John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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GenCon 2017, Day 3 Report

Here is the report of the fifth day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the fourth day can be found in this journal entry. I should warn you that this post is very long and there are quite a few photos in it. :)

August 19th, 2017

I woke up this morning feeling relatively all right, but somewhat tired. My stomach and bowels had stabilised overnight, it seemed, and I felt ready to face the day. It was going to be a long, difficult Saturday what with having to walk to Union Station for a seminar and then running a game from 8 pm until midnight. On the other hand, I was looking forward to running the game as it was the Coriolis - The Third Horizon scenario "The Dying Ship". I was a bit more confident about that adventure now that I had run it once already. spross and I went through our morning ablutions routine, and the shower made me feel a bit better and took away a bit of the left shoulder aches and pains that I was feeling and I was ready to start the day.

We went down to the Westin Indianapolis restaurant, Shula's, and had breakfast. I ate my usual 2-egg omelette with mushrooms, ham and mozzarella cheese with some toast and decaf coffee on the side, but SteveR switched things up this morning and had some steel cut oats. They had been cooked to the consistency of gruel, and I was glad I'd not tried them. I spent part of breakfast catching up on my Twitter feed, and saw that SteveR had sent me a couple of costume pics from the night before, a Wonder Woman and the two central characters from Moana. Very nice.

Wonder Woman at GenCon 2017

Two ladies as Moana and Maui

I also saw on the Twitter feed that the Coriolis - The Third Horizon had won another award at the ENnies the night before, but also that Tales From the Loop had picked up a couple of awards as well. It was going to look strange and silly if the Modiphius booth didn't have copies of the Loop when the Exhibit Hall opened today. Here is a pic of those awards.

Tales From the Loop awards

While eating breakfast in Shula's, started chatting with new friends at the adjoining tables. It's fun meeting new folks at the convention who also share your interests - gaming, people! - and had a good conversation with them. The three gamers I was talking to all had little roleplaying game experience, but were very into board games and some live action stuff. Nice to see the variety at the convention in terms of the gamers and their interests, but one of them, Annie, said that she had recently been curious about roleplaying games. We talked for a bit about the basics of said games, and breakfast passed rather amicably. As we finished off breakfast, I realised that it was already the third day of GenCon 2017. Where had the time gone?

SteveR and I went back up to the hotel room, finished the morning ablutions off and grabbed what we needed for the morning before heading over to the ICC and the Exhibit Hall. Before going to the Exhibit Hall, I went over to GM HQ to drop off the tickets from the game of Coriolis the night before, and complained to the folks there about the other fellow with his 12 players and the amount of noise they'd made. The head honcho in the GM HQ told me that there were only supposed to be two tables in the room, not three, and that the game was only supposed to have six players, so I gave him all the information I could remember about the game, and he promised me there would be disciplinary action taken. (Whether there was or not I have no idea.)

SteveR and I then made our way to the Exhibit Hall. Being Saturday, it was even busier in the Exhibit Hall than at any other time of the convention, and I walked the hall with SteveR for a bit until he decided he wanted to buy a couple of things and headed off on his own. I kept on walking around and seeing what was there. Don't remember where I was when I saw this game being played, but snapped a photo of it.

Game of Quartermaster General being played

I made my way to the Modiphius Entertainment booth, and there was a massive crowd there. The folks were waiting on the copies of the Tales From the Loop game. Chris Birch told me that T.R. and a couple of other folks had gone to the Fort Wayne warehouse to pick them up, and should be back soon. They were only going to have a hundred or more copies of the game. Sure enough, T.R. and the others came in with the boxes, and started putting the copies out for sale. They were snatched up at a frenetic pace. I was rather pleased for the game, which had won several ENnies the night before.

I bought a few more things that I probably should have skipped on, but what the heck. It was only money at this point. Wandered around a bit more, I came across Phil Foglio's booth and couldn't resist picking up the Myth Adventures graphic novel and the first volume of Girl Genius. And a free tote bag! Phil's a really nice guy, and it was a pleasure meeting him.

Phil Foglio at his GenCon booth

Wandered out of the main hall, and into the ICC hallways, and came across some neat characters.

A great costume, even if I don't know who/what it is

Came across a magnificent John Hammond and his marvellous cane. Had to take photos of him, and the cane. The fellow was very kind and also talked to me about the construction of the cane.

