This past weekend was NecronomiCon 2010, a horror-themed convention that has existed in the Tampa Bay Area for years and years and years. This was my second year going, so i was excited to see how different it’d be. A year ago, i decided to start doing convention and Necro2010 was my first. I was super nervous about panels, didn’t know what kind of configuration to do for my booth and wasn’t sure how people would accept Third Eye Games. It’s all in the past apparently.
1 year later and there’s no stopping me. We got in early, set up, got coffee and it was on! I brought my friends Ben and Gonz with me. On a funny side note, i met Ben at MetroCon 2010 earlier this year and we’ve been gaming together ever since with a group that also includes the Gonz. I’ve discovered that conventions are a great place not only to sell games and play games, but i’ve actually come out of some of these with a few new friends.
Friday was decidedly going to be a lazy day. We hung out at the booth and started new characters for the “unannounced game”. It was fun to let some close friends in on the direction its taking and get their opinions. A few people walked by, others came and talked, but overall it was very quiet.
Then came my first Panel. It was a GMing 101, where people coule come and have the pros give them advice on how to run their games. Now, i’m coming fresh off of DragonCon 2010 where i did panels to a whole slew of people. It appears that most of my nervousness for panels is gone and i’m glad, because the panels at Necro needed it. On our panel was me, the awesome guy who writes those games, and Chris Helton, an old-school gamer and game designer, Zachary Anderson, designer of one of the best party card games i’ve ever played (Mad Scientist University) and Emily Fontana who is a miniature game creator of Brushfire, which is also pretty cool. The latter two other panelists were awesome people and I hope to continue to see them at Cons, but they were a little less than “qualified” to give GM advice. Did i mention that the Necro crew was not that good at picking people for panels?
So, I was the host of this panel, which was new for me. We talked a little bit about how we run games, ways to prepare and ways to handle some tough situations. It basically consisted of the question, then silence, then some not-so-straight-forward answers and then it would get to me who would answer the question directly.
There were a lot of people that seemed to relate to the things that I had to say and they showed up at my Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade game that I ran later that night. Good times were to be had. I ran my demo adventure for the 3rd time to great effect, since the players i had at Necro had their own ideas of where to go with it. It was REALLY fun and threw me for a loop a few times.
Then i went home and passed out.
Saturday was had an excellent start. A lot of hanging out with the boys again, but now there were people who remembered me from last year and people who met me at the panel coming to the booth. This is where it got fun. We continued writing our new characters and learning more of how the new unannounced game was looking. There was a healthy amount of tweak just from CharGen with me going “what does that say? Yeesh, gotta change that”.
Ben left at 2 to run a session of Wu Xing, which went REALLY well by all accounts. I left at the same time to go to my first panel of the day, How to be a Game Designer. This panel could have been awesome, but quickly devolved from “how to design” to “how to sell your game that we’ve assumed you’ve already designed to a publisher”. I stayed quiet for most of it because that’s not what i was there to talk about and the panel was poorly hosted in general, IMO. So bleh.
After the panel i check up on Ben and his game and it was still going well, so awesome! Then i’m off to my second panel, Horror in Gaming. I was the one that suggested this to the con, yet i wasn’t the host. Which was weird, but whatever. And honestly, i was a little skeptical that this panel would even go well (based on my last one). I stole the idea from Rucht Lilavivat at DragonCon and hoped that I could also help encourage more horror in gaming. The first half was kind of a debate of whether the World of Darkness was a horror game in a fight between two old gamers and two new gamers (or which i was a member). Once we finished getting our grievances across while the audience watched quietly, the rest of the panel went well. We gave a bunch of good tips and I think it came across much better than the earlier panel.
Then it was back to the booth. We sold a few things, but nothing substantial, though Necro isn’t really a buy-heavy con. It’s more about the gaming and i’m ok with that. I ran my Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. game that night and it went awesomely. I ran Seafood Chowder and this group, again, took it in another new direction. 5 times ran and that adventure never gets old.
Then I went home and passed out.
The shortest of the days started with everyone feeling like crap, but pretending to be happy for the customers. Ben still had a game to run, which i’ve been told also went well… so woot! I did my last panel which was “Making the Most of your Gaming Character”. Good stuff and it was just what i needed to lift my spirits. It seemed like i kind of carried the panel a bit and then it ended with me attempting to make the most offensive character possible to entertain the audience. It was a katana-wielding lesbian bartender and that’s as far as i’m going to repeat. lol.
Then i went back to the booth and me and Gonz ran a combat with our character. He beat the snot out of me… even though he shouldn’t have been able to. So, much more balancing is obviously required.
So, NecronomiCon 2010 started high and ended high, with some lows in the middle. Really, though, it was a blast and i’m gonna be back against next year. Special shout out to Zachary Anderson for being completely understanding when i stood him up for a ride to the airport (i suck). If you haven’t played Mad Scientist University, you should do yourself the favor. It is really fun and i can’t wait to go to ShadoCon 2010 in two weeks.