Saturday, August 24, 2013

Gen Con 2013: Thursday and Friday

Thursday was my day to actually play in the one game I had planned for. A friend (Suzi/Pooka) from the KFG (Kentucky Fried Gamers) has been running her Conan D20 game almost as long as I have been running my AGOT (Game of Thrones) game. I have been signed up for her game twice in previous years and both times I found excuses to not show up, whether it be from fatigue or hunger. She has attended all my AGOT games and I have promised her a Steak Dinner already for missing her game the last time around. I was GOING to make it this year.

The day was going to be working the auction pretty much all day with a plan to take a break and get through the Dealer Hall for about an hour. By 8pm, I would take off for the Conan game and then run my 'Midnight Zombie Stomp' game at 12am.

Soren and Katie (who run the auction) wanted to go to an event on Thursday night and needed someone to cover for them in their absence. I knew Suzi was also running her game at 2pm, so I ducked out to get to her game early to try to secure a seat at her game with a generic ticket. On the way outside and across the street to the Marriott where the game was, I saw Robin with a very happy look - her box of Qalidar pre-release books were in her possession. Her adventure regarding these books can be found here.

Luckily, Suzi was able to take a 7th player and I was in. We played a group of adventurers tied to a noble family, the son being our leader. I was one of two barbarians, my character being a former slave that was bought and then immediately freed by this nobleman's son. For this, he earned my loyalty, but he was also a surly and negative muscle clad warrior, which I had no problem sliding into.

We were hired for a mission to get a simple flag for another noble with ambition to be the next leader of the city we lived in. We needed to cross into Pict territory, climb a mountain, and locate what turned out to be an enchanted flag that was used in the past to influence others. Suzi is one of the best at setting a scene with plenty of flavor/descriptive narration. A great game to start the convention with.

Went back to the auction for the rest of night. We fell a bit behind trying to get through the RPG session, but no one wanted to stay much past 11pm on the first night. Despite my pleas to the auctioneers to speed things up, we were forced to pull back some items for the following day.

My Zombie Stomp game was prefaced by my discussion with the players that the game system was supposed to be released months before via a Kickstarter. The game designer did get me a PDF copy of the rules a few days before, however I did not get a good chance to read through the rules completely. Three players showed up for the late night game and together we did our best to get through the rules. We left with a good list of questions to send to the game designer, which I was able to send away that night before I went to bed in hopes that I would get a response prior to my running of the 2nd session the following night.

Tom had a lively game of his 'Crawlspace' system going at the table next to me. Looked like the players were having a great time.

Cardhalla - Thursday Night...

Friday was going to be very similar to Thursday, except that instead of playing in a game at 2pm, I would be running my 'Stay Alive' Tunnels & Trolls game. At some point before 2pm, I slipped into the Dealer Hall. Most of the places I needed to go were in the same general area. I walked by the Flying Buffalo booth, but Ken St. Andre was not there. I do not know Rick very well and have never talked to Steve Crompton before, so being the shy type, I moved on. I found the Peryton Publishing Booth and got my copy of 'Qalidar' as well as the Gale Force 9 booth to get my 'D&D Next' Pre-order. I then rushed off to my game.

(In hindsight to my hindsight, I think the first time I went into the dealer hall, Ken was there, but there was a line waiting to talk to him. Subsequent trips into the hall over the rest of the weekend, I never saw Ken again. I did see Rick, Steve, and Mike Stackpole at other times, but again - do not know them very well. I did see Ken on Sunday, which I will talk about in my next post.)

A member from Trollhalla was at the game, Zhrugzutar. Another player was also an auction volunteer that hung with me the previous night helping out  while we were a bit short staffed. I ran the standard 'First Night' adventure. While I still have a fascination with the whole zombie thing, I have come to realize that running an ongoing campaign, even only 2 or 3 sessions, is quite a challenge to keep things fresh. The players interacted quite well and were very well organized in their escape plan. They used carts to transport weapons, food, and an injured/bitten NPC. In one scene, 2 players entered an elevator with the cart holding the injured NPC between them and the elevator door. The players tried to deal with a zombie on the other side which only resulted in a few failed saves (trying to leap over the  cart) and the poor NPC being finished off by the hungry zombie. 

Robin took a picture of the group - I think she was running/finishing one of her Qalidar games as I started my game. Her brother (Mike) and his wife (Amy) were also running his Superhero game.

After my game, I went back to the dealer hall. I tend to confuse my times when I wait this long to log all my memories. Robin's synopsis says I told her about the Crit Success Ring Deal for GM's later in the day on Friday. Whether or not I bought all that other stuff before or after my 2pm game, I have no freaking clue anymore. I do know that I told Robin, Mike, and Amy about the ring deal where 'Crit Success' would sell a dice ring for only $5 to any GM. Amy and I went first and got our specially priced awesomeness, followed by Robin and Mike.

I returned to the auction until about 1130 when I needed to get away to run my Midnight Zombie Stomp for Friday night. The designer did send me an email in the morning clarifying the rules questions I sent him, but I was not too excited to run the event. The rules are still a bit wonky and I decided to let the players know ahead of time as a fair warning. Tom was wrapping up one of his games as I was waiting at my table for my players.

One person showed up that had a ticket and I told him about the state of the game, how the game went the night before. Another couple showed up with generics and appreciated that I was up front with them and decided to do something else. The player with the ticket said he may be back, but he must have found something else to do.

Tom had a late night Cthulhu game that not one person showed up for, which I had never seen before with his late night games. We shrugged off all the no-shows and went to Champions Sports Bar across the street to get a beer. I was not going to complain about an early night, getting back to the hotel room at 1am meant an extra hour of sleep.

Cardhalla - Friday Night...well, actually Saturday morning since I forgot to get the picture the previous night.


  1. I know I found out about the rings late in the day because the hall was about to close. It's possible that you told Amy earlier, though, and then she told me after you left.

  2. are correct...i remember showing you and mike and you two going to get yours....

  3. You two partied without me in the metaphysical sense of things.