CharCon 2019

The gaming convention CharCon is this Friday July 12th to Sunday July 14th at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences in Charleston.  This year’s theme is post-apocalypse.

Guest for this year are board game designer Jason Matthews (Twilight Struggle), artist Charles Urbach (Magic: The Gathering, Legend of the Five Rings, Heroclix), and GenCon Costume Contest Champion/con chair of WyvaCon Chris DeHart.

There’s plenty of gaming.  RPG sessions of Pathfinder Society, D&D Adventure League, Sparks, Cypher System, Confluence, Pure Steam, and many other systems.  There will be miniature gaming with Warren Lords, Frostgrave, Gaslands, and Star Trek Attack Wing demo.  For board games they have 2019 Southeast Regional Championships for several different board and card games from Envoy, demos from Gaming Nomads and Stooge Gamers, a social deduction gaming lounge, Catan National Qualifier Tournament, various Play to Win games (from companies like AEG, Queen Games, USAopoly), and other people running games. Plus they will have an Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator set up for play all weekend long.

For now gaming events they have panels on cosplay, game design and history of gaming, casting workshops; Cosplay Lip Sync, Quick Draw, a screening of Avengers: Infinite Wars at the Planetarium, adult costume contest on Saturday and kids contest on Sunday, swap meet on Sunday, a series of live stream will take place on Saturday from Max Pew Podcast, CharCast, Blue Peg Pink Peg, and Pure Stream Live Stream; appearances by the WV Ghostbusters and Ladies of Borderlands Cosplay Crew; the CharCon Raffle, a green screen for photo ops.  Food trucks on Friday and Saturday.

Out Loud, the official after party, will be at the Boulevard Tavern on Friday night with music from Houston Reggae InDaSkies, free to play arcade machines, and a social gaming a space.  No cover for CharCon attendees.

Vendors Aether Studios, Antagonist Games, Bear 3D Graphics, Billy Tackett, CJSGAmes, Crown Digital Art, Flying Lemur Game Studio, Four Horseman Comics & GamingGamescience, Heroes of the Guild, Maddy’s Marvels, Mermaid Lagoon Boutique, O.R. Frazier, Screech Dragon Studios, Sweets Kendamas, ToyBurg, and others will be set up to sell.

Passes for adult are $45 for weekend, $20 for a Friday or Sunday pass, and $30 for a Saturday one.  Children six to twelve is $20 for a weekend pass, $10 for a day pass, and free for kids under six.

I think CharCon has done a better job this year in getting events and programming, but the price tag is a bit much.  Ofcourse  if you go I’m sure you will have fun and that’s what is important.

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First HerdCon

The first HerdCon is this Saturday March 16th from 9am-8pm on the Marshall University Campus in Huntington.

Panels for the con include panels from college professors (Pop Culture in the Classroom, Star Wars and Personality, Psychology of Social Exclusion) and regular fan panels (Cosplay Modeling 101, LGBT History and Representation in Video Games, Socializing in Online Gaming).  There will also be Quick Draw with JR Earls, belly dancing workshop and performance from Final Form Fusion, a cosplay contest hosted by Kiss A Frog Cosplay and Brittany Whitt, mobile escape room from Lost Escape Room, ARTEMIS: Starship Bridge Simulator, Outer Rim Praxeum Light Saber School demo, relaxation lounge, live podcasts, create your own video game workshops, screenings, slime fun station from the Ghostbusters, and more to enjoy.

Table-top gaming during the day include various RPG sessions (D&D 5E, Mystic Forces by Noble Quests, different Cthulhu games, Cypher System, Starfinder, and others) games of Werewolf by Critically Absurd, and various games from Goblin Traders (Dragon Ball Super TCG, Flames of War miniatures, Keyforge TCG, historic tabletop wargaming, Transformers TCG, Warhammer 40k), Magic: The Gathering tournaments hosted by Hometown Hobbies, game demos from Family Game Night, and game libraries from Charcon and Hunting Unplugged Gaming Society.

