PAX Unplugged to Feature Critical Role and Acquisitions Inc.

It should come as no surprise that the first tabletop-focused PAX convention, PAX Unplugged, will feature live shows of the some of the biggest live streamed D&D groups, including Critical Role, Acquisitions Incorporated, and Dice, Camera, Action!. PAX Unplugged 2017 will take place November 17-19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Here is the full schedule of events.

“The mission of PAX Unplugged is simple,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder of Penny Arcade and PAX. “We want to recognize the tabletop community that’s grown year over year at our events with a show just for them. It’s going to be pretty amazing first outing, and I can’t wait to attend the show myself.”

The extremely popular Geek & Sundry powered, actor-fueled Critical Role ended their 100+ session campaign earlier this month. In lieu of a live adventure, several members will be hosting a panel called “Critical Role: Talks Machina” on Saturday, November 18. Marisha Ray, Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, and DM Matthew Mercer will discuss the entire campaign of Vox Machina, hold a Q&A, and tease their next campaign.

If live D&D shows are more your jam, Dice, Camera, Action! will feature beloved DM and Wizards of the Coast designer Chris Perkins leading his group through Chult as part of their ongoing Tomb of Annihilation storyline. Holly Conrad, Jared Knaubenbaur, Anna Prosser Robinson, and Nathan Sharp will be joined by an unannounced special guest on Friday, November 17.

My personal favorite D&D group, Acquisitions Inc.: The “C” Team will host their very first PAX live play. Like TwitchCon last weekend, Ryan Hartman, Amy Falcone, Kate Welch, Kris Straub, and DM Jerry Holkins will play through a special one-shot session on Sunday, November 19.

And of course it wouldn’t be a PAX show, and especially a tabletop-centric PAX show without the venerable Acquisitions Incorporated team of Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, and best-selling author Patrick Rothfuss, with DM Chris Perkins.

Over the last year they’ve rotated their player fourth slot after Scott Kurtz’s departure. I’m really excited that they’ll move one of the “C” Team players, Kate Welch’s halfling grandma Rosie Beestinger into the group for their continued adventures in Chult. Acquisitions Inc. will take the stage on Saturday, November 18.

The keynote address for PAX Unplugged 2017 will be delivered by Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks.

PAX Unplugged is less than a month away but tickets are still available, including the discounted Three Day pass (though stock is low).

I personally would have loved to attend but the timing is bad, with just a week from Thanksgiving and two months from PAX South. Obviously as someone who enjoys playing and streaming our own D&D adventures, I adore watching other groups, particularly the PA teams and anything with Chris Perkins. I’m looking forward to watching all the streams!

Running a Retro Gaming Convention [GuideLive]

I wrote about my experiences at the Let’s Play Gaming Expo, and interviewed one of the board members about running a retro gaming convention

Read the full interview at GuideLive

There’s an old joke about kids sticking a comic book between the pages of their text books at school. “I was always reading Nintendo Power,” says Christian Deitering, board member of the Let’s Play Gaming Expo. Together, he and a group of retro game enthusiasts have built a successful annual gaming convention located in the Plano Centre.

The Let’s Play Gaming Expo wrapped up its sophomore year in June with double attendance the attendance of its first outing — 2,400 eager gamers and families. That number doesn’t include the kids under the age of 12 that got in for free.

I attended on Saturday, June 18 with friends and family. My young daughter enjoyed grabbing controllers and playing pixelated games on old Cathode Ray Tube Televisions in the Console FreePlay area. There were systems from Atari, Nintendo, Sega … someone even built a fully-functioning table-sized NES controller.

We watched some ridiculously good players compete at the Super Smash Bros. Tournament, browsed rare ’90s Japanese video games at the vendor hall, and delighted in showing off my nostalgic love for the old X-Men arcade game among the nearly 100 arcades and pinball machines that were there.