Tuesday, November 24, 2015

U-Con Day 3: Breaking Codes And Digging Out


Hey gang, Day 3 of Michigan's U-Con Gaming Convention ended a day or so ago, and I'm running a bit behind with my final day wrap-up. So, just for the sense of closure, let me delve into my memory and let you know how the final day of U-Con shaped up:
  • I woke up and looked out the window at the Winter Weather Wonderland spread out before me, concerned about the 2.5-hour drive home ahead of my later that day. On the plus side, the sun was shining pretty brightly which was melting the snow off the roads. On the minus side, my car still has a 10-inch layer of drift snow covering it. (NOTE TO FUTURE SELF: REMEMBER THAT THIS IS NOVEMBER AND IN THE NORTH, SO PLAN ACCORDINGLY.)
  • Even worse, the warmest clothing I had packed were t-shirts, jeans, and a hoodie. Even my sneakers were thin canvas ones. I froze my keister off trying to clean the snow off my car. (NOTE TO FUTURE SELF: SEE PREVIOUS BULLETPOINT.)
  • Played Codewords for the first time with a sizable group of two five-person teams. This was a very fun game, and I immediately ordered a copy when I got home. Wish I had known about it earlier as this would have been a great game to have during the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • I passed through the dealer's hall for one last pass, and ran into Roy Snyder who had just bought a stack of games from another vendor. I went nuts when I saw one of those games was Task Force's Super Villains. This was literally my first RPG-ish game, purchased and played with before I ever played my first D&D game. Funny story: I've been trying to recall the name of this game for years. Roy sold it to me for what he paid for it. Thanks Roy! Holy Grail Achievement Unlocked!
  • Walked through the OSR Room again to see if there were any drop-in games I could check out before I left. I gotta hand it to the U-Con organizers and staff -- having all OSR events happening in one large room was a great idea. As a GM, I loved being at the same table for the entire convention. And if I wanted to play any old school games, I knew where to look.
  • And thus, U-Con -- the last convention I shall attend in 2015 -- came to an end. The drive home was uneventful, and I was home just in time to crawl into bed and drop into a well-deserved post-con coma.
And here are the lessons learned from this year's event:
  • For all game conventions I attend from October to March,  I need to remember to pack warm winter clothes and a friggin' jacket. Even though most of my time is spent in the hotel/convention center, I **WILL** have to leave the building at some point, and I should have something appropriate for the season. Plus, I may have to dig my car out again.
  • I need to create a convention "checklist" of stuff to always bring with me. Normally I pack days in advance, and I have time to reflect on items I need to take. This year, I zipped out the door and left behind something important. So I'm no longer going to rely on my memory.
  • Although it's an obscure game, Stuper Powers! went very well, and we had a GREAT time. I believe I shall add this to my regular convention game rotation.
  • However, with the no-shows I got with Ghostbusters, I'll probably only run it at larger conventions with a bigger OSR contingent like Gary Con or NTRPG.
  • Speaking of the OSR, having one room dedicated to all of my favorite games was a Godsend. I loved having a one-stop gaming depot for the entire convention, and I would love to see other conventions adopt this.
  • As much as I love wearing game-related t-shirts at cons, I'm usually wearing a hoodie or Hawaiian short over top of it, so you can't see my shirt's cleverness. And my actual everyday shirt of choice is a polo/golf shirt anyway. So I may have some con-only polo shirts made up with game-related logos/patches on the chest pocket. Stylish nerdery!

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