Friday, December 11, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Star Wars

With The Force Awakens a week away, my editor decided it was a good time to have me discuss Star Wars on their podcast. I think it went well.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Gamehole Con - Classic Report

High light: The guest of honor get together at The Free House pub on Thursday night. It was everything you want in a Bar Con while everyone was still fresh faced and energetic about being at the show. I got a chance to catch up with old friends, meet new people and fan out a little bit over some of the people I admire as a designer.

Low lightBeing forced outside the lovely heated walkway from the hotel to show on Saturday because of a tween dance team meet blocking the route. If that had happened on Thursday, when it was still 70 degrees out, that would have one thing, but it mean hauling a coat to my games that I didn't need.

Best experience: The organizers set up a chance to explore and buy items from the ACD warehouse located in Madison. This is likely the closest I will ever be to wandering the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Worst experience: We were told that some items in the warehouse might be unavailable due to game store order that had not been picked yet. They say there were between 20-30 items in the warehouse that would be unavailable for purchase. I picked two. 

Best bargain (had to buy it, no freebies): I picked up a book I wrote where I'm still waiting on an authors copy years after the book came out. I confirmed at Bar Con that company is notorious on both the retail and production side for being completely unreliable.

Best Freebie: John Kovalic designed an adorable owlbear plushie that went from my suitcase directly into Batkid's crib.

Most welcome surprise: After my Firefly RPG session, the three VIG gamers at the table told me they upgraded to VIG specifically to make sure they got a space at my table.

Most unwelcome surprise: Despite sharing a room, I barely got to see much of Mighty Matt Forbeck. At least we were able to talk about the highs and lows of being a geek dad at Bar Con on Thursday.

Best game: Heebie Jeebies is a casual party game where you have to guess which of four selected cards squicks out the Judge for that round. It's a killer party icebreaker and got a table of strangers talking after less than a full round.

Most interesting game concept: Three Pillars is a Mille Bornes style game of supernatural investigation put out by a crew of actual supernatural investigators.

Sleeper game:  I am super excited to bring Star Wars Catchphrase to Nerds at Heart events.

Coolest booth: The Half-Price Books booth actually had good games for half price, rather than their usual selection of collector-priced options.

Strangest moment: Realizing I already knew one of the other guests of honor because she was one of Sarah Babe's Ingress buddies from Gen Con.

Heebie Jeebies
Three Pillars
Fate Ghostbusters
Firefly RPG
Save Game
Atomic Robo RPG

Firefly Kalidasa Expansion
Stars Without Number
D&D5e: Out of the Abyss
D&D5e: Princes of the Apocalypse
D&D5e: Screen
Murder in Baldur's Gate
Force and Destiny: Chronicles of the Gatekeeper
Age of Rebellion: Desperate Allies
Age of Rebellion: Strongholds of Resistance
Eldritch Horror: Mountains of Madness
Eldritch Horror: Strange Remnants

Hotel room
Bar Con tab
Guest of Honor shirt
Guest of Honor badge
Owlbear plushie
Heebie Jeebies
Marriage Material
Cash'n' Guns 2nd Edition + Expansion
Winds of Fortune
Pathfinder flip-mats

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gamehole Con - Schedule

I'll be in Madison the first weekend in November as a Guest of Honor at Gamehole Con. It looks like all my events are full, but you never know when people will drop out and you can just walk up to a game. You should also be able to find me just wandering around the show. Check out my schedule after the jump.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New York Comic Con 2015 - Classic Report

High light: Sharing the weekend with my mom. We've had a rough couple of years, but we spent  lot of time together at the show and just wandering New York.

Low light: Missing the one panel I wanted to attend because the subway entrance I wanted to take was closed.

Best experience: BBQ films held an event modeled on the blood rave from the opening sequence to Blade. I even brought out my Malkavian T-shirt out of retirement for one last epic LARP.

