Leprecon 39 Game Master Rules

What’s new? I’ll tell ya:

I am the Gaming Director for LepreCon 39, the annual science fiction and fantasy convention with a special emphasis on SF/F Art.  Below are my various collected information blurbs on this subject, so that you, dear reader, may know the truth – and that I have a site I can direct people too when posting all or part of the blurb seems too unwieldy.

LepreCon 39 will take place May 9-12, 2013 at the Marriot hotel in downtown Mesa. There is a full badge and a gaming only badge. You’ll have to refer to the website for current pricing.

http://www.leprecon.org/lep39

The theme is Warriors of the Rainbow. Really.

A Gaming Only pass provides access to the gaming area, the Dealers Room, the Art Display and the Con Suite (where the snacks are!). It does not allow access to panels or other non-gaming events. It is only good for the weekend (May 11 & 12) as that is when organized game activity begins.

Our dedicated gaming area will have several tables available for running role-playing games, miniature simulations, board games, or as a central point for LARPing. Some tables can be reserved, others will be just there for the taking.

We will have a library of board games and a stockpile of props and miniatures available to check out. There will be sign-up sheets for scheduled games.

We are particularly interested in hosting LARPs, tournament games (RPG or otherwise) and demos of games no one has played before (perhaps because you just wrote the rules). Anyone willing to organize something along those lines would find in us a receptive and enthusiastic host.

Gaming inquiries can come to me directly, through any of the means listed below. Vendor or general convention inquiries are best directed at the directed to the Co-Chairs by contacting Patti Hultstrand at lepreconprogramming@yahoo.com.

PROPOSED RULES FOR GAME MASTERS – PARTICIPANTS

(These aren’t final, but they will be very close).

LepreCon wants and needs game masters to run games at the convention, and to that end we offer Participant badges. There are some rules.

A GM must sign up in advance to run at least three sessions of a published game (or a scenario based on published rules). We expect these games to go 2-4 hours, but this a default, not a requirement. We do need a fairly realistic estimate of time required when signing up so that we may schedule accordingly.

Participation in a panel or workshop counts the same a game session.

Published means that it is available for sale commercially from someplace other than the hands of the author. If it is for sale in the Dealer’s Room, we will count that.

A GM may run a game with unpublished rules and qualify for a participant badge provided that GM joins the Game Designers Collective detailed below.

Game Designer’s Collective

While we would like to provide a place to incubate and play-test home-brew and unpublished systems and scenarios, they are notoriously poor draws for participation. To mitigate the problem of Game Designers sitting at their empty tables looking sad, we have some special rules – er incentives for GMs of unpublished games:

You will qualify for a participant pass if you join the Lep39 Game Designer’s Collective. This club exists only for the Leprecon 39, but you will meet some folks, and get feedback on your game. Who knows what could happen afterwards.

The requirements are as follows:

  •  Members must provide at least four readable, playable copies of the rules to their game (and any other required elements needed for the game). (This is a guideline – the bottom line is that we need to be able to learn and play the game from materials available at the table.)
  •  Members must agree to run/demo at least two scheduled sessions of that game.
  • Each Member must agree to play every other member’s game at least once.
  • Give feedback to each other as if you were grown-ups.

Of course, you are always free to buy a badge, and then run whatever game you want whenever you want it, so long as there is an open table.

TRANS-DIMENSIONAL  TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

Can a 18th level paladin take on a space marine? Let’s find out!

In the Gaming Room, I want to put together the Trans-Dimensional Tournament of Champions. Bring your baddest-ass character, and we will convert him/her/it to a common rule system (Likely GURPS – but I am open to suggestions), make a bracket and battle it out.

Prizes for the winner!

(So … that means I’m fishing for a sponsor as well.)

Now you know.

CopperCon 31 and a few other lessons

First – I’ve actually updated other blogs.

Are we lost yet profiles Elden Springs and my upcoming book signing / workshop.

DIRECT LINK TO THE REI EVENT

And at Writing Made Visible, there are some reposts about the accelerating sales of  e-books.

Small cons are great – because you can actually talk to people!

Buy some light groceries and keep them in the hotel room.

The art carries the story in a comic book (or graphic novel, or any variant). Words only get what little space is left over, so every word has to count. No small talk.

There is no standard for comic book scripts. Unless you’re writing for Dark Horse Comics. Their format is here.

