Monday, June 9, 2014

North Texas RPG Con After Action Report

Totally happened. 
Got back yesterday after a rather grinding trip home from this year's North Texas RPG Con. So amazingly bone tired that despite the deeply scandalous time that was had by me and the other degenerates that I call my friends there, I am going to pass on writing the full gossip column of North Texas Confidentials of years past and instead trot out this not terribly deep and utterly subjective list of high and low lights.
The Hill Cantons session pregens. 
Hanging out in general with people from the blogging and G+ nexus. "Doc" Trey Causey, Robert “Half-Giant” Parker, Brad "Skullcrusher", James "the Mad Beekeeper" Aulds, Justin "The Sixth Blackrazor" Davis, "Shirtless" Jason Braun and others. Like real world conferences the event is made as much or more (no more) in the hallway conversations and bar table banging story swapping than in the official events.

Running my first full Hill Cantons Con game. This being a run through of the Golden Barge adventure site in the Slumbering Ursine Dunes mini-sandbox (which is in its last and final draft before editing). The party (Brad playing the talking bear, James Auld playing a feral dwarf and two Louisiana gentleman the Black Ratter and Ool the Dandy) managed to whip competently through the biomechanical barge in 3.5 hours and grab the long-lost macguffin of many a G+ Hill Cantons game, the Jewelled Codpiece of Radegast. Yay them.

Having Jim Ward buy us a round of drinks, sit down at our bar table and proceed to spin out a deep dark round of tall tales about TSR. I promised not to tell. Give me another week.

Great conversation with Chris Holmes, son of the dude who launched my long strange trip through this game (J. Eric Holmes naturally). Incredibly wonderful stories about he and his father's writing and gaming side careers (lots of fascinating unpublished and/or out of print stuff out there). Look for an official interview in weeks to come.

Running for a half an hour of Tree Maze of the Twisted Druid after an extended whiskey binge and before having one of the players (cough cough begins with a B) pass out SITTING UP. Then realizing that I was too far down into my cups myself to continue running the adventure.

Barely surviving the worst hangover of the past four years (related to that above) and playing a cutting torch wielding pleasure robot in James Aulds's Anomalous Subsurface Environment game (I being apparently one of the 8 people in old schoolish circles who haven't read the game). Props to Gus L for the nifty hand-drawn character sheet and James for putting up with my seasick self.
Also happened.
Skipping too many sessions. Seriously this happens every single time I am at a con of any subcultural stripe. While I don't regret missing some of the carousing, I missed a welter of hot gaming. No one to blame but myself.

Not as many pickup games. The last time I went to the Con there was a lot of impromptu side action that really was more fun than the official sessions. Either I wasn't paying good enough attention (a distinct possibility with the slow poisoning of alcohol) or it was that the larger number and wider range of official sessions were enough in themselves, but I saw very little of that action this year.

Too many dudes. I mean really.  


  1. As a retired veteran of Magic: the Gathering tournaments of every size up to the Pro Tour, I +1 you on the Too Many Dudes.

    These kinds of events are the only time where there is a line for the men's room and not the ladies'.

  2. Sounds fantastic. Looking forward to the Chris Holmes interview!

  3. Can I +1 the too many dudes? ;-)

  4. I'm jealous! Sounds like you had a good time.

  5. Yeh, but each serving wench is equal to 20 big fat beardos. Of course still doesn't make it even close to even odds....

  6. Sounds like a great time overall. I gotta get down there one of these years.

  7. Great to see you again. Two favors 1) run a game next year so I can get in on it. 2) remind me to go to the new braunfels ? con QuadalComaCon or whatever it's called.

  8. I tried to swing by and say hello, but every time I had the chance you were in the middle of running something and I didn't want to intrude.

  9. Thanks for the shout-out!

    And "The Sixth Blackrazor" is my new nickname on the streets!