Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ashes of Athas at Owlcon

Because of the success of Dark Sun gaming at Comicpalooza in 2010 and 2011, we wanted to link the Ashes of Athas Living play for this campaign in Houston, especially since too few of us travel to GenCon, Origins, etc.

The Incomparable Mr. Sims!
Also, with gaming legend Chris Sims returning to Houston for Owlcon (along with Keith Baker of Eberron fame), we'll have a global admin so we're in a good place to offer lots of hot AoA play under the blistering sun of Athas.

Chapter 1 was offered at Comicpalooza 2011.  Chapter 2 would have been retired, but we received special permission to offer it, and we're going ahead with Chapter 3 as well.  Each chapter offers 3 adventures in an arc, so there will be 6 different mods you can play at Owlcon, a full 24 hours of Athas awesomeness! ( 6 mods x 4 hours per slot).

For Owlcon, I am only focusing on AoA and letting those experienced vets do their thing without my interference.  I am still looking for a few DMs and Owlcon offers a free pass for DMs willing to run 2 slots over the weekend.   Owlcon XXXI is February 3 - 5, 2012.

AoA2-1 – Plotting the Course: Politics and in-fighting reign in Altaruk as the dust settles. Which course will the city take and what can the heroes do to help keep things on track. An Ashes of Athas Living Campaign adventure set in the World of Dark Sun – Chapter Two – Part One for characters 3rd-4th level.

AoA2-2 – Allies Kept Closer: Enemies abound and allies are in short supply. Altaruk needs friends and champions to the cause to keep her banners flying high. Who do the heroes trust to stand by their side? An Ashes of Athas Living Campaign adventure set in the World of Dark Sun – Chapter Two – Part Two for characters 3rd-4th level.

AoA2-3 – A Time to Stand: The time of hiding is past and the light of the red sun shall shine on all this day. Those wishing your demise make a bold play for power and their not looking to share. An Ashes of Athas Living Campaign adventure set in the World of Dark Sun – Chapter Two – Part One for characters 3rd-4th level.

AoA3-1 – The Remains of the Living God: The Dragons dwell among us living Gods but one of their number has fallen if the rumors are true. Journey beneath the Zigguart in Kalak for answers to the rumors as well as why your enemies are taking such great interest in getting there first. An Ashes of Athas Living Campaign adventure set in the World of Dark Sun – Chapter Three – Part One for characters 4th-5th level.

AoA3-2 – The Veil Parted: Questions you have plenty of but answers have been few and far between to this point. A lead and a clue have fallen into your lap and it’s time to get those answers and make those responsible pay. An Ashes of Athas Living Campaign adventure set in the World of Dark Sun – Chapter Three – Part Two for characters 4th-5th level.

AoA3-3 – The Source of Strife: Many you called friend have fallen since that ill-fated day of betrayal. Your long journey has led to this place of ancient power. The choices you make this day could spread like ripples in a pool if you are not careful. An Ashes of Athas Living Campaign adventure set in the World of Dark Sun – Chapter Three – Part Three for characters 4th-5th level.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Houston Gaming Conventions - Discussion

Owlcon XXXI will be awesome. I hope I will see you all there? www.owlcon.com


So I want to start a long-tem discussion with the Houston Gaming community, and I admit I don't know the place best for that. If any of you own/host a blog and think we could borrow some chatter space, I'm all for that. Also, I'd like a place to pull in those who you know, who have an opinion, but who I didn't know how to reach...

As many of you know, I've been involved in Comicpalooza 2010, 2011, and looking towards 2012 as Gaming coordinator. I've done in-store game days, D&D Encounters, and now getting into helping with Owlcon too. I want more. I want bigger & better. That's not to demean those other events--far from it! Owlcon has been amazing year after year, and the response to Comicpalooza trying to figure itself out, has also been awesome. Yet, my education in marketing and sales, my years of experience, yearn for something more. I've been trying to get "names", Gaming celebs, if you will, to Houston, to put us on the map. I don't want to re-invent the wheel, but I do think we have desire and potential for at least one [more] major Con in this city, per year.

Last year, Comicpalooza put Gaming way down on the other end of the building, and a lot of you rightly jumped on me for that. No worries, although not my decision, it was necessary to hear all your feedback. I took that back to the board and let them know we had a lot of frustration with placement, promotion of events, and a lack of communication with local stores (for example, Asgard had a big Privateer Press tourney and we worked against each other, without meaning to - I had the state guys from Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio here, but no one came to their events). Comicpalooza 2012 has a whole new set of challenges. The floorplan right now is merely rooms A1 and B1.

I'm frankly really worried that this might work great for a comic book / pop culture con, but might be too noisy and uncomfortable for Gaming. Which leads my brain around to those people who suggested hotels, other venues, conference centers, and so forth. For example, would most of you consider attending a Gaming convention at Moody Gardens in June or July, if something like that formed up? Here are some of the many points I'd like to earnestly hear your long-term input on, since I don't plan to withdraw from Houston Gaming until I can celebrate with all of you, whatever monster awesome epic convention we finally give birth to. To be very clear, I am not talking about anything "against" Comicpalooza. Yet, Gaming is not currently the core of that con, no matter how much I wish my segment was better represented.

- What forum can best be used to exchange ideas and archive these discussions?

- What venue(s) do you recommend, and how better to use them?

- What can a/the convention do / do better that it has not done before?

- Should the con be more like Comic-Con, or PAX, or Gencon....or....?

- What can YOU contribute to such an undertaking...should I consider you part of the team which wants to be involved?

- What time of year works, works best, and doesn't work? (For example, I've heard some grumbles about Memorial Day, but some think Labor Day would be better)

- Does anyone have hotel, conference center, city of Houston, Reliant Park, Woodlands, etc contacts?

And stuff like this. I know there is a lot of small press publishers and game companies in Texas. I know we have writers, creators, designers, artists, sculptors. We have tons of gamers from tabletop RPG, to minis, historical, LARP, card games, board games... we have companies like Steve Jackson and Dark Skull, Dark Nova...just to throw out the bare three names I know well. Maybe I am just a dreamer, but I figure, if we dream a little together? Imagine being host to the US or world Pathfinder or D&D or Warhammer 40K tourney, or the international White Wolf Southwest Masquerade Ball. Again, just a tiny few ideas which could be pebbles in the avalanche.

Thanks for listening. At your leisure, please don't just read and delete. Help me and your fellow Gamers out...give us some feedback?

PS - Yes, there is a business opportunity here. I'd like to hear from you privately if you have that kind of interest, in being a partner, contributor, potentially profit-share volunteer, etc. BUT that's not the main topic of this discussion. Brainstorm first.