Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

Spellstorm Review

I had the opportunity to attend Spellstorm last weekend, so I’m going to drop down a quick review of the event. For those who are not in the know; Spellstorm is one of Toronto’s only gaming conventions. It took place February 24-26, and featured quite a few PnP games including Pathfinder, RuneQuest, D&D and Munchkin. I haven’t really been out to many game conventions before, so I didn’t really know what to expect from Spellstorm. I was fairly underwhelmed by the overall turnout – I don’t think there could’ve been more then 40 people on the Saturday – but I still had a good time. I spent most of the day with my Pathfinder Organized Play amigos, and also managed to get a game of Munchkin in with the Steve Jackson Rep. I think my major complaint would be that the con was not advertised well enough to attract a good variety of players. Most of those who showed up were affiliated with other groups who had advertised the convention internally. There really weren’t enough walk-in play opportunities, or just games in general. Perhaps as a result of the low attendance, the admission fees were rather high as well. I had to pay $20 to gain admission and play two slots – pretty steep considering the lack of games that were featured. That being said, Spellstorm was still a blast! It’s notoriously hard to get Toronto players out of their home games and into public engagements, so even a smaller convention is a notable accomplishment. I do see a lot of potential for this convention to grow (heck, it’s really the only dedicated game convention in Toronto), but it really depends on how much effort is put into promoting it. I hope to see things kicked up a notch for next year’s con! Some major highlights of the convention include: PFS Venture Lieutenant Jeff’s ludicrously large map printout. This one is about 8 feet long and 3 feet across, featuring three tower levels! Radiostorm crafts an epic miniature using his expansive Lego collection. It’s hard to take a monstrous, undead pirate seriously when he’s got the generic Legoman smile plastered on his face. PFS DM Adam and Steve Jackson Rep Raven goof around at the game table, whilst another group plays in the background.

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By Michael
Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer