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so.. today was a good day..

As some of you heard through a quickly scribbled out text (cause.. I had your numbers) the Nix (the worlds most beloved and adored hobbit-like being) had quite a good day..

some of you might be wondering..
"what sort of a good day was it?"

Other than seeing a fine film, chat with a wonderful person, with a bit of gaming thrown in.. I did not have high expectations of the day. 
I knew I would go see X-Men 1st Class (which made up for X-Men: the Last Stand), and was quite pleased with it. 
I did get to chat with a wonderful person most of the morning..
there was gaming high jinx greatly enjoyed..
and plans were planned over a very tasty dinner for the upcoming Geek.Kon

however, I am getting ahead of myself..
day began..
chatted with wonderful person..
ate a bit of lunch..
went out to see X-Men: 1st Class

then I had some time to kill before I met up with Victor Raymond to plot out what we will do at Geek.Kon in regards to Madison Traditional Gaming..

what to do.. what to do.. what to do..

oh, I know.. I will browse the local used bookstore!

so I did..
I normally stop in once or twice a week on my way home to amble through

yet this time..
this time it held some nuggets of pure awesome..
nuggets of pure awesome that made me weak at my knees.. and light-headed.. and rather aroused..

oh.. is that a rather abused copy of Rogues Gallery from 1980?
why, yes.. yes it is.
certainly not the rarest of finds..
but, at $6..
it was still a nifty find

my shopping could have ended there..
and I would have been pleased..

but lo'..
there was more..
and it was more awesome..


those older gamers might recognize that as a copy of 3rd ed (7th printing) of Chainmail..
you would be correct!!

slightly battered, but in over all decent condition for being over 30 yrs old

at $2.50..
I think it was a very good buy

now.. I could have ended there..
and been rather pleased..
but it didn't end there!

has your mouth hit the floor yet??
I know mine did when I saw these..
if you pondering..
"wait... these look like photocopies.."
you would not be alone, nor.. would you be mistaken

if, by appearance, they look like crude copies of supplement 3 and the Swords & Spells supplement for D&D (circa 1979) you would be correct..
after some searching I found that in 1979..
they WERE photocopies!


and.. at $10 a piece..
very good snags

if you starting to see a pattern here..
that's because there is a pattern..

is that a copy of the first supplement for D&D??

is that a copy of the second supplement for D&D???

yes they are..
and both are in amazing condition..
only $10!!!!

with these.. extremely old school pieces of gaming..
I think my rpg hoard is starting to become rather respectable

I also picked up copies of D&D Expert.. and an extra (yes.. an extra) copy of Blackmoor..
which I handed off/sold to Victor Raymond..

on top of the old school D&D awesomeness!!

I also found a copy of Clan Book Baali (long missing and lost from my pile of books)
normally I can only find it for 20 to 30 (hence.. it had remained missing)

but.. one of the oddest finds.. was

if you are thinking..
"Wtf???  A game on.. Tabloid reporting?"

I also thought, "wtf.. a game on.. tabloid reporting?? "
I had to grab  it (though.. this was a couple weeks ago)

now all can see why I was so freaking excited..


What am I passionate about..

for Girl Geek Fabulous Contest Week
by Sean "Nix" McConkey

There are many things of which I take an interest, but nothing holds a candle to table-top role-playing.  Movies, books, food, and random gadgets of awesome have always taken a back seat to table top role-playing.  Some context has to be considered, of course.  I am a shy, introverted geeky individual.  Sitting at home watching movies, playing with cool toys, while snarfling down unhealthy mounds of food comes quite naturally.   

I started table-top gaming when I was eight.. well.. maybe nine.. whatever, I was a little kid.  I was short (even for a Nelwin.. it's not often one see's a Willow reference), not the most athletic individual, and here was a chance for me to live a life of adventure!  I could battle creatures of filth and evil!  I could stand tall with rippling muscles as I slaughtered my foes!  I could steal lots and lots of shiny things!  Did I mention that I could be tall?   Well, I was sold.  I rolled up my very first character (D&D basic.. moldvay set) and began playing.  If you are interested, I played a half-ling thief named Bilbo.  (what? I was like.. 9.. or something.. that 'originality' stuff came later)

