Con of the North Diary – Day 1


I am attending my first Con of the North. I enjoyed my first day! For this Con I wanted to try games or approaches to gaming that I haven’t experienced before to broaden my mind. In my teens and 20’s I don’t think anyone could’ve convinced me that there were better games or even better rules than AD&D – I was a purist. I have a much more open mind now. With my rules-light Castles & Crusades game I am incorporating game rules and DMing styles that have inspired me from other games that I participate in, the options and possibilities have really opened up for me.

This afternoon I spent over 4 hours playing: Tekumel: Jakalla Underworld Crawl. I had heard of Tekumel but never played it. It was fun and I enjoyed seeing new ways to resolve problems with player descriptions and different types of die rolls.

By the end of this weekend I will also play a couple games of Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC). I look forward to immersing myself in their brutal, bare-bones ethos: “Remember the good old days, when adventures were underground, NPCs were there to be killed, and the finale of every dungeon was the dragon on the 20th level? Those days are back. [DCC doesn’t] waste your time with long-winded speeches, weird campaign settings, or NPCs who aren’t meant to be killed. Each adventure is 100% good, solid dungeon crawl, with the monsters you know, the traps you fear, and the secret doors you know are there somewhere.” The game also requires Zocchi dice, which are d3, d5, d7, d14, d16, d24 and d30, in addition to the standard set of 7 polyhedrals (d4, d6, d8, d10s, d12 and d20).

I am also playing an AD&D 2nd edition game using Dwarven Forge terrain. Although I love the dungeon terrain that is being made these days, I personally sold mine off and have gone back to nearly 100% theatre of mind. Still, for a 4 hour one-off game I will allow someone else to do the work of building a dwarven forge dungeon for me to explore with AD&D 2nd edition!

In the vendor room I also picked up two books for the Midguard setting (Kobold Press) for 50% off. Although these are for Pathfinder and 5E, the setting has some unique takes on (Norse) gods and other things to inspire me in my own world. Sure, there are modern gaming things I don’t like (Dragonborn!), but there are some nice ideas that can inspire me. For example, I am tired of vampires and liches – they are over used. Midguard, however, has a unique Ghoul Empire. That is something different that I want to use in my game, and since I already have their Tome of Beasts and Creature Codex, I have 800 pages of monsters ready to use, now I have 700 more pages of campaign setting to draw from.

Finally, in the mail today I got the very rare Castle Zagyg Yggsburgh setting by Gary Gygax. Before he died he was converting his city of Greyhawk to Castles & Crusades. This book is out of print and cost me a pretty penny (so no one else is touching this book!), but now I have a proper Gary Gygax city setting that is a part of Castles & Crusades and will fit nicely into my campaign world.