Monday, November 9, 2015

The other side of the Gamehole

Gamehole Con was this past weekend in Madison, WI. I was convinced by my friend Chad Delp (His Blog). I'm glad I listened. Another friend, Cory, was gracious enough to open his house to me. (Here's his blog)  We had an absolute blast at Gamehole Con!
Cory and Chad in all their Gamehole Glory. Ian, we didn't miss you at all!

Thursday night, I drove in and got lost in Madison, after dealing with construction traffic through Chicago. After taking a tour of downtown, and the student area of the city, I decided to actually go looking for the house. Turned out I was 5 minutes away. After the pleasantries, we settled in and watched some Daredevil and some movie trailers. Everybody retired for the night soon after.

We headed to Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall about 7:30 am on Friday. Chad and Cory both had their badges and event tickets, so I headed off to get in line to get mine. After looking at a 100 person line, we (some people in line) realized there should be two lines. Which meant I was there about 3 minutes! Gamehole organizers, please note, VIG attendees would like our own line for these things.

I had some time to kill before my 1st game, so I headed to listen to Jeff Martin's True Dungeon Seminar. I heard a lot of things in this one that I had not heard before. But, those are not my secrets to kill.

My first game, at 10 am (of 3 for the weekend) was Dark Outpost, with James Ward. And wouldn't you know that I forgot my Deities and  Demigods to have signed by him. It's always interesting contrasting the old-school guys to the new school guys. This game was a lot of fun, and his favorite line seemed to be "what do you want to do." I made it almost to the end, and was killed by . . . something. When I still had 29 HPs, 31 Shield Points, and 10 Armor Points left. Those old guys do love killing adventurers!

My next game was with Bill Webb at 8 pm. This left me a lot of time to shop the dealer hall (no Castle Xagyg to be found, and no 6th Edition OD&D empty box either.) But, I did run into Bill Webb, and talked extensively about the Silver Bulettes, the state of the industry, and several other interesting topics. He also gave me a hell of a deal on a butt-load of books.

Other notables that I got to see for a little while included: Zach Glazer (of Lesser Gnome fame), Frank Mentzer, Tim Kask, Luke Gygax, Ernie Gygax and Brendan LeSalle (X-Crawl if you didn't know.)

Finally, the time came for the 8 pm game! Mr. Bill Webb himself, running Swords and Wizardry! Even though he forgot his minis, this game was AH-MAZE-ING! It had 21 players at the beginning, and 7 of us first level characters survived and defeated a lich! We had destroyed one phylacrety when we woke her. We scattered like the mice we were and got lucky that our stalwart Paladin was able to hold her off for 10 rounds or so! This bought us the time to destroy the other phylacreties and find a sword that would hurt her. Half-toe the Halfling "proquierer" walked out level 2!

After the game, I spent more time socializing with Bill, Frank, and Mike (I think, a head-honcho of NTRPG con.) I got to hear a great story about Frank's early days of gaming: he was playing a werewolf and raiding a farm with some other monsters. They left him to get the baby, who was in his high chair. Well, the baby won initiative and stabbed Frank's werewolf in the eye with a silver spoon. That may be the only time I have ever heard of a baby killing a werewolf.

Saturday, I had the whole day to myself. Cory and Chad said I had to go with them to the Original House of Pancakes. The bacon there is to die for! The pancakes were pretty good too. If you're in Madison and have the time, I suggest it for breakfast.

I spent the day on Saturday wandering around the con, listening to stories and talking to interesting people. I only had one game at 8 pm, with Dungeon Bastard himself. And what a game it was!

We were each given 25000 gp, as seen here:
These were used to bid on things, similar to Cutthroat Kitchen. 1st was character creation. I ended up spending 6k on Gandalf, and giving a competitor a whale. The 1st challenge was a combat, where I got to cast spells with Scrabble tiles. I would roll 2d10, and have that many tiles available to make spells out of. The first spell was "Crawls," which made all of the ghouls we were facing crawl on the ground. My second spell was "Talent," which made a ghoul begin dancing on the deck. This was great fun. Here's a couple of pics from the event that Cory took for me:

At the conclusion of the combat, I did not get immunity, and then rolled a 1 on a d20 and a 1 on my bonus d6 from the gracious judge, Jen Page. So, my night with the Dungeon Bastard was over quickly. That last pic was the final monster, the Beholdasaurus Rex. Check out Chad's blog for the subsequent rounds of this game.

Shortly after, I packed up and headed home, to guarantee the wife lets me go again next year ;)

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