Grand Tribunal Berkeley 2008 - Post-con report

Well, the con happened, and I believe it was a great success. We had a total of 15 Ars Magica fans gathered on the UC Berkeley campus in honor of the game we enjoy so much, and a good time was had by all. I will try to give a brief account of some of what we did.

Friday afternoon attendees filtered in slowly, and much discussion was had on a variety of subjects Ars Magical. Afterwards we went to dinner, and by 7:30 the conference room where most of the con took place was full. We had two rather epic games that evening. Niall Christie's game, "Classified," had five players to begin with (occasionally six as other people including me joined in), and Mark Faulkner's game, "The Garden of Delight," had four players. Mark's game went until about midnight, though it was interrupted briefly for pizzas at about 11:00pm, and afterward the players joined up with Niall's session to make one huge ubergame that went until almost 3:00am. Much fun was had in the grand melee that ended the game.

Saturday morning I was up early to set up the live hookup with the U.K., which though it ran into some technical glitches did finally start working. In the meantime we had discussions about Tremeres, the Mythic Middle East, and hedge magicians and Hedge Magic, which John Post was allowed to speak about for a little while. David graciously offered to answer some of our questions through the feed, after I got finished waving at everyone in the U.K. like an idiot and shouting halloes into the microphone while everyone behind me was trying to discuss Ars Magica. :slight_smile:

After lunch Saturday we had two events, a LARP written by Nathan Hook ("...And Not To Yield") that I ran, and a game of Grand Tribunal the board game. The LARP was quite successful, everyone seemed to have a good time and wore lots of fun costumes. After this, Verticius led us in a Verditius item contest, where everyone collaborated to make various magic devices and then presented them in character. Look for writeups of the entries soon on Santcum Hermetica Revisited!

We should have had a nice dinner planned together Saturday night, but we didn't. Instead, we started another night of games, with Eric Vesbit running a six-player game ("Subtle and Quick to Anger," written by David Chart) for half the group, and Paul Briscoe running an extremely silly four-player game for the rest of us by the seat of his pants. Again, the gaming went until long after midnight, and many of us retired to the dorm lounge to hang out and talk until about 2:00am.

Sunday morning our group had dwindled a bit to about ten, and we wandered through the streets of Berkeley together dodging panhandlers and admiring the huge tower in the middle of campus. We had lunch at an unusual Brazillian place and then poked our heads into two gaming stores (both of which carried Ars Magcia books!). Finally, we disbanded and all went our separate ways, promising that we would certainly find a way do this again next year.

As we said many times that weekend, "BRAIIIIINS--" no wait, that wasn't it. Ah yes, "ARS MAGICA AWESOME EST!"

It was a great time. Thank you Erik :smiley:

Sounds very great, I would have liked this :smiley: Happy to see you guys had such a great time, I hope you'll be able to do this again next year!

The con was loads of fun and I know, for one, that many grand new friendships have sprung from this.

Let's do it again, folks, but let's also make sure that Erik doesn't have to shoulder the entire burden! :slight_smile:

Oh, and Mr. Talkie sez "Hello, All!"

Indeed. Maybe we can start a little non-profit LLC? That way, when I make my check out to Berkeley Grand Tribunal, there isn't a hassle :laughing: !

No, seriously. That will insulate the host from any problems that could arise and absolve them of any financial liability if there are any problems.

Oh, and Hello Mr. Talkie!

A random picture of the meal card that the university gave those of us who stayed at the dorms that Erik arranged for us:

Arcane Connection of Poison! I bet it was those raviolis that did me in.

Hey, I already got all those ACs in my book! :wink:

Ah, how sneaky it was to get eveyrone's signatures...

I already told ya, I signed my Baptized name. Now, if I had signed it Markoko, then that would count.

Now that I think on it, I don't remember which name I signed the book with. I should be more careful!

Is there any chance there might be another California Con next year? I'm planning to get back out there and I'm looking to arrange my holiday around the con.

There is a very good chance, I'm happy to say. I don't know the details yet, since we're probably not going to be at the same venue we were this year. We're tentatively looking at mid-July, like the 17th-19th.

if there's any chance for you to coincide with the UK Grand Tribunal, we already have a confirmed booking for July 31st-August 2nd 2009 (forced by circumstance - we are piggy-backing on the Constitution 2009 convention...)

But... I wanna do both.

Still great news that it could be on again next year. Thanks.

Hello, all!

Erik and I have been talking about the possibilities here.

There is definitely a demand for another Tribunal so, short of a major disaster, there will be one. Since both Erik and I live in California it will be there and very probably in the San Francisco Bay Area. Past that, actual venue needs to be determined and probably will not be for a little while.

Dates: Summer. July through Mid August is the range that I am looking at. Coordinating with the European Tribunal is nice, but to maximize attendence, we may not be able to since there are a number of other conventions over here that have to at least be considered.

Committee: Would be happy for some help. In order to keep things moving, interesting, and prevent burn-out, there will be "term limits" for Con organizers -- Erik basically did everything last year by force of will with only a little ad hoc help from others. Erik will not be the primary organizer this year and will act in the role as coach. I volunteered to step in to the role but seeing all the work that went into the last one, I would like some help. Please e-mail me seperately if you would like to participate in the organizing committee. No pay or discount. Just satisfaction in a job well done.

Events and games are still WIDE open, but for those that are interested, yes, there will be another contest with the rules being announced only at Tribunal.

Hope this helps folks. Erik and I have a little more work to do before more info can be published but we will update as things start to settle into place. Committee members get the Inside Scoop (tm) but only after agreeing to a word-of-honor NDA! :wink: