JP On Gaming

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Huntsville Comic and Pop Culture Expo After Action Report

Last weekend, ActionMan and I headed south to Huntsville Alabama for the Huntsville Comic and Pop Culture Expo (HCPCE). I picked him up at his school and we immediately headed south via I65. A nice enough drive, we arrived around 5pm, an hour before I had to run my first game.

Now... Downtown Huntsville has no fast food join and requires driving around. We settled on Taco Bell and headed to the Von Braun Convention Center (VBCC). Got in, parked, and headed inside where I set up my new banner and table. Lucky me, the room was exactly above the car!


Ozaka game in progressThis weekend, I was doing premiere showcasing of FOE's new setting, Ozaka. I offered short, 2-hour introduction events. The adventure is named "Ghosts of Kurogawa" where the PCs go to investigate missing taxes in a small village.

Well... Just a single adventure because there were a number of other things I wanted to test, namely:

- The Iconics: Since they are all new, I wanted to iron out some of the issues: spell lists, typos, missing sections.

- My setting introduction: this is effectively my elevator pitch at the beginning of a game. Formulaic, but it allows me to really give important information without swamping the players with unused information.

- See if the setting and its specificities made sense to new players. In a sense, what I see if someone who had no idea about the setting could quickly get into the game.

- Help define my point of light. This is the location from where most adventures start. This is a place that begins with lose notes but that grows with each adventure. Those familiar with Olympia, will recognize that Mytenia was (and is) defined this way, by focusing on what is needed for adventure.

I had scheduled 3 games for Friday night: 6, 8, and 10pm. Of those 6 and 10 happened, big win! I received some invaluable feedback that was already addressed on the character sheets, setting book, and the adventure.

For the 8pm slot, I had no sign-ups, so ActionMan signed us up for to try some Alpha Strike, the latest version of Battletech. I played that game back in the early 90s and... well that should be a different post. I must say the first few rounds were very tentative but we quickly got the hang of it and pounded each other to smithereens. I got one of Actionman's mech and he blasted me out of the field... I just could not roll to save my life. LITTERALLY!

I will say I enjoyed this version of the game more than the original and that of the heroclix. So we had a great time. Even if my son kicked my butt.


Saturday, ActionMan and I started our day at the Waffle House (the most southern of places). Meal was fine.

Problems started as we tried to make it into the VBCC. Now the center is really nice. However the parking situation... WHAT A PAIN. There are 2 entrances, close to each other. And if you cannot go in one, you have to go out and wait to go to the next entrance. Not cool.

Eventually, we managed to make it in. Parked and headed in. Just in time.

Ozaka game in progressI had my final game of Ozaka from 10-noon. This table went off and it was a good one too. More feedback.

Meanwhile, ActionMan went to play some Call of Cthulhu, he got to play a professor dealing with disappearing books. He had a good time. He played solo, survived, and was happy to report he neither died nor went insane. He was somewhat surprise.

The afternoon, we played some 5e with 6th level characters exploring a lost temple. The plot made me think of a First One and scheme. I definitely plan on taking the idea and adding a FOE twist to it. I left that slot wringing my hands and cackling with ideas for a future adventure.

The evening was the highly-sought and limited-seating tournament.

I won't spoil it but it was a very fun event. Our table rolled with it and went through most of the place using easels, paintbrushes, and other random things we found as we explored. A fun and intriguing adventure that involved a touch of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Now I'm usually a fan of the Lovecraft Pantheon in D&D but this one was very well-done. Great atmosphere.

We did not win, but it didn't matter, both ActionMan and I had a great time.

That was the last game we had planned for the weekend. So we retired to our hotel and slept.


This was our first time in Alabama, and we really had a blast.

The people were great and there was a true feeling of excitement whenever I spoke about Ozaka and FOE's other settings. Next year, I definitely plan to return and run more events. I have no ideas what it will be, but the 2-hour game format really worked well for me.

I already given Kerry, the gaming organizer, my "I'm coming back if you'll have me/us" really looking forward to it.

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