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GenCon 2017, Day 1 Report

Here is the report of the third day of the trip to GenCon 2017, and the actual first day of the convention proper. The report on the second day of my trip to GenCon 2017 can be found in this journal entry.

August 17th, 2017

I woke up this morning feeling much better than I had on Wednesday, though my back hurt something fierce from the lumpy, soft mattress on the bed. I took care of the morning ablutions (the hot shower did wonders for my back), and after he had done the same, spross and I headed down to breakfast after I took my morning insulin shot. This promised to be a busy day, as it was the first actual day of the convention, so a good breakfast was important.

I had a 2-egg omelette (cooked with some cooking spray, rather than butter), with spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, and it was satisfying and not too filling as the omelette the day before had been. The decaf coffee was still too bitter for my taste, so I drank a cup of it sparingly. SteveR and I headed back up to the Westin Indianapolis hotel room to get ready for the morning. We had planned not to go to the International Convention Center (ICC from hereon out) for the opening of the Exhibit Hall and the dealers' section, as it would be more packed than ever to get in at 10:00 am. (Note: From some of the photos I saw on-line that morning, it was an absolute madhouse and sea of humanity, so I'm glad we didn't try to go that early.)

Once SteveR and I went over to the ICC and got to seeing things in the Exhibit Hall, much of it is a blur (though I did take some photos here and there). I started off by going over to the Modiphius Entertainment booth, as I needed to pick up the stuff that I needed to run the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG games I was going to run on Friday and Saturday. T.R. Knight and his family weren't working that morning, and I didn't see Chris Birch there, but one of the folks working the booth recognised my name, and he brought me the stuff that I'd need to run the game - the main rulebook, the GM Screen, and the new scenario that was debuting there at the convention, "The Dying Ship". SteveR was kind enough to carry the heavy Coriolis book and GM Screen material for me, since my shoulder wouldn't bear the load. He was also eyeing the new Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, but he didn't pick it up (yet).

The Darkness is coming to GenCon...

From there, SteveR and I headed over to the Ulisses Spiele North America booth, and I was pleased to see that both Eric Simon and Darrell Hayhurst were there. I introduced myself to Darrell, though he recognised me (and my wearing the 2015 TORG ETERNITY t-shirt didn't hurt!), and we talked about all manner of stuff pertaining to the game for a bit.

Darrell Hayhurst of USNA and me

I didn't want to monopolise his time, however (that's bad etiquette at conventions), so I spoke with Eric about The Dark Eye RPG, since I was thinking of picking it up as a possible alternative to the Trudvang Chronicles (whenever that comes out). A lovely young German lady who also works for the company (I think) talked to me about the game and made me a good deal offer on a whole bunch of the game materials (and I wish I could remember her name). The folks at the booth put the Dark Eye materials away for me, since I didn't want to lug it around the dealers' room and I didn't want SteveR to be too saddled with the game materials.

From the Ulisses Spiele NA booth, I headed towards the other side of the Exhibit Hall, encountering lots of slow moving traffic, and people who don't understand that you have conversations off to the side of an aisle, not in the middle of it (this happened a lot during the weekend, but that's another story). SteveR and I worked our way over to the Exile Games booth, and chatted with Jeff Combos and his daughter (they grow up so fast!). I also saw Tom Cadorette there as well, and we chatted for a bit, and caught up with each others' lives. The booth had a good amount of Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX) materials, but nothing new. I also checked out the Quantum Black RPG that was for sale at the booth (the two designers of the game were also there), but it does nothing for me in terms of the Cthulhu meets Ubiquity feel, and I would rather run the Chill 3rd Edition RPG if I'm going to play horror, to be honest.

Jeff Combos and his daughter at the Exile Games booth

All things HEX at the Exile Games booth

SteveR and I went all the way to the Paizo booth were more of the Ulisses Spiele NA folks, namely Ross Watson and Dean Gibert (his user name most places is TorgHacker), were working. I introduced myself to the two gentlemen, and we talked a bit more about Torg Eternity and some of the plans for it. Had a good conversation with Ross and Dean, and learned a few secrets about stuff coming up, among other things. Dean mentioned that there were going to be a limited number of Torg Eternity dice sets available on Friday and the new Torg Eternity t-shirts on Saturday. Aggghhhh! That meant that I needed to come to the Exhibit Hall early on both days to make sure I got one of each, though I was able to convince SteveR to get here if I couldn't make it for whatever reasons.

Me sandwiched between Ross Watson and Dean Gilbert

After looking at some of the other merchandise in the Paizo booth area, primarly the Ulisses stuff, SteveR and I headed from there to the Koplow Games booth. Several of the staff working there, including the owner, were somewhat baffled when I asked if they had any dice that were reminiscent of the Arabian Nights stories or the like, while the customers around me were amused and curious as to why I wanted them. They couldn't help me with those, but did have some lovely scarab dice that glow in the dark, and I bought sixteen d6s from them. Very happy with that purchase.

SteveR and I went back to the Ulisses Spiele NA booth, and I bought a ton (well, it was only 12 kgs worth) of The Dark Eye RPG books. We were both ready for lunch, so we left the ICC and headed back to the Westin, where we stopped at the FedEx store in the building, and I shipped the Dark Eye books back to Canada. Somewhat expensive, but worth it (I thought at the time).

