Gearing Up

Gencon is literally a week away and I’m pretty stoked.  Last year’s GenCon was interrupted by some unfortunate circumstances which really took the wind out of my sails.  Fortunately, the family still enjoyed the time we had.  So much so we decided GenCon would become our family’s yearly reunion spot.

This year will be very different for me because I’m going into the convention with no plan whatsoever.  This will be the last Con before my middle son heads off to college and I’m looking to four, fun filled days with him.  My wife and daughter will arrive for the weekend.  What’s also unusual for me is that I have no registered events on my docket.  I have no tournaments to get nervous about.  For four days, my plan is to go with the flow, see old friends, stroll the vendor hall, relax and, oh yeah, play and talk games with my son and friends.   If I score some good games with my meager budget then it’s a bonus.  If I get to playtest my RPG than it’s a Mega Bonus Super Score.


A lot of my time has been taken up with a job promotion and training, my new fitness regime and restarting my main blog, The Yoteden.    If all goes well, I hope to have another play test of the new RPG rules this coming weekend.  A short fantasy set piece that can help players learn the dice system and the basic idea of the game.  Depending on how that goes I am hoping to have an initial run of the rules posted here by August.   Things at work are about to hit a fever pitch so I’ve got to get things wrapped up before then.  Otherwise, it might be September or even October before it gets to fly free.  Currently, the rules are going through re-edit and cleaning them up.

Almost a year ago I announced my idea for a Supers Sandbox.  As mentioned last post, the idea still lives!  Due to several factors, it was delayed.  I realized that A) I wanted to use my own rules which, of course, made me take the time to create them and B.) I’m very fond of my superhero world idea.  So much so that I wanted what was created here to be protected by license.  At the same time, I wanted people to feel a part of it and to share in the fun.  So, I began to research Creative Commons licenses.    As you can see, the idea is not dead.  I just needed to put some foundation blocks down first.




GenCon 2014 – Tragedy and Happiness

What an insane week and a half.

To cut to the quick of it, within ten minutes of walking into the hallowed halls of GenCon I received a tragic phone call with no way to leave or to get home.   I’m not going to go into details but I, and my family, went from looking forward to enjoying our first weekend together over games and good food to struggling through a horrendous Kobayashi Maru scenario.  Endless time on the cell phone, texting, trying to figure out a best course of action.  I did the best I could and tried to make sure my son got a good first day’s experience but I was exhausted by mid-day.  (For the record, when you don’t have a hotel room to go to, it’s very hard to find a place to cry around 25,000+ people.)  Saturday and Sunday did get better but not by much.  We weathered the storm but let’s just say I’m looking VERY forward to next year.

Directly after the Con, we returned to what we will call “the tragedy” as well as work and school.  (You know, maybe I shouldn’t call it that and instead just call it “The Blur?”)  I’m not sure I slept that much and had no time to get caught up here.  Finally, a week later, things are resolved and I can try to get things back on course!

Thoughts and Things from Gencon (some personal, some just observations)

  • Watching my son take a stutter-step upon entering the Main Vendor Hall.  He doesn’t get overwhelmed by much and having to pull him out of the stream of people so he could “take it all in” will be a highlight I carry for a long time.
  • Watching said son, within 24 hours, navigate the crazy like a pro.
  • The sheer mass and scale of the crowd was overwhelming to me on Saturday.  (Friday was bad enough with what I was dealing with but Saturday?  Yikes.)  Next year, I’ll be scheduling myself to be at a game table and NOT the vendor hall.
  • Oh my wow, the costumes!  I knew the cosplay scene had grown exponentially while I had been gone but, jeez!  It always warms my heart to see folks costuming up.  My family has recommended a possible cosplay for me and I am… considering it.
  • Food trucks?  Wow!  I remember having to run over to the Circle Mall food court for a quick, crappy meal or, alternatively, chew on a protein bar.  The lines were bad at times but we realized that if you timed it juuuuusssst right it wasn’t bad at all!
  • I was glad to see that most, if not all, computer games had been pulled out of the Vendor Hall.  I still have a bad taste in my mouth from being in a Vendor Hall and seeing walls and rows of demos of computer games while board game and RPG companies right next to them received no attention.  FYI – This is the only time and place I think I can say that I’m anti-computer game.  The computer games were in other rooms and, rightfully, given their own space.
  • Watching the Smash-up between the Gen-Con attendees and the Indianapolis Colts fans on Saturday afternoon.
  • The odd joy (and I’m not being sarcastic here) of attending the worst RPG demo sessions in my gaming history.  It was so bad it actually inspired me to start running games again! I’m sitting here laughing just writing about it!
  • I saw nothing related to FU or to Mythic in the Con schedule.  I understand that smaller independent games like that have a hard time making an impact at a Con like this but it’s got my pointed little organizer brain thinking for next year.

Finally – My number one moment of happiness was having most of my family join us on Sunday and for everyone to make the decision that GenCon would be the new location of our family reunions!  I think, somewhere, I earned yet another Geek Merit Badge.

I’ve got a few more GenCon related posts in me.  (Those will get written, hopefully, before winter.) Below are a few of my favorite pics from the GENCON 2014.  Some made it to my Instagram feed but most did not.  Enjoy!

And yes, never fear, the Supers game posts are coming very soon!





This may be the favorite of the Con. The cosplayer saw what I was going for and gave me “the look” right on time. If anyone knows the cosplayer, let me know. I would be glad to get her the full-sized image file.


The impact of this many Drow in one place made me realize how terrifying they are as opponents. Possible adventure to come?


World War 1 meets War of the Worlds!




Pardon The Interruption but, Hey, GenCon!

I just wanted to jump on here real quick and offer a sincere apology for not having a more recent post!  You see, I was surprised a few weeks ago by my middle son who decided he wanted to go Gen Con for his first time ever.  So, after much scrambling, we are headed to Gen Con in nearby Indianapolis!

GenConMy first Gencon was in 1983 when it was still being held at the University of Wisconsin.  I was halfway through high school and about to burst with excitement when I walked into the vendor hall.  I partook in a TSR sanctioned D&D tournament which showed me that railroading PC’s DOES occur at the higher game levels.  (Close to actual quote of the GM at the time.  And yes, I was so mad I STILL REMEMBER IT. “Yeah, that Revenant was supposed to come after the Ranger character in the party.  It was designed for the Ranger to die because he would be too useful later on in the adventure.  IF the party could come together there was a slight chance he could survive…” )

I was a midwestern kid from a small town and a chunk of that town thought for sure roleplaying was the work of the Devil.  I had to find my game books in a dusty hobby shop that specialized in model trains, planes and race cars.  Not that I really cared but I never knew if I was doing any of this roleplaying stuff right.  By the time that summer weekend was over, I had a pretty good idea.  I played in a double blind Gamma World miniatures battle that blew my mind.  I saw my first large scale miniatures wargame that blew my mind.  I saw the first ever fantasy wargame battle strewn out on 30 square feet of convention floor that blew my mind!

Because of my interest in art I spent a large chunk in the artist’s hall and for two days was befriended by Timothy Truman who gave me impromptu art classes.  I remember him showing me the best way to draw legs and arms.  I would take my sketchbook in and sketch next to his table and we would talk about all stuff comicy and geeky.  Needless to say — Mind blown!

I think by Sunday morning of that first GenCon my brain was completely goo.

I’m not really sure how many I’ve attended now.  I attended them in Milwaukee numerous times including one time where everything fell through and I and my friends had no where to stay!  Funny enough, I’ve attended them less now that it moved to Indianapolis and is much closer to me.   The first year it was in Indianapolis I was working from the other side of a vendor table with friend Chris Engle after becoming enamored with his Matrix games, the first story style game I ever played.  I was even pushing my first garage made RPG at the time.  After that, I would go if I could afford to drive up but not attend.  You know,  just to meet old friends who were either going as convention-goers or vendors for dinner.  I don’t think I’ve been in probably five years.

But that’s all past now because I’m headed back.  This time I get to bring the next generation along and start a whole new round of stories, adventures and shennanigans!

I’ll most likely have a post out in the week following the con.  In the meantime, if you want to see a bunch of goofy con pics from a paleo-gamer, feel free to follow me on Instagram where I’ll be posting more than my fair share!  If you’re at the Con, let me know.  I’ll be the tall, graybearded fellow walking around with a nostalgic grin!

Announcements – Annnnnnd before I forget, I’ve been working on the Super’s setting for the solo play and I’ve managed, I think, to come up with a decent hack for the FU RPG.  Very shortly I’ll be presenting that as well as an outline of the up to date gameworld.   Hang in there!

I gotta deal with this pesky game convention thing…