It has been a couple years now that I have been either chair or co-chair for Odyssey Con in Madison, Wisconsin. Once the con is over, we breathe a sigh of relief, take a couple weeks and then have our postmortem meeting. What I was considering is other than the people that power through to the “Kill the Cow” panel at the end, little of this information makes it out to the attendees. Hopefully this blog series will not only reverse that, but also give you an idea of what we had going on this year… as well as the suggestions we picked up for next year.
One of the key moments that made the convention for me was the Superfight with the Guests of Honor. Sunday morning at 11 a.m. I put Matt Forbeck, Heather Brewer and Jonathan Maberry on the main stage. I sat Thee Bluebeard (our emcee for the convention) down with them and taught them how to play Superfight. About four people came to watch the game. (did I mention it too place Sunday morning?) Even with the lack of people awake for the event it was a blast. If you ever have a chance, sit down with three authors and an improv comic and play that game. It seriously dials it up to 11.
Was it really that awesome?
Jonathan Maberry, while being a geek and one of our people, fully admits he’s not a gamer. In his own words, he is no good at anything involving dice or cards. Even he is getting a set of the cards to bring home (once he is off tour) to play with his friends in California. I imagine it like Richard Castle playing poker with his mystery writer friends. Only with geeky cards instead of poker chips. Heather Brewer also purchased the game to play at home with friends and family. So let that be our convention testimonial.
How did this event come about?
I’d like to tell you the folks that create the game donated a copy and we simply had to film it. But I can’t. I saw videos of celebrities playing this at SDCC and knew we had to do it. Especially after there were resounding cries of battle in Twitter from our Guests of Honor. Though, to be fair, I think Jonathan was thinking I was talking actual battle – like Author Thunderdome. Which he totally would have won. He is a black belt after all.
This led to me purchasing the base deck, base expansion and the orange “geek” deck. You can find it at skybound.com in their online store. I purchased it normally and had it shipped to my house. Sure it cost a bit, but after the event was over I would have a set of the cards to play at home. Also, though it was a side thought, I put blanks from the Guests of Honor in my deck as well. I figured that would make for a trump card if it came up. Which, of course, it never did.
Though I will say the customer service from Skybound (the site that handles distribution for Superfight) was astounding. I had the base deck, the basic expansion, and the geek expansion. When I opened them up, the basic expansion was defective. The cards were stuck along a line at the bottom of the backs of the cards. They had a replacement out to me in the normal processing time for a shipment, so before it would even normally ship from the warehouse it was at my door. The original deck I was told to do what I will with it. I suppose it’s not like they could fix it.
What did I do with the messed up deck?
I took the blank cards and had each of the Guests of Honor fill out a fighter and an ability from their stories and sign them. I put them in the deck box with the rest of it and we gave it out at the event. Which made it really advantageous for whomever did get up at 11 in the morning to watch us play. Of course Paul now has to get a base deck…
Highlight of the Event
Playing the last round in final elimination, Thee Bluebeard played Zeus (part of the geek deck) on a riding lawnmower. His opponent was Heather’s shark in a flaming tutu, but we’ll get to that part. He proudly exclaims that this is Zeus, he who gave us the Grim Reaper… all suburban like on a riding mower. Drawing her random card, Heather’s shark winds up not only in a flaming tutu, but also a suit of armor. Bluebeard, drawing his random ability gets “was trained by (draw a random character)” and drops the top of the character deck to reveal The Grim Reaper. He literally called down the trump card he was drawing.
Again, play this game with a trio of authors and an improv comedian if at all possible. It’s the only way to play it. And yes, video will follow once my videographer has it edited and complete.