Gary Con IV
Gary Con IV was last weekend: March 22nd – 25th. Last year’s con was the most fun I’ve ever had at a gaming convention. I ran several events and made many new friends – some of which I saw there again this year. This year did not disappoint.
I ran six events this year: two each on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. All of them filled except for one: it had one opening that was filled at the con.
I met several of the old-school designers – some from last year and some for the first time:
Frank Mentzer, Harold Johnson, Mike Carr, and Allen Hammack
Luke Gygax was there again; and I met his siblings, Ernie & Heidi, this year.
I saw several friends I made last year including John Adams of Brave Halfling Publishing and Jeff Sparks of Faster Monkey Games (and his wife, Erika).
Few vendors were there: Kenzer & Co, Black Blade Publishing, Brave Halfling Publishing, Troll Lord Games, and a few others I can’t recall at the moment.
All of them were huddled into a small room except for Kenzer & Co. They had a booth on the ‘virtual porch’ and a table next to it for running HackMaster all weekend. I didn’t sit in on any of them. I’ll have to do so next year.
Speaking of K&Co, that have a great deal going on right now. You can buy 5 copies of HackMaster Basic for $25. It’s a perfect way for the entire group to give it a look without spending too much cash.
I got some swag from Brave Halfling. John Adams gave me one of each of the ‘gamer boxes’ he’s selling. These things are quite durable and great for storing gaming books to take on the run.
Tucked back in the corner of the vendor’s room was ‘Stephanie’s Little Painting Place’. She and one of her ‘minions’ (Nichlas) were painting miniatures for $10 each. I had them paint my official GaryCon IV miniature, and it was fantastic. I had them paint another one of the miniatures I had with me as well.
I saw several games with kids ages 12 and under as well. A few of them actually run by kids and a few being run by adults for them. It gave me a huge smile to see them having so much fun with the same hobby I grew up enjoying.
My personal highlight, though, was scoring a set of the first printing of the Kingdoms of Kalamar books by Kenzer & Co. Their first print had gray covers that was replaced with less expensive covers in all future printings. I was talking with Brian Jelke, and those books were mentioned in passing. He introduced me to Tim Anton (one of the founding Kenzer & Co guys) that had them with him in the hopes of selling them. Needless to say, he succeeded. He even passed them around the gaming table where most of the K&Co crew was playing HackMaster and had everyone involved with the original Kalamar sign the books.
I had a GREAT time and look forward to attending again next year.