Monday, August 18, 2008

GenCon 2008 -- Engage!

UPDATE: Now with elevator Cougar!


Warning: The sheer NerdCore joy experienced at this year's GenCon will be difficult to ever be surpassed by mere mortals.

Four of my fellow adventurers from last year joined me at GenCon this year, and we totally rocked the damn house in 2008. Our party of brazen PCs were under constant attack from all angles throughout the duration. We defeated a plethora of dastardly beasties during our travels, let's see: brigands, kobolds, werewolves, goblins, Egyptian spider queens, living scarecrows, Imperial Stormtroopers, vampires, carnivorous pixies, and one elephant-sized fire-breathing death goose, to name a few.

Paul and I had a great time playing a game of Hollow Earth Expedition called Burt Fedora and the Temple of the Spider Queen. I had bought tickets for it hoping it would be an alright RPG to check out. Turned out that that four hours had to be some of the funnest rpging I've ever experienced. Paul was hilarious as the ex-prizefighter snobby English Butler.

The costumes were in full effect this year, and while the expected Stormtrooper teams and Jedi were present, the convention has a serious case of Anime infection. I don't know what the hell is wrong with people, but the same people who like to make costumes also have a penchant for giant swords, eyeliner and spikey hair. I didn't take any pictures of Anime dudes, but while I didn't recognize a single costume I could appreciate the wierdness of the female costumes. For example here's a girl who, when asked what her costume was, simply replied "I'm a nurse." Upon hearing this I forced Travis to pose with her for a picture, with him being a doctor and all it only seemed natural.

There was also some sort of Steampunk "dance" going on at GenCon which we missed entirely (on purpose), though some of the Steampunkers came through the convention center and I got Devin to snap a shot with the Verne'nites.

Clearly I was more discriminating with who I got pictures with.

Drow and Twileks....

An evil ice queen....
...the queen asked me (in character) whether I was a follower of the Kingdom of Narnia. I informed her that I felt that using talking Beavers to present setting history to the reader is a stupid plot device. She was not pleased.

You may have noticed that I'm wearing a seriously Geek Level 11 T-shirt in some (all) of the pictures. This is not because I make a habit of wearing dragon T-shirts, but is because I was one of the DMs for the never-ending and highly-dangerous Tower of Gygax 1st edition AD&D adventure going on in honor of the Late Great Gary Gygax at GenCon this year. I had to wear the representative Dungeon Master T-Shirt during my session (and thus for the rest of the day). I got to DM the level of the tower I wrote, The Grimm Forest of Unending Sorrow, and I am pleased to say I was able to kill eleven out of twelve PCs in a single hour. I keeps it real for Gary.

There was also a zombie walk that Travis and I checked out. It started at the convention center and spread out into the major metropolitan area, terrorizing the poor NPCs of Indianapolis.

I picked up a number of goodies at GenCon this year. Every morning I was up and lined up at the convention center an hour before opening, even on Saturday and Sunday when the rest of my adventuring party were fast asleep after enduring the 4:30am sessions of Star Wars Miniatures. Why was I so hardcore about this? Because I wanted to pick up the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide and the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide from WotC, of which they were only releasing 150 copies a day during the convention.

Both were excellent purchases, and are highly recommended if you're into that kind of thing. Especially the Forgotten Realms one. WotC totally Ravenloft'ed Faerun, and killed off a ton of the iconic characters and gods, making the world much darker and dangerous, which I wholly endorse. Elminster and his Deus Ex Machina Mystara magic can suck it.

I also picked up the sister boardgame to the fantastic Last Night on Earth from Flying Frog Games, A Touch of Evil. This game is super-fantastic, and in it you play 18th-century monster hunters who are trying to save a small town from some (randomly-determined) gothic monster. Its very Sleepy Hollow, and the best part is that it is totally cooperative! No more will I have to play the zombie master/evil wizard lord/alien invader just because I own the game. Once I cracked the box and we checked out the rules; Devin, Wes, Jen and I played the hell out of it. I also got my picture taken with one of the characters.

That other dude is from Last Night on Earth (also a fantastic game -- but not totally cooperative). Ignore him (Delp sure did when he snapped the picture).

That's it for this year. Remember to always turn off the targeting computer and Use the Force.