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.