Friday, November 14, 2014

U-Con Day 1: Defining The OSR, Defusing A Nuclear Reactor, And Running Over the Elderly


Hi gang, and welcome to Day 1 and the official start of U-Con. My late-night Mutant Future game just ended, and it's around midnight as this post goes live. Today was fun and busy and busy. Ran some games, sold some games, talked about the OSR, and ran over little old ladies in my souped-up Deathmobile. Read on, and this will all make sense:
  • Remember when I mention I had been upgraded to the concierge floor? Turns out they had a decent breakfast bar this morning. A plate of free bacon FTW!
  • I zipped over to the convention center to get the Goblinoid booth set up, but I was a bit early. So I thumbed through the con book and saw a board game starting in minutes that I've always wanted to try out. Purchased my ticket and ran to the board game room to play...
  • Road Kill Rally by Z-Man Games! I sat down with three other players for this demented "Death Race 2000"-themed game of vehicular mayhem. You score points for running others off the road or -- even better -- running over pedestrians littering the roadway. After finding out senior citizens were worth the most points, one of the other players uttered The Quote Of The Game: "It's really advantageous to kill the elderly." After fighting along the track and as the finish line neared, I took my car up to 140 MPH, somehow kept it on the road, passed the other players, and plowed through a crowd of citizens who were stupidly in a crosswalk. I sped over the finish line to win the game! Great game, and I can't wait to play it again at home. (I have an unopened copy I've been wanting to try with the home group.)
  • My bloodlust sated, I got the Goblinoid Games/Pacesetter booth set up and business has been brisk. First sale of the con: Starships & Spacemen. And I just had someone pick up a "Mutant Future bundle" consisting of the rulebook, and my three MF supplements!
  • Overheard in the dealer's hall, father speaking to his young son. "No, I'm not gonna buy you any more dice. You haven't eaten what you have now." (Yes, that's a verbatim quote.)
  • John Buckley of The Knotty Works just stopped by. John's the author of the Going Postal series of Mutant Future supplements, amongst many, many, MANY other products and projects. John did some art for Deviant Database II, in fact, but he never got a print hardcopy. I was happy to present him with one I had on hand. He returned the gift by giving me an incredibly cool set of Mutant Future-based equipment cards. (All four sets!) He's playing in tonight's Mutant Future game as well. Nice to meet you John!
  • Tonight I was a guest panelist during a roundtable discussion of "What Is The OSR?" Doug Kovacs, Jim Wampler, Adam Muszkiewicz, and I were asked to share our thoughts and experiences about what makes something "old school." There were some very interesting insights and some great discussion amongst the panelists and audience. But in the end, it was agreed that defining what makes something OSR would be like defining what makes something "art". You know what it is when you see it, but what it *is* will vary from person to person. I wish there had been a video made of the discussion as it was very interesting and a pleasure to be invited.
  • After wolfing down a hamburger, I raced off to my late night game of Mutant Future -- "Gimme Shelter III: Down to Earth." The four intrepid scavengers were tasked with investigating a downed space station and to bring back everything that wasn't nailed down. Some highlights: Using an exploding cow to clear out a cave of mutants by driving the bovine into the cave, then hitting it with a slingshot pellet; "Sarge", a mutant human who was still fighting WWII, kept barking orders to "Johnson," a plastic army man he kept in his pocket; the two-headed, four-armed mutant who cobbled together a "laser-proof shield" by duct-taping together about two dozen AOL discs; the malfunctioning android who could only talk in one-syllable words, making him sound like Tarzan when he spoke; and the mutant housefly who charged into a nuclear reactor approaching meltdown who managed to shut it down as he took radiation damage each round, succeeding with only 3 HP left. Awesome job guys!
And now, onto the pictures of today's events...

Check it out. I'm a "special guest" AND a "VIP." I guess that makes me a "very special important guest person."

The registration booth was in full swing at 9 a.m. with the line stretching across the lobby and out the door!

As we take the hairpin curve in Road Kill Rally, I'm in the lead (yellow) and am about to plow through a "target-rich environment". The two red pedestrians are "advantageous elderly."

And my scorecard at the end shows the results. I took out two adults, two seniors, and a kid, as well as the checkered flag, crossing the finish line at 140 MPH!

The Goblinoid Games/Pacesetter booth is now open for business. Sadly, the GG banner on the wall kept falling down, so I had to put it on a stand behind me in the booth.