A terrific John Hammond

John Hammond's marvellous cane

Also saw an interesting group of characters posing for photos, and managed to snap a picture of them.

Interesting mix of characters

Another couple of characters that you might recognise.

You might recognise these two characters

Went back in to the Exhibit Hall and caught up with SteveR. We headed over to the Stronghold Games booth, as I wanted to drop off a business card there and see whether I could myself a writing or editing gig for them. While that remains open still, I did pick up a copy of the Terraforming Mars board game as well as the Hellas & Elysium expansion for the game. Looks really good, and I definitely want to play this when I get back to Ottawa. As to the writing or editing gig, that remains to be seen.

It was getting late in the morning, and SteveR and I still had plans to walk over to the Ulisses Spiele NA seminar that was to be held over in Union Station so we left the Exhibit Hall. Stopped off and caught a bit of the Water Street Bridge performance in one of the hallways of the ICC. I took a photo of the band performing, and bought three of their CDs. Good music.

Water Street Bridge performing in the ICC

By this time it was close to 11:45 am, so SteveR and I dropped out purchases at the room in the Westin, and then made the arduous, seriously long treak from the Westin to Union Station for the Ulisses Spiele NA seminar on future products the company was going to be working on. My legs were aching by the time we got to the seminar, about 5 minutes late, and the room was pretty much full though we managed to find seats. I considered tweeting something about the seminar, but it was being recorded. We learned about stuff in the pipeline for their games, including Torg Eternity and The Dark Eye RPG.

The Ulisses Spiele NA seminar

From the seminar, SteveR and I made our way back to the Westin, stopping off for some food - a slice of bad pizza, to be honest - at the Cross Roads Bistro. I wasn't happy about the pizza or perhaps it was the way my feet were feeling, but I had a feeling something was wrong, other than my stomach.

The Cross Roads Bistro sign

We got back to the Westin hotel and made our way back up to our hotel room. And that's when my life at the convention changed for the rest of the weekend (and for the weeks after we returned from the convention). The moment I took my right shoe off, I knew something was wrong - the entire right side of my sock was covered in blood and what looked like a greenish liquid. I thought that it was my hammertoe that had burst, but I couldn't have been more wrong. I had a very bad blister on the bottom of my right foot, about the size of a large Canadian toonie. Lots of blood. This was not good. (And no, despite taking some photos you won't see them here at all.) In addition, I had two developing blisters on the left foot. Suffice it to say, I'm not going into more details here other than to say that I considered catching the next flight home to Ottawa, though I didn't as I wanted to stick out the convention as best I could. The Westin staff proved very helpful, and by the time 5:00 pm rolled around, the wounds were antibiotic-ed and bandaged, and I had a wheelchair. A manual wheelchair that I couldn't move due to the left shoulder problem. I'll just say at this point that SteveR was a goddesssend for the rest of the convention. I spent a bit of time that I had with SteveR occupied elsewhere catching up some more on the Twitter feed, and saw that Modiphius was down to just a few copies of Tales From the Loop left.

The last of the TFtL game at Modiphius booth

SteveR returned to the hotel, and I talked to him about supper. Since he was off to another event that evening, he wouldn't be joining me. He did agree to help me get up to Shula's restaurant for supper, since I needed to eat early before the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG session that night, but he wouldn't stay. For those who read my tweets once I got up to supper, yes, I was feeling quite sorry for myself. The meal at Shula's was overly expensive, and not something I'm going to post photos of here (though I took a couple), suffice it to say spending all that money on supper didn't improve my mood. I had hoped to go to Loughmiller's Pub again for the evening meal, but there was no way to wheel my chair there, and they probably couldn't accommodate me given the narrowness of the aisles around the tables and sheer crowdedness of the place during the convention. *sigh*

Around 7:30 pm, SteveR returned and helped wheel me over to the Hyatt for the evening game of Coriolis - The Third Horizon, helping me carry all the gaming books and the scenario that I'd need for the evening game. We got to the Hyatt and went into the Directors 1 room for the game, and I was pleased to see that there was no other game in the room that evening. A complete difference compared to the previous night's game, to be sure, though the sound in the room would echo a bit as I discovered when we started playing.