Worst experience: The only time I suffered a bad traffic jam was in Times Square. People, not cars, were jammed to a standstill on the sidewalk.

Best bargain (had to buy it, no freebies):  This was the best use of a ReedPop pro pass yet.

Best FreebieThe foam chainsaw hand promoting Ash Vs. Evil Dead.

Most welcome surprise: I don't know if it was the con, the good weather or what but I didn't run into any stereotypically rude New Yorkers. I met so many folks that were friendly, funny and awesome.

Most unwelcome surprise: My mom only made it out to one day of the show. She still wants to go-go-go, but she's also still recovering from two cancer diagnoses in two years.

Best costume: The 9 foot tall Hulkbuster Iron Man armor stoop head and shoulders above the rest. Sorry. (not sorry)

Most amusing costume: I'll let Troy McClure speak for himself:

Best costume where my picture didn't turn out: Two kids dressed up as Daniel-san and Johnny from The Karate Kid, with the mom dressed up as the referee from the karate tournament.

Coolest booth and why: The MegaBloks Star Trek booth had a Captain's Chair build out of  

Strangest moment: Watching a pair of fellow Midwesterners wander into a sketchy garage just to take a picture of the Lamborghini up on blocks inside.

Favorite item available in the Exhibit Hall: there was a booth selling cardboard replicas of water towers and billboards you could paint over for your desk. They brought in well-known graffiti artists to replicate their more famous works.

The First Law of Mad Science
Ms. Marvel
Astro City
The Red Ten

Free Stuff:
Foam Chainsaw
Jessica Jones Photo

Couldn't Find It:

Best Quote: "I don't remember you asking me if I wanted to go to the blood rave." -Mom

Sunday, August 30, 2015

42 Ale House - September Schedule

It's been a busy time for me. I'm working a full-time corporate contract, freelancing as I am able and developing some new games with some cool people. On top of that, I'm doing some exciting things over the next few months. Let's see where I'll be in September.

Trivia Tuesday

The fine folks at 42 Ale House have hired me on to run their trivia program. Each evening focuses on a single nerdy subject, with the top two teams facing off in a tense showdown for trivia supremacy. This month's subjects are up on their events page.

Nerds at Heart

The long-running singles event strikes an anniversary this month. Play board games, including some fresh from Gen Con stuff, with other nerdy singles looking for a partner in crime

New To You Game Night

They are also encouraging people to come out and learn to play games. I'm running the RPG component of the events. This month will be a chance to make both a character and a world for a Dungeons and Dragons 5e game. 

Nerd Night Milwaukee

I'm one of three speakers for this event. I'm doing an overview of RPGs, plus there's an Ingress expert and someone talking about building playgrounds.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Classic Con Report - Gen Con 2015

High light: I met a lot of people that influenced my career choices at this show. Joe Dever, in particular, wrote the first fantasy books I ever read and he was fantastically charming and gracious. I'm going to be a dad next year and I can't wait to bust out the boxed set for the baby when he or she is old enough.

Low light: Not enough time. I feel like I missed seeing so many people at the show.

Best experience: Sunday night dinner at St. Elmo's continues to be a highlight of the con. That first bite of the Filet Mignon is like a vacation within a vacation.

Worst experience: Finding out some bad family health news on the way home. Nothing like crying in a Steak and Shake parking lot to kill off your big post-Gen Con buzz.

Best bargain (had to buy it, no freebies): 4 D6 Star Wars books I didn't have for $18.

Best Freebie: Gene Ha, the artist for the award-winning Top 40 comics series, handed out some sketches of audience members he did at the comics panels at the show. I was one of the lucky ones, which is the rough equivalent of a reknowned chef wandering by your table at dinner and asking if you want a free steak.

Most welcome surprise: Our usual Friday night room game didn;t go off, but I still had fun just hanging out and talking with folks I usually only see at cons.

Most unwelcome surprise: Despite having most of my time back to myself, I didn't really get a chance to play a lot of games until Sunday.

