Vericon has a lively program that runs from Friday evening to Sunday morning, with the Charity Auction Sunday afternoon. Most programming is similar to other science fiction conventions:
- Panel discussions, where you can hear guests discuss a range of subjects, from Star Wars to Shakespeare.
- Author readings, including readings from recent and upcoming works.
- A speech or lecture by our Guest of Honor.
- Concerts and film screenings.
- A tabletop games room with open gaming and small tournaments.
- Tabletop RPG sessions.
- Video gaming.
- An anime room, showing a mixture of rare, new, and classic anime throughout the weekend.
- Scheduled one-shot LARPs (live action role play games), usually theatrical in style, role-play not combat.
- A con suite, with water and snacks.
- Group games such as a scavenger hunt, laser tag, and “capture the flag with stuff.”
Vericon also has a few signature events:
The Charity Auction
The Vericon Charity Auction is traditionally a lively and silly event, full of nerdy humor and playful competition that is in many ways the climax and the epitome of the convention. The silent auction runs throughout the weekend. It is a room where auction items are available to be viewed, and bid sheets are laid out beside them. At any time during the weekend you can visit the silent auction to admire the items and bid by adding your name and a new bid to the sheet. You may find you want to keep dropping in to see whether you have been outbid on coveted items, and you will generally find the room anything but silent, as it can become one of the centers of social activity as everyone drops in to do the same thing. Items that garner sufficient bids go to the Live Auction, on Sunday afternoon where (usually) veteran auctioneers Ada Palmer and Carl Engle-Laird kindle enthusiasm from the attendees as they auction off items. Some of the items in the auction are genuinely valuable and desirable, like tickets for New York shows, signed advance reading copies of books, or rare collectibles. But at Vericon, these are not always the ones that raise the most money. Past auctions have involved occurrences of team competitive and co-operative bidding for a cardboard Thor’s Hammer, and more than $50 being raised for a pack of dollar store coat-hangers… The auction is a fun and friendly way of raising money for charity — and for the past three years HRSFA and Vericon have been working with Cittadini del Mondo, a very small Rome-based charity that helps refugees who would otherwise fall through the cracks. The money we have raised has made an immense difference to their ability to help them, so the auction is a way of having lots of fun in a very good cause.
In 2017 while Vericon is on hiatus, there is still an online AND live auction, please see our BiddingOwl page for details on how to participate.
Milk and Cookies
Milk and Cookies is a marathon fiction reading, and a HRSFA Saturday evening tradition. People gather, sometimes in pajamas with stuffed animals, to read each other stories. The stories can be either home-made or pre-published, so the event tends to be an enjoyable mixtures. Everyone is welcome to read, time permitting, so it is better if your selection is not more than five to ten minutes long. Vericon’s Guests often participate in Milk and Cookies. (Actual milk and cookies will be provided.)
Live-Action Role Play Games! These are theater-style LARPS, a lot like improvised theater without an audience. There is generally a LARP on Friday night, for which you must be pre-registered. There are also sometimes other LARP events during the weekend. Details of specific LARPS and how to pre-register will be posted here closer to the convention. Many of the games run at Vericons are test-runs of LARP kits, which go on to be published by such companies as Paracelsus Games, so you can see details here.
On Sunday morning, we screen a hilariously awful movie, while a team of riffers (who have spent many months refining their jokes) provide their own live humorous commentary track, transforming the film from a torture to a delight, in the style of the classic Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Vericon’s Masque is a costume party: a science-fiction, fantasy, and horror masquerade ball that takes place late on Saturday evening. There are no skits or costume competitions, rather attendees enjoy sharing costumes with each other while dancing to fun and nerdy music. Often large group costume challenges are announced in advance, themed around a fiction series, or a mythology, such as the 2012 Major Arcana of the Tarot costume challenge below.
The schedule for the upcoming Vericon will be posted here at least two weeks before the convention.