There’s something special about going to a convention. The echoes of the gaming hall; the quipping of the celebrity panels; the unbridled enthusiasm of the attendees; the unbridled stench of same…. It all combines to recharge my gamer batteries.

If you’re following our exploits on Facebook, you know that Laurel and I just got back from Denver Comic Con. We came home from the long weekend with new art, new friends, and a renewed enthusiasm for several dozen fandoms. It always takes me a few days to come down from that geeky high, and the surreal stroll through the halls of the Colorado Convention Center left me eager to gush about the experience with all of you guys. But how, I wondered, could I justify a con-themed post in Handbook World?

Thus Con Con was born.

This is actually a device I like to use in my adventure design. If you’ve ever heard of Saonuihun’s Speeding Sphere Game, then you’re already familiar with the principle. Take a modern concept, ram it into the secondary world, and see what weirdness comes out the other end. The trick is finding the balance between the gag and the integrity of the fiction. A literal freaking pinball machine might be a bit much, but the concept of fantasy world real estate or dealing with tax season can inspire some fun storylines.

Laurel and I had a ball imagining what Con Con would look like in practice. Of course they’d gouge you in the dealer hall. Ticket scalpers would backstab you for your pass. Inns would jack up their prices. The rogues would all hold a big Disguise skill contest. Confused parents would wander the halls as their shrieking offspring pickpocketed all and sundry. It would be magical.

Question of the day then: Have any of you guys inserted a modern concept into a fantasy setting? What was it? How did it work out? Let’s hear it in the comments!


THIS COMIC SUCKS! IT NEEDS MORE [INSERT OPINION HERE] Is your favorite class missing from the Handbook of Heroes? Maybe you want to see more dragonborn or aarakocra? Then check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. You’ll become part of the monthly vote to see which elements get featured in the comic next!