Posts Tagged ‘adventuring parties


Support the Positive Representation of D&D in the Media

On Facebook, Ethan Gilsdorf asks:

for a photo shoot for a national newspaper story I’m working on, I’m looking for ideas of places to send a photographer to take pix of folks playing D&D. know of any gaming shops/gaming groups with events/games this week?

I’ve already suggested that the gaming events Adventuring Parties is organizing around the  Dungeons and Dragons On & Ever Onward show I posted about yesterday should provide some great photo opportunities. For those who don’t want to follow links, we’re doing an opening night party tomorrow and another celebrating Adventurer Conqueror King’s recent distribution deal on Thursday, both from 7 until 11 pm at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art on 138 Sullivan St.

My fellow gamers, it is time to stand up and be counted. (That sounds less painful than “stand up and be shot,” and more interesting than “sit down and have your picture taken”.) If you want to ensure that the folks who read newspapers get an accurate view of people who play D&D, come out and be one of those people this Wednesday or Thursday night. If you’re not in NYC, pass the word to anyone you know who is!

There will be games being run, or you could bring your existing group and run your regular weeknight game at the gallery. There will be wine and cheese, beer and Doritos. There will be awesome gaming-related art and, on Thursday night, there will be Michael Mornard:

I was one of Gary Gygax’ original gaming group, I was part of Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor group, and I taught MAR Barker to play D&D and was part of his first EPT group. I have credits in Greyhawk and the 1st Ed AD&D PHB. I’m living here in NY and I’m interested in the event. I also have brought to NYC my LBB set, my dice including a circa 1972 d20, and my AD&D 1E DMG autographed and personalized by Gary Gygax. I’m looking forward to seeing the event and maybe rolling some dice. I’d also be happy to talk about “Ye Olde Dayse” if anybody’s interested.

What we need now is you and/or your NYC-area friends!

UPDATE: I’ve got confirmation that the newspaper will be sending a photographer to Thursday’s event; they also took my recommendation to get some shots of the Encounters program, Wizards of the Coast’s organized play program to introduce new players to 4E, at the Twenty Sided Store in Williamsburg on Wednesday night. Which is to say that if you went to both you’d have two chances to be one of the the public faces of roleplaying to the wider audience of people who don’t know what it is. Alternatively, if you just want to check out cool art and play games in a nice gallery space but don’t want your picture taken, Wednesday at the Soho Gallery of Digital Art is a safe bet.


Dungeons and Dragons On & Ever Onward

Ryan Browning, 2011. "Adventures". Chapter illustration for the Adventurer Conqueror King core book. India ink on archival bristol paper, 11 x 8.5 inches.

I am helping organize a show of RPG-related art, video, and illustration this week, which is also providing the opportunity to do some gaming events. If you’re in NYC on Wednesday or Thursday nights, come join us to celebrate the opening of the show on 1/4/12 and the successful Kickstarter for ACKS on 1/5/12!

“Dungeons and Dragons On & Ever Onward”

Curated by Timothy Hutchings

Works by Casey Jex Smith, Ryan Browning, Sean McCarthy, Rebecca Schiffman, Josh Jordan, Jeffrey Brown, Giovanni Garcia-Fenech, Chris Bors, Owen Rundquist, Andrew Guenther Jason Phillips, Ketta Ioannidou, Fiona MacNeill, Kitty Clark, Erol Otus, Steve Zeiser, Matt Brinkman, Chris Coy, and others.

Featuring historical selections from the Play-Generated Maps and Documents Archive

Soho Gallery of Digital Art

January 4th – 11th, 2012
138 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10014

Gallery exhibit 3 – 7 from 1/4/12 until 1/11/12

Gaming events Wednesday and Thursday nights by Adventuring Parties LLC:

Opening night party & Tower of Gygax fundraiser (1/4/11, 7pm – 11pm)
Adventurer Conqueror King distribution deal party featuring d20 Burlesque (1/5/11, 7pm – 11pm)

Dice will be available for sale during the events thanks to the Compleat Strategist.


party gaming to celebrate the digital release of the D&D comics

A while back I ran a public open-table OD&D game as part of the opening ceremonies for the Doomslangers exhibit at the Allegra LaViola gallery. One of the players was Kevin Pearl; when not scouring dungeons, he is part of the comiXology Social Media & Production Team. So when they were preparing for the launch of the Dungeons & Dragons comics from IDW Publishing on their Comics by comiXology service, Kevin reached out to me to put together a gaming event as part of the launch party.

If you’re in NYC and free this Wednesday night, come play with us at Jim Hanley’s Universe; check out the flyer image at right, or the press release below, for details. If you’re coming, be sure to RSVP at the Facebook event page!

Even if you aren’t in the area, or need more lead time to arrange your gaming schedule, I think this is a noteworthy development in a conversation we’ve been having here at the Mule. To review what’s gone before:

The scenario I ran for the Doomslangers show where I met Kevin was a room I created for the Tower of Gygax at Gen Con, which first got me excited about the possibilities for party gaming: ways to do outreach to new players through a reduced barrier to entry, and to entertain existing ones on a larger scale through audience participation and easy drop-in/drop-out. I ran this scenario again at Jaysoncon, where the Tower of Gygax approach worked as well for the small audience celebrating Jayson’s birthday as it did for the hordes who queue up at Gen Con to see how long they will survive before death means they have to give up their seat to the next player in line.

My experience trying to run 4E for a mixed group of experienced current players and newbies or long-lapsed ones at the D&D installment of Ryan McGinness’s  50 Parties series pointed out some of the issues that have to be taken into account to make this kind of public, all-access gaming work. The bachelor parties and birthday parties for kids and adults my fellow Mules and I have done since then are attempts to try out solutions.

I’ve said before that there are  interesting questions for the OSR about the interface between this kind of party gaming and the long-form campaigns that we normally celebrate. There is also an important conversation to be had about commercialization and commodification of our scene. Ryan McGinness told me that he created 50 Parties  in reaction to “the proliferation of parties with corporate sponsorship, where you’re always going to a party that exists to showcase the introduction of a new brand of vodka”. At the time this seemed as far away from my geeky world as could be, but in NYC these worlds are now in collision.

The fact that I really like both vodka and the IDW D&D comics doesn’t blind me to the issues here. How can we keep the collision of worlds from being a disaster and instead ensure that we get their planet’s women and Coca-Cola in exchange for our surplus ray-guns and radium saucers? I’ll have more to say about this down the road; for now, here’s the press release:

Harken to the call of adventure as comiXology, IDW Publishing, and legendary comic shop Jim Hanley’s Universe team up for an unprecedented Dungeons and Dragons gaming event!
In honor of the latest release of IDW’s massive collection of fantastic Dungeons & Dragons comics on Comics by comiXology, comiXology and IDW Publishing will be hosting an evening of classic Dungeons & Dragons gaming at Jim Hanley’s Universe in New York City! Gaming oversight provided by Tavis Allison of
When: November 23rd, 2011 6:00pm
Where: Jim Hanley’s Universe on 33rd Street, right next to The Empire State Building in New York City.
What: Come prepared with a Dungeons & Dragons Digital Comic already downloaded on your device and receive a free comiXology t-shirt that adds + 5 to your base Awesome factor! Didn’t understand that last joke? Worry not as players need not be experienced in the grand tradition of D&D to play. Adventurers of all levels are invited to take part in an evening filled with magic, adventure and a whole lot of geeky fun. So gather up thy lucky dice, digital devices, and whatever else one might need to slay Orcs or hunt for treasure and come join us on November 23rd at Jim Hanley’s Universe.

what does it take to run a Dungeoneer bachelor party?

I am happy to say that my friend – New York Red Box’s foner, known to those who follow the White Sandbox campaign as the player of E.N. Lightenment, cleric of the Killing Frost – is getting married. I am further happy because his brother has had the wisdom to hire my company Adventuring Parties LLC to put together the bachelor party.

As often happens when you make a business out of a hobby, this involves doing stuff I would be delighted to be asked to do for a friend for free. The main advantage of being able to treat it as a job is that I can better justify to my wife why I will be schlepping out to Harrisburg, PA to play roleplaying games all weekend. (My first instinct was to reach out to Rob Conley and see if Adventuring Parties could employ his immense talents for this gig, but apparently PA is so large that I am still closer to Harrisburg than other Pennsylvanians are. Who knew?) Justification was achieved without having to make rhetorical arguments about how she should be glad Adventuring Parties isn’t in the traditional bachelor party business, in which case I would be going away all weekend to get drunk and hoot at strippers.

The other advantage is that having a budget for this party allows me to indulge my passion for stuff. We chose Paul Jaquays’ classic Night of the Walking Wet scenario as the basis for the bachelor party, first published in his Dungeoneer fanzine in June of 1977. The party favors for guests reflect this theme:

I had a great time at the North Texas RPG Con going through Badmike’s giant bins of Judges’ Guild stuff and picking up these later issues of Dungeoneer, so I am happy that giving these out to the party guests will clear the way for me to have this experience all over again at NTRPG this year.

Also on the stuff tip: Needing to deliver a gaming experience worth paying for gives me the motivation to bust out the top-shelf liquors and the foxiest strippers, so to speak. Here is the kit I’m bringing to assist me in playing the role of Judge for this expedition:

The ones you might not recognize here are a Men & Magic-styled compilation of the Adventurer Conqueror King rules that face towards the players, which I’ll be using to help us get on board with domain-level play if we choose (this is a good scenario in which to levy mercenary armies and undertake the rebuilding of a ruined stronghold!), and the spellbook compiled by the mages of the White Sandbox’s Grey Company, which will add a little Eldrich Weirdness, Arduinian gonzo, and player-driven inspiration to the incantations our casters choose to memorize. Both were compiled and laid out by Red Box’s jedo, who makes it look easy, and printed via Lulu.

The White Box and those two Dungeoneer issues were bought by my first wife’s elder siblings at the Argosy Book Shop in Grand Rapids, MI. (In case mentioning a former marriage, like giving knives, is considered bad luck for a soon-to-be newlywed, let me point out that it wasn’t until my second wife that I got to have a D&D bachelor party; the fact that you’re doing this right from the start predicts a lifetime of happiness without requiring a do-over.)

At NTRPG Paul said that he remembered cold-sending issue #1, on top, to area stores like this one in hopes that they would pick up a subscription. I should have put issue #5 on top in this picture, because it is the one on whose cover a bearded, big-footed, cigar-smoking wizard in a hat marked DM poses the question at hand:

I like how the cover implies that the essential test of one’s ability to defeat a deity is one’s willingness to plunk down 60 cents (50 p in the UK!) for dis ‘zine. It would be good marketing to say that I similarly trust that anyone savvy enough to hire Adventuring Parties has what it takes. But in this case, I know that to be true just because everyone there will be friends and family of my friend Carl, and there is no better recommendation for people I want to party with in the realm of the Slime God.

Past Adventures of the Mule

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