Last weekend was FandomFest. As a convention it was somewhat disappointing, but in terms of how I spent my time it was great fun. FandomFest's heritage is as a horror film convention, and that still dominates the convention. The gaming section was even physically separated from the rest of the convention, having been ensconced in the lobby-adjacent meeting rooms on the first floor.
To some degree, it felt as if I'd paid the entrance fee to a bigger convention to attend a rather smaller one. Very little of the foot traffic encountered the gaming section of the convention. (At times it seemed as if gaming had more volunteers and staff then interested players or even just curious bystanders.) The main conference floor and concession vendors and cash bars, but such things were unavailable directly on the first floor.  Main conference foot traffic and queues made it not worthwhile, at least for me, to try to navigate upstairs to such conveniences during a gaming break.
I think most telling to me, though, was that were Filmmaker and Author badges that I saw, but no gaming equivalents: anyone with a badge in gaming had one of the generic titles of Volunteer, Vendor and Staff. Not a single Game Designer or similar title worn at the event. As far as I know, there were no gaming-specific guests.  Given my knowledge of the people involved in staffing the gaming part of the convention, I can easily presuming such things were simple oversights.
That said, I can't complain too much. The conference was close enough to home that I didn't mind braving the sauna weather to travel each morning on foot. I played a couple of rounds of Rock Band, a game of Ascension and several of its expansions, a game of Man-Made Mythology (you should join the Man-Made Mythology Kickstarter before August 27), and three games in three wildly different settings in the Savage Worlds system.
Having played a somewhat abbreviated game of Sean Patrick Fannon's Shaintar setting at the dead dog for ConGlomeration, it was great to have the chance to play a full session with him. I also finally got the opportunity to try out Carinn Seabolt's The Crew setting after hearing a bunch about it at ConGlomeration as well. (Carinn is also Sean's wife, so I will make no public admittance of whom was the better GM lest I cause domestic strife.)
Both of those games were part of a "Savage Saturday" and I got to know some of the guys from Pinnacle Entertainment (the publishers and some of the designers of the Savage Worlds system). Those that I had the opportunity to play with were all great fun, and I hope that there will be future chances to play alongside them.
Man-Made Mythology turned out to be a blast.  It's based on the Open Gaming License system (the "D20 System" that backed D&D Third Edition and continues to back Pathfinder) and attempts to somewhat shake up the superhero RPG genre. Given Critical Strike is from Louisville, I'll be keeping an ear to the ground for future opportunities to play and play-test projects with them. Also, I'm still somewhat curious if I might have interesting things I could contribute. I have a giant collection of superhero origin stories and an interestingly strange collection of related ideas and concepts that I feel would be fun to get out and "exercise" a bit.
I'm also still wondering if maybe it is past time I started my own setting or two to experiment. I probably should try to start a regular Savage Worlds campaign and see if I can get any interest in that.
|||Had I been in charge, I would have made sure that a Rock Band area clearly had reasonably direct access to alcohol. I'd probably also schedule a late night drunken tournament, too.|
|||There was a bit of scuttlebutt that someone should have at least invited Colin Ferguson down to the Ticket To Ride tournament given his winning adventure on Tabletop, but to my knowledge no such thing happened.|
|||The Man-Made Mythology session was with Carinn Seabolt and Sean Patrick Fannon as fellow players, and I felt like the group we had worked for the most part way too well. In some respects I felt the odd man out in terms of RPG experience contribution to the session.|