Sunday, August 16, 2009

GenCon -- Day One

The day began auspiciously. Chip woke me up by saying, "Dave, we're still in the room."

I'd been up until after 2am, despite being tired, because I'd become paranoid that someone would knock on the door and ask us to change rooms because we'd been assigned the wrong room. But that didn't happen, and by tomorrow morning I should be convinced that we're going to stay in the room for the entire weekend.

Chip got up early because he had an 8am event. The good news is that my own schedule didn't have me needing to be on the floor until 9am, since I was going to take advantage of another VIG perk -- early access to the show floor. I definitely took advantage, visiting the Paizo Publishing booth and picking up a copy of the Pathfinder rules hardcover (and getting it autographed by James Jacobs and Sean K. Reynolds -- you may not know them, but they're well known if not exactly rock stars in the gaming world), then swinging by the Wizards of the Coast booth and picking up Divine Power and Adventurer's Vault 2 (plus a copy of the 4th edition Player's Handbook for $5), and lastly, finding a very well-hidden Alea Tools booth and picking up a DM set plus another dozen 'large' magnets. All told, the trip cost me over $200, but it was quick, largely mob-free, and consisted of most of the purchases I really felt I wanted to make this year at GenCon.

After the trip through the show floor, I went back to the room to drop off my well-earned gains and rest just a bit longer -- the four-and-a-half hour 'nap' I'd gotten the night before proved not to be quite enough rest to keep me going. Still, I managed to get myself moving again in time to reach my noon event: a live-action role-playing event called 'Asylum'.

I enjoy live-action role-playing (or LARP, in the vernacular) both because it's more akin to improvisational theater, which gives me an outlet for my theater urges when I'm not confident enough to audition for shows, as well as because LARP events are among the most gender-integrated events at any gaming convention. There's nothing wrong with hanging out with the guys, but if I wanted to do that all the time, then I'd still be playing D&D Miniatures.

After the LARP, I hustled back to the hotel, not to get back to the room, but because the Marriott is also hosting True Dungeon, and Chip, Mike, and I had tickets for a 4:37 start time. We sadly lost our ranger in the final combat, but we successfully completed the adventure, and both Chip and Mike seemed to enjoy their first-ever TD experience.

The three of us hung out after TD to grab a meal, then headed for my first visit to the Sagamore Ballroom for some Dungeon Delve. We ran into Casey in the ballroom, who was putting some polishes on his primary LFR character using the available D&D Insider terminals, and he agreed to join our delve. Our long practice preparing for GenCon paid off, and we blitzed the delve in 50 minutes out of the provided hour, earning a full set of reward tokens for our trouble.

After that, Chip and I decided to call it a night, since we'd be starting even earlier tomorrow -- 6:30am for an early breakfast buffet, then trying to muster into an open slot for an 'adventuring company' LFR event.

So far, so awesome!

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