John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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GenCon Day 1 Report

Here is the report of the third day of the trip to GenCon Indy, which was the actual first day of the convention proper. The report on the second day can be found in this journal entry.

August 14th, 2008

Despite the fatigue that I was suffering from the day before, I was awake bright and early on the Thursday, the first day of GenCon Indy, about an hour before the wake-up call was supposed to come. Breakfast was typical for the day, and the food was excellent as usual, although there were quite a few more folks eating breakfast that morning. I was glad that I had set up the reservation for 8:00 am. After breakfast, spross and I went back up to the room to get the stuff that we needed for the day. I was scheduled to run "The Secret of Lake Qechacua" for Hollow Earth Expedition that morning at 10:00 am, so I spent about 30 minutes re-reading the scenario and the info on the character sheets for the players, before descending to the lobby with spross. He was going to go to check out the Dealer's Hall at 10:00 am before grabbing a bite to eat for both of us at Subway, as he was going to run his HEX scenario at 12:00 noon.

We went over to Union Station, and found Illinois Central, the room where I was going to be running the game. When spross and I arrived just after 9:20 am or so, there were several games already started, and met some more of the HEX forums folk that I hadn't seen yet. lena_of_fargo (KateT) was there, and she gave both spross and me one of the "gift bags" (actually baby coolers) that had all sorts of assorted stuff in it. It was great to finally meet lena_of_fargo, as she and supersech (whom I had still not met at the con) are two of the folks that I had wanted to meet. rev (Nich Gray) was also there, and it was Nich who told me that he had the snack foods and the like that I had requested of obnoxiad (Shawn) (for my diabetic snacks, so that I had stuff to munch during the weekend. Remember the fridge? Well, that's where this stuff was going to go... spross said that he would be kind enough to take the snacks back to the hotel, while I continued to talk with lena_of_fargo and Nich for a bit, while I set up for the game at 10:00 am; spross said that he would see me back here in the gaming area before noon, and headed off.

The game of "The Secret of Lake Qechacua" went pretty well, I thought. I originally had only two players for the game, and though a third player showed up for the game, I thought that I would have to call it off, but lucked out when obnoxiad told me that his friend, Mike Hirsch, would play in the game to give me a foursome. Here's a photo from the game, taken by spross when he got back:

The "Lake Qechacua" game I ran at GenCon Indy 2008, on August 14th

The four players took on the role of Cary Gates (big game hunter), Andrea O'Reilly (Annie Oakley style reporter), Henry Summerfield (botanist), and Sergei Terlenko (Russian mercenary), and I used Eliza Carmichael (a focal female character) as an NPC to give the players a bit of focus. You can read more about the scenario here; suffice it to say, the scenario went over very well with the players. They derailed the adventure ever so slightly at one point, when it appeared they were not going to go after the Carmichael expedition, instead possibly staying with the Kanutu for a while, but eventually decided to set off again. In the final sequence, Cary died a heroic death, after Andrea left him for dead trapped on the ledge above the altar area, where he faced a horde of Qechacua on his own. He killed Qechacua after Qechacua, facing death heroically, before being disembowelled. Mike Hirsch played the character of Sergei perfectly, making him as Russian and as greedy as he could, still lusting after Eliza. The guy playing Henry did so with an emphasis on Henry's inquisitive scientific nature, and his protectiveness of Eliza. The guy who played Andrea took the role to new heights, but played her way too uncaring, as evidenced by her abandoning Cary to his death. A rather good game, overall, and made for a pleasant official "start" to the convention for me.

After the game was finished and I had packed up so the next person to run could set up, I had the sub that spross had picked up and brought in earlier, eating it out in the hallways of Union Station, while I watched folks go by. I then went back into the Illinois Central room, and saw Tammy Powers (my friend from Ottawa who had arrived the day before) in her game of Desolation. We chatted for a few moments, and then I headed back to the hotel, to drop off stuff, before I took the route through the Skyways from the Omni Severin over to the Convention Center and the Dealer's Room.

You have to understand that this was the first I had seen of the Dealer's Room at GenCon Indy, 2008, even though I knew from seeing the map of the Hall the day before that it was going to be...large. To be honest, I was just staggered by the sheer size and immensity of the Dealer's Room, the sound, the noise, the crush of people, and the sheer amount and diversity of merchandise. Much of the Hall went by in a blur (and I'm not ashamed to admit that this was the case each time I went in there). spross had already picked me up a signed copy of Desolation and the Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone, so I only wanted to pick up a few things. I went by the Exile Games booth and picked up some HEX Style chips and some HEX dice. I finally got to meet supersech (Sechin Tower), and we chatted for a bit. He's a great guy, and fun to talk to. Met some of the other Exile folks and the HEX forum friends again as well. Really nice folks, all. Went over to the Greymalkin Designs booth, and talked to the Desolation folks again, and picked up some Style chips as well. Then it was off to wander around the Dealer's Room for a bit.

I went over to the Pelgrane Press booth (the folks who make The Dying Earth rpg (and these days Trail of Cthulhu and Mutant City Blues), and finally met face-to-face simonrogers (Simon) and sashabilton (Sasha), and the rest of the Pelgrane crew. It was so funny, because both Simon and Sasha thought we had met before, because they had seen my blog photo, so knew what I looked like! Simon, Sasha, and I talked about stuff and the fact that it was so good meeting them, given that I had had many transatlantic phone conversations with Simon in the past. It was truly a pleasure to meet the two of them at the convention. From there, I went over to the Khepera Games booth, and met Renee Grayson. She told me that Jerry (Grayson) and Michael Fiegel, the two guys behind Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone, would be back from lunch shortly, so I stuck around and we chatted some. Jerry, Michael, and I had a wonderfully long chat about all things Hellas, and I got to hear a sneak peak about some of the plans for future supplements and stuff for the game. I found the Countess Games booth, and spoke with Kris Havlak about the Heirs to Olympia rpg. He told me that it would be out "when it's done." Had a good, if brief, conversation with him about the game and some of the stuff for it, and really liked the miniature figures that the folks at Countess had produced for the game. Very nice stuff.

I headed back to the Exile booth, and found that Jeff Combos was talking with Chris Birch, one of the folks from Cubicle 7, and they were talking about stuff. Didn't interrupt them, but talked to a couple of the HEX forum folk again, and then had an interesting conversation with Chris Birch about the new Doctor Who rpg, and stuff that had happened in the most recent season of the series. We also talked about some of their future plans for the game, and I was very impressed to hear what they had planned for the future. Around 4:30 pm or so, spross came around, his game having wrapped up, and we headed back to the hotel. Thank the Goddess, as I didn't think I could carry all that stuff back to the hotel room on my own, as my arms were feeling like they were going to drop off - I couldn't have carried all the Style chips and stuff that I'd purchased on my own!! Talk about heavy stuff (there were almost 100 Style chips of various denominations)!!

Once back at the hotel, spross and I took took a break to rest and recuperate a bit, and then headed over to Union Station, to see Tammy. Since I had played in Jeff's "Fate of Atlantis" scenario the night before, the ticket that animadversio (Tom) was going to give me could go to someone else, and I had arranged to get the ticket to Tammy, if she wanted it, for the 6:00 pm game. She was playing the "Conscripted" scenario of Desolation with Matt Somers, and interestingly enough, waiwode (Doug Pirko) was playing in the same game with her, so we met there as well. It was the first time that waiwode and I had met, but we only talked briefly, as the two of them were playing in the game, and I was loathe to interrupt them. The girl playing Denner Khent, the scavening Dwarf, was playing him as a brutal, vicious type, slicing out people's tongues and the whole bit. What fun! :) I spent a bit of time watching obnoxiad (Shawn) running the latest Dirk Savage adventure, "The Emerald Chupacabra", and loved that. When she finished her game, Tammy and I talked, and she decided not to play in Jeff's "Fate of Atlantis" game that night, so I made sure word got back to Jeff and animadversio about this, and then Tammy, spross, and I planned dinner.

During that time, Nich Gray turned up, and he remembered that he had forgotten to give spross and me the 24 bottle case of water. Tammy, spross, Nich, and I headed back for the Omni, and Nich went over to the Embassy Suites hotel to get the water. What a great guy he was, and this truly made me feel guilty about stuff, especially in light of the fact that Nich didn't want all that much for the foodstuffs and such that he had picked up. If you're reading this, Nich, I owe you big time, buddy! :)

Tammy, spross, and I went went out for dinner to the Slippery Noodle Inn. I had really liked it the first time we went there on Tuesday night with obnoxiad, but while the food was just as good this night, the place was way too noisy for my taste, and there was a lot of smoking going on. After dinner, the three of us went back to the Omni, and sat in the lobby for a bit, watching the gaming stuff going on, and then headed back over to Union Station. I watched a bit of Jeff running "Fate of Atlantis", but was really was enchanted with supersech running his "Dread Pirate Scrumtumbler". He had lego miniatures, gill people, and shark minis!! Looked like the players were having a blast with the game, too! Watched the games for a couple of hours, and then headed back to the Omni. Tammy went to catch the bus for the hotel out by the airport, and Steve and I sat and talked in the lobby for a bit. Life was good.

Direct from the journal I wrote:
"My feet are hurting somewhat, and I'm just glad to sit on the bed for a bit. Did a lot of walking today - more than I had planned, less than I had expected, but it's only Thursday! Need to be careful about the socks and the toes and all for the next couple of days, and definitely won't wear the sandals if I go into the Dealer's Room again. We head back for Ottawa on Sunday, and if I'm not careful, SteveR will have to carry me onto the airplane!

"Tomorrow's going to be a hectic day, as I've got the demo at the booth at 10:00 am, a "working lunch" with Linwood (MikeD), and then have the "Conquest of the Surface World" scenario to run at 4:00 pm. Need to remember to take an hour or so to read it, and get the character sheets for the adventure from Jeff or banished_babe (Melissa). Going to be a busy day. Time for bed."

And that wraps up the first actual day of GenCon Indy 2008, and my day. Fun, hectic, and lots of new faces and people. I'll post the report for the Friday events when I have a bit more time.
Tags: desolation, gaming hut, gencon, hollow earth expedition, personal, report, rpg

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