Friday, August 31, 2012

GenCon 2009 -- What I Can Remember

So in light of the GenCon report cards I have been posting, I thought it might be fun to try and remember what happened the years that I went and didn't do a report afterwards. First up is 2009.

In 2009, we decided to go just a little bit on the late side. As in, all the hotel rooms are already booked kind of late. We also made plans with a friend of mine from my army days and her boyfriend to meet us there. We would share the cost of a room which made the burden easier. I had also stayed outside of the city in previous years and decided that we definitely wanted to stay in the Con hotel blocks, so looking at the VIG package was very tempting. In the end, we decided to do it, and upgrade the other 3 in the group to VIG companions, and share the overall cost among the group. With that done, we got a room in the Hyatt, which was quite nice, if a little cramped with 2 couples sharing it. We must have beaten the hot water heaters to death with the volume of showering done. (I shudder to think about rooms with more than 4 people in them)

So on to the events that I can remember

True Dungeon
This may have been the last TD run that I actually enjoyed. This was the year that the rogue had a chance to screw over the party in exchange for a free T-shirt. I wasn't the rogue, but its safe to say that the party's rogue did not disappoint: of course he took the shirt. I remember the puzzles being fairly difficult, but not impossible. We solved all but one, and had a pretty good time as all four of us were together for the run.
Grade: A-

We ended up with tickets to this courtesy of Rachel Araucto of GenCon customer service. My credit card was accidentally charged for a VIG badge every time I bought an event ticket...which added up to a lot of flipping money. Rachel took care of things very quickly and very professionally, and offered me a pair of tickets to this as a way of saying sorry. If you have only been to GenCon in the past 2 years you've missed out on this. Its basically like TD, but sci-fi themed and with AirSoft guns. We spent 30 minutes or so shooting at aliens and trying to recover some secrets from an underwater research facility. It was great fun, running around and screaming and yelling. Just like when we used to play GI Joe as kids.
Grade: A

D&D (Not RPGA - I have some issues in previous years with doing RPGA D&D)
Um...the DM didn't show up, no cancellation notice.
Grade: F--

Star Wars Saga Edition
In this event, we were imperials, on board the Executor, during the Hoth invasion. Needless to say, Lord Vader did NOT want to be disturbed. Good GM rose to the occasion, as we investigated a murder on board, assisted by a team of storm troopers who were chronically late every time we needed them to go somewhere. The other players at the table were fantastic, and made for a memorable event.
Grade: B+

Werewolf: The SomethingorOther
I can't remember the actual tag line for the newer version of Werewolf, but that's the one we played. Great game, great GM. I was very suspect when we started and had 8 players, but this GM was one of the rare ones that can keep that many people engaged. We plotted, schemed, brawled, and savaged our enemies, and had a rip roaring good time.
Grade: A

Oz: Dark & Terrible
Sarah and I played in this, which was officially a play test. In my opinion you never would have noticed it. The GM, one of the authors, presented the game in such a polished was, and the game flowed so nicely, I would have thought it a finished product. Basically, a traditional RPG with its own rule system, set in a very Dark re imagining of the land of Oz. A land in which the Lion is not called a coward because he is afraid, but because he chooses not to eat people. The scenario we played was an investigation into children disappearing, and was quite filled with horror and suspense. I liked it so much that in 2011, the book finally came out and I bought it.
Emerald City Expeditions Facebook Page
Grade: A+

Alpha Omega
I had already bought the rule book to this the year before, but had not had a chance to play. We played through a scenario in which we were sent to retrieve a something from a somewhere. That part isn't memorable, but what was, is the fun we had learning the system (its fairly unique, and although fiddly, I liked it. Enough that I've run Alpha Omega at 3 conventions since then) and fighting off the things that go bump when you aren't looking. Evil spirits and mutated monsters make for a rough day of work. GM Chris Rothwell did a great job as well.
Grade: A-

GenCon Dance
This was the first and only time I have ever been to the dance. Mostly because this year both my wife and army friend were there and the ladies wanted to dance. They even managed to get me on the dance floor to shake my ass a bit because well, hey, two ladies. It was really crowded and loud, but OK overall.
Grade: B

VIG Status
Having the VIG was pretty cool. Got a nice stroll around the dealer hall early, no crowds. Big ass bag of swag including the Monster Manual 2 for D&D, a messenger bag, water bottle, T Shirt, poster, etc. The lounge was nice, with free wifi. I didn't realize they were doing a bag check, so I missed out on that, but would have been great if I knew. The drinks kept running out which was a bummer. The VIG only will call and event reg table was a really nice add on as well. Overall value I dont really know, and not sure how much I'd be willing to pay, but for that year, it hit the spot.
Grade: B+

Things that I Bought:
Card Games: Crunch: The Card Game for Utter Bankers, En Gard
Board Games: War on Terror, Car Wars car packs, EVE: Conquests
RPGs: Wereworlf: The Forsaken
Other: dice of course.

I pieced all of this info together thanks to email receipts from event registration. Who'd have thought that would be handy to save someday....

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