The Rare And Beautiful Red Spotted Toad Eater Of Potawango Island

…they eat toads

 

Patreon Backer Shoutout!

Carol Robinson, Mark A Schmidt, Loyd Blankenship and Derek Pearcy have all backed this blog. Thank you all!

If YOU would like to back me on this blog, just go here…

Support this blog on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/DocCross

 

 

CritterCon 10

Day Eleven, Con Day Four


Quick recap again, folks, because we are zipping down the interstate at roughly 175 miles per hour, avoiding both accidents and cops due to very small outside size (a Smart Car), a cloaking device, off road capability and ultra tech computer navigation. And we are all sitting around chatting.

After breakfast at Mistress Diana’s Dungeon Diner, I ran my last Toon game (The House That Jerks Built), then ran one of four final battles in the 24/7 D&D game, went to lunch at the recently opened Killerburger and then met Grace and the Fabulous four to have one last go ’round of the Dealer’s room.

After buying a few things, I left to be on the “We Loves It/We Hates It” panel. As always, it was equal parts geek hate and geek love. No sooner was it over than I ran down the hall to hear what had been decided after reviewing last year’s big questionnaire.

Unsurprisingly, the #1 request was taken care of this year: Not being on the same days as GenCon. We were told that next year, the con will be two weeks before GenCon.

Other requests were not so major: more activities for kids, expansion of the waterpark, earlier starts to some of the big parties, try to get a couple more donut shops, etc.

One big request that they are still mulling over is to add a movie room next to the anime room and to have not just Old Time Radio, but CritterCon exclusive television shows. We’ll know how this shakes out sometime in October.

Once that was over, our band of merry pranksters just hung out and chatted with the great number of other folks waiting the last few minutes of the con out, then the 30 minute gap until the Post Con Cool Down/Pie Feed.

Stuffed with several types of delicious pie, we left the con and Critter City about 7:15. At our current rate of speed, we will be in Baltimore to drop off Spike and Mary in the early morning, then in New Hampshire to drop off Avis, Ginie and the cats a few hours later. From there, we’ll go airborne and kick the bus up to about Mach 4 to get Gabriel home in Los Angeles. After that, out little family will be home about 30 minutes later.

All told, this was the usual swell fictional convention and trip. I know I could have written more, but I’m not the young 53 year old I was when we went to DogCon 1.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with us again this year.

 


CritterCon 10

is over.


But we will all be back next year for…

CritterCon 11

Simple Salamanders

…great starter amphibians

Support this blog on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/DocCross

CritterCon 10

Day Eight, Con Day One

Quick recap of last night: Dungeon Diner for dinner. Great food, spanky leather ambiance, about 40 people in our group.

The ice cream social was great. Delicious ice cream, plenty of folks there. Then those damned Texans brought out about 50 kinds of bourbon and next thing you know I’m being tucked into bed at 1:30 in the morning by Grace & Silky.

Okay, on to today’s action packed schedule.

Breakfast: I skipped it to sleep in an extra 45 minutes before heading off to the Dealer’s Room. Later, just before my Toon game, I ate a large carne asada breakfast burrito.

Games: Hoo boy! Ran a Toon game (A Foogleproof Plan) for 8 people, played in a game of GURPS Reign of Steel, ran a very short (20 minutes) portion of the D&D 5E game that is running 24/7 during the con and played a game of Pirate Fluxx.

Lunch: Same taco truck. Fish tacos.

Seminars: Participated in the Building A Village seminar. Ended up with a pretty good village.

Dinner: Meatloaf at Chez Mom’s with a bunch of folks.

The Drag’n Age Party: While there were indeed several men who looked good in drag, the vast majority of us did not. Maybe it was all the facial/body hair. On the other hand, almost all of the women present looked good in drag, be they wearing tuxedos or workingman clothes.

In all other ways, the party was great. The band played covers of music from the 50’s through the 2000’s. And yes, they were in drag too. The party ended at 2 am. I was back in the room asleep by 2:15.

CritterCon 10

Day Nine, Con Day Two


It was a LARPy day for most of us. All the critters, plus Grace, Mary, Avis, Ginie & I were in the Star Trek LARP. Max & I played Klingons, Sasha and our friend Brian Misiaszek played Romulans and in the end the Klingon Empire gained control of the planet we were all fighting over. Qap maH!

After that LARP ended, Daisy, Max & Roxy headed off to a Critters Only D&D LARP, Avis & Ginie went to play in a steampunk LARP, everbody else ran off to play other games and I went to join Spike in the “Forgotten Games” panel.

