REAPERCON 2023: Great fun! This was my second time going and I had an even better time than in 2022. If you found me and chatted, you got this ribbon: Moldvay Basic 1981

Classes I Took: ReaperCon has several classes on just about every aspect of miniature painting you could want and at all skill levels. I took two classes. The first was about the basic materials you need to get started patining and why. Most of the material was stuff you could find in your kitchen. The second was a class on basic painting techniques which really is understanding your mini needs just 3 colors: a base, a darker, thiner wash, and a dry brushed highlight color. Reaper sells triads for this and also ~5 color kits for different types of mini "ecosystems" like goblinods, undead, or adventurers.

Paint & Take: ReaperCon also has a large area where you can practice these skills. You just sit down at a table. Grab a random mini from the large pile on the table and start painting. Its really neat.

Games I Played: 

Dungeon Dwellers feels like if someone "5e'd" OD&D (check out the link). We investigated a puzzle involving the flashing of sewer fireflies and glowing tiles. We fought giant rats, dire rats, and rat-people. I never hit once as a fighter despite a +7 to-hit but yelled insults at those rats as if I did.

TMNT & Other Strangeness is a nostalgic classic for me as it was the first RPG I ever learned. The GM handed out 6 sheets with pre-defined character personalities (I got "neurotic" with a knife affinity) and then we had to roll our mutated animal. Sparrows. We ended up spending our mutant points on one more size of height, hull articulated hands and arms, and gliding ability. We fought rednecks, encounter Disneyland controlled by a 6ft tall mouse who hated commies, and liberated DJ Fuzzybutt in order to fix our own AI "parent".

Games I Ran:

Through Ultan's Door vol 1: Once again players are acolytes of the CULT OF THE SLUMBERING GOD (says the silver & blue ribbon) trying to get their "chosen one" through the titular door, avoid forces of opposing gods, and be anointed by the Weaver of Shadows. Unlike last year's players who died fighting the white swine, this year's party traveled by the sewers and then cut their way to the spider daemon to receive the mark-- after making a small sacrifice of their lone hiring gained in the mini-game we played before. As the DM I missed with all my attacks save for a single one where I nat 20'd the thief into an early grave- well the Death & Dismemberment table put them into a bleed-out state.

Tomb Robbers of the Crystal Frontier: Back to a crystal-infected frontier! This years TOMB ROBBERS (as per my ribbon for the game) chose to first find Merkvy and boy they did. But they decide to quickly cut a deal with him and even acquiesce to his choice of loyalty oath (Tell me what's in the well to the south). This ends in their almost death so back for revenge they vicious cut the ill-fated former tomb robber down. And encouraged by finding his treasure and eventually find themselves in the same spot as last year's group in front of the "Red Queen". However, unlike last year's group, this group released the Queen and vowed allegiance to her. Scarlett Town wasn't the same. The players seemed impressed that was an actual written outcome.

Nightwick Abbey: I had an opportunity to run the hell-haunted Abbey "after-hours". The party's cleric was in search of Nightwick Village's vicar who was thought lost to the Abbey. The party's magic-user was in search of a fabled gold skull of wisdom. And the party's two fighters were in it for the gold. They were tricked by floating mad monks, interrupted a silent dance, turned that same hoard of skeletons (seriously rolled 9 then 12), blacked out and awoke in a columned hallway, were hunted by deermen, stalked by the mirror image of one of their hirelings (You know what you did in the woods Kevin!), gave offerings to the Abbey, and finally half of the party was tricked into crossing a pit-trap by "manimals". At that point, I found an "Escape the Dungeon Table" and the only person to make it out was the other hireling. Good job hireling Micheal✤.

While I am biased, Nightwick is still one of the easiest dungeons to use and run as a DM. All of the information you need for each room is laid right out in front of you. All the above was done in over a ~2 hour period.

People I Chatted With: Nice to get the opportunity to sit down and chat with the team from Swordfish Islands. I've run into them for several different cons now since PAXSouth (RIP). It always fascinates me to hear how the books get made and all the various steps to that. They also encouraged me to look towards ZineQuest as a potential place for the "Wine Dungeon".

Here is a pretty workable hireling rules for con games. If you are randomly assigning equipment, players can offer up 1 piece of armor (min AC 12) & weapon (min 1d6 dmg) to earn a roll on whatever hireling table you are using. A shield or better armor/weapon gains a max +1 on that roll.


  1. Well that sounds like an absolutely wonderful convention experience! Also excellent choice of games to run, each and every one of them! I didn't know there even was anything of Nightwick Abbey that CAN be run, I thought it was all just Miranda's notes for her own campaign. That's pretty cool!

    1. On the whole, I did like ReaperCon a lot. I think it has strong growth potential being aligned to both a singular activity (miniature painting) and group participation (pen & paper gaming). Very hobbiest centered.

      re: Nightwick- yes a lot material is now on her Patreon! Its all coming together very nicely.

    2. Oh neat! I did not know there was actual written stuff out there. Well, I am tempted - after all the more people's homework I can steal from, the better my own will be, hah!