JP On Gaming

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

After-Action Report: Gencon 2014, Part 2

Four AM.

My body refused to acknowledge the buzzing in my ears, but I threw myself out of bed before fumbling with the display. Finally, it stopped. I was no longer asleep. I wasn’t exactly awake either. I packed my meds and stumbled to the garage where I packed the car with the many things I placed there ready for loading.

Food, miniatures, adventures, NeoExodus sign, character sheets, directions and a yawning French Canadian were all loaded into the car.

The day before, my local Venture Captain, Chad-N forgot some minis for one of the PFS special. He asked me to retrieve minis at his house. I was a little wary, as I had never been to his place. But Mapquest and a little help from my phone got me there without issue (I was at the right place, but thought I was not).

Chad’s minis thrown atop the rest in the civic, and I was on my way to GENCON!

I prepared a couple of CDs that would form my travelling playlist. This playlist would play as I travelled to and from Indy.
     -   Marillion Made Again (live), Disk 1
     -   Rush Exit, Stage Left
     -   U2 Best Of, 1977-87
     -   Yes Classics

I arrived in Indianapolis without issue, though I worried as I hit a heavy patch of traffic for the last 10 miles on the I-65. This delayed me even further, but not really in the end.

Parking my car was an experience but I found a place I could leave the civic: right by the door of the Courtyard (where I slept) with easy access to the JW Marriott (where I gamed).

I then headed to my game room, stopping by the long line of the Starbucks, for my morning brown-juice. At that time, I also handed Chad his minis and he was quite glad to have them. My good deed done, coffee clearing my brain, I was ready to start.

It was 8 o’clock.

I would later realize that my slot was scheduled for a 9am start. I was worried when I got an extra hour. Not sure if I could have translated into an hour of extra sleep, but still. Better to be on time and ready to rock and roll than late.

After Origins, I was quite worried about attendance. Even if the sales system showed a good number of tickets, I was still worried about people showing up. I had less than six tickets for sale Wednesday evening, which I was very encouraged. Still I felt that nervous energy I always feel before cons, which I draw upon to give my players a great time.

I took this opportunity to chat with Bruce and Victor from the Fellowship of the White Star, a 3.5 OGL "modern" organized play campaign. Their campaign is set around 1910, and has been running for many year now. We exchanged ideas and how their campaign operated. I was intrigued and interested for sure. I promised him that should something happened to my schedule that I would try and give it a go. Throughout the con the Fellowship guys were just across the hall from me and I would occasionally drop by and chat.

Finally my players showed up and we were off. Dousing Fire With Blood, the adventure I had for the morning slot is really a great intro to the Legacies campaign – more so than to NeoExodus itself. I was extremely worried about this one before it was play-tested. Seriously, it embodies most of what I want people to know and love about the campaign.

The players, most of whom were new to Pathfinder and NeoExodus, gave me a lot of great feedback. I was on the right track. Funny how players are creative in a way I never would suspect at times I’d never assume they would be creative! That’s the fun of a campaign like Legacies where players can come up with creative solutions.

Next game a full group to play As if it could get any better. This adventure is definitely more in-line with some of our current story lines. I was very surprised by the choices of the players in that one. I wonder what players who are not new to the campaign will do when confronted with the situation.

Evening brought the special, Best Served Cold, and more new players. Again thrust into the heart of NeoExodus politics, they navigated through a complex sea of events.

Midnight brought an end to my Thursday, and just like that, my first day of GMing at Gencon had come to a close.

The result was quite positive. All the tables had gone off. A few no-shows (about 1/table). Smiles and players leaving having felt challenged and with an understanding for the campaign.

I tried to talk with Clint and Lindsay, but I was beat. I snored myself to sleep.

That’s it for now!


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