6/08/2016

Some Pictures and Commentary About North Texas RPG Con

Some Pictures and Commentary About North Texas RPG Con
Is it just me, or does everyone have a bajillion things to do before a convention vacation and roughly half as much to do after a convention vacation?

Playing catch-up on regular life when you were pretty much away from the world is tons of fun. Regardless, as promised, here are some of my pictures from North Texas RPG Con, pictures of my "loot", and some general commentary. Since there are more pictures than normal, I'll start with them after the break....
The lead-in graphic above is actually a cropped version of my 1st picture taken at the con of a huge square welcome banner. What I found pretty cool is that they had previous year's banners strung up all over the place.

NTRPG Registration
Initially I had problems finding the registration desk, which is only funny because I blindly walked past it....twice. It was exactly where you'd expect it to be...immediately to the right inside the main room.

NTRPG Swag
Convention swag consisted of a simple cloth backpack and a cloth dice bag. I know I'll never use the larger bag unless I figure out a novel use for it. I honestly didn't expect anything more than a badge, so this was immediate bonus "loot" as far as I was concerned.

Speaking of "loot", usually I try to purchase some sort of art on every vacation trip, and especially at a convention. At this point I'm certain I have more art than I have space to hang it, but I've recently freed up a decent amount of wall space. Now I just have to get my jigs set up for cutting frames and mat-board.

Jason Braun Art
Not even an hour into the convention I picked up these two prints from Jason Braun. They were relatively inexpensive, but they were also cheaper prints to begin with. The top print actually has some pixelation from when it was blown up for the standard size of his offered prints. If I was looking more carefully I might have chosen another print instead, but I really liked these two. I'm not disappointed, so this observation after the fact isn't a big deal.

NTRPG Tim Kask Game
NTRPG Tim Kask GameI've already mention that my 1st game was with Tim Kask and somehow I had lucked into that game. During a break I ran up to my room and grabbed some booze to share with the table. This is why you can see the row of mini bottles across the front of my travelling dice box.

NTRPG Inkwell Ideas Table
NTRPG Frugal GM TableDuring the day I sat behind one of the "vendor" tables in the room Tenkar's Tavern sponsored. Originally I was to be sharing a table with Inkwell Ideas, but evidently the other vendors didn't show so we each took a table. Joe Wetzel had a lot of cool product and I just had a bunch of print-outs...nothing special. Since I give almost all of it away for free/PWYW I had no expectations to sell much. I did try to give away some "OSR Dice Bags" and even then I brought way too many with me. The shot on the right is "my" table during an evening game. Erik took it over to blog and some guys came to BS with him.

NTRPG Stephen Marsh Game
When I was manning the booth in the abnormally quite (for a game convention) room I got to listen in on Stephen Marsh's game. He had an interesting dice pool mechanic that was from "back in the day" and he had some tales of woe (from a gamer's perspective, not his) from the tumultuous time when Lorraine Williams was in charge of TSR.


Richard LeBlac, Jr NTRPG BX Game
My Friday night game was some good BX action with Richard LeBlanc Jr. There was a bit of free time during the game set-up which I used to go back to my room for more booze....I did bring a lot (I do work in a liquor store...). The Red Stag Hardcore Cider was popular and I managed to maintain a safe level of inebriation for this game.

NTRPG RFI Podcast Crew
I don't have any pics from my Saturday night game, but I do have some pictures from Saturday. The one on the left is Vince and Erik. Vince was on some big selfie shtick and Erik...well Erik joked about not having brought a selfie stick, so some fan went out and bought him one. I tried to take some casual photos of those two podcasting, but Vince wasn't having any of that and I ended up intruding upon the podcast, which was so not my intention.

RFI NTRPG Podcast
If you listen in on the Roll For Initiative podcast, I believe the second one from NTRPG, you'll hear a little bit from me around the 15 minute mark. I guess any publicity is good publicity. That is Erik's wife on the left and they are interviewing Richard LeBlanc Jr. I don't think "Mrs. Tenkar" is hiding from the picture, but in case she is I'll just leave the commentary at that....

