Been awfully quiet around here recently.  My apologies, work and life have got in the way of gaming and blogging I”m afraid.  That said, this past weekend was HelgaCon, and the only reason I didn’t post about it coming up was the simple fact that I was so busy making it happen.  For those who don’t know, HelgaCon is a mini-convention that I organize.  This year we had 20 people all in a lovely house down near the Cape for a weekend of gaming and, well, mostly just gaming.  Very little of anything else really, including sleeping.

I’ll go into more detail in future posts, but for now, here are some highlights:

  • The house was awesome.  I really wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get a place for so many people.  Houses that big tend to be pretty extravagant, which leads to much higher prices.  I luckily happened upon the Idlewild, a former 19th century hotel now rented as a large vacation home with very reasonable off-season rates.  The owner was extremely helpful and easy to work with, the house was gorgeous, and everyone commented throughout about how happy they were with the location.  I expect we’ll be there again next year.
  • Two new guys joined us that despite the “6 degrees of Paul” game played during introductions at this thing could get to me in just two hops, none of us had never met.  They turned out to be very nice, fun to game with, and as luck would have it, expert breakfast chefs.  I was having trouble getting volunteers for KP and they took up the slack for both breakfasts.  I have to applaud them for their chutzpah in going away for a weekend to game with 18 strangers and make them all breakfast to boot.  My hat is off to you guys.
  • The games, as usual, were awesome.  My games conveniently organized themselves in a vague crescendo of fun.  Not to say I didn’t have fun at my earlier games, they were all great, but I did find that as the weekend progressed I was enjoying myself more and more and it really ended on a high note for me.  The only downside is that now I’m hitting a few withdrawal symptoms — I can’t believe there’s no game today.
  • Delta’s hex-crawl on the Outdoor Survival board, per OD&D text, was really hugely enjoyable for me.  Our goal was simple: gather 100,000 sp.  We only hit 61,000.  I seriously want another try.
  • I shifted the evening games from 7-11 to 8-midnight.  My original thought was that this gave folks an hour to cool down after gaming and still get to bed by midnight.  Who was I kidding, folks were up jawwing well past 2 am every time.  The 8 o’clock start time is far more realistic for Friday as folks struggle to get down after work (location in Plymouth was a real boon in that regard this year though).  On Saturday, having 2 hours for dinner was very nice, and it gave everyone a chance to breathe and actually socialize with their fellow gamers, which I think really does help the general atmosphere.
  • Another bonus of being just an hour away instead of further out on the cape is I felt a little less rushed getting everyone out the door and the house tidied before I left.  I managed to get out by 4, even though we had the house until 5.  In fact, I think in future it might be nice to have some kind of 30 minute or so formal gathering of folks as a deneument to the event.  Like an awards ceremony or something, just to cap off the weekend and make it feel a bit less abrupt going from gaming to packing and leaving.  I’ll have to think about that, as there are no awards to give, so I’m not sure what kind of context to put to such a thing.

OK, that’s everything off the top of my head.  Pictures and specifics about games will follow.