Best game: Flick Em Up is a Wild West dexterity game where you have a shootout in a little meeple town. It is painfully adorable and a blast to play a few drinks deep.

Most interesting game concept: Flick Em Up, a wild west shoot'em up meeple game, was a ton of fun throughout the con.

Sleeper game:  Yashima, a wuxia kung-fu deckbuilder, did just enough cool things in the demo to get me to buy it.

Coolest booth: The Flick 'Em Up booth had a Texas-sized version of the game to demo, complete with a duel area for quick illustrations of how the game worked.

Strangest moment: Watching my roommates hack the hotel TV so that we could watch Netflix as we wound down on a few nights.

Flick 'Em Up
Superstar Smackdown
Firefly RPG
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Flick 'Em Up
Seventh Hero
Star Wars books
Cthulhu Apocalypse
Mythos Expeditions
Lone Wolf Adventure Game
Ravenloft books
Street Legends expansion

Leverage Companions
Sixth Gun RPG
Deadlands Kickstarter
Chill 3rd Ed
Feng Shui 2
Pathfinder map packs
Legendary Encounter organizer
Revelations of Mars
Ravenloft boxed set
Gene Ha sketch
Cypher System bag

Things to pick up after the con:
Urban Shadows
Serpent's Skull Adventure Path
Ashes Rise of the Phoenixborn

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Cosplay Rave

My good friends at 42 Lounge are hosting one of their big cosplay parties this weekend. I wrote up a short article calling back to rave culture in the 90's which was kind of a big deal around Milwaukee

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Renaissance Faire Interview

This year's Ren Faire preview article involves sitting down with the woman playing Queen Elizabeth and talking about her experiences as royalty.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Classic Con Report - Nexus Game Fair 2015

High light:  Walking through the con and just stopping and talking to people be they friends, fans or other pros.

Low lightMany of the seminars and panels were sparsely attended. Everyone was too busy playing games, I guess.

Best experience: The Milwaukee Company of Gamers bringing their truck full of games and letting me play games that I might take home at a later con.

Worst experience: Save Game and Atomic Robo were underattended. Ghostbusters Fate rocked, so maybe more Fate adaptations of popular media to get people on board with trying it out.

Best bargain (had to buy it, no freebies): Both the silent auction and the trade booth allowed me to get some good deals without spending money.

Best Freebie: My business dinner with Jason Hardy, the Shadowrun developer, about [REDACTED].

Most welcome surprise: Meeting fans of this very blog. Sometimes, writing can feel like you're just screaming into the darkness. It's nice to see I connect with people and that they care enough to seek me out.

Most unwelcome surprise: The scratch in my passenger door that one of the hotel guests left on Snubfighter.

Games played: 
Ghostbusters Fate
Feng Shui 2
Colt Express
Firefly RPG
Tales of the Arabian Nights
Eldritch Horror
Kaiju Incorporated

Coolest booth and why: The con shirt makers could customize your shirts at the show. I know have a shirt with my Twitter handle on it!

Strangest moment: Having a small but fierce following show up at my various events. You guys rock.

Favorite item available in the Exhibit Hall: Dojo, a card drafting kung fu battle game, is now on Kickstarter.

Stuff traded:
Pathfinder Card Game packs
Forbidden Lore Eldritch Lore expansion

Stuff got for free:
Guest of Honor experience
Nexus T-shirt
Nexus plastic cup

Stuff that was wanted that was unavailable:
I'd love to see more board game prototypes at the show.

Things to buy after Nexus:
Colt Express is likely going to punch, shoot and run its way into my game library.
Likely to pick up the expansions for Eldritch Horror, which I enjoyed much more than it's older sibling.

