Category Archives: GaryCon

Quick Interview With Jeff Perren

In my quest to get signatures from all of the special guests at GaryCon VIII, I tracked down Jeff Perren, in the miniatures warfare room.

He graciously signed his blurb in my program.

During the Growing Up Gygax session I had attended just a short while before, Luke mentioned that Jeff Perren had disavowed the fantasy portion of Chainmail, and that it was all Gary. So I asked him if he was getting ready to play Chainmail, at the sandtable where he was sitting, and he said, “No, Cavaliers and Roundheads.” Then he said something I didn’t expect. “I have never played Chainmail by the rules as published.”

He was gracious enough to let me get out my cellphone and let me record his re-statement of what he told me.

I stopped recording too soon. Jeff went on to talk about the last time he played against Gary in 2006. I believe the picture of them together in the program guide is of that day.

NOTE: If I am not the first to ask this question and publicize his answer, please let me know with a formal citation of the source.

GaryCon Day 0, GaryCon Day 1, GaryCon Day 2, GaryCon Day 3, GaryCon Day 4

GaryCon Day 4

Today was simple, and far shorter than all the other days. I’m now home and catching up on email and other tasks that got backed up while I was gone. Thankfully, I planned ahead and took Monday off from work when I signed up for the time off, so I can unwind before getting back to the grind on Tuesday.

Of course, I started by getting up, getting showered and dressed, and taking my stuff to the car, and going to the con.

I went to the TSR artists that were present, and bought something from each of them. My brother, Robert, is quite talented, but doesn’t want to do what it takes to make money with his art. I showed a picture of a print of a picture he did and all of the artists commented on how much they liked it. I’ll have to tell him, if I can ever catch him awake. He works third shift, so we’re not on the same schedule.

Unfortunately, Darlene wasn’t there, and I had hoped to buy one of her prints.

I bought several originals from Jeff Easley. Three of them were originally for a Canadian company that went bust and never paid him.  Thus, he retained all rights, and actually signed over the rights to me! All I did was ask, and he said, “Sure, you can do whatever you want with them.” I asked him to sign something, just in case, and he did! I am numb! Of course, I told Jeff that whatever I do with them, I’ll send him a free sample of each. I’ll be doing t-shirts as soon as I get them scanned and figure out which online service will best meet my needs. My youngest son, who’s 19, lives with me and said his friends would all be interested. That was something I thought of on the drive home, give shirts to my sons so all their friends see them. I hope to at least pay for all the art I bought today….

I also bought three prints from PAV and one from Jeff Butler, and the first volume of Larry Elmore’s collected works. Larry Elmore liked that my name is Larry. He started a dedication and signing it, and I said, “I better pay for that since he’s almost done.” Then Elmore said something like, “That Elmore’s such an egotistical &%$%^.” LOL

I also bought the GaryCon VIII module, and Jeff Butler signed the cover, the same cover as the program, which he also signed.

I then attended a session by Tim Kask on Riding the Rocket: TSR’s First 5 Years. I missed the first twenty minutes or so, but I enjoyed it immensely. Tim recommended that we read the book Orcs, and that it changed his view on orcs, and that he no longer sees them as just meat sacks.

Pat Kilbane filmed Tim’s presentation for use in his D&D Documentary. I had the honor of asking the last question, “What was the thing you like best about working at TSR, and what was the thing you liked least or might want to do differently in hindsight?” Others besides Pat also recorded his response on video, I wish I had. Basically, he voiced his disapproval of the Blume’s business acumen. He said that he loved working with Gary and having so much fun. The second thing he liked was the opportunity to go back to teaching.

I managed to get a few more signatures in my program guide, but I missed several. However, I was not disappointed. I got the ones that I really wanted, and that meant the most to me.

I had a blast and plan to go next year.

GaryCon Day 0, GaryCon Day 1, GaryCon Day 2, GaryCon Day 3, GaryCon Day 4, Gary Con Wrap Up

GaryCon Day 3

I didn’t have as much organized activity today.

