I went up a few weekends ago for my second-ever GameHoleCon in Madison, Wisconsin with a few friends. I had thought that a convention named after the first line in the Hobbit would have been around for a while, but it turns out it's only in its second year, too. 

Being so close to the home of many of the initiators of Dungeons and Dragons has its advantages--a lot of well-known folks from the early days of D&D come to play. It also hosts a variety of games from the "Dead Games Society," so you can get a game of something at GameHoleCon you couldn't get anywhere else (because nobody plays it anymore!).  Two great examples: I played a very enjoyable Top Secret/Marvel Superheroes game that used a rule set from the '80s and was, in fact, set in the days prior to and up to Reagan's assassination--lots of fun. My second example was a game of OD&D, a system I'd run two full campaigns for back in the '80s and early '90s, but I haven't even cracked my Rules Cyclopedia in a decade. Not only was that game fun to play, but it contained some of the classic political tension and mass battle rules, too. The nostalgia alone earned this game high marks for me.

I played a very serviceable game of Spirit of the Century, but I'm just not that much into the FATE rules system, so that wasn't the joy for me that it was for the friend I went with. We also played a truly horrid pulp game with the bland name of "Amazing Adventures." I was so turned off by the obtuse rules system, the unremarkable setting, and the flat, railroad-y GMing that I flipped through a copy of Amazing Adventures in my local store yesterday to see whether the GM we had at the con just didn't do the system justice--nope, the game is just as bad (and the adventure, which is the sample adventure at the back of the rulebook is just that unimaginative)--so definitely not the game for me.

To my surprise, my friends and I pretty much universally agreed that the 5th edition D&D game we played was probably the best all-around game of the convention--solid rules, a great table with some very fun characters, and a surprisingly deep adventure for an organized play offering.

In all, I had a lot of fun, and look forward to GameHoleCons (GameHolesCon? GamesHoleCon?) in the future!