TotalConfusion 29 in Review
Preparing for a convention is always a pain in the ass. You have to prepare character sheets for the games you are running, detail the dungeons and monsters, and find miniatures that are appropriate for your needs. Next you need to prepare speeches or material for panels that you will participate on. If you are selling stuff, you need to handle logistics and inventory. Finally you need to coordinate with the convention hosts and make everything come together with scheduling. Oh and less I forget, travel arrangements and lodging are important too.
I have to say that as far as the TotalCon staff was concerned, this convention was a breeze. They fulfilled my requests, offered better service than I had seen at other conventions, and hooked me up with introductions to many of the other industry guests. I was treated not like a celebrity but more like family and this I found very endearing. Steve and Angelia worked tirelessly to put on a great show and somehow they managed to do so without all of the conflicts we often see in other larger and more well known conventions (I am looking at you Gen Con). Sure the show had a few hiccups but all in all they were minor.
So what does four days of gaming look like? Well it is a chaotic jumble of dice and cards and pencils and paper. It is an awesome experience that leaves you both exhilarated and exhausted at the same time. Add in the alcohol and suddenly your inhibitions fade away and you let loose and just have fun. Playing Cards Against Humanity with Tim Kask and Frank Mentzer was an eye opening experience that will be talked about for many years to come. Throw in some prototype games like Ben Gerber’s Swamped and I discovered that even tiny games have some unique surprises. The MythWits team did a great live show with the legendary Mike Pondsmith. Following that I joined them on stage for a game of Cube of Death where I was crushed and left dead in my chair in a matter of minutes.
During the course of my time at the convention, I played the following games and many more:
OS Dungeons and Dragons
1st Ed AD&D
Some kind of Chariot Race game that took up the whole damned stage
and many many more
On Saturday morning I awoke very early to run A Smurfy Conundrum at the Saturday Morning Cartoons event. The game was awesome. The characters, having been turned into Smurfs, had to save the Smurf village as well as the Village of Hommlet. In the end they stopped mushroom induced hallucinating Smurfs from summoning Cthulhu and bringing about the apocalypse. The other games were inspired by Johny Quest, Scooby Doo, Josie and the Pussy Cats, and The Flintstones. The few tables I could clearly see, seemed to be having a blast.
The best part of TotalCon was hanging out with so many cool people. Not counting those already mentioned elsewhere in this story these are the most memorable names I can come up with; Jay Libby, Dave Knighthawk, Peter Bryant, Ben Gerber, Jenn Gerber, Madalyn Simpson, Steven Parenteau, Angelia Parenteau, Renee Libby, Mike Kafes, Mary Lindholm, James Carpio, and David Benevides among many others I am certainly forgetting to mention. There are few places in the world where you will find a cooler crowd of geeks.
The book signing event for Blasphemous Cocktails went over without a hitch. Many fans, some old, some new, joined us for drinks. I even got to meet several of my Kickstarter backers. All in all it was a very pleasant adventure that ultimately ended in sorrow as I had to take the eight hour trek back to my home. I did not want to leave but all good things must come to an end eventually.
Next year will be TotalCon’s 30th anniversary and I plan to attend. If you haven’t been, then why not join me.
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