The Coriolis - The Third Horizon scenario that I was running on this Friday afternoon was the newest adventure published by the folks at Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing called "The Dying Ship", and had just gone on sale at the convention the day before. The scenario features the same characters from the "Dark Flowers" Quickstart adventure - Dr. Armita Wana, Zebaraimas "Zebo" Hutul, Samioh Amin, Rouya Ghallab and Nima Dol-Soufi - as the characters investigate what's going on aboard a freighter that has gone silent, and discover a deadly secret. One that may all not live to tell the tale about. While I'm not going to go into detail about the scenario for the obvious reasons, since I plan to run it at other conventions in the future, I'll only discuss some of the elements of the game here. Bear in mind there are SPOILER WARNINGS here, so be warned.

As mentioned, the Saturday night Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG session of "The Dying Ship" was completely different from the Friday night game. The quietness in the room that had a bit of an echoing quality to it when speaking lent an interesting eerieness that perfectly fit the Coriolis RPG scenario feel. Out of the five players that pre-registered for game, four of the players actually showed up so one of the two fellows who had Generic tickets (the fellow whom I'd spoken with about the game at the Modiphius booth on Friday) got into the game. The real neat aspect of this was that none of the players had played Coriolis, but were eager to do so based on the hype surrounding the game being the "Arabian Nights in space". The five players, all guys, got into the game really early, having a good grasp of the game rules once I went through the spiel about them, and loved the premise of the game.

As for the game itself, Saturday night's session of "The Dying Ship" was highly enjoyable. The players loved the magical and very faerie tale-like beginning with the old woman, and got right into the spirit of things when they received the potential job offer and request to meet at Wahib's. They handled the encounter at Wahib's with aplomb, and the player playing Samioh Amin did a good job of intimidating the opposition leader, and thus avoiding combat in the cantina. They were suspicious of their client from the get-go, but still were taken by surprise when they reached the Orun II and started learning the truth of their mission. The fellow playing Dr. Armita Wana played her loose, not exercising total control as the Captain might have, but was still an effective leader. Zebo was played with proper religious deference, and the player really liked the nature of the Icons and their influence in the everyday life of the people of the Horizon. The guy who played Samioh definitely played the sensor ops guy, but I liked the relationship between him and the fellow playing Zebo. Rouya came across very military the way the fellow was playing her, but did what she had to to keep the other characters safe, though she paid the ultimate sacrificeprice in the scenario. Finally, the fellow playing Nima had a good relationship with the Rouya character, and was devastated at her sacrifice. His Data Djinn skills were invaluable to the others, when it came down to it, and the player gave Nima a somewhat humourous aspect to him.

Coriolis RPG Saturday Game 1

I can't mention any game highlights here without spoiling the scenario, so I won't. All the players loved the basic game mechanics, and found them very easy to work with and understand. They told me they'd had a great time playing "The Dying Ship", and thought the adventure was wonderfully "dark & twisty" (their words). Two of the players, fans of the Arabian Nights material, said the adventure and the game really had the feel to it, and they would definitely buy copies of the game the next day, while the fellow that I'd spoken to at the Modiphius booth told me he was glad he'd bought the game on the Friday, as it was well worth the price from the game session he'd just played. "It lived up to your hype of the game," he told me. :) Like I said, it was a good game session and let me forget my foot woes for several hours.

Coriolis RPG Saturday Game 2

By the time midnight had rolled around, I was feeling exhausted and drained from running the game of Coriolis - The Third Horizon, but had had a good time of it. SteveR came by around 10 to midnight, and watched the final moments of the scenario unfold. He helped me pack the gaming material while I also chatted with a couple of players afterwards, and then we got ready to head back to the Westin, SteveR helping me wheel(chair) back to the Westin.

We got back to the Westin hotel room, and SteveR helped me change the foot dressing and then we had a light snack (I can't remember what we had for it, to be honest). After that we crashed. It was around 1:00 am or so, and I remember thinking that I was so very tired and so hurting in the foot before I fell asleep. But also how great the night's Coriolis scenario had been.

That's the wrap-up on the fifth day of the trip to Indy, and the third official day of GenCon 2017. Hope folks enjoyed the blog entry. The Sunday report on events will follow as soon as I get a chance.
Tags: convention, coriolis rpg, feet, foot problems, gaming hut, gencon, health hut, personal, report, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, the dark eye rpg, torg eternity rpg

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