After going up to the hotel room and relaxing for a bit, we headed down to Shula's for lunch. The place was quite busy, but we got in easily enough, and had a nice table by the windows where the sun was coming in. I had their terrific club sandwich (minus the mayo) with a tall glass of water (actually, two, as I was feeling a bit dehydrated). We went back up to the hotel room, grabbed a few things to take with us, and then I headed over with SteveR to the J.W. Marriott to hopefully get into the Torg Eternity game going on there, "The Burden of Glory". The trip to the J.W. took too long, and there were no vacancies in the game, so we sat and watched the game for around 1/2 an hour or so. My GMing style for Torg (and Torg Eternity) is very different from that of the fellow (whose name I don't know) running the game, but it was insightful to watch the game, to be sure. SteveR said that he'd come to watch the game as he was curious about how it played, and he told me that he really liked the use of the three decks of cards. My appetite to run the game was so whetted. *sigh* I could have taken a couple of photos of the table at play, but just didn't feel right doing so.

SteveR and I headed back for the Westin to take a bit of time off and relax a bit. Caught up a bit on my Twitter feed, and heard about the terrible attack in Barcelona. Terrorism is unacceptable. My thoughts were with the injured and the families of the injured or dead. I realised that I needed to read up on "The Dying Ship" scenario for the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG that I'd be running, and discovered something - it didn't have any character sheets and there were a lot of handouts to give to the players, plus several maps that were needed to run the adventure! I started to panic, but SteveR calmed me down by saying that we should use the printer in the Westin lobby. We went downstairs to try that and when that didn't work, I asked the Westin staff if they'd be willing to print out two copies of the character sheets as well as all the hand-outs and ship maps and the like, and they were more then willing to do so! In colour! We used the on-line version of the "Dark Flowers" Quickstart scenario and some of the material off that document. When the Westin printer started having problems printing the character sheets out (perhaps due to lack of ink, or some other malfunction...in either case, I felt somewhat guilty about things), SteveR went over to FedEx to do the rest of the copying for me. I want to thank the folks at the Westin Indianapolis for their terrific assistance with my printing and other issues this day. If you're reading this, *Thank you!* very, very much.

By the time I finally started to breathe calmly again, I discovered it was getting on towards supper, and since I'd not really snacked properly during the afternoon, I was feeling somewhat light-headed. I took one of my glucose tabs, but that only went so far to help out in this regard. SteveR and I decided to go and eat at High Velocity in the J.W. Marriott area, and so we headed there. By the time we got there, I was literally on my last legs, suffering dizziness and blurred vision. (Too little food during the day, and a lot of exercise.) The hostess at High Velocity told us that the wait would be at least 45 minutes, but they took pity on me when I told them of my diabetic condition (and I guess I must have looked pretty horrible) as we were seated at a table in less than 15 minutes. Looking over the menu, I ordered a caesar salad and the fish 'n chips. The Caesar salad was extremely salty (though I needed a bit of that, too), but the fish 'n chips really hit the spot. When we left High Velocity, I was feeling much better but somewhat tired.

Fish 'n chips at High Velocity

Heading back to the Westin from the J.W. Marriott, I saw this game being played in one of the many hallway alcoves in the ICC, and couldn't resist the picture opportunity, as it was just so cute.

A game of Oh, Gnome You Don't! in the ICC area

Got back to the hotel room at the Westin feeling...tired. Just felt like a long day. With a bit of time before my insulin shot, I sat back and read most of "The Dying Ship" adventure one more time. After all, the Darkness is coming tomorrow at GenCon...for two days only. :) Need to be read up on the scenario, obviously.

Also took a couple of other pictures in the hotel room, one of my lovely scarab dice, which will see use tomorrow. hehe (However, those will wait until the loot photos at the end of the convention.)

I took my insulin injection, and followed this by having a bowl of Cheerios with some milk. SteveR joined me in this endeavour (the Cheerios, not the insulin) and we chatted amiably about the day at GenCon 2017 and how things had gone. We both hit the beds, and continued talking for another half hour or so, and then turned off the lights. I didn't sleep all that easily, but don't remember the clock reading 1:00 pm. It was a long day, and I would need my rest for Friday and the first running of the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG.

Anyway, so that's the wrap-up on the third day of the trip to Indy, and the first official day of GenCon 2017. Next up will be the Friday report, when I get the chance.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 1st, 2017 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thursday was a great time, yes we were later to the Dealer's Room then we planned, but that was probably a good thing given the rush. I enjoyed meeting all the game people. The printing was a bit more expensive then I planned, I hope we can get reimbursed for that.

BTW: Yes, I feel no shame in our taking advantage of your diabetic condition to get us seats. :)
Sep. 5th, 2017 04:34 am (UTC)
Thursday was a terrific day at the convention, and I really enjoyed myself. I was still feeling good after meeting Jeff Barber the previous night! :)

Yeah, the printing was a bit more expensive than I figured, but what do you expect at FedEx? In reality, probably should have gotten that done at the GM HQ in the ICC.

I don't know whether we took advantage of my bad diabetic condition that night to get the seats at High Velocity, but the food wasn't all that great. Still, it served its purpose.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


John Kahane

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