Marketing (or anything else) via social media – a few rules:

1) Be social first! Pitch your crap second. The other way around just gets you deleted.

2) If you’re not comfortable with the format, don’t use it. You’ll likely suck at it anyway.

3) If you’re marketing yourself as a writer – write well. Spells words correctly.

4) No amount of social media presence will make up for a shoddy product.

The current estimate is that half of all star systems have planets, and the average may be 1-10 planets per star.

We find an awful lot of “Hot Jupiters” – gas giants closely orbiting a star – which goes against our model of how solar systems form. We know why we keep finding them – they are relatively easy to spot. We have no idea why they would exist at all.

Planets orbiting pulsars are very easy to find, even as small as the Earth. But the pulsar’s radiation makes life pretty much impossible.

Piratey sword-fighting was all about shorter movements with shorter swords (crowded ships and all).  And footwork – you live or die by footwork.

I’m over adapting anything to D20. It’s no longer supported for 3.5, and I have no urge to learn 4.0. I’m pushing forward with the game. Amen.

I’m thinking about writing it in Tiddlywiki. Seriously.

There might be a separate blog for that later on.

Finally New Scientist looks into the quantum-mechanics of human thought.

Now you know.

About damn time…

I promised some notes for the Thursday night folks, and they’re here, and you don’t have to skip down that far…

2nd edition AD&D came out when Excel was still almost strictly an accountants tool. By the time the RPG community discovred it, we had all collectively (and pretty much at the insistence of Wizards of the Coast) moved on to 3rd edition+. Consequently, there are no good Excel character sheets out there for ADD2. I spent longer researching this than any other item below (except the car keys).

The correct tire size for a 2006 Chevy Equinox 2WD LT with 16″ rims is: P23565R16 – which is the size of the tires in the front. It was not the size of the tires in the back which were both smaller and (consequently) balder than the front.  Or they were. $230 later and all the tires match – two of which are new. Related: 20 minutes on the internet saved me $30. Not a bad return.

The keys for that Equinox are either:

  • Within 100 feet of N33d 35.478   W 110d 36.618 (the campsite where I lost my keys) OR
  • Somewhere within the Equinox that can only be reached by tools.

Leaving an extra set of keys with your loving spouse will save you several hundred dolllars. The tank of gas and dinner for the in-laws involved in having them delivered was, then, pennies on the dollar.

2006 Chevy Equinox is the most frequent search term that leads to this site. But let’s talk about writing.

I have already written a little primer on how to seek and query literary agents: Quick & Dirty guide to finding agents

Writer’s Market and/or WritersMarket.com is the industry standard for finding an outlet for non-fiction articles and/pr short fiction (and basically anything else that’s not a book. The physical book is more complete, but tends to get out of date by the end of the year. The website (which requires subscription) has gotten mixed reviews for functionality. I’m about to subscribe myself – I’ll let you know.

[The book I linked to includes a free sub to the website.]

Meanwhile, freelancewriting.com has a less exhaustive but free listing of writer’s guidelines for various publications

Nerd-pron: Attack Vector Tactical

William Gibson’s Neuromancer

Allen Ginsberg’s Howl

Looking for Thai-American magazine markets leads you to Writer’s Market or site in Thai.

If you can re-map you keyboard from Windows – I dunno how. (And I looked). So there’s I failed to learn. Sigh.

I’ve been traveling, which is always full of lessons, but that will wait for next post – which will be sooner than 9 days.

Now You Know

It finally happened…

A moment to breath, and the will to blog coincide.

Holidays, the aftermath of holidays, work, other blogs, marketing initiatives and fiction have pushed ahead of this project for the past few weeks. So it goes.

My wife may have a marketng client, and we are cobbling together a business/marketing plan/site to help him (and presumably other self-published authors) get a little more exposure. There aren’tenough for-sure details yet to expound,but if you want to follow the thought process online, the dummy-test site is here: Writing Made Visible

For my Thursday night folk – I don’t have any good notes, but I do have this:

Writing: You're doing it wrong.

I discovered how far you can drive in a 2006 Equinox between the time the low-gas light comes on, and the time you actually run it out of gas – and that’s about 60 miles. Happily, I ran out of gas less than a block from my house, but that never makes for a good morning.

There’s really no good place in an Equinox, or any SUV, to put a gas can that has just been emptied.

Don’t even look at TV Tropes, or its kissing cousin Speculative Fiction Tropes unless you have several of hours of your life that you won’t need back. (A contributor to lack of production on this blog and many others).

