This past weekend was the first time I attended Gencon. Attending the Holy Grail of Gaming has always been something I wanted to do but that has been impossible for me to do - usually for monetary reasons.
With my move to Kentucky however, Indianapolis is not only 2 hours up the I-65. A nice drive really. My original plans were to go after work on Friday and spend the rest of the time there. However, I chose to play Shattered Star-1 online instead of going up there. I was also waiting for a possible call from work to come in. I would've hated having to drive back from Indy for work... So I stayed put until very early Saturday morning.
The Friday game went well - we maybe started a little late due to my being held up at work, but it was fun to have PFS-Katja play with her one true love (even if he doesn't accept it yet) PFS-Noldar. Two nights in a row... Everyone roots for lovesick but too shy Katja to win her man.
Really I find myself enjoying playing the adventure path much better than Pathfinder Society as I feel the threat of death and the challenge is much more present. Also, GMs of APs are free to let their own skills shine - something I've always been an ardent champion of. Really enjoying myself with Evan, Raphael and Ryan. But back on track. You want to know about Gencon...
I woke up at 4:15 in the morning. I was too excited. I packed everything together, took my Broncos blanket and my Iron Maiden shirt. After a shower and little bit of writing, it was just a little past the time my alarm was due to go off (5:30). After looking, I realized the alarm was set for 5:15pm! That would've sucked. I got on the road a 5:35 and off to Indy!
I'll spare you the details of a boring trip where once again my mind wandered (just like the Bob Seiger song...) I finally got there with a few minutes to spare before the first PFS slot.
Okay if you don't know, this place is just MASSIVE. The term "GINORMOUS" does not do it justice. Only through the use of profanity-based superlative can one understand the size of the thing. I mean I walked over 3 miles over the weekend without going outside. And that included me playing every slot I could (thus not really moving).
Got my badge, generic tickets, and off I went. I found the PFS room quickly and chatted with Chad and found a seat at a table of Tower of the Ironwood Watch. It was a challenging adventure where Wolf turned out to be the only real party tank. Highlight of the game: I took 3 crits in one round: main then iterative attack, then other dude... I went from "meh flesh wounds" to "I'm 2 rounds from death" for a total of 80 points of damage. Yes. My dwarf took 80 points of damage in 1 round and lived! That's a big win!
Next slot, I got really worried... Mostly because I was supposed to try the new Witch Hunter system. However, I could not find where the table was gathering. I was really annoyed at not getting to play that.
Following that I met with my good friend Florent - who was supposed to come and visit us in Colorado but didn't due to the family move... At least we got to chat there. So I mustered at Florent's PFS table. I would've liked to have played in his game when...
Yes! I got a facebook message from Clint! SWEET! Details on the location of the game! I excused myself from Florent's table and went off to find my Witch Hunter table.
As if the convention center was not big enough, the game was in the Marriot across the street! I took the opportunity to listen in on some indy and non-D&D old school games (like Champions) and some (to me) surprise events (My Little Pony - The RPG). After some searching, the game was in the same room as the Rokugan people. Listening in on that really made me interested in giving L5R another go. It's been over 10 years since I last played. I'd be interested in playing some more.
But I digress again - too many games! So little time!
We played a quick demo-style adventure with me, some other contributors to the Kickstarter, and people who worked on the campaign. I won't provide details about the adventure, but the game was just FILLED with high levels of wrong.
I played "Emilie Bucher" a French Canadian Thief from the nigh-unplayable "Ascetics of the Ten Persecutions"... Now these persecussions are awesome in the amount "things adventurers are expected to do" are they prohibited from doing. It is just hilarious to try and figure out a way to play your flaws through that. Needless to say, I *KNEW* I would love the game and guess what?
I do love it.
As a fan of 17th century European History (my mother traced my family heritage through the early 1600s), this game is designed for me. Now I need to get my butt in gear and complete a submission for that campaign. I have to refine the idea and now that I have played it, some of the tropes make sense to me now.
Needless to say that I left that slot on a high. Very excited. Taking advantage of some time to myself, I tried to reach the dealers' room. But failed to arrive on-time. I did manage to meet Lloth, a charming lady with ample cleavage and a big booty (Channeling my inner Sir Mix-a-lot). Unlike pictures of WotC stand I saw in the past, this one seemed... pretty bare to me. A line of people wanting to play the mindless delve. Tables of card players. The area they had was big. But it didn't feel like WotC were the big dogs anymore.
I just expected... MORE.
So I walked around some, stopping here there and everywhere. Talking to people I hadn't seen in years (and to a number of people who recognized ME, but I didn't recognize them).
For the evening slot, I mustered for the PFS "special" Bonekeep 2. Our table was composed of melee thugs backed by a cleric. Classic Denver Composition.
I won't spoil it but that adventure is rather... deadly. Some of the monsters are pretty much ridiculous.
I loved it! A real challenge!
Talking about it later, this is NOT the type of adventure you want to run then play. As it is pretty much a nasty surprise fight after another with a thin plot linking it together. It's a crawl. You know what you get into at the start. Now deal with it. Painfully, painfully deal with it. Don't find a kind, friendly gm for this. Find someone who will kick you in the face and elbow-drop you while down. Or it looses its appeal.
Then food at Denny's and crash on Martin's floor.