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Ice & Dice Gaming Convention – An Interview With Randy Price

I met Randy Price of 2 Kings Games through a charity and did a review of his all-ages 5e adventure, Little Feet: The Legend of Gimcrack Jack. When he announced that he was kickstarting a tabletop gaming convention showcasing some of the hottest names in gaming, I was intrigued. Since I’m thinking of going, I had questions which led to this interview. If you’re curious about an Ohio convention in January with the creators behind the World of Darkness, TinyD6, Lostlorn, Shadowrun 6e, and more, read on.

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EGG EMBRY (EGG): Tell us about the Ice & Dice Gaming Convention?
RANDY PRICE (RANDY)
: Ice & Dice is a weekend of third-party publishers (3PP), Indie, and small press tabletop gaming. The schedule features RPGs, board games, card games, panels, and more. Next year’s convention takes place from January 21st to 23rd in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Holiday Inn & Suites hotel in Eastgate.

EGG: This convention emphasizes “up-and-coming indie games” as well as some major names in RPG. Can you talk about the philosophy behind this convention?
RANDY
: Yes, our focus is on new game designers and developers who show incredible promise and talent and just need for people to hear about what they are doing and what they’ve created. We want to help these “little fish” thrive, succeed, and soon become a “big fish” in the RPG industry pond. We want to spotlight them and help promote and support them however we can. Ice & Dice gives them that opportunity by connecting them with players across the country who love to think outside the box and can truly appreciate what these indie game artists create, thus forming strong networks and possibly lifetime friendships.

Ice & Dice Gaming Convention 03.jpg

EGG: One of the cooler parts of the show is the “Dark Reunion”. What can you share about that event?
RANDY
: This requires a bit of backstory, so please bear with me… I have been playing World of Darkness games since fall 1991 when a college friend of mine named Tony, who was playing in my Ravenloft 2nd edition game, asked me if I had heard of a new game called Vampire: the Masquerade. I had not at that time, so he showed me the main rulebook and I was instantly smitten by what I saw and read. Here was a game that focused on character development and was intensely story-driven instead of being mostly about hack-n-slash. I loved the narrative element of the game and I have been playing and running World of Darkness games ever since.

Fast forward to 2019 when I found Jackie Cassada on Facebook and we became pen-pal friends. For those unfamiliar with her, she is a titan among the World of Darkness writers—particularly for Changeling: the Dreaming. I commissioned her and her lifelong partner, Nicky Rea, to write a book about the fae for our Aeralon Campaign Setting for my 2 Kings Games RPG company. We corresponded via email and Facebook Messenger for over a year about this project when both Jackie and Nicky came down with Covid and got very sick. Nicky fortunately recuperated some months later, but Jackie passed away in December 2020 from the illness. I was devastated that my friend and one of my favorite RPG authors had died. About a month passed and Nicky and I agreed to finish the work that we had started with the help of their family friend and master storyteller, Tadd McDivitt. We would write the Fae book and dedicate it to Jackie. During this time, I started thinking about how horrible it was that the world lost such a bright star in the RPG community in general and the World of Darkness family in particular. Then I got briefly morbid and thought—what happens when more of my aging heroes and heroines succumb to death and how tragic it would be for that to happen before I had a chance to meet them in person and hopefully get to know them as I had Jackie and Nicky. I talked to Nicky about this and it was then that I became determined to help meet and reunite as many of my beloved old school World of Darkness creators as I could before Death finally takes us all. There is a whole new generation of goth gamers who might not have even heard of some of these luminary writers and artists. The Dark Reunion is an attempt to change that.

EGG: I think that’s a great tribute to Jackie and reason to gather some of gaming’s greats. Some of the reward tiers include opportunities to game with World of Darkness creators as they play the WoD games that they created. What games/creators are you offering? What can fans expect from those rewards?
RANDY
: My excitement and enthusiasm seems to have won over some of these fine folks and a select few have agreed to create 4-hour one-shot games using the old World of Darkness game systems and Storytell their creation for our fans…
  • Rich Dansky will run a Wraith: the Oblivion game with Ian Lemke playing the role of the PC’s Shadow (who taunts them and tried to lure them to Oblivion).
  • Sam Chupp will run a Werewolf: the Apocalypse game with Bill Bridges playing alongside the fans as a fellow garou or kinfolk.
  • Jesse Heinig will run a Mage: the Ascension game with Travis Williams reprising the role of his famous Virtual Adept named Dante alongside the fans.
  • Tadd McDivitt (who is now a professional storyteller and tour guide for one of the most famous ghost tours in the United States) will run a Changeling: the Dreaming game with Nicky Rea playing a fellow Changeling alongside the fans.
  • Mark Rein-Hagen will be running the very first Vampire: the Masquerade adventure he ever created, which dates back to 1988 or 1989, for some very lucky fans. Kelly Williams of Maximum Roll Entertainment will be recording the game via both video and audio for replay on his website and ours sometime in February 2022.
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EGG: Speaking of Mark Rein-Hagen, he’ll be there to support Lostlorn. Can you share any of the panels or games he’s planning to run?
RANDY
: In addition to the special Vampire game he is running on Saturday afternoon we will have a special panel where Mark, Kelly Williams (the Chief Operating Officer for Lostlorn) and most of the Lostlorn creative team will discuss all about their new game, Lostlorn: the Accursed. That will most likely be scheduled for late Saturday morning—right before lunchtime. You can register for panels and games on our Tabletop Events page after the Kickstarter concludes.

