Saturday, August 25, 2012

That gaming con in Indy, Part 3 - Apocalypse Kinda Now

Saturday morning was my sleep in day...I did not have to be at my T&T Stay Alive! game until 10 AM. I made myself a cuppa tea and headed down to the room where two guys from Canada (eh!) were already waiting patiently at the table. As I started setting up, we talked about how they had met Tom K earlier during the con and had played in one of his T&T games. We were also joined by a couple who told us about the game they run at Gen Con every year called 'Midnight Zombie Game' under the gaming group 37 Zombies. It was a very enjoyable game as I ran them through the same adventure I ran at BASH Con back in February. After the game, I agreed to check in on their game at 9PM that night...Lori and Peter told me what room to look for them in the JW. She said it was a very large, loud, and fun game with 60+ players at multiple tables.

During my T&T game, Robin showed up and was running her Peryton RPG game, Walk the Spiral. I did not want to interrupt her game, so I slipped out without saying anything to her. I checked in  on the Auction and saw that the Pit was well staffed so I decided to finally go into the Exhibit Hall, after grabbing a piece of pizza from the break room within the auction...wait, the break room does not exist in the auction...disregard that.

I was wearing my 'Mouse Rat' t-shirt on Saturday. It is a reference to a fictitious band in the NBC TV Show 'Parks and Recreation'. A guy asked me if he could take a picture of it. There is a first for everything I guess. I told him and his GF they could get the shirt at the NBC store, but I felt kind of special nonetheless.

The Dealer Hall was large and full of all kinds of things I know that I did not need, or at least could wait until I got home and ordered online at a discount. I am not apt to pay MSRP for most anything, unless it is just as cost effective to get it at a location because shipping would counteract the savings. I found the Crytal Chaste booth where I picked up my free Gen Con die. Since I am always buying more miniatures than I need, of course the Wargames Factory had new zombie miniatures available. I paid the $16 to get the new set, which came with a bonus sprue with the purchase.

Right next door was the Gypsy Rain Studios booth which featured two guys from the Yukon selling their version of a Zombie RPG - Zed Zero (Z0). I listened to the sales pitch and decided this system had enough potential to warrant another purchase - $20. It also came with a coupon to register online and get a free pdf download of their first module. What intrigued in this game is the idea that the zombies have some variety and leveling up as well to keep things fresh and not so predictable, which I admit is my number one concern with my zombie game.

I also came across a small booth selling even more miniatures and what caught my eye were some barbarians that were perfect for wildlings in my AGOT game. Badger Games I believe was the name of the booth, and Bronze Age Miniatures is the line of products for the mini that I bought. I also got his card to email him after the con in order to get more information on upcoming releases in the Barbarian line of figures. So many barbarian minis have the warriors wearing little or no clothes...for AGOT, I need some winter barbarians and this line may be perfect. Now, I just need to start painting more and stop buying more miniatures...

I ran across the Flying Buffalo booth where I saw and briefly talked to the Trollgod, Ken St. Andre. I lamented to him that I could not remember the book that I was supposed to buy off of him...he had no clue either. Someone else came up to talk to him, so I told him I would talk to him later. I did ask him where the Peryton Publishing booth was, which I still could not find. I sent a text to Tom K and he told me where it was by the aisle number. I walked past a few times, but there were two of Tom and Robin's friends (Monk I think) that I have never met before, so being the anti-social and shy guy that I am, I walked on by without saying a word.

At some point I was walking out of the Dealer Hall when they were filming a scene for the new Gamers movie. It was the actor from the Gamers 2 who played the female character in the movie (Christian Doyle)...he was dressed in a bathrobe and filming a scene where he was tripping over something. If you see a dude with a 'Mouse Rat' shirt in the background, that would be me doing my best impression of Ricky Gervais from 'The Extras'.

At some point also there was the costume parade...I had to wait for that to go by before I could get back to the auction. There was a very overly caustic Gen Con Volunteer yelling at people about taking pictures causing the parade of costumed geeks to stop here and there. Whatever dude.

