We sent out a call to other NecronomiCon attendees and received some responses that really captured the spirit of the experience and community at large. This is a small, but incredibly representative collection of highlights. Even though we are but insignificant specks in a vast, uncaring cosmos at the mercy of the outer gods, it’s really good to hang out and see people again.
My name is David, I’m 43 years old, and this was my first convention, ever. Providence is my hometown, so it was easy for me to be there. My mom also lives here, and she watched my 4-year-old son during the Con.
I wanted to do something nice for him, and, as he is a fan of Blue’s Clues, I took the little notebook from my Keeper’s packet and began collecting names. Well, everyone I told my plan to loved the idea, and I collected 36 names for him.
The pictures will tell the story better than I can.
One of my highlights was definitely, definitely getting to meet all of the lovely people from the online TTRPG space in the mortal, tender flesh. Getting to play off-book games, talk shop, and just be around friends both old and new was a true delight.
As for con programming, my favorite event by far was the short film screening on Saturday evening at the Black Box. It was rowdy, loud, and such good fun I can’t believe that no one called the cops.
Your Friend Nate
Some NecronomiCon moments from me. I’m not going to name anyone else’s names in this, so apologies if it’s weirdly vague in places (or just not detailed), but that’s the easiest way for me to get this out.
This was my first time in Providence. Picture perfect New England town. The church steeples, the New England architecture, the water, the walkability—beautiful.
Walking into the Biltmore was like stepping into the 1920s. A grand old dame of a class hotel with a sweeping staircase, bizarre (and unfortunately closed) glass-enclosed elevator, dark wood, lush carpet, and rich colors. What a palette cleanser from the Hyatt and Marriott lowest common denominator corporate mush that’s so common now.
Knowing so many people, but meeting everyone—I mean everyone—for the first time ever—in person. That super awkward first minute sitting down in the pub with online turned physical friends, and that awkwardness vanishes surprisingly fast. Sure, the pint and the shot of bourbon helped get that started, but everyone I met was so genuinely kind, pleasant, fun, excited, and a lot of them were feeling just as awkward as I was.
An off-book game of Mage, with online friends I was hoping to get to know better (but, you know, you never know, new friends are weird endeavors in your late 40s), and in that hotel room having a bite-sized game that was one of the most satisfying role-playing experiences I’ve had as a player. Being in person really is different.
And an off-book game of Alien with friends new and old, and getting to acknowledge and appreciate some amazing crafting work by a really good person.
And an on-book CoC game where I got to play with an online friend’s brother, who had never played a TTRPG before. Had a blast bouncing off this new energy.
Being welcomed into what felt like an existing family, and “sneaking” into a party to join that family, closing down a bar with that family. Within a day, I felt like I’d been hanging with these folks for years.
Exploring the city alone. Ghosting a crowded gathering where everyone else knew each other, finding a hidden little hotel bar speakeasy with not another soul in it, and talking mad horror movies and books with the bartender, who knew all kinds of horror, old and new, lived in Providence, and had never heard of HP Lovecraft.
The cosmic horror of the guest of honor at the opening ceremonies, while sitting in the sauna of the First Baptist Church, detailing her husband’s misadventures with ticks, baby raccoon jungle gym equipment, and then…time’s up! She gathered up her unused note cards and walked off. I’m still wondering if that husband is at the bottom of that ravine…
An impromptu pizza party on the Biltmore roof deck after a three-hour Providence walking tour killed all the energy I had left to run my scheduled game. Guests in fancy dress came down from the Eldritch Ball to wander the deck and take pictures, while our group sampled homemade mead and talked nonsense.
Some of the consistently worst service at restaurants by some of the nicest wait staff that were trying their best. Someone should have let this city know there was a convention coming.