A lot of my pictures suck.....

NTRPG Raffle
Also on Saturday were the two raffles. I actually only knew about the one so I totally missed out on some opportunity for cool prizes. I snapped one pic and then went back to my table. The auction started at midnight and I really wanted to be in bed by then.

NTRPG Loot
I did finish up my purchases Saturday, "buying" some stickers and picking up another small piece of original art from Hydra Collective. Now I don't know if it was a budding bromance or just some mutual admiration, but trying to actually purchase anything from the New Big Dragon Games Unlimited table was an exercise in futility. First Richard gives me a copy of the Creature Compendium, saying that he heard I had to print my own. There were only two of my mini books I was truly happy with (i.e. looked better than anything else created) and the mini Compendium was one of those. I went ahead and gifted that to him.....hey I had the real deal now....

NTRPG Loot from New Big Dragon Games Unlimited
Evidently my copy was well received because then Richard gave me two more books that were "inferior" copies that he couldn't sell. I could see the blemish on one book and it was minor, but I think the second book was an excuse. When I went back the next day for the stickers the Mrs. wouldn't take my money. Richard was interested in my d30 tables since he had a random d30 dungeon crawl planned for Sunday morning. Felt only fair to drop off a copy of everything I brought to the con.

If you look at my review for New Big Dragon Games Unlimited "stuff" you can tell I'm a fan. Great content, beautiful layout, just good work. The thing with this stuff is that it looks so much better professionally printed and bound/assembled. While I always want the PDF for my tablet, I know now not to settle for home-printed copies.

NTRPG DCC Playtest
I did take a couple of pictures of my Sunday game, but several came out fuzzy. I may have accidentally left the macro function on my camera running, or I just suck at taking photos.

NTRPG Con Observations/Criticisms:
I loved the convention and any criticisms I have are mentioned only in an effort to make things better. Hopefully they'll send out a questionnaire or something for input.

I only had a couple of issues with the convention and the 1st has to do with the event scheduling scheme. When you sign in at the con you have no idea what you signed up for as they don't give it to you when you check in. I get that this resolves a potential headache in organization and in some ways isn't needed since you have to register for the con and games online. Your profile has all that information....just not in an easy format. Online I was in these games:
0510T3T2 : DCC RPG (2016/06/05)
0218T6T1 : OD&D (2016/06/02)
0418ATT6 : DCC RPG (2016/06/04)
0318T1T1 : D&D B/X (2016/06/03)

If you look at the program book, you have well defined & described games, but the codes above aren't in the listings. I had to flip through the book and try to ascertain which games were mine. Not too difficult since I only played in one game a day, but since the alphanumeric codes aren't in the book a little sleuthing had to be done. Knowing that T3T2 meant Trinity III was the room and we were using table 2. The tables weren't really labeled accurately and this isn't a huge issue now, but eventually as the con grows in size it will be an issue.

Trinity III was the room that Erik Tenkar sponsored through Tenkar's Tavern. The room was barely out of the way, but it wasn't marked. Nor was the schedule book. Erik/Tenkar's Tavern wasn't listed as a sponsor and while Erik's Badge denoted he was a sponsor, unless you attended the convention already knowing this, there was no way you'd reasonably be able to find this out. Erik took it all in stride, but if it was me and I had spent that wad of cash on a sponsorship....we'll I'd be pissed. You have to take care of your sponsors, pure plain and simple.

I liked that this con was rather small and intimate. I also liked the way the convention worked to take care of its attendees. There were two women (three on Saturday) that were designated as "Serving Wenches" for the convention. I'll admit all three women were attractive, but they were far from wenches and it was clear the term was a tongue-in-cheek title only. No stupid costumes, just three hospitality hostess that regularly went from room to room to see if anyone needed anything. I actually ran into two of these hostess before they checked into their rooms and donned convention t-shirts before work and the both seemed like genuinely nice women, who later seemed like they enjoyed working the con.