JP On Gaming

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fandemonium 2012: A gamer's review

If you asked me just over a year ago, what I knew and liked about Idaho, I'd've responded - like many people - "potatoes" and "Napoleon Dynamite". That's basically all I knew about it.

But today, Idaho means a unique and very dynamic role players, and people I am very happy and proud to call my friend. For two years now, I got to run and play adventures with a group of highly creative people.

If you read this blog, you know that I really like to play with other characters who bring something more than "I'm a dwarf fighter level 5 with an axe" as a whole concept/story.

Starting last year when I got an email out of the blue from "that guy in Idaho", I would never think that he would become on of my best and dearest friend. "That guy" is C.A. Garrett, the Idaho Venture Captain.

It's been two years now since I've been attending Fandemonium and it is an experience I hope to be able to repeat for years to come. True, Fandemonium is not as big as many other cons and most of it is taken by teenagers cosplaying furries, superheroes, Doctor Who or some odd anime character, but it's still a fun time. Comparing it to the business-of-gaming affairs that are Denver events, it feels very relaxed.

Also, in the year since I went there, the Pathfinder Society community has thrived and exploded. From the one table we scrounged together last year to the 2-3 tables we got together this year, with GMs getting released to play other games, it is clear that Boise is growing. I really enjoyed my time. My GM (I had only one), Flyer was AWESOME and I really liked getting my rear end kicked, then got stomped upon.

Drama? Of course, there is drama! What would the gaming world be without some drama. But that just confirms the rule.

On to "what happened"


I flew into Boise around midnight, having finally finished reading "Winter Witch" on the plane. CA had lost the wild and bushy hair he had at PaizoCon. I was glad to see him.

We drove to his place in Emmett, under a cloudless full moon.

Now I am a city boy. And I do not remember seeing such a nice landscape under the moon. The flat valley surrounded by mountains (which would be called foothills here in CO). It was surreal and utterly beautiful. The moon was so bright that we could easily move around without any additional light. It was really THAT bright outside!

Note to reader: you may see such a scene in an upcoming NeoExodus product.

In the morning, the sun was out and it was a nice chilly outside. You know the type of morning you just want to get outside, have coffee and chat with other guys?


That's EXACTLY what we did! Great time, a lot of talking. So much so that by 10am, we realized we should go get some food! We went to a local cafe in Emmett, the Cold Mountain Creek Restaurant now I cannot recommend this place enough. I had to be rolled out from the hashbrown platter. NICE.

Then we return to CA's packed everything, including his 2 dogs we would drop off along the way. Then we were off to Fandemonium!

We got there and already there were a couple of people waiting to play. Since there was no events scheduled before 6pm, I offered to run "Undying Legacy of the First Ones", the NeoExodus Free RPG Day. I really like the adventure because it is a good intro into NeoExodus. Well I had a lot of fun running it. Again, a mixture of those who read NE and those who are new to it. I had a lot of fun and the adventure was well-received. Then hotel and sleep.

Actually I took a shower and shaved before sleeping. I had planned on doing that before leaving, but I didn't... leaving me with an itchy neck... Drove me nuts!


The day began early: I got up, read email, then went back to sleep. CA and Flyer arrived. I was excited because I was to play today. Oh the excitement! An all-day Pathfinder module: Carrion Hill. After another hearty breakfast at the hotel's restaurant (which belonged to the same people as the Cold Mountain Creek), we were off to Fandemonium. Muster was quick and just chaotic enough.

Our table set out for Ustalav... Yeah... obviously the poor man who sent us on this mission lost at cards the night before...

We had a very unique - and one would say sub-optimal composition - but the important thing was we were full of flavor. Justin's southern preacher priest of Urgothoa, Josh's "mystic theurge" and Viviana... Yeah someone got swindled...

The adventure proceeded well, until drama struck.

Yeah... Drama... I won't go into it, but the net result is, when you're a dick, you're a dick (and should be called that). There is now one person whom I will not play with again. If at least you had a reason, but no.

We continued the game and had a REALLY HARD TIME! Which forced all of us to bring our A-game and although death happened, we managed to pull it off at the last moment, giving us a partial victory. And sometimes, those are well-earned.

I must commend Flyer for running one of the toughest, nastiest modules I have played in PFS. No pussy-tactics, no pulling of punches, ran with the many curveballs and suckerpunches our zany group threw at him all the time. It was a grueling ordeal that will forever be engraved in Viviana's mind. Love those moments... Really love them...

The day over, we headed to IHop and had one of those "BS sessions" that somehow brings the con together.

Then I failed my save vs. sleep.


Another great breakfast and back to Fandemonium. I was running NeoExodus that morning and felt the usual jitters. I offered the four players whether to play the PaizoCon interactive (Battle of Trovaska) or the sequel to Ramat Bridge (Ruins of Trovaska). They chose "Ruins".

They realized the full horror of the events of "Ruins" to my almost-squealing delight! Fun times!

Then it was time to pack and head to the airport.

CA and I ate at the Kopper Kitchen, I wasn't really hungry but knew that it was then or in Denver. We talked about PFS, NeoExodus, the Con, how to expand play in our areas, yesterday's drama... You know the usual thing that two VCs talk about when they get together. The rest of the conversation is NDA'd...

The flight back was a tad long: I couldn't sleep and I did not have any reading material. I had hoped to sleep, but a CRJ is just a tad small for me. So I got a coffee and stayed up.

The best part was when I got home: Julie and the kids were back. Julie and I talked for a while (watching Wifetime).

My bachelor days were over, and I was very happy.


There was a lot more gaming traffic this year. Not just PFS, but the game room felt full all the time. That was great to see, people playing. There was some juggling at muster-time for us, but there was a fun mix of new and returning ppl.

The returning faces is what really excites me. Especially new people walking in, trying PFS and playing some more... that's awesome.

CA is clearly doing a good job up there.

I will try to find a way to make my way there again next year...



  1. Glad you had a good one...even with the dick!

  2. Sounds like a good time for all!

  3. You were a great GM last year. I wished I could have made it this year, but I'll catch you next year.

  4. It was a great event! I really enjoyed myself (as if the post didn't tell you that already).

    @Littlecodemonkey-> I like to think that I'm still a great GM :) You would've really had a blast. FanD's gaming is growing and that good to see.