The crew is back home, recovered from daylight savings time and the wonderful experience at Cleveland ConCoction where Nerdarchy was the featured guest for gaming, reinvigorated and ready to keep rockin’ and rollin’. We want to give a huge thanks to Tony and the rest of the organizers and volunteers from the convention who reached out to invite us there, the Bertram Inn and Conference Center for providing great accommodations and facilities for the convention, and all the fans and nerdy folks who attended. We had a great time!
ConCoction convention reflection
Although we spent some of our time at ConCoction keeping the Nerdarchy train thundering forward with our usual duties (gotta make the doughnuts) we found plenty of time to play games, meet people and enjoy what the convention had to offer. It was really terrific to meetup with a few of the people from Starcalled Studios on Thursday night. Rachel, Ashley and Andrea hung out and talked shop about live streaming games, content creation with their Zodiac Empires campaign setting and other nerdy stuff we all could spend countless hours talking about.
Late into the evening – of more accurately early Friday morning – the guys put Nerditor Doug on the spot to run a game of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. With a party of 9th-level characters made on the fly using D&D Beyond, the adventure got underway at about 1 a.m. Balnorn the tiefling Circle of Dreams druid, Quiglig the goblin Battlemaster fighter and Bobbert Robburtur the dragonborn Swashbuckler rogue took to the wilderness on a Company of the NAG contract taken out by a stage producer to recruit a new actor for a leading role. The first part of what turned into a two-shot campaign ended when the party reached the remote camp of the hill giant shaman. After explaining what theater is to the potential actor, the party was tasked with visiting elemental shrines to earn his trust.
On Friday, the Tales of Nerdarchy panel gave Nerdarchists Dave and Ted and Nate the Nerdarch, joined by Nerditor Doug, a chance to regale attendees with stories from the gaming table, some of our favorite GM 911 questions and a few of the many standout moments in Nerdarchy history. Following the panel, Nate the Nerdarch was the first of the crew to run an official convention game. The party for Night Terrors included Tony Isabella, the comic book writer, editor, artist and critic perhaps most known for creating DC Comics first African-American superhero Black Lightning.
While that game was taking place, author and Nerdarchy staff writer Megan R. Miller ran an impromptu D&D game for Nerdarchists Dave and Ted, Nerditor Doug and Megan’s fiance Josh.
Oddly enough, her adventure also involved a theater. It seemed an opera house operator was the target of several assassination attempts, and the party was hired to get to the bottom of the goings-on. Three half-brothers were joined by an Inquisitive rogue to crack the case.
Once again, D&D Beyond got everyone into the game in minutes. Nerdarchist Dave played a Beast Master ranger for the first time, a half-orc with a giant crab companion Shelldon. Nerdarchist Ted’s half-elf Wild Magic sorcerer came very close to inadvertently summoning 1d6 flumphs through a wild magic surge, but instead aged himself several years. Nerditor Doug’s fire genasi Path of the Ancestral Guardian barbarian played to the fickle nature of fire. And Josh’s Inquisitive rogue provided invaluable insights and investigative skills throughout the adventure.
Saturday morning found Nerdarchist Ted in his element running his Haunted Mansion adventure. This innovative quest is different every time, and he uses tiles from Betrayal at House on the Hill along with a series of random tables and charts to create unique experiences.
The players really got a kick out of the convention-friendly D&D adventure, and Nerdarchist Ted has been tinkering and refining this go-to quest for quite a while.
In the afternoon, Nerdarchist Dave brought his classic Maze of Mandoon to ConCoction, leading adventurers through an interdimensional labyrinth of danger after brave adventures find themselves swept up in the aftermath of a Chaos Storm. And later in the evening, Nerdarchy’s second panel focused on how to turn your passions into viable business ventures. The crowd heard about how Nerdarchy got started and keeps the goal in mind to always keep pushing forward to greater growth.
Nerditor Doug’s game concluded once again late in the evening, with the party joined by Josh, Megan and FGC teacher and Nerdarchy staff writer Elyunn. The kenky Path of the Sun Soul monk, high elf School of Enchantment wizard and human Life Domain cleric certainly proved their worth as the party fended off dangerous Shadow Fey, communed with elemental spirits and rescued a beleaguered air elemental myrmidon. The adventure concluded with a skill challenge to aid the hill giant in a ritual to keep his mountain valley safe with an elder shadow drake tried to pierce the veil between the Shadow Realm and the real world.
Over the course of our time at ConCoction, we all had such a blast. Popular cosplayer Knightmage was on hand, sharing tips and stories of his experiences during panel discussions and roaming the halls in between as Link from the Legend of Zelda, Gizmo Duck from Duck Tales and Marvin the Martian from Looney Toons. The Harp Twins, Camille and Kennerly Kitt, put on several shows of their awesome electric harp performances. They played awesome versions of rock songs like Iron Maiden’s Fear the Dark and AC/DC’s Highway to Hell along with a wide array of other songs like the Game of Thrones and Doctor Who themes, music from Skyrim and Legend of Zelda and more.
At the end of the weekend, everyone from Nerdarchy was incredibly energized by our time at Cleveland ConCoction and we are so thankful to be invited as featured guests at the convention. It was a milestone for us to have the opportunity to attend this way. Our volunteer staff and friends live all across the country, so these chances to meet in person for games and fun are really special.
Following on the heels of ConCoction, we’re super excited to reach another milestone with our YouTube channel now at 60,000 subscribers! A huge thank you goes out to everyone in the Nerdarchy community for supporting and enjoying our content all these years. We’re not even close to slowing down. New products are coming to the store, new live stream games are headed for Twitch and new ventures are always in the works. As always, everything we do if for nerds, by nerds. We do what we do out of love for the hobby and helping to share the joy and creative excitement with the world.
So until next time, stay nerdy!
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