On the road Wednesday at 8am wheels turning towards another Gencon. My last couple had been fun, but I was unsure of what to expect as I was dropped off at my hotel. This article will encompass my entire experience so I’ll try to break it in different areas, because I didn’t plot out items chronologically and it makes more sense in my sleep riddled brain to do it this way.
Games I ran:
Dread: Zombie Apocalypse – Dread’s the kind of game a lazy gm like me loves. I handed out character sheets blank with a list of 7 questions and threw up the Jenga tower. We had Alice a biology student, Thomas a dirty politician and John a devoted family man. Only one person did die, it was Alice’s boyfriend (I had to pull), though Alice did try to hose John when it looked like John wasn’t going to help them make it to the quarantine zone. Thomas broke a bit from character and did not run over the 8 year old when it was certain he would be safely inside if he did. Great time and good group.
Savage Saturday Morning – I’ve posted this game on the feeds that I ran at Fear the Con some time ago, so I won’t get into too many details. Gming at 8am (7 for me) was a challenge and I think I did fairly well. I will say I think Hefty Smurf might be a bit overpowered compared to everyone else, so if I run it again, I’ll tone him down some. Everyone chose to save Saturday morning again and not sign an exclusive video game contract.
Fate Core: Fantasy – So this was a pickup game I ran because my buddy was a little down on Saturday. It was an introduction to an old school gamer a perspective on RPGs that was not Dungeons and Dragons centric. Although a little goofy, it was a good end to my Gming for the con, smiles were had by all.
Games I played:
Fate Core: City of Shadows – Game based in Seattle. An aging dot com billionaire philanthropist finds out that there is more going on than meets the eye and gets together a bunch of people to stop it. Sara, an urban mage, Johnny a drinking mage, Glich a cyber-electric gremlin, Thomas the king of all cats, Francine Stein a frankensteins monster and Theodore Snugglebottoms an awakened teddy bear (my character).
Had a lot of laughs, shooting indiscriminately and trying to one-up the other fighting type (Francine) which sort of became a weird flirting thing (worst romance novel ever). Other highlights included a garbage golem, Francine throwing an entire van with people in it, Thomas turning into cat form to sneak into a church but getting caught in the gravity of a sunbeam and napping, glitch phasing through someones pacemaker and yours truly double kneecapping a cultist trapped under a bed.
Incidentally, Francine Stein was played by James Introcaso who is a podcaster on The Round Table, a part of the Tome Show (http://www.thetomeshow.com/). So shout out to him and his podcast, give it a listen. We’ll always have Seattle, Francine…
Savage Gotham City: Using the Savage Worlds system, this game was run by a very enthusiastic GM. Since I had a generic, he indicated that I should let the ticketed people pick from the characters presented. It was the extended batfamily minus batman plus green arrow. As the characters were passed around I knew I’d be happy with any of the former robins, but when they passed Damien Wayne over to look at I was overjoyed and he didn’t move past me. So much fun busting Green Arrow’s chops who thought he was in charge. The other Robins picked up on it, with Nightwing blaming Green Arrow when we went off the rails and Red Robin calling him ‘old man’ the entire time.
Green Arrow, “Lithuania?” Damien, “A small eastern European country. Hit me with something hard.”
Nightwing, “where is Damien?” Scene shift to outside the nightclub we were scoping out, “Making sure they don’t get away” as he punctures all the tires of the nice cars in the parking lot with his batarang.
Red Robin finds a skylight into the nightclub. As he prepares to slowly remove it Damien grapples up to the roof, “Thanks for holding the door, poser!” as he crashes through.
Watching Solomon Grundy burst through the doors into the room, Damien turns to Nightwing (the only other one in the room) “I got this.”
After being used as a club a moment later, Damien shoots his grapple gun, hitting Grundy in the mouth and hooking him, “Told you I got him!”
Red robin turns to Red Hood, “Should we help him?” Red Hood replies, “Nah, he got this.”