Holy shit though that French press. Life changing. Ambrosial nectar. I grew three inches taller, lost 20 pounds of fat, can bench press 225, and now recall at will every book, movie, and song lyric I’ve ever encountered. Plus I can speak French, Mandarin, and German all of a sudden! Man. You should have tried that French press. (editor: cold, man, real cold)
There’s more. Probably a lot more. But that’s what comes to mind at 10 PM on a random Tuesday. It should be enough.
The last few years have been rough. And through this trip, I realized that I’d taken a characteristic I have—the ability to enjoy and thrive in isolation—and turned it into a whole personality. But it turns out, that isn’t the real deal. It was a survival instinct, to keep from going deep into the pit. My favorite memory of Necro? Remembering what it’s like to be connected, physically, with a community—and being reminded of the value and warmth, and necessity of that. Turns out, I want that connection. Need it. That closeness. And what could be scarier than realizing that?
- “Out of the Shadows: A History of the Queer Weird” panel (I was a speaker)
- Late Night Lovecraft Screening at the AS220’s Black Box Theatre
- Off-books game of Alien with 3D printed environments & minis
- “Ars Necronomica: The Visual Divine of the Dark Cosmos” exhibition at the AS220 Aborn Gallery
NecronomiCon 2022 was my first NecronomiCon. After being home for a week, the experience still feels dreamlike. Surreal. Magical. After vacillating for a few days over which experience to highlight for this blog, I eventually did what every good gamer does; I allowed the dice to decide. I rolled a d10 (yea, I know. Ten top shelf experiences. I’ve already told you; I had a really, really good time).
Fate (or is it the Devil’s Luck) has selected the following experience: Pirate Borg
On Saturday evening, I was invited to participate in a live stream of Pirate Borg. Now, I’ve played games in person before… and I’ve streamed games online… but doing both, simultaneously? That’s a very new and very exciting monster for me. I’d never been on a rig like that!
This was me…in all of that beautiful and hysterical chaos (content spoilers):
Okay, be present for the table. Be aware of the table and party dynamics/balance.
Be mindful that you have a dedicated camera/mic. Make sure you look into your camera. NO, not at the other players, look into your camera!
You’re really sitting up here in a plus-sized pirate costume from Party City. What a time to first start cosplaying.
Actually, you look good…
The guy said don’t move your chair or your dedicated camera will lose you. Ugh! My leg needs a stretch, I can’t move the chair!
Mike Mason is hysterical.
Oh, look! It’s Tim! Right next to me. Wait, what’s he doing here? Oh, he’s dropping me off a COVID test WHILE I’m live streaming. I love him. He’s the best. #negative
These. Maps. Are. STUNNING! Remember to check out Limithron’s Patreon.
Damn, Paul is a really good role player. But like—DUH! He would be.
I’m the only one not doing a pirate accent. Ah well. SHIT! I’m the only person not doing a pirate accent!
I don’t know these rules. I should have read the rules on the plane.
Gah! There’s a live studio audience here! Engage with the audience! Okay too much, no, no, no not enough! Okay, no more!
Follow the story, Bridgett. Follow the—SPOILER ALERT—is Mike a whale?!
Huh! These rules are pretty intuitive. I think I like these!
Are… are my undead dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”? Yes, yes, they are. Epic.
I have to pee.
I’mma knock over my mic trying to get to these dice.
Mike Mason rolled yet ANOTHER 1. Yeesh.
Okay. Yup. For sure… this was one of the best gaming experiences of my life.
New experiences can be so exhausting, exhilarating, and fun. This is exactly how I felt about live streaming Pirate Borg. I am terrified to get on another rig like that, and I simultaneously CAN NOT WAIT until I’m invited to something like this again. Playing Pirate Borg with Mike Mason and Paul Fricker? How many more times in my life will I have the opportunity to play with BOTH of them, again, in person? It was simply an incredible experience and one that I won’t forget.
You can watch the replay here.
There you have it, folks. If you have experiences or highlights you’d like to share from this year’s NecronomiCon drop them into the comments below. We’d love to see them and look forward to seeing you all in 2024.