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Dreamation 2010 Report - I Have Powers
I am the Monkey King!
Dreamation 2010 Report
Good morningafternoon, Internets! Did you miss me?

If anything cool, fun, or important has happened since Thursday night, please let me know in comments.

Behind the cut, below, I'm going to talk about what I did at Dreamation 2010 this past weekend. LJ usernames will not be used to protect the innocent because I'm too lazy to look them all up. (I apologize in advance for misspellings and flat-out wrong names; mea culpa.)




  • Drove up to Rob Donoghue's house at ZOMG o'clock.
  • Got on the road around 5:30 am.
  • Much great gaming geekery discussion, ranging from design matters to personalities to industry ideas.
  • Got to the Hyatt in Morristown; half-hour parking lot hell.
  • Check-in, got ourselves situated; see many people, many handshakes and hugs; lunch with Ryan Macklin and Matt Gandy.
  • General hanging out, with a particular "gobsmack Chad" moment:

    • MACKLIN: "You think you're pretty damn cool, don't you?"
    • YOUR HUMBLE: "Yup."
    • MACKLIN: "I bet you think you deserve a motherfucking medal for just being you, for just being Chad Underkoffler, don't you?"
    • YOUR HUMBLE: "Abso-friggin'-lutely."
    • MACKLIN: "Alright, then, bitch!" (fumbles in bag, produces a medal)
    • YOUR HUMBLE: (pole-axed; gapes like a goldfish; starts laughing hysterically)
    • MACKLIN: (to puzzled onlookers) "It's the Silver ENnie for S7S I accepted for him at GenCon."
    • [Well played, sir. Well played.]

  • Sushi for dinner with Gregory Phillips, Brennan Taylor, and the delightful Lilith Taylor (who we all bored to tears for awhile talking about -- God help me, that I did this -- the economy, CDOs, the Move Your Money concept, yadda yadda. (Sorry, Lilith. The three of us we being old farts.)
  • Played in a game of 3:16 -- Carnage Amongst the Stars (which I got from the "Haiti Bundle" on RPGNow/DTRPG), GM'd by Matt Weber. Much bug-huntin' and "officers are idiots/douchebags" fun. Think Aliens meets the Starship Troopers movie.
  • Through the kind introduction of Darren Watts, and the sufferance of Vinny, got into the late-night Texas Hold 'Em game ($20 buy-in). Only had to wait about a half-hour before a seat opened up. I was writing off that $20 as an "entertainment and education expense" -- you see, almost all of my poker playing has been computer/online, so I have very few table skills. I saw this as an opportunity to learn those, and was happy to pay for the privilege, and said as much going in. I made mistakes, I learned, I had fun, and in the end, I made money: when I cashed out at 3 am, I was up $29. (That money helped with some of the Purchases below. Thanks, guys!)
  • A little under 3.5 hrs sleeps, and then...


  • When taking my morning shower, one of my greatest fears happened:

    • I slipped and fell in the extremely slick hotel tub.
    • I fell completely out of the tub, ripping the shower curtains free.
    • I narrowly missed cracking my skull open on the toilet, avoiding a porcelain slam to the brainpan that would have resulted in leaking blood and brains onto the lineoleum.
    • As it was, I landed on my... pride. (And we all know my "pride" is very well-padded.)
    • Lesson learned? I don't care: I'll wear my fake Crocs into hotel showers from now on.
    • BONUS: It's also darkly funny, in a way: "WET NAKED FAT MAN FALLS DOWN IN BATHROOM; FILM AT 11."

  • Paid $20 for coffee and a small plate of scrambled eggs and bacon.
  • Played Ganakagok in the am, GM'd by Jeff Collyer. Think tribal mythopoetical "Inuit-esque" folks, before the first rising of the Sun. The first Ganakagok game I'm been in NOT run by the author/designer (Bill White), and the most soap-opera-y thus far -- much of the play was all about social ties, relationships, status, and the Village.
  • Pizza for lunch with Joanna and Connie and others.
  • Spent first part of the afternoon sitting at a table in the hallway between the hotel lobby and the conference center with Rob Donoghue:

    • Shootin' the shit with whoever passed by.
    • Gave an academic interview to Bill White on North American jeepform/freeform play.
    • Talked with Vinny regarding some of the stuff I'll touch on in the Sunday Indie Roundtable discussion below.
    • Farted around with Rob and a deck of cards, trying to see if there was a good card-based resolution system for the sort of "give-and-take" in conflicts one sees in fiction and movies.

  • Played in Dan Solis' Happy Birthday, Robot. It's a fantastic all-ages game, and can RAWK as a "generic" party game with non-gamer geeks. (Any game that can credibly survive the input of an over-caffinated/over-sugared 7 yr old has serious chops.) This one's a winner, folks. (muskrat_john, this is an Out of the Box game just waiting to happen. SRSLY.)
  • Dinner, with much discussion of semiotics. ROCK ON!
  • While waiting for the stars to align, Jared Sorensen (that magnificent bastard) tricked a bunch of us into playing several rounds of JUNGLE ADVENTURE, a Parsely game. . . and thus assured I'd buy ACTION CASTLE the next day (see below, Purchases). (Parsely games are PERFECT party games, BUT I do have to note it may be only perfect for those of us at a certain age. I don't really know if the whippersnappers would get into infocom-style text adventures. I welcome insights.)
  • My attempt to Make Macklin Cry (by running Mythender) more or less fails. Mac's on top of his game, and handles it with aplomb and fun. CURSES!
  • Awesome lobby socialization.
  • Sleep the sleep of the Dead.


