Saturday, November 21, 2015

U-Con Day 1: Inept Superheroes, Adventures In The Big City, And Drunks At The Red Dragon Inn

Hey gang, as Day 1 of Michigan's U-Con comes to a close, I'm adding the last few details from today's events to this blog post. As usual with these travelogue posts, I've been adding to the bulletpoints below each time I've stopped by my room to change, drop off stuff, or grab a quick recharge nap. And so here's today highlights, lowlights, and headlights:
  • For what it's worth, I have chronic sleep apnea, and I sleep with a CPAP machine. That "important piece of equipment I left home" I mentioned in yesterday's post was the afore-mentioned CPAP machine. So I got a crappy night's sleep and woke with a raw throat. I apologize to anyone in the neighboring hotel rooms who were probably kept awake all night by my wall-rattling snoring. (And it's only gonna get worse in the coming days...)
  • Decided to wear my new Player's Handbook t-shirt today. Got lots of compliments on it, including requests as to where I bought it. Homemade FTW!
  • After a quick breakfast of bagels and Monster drinks, I arrived to run three hapless "superzeroes" through Stuper Powers -- The First-Rate Game of Third-Rate Heroes. We had a great time with much "Mystery Men"-type super-mayhem! The superteam consisted of Super Snot Bros. (a sewer-travelling phlegm-thrower who had more than a passing resemblance to a certain videogame plumber); Kaptin Kardashian (a white leotard-wearing heroine with blizzard dandruff and muscular thighs that can cut girders in half); and Ragnar the Mighty (the Norse viking who can call down Valkyries to do his bidding and "The Spear of Destiny (?)" with its random assortment of misfiring powers). While touring the Smithsonian, some deactivated Dreddroids became active! Super Snot Bros. fired glue-like mucus at the rogue bots (Battle cry: "Bless me!") while Kaptin K. tore their arms off with her Thighs of Doom (Battle cry: "I'm too hot for this!") Ragnar joined the fight in progress, and managed to bring down Valhalla's wrath! (Battle cry: "Fear my righteous spear and woolen pants!") A mighty battle ensued at other Washington landmarks such as the Washington monument and the Capitol before the final showdown with Dr. Dredd at the Pentagon. It was like a live-action Tick cartoon, and we laughed and joked and had a great time. I rewarded their awesome play with new copies of the Stuper Powers rules. Thanks for the great game guys!
  • Sadly, my Ghostbusters game was cancelled when only one players signed up. What was cool though was that he brought his original boxed GB game from the 80s! I rewarded him with one of my last custom-engraved Ghost dice before we went our separate ways.
  • Stopped by the Vendor's Hall as Roy and Kevin began setting up the booth. I put together the Goblinoid Games corner and helped set up some of the other parts of the booth before scampering up to my room for a bit of rest before this evening's OSR panel that I'm a part of.
  • The OSR panel was held in the large auditorium of the convention center and very well received and attended. Bill Webb, Bill Barsh, Jim Wampler, Ryan Thompson, Adam Muszkiewicz, John Reyst, and I discussed Urban Gaming, touching upon the differences between your standard dungeon-crawl and cityscape adventuring. The roundtable discussion was recorded for a couple of podcasts, and I'll post links to them once they go live.
  • Holy crap, I just heard that this area is under a winter weather watch for tomorrow morning. So, once again, I'll be at a game convention for the first snowfall of the year.
  • Around 10 pm, I dashed to the boardgame room to try two games I've wanted to play for a while: Coup and Red Dragon Inn. In Coup, there were five of us trying to bluff our way through political intrigue. We played four games and everyone won at least once....except me. (Cue sad losing Price Is Right music.) I then played in a massive 10-player game of Red Dragon Inn. It ended quickly for me when five people played Gambling cards which ate up what little money most of us had, putting us out of the game. Also, you might think playing Red Dragon Inn with actual drunk people would be fun. I can assure you, it is not.
  • Back at the room at 12:30 a.m. to hammer out the last post here and to get to bed. Tomorrow morning, Thundarr the Barbarian rides again!
And here are some assorted shots from today's event at U-Con!

The D-list superhero group "3 Guys And A Pinto" make short work of Dr. Dredd and his plans to destroy Washington DC in my game of Stuper Powers!

Roy Snyder highsteps through the frame as the Goodman Games booth starts to take shape earlier in the day.

The theme for this year's U-Con is "Urban Fantasy," and the t-shirt is AMAZING.

Adam, Jim, Bill B., Bill W., and me during the OSR panel. John took this picture, and Ryan was sitting behind him, which is why they do not appear here. Also not shown is the audience seated directly to the left  in the auditorium.

Wow, now THAT is an OSR gamer's license plate if ever I saw one. I salute you, Owlbear Car Person.


  1. I enjoyed the OSR panel. Got some tips on a few resources I had not heard of. It was also good to know that some resourced from back in the day are not as rare as I thought.
    Excellent discussion!

  2. I just checked, OWLBEAR is available in NH. And I'm not even an OSR fan... I bet FLUMPH is also available...