GenCon, The Friday

Day 2, FRIDAY!!!!!! This is when GenCon really got started. You see, there is a cool thing about GenCon that I've only ever seen at one other convention. You have the people that go 3 days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But then you get some folks that all arrive Thursday, and even more hardcore gamers that get there Wednesday (the unofficial start of the Con). So Wednesday and Thursday are usually much less crowded and laid back. Friday, the flood gates open.

 

I started my day off with a killer Focus T25 Ab workout. I tried to be quiet so I had to modify most of it, but everyone woke up in the middle of it, anyway. But, I sweated and earned my GenCon beers! This was also kilt day! I have to say, walking around Indy in mid-70s temps with a kilt on was amazing. It really helped navigate the crowded convention hall, and made for some awesome pictures.

 

We went over to the dealer room like normal and didn't buy too much. We try to save most of that for Sunday. But of course Andrea found an Otter. She's like a blood hound when it comes to Otters and Puppies. We did manage to make it to the Ubisoft room to demo their games. They. All. Sucked. I found myself asking “Is this really the team that does Assassin's Creed?” To get you to play they have scantly clad women in costume handing out punch cards. Demo each game and get entered to win an iPad. What they don't tell you is that you have to be there to win. Rule #1. Don't expect people at a gaming convention to be anywhere at a specific time unless it's for a game! But seriously, games were awful. All of their machines lagged. The new game coming out that I was told I can't talk about (since I have a press badge, but anyone else could take pics and talk about it), just wasn't fun. And their free iPad deckbuilder, Might & Magic Duel of Champions, is low res and confusing. They gave me a code to use in-game for free stuff, but there's nowhere to even enter it! Incredibly frustrating. I should do a full review since I was there for press, but really this is all I can say on it: they. all. sucked.

 

So after that bit we made our way to True Dungeon and signed up for a pick-up team. I'll probably do a full review of TD later on. The staff this year was awesome, and all but one DM were great. The last DM basically shoved us out of the room (but we did have a guy texting most of the time, so I can't really blame him). The sets, though, just seemed low par. They had way more room this year and it seems like they couldn't really fill it. I feel really bad, too, as this was the first experience Crystal and Chad had with it. But, we're already planning for next year.

 

So after TD was dinner time! But first we had to detour to the Ram. Why? A FRELLING AWESOME EXCLUSIVE DRUNK QUEST HERO CARD… WOLVERINE! I can't speak highly enough about the guys that run Loot Corps. They were extremely kind and generous the whole weekend. We ended up going to another favorite spot, and GC13 disappointment, Rock Bottom Brewery. A few years ago we came here and it was amazing. Good beer, great staff, great food. This year the beer was still good, we had plenty of room, but the service was shit. We felt like our server could care less about us. He'd take part of our order and if we had any questions, he'd leave before we could ask them. It took forever to get our drinks and food. It just wasn't that great. I guess we need to just stick with Scotty's and be safe.

 

It was pretty late after we finally got out of there. I think it was around midnight. So what do you do after hours at GenCon? GAME! Andrea, ms. “Oh I know so and so and we're tight” got on twitter and we ended up meeting with @tabz and Eric, Founder of Albino Dragon games. We pilfered some beers from the room and met in the open gaming hall for some Last Night on Earth. This was really the first time I was able to play the game fully through, and I have to say it was awesome! It was really cool playing with new people that I didn't know, and because this is a co-op game we bonded pretty well. Nights like this is really what GenCon is all about.

 

GenCon, the first days

GENCON!!! The self-proclaimed “Best four days in gaming.” This is my journey through the dungeon crawling, dice throwing, beer drinking, celeb gaming weekend. This is such an action-packed Con I'm going to have to break down each entry by day. To check out the pics I took, follow my flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/q99213/sets/72157635148964106/

 

Day 0 (Wednesday)

The day started off on Wednesday and extremely stressful. Since I don't do this full time (yet) I had to go to my real life job which is two hours away from home. So I was fully packed Tuesday night, drove down to work, worked, drove home, then left for the airport. Just as I stepped out the door I had a teleconference with our company “big wigs” which went all the way until I got to the airport. Yay stress!!! I will say, the plane ride wasn't bad. Going from Melbourne to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Indy was pretty smooth. Once we hit Atlanta you could tell it was game time. There were people on their laptops clearly raiding *click click click click curse click*. And there was a faint pre-con funk in the air.

