JP On Gaming

Friday, August 22, 2014

After-Action Report: GenCon 2014, Part 4

Sunday saw me up & ready on-time. I was excited to get to see my friend Chad and his wife Holly as my players. However, nine am came. Chad was running a little late (remember the lines at Starbucks?)

Then 9:10.

Then 9:20.

At that time, I decided to call it. Instead, we would go shopping. Hitting the dealer’s room and find ourselves some goodies. I remember texting to my wife that any and all time spent in there would count for “shopping time”. Which like many men, I strongly dislike, but my wife loves very much.

So, we hit the dealers. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will focus on a few points of interest.

Along the way, I did a quick stop at Chaosium’s booth to look at the few monographs I wrote for. It is always a thrill and a feel of self-satisfaction – as well as getting my girlish giggles – to see physical books rather than PDFs.

Anyways, I love Chaosium, don’t you know by now?

We started at the northeast corner, at the Paizo booth. I had nothing I wanted myself (I’m not too keen on the Advanced class guide or its content myself). The blue shirts were all very nice and friendly. A special shout-out to Adam Daigle (who some will remember, I cursed with a chicken on his head back in 2010), who took time to shake my hand and say hello. Love the man.

I saw someone I’ve been meaning to talk to for a very long time, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan (who I know simply as “Gar”). I first met Gar when I was in Ireland. It was nice to hear his accent again. We talked briefly about the gaming scene in Ireland (same people are still around, just fatter – his words, not mine!) I will be talking to him again in the near future. Stay tuned folks!

Next, as we fluttered from booth to both, I threw money at the Catalyst folks to buy their turn-based Shadowrun game. You heard me right: turn based. BLESSED BE! I could not throw my cash fast enough. Had it been RTS, I would’ve said “neat” and kept on walking. I will be downloading my copy shortly… Can’t wait! And it was pretty cheap: 35$. That’s not bad, not bad at all!

With that in my bag, we roamed further looking at goodies and exploring some more.

Next big stop for me was the Privateer Press booth where I was amazed by the life size Man-o-war. I also completed my collection of Gencon exclusives by adding last year’s Confluence Keg Protector and this year’s Blighted Bather… Both of which will appear later on this blog.

Another great thing about them: I bought two medium-sized minis. I asked the guy for a bag and I was rewarded by a HUGE back pack with Privateer Press’ covers of Hordes and Warmachine. Just awesome! I will be serving as a publicity board for the foreseeable future…

We stopped and chatted with Jeremy Smith, the man behind Dreamscarred Press and Ultimate Psionics. It was great to chat with him about it, and talk face-to-face. Expect more work between FOE and DSP in the future for sure!

A quick stop to say hi to Henry, Eric and the PCI gang (who were right next booth). As always a bunch of great guys! Made even better by Henry’ promise to send me a check! I mean that’s always a good thing, isn’t it?

Then I hit the Palladium booth. I’ve always been a fan, but their system shows that it is 35 years old. I would play in their settings, but would prefer a lighter system such as Savage Worlds or even some type of home brew. I looked at their stuff seriously wanting to buy, but I could not find myself reaching for the wallet. Even the Robotech Miniature game could not get me to fork it. Though cool, it would be another game I’d be the only one playing and… well I don’t want to have to recruit players for ANOTHER game system…

I then re-joined Chad and Holly and Zach from our Monday game and we talked briefly before Zach gave us a demo of his Zpocalypse game. I’m not a board game guy. I will play on occasion, but it’s just not my thing. Zach taught us how to play and how to fight the hordes of the undead. The game is pretty interesting, with just enough plot twists to simulate but not become a wargame. Our brave band of survivors barely managed to fight off a massive horde of zombies. There were many casualties, but we all managed to make it through two days of killing Zs.

With the game over, it was time to head on home.

I drifted through the halls a little to see "the pussy" aka Drizzt, a character I never liked and who actually turned me off D&D literature long long ago. Like a lot of things, I think he's been too exposed, and just had too many implausible adventures for my own tastes. Plus as I tweeted at the time: the man who single handedly made us think drow were cute and fuzzy. Turned them from hot bikini-clad elven chicks to some angst-filled bitches fighting over unimportant things.

Gencon was over and it was time to return to my drab and boring job. The kids were ecstatic as I entered the house.

Definitely a case of “See you next year, Gencon!”


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