Saturday, August 21, 2010

RantCon - The Odyssey

Let me begin by saying this is all me.  I'm sure RetCon is a fine convention and there are hundreds of people having a ball - I just don't know.

Last night I got eaten alive until about 4 am -  the joys of summer sleeping.  Needless to say, I had a heads up that today was not going to be my day.

The trip to RetCon from Queens, NY is about 40 minutes with traffic, according to google.  Apparently I found something worse then traffic, it took closer to an hour for a 26 miles drive.

Then it hit me as I arrived at the Four Season - the parking lot was half empty, and this was an operational Hilton Hotel.  For a con expecting 250-300 gamers, I began to doubt there were even 1/5 the numbers.  I did see a 20ish, unkept  young man with with a canvass army styled backpack with horrid posture roaming the parking lot - its a shame we still have the same, fairly accurate sterotypes nearly 30 years after I entered the hobby.

No signs for the event at all at the hotel, in the parking lot or anywhere.  I know the Long Island Meet-up club was running it, so maybe there was a secret door to find or handshake you had to share, but in the mood I was in I just got back in my car and drove home - sans traffic about 25 minutes.  The return trip was the highlight of my day.

I shouldn't have even made the trip in the mood I was in, but the idea of spending 20 bucks to view a few vendors tables - as the idea of gaming was slipping from my mind as I tried to find any sign of a convention sign - made me cancel the trip on the doorstep of the con.

Ah well, hope it went well for those that found it - I think the bearded man in the trenchcoat might have marked the entrance, but I'm not sure ;)


  1. We did have over 200 people attend the convention this year.You definitely drove right past my friend Mike while he was out having a smoke from your description. I'm sorry that you had trouble finding the location. We did take up the entire conference area of the hotel. Pretty much the entire basement (aside from several utility rooms) was RetCon. I parked my car at the back door to the conference center all weekend long( it had the license plate "THAC0" on it)which is how a couple of people found the place. Nearly everybody else was pointed in the right direction by hotel staff if they had a question about where the con was located, or somebody outside pointed them to the back door. I was actually under the impression that the hotel would be providing signage, but it was too late once I got there as I was running the entire con myself.

    The con started at 9am, but it didn't really get into full swing until 10 or 11 on Saturday. Lesson learned for future RetCons: Start later on Saturday, end earlier on Sunday. The parking lot was packed by Saturday afternoon and this year was a total success. The con actually made a nice profit and I'm already working on organizing the next con.

    I'm sorry that you had the experience that you did. The next convention will DEFINITELY have better signage and (if you can believe it) I'm already working on that.

  2. Roi, I'm glad it went well. The NYC metro area has a serious dearth of gaming cons, and the addition of RetCon can only be a huge benefit.

    As I stated at the top of my rant, the problem was all me. Considering the second thing I did after getting home (the first was ranting, go figure) was nap for 5 hours, you can see I was the one that had a bad day starting the nite before.

    I was going to delete the rant after I posted it, but I try to be an honest blogger - warts and all (mostly mine in this case) so I left it up. Maybe I should have napped in the car - I would have been well rested for when the party was truly kicking off :)

    Looking forward to next year - maybe I should start small and actually find Ravenblood Games first ;)


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition