On Tuesday, August 13th, five of us piled our nerd-selves into a van with our dice bags and brains. Since all of us are nerds we didn’t run out of things to talk about; everything from making fun of our GPS for not knowing the right way, to the differences between political groups in the US. Even though our car ride took twelve hours over two days it really didn’t feel that long with the great company we had.
On Wednesday we got our badges in the will-call line, the line you go to when you buy your badge and you don’t have it shipped to you. It really wasn’t too bad of a line this year. The staff was really organized and got everyone through the line. Wednesday is the best day to pick up your badge: I saw the craziness that was the line on Thursday, so I was glad I wasn’t in it. After picking up our badges we did our yearly migration to The Ram. The Ram is a restaurant and bar that changes all of their decorations and even their menu just for GenCon. Many gamers will buy mugs from them and try their beer. I’m not a fan of beer, I prefer hard liquor, but I am told that their beer is very good. And yes, it comes in pints.
Thursday I stood in line to get generic tickets and a ticket to Gamers 3: Hands of Fate. I missed going to the Glitter Guild Burlesque show this year to go to the Gamers movie. If you ever make it to GenCon, try to fit the burlesque show into your schedule, they are very good. On the other hand I got to meet the actors and writer from Gamers and they are an awesome bunch. I’m really glad I Kickstarted them. Earlier in the day I found Crit Success and bought two of their rings, r20 and rRockPaperScissors, damn them for coming out with a new color after I Kickstarted them and got the rest of their colors.
Friday I was invited to try out the AEG game Romance of the 9 Kingdoms. It’s a deck game that was made for the Gamers 3 movie. You choose a faction and play as them, I chose Malchior because they were purple and looked badass. This game has a learning curve to it, but I like that it makes fun of itself and takes itself seriously all at the same time. After playing for a few rounds I got the hang of it and ended up winning. I would have bought this game but their booth ran out of copies. I will be ordering it from my local gaming store. After dinner I went back to Hall G in the Indy Con Center to continue playing games from AEG. They have many that are great and I totally recommend trying out Smash Up, a hilarious deck building game, and Trains, think if Dominion and Ticket to Ride had a baby. I won a game of Trains and they handed out a box of swag to everyone that showed up. I don’t know if AEG does an event like this at every big con they go to, but it is totally worth the $32 ticket to get in; I’ll be doing this event again next year.
Saturday was the day of seminars! My first seminar was Emerald Spire All-Stars, a panel with 10-ish of the writers for the new dungeon crawl: writers such as Frank Mentzer and Ed Greenwood and Keith Baker and Lisa Stevens. Each of them wrote about their own level of the Spire. It was my favorite panel of the whole con; I learned so much about making dungeons as well as making a good game for my players. My next panel was the guys from Gnome Stew. It was full of information about visual aids to help your players stay in character and help them see the area they are traveling. They are full of useful Game Mastering tips, you should check them out.
Later on Saturday night I was going to go to the masquerade ball, but since I was feeling meh about dancing the rest of the night, I hung out with fellow Princess Angela and taught her how to play Smash Up. The rest of my evening was decided as we ran into our web designer and I was carrying my set of Cards Against Humanity.
Sunday I made my last trip through the dealer’s hall looking for swag and I found a Wil Wheaton plush I am proud to call my own. I even bought him a mount, the bunny from the webcomic Looking for Group. While the Firefly board game was sold out, they did give me a pin for my troubles. I just have to wait 4 more weeks for it to come out to local retailers. This day was made by the fact Angela and I went to Wil Wheaton’s Behind Tabletop panel. There were many spoilers which we will not discuss, because Wil told us not to, but both of us will be crossing our fingers and hoping for one of these spoilers to come true. Oh please oh please oh please!!!
All in all it was a really great GenCon. It is totally worth it to go at least once in your gamer lifetime. I’m planning and hoping I can make it next year. Until then GAME ON!