Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Next Phase of the Old School Renaissance? Minicons.

Everyone is starting to agree: It's time we get together to game!

There are two full-blown cons devoted to old school gaming: GaryCon (Lake Geneva, WI) and North Texas RPG Con (Dallas, TX). Both of these have been growing steadily for the last few years and regularly bring in  well-known guest DMs. It's hard for many people to spare the time and money to travel to these cons, however. So now people are asking themselves, why not DIY locally?

Last year saw several minicons sprout up around the U.S. These were typically one-day events where a handful to a few dozen local gamers got together to play play play. The 2010 old school minicons I'm aware of were:

SoCal Minicon (Anaheim, CA)
Central Texas Minicon (Austin, TX)
Fal-Con (Middletown, CT)

Am I missing any?

This year there are rumblings of OSR minicons in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as repeats of the previous minicons. Are there any others out there?

I would love to see minicons become a primary instrument of the OSR and I hope the enthusiasm continues to build. As a "co-organizer" of the SoCal Minicon (if you can even say SCMC had a true organizer - it was just a bunch of us getting together in a clubhouse with no fees or registration), I can tell you it doesn't take much effort to put together a small event with 2 or 3 tables. The experience of meeting and gaming with other cool like-minded people is priceless fun. If you're thinking about hosting a gameday, D&D party, or minicon: DO IT!

Another minicon model to explore would be the con-within-a-con. For instance, players could pre-organize a series of old school events at a major convention like GenCon. Meetup groups dedicated to old school gaming also make sense. Does anyone know of examples of these approaches?