John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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GenCon 2012, Day 1 Report

Here is the report of the third day of the trip to GenCon 2012, and the actual first day of the convention proper. The report on the second day of my trip to GenCon 2012 can be found in this journal entry.

August 16th, 2012

I woke up and got out of bed this morning at 5:30 am, and after showering and the morning ablutions, I felt bleary-eyed and had something of a sinus headache. It was going to be a long day, what with the two games that I have to run today, one of them until midnight, but I was looking forward to it as well. The bowel had decided to behave itself, so this was good ::knock on wood::

After the morning ablutions, spross and I went down to breakfast. I had the same meal as yesterday pretty much - cheese, mushroom, basil, spinach, and onion omelette with a slice of whole grain toast and some decaf coffee - but it was a bit better, as I timed getting the omelette so it was still hot when I ate it. We went back upstairs, and I collected the money that I needed for the morning to go into the Exhibit Hall and then went back down to the second floor and JW 206 to check on the morning games. I chatted a bit with Mike, Joe, and Walt who were getting ready to run their games. I lucked out in that Walt had managed to make a copy of my "Peril Beneath the Streets" scenario for the Primeval RPG. I was quite relieved, as I feared that I might actually have to run the game from memory! I grabbed that from Walt, and after bidding the guys "Good gaming!", dropped it off in the hotel room and sorted out the game stuff that I needed for the afternoon and evening games. By that time, it was 8:45 am, and so spross and I headed off for the Exhibit Hall in the ICC.

We arrived to find the ICC already quite crowded with folks dealing with their GenCon registrations, as well as lots of folks waiting to get into the Exhibit Hall, even larger crowds than I expected for this time of day. Guess I should have expected it. :) As the crowds converged on the doors we at the far end of the Exhibit Hall (closest to the location of the Cubicle 7 booth was), a couple of belly dancers set up on the grounds to keep the folks entertained and collect a bit of cash. I saw nearside in the area, trying to make his way to the Dealer's entrance with boxes of the Broken Rooms RPG. He asked me for directions, and I pointed the way for him, and he hastily moved off.

After the opening ceremony, the Exhibit Hall opened to the crowds shortly after 10:00 am, and the folks rushed in. I had certain targets for purchasing in the limited time that I had, since I needed to get an early lunch, and then run the first game of the Primeval RPG game at noon. I made my way over to the Studio 2 Publishing booth. There I met Valentin, Nelyhann, and Clovis of ForgeSonges and Agate RPG, the makers of Shadows of Esteren, and was one of the first one to their section of the booth. I managed to buy the entire run of the Shadows of Esteren game line that had come out for the Kickstarter, as well as a copy of Greymalkin Designs's Broken Rooms. (I paid some $250 just for this stuff, but it was well worth it!) I was thrilled to get the Limited Edition of the first Shadows of Esteren book, and Nelyhann agreed to personally illustrate my copy of it for me, and I could pick it up the next day or Friday. My next stop was over at the Koplow Games booth, where I snagged 12 more dinosaur dice (identical to those I have at home from a previous purchase, but a bit cheaper without shipping) as well as 250 light red, oblong shaped markers to use as Threat markers for the games I was going to run. From there, it was a quick dash over to the Cubicle 7 booth, where I was able to obtain from corone some of the DW: AiTaS Story Point markers to use for my games.

By this time, it was close to 10:45 am, and I didn't have more time to spend in the Exhibit Hall as I had to get ready to run my game, so I made a quick return to the hotel room with all the goodies, while spross dashed off to Subway to grab lunch for both of us. We agreed to meet on the second floor area over the top of the lobby bar, and eat there in comfort. I took another quick sitz bath, and gathered together the Primeval RPG game materials and the scenario and pre-generated characters that I would need to run "The Infection Factor", then walked down to the appointed spot to meet with spross around 11:15 am. spross was late due to the crowds and lots of folks buying lunch in the Food Court, and he got back at 11:35 am with the food for both of us. I was a little bit upset, but he was understanding, and so I rushed through the sub sandwich and then went over to JW 206 to run the first game of the day at noon.

