Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Gygaxian Camelot & the Once and Future Game

There is an interesting article penned by famed gamer-author Jon Peterson that has been making the rounds on the Internet in gaming circles regarding the early years of TSR and the role of the major players in the fate of that company called "The Ambush at Sheridan Springs."  I'v read through it a couple of times and find it seems to jibe with accounts I have heard from many in the know.  Looking back, it is admirable that the early figures, Gygax Sr. in particular, wanted to keep Dungeons & Dragons in the hands of gamers, business-wise as well as creatively, and I often wonder if bringing someone with definite business experience into the fold a bit earlier on in the process might have made much of a difference.  With the rate at which major corporations gobble up one another, and acquire many smaller companies so casually, in the last couple of decades, I wonder if the inevitability of a major corporation owning D&D at some point might not have been a foregone conclusion.  Hard to say, but this is a good read for those who like lore of TSR from the 1970s and 1980s.  Check it out here!

From the article, left to right, Gary Gygax, Brian Blume, and Kevin Blume.

Throwback Thursday on 
A look back at early tabletop hobby gaming
 or gaming-adjacent topics of the past.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Events & Play Wednesday - Upcoming Conventions, Gamedays. and Misc Gaming, August & Onward

Looking mostly at August, but more sparsely on through the Fall, there is a lot of gaming that can be had if one has a mind to leave the comfort of their home.  Let's get started to get in some gaming!

First up, despite it being toward the middle of the month, I hope everyone has heard about Gen Con Indy.  It takes place from August 14th through 17th.  Tons of Pathfinder and D&D 5E events will be in the offing and more than 50,000 people will probably be in attendance.  I won't be able to make it this year, myself, but I hope everyone has a fantastic time!

Each week, my regular RPG group continues the D&D 5E Starter Set playthrough.  So far we've had a lot of fun, which is always true with the right gamers, good system of bad.  But 5E in its Basic form is a simple, fast-paced game with plenty that an RPGer of any D&D brand rules will find familiar. As per usual, most Tuesdays finds me at Taco Bell for an hour or so quick game play during the lunchtime.  Also, Friday finds that same crowd and a couple more over at Culver's from 11 am onward into the afternoon.  If folks don't have pressing appointments, we might game until 3 pm or later.  Stop on by if you're in the area.  You'll find I blog about many of the games we play on those occasions.

The third weekend August, and one of the ways I will manage to not miss Gen Con Indy as much, two local gamedays take place locally for us in Lake Geneva, WI.  Saturday, July 19th, those missing the big show can get together in Burlington, WI.  Get more details and join them by signing up for their Facebook event here.  On Sunday, July 20th, of that same weekend, join the S.L.A.G. (Southern Lakes Area Gamers) members at their monthly Gathering of Gamers at the Pizza Ranch in Elkhorn, WI.  Doors open at 11 am with gaming beginning around 11:30 am.  This event often lasts until 8 pm.  You need to join the S.L.A.G. group on Facebook to see the event listing and you can do so here.  Don't forget to bring $12 for the buffet and unlimited beverages that is part of the deal with the Pizza Ranch event.

This month, in addition to Gen Con Indy, Shore Leave 36 is happening August 1-3 in Maryland and details are located here.  The Austin Board Game Bash also runs from August 1st through the 3rd, and is growing swiftly in its fourth year! On August 2nd, The Monstore in Montclair, CA, hosts a vintage board game day, which Jessë Winslöw tells me is "Not a convention, but (. . .) Anyone bringing in an OOP game to play will not only have a lot of fun but get 15% off the entire store."  August 4–10, Lancaster, PA finds the WBC, the World Boardgaming Championships, in full swing.  Dragon Flight XXXV takes place August 8-10 at the Bellevue Hilton near Seattle, WA.

From August 22nd through 24th, in Madison, WI, there is a good bit of gaming included at Geek*Kon, details found here. The Pittsburgh Role Playing Gamers Association, a Facebook group, are planing a gameday for August 23rd.  Fan Expo Canada is happening August 28-31 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  On the cusp between August and September, Pax Prime takes place from Aug 29 through Sept 1st in Seattle, WA.  Also on the cusp, the 29th through September 1st, Atlanta hosts DragonCon, one of the major gaming conventions I hope to attend one day.

To repeat the coming attractions, and adding a few more, for months after August . . .

In September, the 39th EN World Chicago Gameday, three happen each year, will take place in Mount Prospect, IL, at the excellent Games Plus gamestore on September 13th, mostly RPGing but sometimes other gaming types.  September 12 through the 14th at the Masonic Lodge No. 43 in Lancaster, PA, check out Save Against Fear, a fundraising for which there are details here.  The Boston Festival of Indie Games takes place on Sept 13 from 10 am to 8 pm in Cambridge, MA.

Sibcon Gaming Convention & Expo takes place from September 19th to 21st in Butler, PA.  September 20th, at the Newport Centre, in Newport, Wales, UK, the Dragondaze (one-day) Games Convention raises money for Barnardos Young Carers.  September 19th through 21st, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, hosts the Queen City Conquest.  The HMGS South is heralding Hurricon September 25-28 with more info here.