On the video game side of things you have a Smash Brothers tournament, various retro games, and Fallout 76 set-up.

Vendors and artists lined-up include 2nd Chance Games, Anime Palace, Ben Durfee, Burrito Princess, Frech Studios, Jason Pell, Joshua Smith, Mermaid Lagoon Boutique, Off the Hook, Two Tinkers, Third Floor Comics, Travis Tomblin, Tri-State Toys, and more.

Exhibitors include Black Mountain Guard of the Mandalorian Mercs, Cabell county Public Library, Causeplayers, Fantastic Floor Nerdcast, Knerds of the Roundtable, various Marshall clubs and departments (Comic Book Club, Japan Club, Roleplaying Club, Hackers for Charity, Game Development Guild), Rebel Legion/501st Legion, and various local conventions.

Admission is free to MU students, faculty, staff, and for anyone 18 or younger.  VIP tickets are $25 which comes with early access, a t-shirt, custom HerdCon die, and other swag.  General admission is $5.

Cons, Gatherings, and Festivals Coming to WV in 2019

Here is a list of conventions, gatherings, and other decent sized events throughout the state that are coming this year.  Let me know if you hear of any others that could fit this list.

February 23-24 Kanawha Valley Model Train & Craft Show Saint Albans: presented by the Kanawha Valley Railroad Association at the Arena Event Center

March 1-3 Tournament of the White Hart XXII Barboursville: Society of Creative Anachronism event hosted the Shire of Port Oasis at the Cabell County 4-H Camp

March 2-3 Classic Plastic Toy & Comic Expo Parkersburg: toy and comic expo at the Parkersburg Art Center to raise money for Downtown PKB

March 2 Grave City Haunted Relic Expo Moundsville: paranormal con from the Archive of the Afterlife “the National Museum of the Paranormal”

March 16 HerdCon Huntington: inaugural pop culture con at Marshal University,

April 6 Old School Convention Belmont: a small comic/toy show to help benefit the oldest school in WV

April 25-28 Blackstone Raid 28 Gandeeville: more SCA event from Barony of Blackstone Mountain at Camp Sheppard 4-H Camp

April 26-28 Casusecon Beckley: pop culture convention at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center to raise money for the local Women’s Resource Center

May 3-5 1d4Con Shepherdstown: tabletop gaming con, at Clarion Inn & Conference Center,

May 18 BuckhanaCon Buckhannon: all fandoms event

May 19 Beltaine in the Forest Charleston: pagan gathering at Coonskin Park; with music, dance, vendors, and Maypole

June 8 Tricon Huntington: comic book con at the Big Sandy Area

June WV Renaissance Festival Lewisburg: open Saturday and Sundays in June, check the Facebook page for more info

June 14-15 Marx Toy and Train Collectors Show Wheeling: the collectors show of Marx toys at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

June 22 Bat-Con Nitro: a comic and toy show paying homage to the 1989 release of Batman by Third Floor Comics

June 29 Natsu no Tsubasacon Huntington: picnic from Tsubasacon at Ritter Park

July 12-14 CharCon Charleston: at the Clay Center, Facebook Page

July 20 S-Con Mount Gay: Southern WV Community and Technical College hosts its second S-Con Gaming and Pop Culture Convention on its Logan campus

Jul 20 West Virginia Penitentiary Para-Con Moundsville: celebration of the supernatural in one of America’s most haunted prisons

September 7-8 Bonus Round Flatwoods: RPG (and other games) event at Day Inn & Suites

September 7-8 WV Pop Con Morgantown: changed from an August date, Facebook Page

September 20-21 Mothman Festival Point Pleasant: cross between convention and street fair all around Point Pleasant

September 27-28 Rocket Boy Festival Beckley: festival all around Beckley celebrating the Rocket Boys and WV

October 11-13 Tsubasacon Charleston: anime convention, they move from Huntington to Charleston at the remodeled Charleston Civic Center this year

October 18-20 Vandaliacon Morgantown: steampunk con to raise money for Bonnie’s Bus Mobile Mammography Program, has moved from Parkersburg to Morgantown

November 9-10 Mountain State Pop Expo Charleston: celebration of pop culture, all proceeds go directly to the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia at Holiday Inn

Parkersburg Pop Con, West Virginia Game Developers Expo, and SecureWV/Hack3rCon have not put dates for this year yet, but expect them in the fall.  There are also some libraries that do little cons which I did not find dates for, but I am not sure who is and who is not planning one now, so keep your eyes out for them later. Power Up and Shocka-Con have both said they are taking this year off.  Willcon has moved two miles down the road and is now in Kentucky so is not covered anymore.

Plus there are always local gaming events, gatherings, and other smaller events all around you not covered here.

4th Annual Mountain State Pop Expo

Mountain State Pop Expo is back this Saturday November 3rd and Sunday November 4th at the Holiday Inn and Suites in South Charleston.  All funds from the event will benefit the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.

The Children’s Home Society is a statewide nonprofit children and family services agency. We have 13 locations throughout the state, each of which have a variety of programs including emergency child shelters, foster care and adoption, early intervention, and family strengthening programs.

Funds from this event will go specifically to benefit the Children’s Home Society’s holiday help. Because of you, children in foster care, emergency shelters, and needy families in the community will have the holiday gifts and necessities such as winter coats that they otherwise might not receive.

There will be exhibitors selling various nerd crafts, plushies, patches, decals, art work, pearlier beads, paintings, authors Edward A. Holsclaw and Josh E.B. Smith, Mermaid Lagoon Boutique, artists Glen Brogan and JR Earls, various other local cons will be set up.  Plus cosplayers James Hamilton, Advancing Wall of Doom, Santana, Sheena Bot, Mandalorian Mercs Black Mountain Guard, Outer Rim Praxeum Lightsaber School, and WV Ghostbusters.

Ricky Henry of Electric Tapes will be showing the 5 part micro-series Space Foxes (plus they will have copies of their Space Fox Atari 2600 game), children cosplay contest on Saturday, adult cosplay contest on Sunday (winner gets a championship belt), replica Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars, Final Form Fusion performances, improv comedy from No Pants Players, Q&As, gaming provided by Charcon, snacks on sale from the hotel, charity raffle (with items from Bethesda and Fallout 76),

The show is $10 per day or $15 for the weekend.

A fun show with nerd community going on and for a good cause.

Bonus Round 2018

CharCon’s Bonus Round returns to the Days Inn and Suites in Flatwoods this Saturday September 15th and Sunday 16th, with Friday night pre-convention open gaming.  The event has expanded beyond its original RPG event to include more things to do.  Like a whole grouping for Mermaids, movie screenings, and guests.  Events are even spread out beyond just the hotel around Flatwoods and Sutton.

Guests at the con are actors Josh “TKO” Turner (The Walking Dead, Under the Dome), Kaylie Turner (The Walking Dead, Stranger Things), and Scott “Insane” Lane (The Walking Dead, Spider-man Homecoming), plus paranormal investigator, speaker, and author Dave Spinks.

Role Playing sessions for this include game from Pathfinder Society, SPARKS, and D&D Adventures plus games of Earthdawn Legends of Barsaive, Confluence META, and Warhammer 40k RPG. Other games include Play to win games from Double Exposure Envoy plus a few schedule board and card games, Aerodrome and Gaslands miniature games.

Non gaming events for this are costume contest on Saturday; panels with guests, mermaids, cryptids, world creating in RPGs, and more; a 21+ after party, retro arcade, Braxxie cosplayer, Ghostbusters, and vendors.  The Elk Theatre will screening the films The Flatwoods Monster and The Mothman on Friday and Saturday at 7pm.  Con attendees get in for $3; all others for $7.  Mermaid events are yoga, swimming at Sutton Lake, mermaid swim lessons at the hotel’s pool, and the like.