From that day, I was hooked.  When I heard dice clatter, they sounded like swords ringing and money pouches being pilfered.  I did move on from D&D Basic.  I have played a wide range of games from sci-fi (Traveller: classic) to space opera (Star Wars), from D&D basic.. to.. well.. D&D 3.5, from Paranoia to Shadowrun, World of Darkness to Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands, Brave New World, and dozens in between.  I currently own around 550 role-playing books and box sets, with around six pounds of dice to call upon should one of them start to roll poorly. (yes, I need more dice and books)

I have even started taking those first timid steps past the table and into the center of attention by being on panels at local conventions.. where people will actually show up to hear me (o.k., technically they are probably showing up for the other panelists) talk about gaming!  I have introduced many gamers to new games, always seeking out an alternative game.  I am the co-Organizer of a Traditional Gaming Group in Madison, with the number of our attendees growing steadily.  I have started writing reviews, and.. like a true geek.. have even attempted writing my own game.  It is true I might be a shy introvert that scurries away to his cave when signs of life approaches, but let me talk about gaming.. and I won't shut up.

I am now 34, and while there have been a couple of years where I did not get a chance to roll dice and laugh with friends, the bulk of those years have been spent at a table with pencil and dice in hand, and a sheet of paper in front of me.  I have been quite lucky to have personally met several game designers AND have not bored them with tales of my characters exploits.  (by the way, game design people, you're welcome for that respite).  I have spoken to even more online.. apparently, one can use the internet for than just looking up pictures of kitty cats in funny poses with misspelled captions.

I now have to choose which item I would like to win..
the gift card for Drivethrurpg would be cool..
the signed copy of Zombie Feed vol. 1 would be neat (it's signed!)
and then the Queen of Crows book.. something I've been wanting to read for a while..

what is a geek with six pounds of dice to do..
oh.. I know.. I can roll for it!
with a d30 (what did you expect.. a d6?)


Ace of Hearts: review

Ace of Hearts
James “Grim” Desborough


a review
Sean “Nix” McConkey



                     Ace of Hearts is another of the lighthearted, 'beer and crisps' games by James Desborough. I'll admit, you do have a certain type of humor to enjoy his products. But, if you do have a slightly skewed sense of reality then this will be a worthy role-playing game to take a look at. This particular product is definitely for adults. It has and deals with mature themes.. besides.. what is a kid doing drinking beer and eating pretzels.. err.. crisps anyway while role-playing? They should have school in the morning and be in bed sleeping. If they don't have something to do, then I am sure the parent can assign some chores to keep them occupied. Chores are good like that, they can keep the child busy and it builds character.. well.. character and resentment. Anyway, back to the review.

                    The game is set in the wild and free 'old west' of the United States with the first several pages used to detail out the basic premise. You, the player, want to take over the local bordello, the previous owner is leaving and needs an heir to her domain. It is quite famous and earns a decent profit. You can play as one of the 'ladies-of-the-evening', however, if you have moral reservations about playing a prostitute then you can also play a saloon girl, spittoon cleaner, assistant, or piano player. Anyone you would expect to see in a house of ill-repute, is open for play. It is suggested though, that you take on the persona of one of the working girls as they will be more attuned to the trials and tribulations of becoming the madam. After all, the game is based around chick fights and other sordid drama, so who else would be best to win than a ruthless, enterprising, and seasoned strumpet.

                    With the premise firmly in place, the town is described. It lists the major non-player characters, major locations, and other random background material. The sheriff, mayor, and others are listed here. Along with major social groups such as the miners. An inventive group could easily add more, but the game starts off on a very solid foot with what is offered.

                    Character generation is detailed next. Here a player details out three 'Devils' and three 'Angels'. Devils are hindrances while Angels are beneficial. If you are unable to think of anything you may also randomly draw from a deck of cards. Me, I went with drawing the cards to keep it random. Five poker chips or tokens are collected for use in the game and then the player can think of further background if he or she wishes. Devils range from being intolerant to shameless with the Angels ranging equally far. One can have great stamina and be raunchy, both sought after qualities in a harlot.

                   With the character in hand, the game can begin. Victory points are doled out to certain locations, the victory goal is set, and cards are drawn to see who goes first. Whoever drew the high card wins, and is handed the rule book and deck. The player holding the rule book draws a card to determine the scene and how the others are involved. They can then choose to pick on someone's Devil and describe their issue. Play swaps to that person who's Devil was activated with the book passing back and forth till no one can activate an Angel or Devil. Points are gained as you go move along with chips being tossed back and forth. There is a very good example of play following the list of dilemmas.

