Hex Games Celebrates 20 Years of QAGS at Archon 42

Category: Cussin' In Tongues
Created on Friday, 05 October 2018 Written by Steve

I've mentioned a few times in the past year that it's now been 20 years since we released the first edition of QAGS. Or at least since we printed it. "Released" is probably overstating the book's availability, given that it was only available at cons we went to, at the store where I worked, and on our website (which at the time was www.mindspring.com/~sejohnson). Also, "book" is probably overstating the format of the half-sized, 64-page booklet that we printed at a shop that was about half a step above Kinko's. Still, we printed the thing and started trying to sell it in 1998, so we've decided to call 2018 our 20th Anniversary. 

A couple years later, we went to our first Archon in Collinsville, Illinois. I'm not exactly sure how a bunch of guys in Lexington, Kentucky found out about a con just outside of St. Louis, or how we convinced ourselves it was worth driving five hours to run games there, but I'm glad we did. We've been back every year but one since (we had to skip the year Archon hosted Nasfic because it was too close to GenCon). Over the years at Archon we've been the Gaming Guest of Honor, beat Steve Jackson at his own game (Live Action TOON), held most of our Knome Baptisms (don't ask), hosted a lot of room parties, and run hundreds of games and dozens of panels. 

Archon has been good to us over the years. It's more professionally run (by volunteers) than most of the "professionally run" conventions we've been to, the gamers there are fun to run games for and actually willing to buy product, and we've found a lot of great artist willing to work for our crappy rates there. Also, free beer in the con suite. The point is, even though it's several hours away from most of us, we've come to think of Archon as our "home" convention. It's the only one we've gone to (nearly) every year for most of our existence and the place where we've made a lot of actual, real-life friends. So it seemed natural to make Archon 42 (October 12-14) the home of our official 20th Anniversary celebration. The actual birthday party/panel will be at 8pm on Saturday night in Salon D of the Gateway Center, but we'll be celebrating all weekend with cool stuff at the booth, panels, stories, drinks, and of course a shitload of games. The official schedule is below. The unofficial schedule is a secret. 

Panels

Flash-Bang Forever! Magic in RPGs

Friday @ 9pm in Salon 4

In most games, magic-using characters wander around hurling fireballs and teleporting across the globe, and that is AWESOME. Magic should be flashy! Magic should be about more than math and bookkeeping. Come to this panel to learn more about how to keep magic in your games from getting boring, and put the BANG! back in flash-bang magic!

How to Run a One-Shot Game

Friday @ 10pm in Salon 4

So you want to run a game at a convention, or at your local game store, but you’re not sure what to expect, or how to prepare for a game with a group of random strangers. Don’t worry! The Hex Games staff has run hundreds of one-shot games over the years, and we are here to answer your questions and offer helpful tips and suggestions. Learn how to run a con game they’ll remember!    

How to Run a Game Company

Saturday @ Noon in Salon 4

Believe it or not, Hex Games has been in operation for twenty years, and in that time we have published over 50 products and run countless games. Now the staff members of Hex Games are ready to share their hard-won wisdom with you, from the many pitfalls they’ve stumbled into over the years, answering your questions about writing and publishing games.

20 Years of Hex Games: A Celebration

Saturday @ 8pm in Salon 4

Hex Games released QAGS in 1998, and has been publishing games ever since. In that time, Hex has come to Archon almost every year. Now it’s time for our birthday party! Come, gather around, and let’s look back, chat, and reminisce about all the good times we’ve shared. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we may even sing a song—but one thing’s for certain, we’ll all learn a valuable lesson . . . about love. 

Games

Session 1 (Friday 2-6pm)

Warlock High School 

  • System: Cinemechanix
  • GM: Joshua Burnett
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-6
  • Ages:18+
  • The Abernathy Q. Weiterstadt Academy for Thaumic Studies is the Midwest’s third greatest school for young wizards. You’ll quickly find that magic doesn’t make high school any easier for your group of misfit teens. Graduation is just around the corner, and those snobs from Presto Prep are causing trouble yet again. It’s high-school hijinx with a magical twist!

Session 2A (Friday 7-9pm)

Cinemechanix Sample of Playtest Theater

  • System: Cinemechanix
  • GM: Steve Johnson
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-8
  • Ages: 12+
  • For nearly 20 years, Archon attendees have been enjoying QAGS, and most agree that it’s the finest game system ever created on the face of the earth. Or it least it was, until we came up with something even better. Hex Games is getting ready to release a brand new game system called Cinemechanix, and this year at Archon is your chance to play it before it’s available to all those common gamers who don’t come to Archon. The players will choose a game (from a selection provided by the GM) and then test drive a 2-hour mini-game of Cinemechanix that gives them a chance to learn all the basics of the system. If the GM remembers to get your names, you’ll also be immortalized on paper as playtesters when we release the book! 

Session 2 (Friday 7-11pm)

Thud and Blunder

  • System: QAGS
  • GM: Ian Engle 
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-7
  • Ages:16+
  • Vekros, a land of savage splendor, barbarian fury, and all that sword and sorcery stuff. And there you are, a band of heroes pitting yourselves against seemingly impossible odds for Wine! Women! Song! Honor! And Glory! (not necessarily in that order). What wickedness faces you today? I’m not sure, but it just might involve the depraved and despicable Xpider King!

