Sunday, August 16, 2009

GenCon -- Day Three

We woke in the morning and started the day with another hearty breakfast buffet. I'd planned on playing in the opening round of a Puerto Rico tournament, but a combination of feeling a bit out of it and the realization that, if I won, I wouldn't be able to participate in the next round of the tournament anyway (because I had the RPGA con special scheduled in that slot) convinced me to lay down for a bit. 'A bit', unfortunately, turned into Chip waking me up at noon so that we could get ready for the con special at 1pm.

The con special, sadly, was disappointing. It took nearly 45 minutes for us to be seated with a DM, then the DM took a break following the first encounter to grab a snack. That first encounter was a brutal grind featuring creatures capable of delivering the Dazed condition (shutting down a number of character action choices) combined with a boss monster who had the ability to heal his Dazing allies when they'd otherwise be destroyed.

The DM moved us on to an encounter with a solo boss mob plus a trap, thinking that he was giving us a more interesting fight; sadly, this fight turned into a very boring 'beat on trap, then beat on boss' encounter where we seldom felt truly threatened -- the first encounter was much more engaging, if only because we were fighting for our very lives, thinking we'd be overrun at any moment. (Chip almost duplicated his feat from our PbG TPK, as he was pushed so far away from the rest of the party by the boss monster's powers that it seemed more sensible for him to flee than to try to return to the fight.) We did receive enough XP to level Melchior to 12, and also saw our first-ever magic rings in an LFR adventure, so the reward was more satisfying than the path taken to get it.

Michael had signed up for one more LFR adventure for the con, and ended up having a spare ticket. Chip and I had originally been scheduled for a seminar by some of the designers at Goodman Games: "How To Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck". Chip, though, chose to take the spare ticket, and I would end up attending the seminar alone.

Before then, though, I ended up playing in a very enjoyable casual card game called Lifeboat.

The seminar proved to be reworded advice of the same sort given to DMs everywhere (provide what your players want, don't be afraid to change things if they're not working, etc.), and I left disappointed. Chip and Michael, however, ended up having to evacuate the convention center -- the reason was not clear at the time -- and so Chip and I offered our room and its huge table as a place where the game could continue. It turned out being a good deal for all involved -- I ended up getting a free sandwich out of the arrangement, while Chip and Michael got to finish what ended up being a very long session; it started at 7pm and was scheduled to be over by 11pm, but is still running as I type this at 1:30am.

Added bonus: while resting in the bedroom watching TV, I stumbled across WGN showing old episodes of "The Bullwinkle Show". Just hearing the voice of Edward Everett Horton narrating the Fractured Fairy Tale "Snow White, Inc." brought back fond memories of younger days.

Tomorrow is the final day of GenCon, with hotel checkout sometime between 11am and noon, and then a planned taxi ride to the airport at 1:30 to catch a 3:30 flight back to Minneapolis.

Time to sleep, for now.

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