Saturday, August 13, 2011

OSRCon, Day 2

The second and final day of OSRCon was today and it was just as enjoyable as yesterday. I'll give a fuller report of events either tomorrow or Monday, but I will share a couple of photos from today's question and answer session with its guests.
Here's one of many of the attendees of the conventions. I was pleased by the wide range of ages represented.
This is a long shot of one of the halls in which the convention was held. You can see the four panelists for the Q&A session (I'm the short guy on the far left).
Here's a group shot of the four of us on the panel discussing the past and present of RPGs and wargaming. That's me on the left. Ed Greenwood is sitting next to me. Next to him in the hat is Alex Von Thorn, who owned and operated a game store here in Toronto for over 20 years. He's also the author of "The Politics of Hell," from issue #28 of Dragon, among several other works. On the far right is Glenn Pearce, who's a member of the Napoleonic Miniatures Wargame Society of Toronto.
This is a close-up of the four panelists.

I'm tired and a little under the weather after the last couple of days' activities, so I'll save in-depth commentary for later. Once again, I'll just say that the con was good fun for all involved and I'm already looking forward to attending again next year.


  1. Looks like great fun, though Ed needs to trim the beard. ;)

    What was your experience of noise in the playing areas? The loudness of GenCon's play areas has kept me from ever running anything.

  2. Right on. I'm playing in the Realms (gray box), so it's cool to see Ed still out doing his thing.

  3. Where is it being held? Nice facilities.

  4. What was your experience of noise in the playing areas?

    If I could provide my thoughts as a player in James' (played in the big, loud room) and Ed's (played in the small, quieter room) sessions, I didn't think that the noise was a bother at all. There's no getting around it: it *was* loud, and the acoustics of the room (high, curved ceiling) made it even louder - but, frankly, it was all part of the fun. The DM's had to speak more loudly, but I think the ambient noise level in the large room actually made the players a little more boisterous - which made the gaming a little more enjoyable. Now, we were playing D&D, which didn't rely much on atmospherics, so I can't say how a Cthulhu game might have fared in the same environment...

    Where is it being held?

    It was held in the basement of the Lillian H. Smith library in downtown Toronto - on College, just east of Spadina.

  5. As bt says above, the playing area was loud, owing to both the acoustics of the place and the presence of multiple games in close proximity to one another. This meant that everyone, especially the referee, had to speak loudly, but that wasn't a problem, as far as I was concerned. I did have to keep going to the fridge to get a bottle of water to keep my throat from parching, but that was no big deal, since it was close by and it was well stocked.

  6. Sounds like it was a big success. Great to hear that. Awesome to see Toronto getting some tabletop RPG action going.

  7. An interesting mix on the panel. Did the talks hang together thematically?

  8. Damn I wish I could have gone. Perhaps next year. Glad you had fun it is great when you get to mingle with fellow gamers.

  9. Did the talks hang together thematically?

    Well, it was more of a general bull session talking about how gaming -- both wargaming and roleplaying -- has changed since the 70s, with everyone supplying anecdotes from their own lives. It was a kind of rambling, raucous celebration of several lifetimes worth of gaming. It was a lot of fun, particularly since Ed can really spin a tale and doesn't pull punches he's not legally obligated to. So, for example, we got some very honest assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of TSR and WotC and their respective products from his perspective, in addition to reminiscences of what it was like to break into the game biz back in the 70s compared to now. I also found Glenn's discussion of Napoleonics wargaming fascinating, too, even though I've never had the time or patience to take up that or related hobbies.

  10. Glad you had fun it is great when you get to mingle with fellow gamers.

    Honestly, that was the best aspect of the con. I'll talk about this more later, when I have the chance to collect my thoughts, but I will say here that I was pleasantly surprised at what a good bunch of folks these gamers were. I knew almost no one there aside from Ed Greenwood and Alex Von Thorn, but it didn't take long for everyone to start treating one another as if we were all friends of longstanding. Far from confirming the stereotype that roleplayers -- particularly grognards -- are a bunch of a socially awkward misfits, OSRCon did just the opposite. I can't tell you how happy that made me.

  11. Wait, there was a convention for old school gaming in Toronto?

    How have I not heard about this?!

    *shuffles off sadly* year.

  12. How have I not heard about this?!

    Good question, since I've been talking about it here for quite a while now.

    Make sure to come next year!

  13. Did someone take a video of the talk?

  14. I really regret not being able to attend! (My plan to do so was disrupted by a work deadline.)

    I very much was looking forward to meeting some new gamers, playing in one of your OD&D sessions, playing in the RQ game, running a game, attending the panel discussion, etc. It looks like it was great fun!


    Next year!

  15. I want to second the statement made by bt that the slightly high noise level in the OSRCon game room just added to the excitement. Also, Chris, the ever-conscientious event organizer, did space the tables a bit further apart on the second day to lessen the noise bleed a little.

    I was also struck by the feeling of general goodwill and camaraderie at the Con. It was a great group of folks, a great time, and EVERYBODY should come next year!

    James, I look forward to hearing your OSRCon reflections (including some specific thoughts about Greenwood's panel comments perhaps?) after some much-needed rest.

  16. I ran a Cthulhu game on Saturday Morning, and Chris was nice enough to put me in the little room. I only had 3 players but that was great for CoC and it went really well no trouble with sound at all! Had a really great time & met many awesome gamers!! :0)

  17. Put me down for OSRCon in 2012 as well.