5 Tips for Wargamer Dads – Wargaming Recon #154

Being a wargamer parent is hard.  You’re pulled in different directions at the same time.  Try these five tips to be a successful wargamer dad (or mom).

5 Tips to be a Successful Wargamer Dad

  1. Put your child first
  2. Get creative
  3. Planning is key
  4. Communication is vital
  5. Technology is your friend

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TotalCon 2016 – Wargaming Recon #153

Dilly Green Bean Games' TotalCon 2016 Cocktail Hour Class Photo depicting some of the incredible industry guests, con staff, vendors, and the only member of the press...your's truly.
Dilly Green Bean Games’ TotalCon 2016 Cocktail Hour Class Photo depicting some of the talented industry guests, con staff, vendors, and your’s truly too.


TotalCon is one of the most exciting, entertaining, and enjoyable tabletop gaming conventions in New England.  They successfully combine RPGs, board games, old school RPGs, minis gaming, and live events together for a truly geeky time.  This year was the 30th anniversary for the convention.  We cover the con in this episode.

Events Attended

  • Tiny Epic Galaxies with industry guest GM Ben Gerber
  • Convoy to Malta War at Sea Game with GM Dan Eustace
  • Writing for RPGs panel with industry guests Michael Curtis, Jeffrey Talanian, and Mike Pondsmith
  • My wife and daughter visited for the afternoon
  • Riding the Rocket the First 5 Years at TSR panel with industry guest Tim Kask
  • Playing 1775 with listeners (and friends) Patrick and Cary
  • Dilly Green Bean Games Cocktail Party

Problems Encountered

  • Hotel under renovations despite promising con it’d be finished before Feb 1, 2016
  • Guests were given wrong rooms
  • Interior of some rooms were covered with plaster dust (on the bed, TV, etc)
  • Problems with the water in some bathrooms. Turns off randomly, only gives scaldingly hot water in spurts
  • Telephones were not hooked up/operational in some rooms
  • Furniture haphazardly tossed into some rooms
  • It impacted all rooms but surprisingly it heavily hit suites and rooms for industry guests
  • More than 60 parking spots are filled with construction debris and tractor trailers storing items
  • Construction debris could be found in some hallways making it difficult for attendees with limited mobility to get by
  • The hotel’s restaurant had exceedingly slow service
  • NONE OF THIS WAS TOTALCON’S FAULT.  They did their due diligence but the hotel gave them incorrect information.

Support Jonathan through PATREON
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Listener Mail

Via our Facebook page:

  1. Listener John said of Ep 152: Pulp Wargaming Hanghai with Mike Paine “Great to hear the Grand Poobah speak and enlighten us all. Nice job.”
  2. Listener Richard said of Ep 152: Pulp Wargaming Hanghai with Mike Paine “”Great interview.”

Do you have questions, comments, or constructive feedback? Then please share it with us on Facebook, Twitter, or via e-mail at jonathan@wargamingrecon.com.


GIVEAWAY IS OVER.  Listener Kyle won the free weekend pass to TotalCon.  Here is his 5 star iTunes review:


Wargaming Recon is dedicated to the memory of long time listener Andrew who helped to give the show its name.  I ask all listeners to join me in a moment of silence in Andrew’s honor.

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Don’t want to wait?  Support Wargaming Recon through our Patreon. It costs just $1 per per month. That is less than a cup of coffee.
Thank you to:

  1. Dave & the Wargames @ BattleShades Facebook group
  2. Patrick
  3. Chris P.

Wargaming Recon LIVE Page
Jonathan is recording Wargaming Recon LIVE for your viewing pleasure. You can watch the live streaming episodes through our brand new LIVE page.

It shows the live streaming recording, a calendar of upcoming live recordings, and it features a chatroom for you to chat with other listeners and with Jonathan!

Please visit our LIVE page to be an active part of the community.

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The Maine Historical Wargamers Association (they’re the people behind HUZZAH “Historical Wargaming for New England” are a new sponsor for the show. So grateful for their support. Please be sure to go to Huzzah May 13-16, 2016 at the Doubletree Inn in South Portland, Maine. I’ll be there doing a LIVE podcast recording.

Episode Guide Tells You What’s in the Pipe

Some Reminders:
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Many thanks to Jeremy Kostiew, Troll ITC’s logo designer, for our amazing logo. Check out his portfolio at MightyNightGaunt.com

Penny for Your Thoughts

We hope you enjoy this episode of Wargaming Recon and welcome your feedback. Send it all to:

Our Theme Song

Downtown” by Matthew Ebel is our theme song. Please give his other music a listen at www.matthewebel.com.

This recording is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

Writing for RPGs – TotalCon 2016 Panel

Will be live blogging the Writing for RPGs panel from TotalCon 2016.  Industry guests Mike Pondsmith, Michael Curtis, and Jeffrey Talanian are featured on this panel.


The film The Gamers (affiliate link) is highly recommended by Mike Pondsmith as an advisory tale for those wishing to write for RPGs.  He says “a really well done game is a cool toy you get to play with and then hand it over to someone else.”Gamer's_Cover


“I was never trying to explore or exploit a market niche I thought I could make money from.  It came from my passion.”-Jeffrey Talanian


“Build on a plot line or theme that you’re passionate about…because you have this passion about this topic or plot line the passion will come through in your writing.”-Mike Curtis


“If you’re going into digital development start by learning paper.”-Mike Pondsmith

It gives you the necessary foundation to move on.

“Anybody can code but you guys are gonna build world.”-Mike Pondsmith


Good things can be a result of simply getting your foot in the door.  Have to read everyone else’s stuff to have an informed opinion of the company and to be sure it is a good fit all around.

Be sure to know the company’s products and how you will jump off from there.  You’re golden if:

  1. You can get the stuff done
  2. Know the material
  3. Meet the deadline



Do your research.  Look at what is done by existing designers and companies and give your spin on it.  Keep your pitch short to be not more than two or three pages long.  If it is too long they’ll be turned off by the quantity.


“I’ve hired people over the years at Talsorian because they did stuff [by putting it on the net].”-Mike Pondsmith

“People in the industry are always looking for talent.  It’s better if they approach you.”-Mike Pondsmith

“I had been designing campaigns and adventures for my friends since I was 10 years old.  Never imagined myself getting into game design.”-Jeffrey Talanian

A recurring theme is being a RPG writer won’t make you rich.  Have to do this because you love it not because you want to be rich.


“If you don’t mind sleeping under your desk for a little while you can make more money writing for digital but you’ll have no life”-Mike Pondsmith


“We’re working on a video game version of Cyberpunk….imagine a science fiction scale Witcher.”-Mike Pondsmith


“Castle Zagyg is basically Castle Greyhawk with the serial numbers filed off”-Jeffrey Talanian



The panelists are here!


Starting to fill up here.  Two industry guests have arrived and four other people in the audience.  Should be a fun panel covering a topic of which I am not familiar.


Getting ready to go live with the live stream. Hope you enjoy!

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This game teaches babies that items don’t go away simply because they can’t be seen. We show the bees to my daughter. Then they get put in the beehive. We ask her “where are the bees?” She then has to find the bees and take them out.

Bees jingle or make crinkly noises. Can you tell she loves this game?



Catherine, my 9 month old, decided to try Prison Architect for herself. What do you think? Do I have a future gamer on my hands?




Now it is time for some Prison Architect. This game will make an appearance in my live stream later today.

An added challenge is playing while my 9 month old daughter sits on my lap. She likes to play with daddy’s computer too.

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Began my day at 8am playing Angry Birds 2 on my iPhone 5s. Beat the final boss of the first stage, which allowed me to move on to the second level. Very exciting!