When I arrived, I went to the vendor room, and got Jeff Butler to sign the cover he did for the GayCon program, and also his picture under special guests. I was reading something the night before and realized that Darlene was there and that I had actually sat next to her in the restaurant the night before at supper. I got her signature, even though she wasn’t in the special guest section. I had a few others sign my program that I wanted.

I attended the panel for Growing Up Gygax, which was moved from 7 PM to 10 AM. It was a great time where author Michael Witwer, author of Empire of Imagination, asked several questions before opening up to audience questions. That was very interesting to get the scoop on what it was like to grow up in the Gygax household before and after D&D. After all the questions, I thanked the family for doing GaryCon and got each of their signatures. I also had Michael Witwer sign it, and I bought his book, which he also signed.

Following that presentation, there was another presentation by Michael Witwer, Genesis: Unexpected Journey of Gary Gygax. The word that this event was moved did not happen, or else I was the only one signed up. There was audio visual trouble, so we just sat down next to each other and he ran the Power Point on his laptop.

I’ll have a separate article later about Michael’s presentation and our side chat. Very cool!

After our time was up in that room, I resumed my quest to get all the pictured special guests to sign my GaryCon VIII program. I finally caught Jeff Perren waiting for the sand to dry to set up for Cavaliers & Roundheads. I got his signature, and ended up doing a quick little interview. I have a video interview that I’ll be posting later. I need more bandwidth, which will come when I get home sometime Sunday.

I’m not sure when I’ll get all my videos and pictures posted. I need more bandwidth and time.

I also met Mark CMG Glover getting ready to play with Jeff. It was cool to meet face to face.

I then got Mike Mornard’s signature.

I went to the deepest area of the con where WotC and Paizo were located. I spoke to a person at the desk and got the impression that I would be able to come down and get the WotC people signatures at some point. A couple hours later, when I returned, there was a new person at the desk and when I asked when they might next take a break, she said, rather coolly, “When they’re done.” I interpreted that as I should know better than to ask. I wasn’t trying to interrupt the game, just trying to get all the special guest signatures. Oh, well…..

Just before the charity auction, there was buzz about a big announcement, that by now, is already out there. Jim Ward received the first ever E. Gary Gygax lifetime achievement award! It was so cool that I was there to see him get it. It is very appropriate to come the 40th anniversary year of the first science fiction game, Metamorphosis Alpha. Also the first game called a “role playing game” on the box.

I then just wandered, and came upon Ernie Gygax sitting and catching a breather after his game. He was telling stories about playing, working as a shoeshine boy at the Playboy Club, etc.

I went to the dealer room to see what was up. On the way out I noticed that I advanced to the 2nd round of the C&C tournament that finished playing over an hour ago. Ooops…. That was the only place I saw that. I forgot to look for it. I also told them that I had things scheduled at that time when they recruited me for round 1.

I then passed Lester Smith in the hall, and got his signature.

I then ran into Satine Phoenix who invited me to meet with her crew in the lounge after they dropped stuff off in their rooms. After I got to the lounge, I ran into Mark Hunt. He and I talked about Gang Busters, and many other things. Mark agreed to do an interview after we get home. I also got wind of a couple of things coming down the pike from Mark. I don’t think all of it is a secret, but what isn’t secret isn’t ready for promotion yet, but when it’s ready, I’ll share it.

I also watched a friendly cooperative deal happen between a game designer and someone else. That was the coolest thing to see it happen like that. It was just as easy as it looks in the movies. Here’s my card, send me the script, I’ll show it to X & Y, and I bet they’ll do it for free because their gamers. It’s not my baby, so I won’t give specifics, but when it’s out there, I’ll talk about it here.

Satine and her crew showed up and we talked and had a good time.

I met +Jeremy Whalen, the guy doing a lot of Mark Hunt’s editing/layout, and at this late hour, I am drawing a blank on his name. We found an empty table to talk and were invited to play C&C by a woman and her husband we were visiting with after Satine & crew went to get supper. The woman was the GM and we had just gotten started when her husband ran out of steam. The rest of us talked until we dwindled away, and I returned to my hotel and did this article.

Sadly, tomorrow is the last day.

GaryCon Day 0, GaryCon Day 1, GaryCon Day 2, GaryCon Day 3, GaryCon Day 4, Gary Con Wrap Up

GaryCon Day 2

Today was a slower day, as far as events scheduled. I didn’t have anything scheduled until 1:00 PM. I planned to sleep in, but since I live in the Eastern Time Zone, I was wide awake at 6:30 AM Central time.

I went ahead and got ready and went to the Con.

I saw a few friends in passing in the hall, and visited with Jeff Easley to show him a picture my brother did, that I mentioned to him yesterday.

I then stopped by +John Reyst’s Open Gaming Store booth, where I met +Mark Hunt.  I recalled seeing a post about Gangbusters, but had not clicked that it was back. Mark is now the owner of the Gangbusters IP! I first learned of Mark with his prolific postings of items for White Star. Many know him for his DCC setting Drongo. With Gangbusters, he has little booklets filled with location ideas, like a diner, and NPCs that could also be used as pregens for con games.

Mark shared some of the reasons he is so prolific, in addition to being retired, but that’s a long story for another day.

While John, Mark, and I were visiting, Frank Mentzer comes up and signs copies of Razor Coast by Frog God Games, one a Swords & Wizardry variant and the other Pathfinder. I gave in and got the Swords & Wizardry one. However, I wasn’t able to get a massive discount for the defaced book that had been written in….

I then had to get something to eat before my 1:00 PM session: D&D Documentary Teaser and Q&A. Pat Kilbane is working on a D&D documentary. It is a third documentary unrelated to the other two documentaries now tied up in litigation. There is enough about this documentary, that I’m going to write up a separate article. In short, I will do what I can to promote it. My new friend, +Satine Phoenix, was one of the interviewees in the clips we were show, and she happened to join in, as she was in Frank Mentzer’s game following this 1 hour session.

Next was the big fun I was waiting for, playing D&D with a play test of a new adventure by Tim Kask. Only three players showed up and we needed more, so instead we played War of Kings.  You can order the game here. Tim said that he supported the Kickstarter because of how nice everything looked, but it is a good game and he really likes it. It is a strategy and resource management game. It has some different mechanics that are simple once it clicks how they work.

I then nearly missed a presentation on dice by Lou Zocchi. I put into my Google Calendar the wrong room name, and got discouraged, when I thought to check my registration information and learned of my mistake, and got there 20 minutes late.

There was supposed to be an artist’s gathering in the bar, but there was no sign, and there are two bars, so I didn’t find it.

The one suggestion I would make for the next GaryCon, is to have the room names and a map of the facility in the program booklet. Another suggestion would be to have a printout of events by slot. there were several printouts in each game area that listed events by event name. However, it would be helpful to find games in a given time slot.

Finally, I met up with some friends and we talked. Mention of a game was made, but we just talked. I ran out of steam, so left for my hotel.

I decided to hurry up and post this, and will make new articles with all of my GaryCon pictures and topics that need their own article.

GaryCon Day 0, GaryCon Day 1, GaryCon Day 2, GaryCon Day 3, GaryCon Day 4, Gary Con Wrap Up

GaryCon Day 1

Day one of GaryCon 8. I found Jeff Easley in the dealer’s room and got him to sign my DCC book on one of the pieces he did in it. I also asked him to sign my program booklet on his blurb in it. I then repeated that as I came across different people in the book.

I then located Jim Ward, across from Jeff Easley, and he graciously signed his blurb in my program booklet. He was also kind enough to wait while I ran to my car to get things for him to sign. He was surprised at what I had, but let me drag each piece out. Metamorphosis Alpha re-print from Lulu, the MA GM screen, Gods, Demi-Gods, and Heroes, my two Dieties and Demigods with Cthulhu, Greyhawk Adventures, and Legends & Lore, and finally the 2nd edition Gamma World I bought last summer.

