John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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GenCon 2011 Day 3 Report

Here is the report of the fifth day of the trip to GenCon 2011. The report on the fourth day can be found in this journal entry.

August 6th, 2011

Woke up this morning at around 4:30 am, well before the wake-up call was going to come, after about four hours of sleep. I felt pretty tired, not surprising, but was rather looking forward to the day, since I was running the Primeval RPG twice today! Really excited about this!

After the wake-up call came and performing the morning shower and ablutions, spross and I went down for breakfast to the Severin Bar & Grill. I had steel cut oats for breakfast with cinnamon, but they were like gruel in the big cooker, and so the folks at the restaurant actually made up another batch and this time made it thicker, but with the time it took for this, I actually thought I would be late for the 8:00 am game. After breakfast, I went back up to the room to grab the gaming stuff that I needed to run the first game of Primeval, and had a case of the runs while I was at it (the pasta from the night before). I was worried that I was going to have diarrhea all day, something that wasn't conducive to running a game twice that day.

I went down to McClellan Hall to get ready to run the game around 7:35 am, while spross took off for wherever he was going that morning, and the day got off to a bad start. Discovered there were no tokens to use as Story Point or Threat markers, as the last guy to run the game the night before had left them in the room for me, but someone had taken them from the room overnight. This was not good. Sarah Newton, who was setting up to run a game of Legends of Anglerre game, offered me the black tokens once more, and I took her up on this. However, one of the Cubicle 7 friends, James Holman (who was going to play in the morning game with me), went on a quest for me to gather up some red and black dice for use as the markers. He managed to do so before 8:00 am, but must have gone to the Exhibit Hall for them as he was exhausted and out of breath when he got back. Bless him, and Sarah for their timely assistance.

The morning game of Primeval came off without a hitch, and was absolutely superb, and the players were all in top form at the gaming table. I was surprised and pleased to find that my friend Nestor was playing in the game. The scenario pretty much went as written, although once more the game came up about an hour short, but the players more than made up for this with some excellent roleplaying and I threw in an extra encounter or two that allowed me to finsh the game 15 minutes before the regularly scheduled end. Again, I felt guilty that the players were cheated of the half-hour, but I had no control over that, and they more than made up for this with their great roleplaying. The highlight of the game for me came when the player playing Jenny Lewis shot Connor Temple with a tranquiliser dart while actually trying to shoot a raptor in the foot while concealed in a cupboard! Connor went out like a light, and the player playing Abby Maitland took loving care of him. He woke to find himself with her looking down at him, his head in her lap. When she saw that he was awake, the player said, "I let him drop." And she did. Classic stuff.

After I finished running the game, and having chatted with Nestor for a few minutes, I went up to the hotel room, where I caught up with spross, whom I met as he was getting off the elevator while I was heading down to see if he was in the lobby. We went back to the room to cool of and just chill for a bit, and then went down and had some lunch at the 40 West Coffee Café. Had a lovely salad, with a turkey sandwich on pannini. Really nice, filling, but somewhat light. spross and I went back up to the hotel room, and while he got ready to head out to his 2:00 pm game, I headed out for a (supposed) one hour tour of the Exhibit Hall.

When I arrived, the convention centre and the Exhibit Hall itself were *packed* with people, no doubt because Saturday was the day when a lot of one-day passes for the convention were sold to folks who go into the Exhibit Hall for the day. It was tough navigating the halls, and even more difficult once in the aisles of the Exhibit Hall itself. I started off looking for some more t-shirts, and actually found a couple that I liked, so I picked them up. I made my way around some sections of the Hall that I hadn't been too yet, and saw another couple of tees that I liked, but in the wrong colour, so I didn't buy them. I dropped by the Atomic Overmind Press booth once more, and chatted with Nicole Vega about some of the changes being made to the Unhallowed Necropolis revision, and she told me a bit about upcoming projects for the Unhallowed Metropolis game as well. Some nice insights there. I wandered the north end of the Exhibit Hall, and saw lots of parents with children everywhere, buying all kinds of gaming and non-gaming materials for both themselves and the kids. I passed several groups of mediaeval minstrels playing in the Exhibit Hall; they were pretty good for the most part, but must have been crushed at times by the sheer crowds. I spoke with a couple of them during one of their breaks, and they told me how it was a rewarding experience for them overall, but that the heat and the crowds made things "interesting" (his words, not mine) at times. Moving on, I resisted the temptation to buy some plushie Daleks with squeezeable death-ray stalks that, when squeezed, caused a flower to come out the end. Very cute! I worked my way back towards the Cubicle 7 and Exile Games booths, and saw a lot of stuff along the way, including some great costumes, cute little boys and girls out with their parents, and other stuff.

