The Dreamation ’09 Links and My Thoughts (a thread under construction)

My Bullet Points of Awesome:

* Before I write anything else, I need to thank Kat and Michael Miller for organizing the Indie Games Explosion yet again. Without you two, there’d be no links below and I can’t thank you enough for doing the behind-the-scenes administravia and making phone calls to clear up oddities and so on. Thank you Michael and Kat.

* The main dilemma of Dreamation is that in order to walk to your meeting or game with amazing people, you have to walk by a dozen amazing people who you’d love to have a few hours to talk to and get to know better. This is a fine dilemma to be in but still, I feel the tug.

* I played With Great Power… next to my friend, Witt, run by Kat. Michael and Kat create the finest and coolest super-heroes ever. I want to play them so badly that I want to lick the character sheets. But WGP… is so robust that I never feel like I get to play enough. It is too much fiddling with cards and character sheets and such and not enough PLAY for me. I think WGP… just isn’t a game I want to play at a con.

* 1st Quest got play, two sessions in settings that were only vague ideas before. Warlock Corner is nifty, made moreso by the creation of New Camelot as the default city. Honored Guests of the Sleeping Emperor is far more awesome with things that wrench it far from and kind of historical accuracy, such as cell phones and ninja dance parties. I have to re-write what I have, using what I have so far as rough notes, build it on a new chassi. This summer…

* The Agon tournament, the Kleos Cup got FUBARed due to communication issues but we still got to play two sessions of Agon and it got my hungry to play more of this game of Homeric dungeon crawling. Ralph took home the “cup” after getting treated roughly in the oaths phase. More on this game below in the AP section.

* The main problem with Dreamation is that in order to go see some amazing people you have to walk by two dozen other amazing people and just keep walking. That is rough, even when you arrive at the destination where the first group of amazing people are gathered.

* Witt made me gluten-free cookies and brownies. That was glorious. Thank you, Witt, not that you read this but thanks.

The Nights:

Thursday night we got the giggles while going to bed while talking about the vegan ethics of eating James Dio’s heart or not and so on.

I stayed up too late and talked to Luke and Thor on Friday night and that was lovely. We talked Burning Wheel play for us lately, Magic Burner and wrasslin’. Also, where was Harper?

Saturday night I stayed up until dawn talking to Joshua and Matt about women and g-d (or a lack thereof) and it was splendid.

Actual Play:

Agon: The Kleos Cup,: “Ever since reading Agon I have thought it was tailor-made for convention tournaments, like competitive deals that you read about as jokes in Knights of the Dinner Table only in Agon, because of the rules, it effin’ works, man. It works!

[Montsegur 1244] Beautiful and Terrible: “I played Montsegur 1244 at Dreamation and it was my best convention gaming experience ever.

Underkoffler’s Overviews: Misspent Youth: “I am not, and have never been, a punk. That subculture is sort of opaque to me. In hearing about MS, I initially was all “Yeah, yeah, cute, whatever.” THIS WAS A MISTAKE ON MY PART. This game opened up a window on punk (for me), letting some light in. I feel I have a better grasp of the punk mindset and subculture, just having read it.

DO: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple (Dreamation 2009): “This is Daniel Solis’s ([info]gobi)game. It’s a mix of Little Prince’s naivete and Avatar: The Last Airbender’s emo-porn with magic kung fu.

Underkoffler’s Overviews: Mythender: “You roll STORM dice to generate THUNDER dice, which generate LIGHTNING tokens. This is awesome.

Dreamtion Report, Part 1: Friday: “Dreamation was a blast. Had tons of fun, played lots of games, learned some new things.

Dreamtion 2009–The Unbearable Lightness of Gaming: “Well, now that the nasty stomach bug I picked up on Sunday (the only bad thing about Dreamation 2009) is finally behind me, I can recap my con experience.

Misery Bubblegum 2 (Dreamation 2009): “We tried to do the West WIng (a show where they aren’t exactly shouting their emotions at each other) and it turned into an extremely silly family drama with lasers.

Underkoffler’s Overviews: Jeepform: “What that seems to mean: Jeepform is a style of semi-freeform roleplaying, stemming from the Nordic/Scandinavian live action roleplaying (LARP) tradition.

Mythender (Dreamation 2009): “This was probably my roughest game of the con. I think I can safely say that Ryan’s desires for Mythender do not perfectly line up with my desires as a player. However, Ryan very graciously accepted my criticism of his game where our respective styles DID overlap, and for that I give him the Remi Treuer Medal of Classy Humanity.

