Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thank You!

This weekend, while TridentCon was going on, someone asked me "What does success look like for this?"  I didn't have a good answer, but gesturing around the room seemed to do the trick.  Throughout Saturday, as I stepped outside to cool off, I enjoyed the sight of cars triple-parked in a tiny game-store parking lot.  That's what success looks like.  I am immensely pleased with how the whole thing went.

It wasn't all perfect or without potholes, of course; the printer sent only women's t-shirts, for example.  That was certainly unexpected.  (We'll see about more t-shirts in the next week or so, watch this space).  But all in all, it went great.  Saturday was insane; Sunday it felt like we had a handle on things; and Monday was quiet and pretty chill.

Here's the 'by the numbers' breakdown:

RPG sessions run: 18, plus lots of Sails of Glory and Pathfinder Adventure Card Game throughout the weekend

Participants: about 55 unique gamers throughout the weekend by my unscientific count

PC Tombstones added to the wall: 16

Minutes it took to destroy the stack of pizzas on Saturday: 3.5

Money raised for Wounded Warrior: $337

We had people come in from as far as Connecticut, and a handful were up from Virginia as well.  The store (and backyard) were full of laughter and I-can't-believe-that-just-happened moments, as you would expect.  The sessions were full of pirates, ghost ships, evil fish-men, swinging from the rigging, swashbuckling, ancient Atlantean hooha, and more.

Thank you to everyone who participated - a gaming gathering is nothing without players!  Extra thanks to the volunteer GMs.

Special thanks to Matt Hudson, the local Pathfinder Society Venture Captain, who took care of things on the Golarion side of the con.

Special thanks to Travis Lerol, Roger Beaudry, and the crew at CardBoard Gaming for hosting and putting up with all of this.

Another tip of the tricorn to Gus L, who provided the Admiral Fish logo.

And a further, very important thanks to the following people and publishers who provided prize support:

Brendan at Bedrock Games

Zzarchov at Unofficial Games

Rachel at Legendary Games

David at Okumarts

Pete at Small Niche Games

Trey at Armchair Planet

Jon at Purple Sorcerer

Mark at Purple Duck Games

John at d20pfsrd.com

Brett at Precis Intermedia Games

Richard at New Big Dragon

It was a serious prize pile, both physical and digital.  Tridenteers waiting on digital prizes should see something later this week.  (Yes, 'Tridenteers' is the word I'll use now for attendees)

At another point during the weekend, someone else inquired "Are you guys going to do this next year?"  I only know that Travis and I agreed to discuss that matter a few weeks from now once we'd both caught up on sleep.  If you came to Trident and had a great time, let us know.  I want to hear your thoughts - what works, what didn't work, ideas for a hypothetical next time (with a different theme of course), and so forth.  And I especially want to hear tales from the table I might have missed, or updates down the road on how you used a prize you received at Trident.

Thanks again for joining us!

Erik Jensen
Trident Organizer

The adventures of Admiral Fish...continue?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Parking, Eating, and Winning: One Week To Go

Only a week remains before Trident opens!  Let's go over some logistics so you're prepared for the mini-con.

You can park at CardBoard Gaming, at the auto mechanic's next door, or around the corner.  I strongly encourage carpooling.  Staff will be deliberately parking far away to leave more space for con-goers, and I encourage CardBoard regulars who know the area to do the same, as we have folks coming to Trident from a good distance outside the Odenton area.  If you want to pull up to the store, drop off a laptop, backpack, and box of books inside, then park your car properly some distance away, that's fine too.  There is no good public transportation to CardBoard, I'm sorry to say.

Nearby you will find a number of local eateries.  Please note this is a "driving nearby", not a "walking nearby".  Within reasonable range:
Dairy Queen
Three Brothers Italian
Hunan Rose
Hong Kong Gourmet
Little Caesar's
Papa John's
Five Guys
and there's a WaWa a bit further away if you're crafty about your route of approach.
Some of these establishments will deliver to the store, if you're into that - staff have the necessary info.  Note also that CardBoard itself sells drinks and snacks (chips, candy, and the like), and you are welcome to bring your sack lunch or outside food into the store.  I expect there will be some food-pools and pizza-ordering and such going on.  As noted in an earlier blogpost, think of Trident as a three-day gaming binge in somebody's (remarkably clean and well-lit) basement!

As of right now the weather for Trident looks pretty good!  The goal is clear skies, as we're setting up some tables outside with canopies so we can spread out.  If we have to jam everybody indoors, we can, but the noise level will be best if we can spread out a bit and take advantage of what's looking to be a beautiful early-Autumn weekend.  This is Maryland we're talking about, though, so please come prepared dressed in layers or with a jacket handy so you can enjoy the outdoor tables as well.

We'll have prize pulls during the "between games" period of 4 to 5, and perhaps at the opening of festivities on Sunday and Monday as well.  You'll be given prize tickets when you show up, and when you play each game during Trident.  There are other ways to earn extra prize tickets - including wearing a (family-friendly!) themed costume (such as pirate gear), or being awarded a ticket by CardBoard staff or GMs for sportsmanship or helping with 'extra duties as assigned' during the weekend.  Con-goers who upgrade their registration to include a t-shirt will get an extra prize ticket as well (while shirt supplies last).

We have a very nice stack of prizes, both digital (pdfs or download codes) and physical, from generous publishers such as:
Bedrock Games
Purple Sorcerer
Armchair Planet
Purple Duck Games
Legendary Games
New Big Dragon
Unofficial Games
Precis Intermedia

Games start at 11am on Saturday; to facilitate that, the store will be open probably earlier than its usual 10am opening.  GMs, please consider arriving at 10 so we can get you settled and you can start spreading your paper empire around you at your assigned table, you can meet the staff, and get settled with an energy drink and whatever brunch you brought along...

Registration at the store shouldn't take long at all - you hand over your five bucks (or more if you want a t-shirt), we'll get your name on a badge and hand you some prize tickets, and it's off to the races.  I'll walk around right before eleven to ensure everyone who's seated is registered, and to ensure tables are getting filled.  Speaking of which --

If a table lacks a quorum to play, I will work to place you elsewhere so you can play!  There are limits to some tables as far as minimums and maximums - particularly those running organized play - and there's a practical maximum at any table, but the point is to show up and play games.  Please be open-minded and cheerful if a session you're in gets moved to a different table or cancelled for any reason.

Any last-minute issues or questions?  Hit me up at erikisarobot@gmail.com.

That's it - pack your dice and a pencil, and we'll see you in seven days!