Posts Tagged ‘conventions’
Every year, I spent around ten minutes making a packing list for Gen Con, and usually wait at least another hour or two before I start packing, because other ideas will come up after the initial write-up. Having one of these has saved my ass on every trip I’ve made one.
Here’s what’s on my packing list this year, which I’m putting out in case it helps with your packing. Note that I put everything down, even if it’s implied — it also becomes my checklist for re-packing to go home.
- Work shirt x4
- Casual shirt x5
- Underwear/socks x6
- Pants x5
- Night clothes
- Trash bag for dirty clothes
- Sport coat
- Disco time lord coat
- Flask belt
- Power squid
- Kindle (+ charging cord)
- Laptop (+ power cord, mouse)
- iPad (+ long charging cable, stand)
- Mini power strip with USB
- Small iPhone cable & USB-outlet plug
- Portable iPhone battery (+ charging cord)
- Wireless keyboard
- Shaving gel
- Breezy shirt
- Comfy pants
- Fate character sheets (in holder)
- Fate Core
- Fudge dice
- Index cards
- Becoming print-out
- Undying print-out
- Pipe (+ tobacco, lighter [in checked luggage], tamper)
- Knife [in checked luggage]
- Drugs (prescription, allergy, eye drops, anti-inflammatory, migraine)
- Pad of paper & pens
- Awesome sharpies
- One flask [in checked luggage]
- Business cards
- Gen Con badge holder
- Food bars
Here’s a convention GM trick I learned from the inestimable Carl Rigney: the noise reset. This is useful when you’re in a crowded room with multiple games going on around you, because in those situations you have that thing happen where everyone slowly increases the volume of their voices in order to be heard. It’s a typical group dynamics thing, but it quickly turns into the reason that, at the end of a convention, we’re all hoarse as hell.
It especially happens when a game you’re next to suddenly has a loud beat, and everyone around them starts talking louder to compensate.
I don’t remember exactly how Carl does it, but here’s my approach: I’ll go to the GM or facilitator at a table, and explain like so:
Hey, you know that thing where everyone keeps raising their voices in a game room like this, and by the end of the session we’re all loud and our throats get a bit scratchy? Let’s take a moment to reset our noise levels back to what they were when we started playing.
I stay friendly about it, not being accusatory (since I’m as much a part of the problem, as I have a loud voice). With those who know what I’m talking about, I can just say “Hey, let’s do a noise reset.”
This only works in places where I have to do this up to three times. More than that, and I just accept that a noise reset isn’t possible without shouting it in the room — which, if I have the social clout to do in a given social dynamic, I might do. And naturally, there are people who will ignore you, though thankfully I haven’t encountered that in some time.
I don’t just do it so I can hear, but so that we all can keep talking after this game’s over. It’s hard to keep playing if none of us can speak without being in pain.
Going to NorWesCon 36? Want to hear me flap at the mouth? I’ll be there!
System Matters: The Right RPG for the Job
Friday 1:00 PM, Cascade 2
Like the invisible hand of fate, the rules you use weigh on every aspect of your game sometimes in ways you aren’t even aware of. Are you using the right tool for the job, or do you always use the same hammer for every task? You may be sabotaging your game before you even sit down at the table.
John Harper (M), Ben Robbins, Chris Pramas, Aveloc Twiceborn, Ryan Macklin
Creativity and Disabilities
Friday 6:00 PM, Cascade 13
Whether your problems are physical or psychological, there’s no denying that being creative and creating art is difficult to almost impossible when a disability stands in your way. Come learn how different artists and writers work with, past, or through their personal disabilities and limitations to create their art.
Lillian Cohen-Moore (M), Ellen Forney, Julie Baroh, Ryan Macklin
Gaming & Community
Friday 9:00 PM, Cascade 12
Game communities have grown beyond small game clubs, web forums and IRC as social networking has integrated with game companies and created even more game communities. Our panelists will discuss social networking and creating a positive community via chat tools, web forums, Twitter, Facebook, and third-party news or blogs.
Bob Kruger (M), Erik Mona, Ryan Macklin
D&D vs Story Games
Saturday 2:00 PM, Cascade 12
D&D and Pathfinder may be the most well-known role-playing games, but indie games like Fiasco and Polaris are becoming more popular. Can these two genres co-exist in the same room together? What do they have in common, and what are the benefits and limitations of each style of play? Is it possible to like both? Industry experts and indie creators discuss the differences between traditional tabletop role-playing games, GM-less story games, and everything in between.
Ashley Cook (M), Ben Robbins, Erik Mona, John Harper, Jonathan Tweet, Ryan Macklin
Friday through Sunday, wherever there is booze
You can also come drink with me and stuff! I’m happy to talk about whatever (barring real-world politics). Or maybe we’ll play a game of Hit a Dude. Whatever.
