Games I Plan To Run At Gamehole Con 2022

“I have this feeling that my luck is none too good
This sword here at my side don’t act the way it should
Keeps calling me its master, but I feel like its slave
Hauling me faster and faster to an early, early grave
And it howls, it howls like hell”

Black Blade Blue Oyster Cult

After having such a good time at Gary Con 2022, I am super excited for Gamehole Con 2022. Here are the games I intend to run at Gamehole Con 2022. This is all tentative as I don’t have control over the time slots (I can request a particular slot but there is no guarantee I will get it) and I still have to finish writing Tomb Of The Robomancer, A New Evil, and Attack Of The Hypershark. I do plan to submit these as soon as event submission opens on April 15th.

MCC: Tomb Of The Robomancer

An ancient tomb has been unearthed in the hothouse jungle by a terra quake near your tribal home. You have been chosen to investigate the tomb’s secrets. Will you be able to puzzle out the secrets of this ancient tomb or will it remain a mystery?  This is a 0-level funnel for MCC (Mutant Crawl Classics). Pregens will be provided.

Thursday at 8:00 AM (4 Hours) – 5 Players

MCC: A New Evil

A strange new group of mutants has begun to appear in your hothouse jungle home. They are encroaching on your tribe’s territory. You have been asked to find out more about these new mutants and where they are coming from. And then drive them out of your tribe’s territory. This is a 1st level MCC (Mutant Crawl Classic) adventure. Pregens will be provided.

Friday at 8:00 AM (4 Hours) – 5 Players

MCC: Evil Of The Ancients

For centuries it has lurked in the dark, forgotten by man and mutant, a terrible entity left behind by the Ancients’ meddling in cosmic forces they did not fully understand. Trapped in this world, this alien intellect seeks only to escape, but to do so, it requires lives. What the adventures think is just another forgotten vault left behind by the Ancients may in truth contain the most terrifying threat they’ve ever faced. This is a 3rd Level MCC (Mutant Crawl Classic) Adventure. Pregens will be provided.

Saturday at 8:00 AM (4 Hours) – 5 Players

Viking Death Squad: The Dogs Of Leadgrave

Despite their best efforts, the people of a settlement called Leadgrave are being plagued by ever-increasing packs of dogs. When an Infinitum holding cell makes landfall near their little town, the locals offer to free the occupants from cryo-torture in exchange for help with their dog problem. The heroes have little choice, but the dog menace hides a dark secret, and now there’s only one way out: straight through the Devil’s Den. This is a Viking Death Squad adventure. Pregens will be provided.

Thursday at 2:00 PM (4 Hours) – 5 Players

Sharktoberfest: Attack Of The Hypershark

A giant, super-fast, armored shark is terrorizing the beaches of California. Can you stop it? Can you discover its origins and prevent more hypersharks from being created? This is a QAGS: Sharktoberfest adventure. Characters will be made at the table.

Friday at 2:00 PM (4 Hours) – 5 Players

Tales From The Floating Vagabond: The Reich Stuff

Can the adventures stop the Space Nazis from giving Hitler the space program in 1936, thereby creating a twisted timeline that even Harry Turtledove couldn’t unravel?

 Engage in derring-do! Hob-nob with historical figures! Shoot lots and lots of space nazis!

This is a Tales From The Floating Vagabond adventure. Pregens will be provided.

Saturday at 2:00 PM (4 Hours) – 5 Players

If you are planning to attend Gamehole Con 2022 and any of these games sound fun jump in and try to get tickets. I think they will all be fun and I would love to play with you.

Gary Con 2022, Pt 2 – The Aftermath

Rump shakers and monster slayers
Feel the wave of sonic arcane sound
Magic users and boogie blues-ers
Wear well your erudite crowns

Dice Throwers & Rock n’ Rollers, Gygax

Well, I’m back from Gary Con. I played in two games and ran six games. It was a blast to play with people in person for a change. I had a great time.

Let’s talk about the games. (I will avoid spoilers in case some of you play these games at future conventions or otherwise.)

My first game on Thursday at 9:00 AM was a Call of Cthulhu 5th Edition game called “Save Weird Tales”. All of the characters were famous writers of weird fiction. I played Clark Ashton Smith. We were called together by the editor of Weird Tales at their Chicago headquarters. I won’t say any more about it as I don’t want to reveal any details of the adventure. In the end, we prevailed. I had a blast. I love playing Call of Cthulhu.

My second game was also on Thursday at 2:00 PM. It was a session of Hyperborea (AKA AS&SH) titled “Hyperborea: Spirits Of The Land”. I played a cleric of the snake god. We won but it was on our very last breath. Only one character was still up. It was a lot of fun.

For the rest of the con, I ran MCC (Mutant Crawl Classics). I ran two sessions of “Hive of The Overmind”, two sessions of “Reliquary Of The Ancient Ones”, and Two sessions of “Carnage In The Casino”. One of each on Friday and one of each on Saturday.

Each session had four players with four characters each. Each session ran a little short of the full planned 4 hours. There were two sessions that resulted in TPK (Total Party Kills). In the rest of the sessions, the players won. It was a lot of fun for all that played and myself. (All the players said they had fun.)

Overall it really got me excited for the other convention I plan to attend this year, GameHole Con 9. I have big plans for it (which I will detail in future blog posts.)

Pay To Play

Money changes everything

Money Changes EverythingCyndi Lauper

I confess I have, in a way, been paid to game master. This has happened at conventions (both physical and virtual) when I have been given items and swag and/or free memberships for my efforts as a game master. (But I have never been paid money directly to run a game.) So does that make me a professional game master? Or does it require direct payments of cash to a game master to make them a professional? I don’t know.

I confess I have also paid to play games. Usually at a convention (either physical or virtual) when they charge for individual events or via paying for a membership. I admit that when I pay for a game my expectations go up a bit, but I don’t necessarily assume I’m going to play with a “professional” game master. (Although, I have played with gaming professionals at conventions.)

Now normally, I wouldn’t even have thought about this, but when I decided to attend Roll20con, I discovered StartPlaying.Games. StartPlaying.Games is a site that allows “professional” game masters to market their game sessions and campaigns for money to potential players. Roll20con used StartPlaying.Games to manage its sessions. 

Now at a convention, I don’t mind paying for my sessions and I didn’t mind it at Roll20con either (especially when there is no membership fee), but I will say that the costs were a bit out of line with other conventions I attend. Normally, conventions, if they charge for individual events, run about a dollar or less an hour. StartPlaying.Games averages $18 for a 4-hour session which is more than $4 an hour. That is pricey for a one-shot or a campaign session. Even one offered by a so-called professional.

This all leads to what constitutes a professional game master. I’ve played with a lot of game masters most at no cost to me but my time. Most of them are pretty average. (I include myself in this category.) I expect a lot out a game master that calls themself a professional. And that bar is set by my friend Dave Coulson.

Dave Coulson is a gaming professional. He runs a small company called Cut To The Chase Games. Dave is the best game master I have ever played with. He writes great adventures. He knows how to manage a table of gamers and keep everyone involved. He brings life to all his NPCs with his acting skills. He is imaginative and knows when to apply the rules and when not to. He is all around a great game master.

So in the end I guess, I consider the whole idea of professional game masters kind of silly but if people want to charge for their games (outside of a convention) fine, but if you are going charge that game, it better be great.