Speaking of wastes of perfectly good space/time:

From Tor.com – and exchange of lunatic letters concerning our friends the octopi.

Werewolves are literary orphans

Have a few seconds? Need a comic-book or pup novel premise? They Fight Crime

Having failed to learn from previous attempts, I am thinking of putting together yet another RPG gaming group. Input welcome. In person (probably at my house in Phoenix) – I’m over gaming via e-mail.

Now You Know

We found a way to run new rope through a headblock without someone (usually me) up at the headblock to force the issue:

We took a one foot section of the new rope and removed the central core. Then we stuck the onld (thinner) manila line and the end of the new rope halfway each into the empty sleeve, and taped the hell out of it with electrical tape. We had to yank it sternly to get that portion through the block (there are keepers,you see, which are designed to keep the rope in the block, but also just barely let the new thicker rope pass). In 30 linesets, it only broke once.

Every fire curtain is rigged a different way, so if you’re going to mess with it (like, say, re-roping it), you’d best march up to the grid and discover how the contraption is actually rigged.

Burkhard Heim may have come as close to a Unified Field Theory as anyone else [according to a New Scientist article which may require registration to view]. More importantly to the fictional future, his theories point the way towards a functional hyperdrive. Heim rarely published, and never published in English so much of his work from the 1950’s is just now being “discovered”.

My dream of a unified combat damage system for both melee weapons and firearms may not be possible. Primary evidence is that armor designed to prtect against melee weapons is useless against bullets, and for the most part vice-versa. Running numbers I discovered that melee damage can be satifactorily measured in Newtons while ballistic damage can be satisfactorily measured in Joules (kilojoules, actually). These line up with the damage range consensus among most RPGs.

E-books, copyright and zombies.

I wouldn’t count on another entry here until after the holidays.

Now you know.

Links of tangental relevance to my current life

Do you not get enough drama from your “friends” on Facebook?

Try following the antics of fictional friends on Fatebook.

Need a reason to stay up all night and fret about the future of humanity?

Robots with guns – soon!

Remember way back on my other blog, when I explained The Miserable Truth About Plastic Bottles?  No less than Slate.com agrees with me.

Forty years later: random facts about Apollo 11.

Have you just spent years writing the best RPG ever? Too bad.

The E-bbok debate nicely summarized in five points.

And now, because its been a while, further news on the antics of the octopi:

Spain’s Islands of the Gods. “But we’re content. We have our peace and everything we need: meat, octopus, goats, chicken and vegetables,” says Victoria, as she herds her goats into a stall.

And the journal Afarensis has compiled a survey of recent octopi literature including octopus ancestry, octopus porn, and a debate over whether octopi is actually a word in English.

Since “gianormous” is now in standard usage, I’m thinking yes.

Now You Know

WesternCon 62 Wrap-up

Back home, where the AC is not so cold at all…

More lessons from WesterCon 62:

Having two separate names for a Con does NOT help promoting it at all.

If you held a panel “Living with Asperger’s” – you would probably fill the room – for an hour of awkward conversation. [So ya know: this is not simply a casual interest of mine.]

If you’re a panelist and you go off at length about problem panelists dominating the conversation – guess what? Yeah. Horrified attendees will mock you on their blogs.

Sometimes the panel you most looked forward to attending turns out to be the least informative. So it goes.

In RPG’s at least, e-book sales did not measurably eat into print sales. Something for the rest of the publishing industry to note.

And now, in no particular order, links I have written down in my notes for one reason or another:

RPG Now for RPG e-book and more. Also: Warehouse 23 – for everything by Steve Jackson Games.

Middle-Earth for middle-graders: MEAG

If you’re going to self-publish, at least do it right with outfits lke this:

AZ Publishing Services

Looking for an agent, or just info about agents: Agent Query

and/or Query Tracker

(Oh – and agents do not frequent fan-orientated cons. They already have slush piles.)

Because I drank their booze and didn’t pay for it: The United Federation of Phoenix (Hooray! two, maybe three extra hits…)

Claudia Villa, costume designer who helped Kelly Sparrow (aka my daughter.) BTW, I’m best known around the Con as Kelly Sparrow’s father.

And she’s been warned that this is the last year she can get by on cute. Next year, she needs to work a bit more on her costume.

Pirate parties are the best.

Now You Know