Ryan Macklin (M), other various humans
Now that I’m back from Gen Con, PAX is upon us! Here’s my (rather short & pleasant schedule):
The Art of the Table II: Return to the Table
Friday 9pm — Raven Theater
Ben Mandall, Jeff Fasenfest, Sage LaTorra, Ryan Macklin, Jess Hartley, Erik Mona, Robert Gifford, Mat Margalis
The Art of the Table is back to delve into the heart of what makes for a truly great experience at the gaming table! You’ve spent years harrying your players, running them ragged in diabolical adventures and fiendish dungeons… Or maybe you’ve left a trail of broken GMs and mangled quests in your wake. When rules knowledge is no longer an issue, how can focusing on such things as improvisation, in-character roleplay, and story structure help enhance a game? Does the alignment of your gaming table really matter? Just which house rules really work? Come dig deeper into what makes a good RPG and what turns a good GM into a great one.
Saturday 10am to 2pm — Room 301
I’ll be running Mythender for up to four people. It’s first-come, first-serve, and sign-ups are in Tabletop Hadquarters in room 204.
Indie Games on Demand
Room 305 and 306 — @pax_indie_rpgs
I’m not schedule to be on Indie Games on Demand specifically, but time I’m not spending wandering the hall or getting food will likely be spent here. So, if you’re looking to catch me, this is a good bet! (After spending most of Gen Con booked, I’m pretty happy to have loads of flexible time for PAX.)
Query: Looking for Crash Space
So I don’t have to drive into Seattle & deal with parking every day, I’m hoping some kind soul will have some crash space (even a floor) so that I can avoid such suffering.
[Will be updated as more info happens.]
As some of you might know (and more will after reading this), I’m an Industry Insider Guest of Honor this year at Gen Con. As such, I’m on six panels:
Beyond Child’s Play – Raising Money for Charity with Gaming Events
Thursday 1pm — Westin Council — SEM1238067
Tavis Allison, Ryan Macklin, Elizabeth Shoemaker Sampat
Gamers are as generous & have raised thousands of dollars for worthy causes. Learn how you can use your gaming skills to help a cause. Talk will include: successes, new projects & how to get involved.
Working With Licensed Intellectual Properties
Thursday 3pm — ICC 211 — SEM1238052
Steve Kenson, T.S. Luikart, Ryan Macklin, Stan!
Industry Insider Guests of Honor discuss the issues and pitfalls of working with someone else’s property and dealing with fan expectations of said property.
Editing And Indie Games
Friday 10am — ICC 210 — SEM1238034
Michelle Lyons, Ryan Macklin
Have a game that needs an editor’s touch but don’t know what to ask? Learn what makes a book user-friendly, how organization affects use, & what the unforgivable sins are BEFORE your book is in print.
The Inner-Demons and the Tribe: Dealing with Depression as a Gamer
Friday 1pm — Crowne Plaza, Hay Market B — SEM1237839
Philippe-Antoine Menard, others (including me)
A discussion about gamers dealing with depression. Using personal experiences as people diagnosed with depressions, we explore strategies to overcome it, including tapping into our tribes.
Freelancing In The Game Industry
Friday 2pm — ICC 210 — SEM1238038
Matt Forbeck, Steve Kenson, Ryan Macklin, Gareth-Michael Skarka, Christine Stiles
Want to write for games? Our Industry guests have years of freelancing experience & will share their wisdom on how to find work, how to get more work, & how to succeed as a game industry freelancer.
Doing Kickstarter Right
Saturday 11am — ICC 210 — SEM1238042
Ryan Macklin, Gareth-Michael Skarka, Richard Thomas
Talk with successful Kickstarter publishers on how they did their Kickstarter. Topics discussed are: lessons learned, mistakes made, and plans for the future.
Getting The Most Out Of Working With Editors
Saturday 5pm — ICC 210 — SEM1238046
Jess Hartley, Michelle Lyons, Ryan Macklin, Richard Thomas
Geared to new writers our panelists discuss how to find an editor, establish a good rapport with them, & how to get the most out of that relationship. Lead by editors who are Industry Insider guests!
Games on Demand
Sunday 10am to 2pm — ICC 242
I’ll be at Games on Demand (@games_on_demand) off and on throughout the show, dropping by to say hey to peeps and maybe even get a short game in between panels. But I also wanted to bookmark some time to help Steve Segedy (this year’s GoD runner) out, so if you’re interested, check me out then! I might run Mythender, though a little bird tells me that other people will be running it as well!
If I get involved in anything else, I’ll update this page.