 

Wednesday night at GenCon is usually uneventful. We got in so late we went straight to the hotel and went to bed, missing out on the mini-Wednesday gaming events.

 

Day 1 (Thursday)

Thursday was a whole new ball game. Running on about 5 hours of sleep, GeekFitGirl and I woke up around 630 to get our workout in. Gotta stay in ConShape, and for us that isn't “round”! Luckily, our workout is only 25 minutes.

 

Today was the only day I did a costume, and it was my super easy Nerd Herd costume (from the TV series Chuck). Then we rushed down to the press room to get our press badges (yay press badges!). This let us get into the dealer room an hour early, which was amazing. We started off finding some killer possible decor for the Cloak and Blaster (our gaming pub). I picked up the new Firefly game, GeefFitGirl got to interview the developer, and then we went to meet the designers of Dungeon Roll. I was really impressed with the hall this year. There were so many amazing games and dealers, artists and crafters. We also found an amazing new game called Drunk Quest. Basically, the drinking version of Munchkin where you have to drink to defeat monters, and you can pass your drinks to other players. We met our friends Crystal and Chad then headed to Scotty's Brewhouse (our GenCon home base) for lunch, where we played our first game and got slightly tipsy.

 

I have to say that I LOVE Scotty's for GenCon. The GM @indydavscottys does a wonderful job with theming. You get a free die every day (different color per day), Pathfinder posters by Paizo were hung all over, and custom GenCon beer. Not to mention the GenCon menu and geek movies playing in the background. The best part is that it's just far enough away that it's never tremendously crowded. As opposed to the Ram which is usually an hour wait at minimum. The Ram is also decked out and this year they had two exclusive GenCon beers. But, I have to say I wasn't impressed with their theme this year at all. So anyway, after lunch we went back to the dealer hall for some swag and GeekFitGirl and I got ready for the Dungeons & Dragons: The Sundering press release and party.

 

I will admit I wasn't too excited about this when GeekFitGirl told me about it. I'd rather find a hole and get my game on! But as soon as I walked in and saw the amazing decor, life size statue of Drizzt and Guenhwyvar, and heard the music I was hooked. There are some amazing things coming from D&D this year, and you'll have to catch my full review for those! But as a teaser, they are changing the entire realm and you can be involved. By playing The Sundering, your actions will shape the world. But the highlight of this party for me was finally meeting R.A. Salvatore and having him sign the print of his new book. I'll admit, I totally fan boy'd on him, geeked out, and had a grin on my face for at least an hour. This all led into the D&D party and murder mystery. We didn't stick around for that part as it got incredibly crowded. No will save will keep you safe from 200 geeks all eating nachos…

 

 

After the D&D party it was straight to the Mayfair block party, where we got to sample our first taste of the official GenCon drink, Flagon Slayer. This was a Braggot by Sun King Brewery and was increibly addicting. I did get a few minutes to talk to Wil Wheaton about it, which was a cool experience. My ultimate goal as fellow home brewer and future bar owner is to get him into my bar playing a D&D campaign while enjoy one of my brews. IT WILL HAPPEN!

 

So GenCon day 1 had two amazing parties, but this wasn't all! Crystal, Chad, and I decided to go see if there were any open slots for True Dungeon. On the way we ran into a very stressed out man looking for three people to join his NASCRAG game. Basically, a custom campaign that runs in three year blocks and based on the Pathfinder rules. I want to say this was a great experience, but in truth it was awful. Our DM didn't have any idea what the campaign was about, so there was horrible flow. The group we joined with was really awkward. There was the typical guy-wants-to-be-a-girl and, of course, my character was romantic with his. So I spent the game playing the exact opposite! Though my Rogue did spend most of the night without pants. Anyway, we did this campaign for about three hours and, after the exhaustion set in, decided to head to the hotel. It was about 0130 Friday morning by this point.

 

We walked into the hotel and saw a group of people drinking around a table, having fun. One happened to be Wil Wheaton. The other, GeekFitGirl. Apparently, Wil got her drunk on cosmos all night. That's one story she isn't going to live down for a while đŸ˜‰ So rather than be awkward we all went back up to the room and passed the heck out.

 

End, Day 1.