  • $20 bacon and eggs, again.
  • Looking at the sched, I figured there was a decent chance of getting into a Fiasco game: many tables, early Sunday, rock on.
  • Have ridiculous amount of fun with Fiasco. (Jason, was it "Besting" or "Breaking" or "Busting" when talking about one's "Jonx"?)
  • Fantastic, if short, chat with Remi Treuer.
  • Many hugging goodbyes.
  • The Indie Roundtable, where:

    • Vinny laid out some ideas for a separate, Indie publisher/designer-focused mini-con. More deets will be forthcoming -- but I find the idea of a robust practical game design seminar track, a publishable academic "Proceedings" document, the idea that demos could be video'd and YouTube'd, and a central online forum/resource site VERY HOT. (Think of this mini-con idea as "Indie Roundtable, all the time!")
    • I offered my arrogant opinion on many topics.
    • Kudos to the Robs (Bohl and Donoghue) for emcee-ing.

  • Saddlin' up with Rob D. for the drive south.
  • Much great discussion, ranging from gaming stuff to fiction stuff to genealogical/family history stuff to philosophical explorations.
  • Get my car from Donoghue land; drive home; magically find an appropriate parking spot. Unpack/do required chores. Crash.


    And now I am doing laundry.

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19 comments or Leave a comment
lpsmith From: lpsmith Date: February 22nd, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Woo, sounds awesome! Some day I shall make it to a con like that myself...

(Also, your HTML is borke in the 'Purchases' bit--a '+' instead of an '="' and no content for the final link.)
lesingesavant From: lesingesavant Date: February 22nd, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's "Beasting Your Jonks"

It was good to talk to you, too. However briefly.
chadu From: chadu Date: February 22nd, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought "Beasting" was my character's mistaken take on the phrase, but wasn't sure.

chadu From: chadu Date: February 23rd, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aha, I remember: I said "breasting your junket" or something like that.
timgray From: timgray Date: February 22nd, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you had fun.

Awesome moment by Ryan!

Glad you didn't hurt yourself.

I have a little card-based generic rules framework I did some notes for, though don't know if it'd do your thing. It steals some stuff from T&J. Mail if interested. Don't know what I'll do with it.

PS your post text seems to be duplicated.
From: heldaction.wordpress.com Date: February 22nd, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
$20 for eggs and coffee? I feel less bad about the $10 buffet at TotalCon this weekend.
From: ext_37604 Date: February 22nd, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Showers: the silent killer

Wow, what's even weirder about your shower incident is I also fell out of the shower Saturday morning. I only took out the inner curtain, and my head came closer to the floor than the loo, but even so.

Won't somebody think of the children gamers?

(To be fair to the hotel, they had a bath mat standing beside the tub next to the taps, but is a permanent grippy solution an accessibility problem or something?)

BTW, it was great to meet you this weekend, too :)
chadu From: chadu Date: February 22nd, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Showers: the silent killer

Agreed with you:
* Nice to meet you.
* Hotel showers are trying to kill us all.
lesingesavant From: lesingesavant Date: February 23rd, 2010 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Showers: the silent killer

Put down the gol dang bath mat, you nuts.
drivingblind From: drivingblind Date: February 22nd, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sad to miss it, but it was for good cause(s). :)
chadu From: chadu Date: February 22nd, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
You had BABYWATCH 2010 to deal with. Is all good.
matt_rah From: matt_rah Date: February 23rd, 2010 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Awesome to see you and hang out and game as always!!

chadu From: chadu Date: February 23rd, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
From: boadiccea Date: February 23rd, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you had a great time! Macklin takes the cake with his presentatio of the medal. Well played Ryan!

Glad you're ok, Chad. That fall sounds like it could've been really nasty.
chadu From: chadu Date: February 23rd, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seriously, the fall was scary, but missing the toilet (by less than a centimeter) with the back of my head was heart-stopping.
zonemind From: zonemind Date: February 23rd, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry. I LOL'd about your fall. Tragedy is when I get a cut on my finger. Comedy is when you fall down in a hotel shower and almost die, but are saved from injury by a lifetime of pride-padding snacks.

I like shipboard showers. There are rails to hold onto EVERYWHERE. Also, suction-cuppy bath mat.
chadu From: chadu Date: February 23rd, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tragedy is when I get a cut on my finger. Comedy is when you fall down in a hotel shower and almost die, but are saved from injury by a lifetime of pride-padding snacks.

Mel Brooks has a lot to answer for.

I'm sorry. I LOL'd about your fall.

So long as I didn't die, it IS freaking funny. I admit such.

Y'know my big question about it all? (That I asked to Rob D.?)

"Did I scream like a little girl?"

"No, you cursed like a sailor."

Works for me. ;)

From: (Anonymous) Date: March 9th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Beasting your Jonx

Sorry I missed this!


From: ex_gobi Date: June 22nd, 2010 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I added a quote from your HBR review to the homepage. :)

19 comments or Leave a comment