PrinceCon 01

Director: Howard Mahler

PrinceCon I was officially known as the “Princeton Dungeons and Dragons Convention”. The concept was a Superdungeon. Each GM produced a geomorphic map and room descriptions for a 3rd-level dungeon, and every GM had the entire packet. There were assistant GM’s who acted as runners to inform GM’s of the location of parties, and to enable everyone of which rooms had been looted. Thus, if section 3 was Howard’s section, and Dave Parker’s party was in room 07 of that section, a runner would go around Whig (where all runs were) and let each GM know that the Parker party was in room 307. When they left, Dave would pass the runner a note saying that the chest and the secret panel on the east wall were now open and empty. This did not affect the secret panel the party missed on the ceiling.

PC’s met their (3rd-level starting) parties at a “hiring hall” run by the firm of Alchemist, Bard, Bishop and Wizard, Ltd, who would, for a share of the treasure, cure, remove curse, stone- to-flesh, etc., but could not raise. Since there was a restaurant on Witherspoon called the Alchemist and Barrister, the name changed accordingly, and the hiring hall got the proper name, Hireling Hall, which stuck.

The rules were the original three books, plus Greyhawk, plus Howard’s supplemental rules sheet, which included preparation rounds for spells and a spell points system for magic users, but not for clerics.

Two classic PrinceCon moments from this convention were:

1) The squirrel incident. We had guest GM’s running their own worlds, and in one of these a high-level MU named “X the Unknown” became convinced that a squirrel was actually a high- level wizard in disguise and was spying on them. So, he used Power Word Stun to disable the squirrel (which was just an ordinary squirrel chattering and eating a nut) and then used Telekinesis to dash him to death against a rock. This event has been immortalized as the example scenario in the original Paranoia.

2) The grand backstab. Since parties could interact, there was an opportunity for mischief. On Sunday, a party run by Steve Tihor (Ray Heuer and crew?) was fighting some monster, when a second party (Dan Gelber’s group?) became aware of the fight. Hanging back they decided to wait until the optimal moment, then jump in and attack the weakened, treasure- laden PC’s. As this happened, a third party (Scott Rosenberg and Greg Costykian) hung back, waiting to ambush the survivors. This kept the runner/coordinators busy.

PrinceCon I also drew some attention from the local press: PrinceCon 1 Article.