Sunday, March 22, 2009

That Post Where I Plug The Local Con

The obligatory "Here is the local way cool game con, please come!" post. Only there are a few tidbits that make this just a bit out of the ordinary, not the least of which it's being held here in Texas in June (usually that's the time of year people LEAVE our fair state for the summer to save their sanity....)

First of all, this con directly came about because of a friend of mine, Doug Rhea, who had the same idea I have talked about for years: a local roleplaying gaming con. By local I meant not in Dallas or Fort Worth (which, now that I think of it, really have none anyway). Sadly the DFW area has not had a proper RPG convention since the days of the old Dallas Fantasy Fair (which was really more of a comic con anyway) which closed up shop over a decade before. There are some anime cons and boardgaming cons with gaming at them, but nothing RPG only. So for years I made imaginary plans of how I would plan my imaginary convention if I had the time or money. Then, after meeting Doug, we both found out we were interested in the same things, but Doug can make the imaginary come true. And Doug has much more get up and go than I do, and basically pulled this together through sheer will power. So the North Texas RPG Con came into being. I told Doug I would be happy with 10 people (all the Acaeum guys that live in the area, and maybe a couple of strippers); we rented a meeting room that can hold 50 (what a joke that was, I thought). Now we have 30+ people signed up and it's still two months away!!!

The details are: on June 5-7 this year in Bedford, Texas (right between Dallas and Fort Worth in an area known as the Mid Cities) we are having a small get together at a La Quinta there, to play games and meet some great old school gamers and guests. This first ever NTRPG Con will be held there, with lots of games, merriment, and old school goodness. Here is the link to the website, will all the info you will need to plan your weekend: http://ntrpgcon.com/index.html

Second, I'm not just talking guests. I'm talking GUESTS. We basically pulled off a coup that cons twice our size can't manage by securing both Frank Mentzer and Tim Kask, two oldies but goodies in the gaming world. Frank and Tim both worked for TSR and very closely with Gary Gygax back in the day. Tim is probably best known for editing Dragon magazine in it's beginnings, while Frank may be best known for his work on T1-4 and a host of other TSR products in the golden age of D&D. Tim and Frank have both cordially agreed to run old school games at the first ever NTRPG Con

But we didn't stop there. Oddly enough, Texas seems to be this weird gathering spot for many of the old school guys in the roleplaying industry. A lot of that is probably because of the computer companies that spring up here, such as id. Obviously Steve Jackson's SJG is based in Austin, but over the years I've discovered luminaries such as Steve Marsh (Chaosium), Jeff Dee (TSR artist), Sandy Petersen (Call of Cthulhu) and Paul Jaquays (Judges Guild) are residents (some practically neighbors!). Doug had communicated with Paul Jaquays (author of such classic D&D adventures as Dark Tower and Caverns of Thracia) on earlier occasions when Paul had placed some items up for sale on Ebay; a few phone calls later, and we had the great man himself also heading to the Mid-cities to meet and greet.

We were also happy to get artist Jason Braun (Labyrinth Lord, Bottle City) to drive up from San Antonio to be with us; and long-time Greyhawk historian, gamer and writer Allan Grohe to come down from his Kansas haunts to join us. Honestly, I've been to conventions where the lineup didn't TOUCH this all star cast of characters, and I was charged twenty bucks for the privilege.

Third, it's FREE. For our first year, the only thing you are paying for is your own food, hotel room and transportation. And that's not including the huge BBQ we have planned Saturday afternoon that is also FREE. To offset the cost, many of the guests have been nice enough to donate gifts for a raffle and auction (some items you don't have to be present to win) that include a Dragon magazine #1 (I bet Tim would sign it if you ask nicely); copies of the adventure Tim plans to run at NTRPG Con; Strategic Reviews #1-6; character sketches done to order by Jason Braun, gift certificates for Reaper miniatures, and more. I really can't think of a bigger bang for your buck unless you are talking about the new Dallas Cowboy stadium where games will cost you $150 a seat...oh, sorry, I forgot, Jerry World is a huge RIPOFF (whoops, shouldn't have gone there, let's get back on target...)

Fourth, what are we going to do here? Well, old school game for one. Both Frank and Tim are running games; Allan Grohe has volunteered to do something Greyhawky if asked; there will be lots of boardgames like Divine Right, Arkham Horror, Talisman and others strewn about the place just begging to be played. If you are an old school gamer, or you just got into the hobby recently, I would have to say a chance to pick the brains of contributors to the hobby like Frank Mentzer, Tim Kask and Paul Jaquays and NOT HAVING TO TRAVEL TO GEN CON TO DO IT is close to a once in a lifetime opportunity. Remember, these three guys were there during the Golden Age of RPGs (1974-1982) and saw things that you and I can only imagine. I've spent time with Frank at the last two Gencons, and I can honestly say he's got more stories than is humanly possible to tell in one weekend; I've seen Tim hold court and if anything he might even be more verbose and opinionated than Frank. And my question list for Paul is already half a page long.....

To top it off, there will be a tour of Reaper miniatures in Denton Sunday morning (thank you, Gus Landt) that should be fun. I'm a huge Reaper fan myself (a huge lead fan) so I am very excited about this: http://www.reapermini.com/

And as an added bonus to anyone stopping by here and finding out about NTRPG Con for the first time.....Tim and Frank aren't leaving town until late Sunday...so there could be a smaller, more intimate setting for gaming or just shooting the bull when a lot of the other attendees have left to go back home. Stick around after the tour Sunday and you might have some tales to tell the grandkids!!!

1 comment:

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