Best Quote:
"Acquire! Acquire! Acquire!"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Safe House

Safe House, the bar that was a fixture for many Gen Con attendees, was recently bought by the Marcus corporation. I was able to offer some suggestions on how I'd improve upon it if I bought it instead.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Nexus Game Fair - Schedule

This weekend, from June 25th - 28th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel - Milwaukee Airport, I'll be a Guest of Honor for the second annual Nexus Game Fair. In addition to the tournaments and MilCog's ginormous board game library, I'll be involved with games, panels and wandering around talking with designers. Here's where I'll be officially:

Thursday - 7 PM: Ghostbusters - Satanic Panic (SOLD OUT)

I'm running a session of my Fate hack for Ghostbusters at the show. We'll make up a franchise and get down to busting a spiritual sense of course.

Friday - 10 AM: Feng Shui 2 - Demo

I'm pinch hitting for Cam Banks who had to cancel his appearance at the con. As a Feng Shui 2 backer, I'm excited to get the game on the road and kick some butt!

Friday - 6 PM: Fun Facts About Fate

If you've ever wanted to pick my brain about Fate, here's your chance. I'm talking about the different variations and my experiences working with Evil Hat.

Friday - 7 PM: Firefly RPG - All In The Family (SOLD OUT)

I'm running an adventure out of one of the books for a Full Boat: 9 players, each taking a role of the Serenity Crew!

Sunday - 1 PM: Atomic Robo RPG - Neil DeGrasse Tyson Is Missing!

Sign up as Tesladyne interns assigned to pick up the famous scientist for a meeting with Robo...and then brainstorm to figure out what happened to him!

Even if events are sold out, don't fret. I'll be running these events again at Gamehole Con in November, and feel free to swing by and see if people dropped out.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Top Secret Spycraft of Covert Ops - Review

Though I may be a game designer, Dungeons and Dragons was not my first RPG. Shadowrun was the first RPG I fell in love with, in case you couldn't guess from the multiple hacks. But the first RPG I ever bought was Top Secret S.I. It was in a Waldenbooks in Orlando and it was the only thing that I talked about besides The Haunted Mansion. I still have that ragged boxed set today and I even pulled it down to play it a few years ago.

I love spy games (even if I don't get to play them much) and heard good things about Covert Ops. That it was inspired by TSSI was one of the main reasons I picked it up. There are a few ways to pick up the game; PDF, a single book, three split books that correspond with the chapters of the main book, and even an add-on boxed set with a GM screen and tokens for the complete old school package. My further thoughts are after the jump.

Milwaukee Record - Postmodern Jukebox

My review of the Internet sensation live show.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fate Hack - Ghostbusters, Too!

As part of my con programming for this year, I'm running a Ghostbusters game using Fate. Seems easy enough, since I already did one, right? I decided to take another swing at it now that I have two more years of Fate design under my belt, and Atomic Robo had some neat ideas about brainstorming and building gadgets. Summer is sequel season at the movies, so here's my second crack at a Ghostbusters hack after the jump.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Star Wars Bobbleheads

The Brewers have not been too hot this year, so the club is trying to goose attendance with some theme nights. The first one up is a Star Wars night, so the baseball nerds and the Star Wars nerds in the office came together to come up with future bobbleheads we'd like to see.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Chris Hardwick

Last night's show at the Pabst was pretty dang funny. Thanks to Ryan for being my Plus One so I wasn't laughing alone.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Wookieepedia

As a Star Wars fan, May the Fourth is rapidly becoming my favorite pun-based holiday. I spoke to Steve Greenwood, one of the founders of Wookieepedia that ended up in Milwaukee for school.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Free Comic Book Day

I cover your options in Milwaukee for Free Comic Book Day. Covering this event is also something of a milestone of me. My first article for Onion AV Club was covering the day, and since then, it's been a non-stop thrill ride of thrilling highs and crushing lows as my writing career kicked into a much higher gear. Thank you all for being my passengers. I can't wait to see what's next on the horizon.