Lou Zocchi had the clear crystal dice, similar to my original Game Science set that a couple disappeared when I think a kid at a con accidentally got a couple of mine. Lou was kind enough to sign my program and my 50 Things To Do With A d50.

Tim Kask came by the Game Science booth and was kind enough to sign his place in my program, and his forward in my hardcopy Swords & Wizardry.

Next I got Tom Wham and Ernie Gygax to sign their blurbs in the program. On the way in yesterday, I realized that I left my copy of Awful Green Things From Outer Space with my other board games, since I keep them separate from my RPG materials. Just a matter of storage. Oh, well….

I signed up for mostly panels on things that caught my interest, and only one game for the whole weekend. I knew I’d get in on other games.

Lou Zocchi asked me to go get him a program after he signed mine, so after I took all my newly signed books to my car, I did so. While there, I got recruited to play in the Castles and Crusades Tournament, starting in ten minutes. I had never played C&C, and this was only the second RPG tournament I had ever been in. The first one was 30+ years ago at ConQuest in Kansas City, MO.

The tournament did not have a lot signed up, so we started late, between delays in finding the table and the guy who recruited me getting enough other players. It was fun, and different. I just went to long without eating, and ran out of energy, until the table side service finally showed up, and hour after I asked a server to find someone to take my order.

Next I attended the Podcast Panel, with hosts from Game School, Gaming and BS, Cube of Death, Drink Spin Run, and Dead Games Society. +Satine Phoenix was one of the 8 panelists and only woman. Afterwards in the bar, I commented to her that the ratios of women to men seemed about right, and she pointed out that it is closer to 50/50 but a lot of women have husbands and boyfriends that don’t want them to play, or do things to discourage them, like kill off their characters. She gets a lot of women players out in Hollywood. We had an interesting conversation going, but the conversation got derailed with others coming up to speak.

Satine gave a bunch of us these d20 rings, that you can wear and roll a d20. Very cool.

I then asked for a picture, since others were getting pictures. I asked her if it was OK for me to post the picture on my blog.  She said, “Sure, what’s the name of your blog, we’ll do an intro.”

Me and Satine Phoenix
Me and Satine Phoenix


It took 5 or 6 takes because she stumbled on my name and the blog name the first time, and it took a few more for her to get the blog name right. I’ll post the blooper reel after I get home. It’s multiple files, but I want it in one video.

Later in the evening after the TSR Artists Panel, I got Steve Sullivan, David “Diesel” LaForce, and Larry Elmore.

Arter the panel, I ran into +Aaron Yonda, AKA +Chad Vader, and asked him to sign my program. I had met him in the morning at the con registration area, and talked with him a bit while we waiting. Aaron said, “Randy’s here, from the web series, we’re in the game library, he’ll be glad to sign.” So I added Randy Knight, who played Empire Market’s manager. Cool!

I then got something to eat for supper just before 10:00 PM. I waited too long to eat, so I ran out of steam. It was a long day, and a good one.

I look forward to tomorrow!

GaryCon Day 0, GaryCon Day 1, GaryCon Day 2, GaryCon Day 3, GaryCon Day 4, Gary Con Wrap Up

GaryCon Day 0

Well, here I am in my hotel room in Lake Geneva, WI. I got into town about 12:30 local time and first found the location of the con, since I am staying off site.

I didn’t realize just how big this combined property is, with various other places to stay, many appear to be as big as the Grand Geneva itself.

I was a big surprised to find a sign saying event location parking here, i.e. if you are not staying at the Grand Geneva, you have to park here. It announced a shuttle service. It is down a hill from the convention center, so if the weather turns bad, it will be “fun” if one elects to walk rather than wait for a ride. I found the front desk and asked if I was correct about that being where to park, and was told “yes”.