                   It seems to be a quick and fun game. For the most part, the writing is quite clear and the rules, what few there are, are usually well defined. If your game master is burned out and everyone has had a pretty rotten week so that they need to let off some steam. This would certainly be a good game to use.

                   The artwork, however, is.. stellar. From a male perspective it was joyfully distracting, and from a purely impartial perspective the art was really quite good and tasteful. You may be wondering what this art is and why was it so distracting. For that, I would suggest you pick yourself up a copy. You will not be disappointed.


Playability: 3 out 5

Writing: 4 out 5

Artwork: 6 out 5



Agents of Swing: review

Agents of Swing
James “Grim” Desborough



a review
Sean “Nix” McConkey


                    Agents of Swing brings the players and game master to the hey-day of espionage and secret agent adventure. In this recent addition to his gaming credits, James “Grim” Desborough brings to life such vaunted and idolized British serials as the Avengers and Man from UNCLE. It is a world of super-agents defending the world against super villains, where panache and style are almost as important as skill. It is a world bursting with the jet, rocket, transistor radios, and social revolutions, even though it is a world besmirched by several bloody and unpopular wars it remains a hopeful time. Agents of Swing takes us back to the good nature and joyful ambiance that many of the current secret agent inundated shows lack as they tend to be relatively gritty. Using a form of the FUDGE system called the FATE system, the game mechanics are delightfully easy and form no barrier when you submerse yourself into the persona of a World Super Agent.

                     The Supreme World Intelligence Network Group, or SWING for short, is an eclectic mix of world adventurers gathered together for their skills and talents, rather than their station in life, breeding, or home nation. With that in mind, agents are recruited from the United States, Russia, Britain, and many other countries crossing many borders both ideological and political. SWING is headed by an individual that goes by the name Auntie, with agents receiving their orders from a rather new fangled contraption called a 'computer'. This 'computer' is called ERIC2, or Electronic Random Integer Calculator by the techs that operate on it, will assign agents to tasks often in surprising mixtures basing its conclusions on thousands of variables too numerous for a human to contemplate. SWING is made up of twelve sections, each with a clear frame of responsibility. Command, Administration, Uncanny Affairs, and Espionage are but a few on the list, though there is a fabled 'Section 13' whispered in the halls and to new agents. It is up to SWING to battle against the various secret wars the world is faced with, from global groups like the Mafia or Yakuza, to unhinged scientists ready to loose terror on a populace unless their demands are met. The agents of SWING are kept quite busy by Auntie and ERIC2.

                      After the duties and responsibilities are written out, the book naturally moves on to to character creation. The player selects a concept, name, and then various aspects. The player will need to choose aspects for his or her section, past, cover I.D., and then five to round the character. Once those are chosen, more on that in the next paragraph, twenty points worth of skills are picked along with stunts and various details including equipment normally carried, appearance, clothing, and vehicles that might be owned. As it is set in the 1960's, style is extremely important. Saving the world from a cataclysmic destruction is one thing, but to save it while looking dapper is simply the proper way to do it. There is a heavy emphasis on the character and interaction with other individuals in the game, rather than relying upon a die roll. Agents of Swing is clearly meant to be a fun game, that just happens to have the capability of looking into deeper issues that continue to plague us.

                     Let us take a closer look at this 'aspect' notion. Aspects are more than just power, they help define who and what the character is. They can be anything from 'good with the ladies' to 'death before dishonor' and even 'smelly hippie'. They do provide a mechanical benefit in game, but aspects are more about who you are than what you can do. They are your relationships, your religious or philosophical beliefs, or just trinkets and special items. Aspects also prove additional FATE points. This portion of character creation is one I would carry over to other games as it provides a small benefit to a decently thought out background.

                      Agents of Swing uses the FATE system. All one needs are 3d6 of three different colors, the author suggests Red, White, and Blue to match the British flag (or the American flag for that matter) but any colors will suffice. If you happen to have a color scheme that is groovier, by then all means use those dice. Two of these dice are rolled, and their results are subtracted from one another. Thus, if the positive die is a 4 and the negative die is a 6, the end result would be -2. Any applicable skills are added as well, and if a player wishes for it, a FATE point can also modify the roll. Skills range from -3, which is a Bummer skill level, to +8, which is an Out of Sight skill level. The end results are measured in shifts and this can determine how much damage something takes when an agent takes a shot at something or how big of a splat an agent makes when he or she fails a climbing roll.

