Gamehole Con Bound! October 2021
As I prepare to hit up Gamehole Con in Madison WI this weekend, I took a moment to ponder why I love it so much. There's a number of great reasons to go, so I'll take a stab at it for you and in no particular order.
1) Taco Trucks. Yeah, this shouldn't be my number one reason to go, but by god it certainly is amazing to have great food vendors literally out the front door of the con the entire time. You don't have to stop gaming to get food, just swing out between games. Brilliant.
2) Parking is paid. Alex and co. have ensured that no one is paying for parking to attend. That is super classy. I'm looking at you GenCon and every con in a large city that charges $20/day for parking in addition to the badge price... Yeah, I know they often have no control over it, but the con could work out a deal or even use part of the con proceeds to lower that bill for everyone and thus drive more people to their show. But what do I know about business and economics?
3) Let's see, is it the fact that I've been there since inception and I was the first author to pen an adventure in the Gamehole convention guide? No, but that's pretty awesome.
4) Let's not forget the sheer magnitude of games and panels. Nearly every game system under the sun has games scheduled. You can learn new game systems, try out some board games and up your game with panels put on by the likes of Zach Glazar and Skeeter Green.
5) Another personal favorite reason is to see my friend and one of my favorite artists of all time, Mr. Tony Szczudlo. His masterful art graced the covers of Birthright, Greyhawk and a number of FASA products. Be sure to check out his booth this year and say hi. Just watch out if he offers you Sweet Tarts!
6) You'll level up your game, but also your attendance badge. GHC is literally leveling you up each year you attend, and giving you a badge for each level. Again, how classy can you get? What a great way to show off your devotion to the con also. If I don't see someone with a general's coat and nothing but GHC badges in the next five years I'm going to be vastly disappointed.
7) Ever want to forecast the weather in Greyhawk? Well, you can at Gamehole. Yeah, there's an original Greyhawk map there on display. It's very much a great photo op and fun piece of TSR history.
8) The Gamehole. The what now? Yeah, when I was first pitched this con I was thinking, wrong kind of Dungeon Master buddy... But I jest. Not far from the con is Alex's great collection of gaming memorabilia, and his personal gaming group's table (once belonging to Monte Cook). All of that, sitting atop a bar. Brilliant. Note to self, buy a bar... wait - I have an epic one *IN* my gaming area!
9) I almost forgot to mention True Dungeon. Ever wanted to live-action your way through an actual dungeon crawl? This is your chance. It's also HALF the price that it is at GenCon. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?
Lastly, I think Gamehole fills the void of the once-great GenCon for me. It just feels like the GenCon of my youth. Lots of friends, lots of amazing games, great vendors and all of that in a manageably-sized convention. I've lost my love for the 100k convention that is GenCon, the one that RPGs have taken a backseat at.
Whereas Gamehole Con is an unabashed homage to RPG games. You'll meet more of the classic authors, designers and artists here than almost any other con.
So a huge thank you to Alex Kammer and his team for putting this thing together. You are giving us all an experience that's second to none. For those reading who haven't heard of the show or been to it, get on a bus, like now...
Publisher and Creative Director