Saturday, September 24, 2011

At-Home Con 2011

When my gaming friends from yesteryear finally agreed to visit, I was ecstatic - but also nervous. I haven't seen these guys in going on 15 years, and even though we've played a few sessions of AD&D online, it isn't the same as seeing them face-to-face. It also isn't the same as having people at my house.

I'd brought-up the idea of attending one of the many conventions a few times, but without luck; it seemed we had simply gotten over the con days of our youth - or at least they had. One of them, who is new to the group and younger than the rest of us, has never even been to a convention. So I hit upon the idea of making it a themed weekend, and dubbed the entire thing "At-Home Con 2011."

I planned a convention once many years ago. Unfortunately, funding for the event fell through and the con never got off the ground. Someone else snaked the name and idea and held their convention a week before we were to hold ours. We had to get legal action to stop them, but we were too late (even though they were forced to display a disclaimer, admitting they'd stolen the idea and the name). Planning a weekend-long event is pretty similar, regardless of the setting and people involved, so I had some experience and a good idea and I went with it.

At-Home Con consists of a menu, as I'll be preparing meals and snacks. Since it is near Halloween, some of the snacks are easy: I bought Halloween candy dishes and filled them with candy bars and Halloween candy treats. I'm also making Ro-Tel Dip to serve with tortilla and potato chips. Lastly, I'm buying microwave popcorn and spray cheese to serve with Ritz crackers. I developed the meals, wrote-out the recipes for each, and created a grocery list of the ingredients. I bought the ingredients in increments so I didn't go broke and could still afford to feed myself in the meantime. It timed-out perfectly for Halloween decorations, so the house is already decked-out.

I will have supper prepared for their arrival Friday night, when we will start a game of Dark Conspiracy. I already printed-out the character sheets and had worksheets from years ago in the folder, so that's set to go (they wanted to create their own characters). I have an adventure already written - it was once published on the site and will be again, soon - and it's a doozy! I'm really proud of it and was impressed by my attention to detail when I wrote it so long ago (at least five years or more). It is a straight session game, so I assume five to six hours of gaming with character creation.

I have enough bedrooms to fit everyone and I will sleep on the couch. Though they've continually suggested we pull an all-nighter, I don't necessarily see that happening. There will be two fresh pots of coffee brewed when they arrive, either way. They're bringing booze with which to spike it and that's as far as I can go on the drinking since I'm hosting this shindig.

AD&D is the "Big Game" - the one everybody is excited to play - and we already have characters for it. I also have a good deal of the campaign developed, as well as an adventure that was planned to span two sessions. I anticipate playing it for more than four hours, so I scheduled it for Saturday. After a large breakfast/brunch, we will start the game and during the break, I will start the late dinner, which we will eat either after the second session or as we play. This game is just going to go on until we decide to quit.

Saturday night we are going to create characters for ChiLL. I have some exciting news on that front that I'm holding close to my vest for now, but suffice it to say we may not start playing ChiLL the same night we create characters, as I want them to really learn the system a bit as they go through it. It will also be good for me to coach them.

Lastly, I created badges for everyone and even started on a program. Power outages apparently corrupted my printer - either the drivers or the hardware itself - so I can't print them. I may skip the programs, even though I'd really like to do them. I may also just send them to one of the friends and have him print them for me. I really am going all-out on this!

In fact, everyone who attends is getting a grab bag full of comic books, a gaming supplement, and a mystery novel chosen at random. If I had time, I would actually draw something and sign it for them just so it's like they had an Artist's Alley. The whole thing is basically being sponsored by The Weirding.

At-Home Con 2011 is a reality and is happening one week from today, so I thought I'd share the planning with you.

© C Harris Lynn, 2011

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