In September and of particular interest to me is the Fall Gaming Hoopla.  It has tons of boardgaming plus a fair amount of RPGs, card games, and some wargames, from Sept 26-28, at the Johnstown Community Center, in Janesville, WI, with more information on their Facebook event here.  Their kitchen and excellent menu is always a highlight for me and make it possible to get there early and stay until the wee hours!

In October, from the 3rd to the 5th, it's Xenocon in the Quad Cities with more info found here.  Also, check out Con on the Cob, on the 16th through the 19th in Hudson, Ohio, "a Four Day Celebration of Games, Art, Freaks, & Fun!".  October 11, 12, and 13th, including Columbus Day, which is that Monday, you can game at Trident Con in Odenton, MD, the details of which can be located here.  BobCon happens in Kansas City, MO, and more info is found here. October 24-26   Look for more info, hopefully forthcoming soon, for Dan's Con of the Vale 15 for October in Brookfield, WI.

Then in November, check out U-Con in Ann Arbor, MI, and GameHole Con in Madison, WI.  November 7-9 at the Killington Grand Resort, Canage on the Mountain present A Fist Full of Carnage.  TsunamiCon 2014, happening November 7th-9th, has hit their Kickstarter goal (and has a few days left to get on board here) and takes place at the Hotel at Old Town in Wichita, KS.  The HavenCon Games Day is being held at the Urbana Volunteer Fire Department Banquet Hall  in Frederick, MD, Saturday, November 15, from 10 am to 10 pm.

The Gaming Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania has monthly gamedays but their annual GASPCon meant to happen in November is still ironing out details.  Check out their site for gamedays information and to keep informed for GASPCon here.

Some of this information is gleaned from the excellent lists (which you can check for even more event information!) on (the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society), and  as well as many, many gamers on Facebook and Google Plus, to whom I am grateful for the help in this compilation.  Thanks so much and great gaming to you!

Events & Play Wednesday on 
News of Conventions and Gamedays as well as pictures
from those I have attended and games I have played.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tech Tuesday - Flux Capacitors & Fusion Technology

A couple of tech-related items crossed my path in the last week that I wanted to share.  The first is a nifty gift idea, for oneself or another.  It's a Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger mentioned on Nerd Approved here.

The second item is an actual technology story regarding fusion research highlighted on the Scientific American website here.  It seems some folks are rethinking ways to approach harnessing fusion energy and a fair bit of new money is being thrown at the research.

Tech Tuesday on 
News focused on Technology
as it might interest gamers.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Media News Monday - Evil Dead, Doctor Who, Mad Max, The Hobbit, and More

Lots of groovy stuff in the media news this week for gamers, largely due to Comic Con happening over the weekend.  To start, it was announced over the weekend that Bruce Campbell will star in a new television series based on the Evil Dead.  You can read more about that here.

Also, there is a Mad Max trailer that got featured at the big convention which looks very exciting and is also on the Warner Brothers Pictures YouTube channel.

Lest we not mention more about comics, since much of the news of movies and television is coming from that quarter, "California comics publishers IDW and BOOM! Studios have announced an inter-company crossover of two of their top licenses, Star Trek and Planet of the Apes."  Read more of that here.

And while we're on the subject of reading material, this week marks one of three each year where The Escapist encourages folks to Read an RPG Book in Public.  It's a good strategy to help mainstream RPGs as folks notice, ask questions, and become more informed as a result.

And lest a week go by without some form of Capaldi/Doctor Who update, there is an interesting article on The Guardian where  the new Who reveals his stance on romance between the Doctor and his current companion, Jenna Coleman's Clara.  Some have wondered if May-September would be more than just a timey-wimey thing.  Read more of that here.

Finally, there is also a new trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies!

Media News Monday on 
News for Movies, Television, and more
of gamer-relevant Media.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Funnies - D&D with Pete Holmes & Game of Thrones Bloopers

Not long ago, except by Internet standards, so, in June, The Pete Holmes Show uploaded a funny D&D gameplay video to the show's YouTube channel.  Enjoy!

Also, the Game of Thrones YouTube channel has posted the Season Four bloopers!

Sunday Funnies on 
Humor, often gaming-related,
to start the week with a chuckle.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Gary Gygax Day July 27, 2014

Today is a great day to remember Gary Gygax and celebrate his life through gaming.  Roll some dice and revel in the joy he has helped bring to millions.  See more here!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup - The Geek Preacher & Love 2 Hate

The Geek Preacher, Derek W. White, has an GoFundMe project set up to help him fund his annual Gen Con trip.  See more here.

From Green Ronin Publishing comes a Kickstarter for their card game Love 2 Hate.  It looks like a delightful, face-paced game with lots of humor.  See more here.

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup on 
Keeping an eye on those Kickstarter & IndieGoGo
projects plus other crowdfunding efforts.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!