It is not a problem, other than an inconvenience for me personally, based on how much stuff I brought with me. I was hoping to get some things signed, but didn’t realize I’d have such a hike to haul it. I did get a cheap folding dolly on the off chance I had to use it to haul stuff a long distance. I’ll just have to plan things out and determine when is best to approach people. I have a lot of unscheduled time, so it should not be a problem to haul that stuff. I do know a couple of vendors, so I might be able to stash my stuff with them.

Yes, I used my busy schedule as an excuse not to do more due diligence.

So let’s pay the Joesky Tax and use this as an example of how adventurers should plan their trips with all of the available knowledge of those who have been there before, to alleviate and minimize the unexpected.

On to the fun stuff. The planners were busy going through stuff in boxes, like t-shirts, that will be at the registration booth

I then found at the end of this hallway it had a ‘T’ junction and to the right was some unrelated meeting in one room, and across from that were several people in a coat check room. I recognized one as Luke Gygax. I’ve never met him, but have seen his picture online. I knew he was busy, so I didn’t take the time to meet him.

One cool thing, is on the floor were several posters of covers of various modules and the TSR Lizardman logo, plus banners for KOTD and others.


I then took the hall to the left and at another ‘T’ followed the signs to the right to the registration desk. On the way, I noted how the squat, square structure indicated this was probably built in the late 60’s/early 70’s, or at least designed in that time frame.

I also noted the squat, squarish hallways were very dungeon like. The ceiling might be 10 feet, but the hallways were 20 feet or more wide, with support pillars at one ‘T’ intersection.

As this building was once a Playboy Mansion, there was a display of items from that era of its history. (Yes, there’s a mirror in the back of the display case, so if you take a picture, you’re in it too….)


It looks like things are quite busy, and will only get busier as the day wears on.

It would be cool to get in on some impromptu gaming, but this is Wednesday, and tonight is Session 98 of the Wednesday night AD&D game I’m in on Roll20. Session 100 will be the week of the 2nd anniversary of the campaign. I’m the only player who has made every session, although had to be late to a couple when travelling for work, or the day after my granddaughter was born last year. One of the players is caught in a time trap, that if we can’t figure a way to save him, he is dead.

I look forward to finding out if we can beat the trap, or lose the only character in the group, besides mine, who has been here since session 1. That other player, Antony, and myself are the only players who have stuck with it since session 1. If Antony’s character, Axel dies, we loose our 6th level dwarf fighter. My character, Thorfus, is a 7th level dwarf fighter.

What is so cool, is that this campaign was Antony’s introduction to playing table top RPG’s. Had he not told anyone he was a novice, we would not have known. He is a natural, and is now running his own campaign, with our DM, another player, and myself from the Wednesday night game. Better yet, Antony lives in England and games in what are for him the wee hours. He is not upset about the possibility of losing a character, who would be 7th level by now if not for a wight.

Antony sees the death of his character, whether by the time trap, or those who trapped him as a glorious story to tell. All this while I feel bad that I can’t think of a way to save him…. Anthony has remained quiet, not meta gaming his thoughts, so he is reveling in the anguish of the other players. The worst part is that Antony started a new job and is travelling and may not be able to join the game when we learn the fate of Axel. Just a few short hours until we learn what happens…..

[Updated with pictures and links to the rest of the series.]

All my articles on GaryCon 8: GaryCon Day 0, GaryCon Day 1, GaryCon Day 2, GaryCon Day 3, GaryCon Day 4, Gary Con Wrap Up

The Passing of DAT – One Year Later

I saw mention of it on a post on the FB page, David A. Trampier Fan Club.

I jumped over to Wikipedia and confirmed it.

Wow. One year.

So many enjoyed his art. For me, his images are iconic and when I see them I am instantly transported to thinking of all his various RPG art and all the books and modules, and of course, Wormy, and The Dragon.

