Games: Booth: 813, 819, 911, 919, 1107, 1113, 1119

Android: Netrunner: I think this is going to be one of the shows sell-outs. I was thinking about running and getting it when the Hall Doors open, but my Con brain is telling me not to rush. I remember the original version fondly, but I’m not sure about this one. Verdict: Want to Demo. Conclusion: Sold out in ten minutes from what I heard. My FLGS just got some copies, I may pick it up still. I’ve been waiting to hear anything about it, but no one I know has grabbed it up yet.

Sky Traders: I’d like to take a look at this one. looks interesting and it has…Airships! Verdict: Want to Demo. Conclusion: Avoided the cramped booth. Sometimes the Con-Corpses make it so I want to run out of the Dealer’s Hall screaming. Walk like you are going somewhere!

So Many Others: Mansions of Madness, Elder Sign and wayyyyy too many others. FFG has a ton of great games. I could spend a couple hours at their booth. Verdict: Want to See. Conclusion: The FFG Booth was a madhouse this year, as it is every year, but since Netrunner sold out early, I had less motivation to fight the crowd.

Flying Buffalo: Booth: 509

Tunnels and Trolls: I’ll have to stop by the booth and see if there is any news about the new edition, or maybe an Eagle Continent poster. I’m a member of Trollhalla, I go by the name Sharauk-Ru, if you happen to frequent the site. Verdict: Want to See. Conclusion: I said hi to the TrollGod and shook his hand. I was really making the rounds this year.

Gamescience / FRED Distribution: Booth: 1603

Blue Jasper: I have been bugging this company about this color dice since they were announced. I want them. Yes, Gamescience, I’m the pain in the butt who keeps asking about them, now Take My Money! Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: I got my Blue Jasper’s and nobody asked if I was the guy who was a pain in the butt. Score! Something I was wondering about this year…I thought Lou Zocchi had sold off Gamescience as he has not been at GenCon for the past couple of years. Now, this year, he and Gamescience EACH had a booth. Is there a story there I wonder? Gamescience Games vs. Gamescience? I’ll have to look it up.

 

 So, Mr. Zocchi has a Booth… …As does Gamescience? I’m confused.

 Beware the D-Total!

d30: Gotta grab a few for the gaming group, plus, the only one I have is one I bought when I was about 26 years younger than I am now. Time for a new one, especially since I like DCC RPG so much. Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: Snagged.

Geek & Sundry: Booth: 633

I gotta say, I missed the boat on this one. There has been a flood of new gaming things happening in the world. This is one of them. Quality gaming entertainment. I never thought I would see the day. This is a corner of the gaming world I haven’t poked around in much (much like my recent foray into Google+). I also just starting watching The Nerdist. I’m a little behind the times. But, I’m happy to see there is a whole aspect of gaming that is new to me. This is the new Golden Age of Gaming. I think I’ll be taking some time to learn and watch, more. Verdict: Want to See. Conclusion: I’m now watching, and enjoying.

Goodman Games: Booth: No Booth

DCC RPG: There may be no booth, but I’m playing in a couple of games of this GM’d by Harley Stroh. I really like the game, looking forward to this. It’s also one of the games I run, so it’ll be nice to learn from one of the creators. Verdict: Can’t Wait! Conclusion: Seeing Doug Kovacs’ new DCC cover in the flesh and playing in two of Harley Stroh’s games were some more highlights of this year’s GenCon. I’m gonna head out to GaryCon just so I can play with him again, a damn good GM. The two groups I played with were spectacular as well. Three Thumbs Represent! R.I.P. and Long Live Nicos Knicknevin. BTW, Harley flipped me off for saving my character, the mark of a true OSR GM.

 

Kenzer & Co: Booth: 519

HackMaster: I love HackMaster. I do, I do. It’s one of my favorite games to run, and it holds a special place in my heart. The new Player’s Handbook should be there, buy it, it’s a glorious book. I already have my copy. Verdict: Have to See. Conclusion: The Booth looked busy and it was nice to say hi to Jolly Blackburn. 

-Loughmiller’s Pub Saturday 7 p.m.: Looks like there will be a meetup for KenzerCo and HackMaster fans, I’ll probably stop by. I’m HMGMA #300 by the way. Verdict: Maybe. I didn’t go.

 

 

Koplow Games Inc: Booth: 1219

d24, d30: Need to get some for the gaming group for our DCC RPG game. It’s funny, when I owned my game-store, Haunted Chapel Comics and Games, I sold Chessex and Crystal Caste dice. I find I prefer Koplow or Gamescience for my own needs. I just think the pips and numbers look better on Koplow dice, so I buy them. Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: I got a handful of D30’s and D24’s for the Home Group.

Looney Labs: Booth: No Booth

Cthulhu Fluxx: No booth. It’s really bummed me out that Looney Labs no longer goes to GenCon. I’m an Icehouse/Treehouse fanatic, but no-one will play with me. I’ll bring a copy of Ice Dice for pick-up games. The first games I played with my (at the time) soon-to-be wife, were all Looney Labs games. I used to run demos as well. I’m sure I’ll find a copy somewhere. Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: I bought a copy of Cthulhu Fluxx at the Steve Jackson Booth along with another game called Cthulhu 5000. 

I’ll be back with more!

Next: Volume C.