Written by Cory Carter
“The weary band of travelers has again loaded the wagon to travel quite a distance away for what is bound to be a fun-filled journey. We arrive at the castle wall which stands tall, but not as tall as the castle looming past it. Music and laughter fill the air, while wild aromas of food and cologne fill our nostrils.”
Introducing Fandom Legacy Con:
It’s the first weekend in March of the year 2020 and you know what that means? You got it, time for Fandom Legacy Con shenanigans to begin.
You might be asking yourself, what is Fandom Legacy Con? Well that might be because this CON was founded October 1st, 2019 for its first year’s event held the weekend of March 6th at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas Convention Center in Richardson, Texas. The convention cost was very reasonable at $20-$30 for a daily pass or $50 for the entire weekend with start time Friday at noon and closing that Sunday at 6pm. The hosting hotel pricing was not too bad either with negotiated rates of about $99 per night during the convention. The hotel had your standard accommodations with a pool, on site bar (but food options close by so no one used it) and free parking which is always nice.
Fandom Legacy CON’s promise was a three-day long, multi-fandom event centered around engagement, immersion, and community building with Fandom Legacy Con staff stating the convention was meant to bring back what CON going was always all about, “Friends getting together to get immersed in their favorite fandoms and interacting with their communities and each other”.
Utilizing many different social media platforms Fandom Legacy CON worked to keep fans engaged throughout the process of planning or preparing for the convention and whether you used Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you were always up to date with what or who was going on before or during the convention.
A Convention Clans system helped with community building by allowing you to take a survey which gauged your answers based on questions about your personality and what you wanted out of your convention experience. Then you are sorted into one of the five Convention Clans; The Ascendancy, The Pathfinders, The Enclave, The Dominion and The Consortium (see the Convention Clans page here for more info). The clan system was even strung into some of the convention contests and panels to allow clans to work together to show clan pride during the convention. If you are curious about which LARPed member got into which Convention Clan, be sure to check out the LARPed.com Community Facebook.
The Fandom Legacy Con website promoted a great lineup of partnerships, and LARPed wanted to thank them all for their support with bringing Fandom Legacy Con to life for its first year; ORIGIN LARP, Kira Kira Entertainment, Assuming Positions, FRIEND & FOE Board Game CAFÉ, Extra Life, TEKFORCE, ORDER 66 Toys and AOEDALLAS.
The Adventure begins:
Our travels started with a plane flying into the DFW airport since the LARPed crew are not from the local area. The flight was great but then we found out that the trek to the hotel was over a thirty (30) minute Uber/Lyft, so that was an extra expense that could have been saved with a site closer to the airport with shuttle options. As soon as we arrived at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas Convention Center all our woes were forgotten since the site was great. It was centrally located within walking distance of quite a bit of food and one of my favorite convenience stores (shout out to 7-11). Check in was a breeze and the hotel staff were super helpful, even in situations that they didn’t have help with (shout out to the hotel manager Carl for getting me distilled water for my CPAP).
Registration was also super simple with the table centrally located at the start of the convention hallway where most of the panels were held. The registration table was outfitted with all sorts of neat flyers promoting the different vendors who attended the convention, along with the nifty convention schedule which was helpful because it did not match what was on social media (I was assured the flyer printout was correct though). It also held the Convention Clan cups which would hold the many clan points earned throughout the weekend. I personally do not recall how/when or why clan points were there or what they were for, so I did not try to collect them. But throughout the convention I watched many others collecting and turning them in, I don’t know what clan won in the end as we left a bit earlier than anticipated and nothing was posted on social media about it. So we grabbed our badges, customized them to show our fandoms and clans with stickers (provided by the staff) and set off to see what we could get into.