I wish I could make it to GaryCon. Such remembrances make me nostalgic. I thought it would work out this year. Now, my goal is for next year. I met several from back in the original TSR days at GenCon last year, but I always wanted to go to GenCon when it was in Lake Geneva. I hope GaryCon doesn’t get too big by then. There are a lot of the original creators and movers and shakers still around that I want to meet. Perhaps even get a chance to play.


Gary Con Mentioned on Big Bang Theory

One spoiler I didn’t mind was that Gary Con was mentioned on this week’s episode of Big Bang Theory. In general, I don’t like spoilers. My brother has recited movies in detail that I have not seen. A co-worker talked about the space dock scene in Galaxy Quest. I don’t have TV, so I watch programs online. I like that BBT mentions RPGs as part of the geek/nerd life. I find BBT funny because it is true. I have known people like that, and in some ways, I am people like that.

I missed Gary Con last year, and was very interested in going this year, but things have not worked out.  The closing of the local office and the transition to working at home was not expected, and I am tired from moving stuff from the office to home, moving stuff around in my home office, and sorting and moving stuff trying to find the best use of the space. I am glad it worked out to not be able to go. I am tired. I also am not too keen to travel in winter. Perhaps I can make Con on the Cob in October instead.


Posting Frequency

Now that I am past my busiest time of year at work*, my energy and enthusiasm for other things leaves brain power available to get creative. I also was busy wrapping up my hex for Tenkar’s Landing, and getting ready for Marmalade Dog 20.

I have been coming up with a lot of ideas and spreading them out to avoid having too many posts on the same day. It won’t be long until I hit post # 300! Wow! I started posting with great regularity in January, 2014 when I read that it was the 40th anniversary of D&D. March/April of 2014 was my 36th year of D&D. I started in 1978 with Holmes Blue Book Basic. So 2015 is my 37th year of gaming/RPGs.

I am now thinking about the 2015 April A to Z challenge, and think I will sign up again this year.

My thoughts are also percolating for a possible 2015 One Page Dungeon submission.

My posting frequency will vary based on my ideas and things I want to say about RPGs. Vacations, personal issues that may arise, and work commitments can all have an effect. My hope is to keep posting a few days in advance to build up a “buffer” of posts so that my missing a day is invisible to my readers.

In addition to daily or near daily articles, and other than the April 2014 A to Z Challenge, I will write about the games I play in and run, cons I attend, and ideas I have or comments & extrapolation on the ideas of others. I will also come up with tables and other game aids as the need or inspiration strikes.

The cons I plan to attend this year originally included Gary Con, but things have changed since last year, so I will have to put that off to 2016. I will definitely be at UCon 2015 in November. I am seriously considering Con On The Cob in October, since it is within a four hour drive. I will also try to attend any online cons, if those work into my schedule.

I have ideas for an adventure based on my hex in Tenkar’s Landing, so I look forward to fleshing that out.

I may also begin posting new areas of my campaign as I develop them, but those may wait until I actually have players reach them. So far, my usual players don’t follow my blog, but if I take the plunge and begin an online game, I will want to hold onto those for later.

I look forward to the rest of gaming in 2015.

Game on!!!

*(I support payroll and accounting software. This means that December and January are crazy busy with clients trying to wrap up end of year, print W-2’s and 1099’s, and deal with various state specific reports that have a deadline.)

GenCon 2014

I made it to GenCon for the first time. I had planned to go to the whole thing this year, but I had a major presentation that I had to do near St. Louis. However, I decided to go anyway.

I did not get there until after 6:00 PM on Friday as I visited some friends near St. Louis that I had not seen in a long time.

I missed out on the Exhibition Hall, as it closed at 6:00 PM. (This was a hazard of deciding to just do it and registering when I got there.)

The benefit of this is that I was able to figure out where everything was. WARNING: The Indianapolis Convention Center is HUGE! If you have never been take advice I read last year from a first time attendee, I forget who it was. Have a bottle of water and a snack,just in case. I suggest also comfortable well-fitting shoes. I got a blister on one toe. I also suggest having a room at one of the downtown hotels and planning to stay until the morning after your last day, so you can get cleaned up as you go. The mid-west is usually very hot a humid in August, but it was very mild this year. However, thousands of bodies in a huge convention center pressed together make it very warm. I sweat through my shirt, socks, and underwear, making things very uncomfortable today.

