Monday, August 26, 2013

Gen Con 2013: Saturday and Sunday

I went to bed Friday night worried about stringing together my planned T&T 'On the Road to Baru-Kesh' adventure. I have a solo adventure almost complete, an article already published regarding adventures in the city, and a few other things fleshed out here and there. A cohesive 4 hour adventure to get my characters into the city and then surrounded by an overarching story, I had not yet nailed down.

My schedule for the day was to work the auction until around 3pm, then run my T&T game from 4-8pm before going back to the auction to help sort all the items that would go back to the sellers as the Charity auction was being run. I took some time once I got to the auction to jot down a firm outline of my adventure, which made me much more at ease.

I did get a chance to briefly auction a few items during our last role-playing session. Over the course of intake for Friday and Saturday, along with the left overs of what was not sold on Thursday, we had a good chunk of time set aside to get through all of them. It was good to get back on stage as an auctioneer having spent most of the last few years helping run the pit and other administrative aspects of the auction with Katie and Soren. More than anything, I tend to do a little bit of everything and just usually fill in where needed, whether it be registration, writing, working the pit, or just answering questions.

I won a copy of the "Stormbringer" rpg boxed set and took it to the dealer hall for Ken to sign, but he was not at the FBI booth yet again.

Close to 4pm, I jetted off to my T&T game. Tom was running a T&T game at the same time. Once we figured out who should be at what table, 9 players ended up at Tom's table while only 3 were at mine. When none of Tom's players wanted to leave his table to join mine, I felt a bit insecure...but heck, my game ended up being the best of the weekend for me as a GM.

Steve and Stephen have been playing in my AGOT (Game of Thrones) game for 5 years. They are a father and son duo that are just great personalities, wonderful role players, and friends I look forward to seeing every year. They had let me know that they would not make it this year. Another father-son duo was scheduled for my T&T game and they mentioned the Steve had recommended me as a GM. After talking for a bit, I realized that they were wearing the same shirts that the Steves tend to where. Tom and Tommy are good friends with them and play in the same group.

The story of the shirts is a few years back, the four of them stopped off at Wal-Mart and found the 4 shirts on a rack.  Ever since, they wear them as over shirts, more than likely to better find eachother in the crowds. The funny thing is, while watching some local Indy coverage of the convention, I spotted Tommy. A still of that video is below. You can see the black shirt with the fire design on the right side of the screen.

The third player had played in Sligo's game on Thursday, so had a bit of experience with T&T. Tom and Tommy would  be playing for the first time. I walked them through character creation and immediately, Tommy was very excited about the prospects of playing a non-traditional character. While Tom and Henry created Dwarven Warriors, Tommy could not decide between a minotaur or a troll. I was excited about the prospect of him playing a minotaur since they are quite a prominent kindred in my city of Baru-Kesh. I may have nudged him a bit in that direction, but the rest of the afternoon was pure gold.

Tommy wanted to add a talent for his minotaur to be learned/educated. What ensued over the course of the game was just great stuff - a large, hulking minotaur that spoke in very proper dialect and diction. When Tommy went into character, his dad was having a blast using his thumb and forefinger to act like he was wearing a montocle.

At any rate, 'On the Road to Baru-Kesh' is my intro adventure that begins with the characters guarding a caravan on the way to the city. I experimented with a random dice roll that will be showing up in my solo adventure determining some background information that would play a bit later in the adventure. Using my adventure from Elder Tunnels, the characters then interacted with some of my city dwellers and merchants before hiring on to try to finish dealing with the threat they encountered.

The highlight was the minotaur interrogating some bandit prisoners - he would ask what the NPC's name was, I would tell him (Bill) and he would call the character by his proper name of William. Hard to explain this stuff, but it was alot of fun. In the city, they ran into both my 'Jaded Jeweler' and my 'Addled Alchemist'. They also experienced the 'Persistent Porter' and the 'Perilous Pit'. I may write more about this on the T&T blog. It was a good time and thanks to Tom and Tommy for making it special. Hopefully Steve and Stephen can join us for the continuation. Overall, they were very pleased with the system and looked forward to playing again.

Tom's game was still rolling, so I headed over to 'Champions' to get a beer and a burger. Tom, Cram (from Trollhalla) and another Canadian fellow that played in my Stay Alive game last year were with Tom and joined me for dinner. Being the first real food I had all weekend (at least since Wednesday night), it was once again the best burger and fries I had ever had. I think I ended up with another whiskey burger but it was 2 half pound patties - even in my malnourished state, I could not finish the whole thing. Good meal and good company talking about all things gaming and T&T.

I was able to snap the following picture of the Cardhalla area a few hours before they would be demolishing it with hundreds of people throwing coins to destroy the buildings. The first throw is actually auctioned off and all the money is donated to the Gen Con Charity.

Back at the auction, the charity auction was in full swing and most of the rest of the workers were busy with the Saturday night sort. Everything that is unsold must get sorted and go back to the sellers the next morning with any payouts they have earned. A friend (Harper) had his 9 year old daughter with him helping us out. She was treating it like a game as she helped her dad get hundreds of games into the proper piles for the following morning.

WOTC dumped a lot of huge Star Wars Celebration (IV I believe) banners into the charity auction. Many went unsold because the shear volume of the items in the charity auction was just  crazy and most attendees were gone. I left around 1am and they were still going. All the stuff I bought can be found here, including a few items I did buy during the charity auction.

Sunday was going to be fairly easy. I helped out at the auction in the morning, dealing with payouts and returning items to the sellers. My AGOT game was at 12pm, a game I have run many times before. It always goes fairly well and more information on the details can be found here. Ken St. Andre was in the room running his last T&T session - the first time I had seen him since I caught a glimpse in the dealer hall on Thursday or Friday. We briefly chatted while on a break from my game. His blog entry can be found here.

After the game, I was able to get 20 minutes in the Dealer Hall before it closed. I then went back to the hotel to wait a few hours before our Auction Staff dinner at Bucca Di Beppo, an annual tradition. As we walked to the restaurant, I noticed my car was sitting outside the Crowne - the Valets must have rotated the cars and I pretty much decided that was a good sign that I should drive back to Toledo that night after dinner.

We ate in the 'pope room', feasting on spaghetti, cannelloni, shrimp alfredo, veal marsala, and lasagna. I broke my streak of only drinking Guinness - not having it on tap, I ordered a just as good Samuel Adams seasonal brew while we waited for our table. We had plenty of Tiramisu and an apple dessert to round out the meal.

not my picture...
We said our goodbyes to yet another tiring but fun weekend as auction volunteers. Myself, Soren, Katie, and Harper walked together back to the hotels. Hopefully, I will make it to Pentacon this year to hang out with Harper in November.

Tom, Robin, and their entourage were somewhere else. They had invited me to the restaurant that they were going to be at after they cleaned up their booth in the dealer hall. As I said before, my mind was on getting home and sleeping in my own bed next to my wife. The 4 hour drive took a bit longer because I was a bit tired and need to stop to refresh with drinks and snacks.

Tom and Robin did stop by in Toledo on their way back to Cleveland the next day. More on that can be found in Tom's post here.


  1. David was the dude from Canada. One of my favorite T&T players ever. He played a Living Statue named "David," after Michelangelo's, and is a major Player-originated NPC city of Fishhook.

  2. Very cool...we are getting alot of repeat T&T players...