Saturday, March 10, 2018

GaryCon 2018 Recap

Howdy Greyhawkers! Well I'm back early from Gary Con X in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Even though I was only there two days I had the most Greyhawk-y experience yet again. Here's the run down:

First, no I didn't see Mike Mearls (two straight years). They must've kept him under lock and key somewhere. It's not a big con though, oh well. So no, I didn't get a chance to ask any questions. I did see Jason Bulmhan of Paizo Publishing, but I wasn't there to talk Pathfinder 2.0 playtest news. So, moving along...

I got see good friend and old school Greyhawk historian Allan Grohe once again. He was working the Blackblade Publishing booth where I got issue 2 and 3 of their quarterly periodical, The Twisting Stair. I'm eager to use their article on treasure maps and player mapping techniques (thanks for the hex paper grodog). Allan and I also discussed getting more Greyhawk fans together at GaryCon next year (on or off the even list). So if anyone is a fan of the setting and will be attending next year, keep on eye on my blog for future info. Alas I couldn't attend his Saturday session of his ongoing Castle Greyhawk campaign. Last year we got to play with Luke Gygax. There's no telling who is guesting in it this year!

I also spent some good time with my friends Anna Meyer of and Scott Casper the mastermind behind our Castle Greyhawk webcomic. Scott was hard at work running a game for a full table in some far away hall (GaryCon is such a labyrinth) while Anna talked about her future Greyhawk mapping endeavors (yes Anna Greyhawk map 2.0). We also took part in our first ever pick up game together, hosted by the extraordinary Carlos A.S. Lising. The party was a group of rangers and druids in the Gnarley Forest looking to rescue two rust monsters from thieves who stole them from Lord Henway's Menagerie. Crazy fun.

If you think that was all I also got to stop and say hi to Darlene the artist behind the original World of Greyhawk map a few times. She is amazing as always. There was a few legends of D&D in the artist row with her, including Larry Elmore and Jeff Easley two guys whose cover art has inspired me from an early age. The GaryCon website said Erol Otus was supposed to be there, but sadly I didn't see him. That would've been my holy trinity of D&D cover artists.

Later that evening I also had a chance to finally have a meeting of the Greyhawk blogs with Joe Bloch of Greyhawk Grognard. I was loopy from no sleep and he had drove twelve hours to get to the con, so we were both a bit chatty. I'm not sure I want to remember what Greyhawk projects we discussed, but I'm sure he will remind me some day soon. Joseph was running his BRW Games booth where he was selling Adventures Dark & Deep and his infamous Castle of the Mad Archmage. If you don't read Greyhawk Grognard, what is wrong with you? His latest post in fact is an homage to Gygax's Dragon update article series. The column was cut off before all the Flanaess was covered, so Joe did one on Keoland and Sheldomar Valley. Check it out and Make Aerdy Great Again!

Day two we took part in another game ran by Carlos titled Die, Markessa, Die! It was the latest in his Markessa series where a group of heroes must once again tackle a lair of the depraved elven Slave Lord, Markessa. Yeah, she got away again, but maybe next  year we will catch her! My friend Jayson was the MVP of the event and got a copy of the module! Spot on AD&D printing and layout. Carlos has even more incredible projects on the horizon. He is my spirit animal.

So there you have it, the most Greyhawk one can enjoy in a short span. I really hope to top it next year. Thanks to all my gamer friends (old and new) for the invites and time spent with Jayson and me. See you in 2019.


Joseph Bloch said...

Was great chatting with you, Mike! So many faces put to Internet names. I had a wonderful time.

Next year I might change things up, more games, less booth. We'll see. But I already have my room reservation. :-)

Mike Bridges said...

Wow you work fast. I look forward to next year too. Let's coerce more Greyfolk to attend.

carlos lising said...

Thanks for the kind words about my games, Mike! Hope we can play again next year!!!

Mike Bridges said...

Definitely. I also talked to Allan about getting a Greyhawk meet-up/panel at Gary Con either on or off the books. There's gotta be many GaryCon fans out there we haven't connected with.

The Dale Wardens said...

Mike (aka Sildan Enathwrel),

It was great teaming up with you and Jayson again this year. And, although Kendrel Rilsheven died in glorious(almost) personal combat against the Pale Lady, we did get farther than the initial attempt at Gary Con 2017.

Have you thought about running anything at Gary Con?

I know Carlos mentioned it once to me in passing, but I thought a Gary Con "living" Greyhawk campaign would be fun. He's started the process with the Markessa series. There's enough people to come up with some stories, enough people who love Greyhawk, and as Carlos' games showed; no lack of interest in the games. A little coordination and we could have something more to look forward to every year.

The wotc do little to nothing for Greyhawk, other than mine it for ideas (Ghost Tower of Inverness anyone?) AND they have taken over the top floor at GC...all for the glory of the forgotten realms. It's going to take Greyhawk fans to keep things alive.

Send my best to Marya Hammerfist, and I hope to take arms up with you next year.

Markessa Must Die!

aka Kendrel Rilsheven (who has joined Trithereon on the roads of Arborea)

grodog said...

It was great to see you again, Mike, and I really do like the idea of some sort of Greyhawk panel (on-grid event), as well as an informal Greyhawk fans meet-and-greet. I'll talk to Luke about it once things settle down in the aftermath of GaryCon X.


quantumflux said...

Hi Carlos how can I get your adventures?

Mike Bridges said...

Dave: It was great playing with you guys again! I had no idea Wizards had the top floors. I'm not sure I even went upstairs the whole time? So thats where Mearls was hiding. Hm...As to running something, if I can make it for all four days I'll consider it, but I've never ran a con game before. I'm definitely not a 1E AD&D DM anymore.

grodog: Yeah if you could get Luke to approve it, that would definitely give us some greater credibility. I don't assume to be the member of any panel, except having years worth of diverse GH projects to brag about. I'd be keen to see who we turn out.

Scott said...

Wow. It should have been a no-brainer, but I don't know if I've ever run Greyhawk stuff at GaryCon. I'll have to next year!

carlos lising said...

Quantumflux: Thanks for the interest in my modules! I’m currently in the process of reformatting them for OSRIC, then cleaning them up so as to avoid copyright infringement. Please either email me at or follow the casl Entertainment Facebook page so that I can give you a heads-up when the books are ready (hopefully, by the top of April)!

Allan: Count me in on anything related to a Greyhawk panel or meet and greet! Likewise, let me know if I can do anything to help facilitate such events.

Dave: It is my intention to continue such “serial” events at GaryCon XI — and Markessa will certainly be a part of such plans. Indeed, the Players in my other GH games have already begun to reach out and express interest in seeing their stories continue...!