                    Also included in the Agents of Swing book is probably one of the better primers on how to run a game. How a game master, called the Controller in this game, runs a session is quite similar throughout the many genre's of role-playing, and many books try and help new game masters with their new found powers. Yet few excel as well as James did here. Agents of Swing will also be an extremely easy game to improvise with if a Controller happens to either run out of time to prepare, or has to come up with a scenario on the fly.

                   Various organizations, from small to global, are listed as are the details to flesh them out. Both good and vile major non-player characters are listed after that, as is a time line that runs from 1960 to 1979. The time line is followed by tables and handouts, with an unexpected bonus.. a glossary! I am surprised by how many role-playing books actually leave this highly beneficial item off.   Agents of Swing did have several spelling errors, though I wrote those off as idiosyncrasies between American English and actual English. But, I found this game to be fun and easy with more than enough playability for long term campaigns or recurring side-treks. It is well worth the purchase price, and for true fans of the game I have heard rumors of a hardback version. 



Playability: 5 out 5- this looks to be a very fun game

Writing: 3.5 out 5- extremely minor issues that can easily be overlooked, but each rule is well explained

Artwork: 2 out 5- minimal stock art by all appearances









I still need to do an OddCon post.  It was, as always, epically awesome.  Ran into many old friends.. one that I had not seen in well over a decade.

Life is slowly chugging along with me and I am on the cusp of something either really awesome or unbelievably awful.  Tomorrow I am basically moving to Madison, Wisconsin.  I have said many times that Madison has quickly become one of my favorite cities and I am looking forward to actually living there.  I have many friends there, there are many opportunities for gaming and other endeavors, and.. I am just so tired of being here ..

being wrong (on everything)
doing everything wrong..
getting snarled at..
never having a chance to.. well.. anything

and I will be so happy to be away from a mentality where Glenn Beck is one of the wisest people on the planet and Fox News is the only source of information.  I'm not even that liberal of an individual.. but.. when anyone that is not among the far far right and a deep believer of even the most radical ideas of the tea party.  But, I am respectful.. well.. I try to be.. so I tend to simply not say anything at all to anyone and simply sit alone.

I have a tentative job set up with a cab company, and a place to stay till at least early-to-mid June.   I would be optimistic, but my life has tended to show me that I should lean towards pessimism.

Gaming continues..
I'm still branching out my arms with the review work, when/if I get to go back to college a course or three in creative writing will be taken. 
I find it oddly relaxing to write, and I enjoy it..
as with everything I do though, I am dubious (love that word) of the quality of work I put out

hrrmm.. not much else to report just now..
hoping to be able to get online once in a while when I am between permanent living spaces.
But for the move I have a medium sized bag packed of clothes..
and four bags of rpg's and dice..

one must always have priorities, after all

Fire & Ice

So this past weekend was Fire & Ice Con in Manitowac, WI.  This was purely a gaming convention, and while there was a costume contest (which Anime girl took 3rd place in)  this was by no means a multi-genre convention as most other conventions tend to be.  As time grew closer, I naturally grew more apprehensive.  Not only was I set to run 5 different games, but I was also going to be seeing an old high school friend. 

It's not that high school was the pinnacle of either our lives so that reliving such times was a highlight, but it was still a set of good times that we had.  Anyway.. those stories can come later.. in person.. after several drinks.

Anime girl and I left around 10 30 am for the 2 hr drive out to the coast, it was mostly an uneventful drive with only one minor detour that took us through the downtown area.  We were both quite impressed with the city, especially the city hall which was one of those highly ornate structures from the turn of the previous century.  However, a quick check of a gps unit and we were soon back on the right track and we arrived at the convention.  At this point I was getting excited, not only was the convention looming but I was going to bump into one of my oldest friends.

I checked into convention and received some schwag for running stuff..

