JP On Gaming

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Imaginareum: Retrospective, Part 1

The Imaginareum is over. A new convention has seen the light of day here in Louisville and


I arrived a few hours before my first panel and I decided to scope out the place. I parked on the wrong side of the Crowne Plaza Airport, conveniently located off I-264 by I-65 near... the airport!

As it was "Talk like a Pirate Day I wore my pirate coat and hat. I always enjoy dressing up like a pirate and Yarr-ing through the day. One thing I noticed over the years: when you dress like a pirate, people smile and come to talk to you. I try to make them smile and give 'em a little pirate talk. I love pirates so...


I attended a panel about documentaries and the making to documentaries. On both count, not my thing: I don't think you will ever see a JP-made movie... However, as the two panelists talked about their experience.There was a lady in the audience who was very interested in the topic and so I spent my time listening to the exchange. I will honestly say that I learned a lot and that the work and trials of a documentary worker is much like that of an RPG designer... I could safely say that I went to bed having learned something.

My first panel was "Epic Adventure Awaits" with Corpse. Our moderator failed to show so we waited before we finally decided to start. Corpse and I chatted back and forth on the topic: what is "Epic"? Best example? Where do you go from there?

We involved the audience and tried to share our experience. Richard, a new GM asked about how to address the game looked very shocked when our advice was "Cheat". Not "Modify", "Fudge", "Adjust", no... flat and simple: CHEAT.

After that, I roamed a little before returning home. I was tired and feel asleep at the computer.


I only had a single panel that day, and two online games of L5R. My 3pm panel, "The Art of Improv" was with TammyJo Eckart. The two of us had conspired together with our planned moderator (who had to cancel). I thought it was funny that in a panel for improv, we would plan ahead.

TammyJo is a very versatile writer and she has a LOT of experience GMing and talking to her: It shows. Again we involved the audience and talked about tricks, how to improve your style, examples. It was again quite exciting. I will definitely look for her events in the future.

One thing we disagree on: chocolate. She loves, I don't like.

After that, I roamed around, chatting with a GM-to-be, Karen, and gave her advice and tricks. I really look forward to hearing from her, and how her games ran.

Then I took my wife out (she had her hair done and looked so good I had to take her out.


I attended the tail end of a panel on newsletters. I walked in simply because I had nothing else to do and it was the closest room with a panel - I was the only attendee. I was asked "what do you want in a newsletter?" Quite frankly, I don't know because I read very few of them. Plus, most newsletters don't include anything I really want to read... For companies I like, I usually visit their site or their blog.

The ladies on the panel were entertaining and we discussed blogs, newletters, and even yahoo group. I posed the question: Are newsletter a thing of the past, like yahoogroups and fan clubs? There were no definitive answers, but the question was definitely asked.

My morning's panel was "The GM's guide to the perfect campaign". This was the only panel I had with a moderator, it was much less freeform and better structured. There I met Logan-M, Scott and Randy-R. I had already spotted Randy's Dreadmire (Cajun Halflings) and was looking at it as inspiration for a project I'm looking at doing. He offered his hardbound book for 5$ so I literally threw money at him. I wouldn't have bought it for 30$, but at 5$, I threw my money at him. I just HAD to!

Once again, this panel turned to be as interesting for me just be listening to the other panelists. With such a diverse set of experiences and GMing style, I was once more reminded of the wide variety of play styles, and likes, from the gaming community. Just because *I* like or dislike something doesn't mean it is not what others want/like.

After the panel, I attended an ABC of mythological creatures, with a nice PowerPoint presentation. The lady was quite interesting and I really liked her stories about how she and her son discussed stories. One of my big takeaways was that she encouraged writers to look at "alternate" mythology than the typical English/ Western cultures. Her examples included a number of monsters from the Polynesian mythos to the Inuit, and yes a few classic ones too.

I can't say I *learned* anything, but its more when you know something, but hearing about it again just brings it front and center.

This is something that I realized for the first time when I attended a class on Agile development methodology. None of it was NEW, but how it was organized and how its elements were brought front and center.

My last panel had been moved to Saturday, 3pm - same time as the Improv panel.

I was hungry by then so I decided to head to the Waffle House (where every good con should end...). I got to sleep the afternoon and wake up to see my Denver Broncos lose to Seattle - again.



  1. Oh, I thought you were going to talk about the lack of organized RPG gaming at the convention and how we hope this changes if it comes back next year.

    1. Patience, my young Padawan... There is another part to this...