Dresden Files – A Midsummer Knights Dream: I had generic tickets, and was able to get in. I let the other people who had actual event tickets pick and I was stuck with the Mortal girl. Mortals in Dresden get a load of fatepoints, so I was not unhappy by this. I was a receptionist/technomage who got the call that she was going to be in her favorite show, a campy fantasy show. Except when the Winter Court took it into the Nevernever to get back at the Summer Court Queen who liked the show, everyone thought they were their part (including me, the plucky romantic heroine). The rest of the crew spends the first scene finding out the truth and then coming to rescue me from bandits. When they fix my memory, we go seek out the person who has the keystone, which when destroyed reverts everyone to normal. Had some laughs, and another good crew of players and GM. I summoned a 12 power Lightning bolt to fry the Black Baron’s sword once the Knight of Summer disarmed him and back to the real world we went.
Fate Core: Iron Edda/The War of Metal and Bone: This setting was a kickstarter that was successfully founded by Tracy Barnett (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sandandsteam/iron-edda-war-of-metal-and-bone-for-fate-coretm). The setting is that you are in the times of the Vikings and the dwarves are mad and have come to Midgard and just start killing people. Loki stops by and helps the humans by showing them how to fuse themselves to the bones of dead giants to fight off these large dwarven machines of destruction (think Viking Pacific Rim and you have it). I made a priestess of Loki who had the one Bone Bonded in town wrapped around her finger (on good days anyway). We saw how fights happen when you have big creatures and how the kingdom generation happened. Kingdoms are generated by each person rolling on a chart and answering a corresponding question while also drawing something on the map to depict that answer.
- 2 Fate Core Books from the Indie Press Revolution booth (1 as a gift for someone).
- 2 sets of Chessex dice (both gifts)
- 2 prints from the Artist Steve Argyle (www.steveargyle.com)
- 1 Mystery item for a Funnybooks host that I can’t disclose here
- DC Comics Deck Building Game and Crisis expansion by Cryptozoic Entertainment (http://www.cryptozoic.com)
There was so much more that I liked, but alas I do not have Paul Aponte Money (nor his credit card anymore, sad).
Other highlights of the convention:
Meeting and gaming with our correspondent Rob Hall along with two podcasters from my favorite videogame podcast The Way of The Game, Jonathan the Holmberg and Sam the Moose. We almost gamed, but busting each other’s balls and drinking and laughing sort of got in the way of our Dogs in The Vineyard game. Holmberg schooled me on Atomic Fireballs and I did my Steve Irwin impression. For two cons now, I had always stopped in and saw this group gaming already and was the creepy lurker guy no one knew. Now at least I feel like I’m no longer unknown (though creepy might still apply). Great laughs and it was like meeting friends I didn’t know I had. Btw, Rob Hall has 30 pages of notes on GenCon so he definitely was working harder than this guy!
My friend Wade asked me to try and find a cool card game. No other parameters, so I thought I’d never find something that I had a good feeling about without some serious time that I was not willing to part with. However, I saw the Cryptozoic booth and saw them playing a couple of cool looking games. The one that caught my eye was the DC Heroes one. I decided I had 30 minutes and after playing it I walked out with both it and the expansion. Its a lot of fun and I can’t do justice to it here, but you all play as heroes trying to defeat the villains and racking up victory points as you go. The hero with the most victory points after all villains are defeated wins. It’s got the same business model as a game like Killer Bunnies, where you get the basic deck and an expansion deck might come out every six months/year, which is what I was looking for. I was not looking for the CCG type business model. I walked away happy and I almost picked up the Hobbit game, which played in a somewhat similar vibe.
This year I broke out the camera. Most years, I’m too driven to game, game, game but this year I set aside some time to take some pictures. Many costumes, highlights include two lady loki cosplayers and a picture I got with two Banes in it! I always thought it was kind of creepy for a dude to just ask a woman to take a picture but that phobia stopped when I did ask a pair and they smiled. So, I learned that cosplayers want to get their picture taken and it’s not really too creepy to ask them (though it is rude to not ask and just assume from what I gathered).
As I write this, I had a pretty spectacular GenCon. I got to play Ted with guns, a priestess of Loki and Damien Wayne. I meet up with some awesome new friends and have some pictures of my adventures. My games went fairly smoothly and people seemed to have a good time. In addition I kept it within budget so I don’t have to sell a kidney.
My first Gencons which were in Milwaukee will always have a special place in my memories, but I can say that this one stands up to any of my previous ones in terms of how much fun I had. Thanks to all my players, my Gms, the staff and volunteers who were nothing but pleasant and everyone I met. Except for people with baby strollers in the Exhibit Hall. Those people can roll a 1 for a while…