Gary Con II Rocked

Saturday afternoon, Marty and I drove out to Lake Geneva for Gary Con II. This is a small gaming convention that the Gygax family and their friends have held on the anniversary of Gary Gygax‘s death for the past two years. It started out as a gathering of such folks at the wake after Gary’s funeral. The family decided it was such a great way to memorialize Gary — what could be more fitting? — that they should do it every year.

When we got to the show, Marty and I signed in and started hunting around for a game. We wound up joining my friend Joe Goodman of Goodman Games, who ran an old-school D&D variant in which we all played a band of peasants setting out to find fame and fortune in our first adventure. While the body count was high, Joe anticipated this and had us each roll up a pair of characters to start with. When one guy ran through both of his, I gave him my spare so he could keep having fun. It was just that kind of game.

For the evening slot, we’d hoped to get into a session of Metamorphosis Alpha run by its designer, Jim Ward. It was chock full, though, with two packed round tables, so Marty and I opted for a session of the original Chainmail instead. We helped play the Forces of Weal launching an assault against the moathouse fortress that played such a huge role in the original D&D module The Village of Hommlet. This was Marty’s first time playing a miniatures game, and he loved it.

After a full day of gaming, we had to head home. It was great to see so many old friends again, like Jim Ward, James Mishler, Frank Mentzer, Tom Wham, Mike Carr, (fellow Alliterate) Steve Sullivan, Stephen Chenault (of Troll Lord Games), and a bunch of the Kenzer & Co. crew, including Jolly Blackburn, Brian Jelke, and David Kenzer, plus almost the entire Gygax family and their tight-knit crew of helpers, especially Dale Leonard. I didn’t have enough time to chat with all of them, but sometimes just being in the same place and playing games together is enough — just like Gary would have wanted it.