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PBM Con
#1
Since Rich Van Ollefen is a site member here, now, perhaps he can regale us with tales of PBM conventions that he attended, including but not limited to PBM Con.

Also, if anyone has any photographs taken at PBM conventions, others of us would love to see them.
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#2
There really weren't very many PBM conventions. Flying Buffalo runs a convention every year where you can play some of the games they offer. At the peak, you could play Starweb, Illuminati, Battle Plan, and Heroic Fantasy. Of course, going to Arizona in July, I played them all. I focused on Starweb and Illuminati, won quite a few. Battle Plan i was content to be a supporting player since I didn't play it very often. HF i just played for pure fun, never worried about results.

One year in an Illuminati game, I killed a player twice in 30 minutes - first I killed him, then went after another player. Turns out that was his buddy who gave him his position to play so he would have something to do. We got quite a laugh out of it.

We would play from around 10 AM to 9 or 10 PM. The best part of it was seeing people you played with and talked to all the time on the phone. I remember going to the pool and the concrete still being hot from the sun at 10 PM.

The only other convention with any PBM presence I went to was AndCon, run by Andon Games. It was more of a general gaming convention, but had a good sized PBM presence - half a dozen companies attended and ran games. I had several conversations with Gary Smith, and it was what inspired me to create PBMCon.

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#3
Reality Simulations still runs a face-to-face event twice a year for their game Duel2 (formerly known as Duelmasters, before being threatened by a horde of lawyers from Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro). They hold a Duel2 tournament in January in Arizona (where they are based) and then each summer they hold another one, generally somewhere on the east coast, to try and allow different players who may not be able to travel to attend.

I've been attending these events for years. The most recent one, which occurred a few months ago in Tempe, Arizona, had 30 players present. That game, in particular, is still alive and well. The next one is this summer in Milwaukee.

RSI also attends a few regular gaming conventions each year, running demos of Duel2 and some of their other games. I think they may only attend GenCon and OrcCon now, but they used to attend far more. I recall playing a demo tourney at Origins 15-20 years ago.

Not exactly a general PBM convention, but a convention of PBM gamers nonetheless!
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#4
I was at the last Pbm Convention in London, England.
I think it was somewhere in 2000.

All the large companies where there.
-Harlequin.
-Hunkey Monkey Games.
-Jason Oates Pbm company.
-Madhouse

I met Ken and Carol Mullholland.

It was great.

Wink
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#5
Did you take any photos, Walt?
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#6
(03-25-2011, 04:40 PM)paway Wrote: Not exactly a general PBM convention, but a convention of PBM gamers nonetheless!

The PBM-con within a game con that I remember best was the 1987 Origins. The year before my friend Draper Kaufmann had won best PBM game in Los Angeles for Illuminati-PBM, beating out Rimworlds. The year before, in Baltimore, Rimworlds won the best new PBM game, beating out Illuminati. I'd been a beta-tester from Dray, and have the honor of having been the world's first PBM Swiss Gnomes. He had returned the favor and was responsible for a couple of major changes in the logic of the game.

Nicky Palmer was there with a booth hawking Flagship; I think he stands about 6'7" and must weigh 130 lbs. He's an extremely friendly guy with a hawk-like nose as I remember, an engaging grin and a British accent you could cut with a knife. Nicky left Flagship to run for Parliament and hung on to his seat until the last election when he lost by a few dozen votes.

One thing I remember very clearly was GEnie being there giving away Frisbees and recruiting people for their brand new service, touting the chance to play games on line. They were charging $6.00 @ hour to connect during evening hours - and $36.00 to connect during the day! (double those prices to see what the equivalent would be today.)

Had a nice chat with Rick Loomis - short, pudgy, blonde (he had hair back then) - a consummate nerd who wore his mantle of being the founder of modern PBM quite lightly. He was dead-set, I remember against hand-moderated, or even cyborg-moderated games. He said the temptation would always be there for the GM to put his finger on the scale.

The most fun I had there that weekend was playing a game of Dark Conspiracy where I ended up role-playing a character with a strength of 19 and an IQ of 1 on scale of 1 - 20.

I was quite young back then

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#7
If it was in Baltimore, it was '87. '88 was the combo with Gencon in Milwaukee starring Gary Gygax.

When I first started rewriting Rimworlds for the web, I figured it'd take about a year. Two have gone by and I am finally getting around to Space Combat. zheesh!
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#8
(03-25-2011, 06:05 PM)GrimFinger Wrote: "Did you take any photos, Walt?"

No GrimFinger. I went to the convention with my girlfriend. Who was so in love with me I guess she even went to a PBM convention with me. Blush
Anyway, I could have taken some pictures but I simply forgot.

But I know some pictures were taken by Carol. The pictures are in an old Flagship magazine. I can take a look if you want and scan the pictures for you?
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#9
(03-26-2011, 07:43 AM)walter Wrote: But I know some pictures were taken by Carol. The pictures are in an old Flagship magazine. I can take a look if you want and scan the pictures for you?

Actually, I was hoping that someone had some original photos.

If you could scan the whole issue that those photos are in, Carol Mulholland already told me, back before she had a stroke, that I could post the issues of Flagship magazine on the site, here, as a back-up repository. I just haven't gotten around to re-uploading them, again, where the copies in PDF format that I have, are concerned.

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#10
Okay,
will do that later this evening.
Just asked my wife, we did indeed make no pictures ourselves that day...
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