This past weekend, I headed north into the green rolling hills of Kentucky into Lexington, home of the blue grass where I attended Lexicon, a convention I have been attending for the past few years with constant interest. Last year, it was the place where I first ran 5e in the playtest of Tyrants of Saggakar. This year, I came with some new adventures for Saggakar and Black Sails for Rhym.
Friday was a rainy day as I drove up I-65 and Bluegrass Parkway. Not much to report, until I was almost there when I found myself surrounded by antique cars. I mean cars from the 1910-20s. I chuckled as I thought I might've stumbled upon a gathering of overzealous Call of Cthulhu LARPers. It only got "worse" as I entered the parking lot of the convention. It seems there was an antique car convention going on at the same time.
I got in and walked around a little re-familiarizing myself with the con. I said hello to Chad and other people I hadn't seen in a while: Holly, Heather, Rick, and others.
I signed up to play Shadowrun that night. We played an April Fool's scenario based on a bunch of unique, interesting movie clichés that kept us chuckling throughout the evening.
The first Saturday slot, I was scheduled to run "Service and Rewards", a new pair of two-hour adventures that played into the current storyline. However, I did not have anyone signed up. So I looked at my options and decided I would hop on a table of The Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan from the Tales from the Yawning Portal, the most recent set of adventures for 5e/Adventurer's League. We had a good party composed of a half-orc, three dwarf and me, an inbred yokul with a great love of moonshine. We breezed through very quickly and almost completed the adventure in one four-hour slot.
I must say these adventures (I also played part of The Sunless Citadel) and their classic feel is a breath of fresh air. I could not imagine running such an adventure using Pathfinder. It would be a mess!
The second slot, I ran a special, "The Battle of Dreadkeep". The result and epilogue of this battle will be added to the campaign narratives. I did not take it easy on the guys. Quite the opposite! We saw some anuka-on-anuka loving, openly and in public, to the horror of all involved. There was a lot of questioning about what my massive drum did and it worried them so much that they charged it, and burned it as other party members were getting beated up. The guys scored many victory points, giving them a victory against my horde of barbarians.
In the end, they won (to my and everyone's surprise).
I played more Adventurer's League in the evening.
Sunday morning, I ran Black Sails for Rhym. That adventure is really fun and has a lot "Yarrr"s.
My con over, I hoped back into the car, driving home to Nashville. On the road, I put the Nashville-St.Louis hockey game through my phone into the car stereo and I listened to the Predators eliminate the Blues. I was the one guy on I-24 honking my horn and waving my hand in the air chanting "Let's go Preds!"
Now it will shock some of you that I am not posting about my beloved Montreal Canadiens, but they were eliminated in the previous round. So now I root for the Preds in the West and the Ottawa Senators in the East! Preds-Sens for the Stanley Cup!!!
Now... let's go over the good, the bad, the ugly.
- A really fun crowd From my tables of 5e, Pathfinder, or Shadowrun, the games brought a constant series of smiles to my face, with players willing to put up with my antics: both as a player and as a GM.
- The Venue Let's be honest, it's a large open room, so it gets loud. However, even on Saturday evening, when Chad ran a PFS special, the noise level was manageable.
- Larry Larry-E was the first-time RPG coordinator. We got into something of a snafu with my slots which forced me to shuffle my events. Nowt that was a pain. However, Larry stayed in touch, and the communication kept going and in the end, things went through and were a success.
- Attendance A common complaint, one that was acknowledge. With the con being the same day as the Kentucky Derby, some sixty miles to the West in Louisville, many people did not attend, instead participating in derby-events. Next year, they do plan to return to their regular weekend, two weeks after Conglomeration. So this problem is addressed already.
- Freezing AC Now having cold air in a gaming hall is usually a good thing as it keeps the gamer funk to a minimum (full disclosure, I did not experience any funky gamers). However, that thing started and turned the hall into a frozen hellhole. I mean it got so cold on Saturday evening that I took a table cloth to use as a cloak/blanket.
The Conclusion: Lexicon delivered a good, fun experience. One I want to have again! So I'm going back in 2018!