That's it Zombie Nix..
strike a pose!
Zombie Nix was excited.. it had been far too long since he had a chance to be out and about

Here we see Bryant and I..
Bryant was the 'jock' of our group cause he played football.  He is now the proud papa or two very sweet girls and is expecting his first son in just a few weeks.  He does some weird stuff with computers and programs and stuff.. but.. most importantly.. he now owns and runs a game store.  Anime girl was nice enough to snap the photo, but had to turn the camera at an angle to fit the both of us in.  I am modeling my Monte Cook t-shirt that I received at OddCon last year.. from Monte Cook himself.

I had spoken to Bryant of OddCon and my desire to run Brave New World, but how I lacked the core book and how I planned to pick it up on ebay.  He remembered that he still had a couple in storage from when he took over the store, so I bought them from him.  He had recalled enjoying reading them and was disappointed to see that they were now out-of-print.  I lamented that fact with him, and pointed out that Matt Forbeck is to attend OddCon.. but.. since he will have a new born he is doubtful he will be able to attend.  After all.. it's not all that wise to tell your wife that just recently gave birth, "Hey, baby, I"m off to sit around.. have fun.. and sleep late.. take care of the all the kids.. luvs ya bunches!"

At the convention there were daily drawings in a raffle..
on the first day I won some d20 supplements for a world called Diomin.  It looked fairly interesting as I flipped through it.
The main win though, of that day, was the core book to the newest edition of Paranoia!
This means I now have every edition!!
I recently bought a boxed set of 1st ed. Paranoia off ebay (yes.. at an uber deal)
which means I have 1st, 2nd, 5th, and XP (ok, technically there are a couple of core books for XP..)

Still, it's was a freaking awesome snag!

The first game I was to run was Star Wars. The old West End Games version that used only d6's.  I was to run at 2pm on Friday, and with the convention having only started an hour prior I was nervous that I would not really have any players.  I did have Anime girl, and then a mom and her son sat in.  'It's alright.. I can work with that.. I freakin' rock as a GM.. I can do it!', I thought to myself.  Anime girl chose a half-vamp character that I wrote up for her so that she would have some way to connect to the game.  The son, whom I am guessing was 8.. maybe 9 years old, chose the 'Brash Pilot' while his mother, who also hadn't ever rp'ed before, chose the Chandra-Fan character.

I was just starting out, explaining the very light rule system when three others came over.. at first they timidly made sure that I was indeed running the classic version, and were all pleased when I confirmed that I was.  They joined the party and I now had six players!
At a time slot when people were still arriving!.

I did snag a pic of the session, but it's on my phone and I can't send it to anything from where I live.  Even though the young kid was sort of a distraction, we were all able to work his distractions into the game and it was an awesome session.

After that I had an hour break and set up to run 7th Sea.  I had three players, and while it was fun.. two of the players had trouble getting into the swashbuckling cinematic genre.  Over-all, it was a good game.  Mission was accomplished, laughs were had, and good times were had.

That night Bryant and I sat up for a while laughing at our childhood hijinks and Anime girl was astonished at our exploits..

The next morning I was set to run Little Fears..
we see Zombie Nix posing with the book and some of the character sheets.. and some of the toys I spread about.
Sadly, no players..
The other GM's that were set to run had similar problems.  A guy was running GURPS 4th ed, had two players.. then two kids sat in to play, and another GM was running Deadlands: Wasted West.  The GM had played in my 7th Sea game, and it was a pretty good session.  The other players were a husband and wife duo..
which gave me hopes of finding my own geek girl to geek out with
so I sat in on his game..
it was a good game
I told the GM of Matt Forbeck possibly being at OddCon..

Yes.. I did try n pimp out OddCon as much as possible.. but I also tried my damnedest to let others know of what some of the game designer and authors I know are up to

That night was the auction.. and another raffle.  That night I won the hard cover of Sovereign Stone and a game called Karma: the RPG..

in the auction I bought Red Shift (1$)
a couple of boardgames..

That night was Vampire: Dark Ages..
again had a full table with 6 players.  I didn't manage to snag a picture of this.. cause prior to the game a couple of little girls spotted Zombie Nix and rushed over to start playing with him.  Ripping off limbs.. clothes.. brain matter.. etc.. but once they were done they put him back together and wandered off again.  The game went great.  Everyone seemed to have a good time even  though the adventure was basically a failure..

Here we see Zombie Nix showing off one of the other auction wins..
Fuzzy Heroes (and the supplement Fuzzy Sooper Heroes)..