A full weekend gaming or Mermaid badge is $25, Sunday only $15, and children from six to twelve passes are $10.

Something for gamers, mermaids, paranormal fans, and other nerds who want to hang out with fellow nerds.

CharCon 2018

CharCon is back for another year.  The table-top gaming convention is from Friday July 13th to the Sunday July 15th at the Clay Center in Charleston.  This year’s theme is Star Wars vs. Star Trek.

There will be 80 plus Play to Win games available, a board game library to check out games from, a Catan National Championship Qualifier tournament, world premier of Warren Lords a high fantasy skirmish game of anthropomorphic rabbit warriors, Pokémon TCG tournament, early testing of Blood on the Clocktower, overnight gaming space at Quality Inn, Aerodrome, Confluence RPG, Star Trek Adventures, Star Wars Legions, Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, Pathfinder, Sparks, Star Trek Murder Mystery, D&D, Starfinder, Warhammer 40k tournament, Werewolf, and plenty of other planned games.

On the non gaming side of things to do include J.R. and Friends Quick Draw on Friday night, food trucks on Saturday, a two hour seminar on 3D printing, watch Rogue One on the planetarium screen, adult and kids costume contests, cosplay panel, the 501st Legion, cosplay video shoot, and plenty of space just to hang out with fellow gamers.

For late night fun there will be CharCon Out Loud Friday at the Bakery with DJ Charlie Brown Superstar, CharCon attendees get in for only $3 others for $5.  CharCon After Dark will be at the Quality Inn and feature drinking and karaoke.

The Clay Center will be open during the convention for you to check out as well.

Vendors and artisans for the con include Dragon’s Den, Sea Dog Game Studios, White Tide Publishing, Dads Armies, Billy Tackett, Jeff Carlisle, Michael Mayne, CJS Games, and others.  There will also be a flea market open up to everyone on Sunday for $10 a table.

Weekend Passes are $45, children twelve and under are $20, and visitor passes are $10 per day.  Visitor passes do not allow for playing games.  Single day gaming passes will be available too.

You can book rooms at the Quality Inn & Suites till the start of CharCon for $58 a night and be within walking distance of the con.  This is where the con’s nightly gaming room will be as well as After Dark on Saturday.

This is a big event for fans of gaming, whether you have a game you love playing already or want to learn a new one.  Also good for parting and for cosplayers.

Two Cons For Good Causes

This Saturday November 4th two different cons will both be running in Charleston to raise money for charity.

At the Capital City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police in Charleston will hold this year’s Extra Life Con, a board game convention to raise money for WVU Children Hospital.  The event goes from 11am to 11pm and is part of the Extra Life charity Game Day.

From 2pm to 8pm there will be raffles for over a dozen donated prizes; such as board games and two passes to the Lock & Coded Escape Rooms.  Entry to the event comes with five free tickets and you can buy more for $1 each.

There will be pods of Magic Commander, with free booster packs given out, through out the day as they get enough people.  No extra fee to play.  A tournament table will be set up with different games you can join for $2.  Winners will receive an extra ten raffle tickets.  Games will be played as they fill up.

The board game library from CharCon will have around fifty games for anyone to try and play.  Donate old games and buy news ones, with the money going to the WVU Children’s Hospital.

Entry to the event is $25.

Mountain State Pop Expo will be at the South Charleston Holiday Inn and Suites both Saturday and Sunday.  It is a celebration of fandom and a benefit for the Children’s Home Society of WV.  The vendor room is open from 10am to 6pm with events in the panel rooms going even later.

Set up will be artists, writers, cosplayers, comic and toy dealers, the 501st, nerdy craft makers, video games, video production companies, Ghostbusters, table-top games, and more fun stuff to buy.

There will be a performance from Final Form Fusion belly-dancing, a cosplay contest, raffle prizes, and panels (including one on Nerd Music from myself).

Tickets are $10 for one day or $15 for both.

Either event looks like fun and helps out a good cause.  In fact you could do both if you really wanted.