After that panel, we grabbed lunch at Waffles From Outer Space! (BACON AND BUTTER FLAVORED SYRUP, Y’ALL!), then went to our next seminar, “Yes, Tell Us About Your Character…In Three Minutes”. Some folks had great characters to talk about, but many others made us glad for the three minute limit.

At that point, Spike and I parted ways and I was off to a “Dads & Daughters” game of Mutants & Masterminds with Silky. The plot of the game had father & daughter super heroes trying to stop Captain Calamity and his daughter Miss Chaotic from taking over Bigge City. It was a hell of a knock down/drag out fight with some hilarious moments.

My character was a speedster named Warpspeed and Silky was my daughter, Tsunami. She got her name because beside having my speed, she had inherited the ability to control water from her mother. She would basically run fast at her target while pushing a couple thousand gallons of water in front of her.

There were ten players in the game and the only other Human/NHT pair was a fellow from Tulsa and his four year old pit/coonhound mix, Belle.

Around then, it was dinner time and we all gathered with many of our friends to eat at Thai One On. Much Thai curry was consumed.

There was no one big party tonight, but there were about two dozen smaller ones, so several of us made the rounds. By about one in the morning, we were all back in our rooms.

Tomorrow’s high points wil be our annual Mud Spa Day and, later on, our annual Old Time Radio broadcast.

More blogging later.

Pork Tower

…NOT a new comic strip from John Kovalic

After The Change Came

Series 3

A Day & Night For Getting One’s Game On

If this post stops abruptly, it’s because I’ve fallen asleep after a day on the go. Here’s the fast recap of what went down for me at QuestCon today.

Breakfast with friends at Magic Waffles.

Listened to Roscoe’s keynote speech. He did great.

Moderated the “Pulp Era Quest Design” seminar. It went very well.

Had an hour in the Dealer’s Room, meeting friends and buying stuff. Fave purchase: A full on replica of the Fire Warrior armor from the original QuestWorld series. It cost more than the first 4 cars I ever owned.

Went to the big “QuestWorld Upgrade 3 Update” event. Biggest news of the very little they had is that there will now be single world Quest clusters and the first ones will all be direct ports of the oldest D&D modules! I think many of us oldsters came near to fainting. Still no taking weapons from one world to another, which I think is a good move.

Took part in the “QuestWorld 3: Let The Rumor Mill Commence” session, with Roscoe and several other folks. Packed house for it and after we covered all of the possible rumors, we started making up really strange ones. The speculation about “Naked Questing” was pretty funny.

Ate lunch with Spike, then checked in with Grace and the sprouts. They were just back from a picnic with Gigi & the pups and my mom & dad.

Playtested one of the surreal Quests from Hot Moon Studios out of Nigeria. All I can say is that Salvatore Dali would have wept with joy. Well, that and if you play this Quest, you never need use hallucinogens.

More time in the Dealer’s Room yakking. Interestingly, found out that my friend Jodi has decided to emigrate to Mars as soon as they allow it. We’ll all miss seeing her at cons.

Dinner with Roscoe & Spike at a little Italian place a couple miles from the con. We swapped stories from our day and discussed what might lay ahead at the Speed Challenge tonight.

Speed Challenge Time! First off, I’ve gotta say that Atlas Games outdid themselves on this Quest. The setting was, of course, The Edge on Al Amarja and it was full blown old school OTE, folks. We were looking to find the Bowl of Truth, but so was every conspiracy on the island. Our characters were a Mover Cell, but we had ties to the Cut-Ups. Yes, at one point we did meet the Cut-Up version of me. That was strange, since he looked like the pre-Change me. Anyway, we completed the Quest in 7 hours, 34 minutes, 26 seconds. This got us (Team Bandana Split) fourth place. Third Place went to the former champs, Team Deadly Sweetness and Second Place went to the folks from Cork, Ireland, Team Salty Dogs. The winning team? Why, that was the team Lily and Marty were on, Team Hella Kitty. Their time of 6 hours 49 minutes, 12 seconds beat the Salty Dogs by 3 minutes, 4 seconds. Well done, kids!

After that, there came a couple hours of drinking and recapping and now will come the sleeping. Doc out.

Doc Tempest Versus The Army Of The Cursed

…from the May, 1958 issue

 

After The Change Came

Series 3

 

An Evening For Chow And Chatting

 

Back in the suite after a busy day of con stuff and then an evening of eating, drinking and yakking with friends. This may be a short post, since I’m way tired and about to collapse. Spike is already asleep in his room and Roscoe is snoring in his bed. It’s like, 3:00 in the morning.