Session 4 (Saturday 10am-2pm)

Sindbad and the Isle of the Tittering Princesses 

  • System: QAGS
  • GM: Ian Engle 
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-7
  • Ages:12+
  • Sindbad the Sailor! Hero of a thousand and one adventures! He (with his loyal companions for backup) has faced down ravening monsters, hideous demons, dark sorcery of the vilest kind. But could it be that he has finally met his match on the Isle of the Tittering Princesses?!

Apocalypse Truckers

  • System: QAGS
  • GM: Joshua Burnett
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-6
  • Ages:12+
  • Civilization may have crumbled beneath a rain of nuclear fire, but folks still need their toilet paper, beer, and Molly Hatchet 8-tracks. The irradiated highways are dangerous for any lone trucker. Your best bet is to team up with some other wasteland weirdos and form yourself a CONVOY! Grab your shotgun, jump behind the wheel, and get ready for some post-apocalypse grindhouse fun with QAGS!

The Archon Conundrum

  • System: Cinemechanix
  • GM: Leighton Connor 
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-8
  • Ages: 12+
  • Every year Archon, the Midwest’s premier science fiction and fantasy event, takes place in Collinsville, Illinois. This year, you and your team of occult investigators have been sent to the con to track down a mad game designer. Unfortunately, this designer’s gotten into sorcery, and his new game has high stakes that could doom everyone at the con. As space and time warp around you, you must find the answer to the question: What is Gotterdammerung Opus Maximus?

Session 5 (Saturday 2:30-6:30pm)

HEX FICTON: Return of the Space Gods!

  • System: Cinemechanix
  • GM: Leighton Connor 
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-8
  • Ages: 12+
  • A billion billion years ago, the space gods were locked away in the Forever Cage. But now these cosmic titans are free, free to take horrible revenge against the universe. As space and time fracture in the Ultimate Armageddon, a ragtag band of heroes arises. Legendary heroes must fight alongside super-heroes, hobomancers, Laser Ponies, frat boys, a cheesemaker, and more, in this, the final battle for existence itself! Featuring 20 years worth of Hex Games characters! You cannot afford to miss this game!!!

M-Force: Kick Monster Butt

  • System: Cinemechanix
  • GM: Steve Johnson
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-8
  • Ages: 12+
  • Everybody knows that monsters are real, but most people try not to think too much about it. You and your friends are different: you can’t just ignore the horrible creatures that could be lurking just outside of town and just around the corner. That’s why you joined M-Force, America’s leading monster-hunting organization. When monsters attack, you’re there to stop them.

Hobomancers in Space!

  • System: QAGS
  • GM: Joshua Burnett
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-6
  • Ages:12+
  • It’s the height of the Great Depression, and the Hobomancers are a rail-riding fellowship of drifters and shamans.  You’ve fought monsters in a dozen small towns, you’ve even travelled through time, all to protect the soul of America. Now, it’s time to head into outer space and confront a cosmic threat from beyond the Outer Dark!

Session 6 (Saturday 7:30-11:30pm)

Lucha Beach Party 

  • System: QAGS
  • GM: Ian Engle 
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-7
  • Ages:16+
  • Welcome to Lucha Beach, a mile of sand, sun, and surf. Swimming is between the red and yellow flags, surfing is down the beach that aways. No dogs, no glass containers, no climbing on the rocks, no fooling. Break the rules and you’ll have a close encounter with the beach’s famous lucha-lifeguards. But our paladins of the beach have a bigger problem than drunk boogie-boarders.Much bigger.

Session 8 (Sunday 10am-2pm)

Roller Girls Vs. Leopard Women of Venus

  • System: Cinemechanix
  • GM: Leighton Connor 
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-8
  • Ages: 16+
  • In the middle of your bout against the toughest team in the league, there was a bright flash of light, transporting you and your fellow roller girls to a tropical hell-planet. Now you’re stuck in a world of mutants, cannibals, robotic killing machines and, most terrifying of all, Leopard Women. Can you survive, and maybe even find a way home? 

Session 8B (Sunday Noon-2pm)

Cinemechanix Sample of Playtest Theater

  • System: Cinemechanix
  • GM: Steve Johnson
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Min-Max Number of Players: 3-8
  • Ages: 12+
  • For nearly 20 years, Archon attendees have been enjoying QAGS, and most agree that it’s the finest game system ever created on the face of the earth. Or it least it was, until we came up with something even better. Hex Games is getting ready to release a brand new game system called Cinemechanix, and this year at Archon is your chance to play it before it’s available to all those common gamers who don’t come to Archon. The players will choose a game (from a selection provided by the GM) and then test drive a 2-hour mini-game of Cinemechanix that gives them a chance to learn all the basics of the system. If the GM remembers to get your names, you’ll also be immortalized on paper as playtesters when we release the book! 

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©2012 by Hex Games
Hex Games Celebrates 20 Years of QAGS at Archon 42.
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