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GenCon 2012 Report I – Transit and Thursday

22 August, 2012

Got up at 4:15am to catch the MegaBus to downtown Atlanta, which was rather fun, then the MARTA to the Atlanta airport, not nearly as much fun.   Managed to catch a bit of sleep between the bus and plane catching a shuttle into the hotel, checked in, dropped off my bags and called in to find out where I needed to go to help with setup . . . and found that I was not needed as there were enough people helping already.  Unexpectedly, I was free until the AEG demo team dinner.

So, I went for a walk through the nearby park around the several museums and along the canal, quite nice.  Then met up with Talon Dunning who runs Fantastic Gallery and we are collaborating on a book of monsters.  Ironically, though we live about 60 miles from each other in Georgia, this is the first time we have met face to face.  Had a great conversation about gaming in general and future projects.

Afterward, took the long route to the Old Spaghetti Factory which was fun ad full of confusion as we had the whole demo team, which was over 20 people, plus some of the CCG team and John Zinser (CEO of AEG).  Good food, interesting conversation and John Zinser kindly picked up the tab, thank you again.  Then back to the hotel to learn how to play Smash Up, AEG’s new card game, which is nice, simple and fun (and the 500 advance copies were sold out by the end of Friday).   Then back to my room to make sure all of the pieces were ready for my scenarios on Thursday and sleep.

Up early, to shower and grab breakfast before my 8am first Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) game which was the action-adventure themed intro game.  With seven players brought together at a convention, things can always go wrong but the game played out quite well.  While several characters came close to death, the players did well and secured victory over the enemies of the Empire.  Everyone seemed to have fun, so a good start to GenCon.

Wings and claws

by iscariotic

Then, a dash off to the dealer’s room, which had moved since the last time I was at GenCon.  Hitting up the Paizo booth for the daily button, finding that the new Netrunner game had sold out in the first ten minutes (!) the dealer’s room was open.  Though my only purchases on Thursday were in the art show, the piece to the right by iscariotic  and the one of the left by Alexandra Douglass both lovely pieces and not the Game Onlast ones that I would buy at GenCon this year.  I also bought a set of  four pins representing the classic fantasy classes from Alexandra Douglass but they are not nearly as exciting as either of the prints.

Then back for my second game, the advanced action-adventure scenario, which only had four players, one of whom had been in the earlier game.  The scheduling of the adventures was unfortunate as this one ended, as it was designed to, in a heroic last stand wiping out the party (whose bodies would in turn be found by the characters in the introductory scenario).  Although designed to be heavily weighted in the baddies favor, the players almost pulled out a reversal and defeated them, almost.   Still, it worked out well and no one seemed unhappy that the game ended with all the characters dead.

The room my game was in was also the room used for Heroes of Rokugan, the living campaign for L5R, who were providing the GMs for Thursday night’s Second City RPG event which was going to have some effect on the L5R storyline.  Which was nice, as the RPG rarely gets an opportunity to influence things.  I was there in case they needed any help, but they had things well in hand, so I ended up catching dinner with Shawn Carman (L5R story team head), Fred Wan and Bobby Denton (continuity editor and assistant for the storyteam) and Rob Hobart (former head of HoR) which was much fun.  Then, lastly, to bed and sleep.

To be continued . . .

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