Zombie Nix and I couldn't go to a convention without picking up some dice... now could we??

Sunday was the final day..
Bryant, Anime girl, and I went to some breakfast before heading to the convention.  It was good to have a full meal by that point..
Anime girl picked up the Ravenloft Boardgame, so Bryant demo'ed it for us..

At 2 I had a Traveller game to run.. had one player, but.. getting people to come in to play a game from 1977 is tricky..
but we got through the adventure and he said he enjoyed it, so that was good

I bid on a couple of other items on Sunday.. won another raffle.. and we got ready to go, said good-bye to Bryant and I'm sure it won't be nearly so long till we bump into one another again..

Other than spending time gaming.. and spending time catching up with a friend.. the BIG find..
the find that had me shaking and jittery..

was this..

I managed to find a mint condition Ysgarth set!
I was wandering through the auction and saw it with a Tunnels and Trolls booklet

it didn't look like anyone knew what a find it was that was sitting there.. so I hovered over it as much as I could.  Adding it to my collection is a nice feather.  It was a very cool win at only 4 bucks for the lot

Fire & Ice was a great convention..
a large stack of rp's has to be added to my list..
spread the word about OSR to some people..
had some good times gaming..
yet, I would still say the best part was spending time with Bryant.. maybe another year Ronnie and some of the others can make it

Invaderz.. a role-playing game review

Invaderz by James 'Grim' Desborough

Postmortem Studios

a review by Sean E. McConkey

If you are a looking for a deep and philosophical game to explore the intricacies of your mind, then this is not the game for you.  However, if you are looking for a light-hearted and whimsical romp in between long running campaigns then this game can easily fill that need.  Early on the game touts itself as a ‘Beer and Crisps’ game (or a Beer and Pretzels game in the States), and it adheres to this easygoing philosophy.  

One takes on the role of a Jerkian Warrior, a clone of the great leader and whose purpose in life is to entertain the Exalted Emperor and feed the Exalted Emperor.  It’s not an easy life being among the lowest ranks, and a gruesome (though entertaining) death is almost a certainty.  One of the few ways to ensure your own survival is through treachery and betrayal of your fellow Jerkian Warriors, rank hath many privileges.. one of the most obvious being fewer missions in which death is likely.  Much of the book reads as a form of propaganda from the Jerkian Command to the freshly graduated Jerkian Warriors which make up the bulk of the populace.

While reading I could not help but be reminded of Paranoia's dark humor and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy sense of whimsy.  The introduction gently brings you into the world of role-playing games in general and begins building the over-all genre of this particular game.  The second chapter, Orientation, is a delightful romp into what is to be a Jerkian and the Jerkian Empire. Physiology, naming, duty, and other minutia of indoctrination are also covered.

Chapter three begins character creation and gives descriptions of the various Jerkians one can play.  A player might also find that he or she is saddled with one of the slave races that the Jerkians have conquered in their never ending pursuit to keep their Emperor pleased.  Each career has its own stats, special abilities, skills, and standard equipment.  One of my personal favorites were the Hamstoids Minesweepers, a race of extremely cute, chipper, and prolific creatures used to clear any and all explosives so that the Jerkian Warriors might pass through safely.  The one bonus of being a Hamstoid is that they are just so darn cute that people attacking a Jerkian patrol that has a Hamstoid in its party will always attack them last.

Chapter four covers rank and it’s privileges.  Players start of at rank three, Troopers, placing them above civilians and slaves. The following chapter is entitled Rules of Engagement, and goes into finer detail of what an rpg is, what one needs to play, tone of the game, rules, and completes character creation.  Chapter four is truly the ‘guts’ of the game.  The rules are sparse, meant to be fun and easy instead of heavy and ponderous.

There is a decent list of equipment and experimental equipment included and a primer on what the Jerkians know of Earth.  Listed under the Field Guide chapter are the many enemies a Jerkian can bump into while on assignment and the Battle Plans chapter gives a slew of adventure ideas.  Finally, the book is completed with a guide to the other planets of that the Jerkians control.

Artwork: 2 out of 5, the artwork is pretty basic.. yet extremely entertaining.

Writing: 4 out of 5. It is clear, concise, and passes along the intended expression

Overall: 4.5 out of 5.  A delightful game, easy to learn and play and laugh over.


don't call me Shirley

I didn't see it on LJ yet..

sadly, Leslie Nielsen died today from pneumonia..

he was 84..
he was Canadian..
he gave us so much :(


This was my second attempt at Daisho..

over all.. it was a fantastic convention..

