|Matt Finch runs Mythrus Tower
My belly filled and my scenario, pre-gens, and accoutrements together, I slipped back to the Longhorn Room in time for the NTRPGCon Auction and—more importantly—the announcement of the winner of the 2012 Three Castles Award. Regular readers already know I won in absentia last year for The Dungeon Alphabet and was a co-nominee this year for Realms of Crawling Chaos with Dan Proctor.
Unfortunately, I was tipped early that Realms was probably not going to win when Doug asked me to present the award since I was in town. Disappointing, but I expected my name in the mix again was unlikely to result in another award.
|Jim Ward runs Dragonlairds on Sunday morning
Having already blown most of my budget (or so I told myself), I slipped out after the award announcement and finished up the last little details of preparing for my DCC session of “The Fane of St. Toad” scheduled immediately after the auction concluded. I had my Brave Halfling Old School Game Box (the Erol cover, natch, and now signed after “Emirikol”) stuffed to the gills with DCC notes and was ready to roll.
Saturday night games at cons are always dicey (and not in the good way). Exhaustion and drinks take their tolls and not everyone makes it to the table. My game had seven players registered, but only three from the list turned up. Luckily for me, I had three other eager players accost me before the game and beg seats, which the low turnout allowed me to grant them. Unlike “Emirikol,” whose players were largely unfamiliar with DCC, five of the six players at “St. Toad” had copies of the rulebook with them and at least passing acquaintance with the rules. After a quick rules overview, we hit the ground running.
“The Fane of St. Toad” is the first full-length adventure I wrote after getting involved with the OSR and it is dedicated to Dave Arneson. I hadn’t looked at it since I started working on Stonehell, and I always get a little nervous revisiting old work. Surprisingly, it still worked for me. I updated it to DCC, smoothed out a couple of rough edges, and made some changes so that it wouldn’t be completely predictable to someone who had read the original. In my own opinion, it turned out great.
|Those red words: all toads
In an eerie repeat of “Emirikol,” the elf in the party called down the power of his patron and the party was near indestructible for many, many rounds and enjoyed a healthy bonus to their rolls to boot. I did manage to get the cleric swallowed by the avatar, but out-of-the-box thinking with a Word of Command (“vomit!”) got him out of its belly and the Toad was slain, leaving the party very rich and the session at an end. Alas, I didn’t get to sic the giant Toad idol on them as they tried to leave with their booty.
|The Not-Be by Jennell Jaquays
The rest of the evening, although late, was a lot of fun. I talked up my upcoming releases from Goodman Games with the DCC players and signed a few books before heading back to the ballroom. There I talked about Stonehell with Bad Mike, editing with Tim, and got the lowdown on Jennell’s next professional leap (and got to see the “Not-Be” for myself). The hour was late and after collecting my winnings from the silent auction (Call of Cthulhu 5.6.1 autographed by Sandy Petersen, Secret of San Fransico, and Cthulhu Dark Ages—what can I say? I love me some Call of Cthulhu and spent less than I would have at the store), I called it a night.
|Erol, a gorilla, and I wait for the shuttle to the airport
There were of course many people I didn’t get to say good-bye to or spend enough time talking to during the con, but hopefully 2013 will correct all that. I’m going to try like hell to make it down again next year. Writing this close to three weeks after the events of the convention, there are many events, people, and good conversations I’m forgetting, but I do want to thank all my fellow attendees for welcoming this New Yorker down to Texas. The fact that so many of you took the time to introduce yourself and compliment me on my work (and demand autographs!) means a lot to me. For those of you who don’t do it as a vocation, writing is an extremely lonely pursuit and it’s usually just me vs. the computer screen. Getting out and meeting people who my work has brought some entertainment to means the world to me and so long as you keep wanting more, I’ll keep writing it.
Thank you all!