At the Exile Games booth, I saw Sechin Tower for the first time at the convention. lena_of_fargo had told me the day before about his mohawk, and so I had to ask Sechin, who was wearing the pith helmet, to doff the helmet so I could see the mohawk. He did so, and showed me the mohawk beneath - a bright blue mohawk! Different. :) We chatted for a bit, as I now had seen the magnificent cardboard mock-up poster-sized cover for the Revelations of Mars supplement (see the photo below). Wow!! It looked

fabulous, and I also was able to look at the larger-than-life sample character sheets that they had brought along as well. Lovely stuff! Definitely looking forward to the book when it comes out for sure! I made my way over to the Cubicle 7 booth, and saw that they had sold out of the copies of Airship Pirates that had come in. I went over to see if Dom had managed to put a copy away for me of the game, but he wasn't at the booth (meetings and all), and when I asked Gareth-Michael and Laura Skarka about it, they didn't know, but Laura made a note on paper to talk to Dom about it at her . By this time, 2 hours had passed (!!), and I needed to get back to the Omni Severin and get ready to run the second session of the Primeval RPG for the day.

On the way back to the Omni Severin, I saw some really good costumes in the convention halls, including a very mature girl dressed as Black Canary, right down to the hair and all. I talked to her, and she told me that the hair was actually her own and quite real; she even let me run my hand through her hair to verify this fact! Neat, and strangely weird! I also saw a cute little girl, around 12 or so, with her mom; she was dressed as a little mermaid, and mom was wearing a Poseidon-like outfit as well. I wish I had had a camera to photograph both Black Canary and the mom-and-daughter team. *sigh*

By the time I returned to the Omni, my right hip and leg were hurting quite badly, but gaming waits for no one, and the injury wasn't really important as long as I paced myself. I went back to the room, took a couple of pills once more, gathered up what I needed to run the Primeval game, and then headed down to McClellan Hall once more to run the game. I found that there were still no Story Point or Threat markers for use, but that James Holman had left some of his stuff for my use with corone, who was running Airship Pirates. Bless them both, thrice! I sat and watched the game for a good twenty minutes before having to set up for my own Primeval game, and had a blast watching Andy run the game. Really want this game, and want to run it!!

This 4:00 pm session of Primeval was interesting in several ways. There were only five people pre-registered for the game, and there were no additional players to show up, so I ran the game with five. Three of these players had never heard of the tv series and didn't know all that much about it, and one of the players, Sarah, had never roleplayed before but had been convinced by her boyfriend to try it with this game. In addition, one of my friends from the 'nets, Jonathan Thompson, and his son were also playing in this game, so it was quite an interesting, mixed group of players. The adventure went really well this time out (practice makes perfect, I suppose), and to be honest, the players engaged in some really good roleplaying, especially considering some of the players were totally new to Primeval this time out, based on the information on the character sheets. Sarah, the girl new to roleplaying, did a terrific job playing Jenny Lewis, and the players taking on Abby Maitland and Connor Temple were quite good as well. The game also had the players say some memorable lines from other series and movies that I won't go into. At the beginning of the game session, the folks expressed an interest in the temporal mechanics for damage, and so when things went a bit nuts at the end, I had them experience a new reality in which they, as humans, were wearing primitive skins and seemed to be cavemen, while there were lizards of some sort wearing business suits nearby! The players' eyes googled and their jaws dropped, and when it was all over they suggested to me that this could be the events leading up to a sort of sequel! Hmm, perhaps... :)

After wrapping up the game around 7:50 pm, I went back up to the hotel room and took a bit of a rest, where I encountered spross after his Colonial Gothic scenario. He had bought a few things, but didn't tell me much about them or how the game went, other than that it ran well, and we just chilled a bit in the room. The plan was to eat at the Weber Grill, but that turned out to be impossible. The place was packed, with close to an hour's wait, and it was close to 9:00 pm by this time. (I have to remember that if I go to GenCon again, I need to book a reservation at the Weber Grill). We debated what to do, and finally settled on a meal at the Rock Bottom Brewhouse and Restaurant. The place was noisy, with good music, and I had some red bean and rice soup (a bit too spicy), a house salad, and a filet mignon with seasoned vegetables and mashed potatoes. Good food. I was highly entertained by one of the nearby tables where a hen party was going on, the girfriends giving the bride-to-be all manner of gifts, many of them of a sexual nature. Fun to watch.

By the time we got back to the Omni Severin it was quite late. I was hurting pretty badly from all the walking, but gamely started doing the majority of the packing for the trip home on Sunday evening. By the time I got to bed, it was just after midnight, so I took a couple of pills again. spross and I left a wake-up call for 6:30 am, since we had a whole bunch of stuff to finish off the next day, but I knew deep in my heart that it was going to be a long day tomorrow.

I don't even remember my head hitting the pillows after spross turned out the lights...

Another relatively long entry, as you can read, but I hope you all enjoyed it. The Saturday of GenCon was a pretty busy day at the convention for me, but didn't feel as hectic as the Thursday had, until the evening hours hit. We won't even talk about how much back and hip/leg pain I was in that day.

That's the wrap-up on the fifth day of the trip to Indy, and the second official day of GenCon 2011. The Sunday report on events will follow when I get the chance to transcribe it up.
Tags: gencon, personal, primeval rpg, report, rpg chat

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