We did a quick walk through of the convention to take note of where all the panel rooms were, to know where we were to host a panel or wanted to join in on another hosted panel. Lining the walls of the main hallway were artists galore with some amazing stuff for show or sell. Further along we found ourselves in the Dealer’s Room where there were just as many if not more artists, cosplayers and other nerdy folks to mingle with. After doing a roundabout tour of the room we moved to the last and most notable room, the ORIGIN LARP room. According to the schedule there would be ORIGIN LARP Dungeon Crawls throughout the weekend, and we the LARPed team could not wait. As some of you might know ORIGIN LARP is where some of us got our start with LARPing at. The room was not quite set up yet, so we made note to come back another time.
Looking over the schedule we found that there were two other floors to check out, the 2nd and 17th floors. The second floor held the Board Game and Video Game Lounges, separated by a walkway to allow each to be noisy without disturbing the other. The Board Game Lounge had about twenty (20) or so board games you could borrow and play along with some Tabletop Role Playing Games hosted by The Tavern Arcane throughout the duration of the convention. We did not go into the Video Game Lounge however and in the end didn’t matter since it was closed up by the end of Friday night. There was no communication on this unfortunately, we just noticed the sign pointing towards it disappear suddenly. We then made our way to the 17th floor also known as the VIP room which was amazing with so much room to host the panels listed on the schedule. We ended the initial walk through by going to the room to prepare for the weekend to come, with our first panel being a LARPed Murder Mystery.
Day to Day Convention Fun
The convention offered a plethora of things to do throughout the weekend with panels, Cosplay, Vendors, Board and Tabletop games, Special guests, Clan Activities and even a few LARP opportunities. Since there was so much to do, we did not get to attend everything so I will only speak about the things we attended or tried to and was unable to due to unforeseen circumstances. To get an idea about the convention schedule you can check it out here, Fandom Legacy Con Schedule.
There were some very interesting and enthusiastic Cosplayers that attended this event, I don't know many of them as it's not really my thing. But we met a great guy who’s name was Daryl and wore a suit that was a large hockey wolf named Crafty. Some other great Cosplayers to mention were Aeicos, Mystix_panda, MikoMikoCosplay, Captainameridad, Noontimeshadows and Vespidcosplay the ones I saw were always looking amazing with each day having a different character to cosplay.
You won't believe some of the special guests we got to see while running around the convention. You were almost guaranteed to run into one the folks from Assuming Positions as they helped coordinate Clan Events and other such things, they were so fun to be around. There was also Odin Makes who had some great demo props already made and even made some stuff live, which I kept missing unfortunately. There were a few others I either did not see or just overlooked due to my scatterbrain trying to take it all in but they are still awesome and worth mentions. Thanks Brian Beacock, Matt Frank and Hiroshi Kanatani for helping with your respective fandom.
The Vendor room was so full it spilled over into the hallways throughout the convention with a huge majority of them being artists. While we loved them all I am going to shout out to the ones we really spent the most time getting to know. Crimson Dawn Sabers who create and sell battle ready lightsaber replicas that almost the entire LARPed crew bought, except me (sad face). The creator, Eugene, was super passionate about his work and was able to explain in great detail how it was made and what it could do. I threw a checklist of questions at him and he was able to articulate an answer that was not only thorough but easy to understand for someone who literally just wanted to beat his friends with a lightsaber (aka me lol). All Geeked Out Creations who made vinyl art with some of our favorite fandoms like Star Wars, Pokemon and Aliens. Some of the LARPed team commissioned or bought art from some amazing artists like Phoenix Feathers and Analog Art By Adam. I forget some of the other names and cannot find the cards, so my apologies Tanya.
There were a few things we didn't really get to participate in as we were either busy working panels or we just had no idea they were happening. As a competitive person I would have loved to have done some of the Clan activities but it with the lack of understanding how it worked or where it was happening, that was not possible. Along with the Video game room which I would have enjoyed participating in, but it was closed by the time I went to look and I heard that there were some scheduling issues involved.
There was a Origin LARP designated room which the schedule boasted that it would be available all weekend, but unfortunately due to NPCs cancelling last minute or other setup issues it was closed more than it was open. I did see a few times where people were in there fighting with boffer weapons or getting ready to go through the dungeon crawl, but sadly it was during times I had panels to run so could not participate. Which is super disheartening because Origin LARP was one of my favorite LARPs from my home state, Florida, and traveling from DC to Texas to not be able to relive some of the fun I had at Origin was no fun.
