(Sounds like a prog rock band, sorry)
Imagine you are an omnipotent convention organiser. You can do and have anything you like. What does your dream con look like? Mine would be like this.
Friday show up for meet and greet. We have a proper pub to meet in (think Warhammer World without the rest of the building), and it’s full of all my gaming acquaintances from the last thirty years. Crucially, there’s no idiots there to spoil my fun. Which means no funny hats or travel stained Red Dwarf t-shirts. There’s some great (free) food and plenty of proper drinks too. That night is all about catching up and settling old internet arguments. I have loads of famous game designers come up to me and shake my hand for running such awesome games over the years (it’s my dream right?). I retire about 3am to my exclusive chambers.
On awaking, hangover free and completely refreshed) I head for a massive fry up that magically contains no calories. Everyone is smiling and getting ready for a days gaming. There’s no sign ups or scrums, you always get whatever game you like.
Today I will be playing AD&D, and the DM will be Mike Mearls. He’s taking us through the Slaver’s series, and we will go all the way through it in one glorious session. I play a thief, and I’m awesome. The other players are awesome too, bringing flavour and passion as well as humility to the game. We roar with laughter at times, and we are frightened to our very foundations too. The game ends with our victory over evil and a standing ovation for Mike, who then offers to get the first round in.
That evening I catch up with my mates and we swap stories of our days endeavours. We jostle to get our stories out first as every single one is a golden tale of gaming goodness. Then it’s a pub quiz. There may be a drink or two involved. My team win, and the prize is an all expenses paid trip to GenCon.
Sunday. No one goes home early, as there’s more gamage to play. Today is D&D 4e for me, and it’s being run by Chris Perkins. It’s being filmed by the BBC for a new 13 part series of “Only Cool People Roleplay”. We’re at mid heroic tier, and Chris has loads of surprises in store for us. The other guys round the table are great: we have the Penny Arcade crew, Stephen Fry and Derren Brown.
Everyone knows the game well, but it never descends into pure rules speak. I play a rogue, and I’m awesome. We all swap e-mail addresses at the end, promising to stay in touch.
That night I’m running a game. My prep is all done and I’m super confident. The character sheets and handouts are works of art. I’m running Earthdawn and all the players come from the day’s previous games. We have the best time playing out the Theran invasion of Barsaive. At the end we all shake hands and have man hugs.
My mates filter back from their games and we swap war stories all over again. Drinks are consumed around a huge banquet table. The wrap up speech is short and well received. A vote is taken and it is unanimously decided that we will not go home in the morning, we’ll carry on playing forever.
It could happen right?