Thursday, August 11, 2011

In Which The Warlock Muses on GenCon...

With my British overlords at Cubicle 7 needing GMs for their games at this year's GenCon, I couldn't help but volunteer my services to run The Laundry.  In addition to being able to make good with the muckitty-mucks of C7, I wanted to be able to get a crack at GenCon!  Plus, Will the ManMan (also known as the Journeyman GM) joined me out there, running some sessions of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space.

A glimpse of the dealer hall at
GenCon Indy 2011
While it's true I'd been to the "best 4 days in gaming" before, you could hardly call my visit to GenCon last year a true representation of the convention itself.  While gaming with Keith Baker was a massive treat, I only managed to spend about an hour in the Dealer Hall or surveying the convention itself.  This time, while I was still busy, I got a much better handle on the convention itself!

One of the biggest things that struck me was the sheer size of the Dealer Hall.  The hall itself was about half again the size of Origins' hall, with a massive amount of vendors, authors, and publishers.  The crowds were incredibly dense, but I didn't feel that they were that much larger than any I'd already seen at the Big O. 

Pieces for Fantasy Flight's upcoming
"X-Wing" miniatures game.
One of the neatest things that The Journeyman GM and I got to take part in was a demo of X-Wing--a forthcoming by the new owners of the Star Wars license, Fantasy Flight Games.  While still in development, X-Wing was a neat little miniatures game, built to be playable without the need for a map or measuring tape.  I'm not too heavily into miniatures games, per se, but the game was quick, enjoyable, and easy enough for newbies to pick up.  I'd like to see the ships deal a little more damage, but this was an early prototype, with many changes on the horizon.

But that wasn't why I was there!  Rather, I had some Laundry agents to drive mad!  I ran three sessions of "Case Goblin Willow" (or, was it Case Goblin Winter?  It kept changing with each draft of the adventure I received...), with some great moments of role-play at the table.  I was really shocked at the amount of fans for Charles Stross' series--I'm not exactly up on the sci-fi/fantasy scene anymore, but still--wow! 

Laundry Agents make their way through
My favorite session of the three had to be my second session, which got ambushed by two zombies...who promptly managed to nearly kill off two of the agents (with shovels, no less!), and send the others into a fighting retreat.  As the police arrived to investigate the gunshots, the agents realized quickly that they still had a corpse lying in the middle of their home-base!  With two of the agents hospitalized and three more incarcerated, none stood in the way of the adventure's villain from summoning STAIRCASE DWELLER (read: Yog-Sothoth!) and causing an early occurance of Case Nightmare Green...

One thing that did frustrated me was the layout of the convention center, and the fact that numerous games--RPGs, board games, and many others--weren't even in the convention center proper!  Rather, they were in the adjoining hotels, which could be up to 3 blocks away!  That makes for a ton of travel time, which makes the whole process much less convenient.  Plus, with many of the streets near the convention center under intense repair, it only became much more difficult to get around!

Overall, though, I was really pleased with GenCon.  With Origins moving their dates forward, it's looking more and more likely that GenCon will soon become my "con of choice" for a weeklong game-a-thon.  All in good time, no?

(See my whole album from GenCon 2011 on Facebook!)

1 comment:

  1. Lisa Padol3:07 AM

    I was in one run of Case Goblin Willow, though not the one you described. Is this adventure available anywhere?