Last night I wrote here that I found out that the local gaming convention at WMU in Kalamazoo is this weekend.
It started at 9:00 AM and due to waking up way early, I lost track of time working on something since I was up, then having a hard time figuring out where to park to avoid a ticket from campus police, I got there just before ten.
I figured there would be a line to sign up to place D&D Next, so rather than going to the sign-up sheet first, I looked around then tried to find the table. I could not find it, so I went to the sign up sheets and no one had signed up, so I signed up and went to the table, no one was there. There was no note nothing, just a long table and the chairs around it.
I went and said something to the registration staff and the DM for all the D&D Next sessions, all using the Temple of Elemental Evil, and they said he ws not there. One of them mentioned that this was one of their smaller years. The whole event fit into one ballroom/auditorium.
There were less than a dozen vendors. One vendor advertising himself as a travelling game shop. I take that to mean he does from CON to CON. He had jewelry, used games, dice and trinkets. Most of the vendors appeared to be focused on Magic The Gathering. I never “got” the Magic card game. I still don’t so I skipped over those tables. There was one local used book store there and their had their rule books, and Science Fiction and Fantasy books there. The rules they had were “new rules”, probably for D&D 3.0 or 3.5, I did not look closely. I mentioned that and they said any OD&D and 1e books went straight to their eBay site.
There looked to be two tables of board games for whatever enough people wanted to play. There looked to be two tables where two games of Blood Bowl were going on, and there was room at the tables for at least two more games at each table. I played Blood Bowl when it first came out, my brother, Robert had it. That was over 20 years ago.
There were a couple groups playing miscellaneous games, Call of Cthulhu, a magic/fantasy RPG I never heard of, and maybe a couple others. The bulk of their RPG offerings were hosted by the PathFinder Society and there looked to be 6 or 7 PathFinder games. The PathFinder Society or else it was a vendor had three tables with two workers for selling rules books. I am not interested in laying out a bunch of money to GM another game system.
They had eight double tables set up for Warhammer miniature wargaming and it looked like two or three tables were setting up to play.
They had some big screen with some sort of Star Trek game that one worker said he was excited about, but nothing was happening yet.
They also had 8 immersive stations, basically boxes with doors for MechWarrior, but nothing was happening with that. There was a big screen TV to show the action once it got started.
One of the workers said that some people usually had pickup games, but I did not see anyone else who was not involved in something. I brought my Player’s Handbook and ACKS soft cover (I helped with the Kickstarter so got my name in the acknowledgement.) and my tablet with the AD&D PDFs, and the final D&D Next play test rules. so I could have ran an impromptu or played in one had there been others there.
Since the first session went until 2:00 PM, and I was not feeling into any of the other offerings, I decided to go run some errands and pop back home to drop stuff off and let the dog out. Due to my waking really early, once I got home I felt how tired I was, so I elected to take a nap. Of course, I slept until after 2:00 and the next session started at 2:30. So I planned to go to the next session, but something personal came up and put an end to that. A day that was a good one, even though it was not going the way I had hoped, took a turn due to some real life drama.
It continues tomorrow, but I put off things I planed to do today that I have been putting off too long. My computer room is a mess and it is driving me nuts, so I need to clean up so I can focus on some campaign planning and other real life things.
I had never been to a strictly gaming convention before. Obviously it was focused on playing, which is a good thing. There were no panels or guest speakers, etc. My impressions of the whole thing are pretty neutral since the one thing I wanted to experience wasn’t happening when I was there.
I did get some good out of it. I learned of some other SW Michigan conventions, one in Grand Rapids, only about an hour away, I don’t recall where the other is at the moment. On my errands I stopped by my FLGS and picked up three spare sets of dice, if I ever manage to get some players that need dice for a session. I also looked at their board and got a picture of a group that meets regularly at WMU that might give some local leads. Local colleges should have some RPG players that might let an old Grognard play. I now know where to park for next year’s Marmalade Dog and can watch for it next year. If I sign up early, I can run a game and get a t-shirt and discounted admission.
For now, I will continue the quest to find locac players for face to face play, and explore the options for online play, like Google hangouts or Roll20. Of course, more posts about those endeavors.