EGG: I know we can’t go over every member of the guest list, so let me ask about a few of the creators and companies. You’ll have Alan Bahr and Gallant Knight Games (who I talked to here and here about some of his past projects).
RANDY
: Yes, Gallant Knight Games will be vending at the convention and it’s my hope Alan will run a few Tiny D6 and Zorro games for us when he’s not helping out his wife with their booth.

EGG: Clinton J. Boomer and Jaye Sonia of Bloodlines & Black Magic (who I interviewed here) will be there. What can fans expect in terms of games and panels?
RANDY
: Storm Bunny Studios should be vending and running at least a few Bloodlines & Black Magic games there, although I am still talking with them both about the details. Their presence at the convention is a strong maybe at this time due to the surge of the Covid Delta variant, although we will be doing everything in our power to make things safe for everyone and their families at Ice & Dice.

EGG: That’s a good segue, let’s switch focus to safety at the convention. With the pandemic still rolling, what steps are you planning to make the convention as healthy as possible?
RANDY
: For keeping people safe from Covid (and all of its variants), masks and proof of vaccination will be required for entrance to the convention. Alternatively, entrance will be permitted with proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of arrival before entering the convention. Ice & Dice will provide basic surgical face masks at no charge for all adults and children who need one. These are available at the registration table throughout the convention. Tables will be wiped down and disinfected at the start and end of every game event, and each meeting room will be thoroughly cleaned at the start of each day.

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EGG: I know I appreciate your efforts to keep everyone healthy. Let’s talk about inclusion. What can you share about Ice & Dice’s policy for gamer inclusion and social safety?
RANDY
: I am a strong proponent for diversity and inclusivity in my gaming work as well as my personal life and have been a supporter and business partner of Tabletop Gaymers for several years now. We are working with them to feature a panel on Diversity and Inclusivity in Gaming with the World of Darkness creators (the original White Wolf was a pioneer for such activism in our industry), as well as another panel that we are doing between Tabletop Gaymers and a local charity that helps teens who have been kicked out of their homes by parents who reacted poorly to news of their coming out. More about both issues are addressed on our website policy page.

EGG: The convention takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio in January and it’s call, “Ice & Dice.” For those not from that region, what should they expect in terms of weather?
RANDY
: It’s the middle of winter and will be cold, probably snowy, but hopefully not so icy that you can’t get to the venue. Temperatures up here in late January average between 20 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Please dress warmly, carry an ice-scraper/snow brush in your car, and the hotel will do its part to de-ice the parking lot and walkways for you. Our venue has a 4-star (out of 5) average rating on hundreds of reviews. I don’t expect any problems there. Their management and staff are top-notch, friendly, and professional.

EGG: Beyond this convention, you have a whole gaming company. What else are you working on?
RANDY
: Our Age of Ancients line of adventures has a new book Kickstarting for 2 Kings Games in October and you can visit our website for links when that will begin pre-launch.

EGG: Thanks for talking with me about the convention. Where can fans learn more about it?
RANDY
: Thank you, Egg! Thanks for having me! You can learn more about the Kickstarter (which is going on now) [here]. The convention website is [here – Ice & Dice]. The hotel venue website is [here].
Ice & Dice Gaming Convention
  • End Date: Fri, October 1 2021 6:31 AM EDT.
  • Ice & Dice is an indie gaming convention held in January in Cincinnati, Ohio.”
Egg Embry participates in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program and is an Amazon Associate. These programs provide advertising fees by linking to DriveThruRPG and Amazon.
 

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Egg Embry

Egg Embry

EthanSental

Adventurer
Ohio in January…is it as cold as I think it might be or not so bad with the world heating up? Average lows 23f and highs around 40f. Granted it’s inside but travel to and from might be a bit chilly.

im just glad to see Cons being planned again and hope the turnout is high for it!
 

Ohio in January…is it as cold as I think it might be or not so bad with the world heating up? Average lows 23f and highs around 40f. Granted it’s inside but travel to and from might be a bit chilly.

im just glad to see Cons being planned again and hope the turnout is high for it!
I had the same concern about the weather and went so far as to ask Randy in the interview. ;)
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
I was sort of remunerating internally (then typed it out) having lived in South Dakota earlier about the weather :) I hope we get an update a week after the Con for an update on how it went.
 

I was sort of remunerating internally (then typed it out) having lived in South Dakota earlier about the weather :) I hope we get an update a week after the Con for an update on how it went.
South Dakota? I hope it was a nice place to be. I agree with your thoughts, and hope to have a follow up on the con after the fact. :)
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Oh, Ice and Dice, with Randy Price? That's Nice. Probably will be lots of folks there wearing Old Spice. Hopefully no one suffers from Lice (or Mice!). But if so you might be able to get some Advice from a fellow in a Surplice. Even though gaming is my Vice, due to the pandemic and the Price I might think Twice or even Trice.
 

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