JP On Gaming

Monday, July 8, 2019

Hypericon 2019 After Action Report Part 1

Part 2

This past weekend, was Hypericon in my home town of Murfreesboro, TN. Last year, I took Jojo and ActionMan, and they had a real blast of it all. Read all about Hypericon 2018 Part 1 and Part 2.

2019 was going to be very different: the kids are in Canada so I would head out to the con by myself.

There were a few things to be concerned about:

- The move moved from the Nashville airport area to Murfreesboro, I know, it is "only" 20 miles down the road, but you never know. Murfreesboro is the sixth biggest city in Tennessee, and growing like CRAZY.

- Last year's participation in the gaming was uneven. I worried that I would sit by myself a lot working on my social skills.

- I was worried.

But then, a week before the con, I got my finalized schedule and my fear evaporated for the most part. I was really stoked to see there were two GMs who would be running D&D. Kathleen and I, this would make for a constant flow of people coming in. This would ensure there would be games starting every hour. The problem with that is that there is no or limited cross-polinating of the players.

Friday came around and after a great day involving a lot of writing and lunch with my friend Bojan at Big Shakes (love them chicken tacos!) I debated whether I should have steak and decided not to. Mistake. I should have.

I came into the Clarion Inn and quickly got myself oriented, got my badge and then ran into the first snag... The gaming was on the overlook, a nice, open area next to the con suite. The problem? It had no ramps and no direct elevator access to it. Well, I picked up my box and my trolley and powered through. I was all set up for my 7pm game.

I ran an Akhamet short featuring a lost tomb with traps and illusions. I play-tested two traps I had thought of but never placed in an adventure. It is a good one I will have to add... Two short hours later and many players stepped out to other pastures. That left me with no one for my late slot, so I got to head on home early. Not a loss. I got to put together some more writing in.

Saturday, my con day started at noon. I spent the morning watching TV and writing some more and painting minis.

I got there a little early, brought all my stuff up the stairs and got ready to give my workshop: creating an adventure. I was really excited about it, and I had seven very curious participants as we talked about how to break down an adventure, how to determine the antagonist, and how to make it exciting. There was so much I could've said, but I kept it short, flowing, and interesting if I do say so myself. My buddy Kveld joined the workshop, which was cool.

I had time before dinner so I hit the dealer hall. It was smaller than last year. I stopped by a table covered with books. "Oh wow! This guy has a lot of Glenn Cook books" I thought. Then I looked at the gentleman sitting behind the table and his badge read... Glenn Cook. Wow! I got to meet the man.

Glenn is a man of few words who gave short yes/no questions to my queries. I told him how I loved his works and the many I read, which I was sure he did not really care, but by then I was in full fangirl mode, so I did not care. I had to tell him.

I got to talk to Glenn Cook... Yiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Today, I had my giant pyramid, which is an adventure in itself. It is not a strong story, but you get to move and explore a large dungeon. I then had slots at 2, 4, 7, and 9. One of the the fun things about running this is that you see the different group dynamics when faced with the same decision points.

Again, my 9pm did not run, so I decided to hop on Kathleen's 10pm game where I played Grim the Brown, dwarven fighter as we relived a D&D version of the Hangover. Many laughs later, I was back home, sleeping.

Sunday my first slot was at 10AM, so I showed up a early to a mostly empty room. "This day will suck" I try to keep out my mind when my early slot did not happen. Still, the gaming area filled up with people playing board games.

During that time, I returned to the dealer hall where I purchased a book from Glenn Cook himself - and got it signed! FULL FANGIRL MODE!!! I also bought a collection of short stories from a local author, Matt Hall. Okay, I used the "Last Day Sale" to buy it.

At noon, I ran a short pirate-themed game where the fight ran longer. Combat and talking... We had to cut it short, but it was fun.

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