Back to the auction for another check in, I noticed that for the first time in a long time, the Auction took a break from live auctioning because we had run out of items. The number of items in years past has gotten out of control for the live auction and this year Katie and Soren really tried to get that back under control. It is better to be able to take a half hour break on a Saturday than having to run items across the stage at break neck speed to be done in time for the Charity Auction, in my opinion.

I headed back again to the JW for my 6 PM T&T Stay Alive! game. I actually got back to the room about 430 and took an hour nap, which was soooo needed. I woke up and got to my 6 PM game where only 1 person was waiting for me. We waited a few minutes and started talking about joining Tom K's neighboring Spacers game, but then 4 guys showed up for my game, and we were back on. I have to say this was my second best group of the weekend. We came up with a cool mechanic for assigning stats to game versions of the player characters (in this game, I have been trying to have the players play as themselves in the zombie apocalypse). It is also during games like this one that I wish I had a recording or a video running, because it was a lot of fun with a great group of guys. The reaction of one guy to seeing a zombie in the hallway was priceless, as he ran back into the room where the PC's were screaming with arms flailing over his head.

Two people showed up for Robin's game at 9pm. However, there was no Robin. I have witnessed some of her Agua Teen games in past years and they seem to be alot of fun. I assured these two guys that Robin would not miss a game she is supposed to GM, and Tom tried calling her. I guess the rigors of running a booth and running games at the con got to her...a GM no show and she psychically knew only two players would show up and thus, did not make an appearance at the table where she was supposed to be running her game at. I would give her a hard time in the morning at the Peryton Booth. Although, I never can tell if Robin is upset or happy or remorseful...she is like a Jedi with her emotions.

Talked to Josh Berling as he was running his Jumpers mega event in the room that I thought Peter and Lori were running their 37 Zombies event (more on that in Part 4). Josh is a well known and very entertaining auctioneer with the Gen Con auction. He is also the co-creator of the RPG Jumpers, a game I really need to sit down and play at the next Origins or Gen Con. Josh reminded me that he would be auctioning the first throw of the Cardhalla destruction for charity later that night as well.

Once again - from the JW, back to the Auction for a late night shift. I did get a quick picture of Cardhalla before they would destroy it later in the night. The TSR/WOTC portion of the charity auction was just wrapping up before heading into the standard charity auction for the Gen Con charity. The previously noted items were all going towards the Gary Gygax memorial. Alot of people talk about the stories that Tim Kask and Frank Mentzer tell about their days working at TSR. I prefer Harold Johnson's stories myself (mainly because I have been around the auction long enough to have heard many of Tim and Frank's yarns...Harold does not get on the stage to auction very much).

I helped the other volunteers sort through the thousands of items in the Auction Store, then watched and bid on a few items in the Charity Auction. I won one item - a Fat Dragon Games CD - Two Towers.

Headed back once again to the hotel and ran into Tom K again. He was on his way to the JW bar area on the first floor to get a beer while taking a break from his 'Ratpack versus Cthuhu' game and offered to buy me a beer, which I graciously accepted. Tom, ever the cordial and personable guy, talked to a German guy at the bar and proceeded to talk about small villages in Germany in German...I just drank my beer. Frank was a very nice chap and we said our goodbyes as Tom had to get back to his game.

Now - Ratpack versus Cthulhu - talk about some form of awesome. That was quite possibly the funniest thing I have witnessed in a long time, watching these guys so humorously portray Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, and that other guy. Good stuff, until it reached about 2AM and I needed to get to my bed or I would be one of 'those' convention people that falls asleep in the hall.


  1. "GM no-show" is a bit over the top. With only two players at a minimum four-player game, there was no event for me to miss.

  2. I have attributed to you some psychic powers then for knowing that you would not have enough players show up...but when the GM does not show up to the table, what would you call it?

  3. I'd call it the proper use of psychic powers, of course.

  4. I still think you should take up a career in Vegas playing poker...