Category Archives: Gamehole Con

Gamehole Con IV

I built the skeletons for four posts about my experience at Gamehole Con IV last year, but I never posted it. Rather than trash all the posts, I consolidated them into one post. I wanted to post it for memories to look back on.

I highly recommend Gamehole Con. It is well organized and well ran. the staff is very helpful. The venue is laid out and that was used in a way that made sense.

I only had minor niggles for complaints, none of which caused any problems.

I am signed up to run games at Gamehole Con V, November 2-5, 2017 in Madison, WI.

So now let’s get to my write up for last year’s GHC:

Day 0

I arrived, checked out the venue, found will call and picked up my stuff, and got settled at my hotel. I didn’t get the hotel on site, but the next nearest hotel. It was quite a distance, too far to walk with all the books I brought to get signed.

Day 1

I had 3 games:

  • Fri 10 AM – A Stay at the Warden Hotel x 1 Metamorphosis Alpha with Jim Ward himself!
  • Fri 02 PM – DGS Presents: One In the Gun, Four On the Floor x 1
  • Fri 08 PM – Mythus Tower with Bill Webb x 1 Swords & Wizardry

A Stay at the Warden Hotel – Jim Ward This was AWESOME! Jim is a quiet and easy going guy. However, he is not a GM to challenge. He tells you what you can do, and if you try to push it, you can do one or more less than the first thing he said. Erol Otus showed up and Jim said, “Ah yes, Mr. Otus will be your illustrious captain!” Erols eyes got big, he was hoping to show up and just play. He did fine, but alas, died. He is very cool! (I didn’t have the books with me I wanted him to sign! I didn’t realize there was an autograph table with a schedule until the last day when I had walked by the sign multiple times. I just had too much to take in, and kept running into friends to catch up with.)

Of course most of us died, including me. Here’s a picture of Jim tearing up my character sheet. Two players made it to the end and got limited edition MA minis.

DGS Presents: One In the Gun, Four On the FloorDead Games Society

This was a Gamma World 2e game ran by +Chad Parish himself. I had met Chad at Gary Con 8 in the spring, so we knew each other a bit. It was a fun game. During a brake we got to talking and he mentioned that he was from a small town in Missouri. I asked the name, he said, “Oh, you’ve never heard of it, it’s really small.” I said, “I grew up in Missouri and know a lot of people from all over Missouri, and know a lot of places.” He humored me, and said the name of the town. I rattled off the zip code, (There are actually four towns in Missouri with that name, but the one where I grew up is the one with a zip code.) He said, “Panther?” I said, “Orange & Black?” He then said, “Do you know Robert Hamilton?” I held up my name tag. “Are you related to Robert Hamilton?” “He’s my brother.” “He;s like the best DM ever!” I said, “I know right?” It turns out that I was about 7 years ahead of him in school, thus the reason I didn’t know him. That was very odd.

Chad and I were telling that story the rest of the con and for a while after. Chad even shared it on an episode of the DGS Podcast.

Chad had another interesting encounter, it turns out his father is from the same town +Stephen Chenault is from in Arkansas.

Mythus Tower with +Bill Webb – Swords & Wizardry – I played in a Day 0 pick up game and a regular game with Bill at Ucon last year, and had a lot of fun. I have a dwarf character that survived that session that he said I can use in any game he runs. (He might get tired of me, since next weekend at UCon, I signed up for another of his games.) Unfortunately, that dwarf died so the next game I play will be a new 1st level character.

Day 2

I had two games I signed up for:

Sat 10 AM – The Cave of Wisdom AD&D 1e with +Luke Gygax as DM. This was a great game. A player not knowing to not throw fireball underground killed half the party, so we had a delay while some new characters were rolled.

The only thing I didn’t like about this game is that autograph seekers came up and interrupted the game. The same thing happened in Jim Ward’s MA game. I wait for a break or between game time to get autographs. I don’t care if the GM says it’s OK. I will NOT be one of those who interferes with the fun of others.

Sat 06 PM – Gaming & BS Presents: Relagul’s Quest & The Secret Temple of Bast This was an AD&D game ran by +Nicholas Abruzzo. It was an interesting game with higher level pre-gens. A few interesting concepts. There was a castle model that involved a sheet to hide an interesting secret. I’m not much for terrain and models, but this fit the GM’s style and the tone of the game. He also had some assistants portray some NPC wererats in full costume.

