OK, I just got back from Fear the Con last night. For those of you who do not know Fear the Con is a gaming convention based around the Fear the Boot podcast. I have done the big cons before but this was my first ever small con (approx 100 people). What follows is random thoughts on my trip. They will be confusing to people who were not there and even more confusing to people who are not on the FtB forums.
I had a great time at this event. Highlights were meeting Unknown_Scholar and his wife Elizabeth. Hopefully we can get some Battletech going in the GA/SC area some time. Hanging out with Mike, RobJustice and Duke. Evidently I look like Henry Rollins. Meeting Chris and Tim from Wisconsin. Talking with Christian and Ardent Finder. Meeting Tony the Pimp of the Internet. He got this name because the whole internet seems to know him, this is because he is a really nice guy. Martian_Bob and GrungyDan at the dirty joke session. Meeting Phil, bringer of all things Stargate. Meeting Matt from FtB and talking gaming.
This was the most fun I have ever had at a con. 12 straight hours of gaming bliss. All of it Savage Worlds and all of it distinct. Tony was bringing around fruit, which was a stroke of genius. I got a chance to sit with Ardent Finder, Christian, and Ghostrunner and talk jobs and computer programming (I have forgotten the other guys name who was sitting there he was a 3D map maker and cool). I was in every game with a guy named Adam (forum name is like El Rav Delux?) and doubled up several times with guys like Omaejel and Mike Flynn (Mad Mike?).
Savage Dukes of Hazard
The premise was that Boss Hogg sells the Duke boys souls to the devil and we have to race to the courthouse to stop them. This was just pure two-fisted joy. I played Daisy and was allowed to use my feminine charms to stun the bad guys, this was GM genius on Luke's part to make sure the wacky character had something to do in combat. The whole thing climaxed with a crazy General Lee jump and a brawl with a giant pig riding devil who could shoot lightning from his heavy metal hands.
Savage Warcraft vs. Sims
This was John's humor game and it was a blast. I played a goblin with a bomb strapped to my back that I could not remove. The premise was that we went through a portal and found ourselves in the game The Sims. We had to scale the Sim Tower and defeat Will Wright. This is how comedy RPGs should be done. The combat was still fun, it was the world itself that was silly. The characters were all interesting (there was a two headed ogre played by two different players).
My last game of the day was run by Dan. It was a far more serious game than the other two and was far closer to my preferred play style. Very few shots were fired and there was much intrigue to be had. It was set in a universe of Dan's creation that showed a lot of depth. A perfect was to cap off the night.
This was my first time playing in a Savage Worlds game, and all three games used the system. I am, at heart, a crunchy simulationist so I was concerned that this bare-bones system would no hold up with repeated play in different styles. Boy, was I wrong. All three games had a very different feel to them. I was most impressed with Savage World's ability to cover all the possibilities in Dan's game (and of course Dan's ability to pull it off). I don't know that I would use it for most of my games, I prefer the level of skill fidelity offered by GURPS for my less combat centered games. Also I am not sure how you could distinguish between many different types of ships/guns/vehicles with Savage Worlds either. That said, for my more pulp action games this will be my system of choice... I may stop using D+D for fantasy, there I said it, I may never use it again. Also this is the perfect convention gaming system because there is very little room in the rules for argument, they are that clear. I am converted to your cult Luke.
Tony Pimp of the Internet
I got a chance to talk to him a couple of times over the weekend and I cannot stress enough how nice this guy is. Also he seems very charity minded, he was selling a short story collection for charity and then went and donated the left over fruit from the con to charity. I purchased his Toasted Ravioli short story collection and very much enjoyed the story he wrote. Also he has multiple podcasts about movies and loosing weight (Fanboy Smackdown, Tony's Losing It, Scifi Smackdown)
The people who made it possible
This weekend was a great break for me so thank you to all the people who worked to get Fear the Con going. Carla, Stacey, Dan, Luke, Matt, Chad, John, Tony, I know I saw Mike and Omaejel's wife working the desk and others I am not thinking about. Also thanks to the the random drunk guy.
Not a lot of these. St Louis airport is a pain in the ass. Our flight attendant forgot her ID so the flight home was delayed for two hours. I have no idea how there is no system in place for this. It took 30 minutes to get a hamburger from the Chilis there too. Sadly Adam is no longer with the podcast so I did not get a chance to meet him, hopefully next time or at GenCon. The only other down side was it wasn't longer, and really that is a pretty good downside to have.
Next year I will be. This was exactly the type of place I would like to run a game. And the type of people I like to run for.
This is what it cost me, grand total for the trip. It was worth every cent. It has been a long, frustrating couple of months and this was the perfect break, just what I needed. I probably got less total fun from my Xbox than from this con. If you get the chance to go next year...GO!