Gary Con IV

Next Sunday, January 29th, Event Registration opens up for Gary Con IV, the annual celebration of gaming in Lake Geneva, WI held in honor of Gary Gygax. Convention attendees are like a Who’s Who of TSR staffers, and the events range from OD&D (run by Tim Kask no less!) to Pathfinder and D&D 3.5 (some of which are being run by Skip Williams). Frank Mentzer is running AD&D, Jim Ward will run Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World. It’s fantastic. As you might infer, there’s a focus on Old School games.

Actually, that’s kind of misleading. “Old School” means many different things to people, but one common definition is “Let the dice fall where they may!” or killer GM! At Gary Con, it’s more like an out-of-print game convention. One of the official groups affiliated with Gary Con is the Dead Games Society, who focus exclusively on out-of-print role-playing games. Of course, there are more than just role-playing games being played at Gary Con. I hear Frank Mentzer plays Ticket To Ride every year on Sunday morning with folks. There’s a 4-table Grand Prix run over the weekend complete with a track that takes up those four tables. There are wargames aplenty.

I am running four events this year:

DGS Presents: Ghostbusters – Bustin’ the Con

Event ID : 120301
DM Name : Hans Cummings
Game system : Other
Ghostbusters
Game Type : Role-Playing Game
Duration : 3 hours
Start Time : Thursday-8:00pm
Maximum Players : 6
Tickets Left : 6
Description : Ghostbusters International has just opened a new office in Indianapolis. To drum up business, the main office has the boys (and girls) in grey doing promo work at a Gen Con! It was supposed to be easy, boring: signing autographs, hosting a Q&A, but some pesky poltergeists showed up and the last thing they want is an autograph from Doctors Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler (or even Zeddemore).
Event Cost : 4 Points
Date Added  : 11/14/2011
Table Number : Unassigned

DGS Presents: Paranoia – Soylent People are Green

Event ID : 214403
DM Name : Hans Cummings
Game system : Other
Paranoia, 2nd Edition
Game Type : Role-Playing Game
Duration : 3.5 hours
Start Time : Friday-2:00pm
Maximum Players : 6
Tickets Left : 6
Description : Former HoloVid Star-turned News Anchor Teena-O-MLY has been taken hostage by a group of traitors who have assumed control of a section of the Food Vats. Your task will be to eliminate the traitors, return control of the Food Vats to the Computer, and rescue Teena-O-MLY. Your friend, The Computer, will ensure you are properly equipped to deal with all obstacles in your path.
Event Cost : 6 Points
Date Added  : 11/14/2011
Table Number : Unassigned

DGS Presents: Star Wars – Imperial Entanglements

Event ID : 314402
DM Name : Hans Cummings
Game system : Other
Star Wars (WEG D6, Revised & Expanded))
Game Type : Role-Playing Game
Duration : 3.5 hours
Start Time : Saturday-2:00pm
Maximum Players : 6
Tickets Left : 6
Description : General Airen Cracken has been captured by the Empire! While the Star Destroyer transporting him was seriously damaged by a Rebel Strike Force, they were unable to effect a rescue. The Star Destroyer limped to the nearest port, the Nebula Star Resort and Casino. Your Strike Team has been assembled to infiltrate and rescue General Cracken while the Stormhammer is vulnerable.
Event Cost : 6 Points
Date Added  : 11/14/2011
Table Number : Unassigned

As you may have guessed, all three are being run under the banner of the Dead Games Society. It was kind of cool to have my events listed in the same section as all the VIP games. Maybe it’s because I got them in so early, but I think it’s because they’re affiliated with the Dead Game Society and I have built up points in the system for having come to Gary Con three yaers and run several official events each year. It’s a smaller convention, more intimate than Gen Con, and far less intimidating for people (or spouses) who are curious about gaming, but shy away from getting involved with Gamer Mike, the guy running Brandar the 80th-level Vampire Barbarian god-King who will DEVOUR YOUR SOUL ARRRR GRRRR YOUTOUCHEDMYDICE DIEDIEDIEDIE.

Not that any of us know anyone like that or have ever encountered Gamer Mike at Gen Con.

Gary Con is my “play” convention. That is, I get to play more games and spend the entire convention having fun. That’s not to say Gen Con isn’t fun, but it’s more of a working convention for me now. I still get to play a game or two, but I can’t spend the whole four days of Gen Con gaming anymore. As Submissions Coordinator & Publisher Relations for the ENnie Awards, I have work to do at Gen Con. Part of it is just walking around the Dealer Hall, talking to various publishers. Wednesday afternoon I have to help set up the booth. Friday afternoon and evening are tied up with the ENnie Awards Ceremony. The last two years, I’ve been behind the curtain, running the slideshow trying to keep up with Kevin Kulp’s jokes (yes, anytime the slide advancement gets screwed up, that’s my fault). Sunday morning and afternoon I have to walk the Dealer Hall some more soliciting submissions from publishers who wish to submit products for the next year while they’re at Gen Con (it saves them shipping costs and gives the new judges something to work on right away). After that, I have to tear down the booth. I also feel I should work at least one booth shift. With the average length of a convention game being four hours, that leaves me time for an average of a game a day, ’cause (and here’s my dirty little secret) I schedule time for meals, sleep, shopping, and bathing.

There’s very little shopping at Gary Con. There’s no ENnie Awards duties for me to perform, so it’s my Play Convention and Gen Con is my Work Convention. I highly recommend coming up to Gary Con. It’s a nice little vacation, especially if you have fond memories of the older games. The first time I played AD&D with Frank Mentzer back in 2009, I realized that even though the game was old and out-of-print, that was no reason not to play it. It’s the GM that makes a game good. Good GMing transcends any system problems. Give it a try. You’ll be surprised.

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Categories: Random Thoughts | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Gary Con IV

  1. If you are playing in one of Jim Ward’s Metamorphosis Alpha games, you might like to use this: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/metamorphosis-alpha/1647436

    That’s right, the original rules went back into print today!

  2. Going to make it to Gary Con someday. Honestly, it interests me more than GenCon.

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