[Dreamation AP] Drug zombies, exploding melons, tanks, gov’t pimps, and more!: “I’m gonna write some superconcentrated AP vignettes from Dreamation 2009. I’ll feature all the games I played in, in chronological order.

He also posted it up on Story Games.



Vinny’s Address posted up by Fred.

Blog, Forum Posts & Links:

Dreamation Updates on SG

Favorite Moments Thread on SG : “There was
such an incredible amount of great gaming that went on this weekend that I have to say, it was probably the best
convention experience I’ve ever had. I also got to meet a lot of new people this year and was able to put some faces
to the names I’ve seen on here for awhile.

One Cool Thing I saw at Dreamation Video: The Thread on SG : “

Mack’s Bullet Points of Awesome: “Dude, Dreamation.

Chad brings some post Dreamation Wang because away from the internet, wang jokes make everything better.: “At Dreamation, either Thursday or Friday night, after alcohol and/or exhaustion — from travel or hours of gaming — and/or general insanity, we started replacing words in game titles with the word “wang.”

Chad Bullet Points a list of future talking points.: “I’m back from NJ and the con.

Remi’s Bullet Points of Awesome: “Basketball-games-as-emo-conversations in Misery Bubblegum. (Hell, ALL of Misery Bubblegum)

The fact that I didn’t get to play Misery Bubblegum haunts me.

Michael Criminal Element’s Bullet Points of Awesome: “I just got back from Dreamation 2009, another incredible gaming convention experience spearheaded by the enthusiastic Vinny Salzillo. I look forward to Dreamation every year for so many reasons; all of the great games to play, the sight of people wearing immaculate home-made costumes for LARP events, all of the new books and games to buy. But all of that runs counter to the friends.

Indie Party Set-up Thread on SG: “Can you make a video of everyone punching Joshua?

Nathan Blogs Dreamation : “The atmosphere was really positive and inclusive this year, I think. I think it was also more relaxed than some Dreamations past. People are a little less intent on cramming in maximum gaming, and happy to take chill time and socialize.

Mr. Solis rocks out with his digital camera out, even though I knocked it on the floor. : “Total fun times.

His flickr page for Dreamation 2009 is nifty too.

Things I Regret Missing at Dreamation on SG: “My biggest problem is that there are so many people I like or love so much and I can’t give any of them enough time. Or if I do, I’m being a hermit with regard to the other 90 people I want to spend time with.

Brennan’s LJ con overview: “Of course, the highlight of Dreamation was getting to see, meet, and hang out with some truly awesome people.

Rachel gives an overview on her LJ.: “Phil and I went to Dreamation this past weekend. It’s the best “local” (NJ) gaming convention, and it has a huge showing of indie/story games, which is really all I’m interested in as far as the con goes. The people are truly wonderful and the games are top notch, spinning fun and challenging tales and running the gamut of comedy and tragedy.

Buddha chimes on his Dreamation thoughts.: “Dreamation was a blast! Like a little slice of heaven, but with bad carpets. I managed to geek out like a crazy man, meet a metric ton of cool people, see a lot of the “big names” from the indie industry (which made me feel like a very strange fan-boy… reading someone’s posts on the internet but not having met them face to face, despite knowing what they look like from their LJ pics… weird), and play some great games!

Daniel Levine breaks his Dreamation experience right on down.: “This is a gamer thing, but I’m not putting it on the normal courtesy filter in case anyone cool is browsing for me (Jason Morningstar! Squee!), and also to make non-gamers jealous.

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Pajama-gate ’09: Vinny’s Address

Every time you post a thought or response to Vinny’s Address, you owe the world ten Actual Play threads or five threads about Githyanki. Post links in comments.

Newspaper article from “Just try to get past these guys. When it’s needed, Weasel (l),Mastic, NY, Mike Czaplinski, formerly from Somerset, now from Maryland and Turk, Selden, NY enforce the rules.

Adam Dray Responds to Vinny’s Address: “ Vinny did use the word “joke.” This one made me feel really awful. I ran a playtest of Verge, of course, and I’d been basking in the afterglow of how well it had gone. Calling that event a joke was a punch to the gut

I respond to Vinny’s Address: “
I can feel the internet trying to work its magic powers and shit on this entire conversation.

