Headed out towards GenCon, we break the trip up into two stages as we have to be there in the early Wednesday afternoon. Stopped in Cave City, our usual transit point, ate dinner at Cracker Barrel (where there were some interesting light effects that looked like runes on the stones of the fireplace, got some poor pictures thereof). Then chatted online with Laura while watching Face/Off, which has become something of a tradition as we did it last year too. And then for my last really full night’s sleep until after GenCon.
Safely arrived in Indianapolis, dropped our stuff of at our rooms and then off to help with setup. The dealers hall was full of various venders getting ready for the big show. Setup went pretty well, with AEG’s new expanded booth area including an actual enclosed area to store stock in, very useful. Lots of people queuing for their badges. At some point I hung around on the fringes of Fred Hicks’ circle, listening to some fun and crazy stuff.
The AEG demo team dinner was held, at usual, at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Not a good experience this year. We arrived before 8pm, were not seated until after 8:30pm and we left directly after finishing our dinner around 10:30pm. Yes, there was a passel of us (~50) but that was no excuse for the painfully slow service, we did not even get drinks before 9pm! Disappointing but at least it was decent food, when we finally got it. Then off to bed.
GenCon begins! Excellent breakfast at the Embassy Suites, where I was staying, walked over to the dealers hall with some of the other demo team members before looping back to my first (of seven) L5R RPG sessions! This was the introductory action-adventure game with five players, four of whom had played in one of my games last year! Everything went well, some of the choices made by the characters caught me by surprise so had to rewrite some of the end scenes of the scenario on the fly but it worked out well and everyone had fun. As usual, we were in with the Heroes of Rokugan group, so at times a little loud but as they were having a good time there is no reason to complain.
Then a quick dash to the dealers room, which is staggeringly huge this year, so only got to see a bit. Say a hardcover (POD) copy of the L5R Strongholds of the Empire book that I had worked on, which was very impressive, at the DriveThruRPG booth. Did find a really nice dichroic glass amulet in the shape of the Star Trek symbol from Moon Drenched Glass Art as a gift for Laura during that time though as well as picking up an East Texas University T-Shirt.
Then back for my second game, the first of the advanced intrigue games. I had defaulted back to a murder mystery rather than my initial thought of something more political due to the limitations of the convention game format and I wanted something that would be self-contained and resolvable in four hours. Six players, two of whom were returning from playing in one of my 2012 games, and it ran quite well, though occasionally we had to pause or repeat things as the room was some times very noisy. But the murderer was revealed and the honour of the Moshi family was saved!
Then back to my room for a quick shower and to head out to meet up with my friends from the Hollow Throne online RPG forum games I play in for dinner. Most of these are people I have known on and off for years, one of them since the first Winter Court play by post back in 2007, but only online. Of the ten, I had only met two of them before in person, at previous GenCons, so it was really nice to get to talk with them in person. Eventually the meeting broke up and we dispersed. I returned to my room for some much needed sleep.