Trinoc*coN? (Durham, NC)

edited July 2008 in Meetups / Conventions
Anybody know what's going on with Trinoc*coN this year? The con's in two weeks, but there aren't any games listed yet (it says, "More info to come soon!").

There's no info on the site (that I can see) about how to sign up to run games, and the only contact information provided is a post office box address.

Anyone know what the deal is? How can you sign up to run games? Do you still get free admission if you run at least 3 sessions? Is anyone planning on going?


  • It would seem they are mostly communicating via the Yahoo Group:
    CGA ConGaming

    That said... yep, less than two weeks and still no player reg is going to mean going old skool: paper sign-ups and some scrambling to fill games.

    I'm (supposedly) signed on for three sessions, as follows:
    * Fri Night - In A Wicked Age: Conanesque Oracles generate a scenario at the table; significant player authority over narration; a "story game."
    * Sat Morning - ASCII @HACK Playtest (rules here: Help playtest an RPG that simulates roguelike game play (Rogue, NetHack, ToME), but using player empowerment, resource allocation, bidding, and instantiation to create the "random" adventuring zones for a single Adventurer. All players after the first are the Opposition, which is trying to kill the Adventurer. But there can only be ONE winner: the Opposition player who strikes the killing blow on the Adventurer, or the Adventurer who clears out the Final Zone.
    * Sat Afternoon - In A Wicked Age: Conanesque Oracles generate a scenario at the table; significant player authority over narration; a "story game." Will consider a different set of Oracles for a different game genre. See "Fan Oracles" at

    Basically, I wants me some IaWA action, and I'm HOPING that a small handful of folks will want to try out A@H. I'll have the pyramids on me, in any event, and I can always play something pick-up. Or wander to another table's game, if I have a dead slot. :)
  • Oh, and I also asked about "run three, in free" and haven't gotten a reply.

    Don't tell anyone else, but I think the gaming coordinator this year is a bit slack... I might apply for the job, for next year; I can run a database app and ping message boards with the best of 'em....
  • Considering all the references to "Relaxacon", the fact that none of the programming has been filled at all (even literary panels: It's all "local SF guests", none of which I've ever heard of), I think there's probably been another leadership schism or hangup. Unfortunately, that means that gaming gets kinda screwed too, total lack of presence. Not even the RPGA stuff is there.

    I'm kinda waffling on TrinocCon: They've been kind to me in the past, so I kinda want to support them, but there's been so many internal schisms (including the one which caused the NCGameday staff/really gung-ho game organizer crew to split from Trinoc a few years ago) that I really can't tell if it's going to continue forward, or fall apart. I've kinda shifted my eyes towards MACE for the local con scene.

    LMK how it went down. If it really was relaxing, without a lot of headaches despite the total lack of organization, I might throw my hat in next year. But I definitely don't want to pay to get in if I have no idea what's going on.

  • Posted By: AndyBut I definitely don't want to pay to get in if I have no idea what's going on.
    Ping Ron McClung about this, and see if you can get in to "browse" before you pay. I have links to all their stuff (ConCarolinas) at Durham Gamers Yahoo Group.

    We'll miss ya. I've stumped in my circles for gamers to come... but, yeah, you may have hit on the problem. It doesn't bode well for the gaming when the gaming coordinator doesn't answer emails on the organizations own (sort-of-internal) group.
  • Ron is all over organizing MACE, and doing it well. I have no problem with jumping into MACE without knowing what's going down: I've always had fun there, great events, solid organization and leadership (99% Ron McClung's doing). No need to browse there.

    Trinoc, though... I dunno who's doing the setup this year, but the last few years have not been kind to the gaming portion of the con. It could be that there's just too much of a mind-difference between the SF half (I'll volunteer, and I'll still pay to get in) and the Gaming half (I'll volunteer, but only if I can get in reduced/free; I'll only come if I can get reduced rates by running stuff). And that causes some issues ("Why do the gaming people want a free ride? We volunteer AND pay for the con, so should they"). Hopefully, they'll sort some of those issues out this year.

  • I thought Ron had a hand in T*C, too? Ah, well...

    IIRC, I've gotten into T*C free every time, running demos. If I had to "answer" to the lit half, I'd say, "Well, I'm a guest--a GM--and without me and those like me, there's no gaming; just like without the lit guests, there's no 'serious' panels and workshops."

    Ah, whatever... I'm showing up with IaWA, A@H, and 'mids and walking to the Gaming table like I own the place. They want tot charge me to run games all day, my house is but ten minutes away....
  • Well, it looks like the "schedule" is posted--only RPGA stuff, ti seems:

    Kind of annoying, as I sent in my GM Registration, like, a month ago....
  • I'm kinda scared to ask, but how did it go?

  • Heh... well, if you don't count RPGA, there were... let's see... carry the two...

    About ten gamers total at any given moment. As few as six, at times.

    I played the only non-RPGA game on Friday night: Shadowrun 4E. Gear fetish and difficulty modifier fests, rolling fistfuls of dice. Fun enough scenario, I suppose, but I'd turn to HERO (as always) if I wanted second-by-second tactical crunch.

    Saturday afternoon, I actually got four guys to play IaWA, and (after some rough starts--see my AP post at lumpley games forum at The Forge) they seemed to really dig the flow of the system and its player authority. I stumbled quite a bit--making them stumble with me--but I think we generally got the swing of it by game end. Folks were wanting to keep character sheets and writing down the anyway URL to get a copy (so they say--we'll see in the sales figures heading to NC). My new goal for GMing IaWA is to stop stakes setting--it was "easier" to make clear what's going on in a conflict; but I cost the players the freedom to really roll with a challenge, above and beyond its seminal issue.

    Saturday night, nothing. I refused to play Innocents (talk about icky!) and so I ended up sitting in the charity auction (buying the indie-produced card game I Drank What? and a few other little gaming goodies) and then in the con suite/bar, drinking free keg beer and talking with some of the organizers about my becoming the non-RPGA Gaming Chair for next year. I think it will work out... but I did a bit of local designers name-dropping, so you guys need to bail me out, step up next year, and show them what we got going down here in the Triangle! They were generally unaware of your existence; but then again, they ain't gamers, they's writers and artists.

    One possible incentive, other than supporting your most-local con, is that I hope to arrange it so that, if your game(s) aren't being sold in the Dealer Room, you can do so at the gaming table. Or, hell, do a back-room deal where no one can see! :p

    All-in-all, pretty disappointing; but I think that with some heavy promotion and due diligence, I can revive Trinoc*coN gaming by hyping the traditional gamers into meeting up (ex: NCSU and Duke gaming clubs; the local boffer LARP Dominion; gamers meeting at the FLGSs) and by showcasing what our area has to offer regarding the "new wave"--an Indie Games Explosion track or some-such (ideas, anyone?).

    And I might have a game or two of my own done, by then... I'll shoot myself in the eye with a paintball, if I haven't finished GLASS a YEAR from now.

    Watch this space as I learn more (in particular, if I'm chairing it).
  • That's great David, I hope you get to put your skills toward this next year. I'll be glad to support you.
  • Yeah. I don't want to like usurp all non-RPGA gaming into "IndieCon" or anything, but:

    * There's plenty of other games that get played at the con, or at least did in the past.
    * There's plenty of people who would run a bunch of other games (L5R, BESM, Rifts, whatever)
    * We just need to get the word out that:
    -- Trinoc-Con is worth going to (if it is, that is)
    -- It needs GMs, to run all sorts of games.
    -- Also, there are these local game designers with their cool unique games (the "Battlelords of the 42nd Century guy is local, too, and used to go every year)

    And hey, it's a speculative fiction con. Popular games there have historically been:
    Buffy (using GURPS, BUFFY, HERO even)
    Anthropomorphic Games (appearently there are some Ironclaw/Jadeclaw writers who are local; but I used to see 2 GMs run "-claw" games through the whole con, all sessions, and have full sessions almost the entire time. And it didn't even look "furrie-creepy" even).
    BUT, I'm thinking that since Trinoc is a SF con (speculative fiction, even), I'm wondering if we could maybe get folks interested, selling not just as an everyday normal con with a random amount of games, but rather market the non-RPGA stuff (which is its own world) as an "SF focused gaming scene"? Will that attract folks, I wonder? I mean, we wouldn't say, "Sorry, SF games only", but we'd maybe encourage SF-themed games... thoughts?

    Dave, if you organize and really pimp it throughout the year, I'll come in as a GM, and run various games (mostly trad, even, maybe D&D4e non-RPGA!)

    Also, Dave: Be wary of the mass/group staff meetings with the SF-side con leaders. They tend to be toxic all-talk folks, save for a few. And, I am not joking, a few are putrid-smelling, men and women. But the game org folks have, even after the schism, tended to be decent-minded folk with their eye on the task at hand. Focus on working with the gaming staff closely, incl the RPGA guys, and only go to group staff meetings when you must.

  • Sure, Andy--I said an Indie *track* not "all indie, all the time, fuck off trad gamers." :)

    And by that same token, I'd avoid any "sci fi con" angle, too. It's speculative fiction, from fantasy to alt-history to sci fi to furries. "Inclusion" will be my "swing thought" as I want to build it up, not parcel it down or specialize it (or even alude to it being specialized). Not even RPG-specialized; as non-RPGA coordinator (still not confirmed!), I'd be all over the strat and board gamers I know in the area to buff it up; I'd be hitting up the Clix-heads and the Styrene-heads and maybe even work on LAN party stuff (though I'd want a designee for that--too much logistics). Obbviously, I have to find the mini gamers and get them to show, in all their painted lead glory.

    I want to also work closely with the "general events" person (or whomever) to get costuming built up, maybe do LARP (which isn't as much about "table management" as normal RPGing), and other ideas--improv theater event, maybe, like an "RP/spec fic talent show"? Hell... filking *shudder* but who am I to judge, if it gets another ten or twenty attendees?

    I don't see much need for group meetings at all, once I have marching orders. Gimme my table count, web site access, and OGRe admin and I will have all I need to roll forward on my own. MAYBE I could get a lil' budget to play with, for posters at FLGSs and campuses....
  • TrinocCon seems to suffer from a lack of public relations. I barely knew it was happening this year, and it's in the Triangle. I'd love to see a local con (with gaming) flourish.

    So, David, as you revive this thing, I'll be watching all along with eagerness.
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