“Fixing” Dreamation: “Dreamation doesn’t really need much fixing, but Vinny Salzillo, who organizes and runs it, brought the indie community a list of concerns that he’d like help addressing. It’s to our mutual benefit to straighten this stuff out, even the bits that are not really our problem. So I have some suggestions, after each of his paraphrased concerns.

Mack weighs in.: “The thought I had on Sunday night can be summarized as: Provided the extra work is tolerated, some of Vinny’s concerns could be potentially solved with the enforcement of player-hour requirements for free GM badges.

Please do post links that I am currently missing in the comments if ya want.

If you want to keep track of this thread, you can subscribe to its comments and I will post comments when I update it.

Vinny’s Address

Vinny’s Address

Adam’s reply

Let’s take it easy.


I can feel the internet trying to work its magic powers and shit on this entire conversation.

Here are some solutions:

When a game runs over I will:

– offer to run more slots, putting the spill-over into other game-slots.

– contact the spill-over players and see if any are willing to GM, if so, get them a free pdf of my game and offer my own guidance on the running of it.

– see if any of my friends could GM an extra slot.

What I won’t do:

– let in more players to the detriment of the game session’s quality

– offer to run so many more slots that the con will no longer be any fun.

The fact is, we have grown our section of the con because our sessions are fun, high quality shit and letting in 9 players per table does not work in every game.

Also, we need to get Vinny into some of our games, probably not at the con but at some point, so that he better understands what our games do and how they are different from other RPG’s he might have played in the past.

So, to sum up:

There are creative solutions that actually grow our community base.

Game fun need not be sacrificed.

We need to game with Vinny.


Jason M’s (I assume it is Morningstar) thoughts are well worth posting here at the top:

“Here’s what he actually said, paraphrased:

He worked hard to make Dreamation welcoming to the indie scene and he wants a bigger indie presence at DexCon. Growth at Dreamation is problematic from both sides and the communities organization is important.

He doesn’t want to do things half-assed. Please don’t submit things that are unprofessional or poorly branded or sloppily presented. (We can fix this)

There were games scheduled for 4 people that had 27 people who wanted to play. This is bad for everybody. 3-4 person tables are disastrous for the system from his perspective and made his job harder. It breeds resentment because there is demand and people get turned away. (We can fix this)

He’d like people to produce a finished “module” explicitly for the convention. Make it unique and sexy, offer it multiple times simultaneously. Make it specific to the con, make each section unique, even if the game doesn’t need it (like carry, for example). (We can fix this)

Playtests are problematic, because other designers get into them and shut out the general public, who are disappointed and frustrated. Part of the problem is that “pink badges” have priority and select these. His suggested solution is a “professional” track. (His solution is not good but we can fix this)

None of this is unreasonable. The guy is a businessman and he’s asking us to help him make us awesome. I think his suggestions may not be the best solutions, but he’s not us. If we address the problems in an effective way he’s going to listen. Judd, I love the idea of finding time to play with him and giving him some perspective. I don’t see any of these as particularly problematic if we’re creative about finding solutions that work for him and us.”

Dreamation, notes before I collapse.

I haven’t slept in a while; this isn’t something I do at cons. I’m at my mom’s, where I’ll eat and then collapse.

I think me and Jeff hashed out in a neat thing to do with some Sons of Kryos content, inspired by a breakfast with Rob Donoghue. Interactions with Rob Donoghue cause good shit, the last time we talked at length, 1st Quest happened.

Speaking of which, 1st Quest had some solid sessions. I need to entirely toss out the text I have and re-write it this summer. That doesn’t mean I will. But I need to.

Agon is a hoot. Is long-limbed broken?

It was a weekend of walking too briskly past amazing people in order to meet up with other amazing people with whom I had an appointment/game/something.

My first Dreamation happened half a decade ago. This is nuts. Time is nuts.

When disagreeing in real-life, it is much easier to bring levity with penis jokes than it is on the internets.

I need to stop repeating stories; it is obnoxious. I am not sure I can stop.

Vinny talked to us at the Indie Round Table and the long and the short of it is, we need to think creatively about our small table groups and his logistics. He has bent over backwards for the indie crew and I’m going to enjoy finding ways to solve this problem that have nothing to do with letting in overblown groups but still solves the problem.

Talking too late with Luke and Thor. Talking too late with Matt and Joshua. Up too early for Warlock Corner. Diner foods.

The first lines of 1st Quest’s new manuscript:

This is 1st Quest.

Let’s play.