I was quite nervous, to say the least, about running the first game of Primeval RPG, but got to the room and scooped up one of the tables. "The Infection Factor" is an overloaded scenario that has a lot of encounters in it, and I wasn't sure how much of the scenario I'd have to cut out and what bits they would be. I was a bit disappointed that only four players showed up to play in the game, but such is life. The player characters for "The Infection Factor" were Nick Cutter, Connor Temple, Abby Maitland, Jenny Lewis, Captain Becker, and Sarah Page - and based on the players' choices of character, Jenny and Sarah were not chosen for play. All of the players at the table were guys, and two of them had only seen bits and pieces of the tv series. Despite this, all of the players had a pretty good time playing the game, and I was quite pleased at how well the game went.


The fellow playing Nick Cutter did a really good job with the accent, and captured Nick's persona quite well. He figured out quite a few things during the course of the adventure and what was actually going on. The guy playing Abby Maitland had a good grasp on her personality, and related well to the guys playing Nick and Connor Temple. He came up with a couple of good ideas on how to handle some of the dinosaurs within the scope of Abby's personality, and played her love of animals to the hilt. Captain Becker was played by a younger guy, who struggled with the military nature of the character, and the fact that his teammates wouldn't let him kill any of the dinosaurs. LOL! Otherwise, he did an adequate job of playing the character. The fellow playing Connor Temple did a good job with the character and played him well, playing off the guys playing Abby and Nick, and did a really good job of it.


Some of the highlights included: Abby killing one of the *bleep!*osaurs on the mast with a tranq weapon (the character underestimated the dose). Cutter setting the board up for Connor to go into the gas station to deal with the Anomaly; his first Anomaly locking device got lost through the Anomaly because of the *bleep!*. Several times during the relevant section, where it was a toss-up as to whether Abby or Connor would be tossed off the cliff (and whether it was deliberate or not was another matter!). Becker constantly wanting to hunt and kill the dinosaurs, and Nick always stopping him.

Overall, this session of "The Infection Factor" was a pretty good game. The players were quite happy with it, enjoyed the game system and its mechanics, and wanted to know more about the game. I was happy to direct them down to the Exhibit Hall and the Cubicle 7 booth, and hoped that a couple of them might purchase the game. Once I wrapped up, I packed up my stuff, and met Nick who was coming in to run his first game of something else. He asked me for a bit of advice about running the scenario (as he was running the two games on Saturday and Sunday). After we had chatted for a bit, I headed off and handed in the players' game tickets at the convenient booth that was nearby.

I then returned up to the hotel room, somewhat exhausted, but satisfied. I unpacked the batch of stuff for the scenario that I had just run, and then prepped for the 8:00 pm game of "Peril Beneath the Streets". I chilled for a bit in the room, and spross returned from doing what he was doing, and he showed me the stuff he had bought earlier (hopefully he's blogged about this, so you can check it out; I've got enough stuff to remember about the con from my own blog here!). Relaxed for a little bit in the room, and then took another sitz bath and changed clothes before heading down for supper.

I was quite tired already, and so we went to High Velocity and had an excellent fish 'n chips meal with a side salad. It was much better than the one we'd eaten the night before in the Pullman. Finished eating supper and then went back up to the room to relax for a bit, and get my thoughts in order for running "Peril Beneath the Streets", and then headed down to the game room in JW 206, minus the game stuff I needed. Just to relax and check stuff out. None of the tables were free yet, so I chatted with Mike after watching mytholder run some of his The Laundry game. I've never seen him GM, but he's just great and makes it look effortless. Almost made me want to run The Laundry, to be honest! :) spross watched him run the game for a bit, at my suggestion, since he was running the same scenario the next day, so I thought it would be good for him.

I chatted with mytholder's wife, Edel, for a bit about various subjects and topics, and then went back to the hotel room around 7:30 pm to gather up the gaming stuff that I would need to run the evening session.

