Friday, August 27, 2010

2010 Gen Con Report Part 2

Here’s the second round of bullet points from Gen Con. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this time.
  • Talked about the disappointing Wizards booth in the podcast. I'll add that we saw the thing in the dealer hall, decided that couldn't possibly the entire Wizards presence, and went on a quest to find an official location where you could find the books, equivalent to the Paizo display. Nope. If you wanted to browse a 4e D&D book at Gen Con, you had to find one of the game or book store booths that was carrying a few copies.
  • I would have strangled the True Dungeon referee if it had been an actual tabletop game (too many "guess what I'm thinking!" puzzles) but the environmental dressing was cool enough that it was worth putting up with a bit of frustration. I was also able to get the two extra tickets I had available on account of scheduling lameness to new players at the last minute, so kudos to the True Dungeon staff for managing the waiting list system well enough to allow that. Coolest touch: the dragon was guarding a huge pile of actual True Dungeon tokens.
  • Roger the GS runs a mean game of (mostly) D&D. Another one where I was quieter than I could have been, but still managed to contribute despite that as the party mapper. This one is going to get its own post, since I have a lot of notes to write up from that game.
  • I completely forgot about the Dune boardgame. For serious.
  • The board game hall is one of the best parts about Gen Con, and another spot I'm going to spend more time in the next time I go. The frantic, grudge-based, not-entirely-serious style of playing Settlers of Catan advocated by the college students in the group (me, my brother, and one of my old players from high school) amused Trollsmyth, who was used to people who are actually focused on, you know, winning.
  • "Maraschino cherry, courtesy of Gen Con." I really don't know what the explanation for this was. Some guy came around handing them out. My brother and I both felt strongly that accepting would have broken every rule we've ever learned about food and strangers. Unfortunately, Trollsmyth did not prove our thesis by hallucinating.
  • Trollsmyth also got some free stuff that was actually cool. The Men In Black GM’s guide and the Hawkmoon Player’s Guide. I think.
  • We played Outdoor Survival! We all died! Seriously, this game is a lot of fun, and fascinatingly close to the Moldvay/Cook rules for wilderness exploration. You move on the hex map at a rate determined by your condition, with more difficult terrain taking more points of movement to enter, you get lost by occasionally having to roll a d6 to determine the direction you move on the hex map, and there’s an optional rule that lets you roll “random encounters” in addition to the basic hazards of starvation and dehydration. The basic version of the game generally ends when you get trapped in an area that costs more than your current move to get out of and then starve to death.
  • I didn’t buy much, but I did pick up a couple of pieces of Beth Trott art. Still need to get that framed so I can hang it up on my wall when I get back to school.
  • Oh, and Game Science dice. Which are awesome, and awaiting hand-inking.
  • I did really enjoy getting the opportunity to flip through some old game stuff from the 80s at some of the used bookstore type booths in the dealer hall. Felt kind of old because the books I started on are now only in the used section, stacked next to the AD&D hardbacks. Trollsmyth laughed at me.
  • The 2010 GMs Jam was surprisingly interesting. (If you missed it, RPG Circus has the video posted.) I’m usually not much into the whole “GMing advice” genre -- getting to focused on “advice” contributed to one of the worst games I ever ran back in high school -- but I went anyway so I could meet up with Zachary Houghton and other RPG bloggers, and was quite glad I did. The focus the session had on social issues was both telling and encouraging, since in my experience those tend to be more significant and more intractable than any matters of technique. The opportunity to hear about other people’s games and the kinds of problems they were having was fun, too. The early discussion was dominated by people with too many players, which made a number of the panelists very jealous. Overall the thing drove home just how lucky I am in my current gaming situation, with a DM who fits my own gaming preferences very well, and vice versa, and both of us with enough time to game 3+ times per week.
  • I want to go again, but I’m not absolutely, 100% it’ll happen next year. That depends on a number of factors, not least of which is where (and if!) I end up getting a job next year when I finish school. But it’s definitely something I’m going to do again, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

1 comment:

  1. What are you using to ink your GS dice? I've thought about picking some up if a Micron drafting pen will do the trick.

    Oh, and good to see you on Facebook! :)