JP On Gaming

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

[After Action Report] MidSouthCon 2016

From the start of 2016, I was lucky enough to participate in no less than three conventions. All three have been fun and events I look forward to attending again.

This past weekend, I drove down to Memphis, TN for MidSouthCon 2016. It was the second time that I drove there. I was very excited throughout the day on Friday. I finished a number of bug fixes before running out just before 4:30. Then running back with "I forgot to print my adventures!" before finally running out and onto the road. I had a thirty minutes safety cushion so I was feeling pretty good.

Then I found myself stopped at the junction of 840 and I-40. Stopped for forty five minutes! When things finally began rolling again, I managed to get to the Hilton in Germantown just over fifteen late.

My first panel was "Gaming and Pop Culture" with Robert J Schwalb (who was the guest of honor) and Wayne. A fun and entertaining discussion that covered topics like Game of Thrones, Buffy, Shannarah, and a bunch of other topics. Really enjoyed the time.

Saturday morning, I played a game of Dave's Bandits Hunter using 5e. It was an interesting adventure set in his own setting. Our group traveled on a barge hoping to bring out bandits so we could kick them in the teeth. We got swarmed - literally - by mobs of goblins seeking to take over our barge... But we defended it.

Next, I had two hours before my next panel, so I listened on and off to a few about anime. But perhaps the best and most memorable panel of all: Ethan Siegel's "Beyond the Galaxy" was one of the most entertaining. Not only did he speak of a subject I liked: astronomy and astrophysics. He detailed philosophical discussions from the 1920s about the natures of galaxies. How the debate was argued and "settled" until more information became available. Awesome chat.

Now imagine this being done by a bare-chested (though bear-chested would also be quite true) man dressed as King Triton (from The Little Mermaid). A good King Triton at that! I will say this will stay in my mind forever!

I participated in a second panel: Ultimate Character Creation. This was an interesting panel. Three of the panelists: Pat-C, Amy-B and another lady whose name escapes me right now, all three of them are very much from a storyteller aspect. I was the one who was the "D20 guy". The dynamic was good and with the clash of perspective made for a good panel. Having different opinions and personal likes always makes for a much more rounded and interesting panel.

After the panel, I was set to spend some time on Pro's Row, an opportunity for us writers to sell to the con-goers. From 4-5, I sat next to author L.A. Story. During that time, we chatted about writing and her books. She was surprised that I tend not to read much fantasy literature, even if I write mostly fantasy-based RPG material. I told her I thought her name, Leigh Ann Story (L.A. Story), was one of the coolest names for a writer. Especially since its hers! Leigh Ann was really nice and offered me a signed copy of her book, Urbania, which I promised to review here. So wait for it.

I opted to stay for a second hour, and this time, I was joined by author Cecilia Dominic. Another prolific writer, I am still certain that I met her before. However, it seems to all be in my head! If you are a fan of steampunk, her stuff sounded pretty interesting.

The evening, I was scheduled to run One Final Night of Freedom however, I had no sign-ups or players that could show up. *Sad Panda*

However, Jeff was running a Delta Green adventure and I was able to hop onto that, which was a very happy turnaround. I had forgotten how much I loved that setting. I don't think I played DG in over 10+ years. The adventure was "PX Poker night" a fun short adventure. A few of the players had never played and they looked at us with blank stares when we told them what was in store for them.


I managed to survive against the odds. All of us did, actually. Which was a surprise, I must admit.

Let's move on to Sunday. I had a game of Sailing Down the Kiflan scheduled but again, no players. I was about to join in Dave's Bandit Hunters finale when my loving wife told me I had to return home to help with the sick kiddos. So as a dutiful husband, I said goodbye and drove home.

- There is a fun buzz at the con. The following game
- The layout means people pass through, therefore you keep meeting people over and over.
- Food/ con suite readily available. More time spent at the con
- The cosplayers had some awesome costumes. Elaborate and nice.
- The organization, both on-site and pre-con was very good. Excellent communication, I showed up and was give my badge with everything I needed, times of my panels.
- Panels: entertaining and varied. Very good and fun!

- RPGs Players were fairly few for non-Forge (their local game organization) events more players
- No Adventure League. I was really surprised by this. Oh well, not really a negative point, just a personal surprise

For all these points, I really must give MidSouthCon some high marks. The positives seriously outweigh the negatives, especially since the negatives are not the con's fault themselves. This is a con I definitely plan to attend again next year.

Cool buzz and fun panels.

High marks. High marks.


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