It was a bit of a disaster, player-wise. Only two players showed up for "Peril Beneath the Streets" out of the six signed up for it. I was able to recruit another guy who was wandering the halls with Generic tickets, and spross agreed to join the game as well, so I had four players for the game. I don't think spross was all that happy about playing it (again!), but I was happy he did, and thank him for being a good sport about it. (He took the photos below, as per usual.)


The game went pretty well, I think, and the players had a good time of it. The scenario, called "Peril Beneath the Streets", was designed for the six player characters from the First Series - Nick Cutter, Claudia Brown, Abby Maitland, Connor Temple, Stephen Hart, and Captain Tom Ryan. This scenario is one that I'm proud of, as it's a home-grown one that I've run a few times the last couple of years. Two of the players had never heard of the Primeval tv series before, spross had the most experience with the series and the game (of course!), and the fourth player was pretty much a newcomer to the game, but had seen two episode of the series. It made for an interesting mix of players. With only four players, the two characters who were left sitting on the shelf were Nick Cutter and Claudia Brown! spross played Stephen Hart, and did a pretty good job of things in the role, having to take on a bit more of the leadership than he would have liked even though we were using Nick and Claudia as NPCs. He did a good job with the character, and combined to work well with the fellow playing Abby. The fellow playing Abby actually did a really good job with her, and was jenny on the spot for dealing with the animals during the course of the scenario. He did a good job interacting with Connor (since he didn't have the Cutter character to really play off), and came up with some smart ideas on how to handle various situations that the characters encountered. The fellow playing Captain Ryan did a good job playing Ryan as the military man defending the civilians from the "creature feature" that he was faced with. His main antagonist in this one was Stephen Hart, who wouldn't let him kill the creatures, and the two players played this well off one another. Finally, the guy playing Connor Temple did an adequate job of playing the geek, but his lack of seeing the series and his inability to get into the persona too much hindered him, and so he was quite shy and retiring, other than when he had to do the geek stuff. In many ways, that was a good take on Connor for the player, and I rather enjoyed watching him play the character when he had those shiny moments of play and character interaction.


Some of the best moments included: The player characters running around being chased by or chasing after the Compys. The bit where Abby finds the Compys' nest and then gets caught by the Compys while she's tossing the eggs through the Anomaly. Captain Ryan running down one of the tunnels in the subway, and coming to a dead halt as he sees all the eyes ("so many eyes!") watching him. Ryan going after Abby to rescue her, only the two of them being trapped in the shed by the Compys. The suggestion made by the players for the story to be told to the public about the Compys - chickens on steroids escaped from a farm! :) Stephen Hart diving through the train car glass to rescue the mum and daughter trapped by the Compys. Ryan shooting one Compy, and then the mum gathering inspiration and strength from him and killing the other with a purse shot to the head. Lovely stuff!

Due to the number of players in the game, and the lack of the Nick Cutter and Claudia Brown characters as player characters, the players went through the scenario pretty fast, and the game ended early, a little after 11:15 pm.

After packing up the gaming stuff for the night, spross and I returned to the hotel room (nice being able to run the game in the hotel where you're staying!). I remembered to set up the material for "The Infection Factor" for the next morning's running, and replaced the player character sheets in the material for "Peril Beneath the Streets", which I'd be running again on Friday evening. spross and I chatted for a bit, and discussed the plans for Friday's events, as he was also running a game that afternoon at 4:00 pm, and I crawled into bed and wrote most of this day's journal entry.

I turned off the lights around 12:15 am, and don't remember much after that. I must have been pretty tired, 'cause sleep came pretty quickly.

Whew! That was a bloody long entry on the Thursday at GenCon to transcribe! Hope you all enjoyed it. :)

Anyway, so that's the wrap-up on the third day of the trip to Indy, and the first official day of GenCon 2012. Next up will be the Friday report, when I get the chance.
Tags: convention, gaming hut, gencon, personal, primeval rpg, report, rpg, rpg hut

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