Day 3

I had signed up for two games on Sunday, but one got cancelled.

Sun 10 AM – Escape From The Purple Planet. It was supposed to be ran by Jon Hershberger, but we had a woman, whose name I can’t find. She did a great job running the game. The players came together, and none of us had played this one, but we managed to make the right decisions and got done an hour early. I know I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t think anyone else was either.

The cancelled game was one by Venger Satanis, but his twins are due about this time. I had a credit for that, but before the con did not find anything at the available time. I got to meet him in 2017 at Gary Con IX.

Gamehole Con – A Second Unexpected Occurrance

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the most unexpected coincidence. Today I write about another unexpected thing that happened on Sunday.

On Sunday, I had a game of DCC’s Excape from the Purple Planet from 10 am to 2 pm. I was in a group of experienced players and we all made the right choices and were done in an hour and a half.

I went downstairs to see what was going on, and I ran into Michael Witwer, author of Empire of Imagination. I did a mini review here. Michael and I first met back at Gary Con 8 in March. I wrote about how I ended up being the only person present for his presentation Genesis: Unexpected Journey of Gary Gygax.

Michael was at the autograph table outside the vendor hall. He was talking to a couple of people. Michael just finished talking about Empire of Imagination. Then mentioned his next project: opening day at Disney Land.

That was my queue. When the people he was talking to left, we exchanged pleasantries and then I said, “I have to tell you this because you mentioned Disney.”

My paternal grandmother was a first cousin of Disney’s chief sculptor, Blaine Gibson. My grandmother’s generation, my father’s generation, and many of my own first cousins were all born in the same town. I went into detail about my cousin.

Michael then said, “That’s incredible, I just finished reading about him the other day.” He then pulled out his book and showed me all the underlining about Blaine. “Can I contact you later for some background?” I had an article when Blaine died in July, 2015.

I said, “Sure! I can probably get you in touch with his son.”

Michael then signed a few more books and then started making preparations to leave. He was only there for a short time. If my game had not wrapped early, I would not have ran into him.

As Michael and I were approaching saying goodbye, +Chad Parrish, of Dead Games Society, walks out of the vendor hall, and I call him over and introduce the two of them. Of course, we had to tell the story of being from the same town. Then Michael and I share the Disney connection. Chad then says he wants Michael on his podcast, and they exchange contact information. Michael and Chad are both in different suburbs of Chicago, so they will be getting together for that podcast soon.

Now I just need to figure out how to monetize this newfound role as a broker of information/connections….

Gamehole Con IV – The Most Unexpected Coincidence

By way of explanation (and burying the lede): I had hoped to be able to do a running blog post for each day of Gamehole Con, unfortunately, the available WiFi was not up to the task. I could not even stay connected to my blog long enough to get to the drafts using my cell. I’ll do a wrap up post later today.

On Friday, after dying in Jim Ward’s Metamorphosis Alpha game, I had a Gamma World 2e game with +Chad Parrish of the  Dead Games Society podcast.

Chad also does a podcast with +Satine Phoenix, Gameschool, under the new TSR. (See here for all of the TSR Podcast Network Podcasts.) I write for Multiverse, which is also part of the new TSR. Chad and I met back in March, at Gary Con 8.

At one point either before we started or after a break, he mentioned to another player at the table that he went to the University of Missouri. My ears perked up at that, and I asked him if he was from Missouri.

Chad said, “Yes, but it’s a small town, you’ve probably never heard of it.”

I replied, “That’s OK, just tell me the name.” (I have lived in 6 different places in 4 different parts of the state, and driven through a lot of other places, and know people from small towns all over the state. So I’m thinking I might know the name of the town.)

Chad said, “OK, it’s a small town called Oak Grove.”

My eyes got big, I said, “Jackson County?” (There are at least 4 towns in Missouri with the name, the one I’m from is the only one with a zip code.)


“[zip code]?” “Yes”

He says, “Panthers?”

I say, “Orange and black?”


Then Chad says, “Do you know the Hamiltons?”

