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The Douchey DM » General Gaming » Gateway 2011 Pre-Convention Post

Gateway 2011 Pre-Convention Post

The start of Gateway 2011 is four short days away. If you’re unfamiliar with Southern California/Los Angeles game conventions, we are fortunate enough to have three: Gateway, Orccon and Gamex. All three are presented by Strategicon, and they are all hosted most recently at the Sheraton Gateway hotel near LAX.

I’m running three games for this convention.

I LOVE prepping new games. I tend to suffer a bit from Gamemaster ADD, so having the opportunity to prep something fresh and new is exciting.
Three games, however, is a bit much. I like making maps, coming up with NPCs, coming up with plot hooks, etc. I rather it not consume so much of my free time, though.
Next convention, I’ll run two games, but perhaps run one of them twice. It would be interesting to contrast two different groups of players going through the same scenario.
As for playing games, I haven’t signed up for anything. I may try to get in a Call of Cthulhu or Trail of Cthulhu game on either Friday night or Sunday night.
Here’s my schedule for the weekend.
I’ll get there around 5:30 or 6pm. Once I’m in the room and settled, as tradition dictates, it’s down to the bar. It’s remarkable how many Happy Jacks RPG Podcast listeners you can find in the bar. Strangely enough, that’s often ALL you find in the bar.
8:00 pm — This is a common game slot for RPGs. If all my prep is finished, and I’m not too sloshed, I’ll try to worm my way into a game.
9:00 am — Ghostbusters LA — Savage Worlds. As the name suggests, this game in set in modern-day Los Angeles and describes the trials and tribulations of the LA Ghostbusters franchise. I’m going for a comedic game, with just the right amount of absurdity.
2:00 pm — Big Red Planet Hollywood — Savage Worlds. This is the sequel to Big Blue Monkeys from Outer Space, which I ran at Orccon 2011. It takes place in a pulpy and unscienfitic scifi setting in the years before WWII. This game only has five players signed up, so I’ll probably not do another sequel at Orccon 2012.
8:00 pm — Happy Jacks RPG Podcast live recording. At each of the Strategicon conventions we try to record an episode live. We talk about the games played that day, let the GMs describe the games, have the players critique them, etc. This year, we’re going to attempt to live stream the show, if the hotel’s wireless bandwidth is up to it. If it works out, you can hear it at
9:00 am — I’ve set this slot aside to either sleep in, play in a game or visit the dealer’s room. Probably the latter.
2:00 pm — The Tulupian Avian — GURPS 4th Edition in the Traveller setting. I haven’t run anything in the Third Imperium since the 1980s. This is my most ambitious game, story-wise, and is the most likely to either go long or get cut off.
8:00 pm — Set aside to either play in a game, or maybe re-run a game if there are enough players.

Written by

Stu Venable is the producer of Happy Jacks RPG Podcast and writer and editor of He is founder and director of the Poxy Boggards and a member of Celtic Squall. He holds a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Long Beach. He is a husband and a father. He hates puppies.

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