Monday, April 27, 2015

c2e2 2015 - Classic Con Report

High light: I got to spend time with Gail Simone and bent her ear for a half-hour about getting into comics. She's just as awesome in real life as she is on Twitter.

Low light: Looks like my con crud free streak ends here. Time to restart the clock...when I have the energy.

Best experience: Watching Scott work the crowd waiting in line to get stuff signed by Gail. He's the best opening act in the business. Any business.

Worst experience: I could not, for the life of me, make it to a panel on time. I caught the tail end of most, but I felt like I was playing catch-up all weekend.

Best bargain (had to buy it, no freebies):  Image trades at the 50% booth. I read Sex Criminals on the way down Saturday and wanted the rest immediately.

Best FreebieThe Star Wars lanyard they gave out on Saturday.

Most welcome surprise: A wide variety of cosplayers. It's not just the Harleys and the Jedis anymore. Good obscure costumes too, like this Visitor from V.

Most unwelcome surprise: The lines are getting bigger. That means c2e2 is going to stay viable, but it means I still didn't get to see the big names at the show.

Best costume: The Hawkman whose wings used real pheasant feathers. Ether the guy has a hook up at a pheasant farm or he needs to take out an insurance policy on those wings. 

Cosplay herd names:
A mischief of Lokis
A peg of Agent Carters

Most amusing costume: This Doom was good, but his Latverian accent, which sounded kind of like Death from the second Bill and Ted movie, put it over the top.

Coolest booth and why: 
Karen Hallion did some amazing pictures I've seen on the internet. That's stuff is always cool, but buying a print from her to pay her for her talent was a great feeling.

Strangest moment: Realizing the difference between this and SDCC. I think cons this size are more my speed.

Favorite item available in the Exhibit Hall: There were a ton of 50% off trades booths, which always make the trip worthwhile.

Nightwing 1-4
The Star Wars
Sex Criminals 1
Manifest Destiny 1-2
Leia Mucha print

Free Stuff:
Star Wars lanyard

Couldn't Find It:
Atomic Robo Vol. 9
Sex Criminals Vol. 2

Best Quote:
"Let's Sorkin while I get to my next panel."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kickstarter - Codex Infernus

The Kickstarter to my next big project went live today. Codex Infernus adds demons, devils and elements of Hell to your Savage Worlds setting. The bigger the game blows up, the more devilish settings we'll add.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Funtown Mountain

I interviewed the ringmaster of this carnival style attraction coming to Milwaukee tomorrow. The trailer alone is worth your time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Binary

My review of Milwaukee's newest nerd bar is up. I never thought I'd live to see the day where I'd see the concept of one nerd bar take off, much less multiple ones.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Tabletop Day

An article that lets me talk about some of the excellent game spaces around Milwaukee and what they'll be doing this weekend. It makes my nerdy heart beat with pride that there are several locations hosting this event here in the city.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Appearance - International Tabletop Weekend

Come play some games with me at my favorite bar in Milwaukee!

42 Lounge hosts International Tabletop Weekend, which expand Tabletop Day over Saturday and Sunday. I'll be there both days, running two of my favorite board games (and playing a few more).

On Saturday, at 4:00, I'll be running Fortune and Glory, which team up players to race around the globe and keep priceless artifacts out the hands of an Evil Organization.

On Sunday, at 4:00, I'll be running Star Wars: Imperial Assault. I'll be looking to crush up to four Rebels as the Imperial player in this campaign style board game.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Vampire - Lore of the Clans

Tabletop RPGs have had a long reputation as gatherings of anti-social nerds pretending to be cool in their parent's basement. While I can't exactly refute that claim, I can say that Vampire is the root of several long friendships, important relationships and profession ambitions that shaped who I am today. I got a chance to write the Malkavian segment for Lore of the Clans and I'm so stoked  Vampire helped me realize We're All A Little Mad, and you can see some of my most divine madness here.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Gen Con Back In Milwaukee

My editor asked me if it was realistic to think Gen Con could return to Milwaukee in 2021. I crushed his dreams.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Goodbye Fantasticon

It would seem only the Milwaukee convention that booked me as a special guest last year survived to return this year. Coincidence? Check out a slightly more op-ed style of piece on Milwaukee Record.

MKE RPG - On Facebook

If you ever want to come play games with me, chances are I'll be running something for MKE RPG at 42 Lounge or 42 Ale House, one of two excellent geek bars in the Milwaukee area. I run playtests, one shots, blog hacks and a variety of games, so if you're in the area, sign up for the group and see what's coming up on the schedule.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Bob's Burgers LIVE!

My review for the revue featuring the cast of Bob's Burgers is up. I went into the assignment not knowing much about the show, but after running the series on Netflix to prep, I'm sorry I waited so long.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Gamehole Con - Guest of Honor

I've been added to the roster of Gamehole Con's special guests. The convention takes place November 6th through 8th in Madison, Wisconsin at the Alliant Energy Center. Got any suggestions for events or panels you want to see me run?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Kickstarter - Blades in the Dark

John Harper's design work catches the eye and crams more game in a few pages than some books do in hundreds. His current Kickstarter, Blades in the Dark, expands the industrial fantasy setting first revealed in Ghost Lines to a game featuring crews of scoundrels and miscreants carving out a bloody chunk of turf in the ghost and fog shrouded city of Duskwall.

Not only do you create a character for the game but you also create a sheet for your Crew to track their rise through the underworld. I'm contributing a Crew sheet for Grifters, con artists hustling their way in the shadows through a mix of well-told lies and well-played greed.

I'm excited to work with John on the project. Back today to get in on the rapidly expanding content!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Actual Play - Don't Turn Your Back

Every couple of weeks, the good folks at MKE RPG host an event at +42 Lounge where local geeks get to play some games and drink some drinks. I enjoy the event because it offers an opportunity for me to bust out games from my library. Thanks to the good folks at +Evil Hat Productions , I was able to get my hands on a prototype of their newest board game. Don't Turn Your Back puts players in a war for control of a strange city by pulling Nightmares under their influence. It uses the setting of their classic Don't Rest Your Head RPG.

The game is currently funding on Kickstarter. A short rundown of the game and my thoughts on the game are below the jump. Thanks to +Caleb Andersen , +Mike Holmes  and +Nihar Nilekani for playing the game with me!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Save Game - Siege Campaign

Over on, one of the forum posters wants to frame his game as a siege of Cartridge Gardens. Check out the discussion!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Firefly - Smuggler's Guide to the Rim

The latest Firefly RPG book is now available in PDF. Smuggler's Guide to the Rim features reputation rules, a ready made setting out in the wilder expanses of the 'Verse, new archetypes and two adventures; one from Greg Stolze and another from Margaret Weis.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Actual Play - World Wide Wrestling

One of my lesser known passions is that I enjoy pro wrestling. I really got back into it in college but I still keep an eye on storylines and occasionally go over to watch PPVs with friends. I own a few wrestling RPGs, too, for maximum crossover appeal. Recently, Nathan D. Paolette ran a Kickstarter for a tabletop game that uses the Powered by the Apocalypse engine and walks the line between the real world and the fake worlds of wrestling. My original intent was to run this before next weeks big WWE show, but scheduling forced my hand early.

If you want the short version; this is an excellent game. It was my best wrestling RPG experience ever and one of my favorite games from the Apocalypse Engine. It works for hardcore fans, casual fans, lapsed fans and people who claim they don't like wrestling but still make it to the final Championship match anyway. I was skeptical about Creative controlling the outcomes but in play it didn't matter. When Bearonica got into the ring with Heidi Hyde, I was on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know how they got to my finish.

