So, this particular GenCon was kind of a special one anyway. It was the premier of curse the darkness, the first roleplaying game from our new company, Play Attention Games. We weren't sure that we'd have the books there, but they did get delivered, in enough time to sell a few and hand them out to our Kickstarter backers that made the show. So that was nice.
Let me back up. We left Cleveland on Wednesday, my birthday. I was recovering from a god-awful cold (really felt more like a flu, but it went away too quickly for that), and so I kind of felt like hell. Michelle was, as you may know, an Industry Insider Gust of Honor, which meant she did a bunch of panels for them and got a free badge (but they didn't even give the panelists water at their panels. Really, guys?). But that meant we were both really busy all con, and Wednesday was the only day that things were really chill. (It was also my birthday.)
So we got there, and we checked in to the JW Marriott, which I recommend. Nice place. Check the view:
We got checked in, and then headed over to the convention center to get our badges. This is what GenCon looks like on Wednesday.
|Kind of empty.|
Except that we then discovered that the line to pick up badges that had been preordered wrapped around the goddamned block.
|Yeah, should've had them shipped.|
We got the badges. There were some slight issues; I think the girl that was looking for my badge was not familiar with the convention that "Mc" tends to come before "Ma" in alphabetized lists, because it took her a really long time to find me. And then they gave me hassles about giving us the boys' badges, because they didn't have IDs to show (duh, they're kids). But we finally got it sorted. So we left from there and went to get dinner. We decided on Mikado's, because noodles and broth sounded good to me.
|Mikado is only open to vampires, apparently. GET IT?|
So we ate, and then walked back through the convention center toward the hotel. We saw Cardhalla being constructed:
|There's an "after" picture later, too.|
And then back to the hotel for sleeeeeep.
Next morning, the boys rolled out of bed and immediately turned on the Xbox.
|NO ONE UNDERSTANDS MEEEEE.|
No, screw that! This is GenCon! Time to go to the dealer's room! So they got dressed:
|Gamer funk protection?|
|This is what GenCon looks like on not-Wednesday.|
We got to the booth eventually. Michelle was chipper.
|Still chipper! Those blue things are curse the darkness shirts.|
At the booth, we had lots of people come up asking for punches in their Cheese Weasel punch cards, including a member of the Miskatonic Cheerleading Squad.
So after that, we went to the Games on Demand rooms. Now, I'm totally volunteering to do this next year. It's a great system, folks get to play the games that they want, and it really showcases the strengths of low- or no-prep RPGs like Fiasco, Monsterhearts, Apocalypse World and curse the darkness. We played Apocalypse World, which was a lot of fun. I was a sex-club owner in a drowned city (Seattle; my club was in the space needle).
Somewhere in here, too, I got the emailed from Drive Thru RPG saying that my books had been shipped, and would arrive Friday! I was pretty damned elated. I may have squealed. Anyway.
|Trevis, our maniacal GM.|
The GM, thrust into running this as all GoD GMs are, kept pace, threw complications at us and (and this I truly appreciate) asked us to supply details and backstory about NPCs. It was a lot of fun, and I was sad to learn that the game isn't available for purchase yet. My Grade: A.
And then I had a pickup game of curse the darkness. In this game, the characters were outside of Vegas and had to find out why their power went out. They biked to Hoover Dam and found some folks trying to blow it up, but they all went through a Removal Challenge together and all survived, and made the essential choice (seriously, everyone draws the same suit in a six-player Challenge? That's mathematically unlikely). Good time was had by all, however.
So then sleep. Next morning, I went down to play Four Colors Al Fresco.
|This game uses d16s, which is weird.|
I like this starting point, and our characters were wacky but had enough chemistry to be fun to play. And then the game was about a bear-demon that was killing people. It was fun, it just felt a little...pedestrian. I had to leave early because I needed to go pick up the books, so it's possible I missed something important. With that in mind: My Grade: I
After that game, I got the books and then we were going to play Advanced Dimensional Green Ninja-Educational Preparatory Super-Elementary Fortress 555 (hell yeah, I c/p'd that ). But that's a very hyperkinetic, random game and Michelle and I weren't feeling up for it. We rested a while instead, and then wound up going to dinner with some friends. I wound up bailing early. I felt like absolute shit for some reason, and I didn't want to relapse into sickness. I did see a couple of interesting things, though.
|A living statue.|
|An unliving barista.|
|Cardhalla, now complete.|
So from there, I went to the booth and spent the afternoon there handing out copies of curse the darkness to backers. It was closing time before I got to leave, and Michelle and I got dinner at a food truck.
|HELL YEAH SHRIMP PO BOY.|
|Food trucks are awesome!|
And then back to the JW for our game of Fortune's Fool.
|That's my camera case. How meta.|
And then we went to the hotel bar, had a drink, went to bed. Nothin' fancy.
Next day, on the way to Clay-o-Rama, I saw strange and beautiful things:
|I'm a sucker for supers.|
|A dragon made of balloons!|
And then I made it to the Family Fun Pavilion, where I found my table and folks got working on their Claydonians.
|Preparing for war.|
All set to the dulcet tones of Radio Disney!
The battle was joined, and it went the way it usually does. Bloody (clay-y?) melee...
So then it was finally time to wander the dealer's room, which, despite being in the room a good deal of the con, I hadn't been able to do. So I took some pictures.
|Some...elf guy with a panther!|
|Michelle, Dave Brookshaw, and a box!|
|John Kennedy, and his girlfriend, Kat!|
|My GenCon 2012 haul.|
So in general, good con. Next year: Definitely doing Games on Demand. Definitely not doing Guest of Honor. Ain't worth it. They don't treat you right. Actually, the con in general could stand to step up its customer service game a little. This "no refunds" bullshit is getting a little stale.
But I hate to end on a negative note, so I'll just say: I'll be there next year, hopefully with some spankin' new games to show off!