Gary Con XI Day 1: Afternoon. Artists, Dungeons, Conan, Northlands, Archmages…


This morning and early afternoon I’ve spent acquiring the most incredible game products and speaking with their designers!

At the Troll Lord Games booth I had a great and extended conversation with Jason Vey (game designer and blogger). I joked with Stephen Chenault – Troll Lord’s CEO – that I would like to buy some Castles & Crusades products, but that I already own them all!

Over at Frog God Games (FGG) I picked up their Northland Saga and Borderland Provinces and they were kind enough to throw in a bunch of free adventures. FGG puts out some great products and now I have some superb campaign world expansion. With the Northland Saga and extra adventures, I have over 700 pages of Nordic/Viking flavored material to work with for my game world.

Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea is an old-school game that draws on Robert Howard (Conan), H.P. Lovecraft (Cthulhu) and Clark Ashton Smith. Jeffrey Talanian was kind enough to sign my copy. This is another rich resource (600+ pages) to draw on to pull rough and rugged swords, sorcery, and weird fantasy into my game.

Then there was Adventures Dark and Deep, which is envisioned as what 2nd edition AD&D would’ve been if Gary Gygax had not been forced to leave TSR. I purchased The Castle of the Mad Archmage, which is based on Castle Greyhawk. Joseph Bloch was kind enough to sign my copy. It has three booklets – the 13 levels detailed out, a book of maps for the DM, and a book of player handout illustrations – just like it was done in the old days! This should nicely round out the material I already have on Greyhawk and Castle Zagyg.

Barrowmaze Complete and The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia are adventures put together with numerous types of monsters and many types of crypts and barrows to explore. This is old school, so you jump into and explore a barrow, and if you manage to survive, you get back to a nearby town as quickly as possible with your loot and heal up to try again. Classic style game.

Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC). I got their massive 500 page sourcebook and some of their classic dice (d3-d30). One of the many cool things about DCC is that whenever you cast a spell any number of weird things can happen as you roll a die and consult a table (each spell takes up an entire over-sized page). If I ever want a spell to go awry, this is the book to consult.

Then there are the wonderful artists I met – Darlene and Larry Elmore. Darlene is one of the truly great artists. I got a signed reproduction of a piece of art of hers that appeared in the AD&D 1st edition DMG, plus some fun cards. For Larry Elmore I got a signed copy of one of his art books. I was now so encumbered with books I couldn’t purchase anymore (indeed, as you can see from the photos, my DCC book bag handle tore off!). I may go back tomorrow to purchase a signed print of Elmore’s to put up in my new home.

I will soon head back. I am currently taking a brief rest in my Comfort Inn room which is 1.5 miles from the convention, but they offer a constant and complimentary shuttle service to and from the convention. When I return this evening, it will be to attend ‘GM Tricks of the Trade’ by Stephen Chenault of Castles & Crusades – it will be time to discuss Game Mastering techniques and tricks!

I can’t believe how much fun I am having and the great people I am meeting!spinesDCCBarrowmazeHyperboreaDarlene

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