I just hold up my name badge.

Chad almost jumped out of his seat and says, “No way, you’re Robert Hamilton’s brother?”

My turn to say, “Yes.” “He’s the older of my two brothers.”

Chad says, “Robert Hamilton! He’s like the best DM ever!”

I said, “I know, right?”

It turns out that Chad was seven years behind me in school. My brother Robert and I are only ten months apart, and went through school in the same grade. I didn’t know Chad because after graduation, I went off to college and wasn’t around.

When he was in middle school, Chad tried to get someone from my youngest brother’s class, Michael, to get him into Robert’s game. So Michael took this 13/14 year old kid over to my parent’s house (I can only imagine the interaction with my father, who did the whole dad thing to anyone who stopped by.) Robert would have been like 20 or 21.

Michael told Chad he didn’t get in because Robert said he was, “Kind of a spaz.” I can just see it now.

I confirmed that Robert is still running the same campaign from back then, just not as often. If we manage to coordinate our schedules we still play.

Chad was telling this story to everyone at the con, I did too.

Chad had a similar thing happen later that same day. He was talking to Steven Chenault of Troll Lord Games, and it turns out that Chad’s father is from the same town where Steven is from. I was amazed something like that happened once to me, I can’t imagine having two such instances on the same day at a convention.

I had met Steven and mentioned to him that I was the one from his hometown, so we talked about the oddity of that for a bit.

After all these years, Chad still wants to play in a Hamilton’s D&D game. I tried to get him to let me pull together a game Sunday afternoon, but he had to leave before my Sunday morning game finished. So he’s talking about some Roll20 action with some DGS fans and himself.

Packing & Heading Out For Gamehole Con

I made the decision to go to Gamehole Con for the first time.

I am looking forward to all the games. I’m even a bit anxious to start the five hour drive.

If I have the bars/wifi access, I’ll attempt some live posting via Twitter and Periscope. I’m sure Twitter will be easy, since it’s just a few characters.

I’ll do a wrap up post for each day here on the blog.

GHC has rented the conference rooms in the two nearby hotels to accommodate 24 hour open gaming. I don’t know if they are the only con to do that, but for those who are too pumped to sleep, they have something to do besides channel surf in the wee hours.

Well, time to load up the car and hit the road. I want to be there in time for will call so I can get my stuff before my first game and not have to rush in the morning.


Gamehole Con 2016 – Registration Complete!

Well, I did it. I got registered for games at Gamehole Con. I didn’t pay attention and tried to do too many special events, so I didn’t get the Hobby Shop Dungeon. Well, maybe at GaryCon….

The list I have will keep me booked solid all day Friday from 10 am to midnight. I probably better make sure I’m well rested before then…..

Saturday I’ll be going from 10 am to midnight again with two games, but with a two hour break between them.

Sunday I’m in in two games from 10 am to 4 pm.

I thought about bringing stuff to run impromptu games, but not sure when I’d fit that in.

Here’s what I’m signed up for below. I hope I get to interact with those I so far only know from online. (With affiliate links to games at DriveThruRPG.)

Fri 10 AM – A Stay at the Warden Hotel – Metamorphosis Alpha by Jim Ward

Fri 02 PM – DGS Presents: One In the Gun, Four On the Floor – 2nd Ed Gamma World with Chad Parish (I only ever played 1st edition. I have a copy of 2nd edition I picked up a while back, will have to look it over. I can compare to a 1st edition copy I picked up.)

Fri 08 PM – Mythus Tower – Swords & Wizardry with Bill Webb (I played in Bill Web’s game at UCon last year and have a dwarf character he said can be used in any of his games, I just need to find it….)

Sat 10 AM – The Cave of Wisdom – AD&D with Luke Gygax

Sat 06 PM – Gaming & BS Presents: Relagul’s Quest & The Secret Temple of Bast – AD&D with Nicholas Abruzzo

Sun 10 AM – Escape From The Purple PlanetDCC with Jon Hershberger

Sun 12 PM – The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence – Crimson Dragon Slayer with Venger Satanis  (Never read this one or played. Something different to try. I’m sure the level of tiredness by Sunday afternoon will contribute to the hilarity.)