OH the panels, more than we could go to while also hosting our own stuff. Most were not part of many of the LARPed crews fandoms so I cannot go into great detail about them but I will list a few of the different panels that were held at the convention that we did get to visit, you can again find in the original post about the schedule I mentioned previously.
Now for the Fun Part:
We hosted a western themed murder mystery twice throughout the event and had a blast, a big thanks to Flamma Mysteries for providing the story. Both times we provided participants with some basic information about their characters and what they were wanting to accomplish, then sat back and let them decide how to play out the story. We watched as people who have never heard of LARP before got themselves into their characters head to help tell the story. In the end, someone dies, and participants get to guess who the murder was. The person who got the most three questions correct won a prize (Who, What and Why). The best part is we even had returning players from the first run come to the second so they could play a new character and bring new life to the game.
Another panel we hosted was an interactive panel which took participants through different tasks within a multi-genre story. As they worked to save the convention from destruction together they had to find crystals, answer riddles and fight space pirates. While this was our first time putting on this type of panel, it went much better than I anticipated with those who participated saying they had so much fun. We even had a few recurring players from the murder mysteries come to this panel to join in on the fun. Overall our panels were tons of fun to run, and we got some great feedback from those who participated (thank you all).
We also joined in on the Ghibli Conspiracy Theories panel which was interesting as I have never seen any of the movies personally, but now I want to check them out. The panel discussed some of the movies created by Ghibli Studios and some of the fan theories that have come out about them. Another panel we participated in was the Art on a Budget panel, and I will say there was so much information provided but I can't remember any of it. Then there was the Kira Kira Maid cafe, while it's not a panel exactly I wasn’t sure where to put it. But honestly we walked in, heard it cost money and walked out as we didn't really have time anyways to participate.
Another highlight of my weekend at Fandom Legacy Con was the Board Game room, as I love tabletop and board games. It was hosted by The Tavern Arcane who did the tabletop character creations and signups, while the board games were provided by another group that I apologize I cannot remember the name of. We played a few of the provided Board Games like Finger Guns at High Noon, which was pretty simple to play but I felt like it needed more than a few players to be fun. Then we played a round of the game May Cause Side Effects which is a party game and the crew had so much fun acting silly together, I highly recommend this game.
We tried a few times to play a few rounds of Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition, but often we showed up in between games or when a game just started. But we did get some great candy from one of the folks from The Tavern Arcane, dice suckers and dice chocolate so if you see them make sure you try them out. I personally got in a game with some random other players, and had fun with helping play through a tier one DnD 5e game.
Saturday night we found ourselves diving into a the tabletop game known as DFW by Night (a Vampire the Masquerade 5th edition by White Wolf game) hosted by the folks from a podcast known as Austin by Night. We started with a (fast but thorough) character creation where we all built our vampire characters, each with their own interesting quirks and specialties. We ended up playing into the wee hours of the night as the group of rag neonate kindred were forced to work together on a job given by the elder Nicolette Cardone's, who's most prized personal painting was stolen. The group had to put on their detective hats to find who did it and return the painting before someone was punished for the act, specially not one of them. We used clues found at the crime scene to lead us to a quarry where it was discovered that a nasty Gangrel had taken the painting as a trophy for wooing its loved one. The group, after a bit of a scuffle found the painting and recovered it. In the end someone tattled on the thief and possibly started a war between the elders and the Gangrel. Be sure to check out the Austin by Night podcast for more great stories of DFW By Night.
Does it Have to End?:
As the convention closed down on Sunday it was almost surreal to walk the halls. Walking past empty tables or clear spaces where the dealers, vendors and artists once sat. Wishing already we could go back to the day before, or have just one more day. So again a big thanks to all those who came to enjoy the convention, or those who helped staff it. We cannot wait for the 2021 release dates so we can mark our calendars with it.