Mark and Brendan went out to RinCon 2017 between September 29 and October 1, and they had an awesome experience meeting people, playing games, and fighting gazebos! RinCon is in Tucson, Arizona, and features a combination of board games and roleplaying games of all kinds. Brendan and Mark were brought in as special guests, fitting in with RinCon’s theme this year—superheroes! They each each ran a game of Zombie World in its most up-to-date version, featuring a better prototype of the cards they’re using in the game, and it ran better than ever! In Brendan’s game, the survivors of the zombie apocalypse jumped to violence in about zero seconds flat, trying to ward away what they perceived as an attack from a nearby colony with copious gunfire. That’s about right for a gritty game of post-apocalyptic zombie horror! Mark ran a game of Cartel using its most up-to-date rules and they were working like gangbusters. His favorite scene: A moment when one of the cartel members went to the church in order to try to unburden their soul, and had to contend with a priest telling them, “No, no I do not condone or forgive you for murder, you really shouldn’t do that.” Cartel-style perfection. Brendan ran two games of Masks, and had a blast! Using the Deck of Villainy, he got to play with combinations of villains he hasn’t often seen before, like the villainous Cat alongside Magus Everard. He even had Dominus attack the team while they were hanging out in the Beacon’s garage! All in all, great one-shots of drama, action, and awesome. Thanks to all the fantastic players who made those games come alive! Brendan participated in the Epic Worldbuilding panel alongside moderator Brian Poe and guests Darrell Hayhurst, Brendan LaSalle, and Todd VanHooser. It was a great panel, in which everyone talked about the myriad ways that they make their game settings feel epic, both as designers and GMs, ranging from creating the feel of a deeper history to reincorporating and reusing elements. Together, the two Magpies also ran a panel, Hacking Apocalypse World, in which they talked about the way that Magpie Games works on new Apocalypse World Hacks. They took suggestions from the audience and starting building a new hack then and there—an office dark comedy game, based on The Office and Mad Men. Together, they worked through the ideas of the game’s holding environment, preliminary notions for basic moves and playbooks, and even some extra moves and mechanics. Two hours well-spent! What’s more, Brendan got to read the part of Eric in the “Eric and the Gazebo” historical drama! (You can read the whole story right here.) It’s the second time that RinCon has hosted a live reading of the incident at night, out in the gazebo of the hotel (of course), and Brendan was honored and proud to be chosen to bring such a famous incident of doofery to life. In and around all these events, Brendan and Mark spent a ton of time meeting with awesome people and talking about games, including having long, ongoing conversations deep into the night. That’s as close to a perfect con activity as you can get for these two! All in all, RinCon was a blast, and Mark and Brendan are both very grateful to have been invited! Here’s looking forward to next year (when the special theme will be dragons)!