I got there all set to run several games, the game store that was basically running the table-top room set aside a very prominent table for it.. and set out sign up sheets. 

I was able to run a couple games.. but I do not believe that DaishoCon is a gaming heavy enough convention to really support much
wanted to run Vampire: Dark Ages, but most people were buzzing about too much on Friday night for it to come together
7th Sea was run successfully and was much enjoyed
Vampire: the Masquerade was run successfully, was much enjoyed, and got to talk with an awesome couple, but.. sadly they are from way up north of me
Traveller (Classic) couldn't find the time to put it in (more on this later)
Star Wars d6, canceled the game.. had a few 'nibbles', but when it came time no one was there (other than anime girl)
Paranoia had a couple of nibbles.. but again.. no signers

Really tried to drum up some Little Fears excitement, but when the gaming room actually closes down and doesn't open again till 10 am, it's hard to get stuff going
(no complaints that it closed.. since one of the vendors had a huge amount of inventory in it and was running quite a few tournaments)

It was my first attempt to really 'run' games at a convention that were not spur of the moment deals

I think a convention that was more focused on gaming (rather than anime) and descriptions of the game system, instead of just the plot, will help for my next endeavor..

I take it for granted that gamers actually know, or want to try, different systems.  Most seem mired in D&D, and chiseling them away from it is almost impossible.. especially now with 4e and it's mmorpg feel.

Anyway.. I ran a couple games and those were greatly enjoyed by all that participated, and the prep work for the other games is still in my head and notes for later use.

The only complaint I had about DaishoCon this year.. was the programming.  Normally, or what I have come to expect, is that a convention posts the tentative schedule a few weeks in advance and then a firm schedule a week or so in advance.  This time.. nothing.  One could look up what panels were being offered, but no times were ever listed.  Then, in the programming book, the schedule itself was extremely small.. I'm not that old (not yet anyway) and I found it quite hard to read.  We then found out that the listed schedule changed radically everyday.  Each day several panels would be listed with time changes making it even more difficult to plan anything.

The costume contest was awesome.. last year it was really good, don't get me wrong.. but last year didn't have a Ghostbuster with a fully spec'd out backpack!

the talent show was actually good.. I mean really good.  Normally, a talent show is.. well.. I fully endorse their bravery and desire to attempt to go in front of a roomful of strangers..
but this time.. they were all quite entertaining

the Zombie Survival Panel was pretty good..
there wasn't anything that I didn't already know, but it is always good seek as much knowledge as possible in these matters

The other panels I had wanted to go to, I either couldn't find.. weren't listed.. or were changed about so that I didn't know when they were (did I mention the epic fail of the programming?)

I was able to find the Arashi Taiko Don 'panel'/exhibition.. arashitaiko 
and.. again.. it was one of the high points!
I sat down with anime girl, looking upon the assembled players.. since it is a college it was changed from last year..
I was in some despair..
what.. no twins of hawtness?
everything else was there though, bodaciously bountiful babes of beauty bounced and bobbed about.. supremely sublime sounds.. entertaining interludes of information and fun..
and then?

BAM!!!  it turned twins hawt again!
though they did not attend the convention with the group.. they attended on their own (greatly increasing their hawt factor!)
you know how to make a group of hawt chicks in halter tops even hawter?
put a couple of hawt twins up there in anime costumes and mini skirts and stockings :-D

o.k., raging hormones due to quite attractive females aside, the group played excellently (again), were highly informative of all things Taiko drumming (again), and kept the audience involved (again)..

Honestly, the eye-candy aspect really is secondary to the drumming.. (though this time they did bring a dude so the womenz of the audience could lust after and ogle someone.. way to spread the love Arashi Taiko Don!)

And now..
some pics!!

here we see Zombie Nix getting ready to go to the convention..
Zombie Nix and I never leave home without Max Brooks' book on Zombie Survival (though.. Zombie Nix hates it.. makes it harder for the zombies to win)

STFU Zombie Nix!!!
get in your pocket of holding!