 

So, we got to the con, got our badges and swag bags and were almost immediately drafted into playtesting a Quest, by our friends Merrylyn and Doug. Can’t say a lot about it except that it’s set in ancient Greece and involves an assload of political intrigue. It’ll come online in a couple of months from Hot Octopus Games.

 

After that we had a quick lunch at House of Pizza, then went back to the suite to look through the con book. Lots of cool stuff going on, including the big release of the latest “Over The Edge” Quest from Atlas Games and this year’s Speed Challenge in the “Dungeons & Dinosaurs & Droids” setting. The developers of the setting have rated it “Insanely Suicidal”, so it ought to be fun. Two time Speed Challenge champions, Team Deadly Sweetness, from Egypt, has a big target on them this year. With any luck, my team, Team Bandana Split, will win. Well, ok, with a truckload of luck, we’ll win.

 

And now, to bed. More blogging tomorrow.

 

The Mystery Of The Five Golden Frogs

… featuring that inscrutable detective, Chanley Charles

After The Change Came

Series 3

A Day For Geeking Out

As I post this, Roscoe, Ben and I are on the train to San Francisco for QuestCon. Once we hit the City, we’ll meet up with our friend Spike, with whom we’ll be sharing a suite. Gigi, Lily & Grace will drop into the virtual con later today and many of my East Coast & Midwest friends are at the live con in Chicago. Many more friends are at live QuestCons around the world. Many more will be at the virtual con.

As with previous years, both Roscoe and I will be on live panels that will be carried on the net as they happen. In addition, Roscoe will be giving the keynote speech at the Quest Designer’s Conference. That’s my son right there!

Spike, who is relatively new to the design side of QuestWorld, will be on a couple of panels, too.

Our panels, speeches, etc are as follows…

Roscoe: Keynote speech, “Tips & Tricks for WorldMaker 5”, “My Favorite Quest”, “QuestWorld 3: Let The Rumor Mill Commence”, “Quests For Non-Humanoids”, “What’s New At ManDog Game Design” and the ever popular “QuestWorld Year In Review”

Me: “Pulp Era Quest Design”, “…And That’s When It All Went South On Us”, “QuestWorld 3: Let The Rumor Mill Commence”, “What’s New At ManDog Game Design”, “Mining Pre-Change Adventures For QuestWorld”, and “QuestWorld Year In Review”.

Spike: “Print Editors Turn QuestWorld Troubleshooters”, “Mining Pre-Change Adventures For QuestWorld”, and “QuestWorld Year In Review”.

Speaking of the just barely announced third upgrade of QuestWorld, it’s due in about 6 months. Roscoe has been asked to be on the design team, but beyond that, it’s non-disclosure city. The hot rumor about QW3 (as of a day ago) is that it will allow for longer and more complex quests in larger areas. That seems pretty logical. The rumor of single world quest clusters is more of a maybe.

I’ll post more from the con later.

A Poodle Named Yankee Doodle Ate A Noodle And A Strudel

…then he started to doodle

DogCon 3: Day 4, Part 1

Hoo Boy, that Traveller game last night was FUN. We were told at the beginning that we were diplomats & spies posing as traders, but throught the first hour, we “woke up” to the memory that we were working for different agencies/factions. Of course, nobody knew that anybosy else had a secret agenda. I’m telling ya, by hour 4, there was some cutthroat wheeling & dealing going on, to say nothing of bribery, threats, strong arming and outright kiling.

In hour 5, three bottles of single malt scotch appeared and the wheeling & dealing got even more interesting:)

This morning, after checking out of the hotel, the Cross Family Sideshow went to brunch at “Chez Mom’s” with about 20 of our friends. We ate an obscene amount of food.

After brunch, I ran a short (2 Hour) Over The Edge game titled “Garbage Day”. I had 7 players and it went well.

Next up was the big “Cats VS Dogs LARP”. Winker sat this one out with Abby, but Lucy & Flash both got their game on. 90 minutes later, the canine team won by a mere 14 points. I expect the kitties will be ready to throw down again next year.

I’m pretty sure everyone who came to the con spent the last 2 hours the Dealer’s Room was open in that room. You could almost see the odor of sweaty gamers in the air.

The last event of the con is always the “I Hate/I Love…” seminar/bitchfest. It lasts 2 hours and is very funny.

Once the con is over, everyone (well, almost everyone) waits about an hour, then gathers in the main hall to chat and eat pie. This is mere minutes away from happening.

Once the piefest is over, the Joneses will begin motoring back to Maryland and we shall head the Magic Bus back to California. Another DogCon will be history.

More bloggage later.