Investing In: Virtual Horror Con

It’s been a trying few weeks for the world. I’m so thankful for what I have but also what others are doing for family, friends, their community, and even strangers! Our gaming community is stepping forward to help too. Not only are we connecting (while social distancing) by playing more online but we’re finding new ways to do so while giving to charity!

Gehenna Gaming Raises Over $7000 for COVID-19 Response Fund!

Last week I talked about Virtual Tabletop gaming. Hopefully you saw there or a mention on Twitter or Discord about Gehenna Gaming’s Virtual Horror Con. If you recall I met them at PAX Unplugged as they featured World of Darkness games including Vampire the Masquerade V5! Well their Virtual Horror Con was set up for this past weekend and all, 100% of ticket sales and raffle donations are going to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund!

They announced on their Thank You stream on twitch that as of that moment they’d raised $7290 for the fund. Many expressed their thanks for the distraction and community gathering over the weekend, though that’s truly an understatement. So many artists, vendors, GMs, story tellers, volunteers, gamers, community members came together to make this happen with creative and constructive content that was truly a blast, and at such a vital time!

If you wish to donate, you still can here!  And don’t miss out on the virtual Vendor Hall!

A Learning Community

The live streamed seminars were held on twitch and YouTube. I wish I’d had a time turner to play games and attend seminars but thankfully they’re recorded! The seminars were many and varied from how to approach games, game development, running games, art, and community impact. Voice Acting in Horror Games covered varied approaches, accents, and encouraged both the suspenseful and the terrifying. One particularly important seminar was the Consent & Safety in Horror Gaming event including Crystal Mazur, Cassie Clark, Natalie Pudim, Jacqueline Bryk, Conri Purcell, and one of the founders of Gehenna Gaming: Ian E. Muller. I highly suggest you invest some time in checking it out when you can! I’m a huge fan of Gehenna’s consent form to help know what the gaming group is and isn’t comfortable.

I also enjoyed a couple other seminars later on Sunday including Horrible, Terrifying Cosplay and the V5 & the Future of Vampire: the Masquerade. So many amazing cosplayers who move through the horror genre but in others as well. I’m very thankful to hear more about Vampire, Onyx Path, and where the past couple years have brought these games and what is ahead for us!

All the Games

There were a lot of different games being played throughout the weekend! The streamed actual plays included Vampire: the Masquerade, Mage: the Awakening, KULT: Divinity Lost, Call of Cthulhu, The Midnight World, and more. I got to enjoy Rick Wheeler’s Vampire: the Masquerade Dark Ages done with V5 rules! I’ll only spoil that there was a Lasombra (a clan I often enjoy and had rules recently released for V5 in the new Chicago by Night book from Onyx Path Publishing. Rick (also a founder of Gehenna Gaming) was my Storyteller for the one shot I played at PAX Unplugged. Should you ever have the opportunity to play in one of his games or any by the Gehenna Gaming team or their partners, I highly suggest you attend!

I chose to play some Monsterhearts 2 that I’d been yearning to try since my article back in February as well as some more VtM v5! I had signed up for the Monsterhearts 2 game on Saturday but thankfully Vanessa and I both managed to get into the Sunday morning game too! Both were masterfully run by Brian Liberge of Games On Demand (and their site). I’d heard good things already from Dan of Order of the Amber Die who got to experience a game with Brian back at Unplugged. Brian was kind and encouraging, but also organized providing a Google slides presentation to help put together the yearbook for our character’s school including seating charts for homeroom and character bios. I greatly appreciate the encouragement for improv, the discussion of topics we wanted to be careful with or avoid, as well as the weaving of our collaborative story. 

The characters were all so different and each homeroom roleplay was absolutely hilarious. The LGBTQIA representation was strong, as were the monstrously big hearts of the characters and players involved even if a couple of those characters might have some learning to do first! If you care to review, there’s some unnecessary but hilarious tweeting Vanessa and I were doing that you can find under the #NewHarborMH2 on twitter. I learned a term used about chasing the hotdog for the subplot the characters would want to discuss as they gathered at homeroom. I also learned my characters apparently have a penchant for werewolves but that’s another article entirely. Thank you Brian and thank you to my fellow players! Shout out to Kae for looping me into a conversation before that first game to talk MH2 and for being so helpful, encouraging, and welcoming before and after the game!

I wanted to plunge a little deeper in VtM V5 as well, this time as a Tremere! Our game was story told by Stephanie Allen of Charm Person Games! While I loved the politics of manipulating elders and the ridicule of my Gangrel coterie mates, it was Stephanie’s wonderful setting detail and concise review of the rules that I found myself most appreciative of. She had a fun, clever story for us that built up the suspense and perfectly captured the mood of the game. We all really felt it and I wasn’t surprised to hear the other players mentioned it too! I look forward to running one of my own one day, maybe after our Mage game ends, and you can check with Charm Person Games about running one for you! Thank you Stephanie!

Investing In:

Like I joked earlier and I think is common for any well done convention, I wish I’d had more time to tune into seminars or duplicates so I could attend them and multiple games! This was the first #VirtualHorrorCon but assuredly not the last. Let’s just make sure the Gehenna Gaming team gets some rest! Until then, I heavily encourage you to Invest In their offerings as well as the partners mentioned above on their site! I’m truly thankful to have had a chance to escape the darkness we’re facing with some heroic and hilarious escapades.

And again if you wish to donate, you still can here!

And I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!

About Investing In

I wasn’t quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!


Banner – Virtual Horror Con, Gehenna Gaming

  1. Logo and header, Gehenna Gaming
  2. Logo, Indie Games on Demand
  3. Logo, Charm Person Games

Rob Pontious

You may know Rob Pontious from Order of the Amber Die or Gehenna Gaming's first series of Monster Hearts 2. He currently writes Know Direction's Investing In blog as well as a player for the Valiant podcast and Roll for Combat's Three Ring Adventure. He's been a lover of TTRPGs for over three decades, as a gamer, and a GAYMER. You can find him on social media as @silentinfinity.