My full write-up is after the jump so I can keep things straight for the next time.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Milwaukee Record - On The Record

Listen to me talk about geek culture, Munchkin, D&D versus fantasy football and more on this excellent podcast from handsome people.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Anime Milwaukee

The biggest convention of the year in Milwaukee drops this weekend. I compare it to our big summer music festival.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Save Game - In Print

My author's copies of Save Game arrived this morning. It's even more gorgeous in print! If you want yours, order it (and a bunch of other stuff, why not?) from Evil Hat today!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Firefly - Game Geek Review

Kurt Weigel from Game Geeks shared this great video review of Firefly RPG. Kurt is familiar with the original Serenity RPG and provides a look as someone who knows both games.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Classic Report - Midwinter 2015

High light: Running into old friends everywhere I turned.

Low light: The open gaming area spilled out into the hallways and other rooms. Board games a big deal these days and the room set aside for it at the show was not sufficient.

Best experience: My Saturday night Firefly Game with seven players all of whom rocked the Serenity Crew.

Worst experience: I hauled in a lot of stuff to trade and had to haul a lot of it back because it was a no go.

Best bargain (had to buy it, no freebies): Traded some of my Shadowrun 4th stuff for some X-Wing ships and an Age of Rebellion book.

Best Freebie: The Chronos LARP rules are available as free PDFs. I didn't get to try them out at the show, but a few friends did and were raving about them.

Most welcome surprise: Saturday was the perfect mix of gaming with people I knew and new people who were fun.

Most unwelcome surprise: The lack of the MilCog board game library put a damper on by goal of trying out several board games I've been reading about.

Best game: The revised Monster of the Week added some new playbooks, tweaked a few rules and still has some excellent advice for running modern monster hunter style games.

Most interesting game concept: Kombat Kittens featured battle between kittens photoshoped into various geek-friendly costumes. I don;t know how much replayability it has, but the first game we played was ridiculously cute.

Sleeper game: Terra Mystica feels like one of those board games at the beginning where the first couple of playthroughs are just going to be pulling levels to see what happens because there's so much going on. But it does a good job of making strategies clear on your turn and picking between two fairly obvious but hard choices.

Coolest booth: 42 Lounge brought their projection screen and I played a few quirky, indie video games while chatting with the owners.

Strangest moment: Being the only person in the elevator not in full-on costume.


Kombat Kittens
Terra Mystica
Monster of the Week
Firefly RPG


Parking, mostly.


Age of Rebellion: Stay On Target
X-Wing: TIE Phanton
X-Wing: Z-95 Headhunter

Things to pick up after the con:

Monster of the Week in print

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Milwaukee Record - Midwinter

My favorite line of this preview? "15 years may be a lonely grain of sand cast adrift in the crimson void of eternal ennui, but for a gaming convention, it’s pretty dang impressive."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Midwinter Gaming Convention - Schedule

This weekend brings Milwaukee's first gaming convention of the year. If you want to stop by and say hi, here's where I'll be for sure:


7-11 PM
Wright Ballroom A

Monster of the Week: Last Rites

Just outside of a small town in Texas, a divorcee encounters the supernatural. She needs hunters to help her out. Will you snark like the slayer? Flash your badge and dig through your files? Load your shotgun with rock salt? Choose your playbook, forge your bonds and get to the bottom of the Last Rites.


7-11 PM
Wright Ballroom C

Firefly RPG: Where We've Been, Where We're Going

Join lead writer/line developer Monica Valentinelli and writer Rob Wieland as they discuss the Firefly RPG corebook and the existing supplements for the line. Then, ask your burning questions about what 2015 has in store for you! For more info about the Firefly RPG, visit

7-11 PM
Wright Ballroom A

Firefly RPG: Bucking The Tiger

Take on the roles of the crew about the Serenity in this session of the hit RPG run by one of the designers of the game. When an old friend sends a message to settle up an old debt, what starts as a luxurious week at a casino turns into a murder mystery mixing up Alliance colonels, Browncoat raiders and Triad gangsters.