Here we see Zombie Nix getting ready to do some Vampire: Dark Ages..
I think he scared everyone away..
silly anime people!
Zombie Nix won't bite

Saturday morning..
the hotel had a free continental breakfast..
usually this means stale donuts and luke warm coffee..
they had three types of juice (I opted for like 9 glasses of OJ)
cereal, danishes, muffins, bagels, biscuits n gravy, corned beef hash, and some other bits..

obviously.. Zombie Nix and I went with the biscuits and gravy..
biscuits were dry and hockey puck like..
gravy was bland..

but it was free food in our bellies and it gave us a chance to read some KotDT

here we see Zombie Nix and our first days plunder!!
if you zoom in close on that blue die..
you will see that it is a Federated Suns die!
Mechwarrior antiquity!

Here, we see Zombie Nix setting up 7th Sea..
this was made of win..
I set out several rp's and basically went fishing for players..
it worked!

good times were had..
w00t for 7th Sea!
and w00t for me!

anyway... Zombie Nix didn't have time to have his photo taken before Vampire: the Masquerade..
cause two awesome people sat down and started chatting me up about gaming!
only the most awesome of topics, next to how awesome I am.. of course.

In this pic we see a collection of stuff I picked up at the convention (and a few other bits)

here we see Zombie Nix modeling Poo!! the card game

it's a card game where you throw poo at one another..

here are some kewl figs I picked up..
they are special editions from Reaper Miniatures.. Pumpkin Monsters!

I can't wait to paint them!

Here is ONE of the dice sets I picked up!
they are purple..
and cool..
and PURPLE!!!

here is a special edition set from the 'Pound o Dice' Chessex offers..
this one has yellow specks (I already have the one with red specks.. just need the one with gray specks)

but.. oh.. what is that???
is that an extra d12 that I see??

why YES!!!
it is an extra d12!!!

here.. see some other dice..
is that a hit location die?
yes.. it is!

is that a mood die?
why, yes.. it is!!

are those funky Japanese dice with funky non-American numbers on them?
why, yes.. they are!!

silly Non-America with their Non-American numbers!
at first.. I was only going to buy one of them.. cause.. well.. dice are yummy and hawt and drool worthy..
but then I thought..
"Hey, self!"
"Yes, self?"
"Self, as awesome as you are.. if you get three of them.. you can use them to roll up characters.. and no matter what 'number' comes up.. you can just say it is a six, cause no one can read them!"
"Thank you, self.. that is an awesome idea!"

however.. what is this??
what is this???!

are those precision dice?
yes.. they are

are those glow-in-the-dark dice?
yes.. yes they are

are those precision dice that glow-in-the-dark dice from Game Science?
Yes, they are!!!


Insert Expitive of Extreme Dismay!!!

Why do we have to constantly take an awesome BBC show..
and make it suck?
has ANY show that America has snagged from the BBC ever done well?

What is the latest travesty?
Top Gear..
yes.. Top Gear.. the one car show that is entertaining and unbelievably awesome.. is being 'Americanized' by the History Channel.  This is made of so much fail, even before it begins, that it is astounding. 

Why! why.. why.. why.. why.. why.. why.. why.. why.. why.. why.. why!!

I've seen commercials for it before.. and.. I was hoping that they were all just a fevered dream, a diseased illusion sent to madden me by Cthulhu..
but, no.. Nov. 21st.. the horror manifests itself.. let's all hope it's appearance is minimal and short lived!

I really have been trying to shove this into the furthest recess of my mind, and even a quick glance with my limited internetz connection mirrors my extreme dislike of this entire notion..

I predict.. an hour long commercial of how 'super-awesomely-uber-fantastical-cool' american muscle cars are..
it will lack the magic that the original has..
the 'hosts' will be lame jack-asses out of some Aber-Crombie & Fitch catalog.. well.. maybe not the catalog part, but they will be lame jack-asses

I hate to bash a show before it begins.. but.. I feel that this show will rank up there with 'Out Sourced' in utter uselessness..

oh gawds no..
I just thought of something else that is horrible.. and wretched.. and makes me want to weep..
an Americanized 'Stig'
he'll be from Nascar..

Before the travesty airs..
might I apologize to all of the UK for it?
No, really.. I really am sorry that some doofus thought it would be a good idea to snatch the show up and retool it for complete and utter gibbering tools..

however.. some dink at BBC had to of given the project an 'o.k.', and that.. is all your guys' fault

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