Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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Looking Back at GenCon 50 (2017)

30 August, 2017

Well, I am mostly recovered from my experience at GenCon 50 and the trip back, so thought it was time to write things up before it all falls from my head.

Days -2 and -1 were travel towards Indianapolis, early morning arrival and working setup on the AEG booth in the exhibit hall.  Busy but not very exciting but we did get most of the setup done on Tuesday which was a great achievement.

Learning to play

Cat Lady in progress

Day 0, Wednesday, is the real beginning of the convention in many ways these days.  Had a few moments to wonder the halls, found  some of the Goodman Games crew bagging old Appendix N paperbacks for sale and we had a good discussion about Poul Anderson.  Also ran across and talked with author Marion G. Harmon, author of Wearing the Cape, a novel about superheroes (which I am currently reading and enjoying), and the FATE-Based RPG of the same title, which was fun.  We finished up setup and I had a chance to learn many, many AEG games such as Oath of the Brotherhood, Custom Heroes (from the designer himself), the Captain is Dead, 60 Seconds to Save the World and Cat Lady (better than it sounds, I promises).  Howard and I had our traditional Tuesday night meal in the Ram, which was good but not as good as previous years, which I blame on eating in the lounge rather than the restaurant proper but lesson learned.  Daniel Griego of Inner Kingdom Games dropped by my Shadowfist kickstarter rewards which are much appreciated.

Day 1, Thursday, works begins after some Bee Coffee.  Dashed through the exhibitors’ hall to grab a GenCon dice set for one of the other demo team members. then teaching Istanbul (not Constantinople), oddly, even though They Might Be Giants were performing at GenCon, no one made that comment all con.  During my break, off the get lost in the exhibitors’ hall and try to catch up with some people I know who might be there.  Visited Drew Baker‘s booth and checked out his new art, ended up buying a playmat which I cannot find a picture of at his site but L5Rish in theme.  Honestly, all a bit of a blur, but I did hit up the Catalyst booth for a Maria Mercurial Tour (an iconic rocker from the Shadowrun setting) t-shirt.  Then back to work, general helping then session 2 of Istanbul, yes, expect to see that game mentioned a lot over this. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Samurai in Georgia (USA)? Yes, Indeed

10 December, 2015

Go see it!The Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, GA, has a small but very impressive display entitled Samurai: the Way of the Warrior.  It features artifacts from the Florentine Stibbert Museum including multiple full suits of armor (four of which are staged with weapons as well, including a beautiful naginata), a dozen of so helmets, swords and bows, and more.  It is not a huge exhibit but what is there is very impressive and worth the time to view if you are in the area.

The rest of the GMoA’s collections are pretty neat as well and the museum is free.  So, if you are out Athens way, drop in and take a look.  The exhibit runs through 3 Jan.

Photo from the GMoA site and used without permission.

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GenCon 2015, My Experience

15 August, 2015

AEG booth in progressAs is usual, AEG contacted me about working their demo team for GenCon and equally as usual, I accepted.  So my friend H, who also works GenCon for AEG, and I headed up when the time was right.  So, as we were required to help with setup starting on Tuesday, we left Monday, and drove to Cave City, spent the night and then into Indianapolis on Tuesday morning, arriving safely at the Crowne Plaza (conveniently located almost directly across from the dealers hall).  Dropped our stuff off in the room and then met up with the rest of the team and the mad setup began!  It was kind of fun but tiring, assembling displays, tables and shifting boxes and products for about seven hours.  Fun Fact, the convention center does not turn the air conditioning on in the dealers hall until Thursday.  Then, dinner at the Ram where they had War Machine-themed menus, cider on tap and delightful fish and chips.  I have tired to eat at the Ram for the last two years and I will make it back some time as I really enjoyed the experience. Read the rest of this entry ?

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GenCon Adventure 2014, Part the Second

11 September, 2014

Part 1 here.

Day 2

Up early for shower and breakfast before my first game, at 1pm in the afternoon, but I had gotten my schedule mixed up and thought that I had a morning game so I suddenly found myself at loose ends and so, back to the dealers hall I went.  Which gave me a chance to drop by and say hello to my artist friends Drew Baker and Talon Dunning (who was selling commission like they were going out of style) and picked up a print of I’m the Villain from NEN (who also did all of the art for PostHuman Studio’s new Shinobi Clans game).  I also had the chance to learn how to play the Furoticon card game (NSFW link here) which was quite fun and surprisingly deep play mechanics given its framework.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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GenCon Adevnture 2014, Part the First

27 August, 2014

Day -1

Writing on the wall

What was it trying to tell me?

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.

Day 0
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.

Day 1
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.

To Part 2.

My few photos from GenCon can be found here.

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Trip to Washington, DC, and Alexandria, VA, 2013.

10 September, 2013

Back from vacation, so things should be a little busier here, sorry for lack of posting while I was on vacation but . . . I was on vacation.

Another trip that started with a long drive, Athens to Alexandria (a shorter trip than across the Mediterranean though) and ended with us falling into bed at the end.

Monday, Labor Day, always a fun day to go into DC as all of the government offices are closed but not the Smithsonian Museums. Read the rest of this entry ?

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My GenCon Adventure! (2013)

28 August, 2013

A bit late I know but this last week and a half has been all about catching up and work and getting prepared to go visit my mother next week.

So, as noted before, this year I traveled to GenCon by car.  Leaving on Tuesday, we made it to Cave City, a little later than we had hoped hitting traffic in Atlanta (I know, what a shock), rush hour in Nashville and some construction but it worked out alright.  Watched the premier of Face/Off (during which I IMed with my dear wife, since we usually watch it together).  After a late dinner at the best Wendy’s ever, it was time for sleep.

So many boxes . . .Day 0: Wednesday saw us shoot into Indianapolis, check into our hotel and immediately get called over to help out with the AEG booth setup, which was fun but warm (as they do not turn the air conditioning on until the Con starts).   Then made it to the end of the Ogre unboxing by Steve Jackson Games and got to help put together some ogres and other things from the set.  Afterward, stopped for a nice cup of coffee at Bee Coffee Roasters, listened to a bit of music from Five Year Mission (a local Star Trek themed geek band) and went to the AEG dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Afterward, showed H around the convention center and went back to the hotel and learned to play Trains.  Then to bed, not to late, around midnight . . . Read the rest of this entry ?

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