Many of us who play MMORPGs either have our base in tabletop RPGs and/or would love to play more tabletop games as well. Traditionally, we have friends that stretch literally across the globe and a traditional tabletop game would be impossible. Conventions are even more fun yet more difficult to coordinate with these friends. If only there was a convention where friends across the world could log in and play in their pajamas… now there is. AetherCON is the first fully virtual tabletop gaming convention, and it has lots of room to play.
The Basics – Gaming
To play a great tabletop game you need certain things. Voice communication is one of the pillars of tabletop gaming. It is possible to play via text or email, but it is much easier to play with voice. A good gaming table is also imperative. This table is usually littered with dice, miniatures, maps, sometimes terrain as well. Until recently, these have been difficult to fully emulate. A new company, called Roll20 (located at roll20.net) has provided these features: hand outs for players, voice communication, video communication (via webcam), secure dice rolling, miniatures, maps, and much more. AetherCON is happy to be working with Roll20 on this endeavor of bringing tabletop gaming to a new age.
Table Lurkers – I Just Wanna Watch
One of biggest draws that I have seen at gaming conventions is the ability to roam around. I love tabletop gaming in general. I am psychotic enough to be known to run 7-8 games a week (I really need a life). But sometimes I want to see a game before I play it. AetherCON understands this. It is a key element of the genre. So, coming at you live at AtherCON will be several tables where you can lurk and watch and listen to the action without interfering. Think about it, live streaming video of the games you are interested in, but are not quite ready to play. And you don’t even need to wear cosplay or get dressed to watch.
Alright, I’m Ready to Play – Joining a Game
On AetherCON’s website (www.aethercon.com), you can sign up to nearly 100 different tables each with a wide variety of games. Just browse through the various events (including artists and merchant tables). After you find one you like, go to the Events menu and down to Player Registration. From here, you enter your name, email, etc. and which events you want to sign up for. The current events include PathFinder, ShadowRun, Savage Worlds, Call of Cthulhu, and a ton more. There is nothing like being part of a game, expect for possibly winning prizes for registering (hint).
What if I Just Want to Hang Out? – Chatting it up
On the main page of the AetherCON site is a link to the Ox and Mule IRC chat room. I have been lurking in the room all week, and we have had several artists (who have wallpapers to download on the website as well), game designers, GMs and event managers. It is an excellent place to hang out and win prizes (hint). Join the Ox and Mule and hobnob with the hobgoblins.
AetherCON 2012 – November 16th, 17th, and 18th.
AetherCON 2013 – November 15th, 16th, and 17th.
Plan ahead or join a game this weekend!
I will be present for at least 3 games myself!
Written by Lord Rcane (aka Curtis Baum)