I did not sleep more than a couple hours last night. I just laid there not sleeping, so I got up and wandered around.

The Exhibition Hall opened at 10:00 AM and I wandered all over until about 12:30 PM. I bought a d30 and battle mat from Chessex and a second set of Game Science dice, and a poster from Inkwell Ideas, and art from Jeff Easley and Larry Elmore. I saw a lot more I wish I could buy. I’ll post pictures of my goodies later.

Overall, I thought it was just too big. I think that is mostly because I had never been and a lot of volunteers did not have answers to my questions, and I showed up late Friday.

The thing I most disliked is for either $50 for a single day, or $80 for four days, MOST of the events other than the Exhibition Hall, auction, and a few others, required paying MORE MONEY to attend. This INCLUDED the organized game play. I can agree with paying to be in a fancy tournament if it has decent prizes, but pay to play just rubbed me wrong. Because I got their late Friday, it was too late to get in on most events I was interested in, so I wondered and observed. I liked that I could at least wander around and observe all the game play.

If there was a sanctioned or organized way to arrange pick up games or anything, I never found it. My impression is that a pick up game would most likely occur if your friends from your regular group, or your GenCon buddies decided to get together.

I have been to other game conventions, and there was no additional fees to join in organized play or even tournaments. I don’t know if the fees at GenCon are only secondarily about the money with a primary emphasis on trying to organize 20 or 30,000 players.

As I mentioned earlier, I wandered the Exhibition Hall until 12:30 and got all the things I limited myself too. I could never afford all that I wanted…. By this time I was starving. They have food inside the convention center, like pizza, subs, etc. I was tired of this, so I went out to the pedestrian mall outside the convention center, where they had a dozen or so food trucks. I found an excellent BBQ truck, I forget their name, but it is local to Indianapolis. If I can find the name, I will add it.

Getting food helped. I recommend not getting to the point of tired, sweaty, and hungry. I should have taken a break rather than do a marathon session of seeing all the exhibitors. I ended up very frustrated that I could not find Howard Taylor of Schlock Mercenary. I conflated the last convention he attended with GenCon and thought he had a booth. He was actually joining Tracy Hickman of XDM games, I see now that I am home. He also did a signing that I learned of about a half hour AFTER it ended. Part of that was my confusion and I did not pick up on the book signing reading the guidebook/schedule. It is probably in there correctly, I think I just had information overload.

I was cranky. I felt a lot better after I ate, but I was still sweaty and had a blister working on one toe. Solving hunger did not help. I decided I was past the point of having fun, so I headed home. On my way out, I passed Frank Mentzer who was going in the opposite direction. I had wanted to talk to him, but by that time, I did not care.

I drove about an hour and had to pull over at a rest stop and snoozed for a couple hours. After that I felt like a new man. Thus my recommendation to keep a room in a hotel nearby until the day AFTER you are done with the convention. Have plenty of clothes so you can go to your room and shower and get a nap.

I left thinking I never wanted to attempt to go back. A lot of that was brought on by being tired. After my snooze I wished I wasn’t an hour away from the convention and started thinking I might actually try to go again next year.

I now know that I will need to save up for a fancier hotel downtown for at least a couple nights, or more if I do all four days. I will need money to attend all the things I want. I will have to review the activities BEFORE it starts so I can plan what to do. As long as GenCon is in the same place, one can plan for the next year. I am also thinking that I really should go to GaryCon, since I always wanted to go to GenCon when it was still in Lake Geneva. Being a smaller Con, I am sure it will have a lot less of the chaos and frustration that a megacon has.

I’m not 100% set on GenCon next year. I will be a grandfather in January, and I expect to be spending a lot of time with my new grandchild. Five years or so  until Disney World, maybe ten until a major Con, time will tell.