Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Fourth

This past weekend was Gary Con.  All told, this was only my fourth gaming convention in my entire life.  Growing up overseas during my initial gaming years, going to things like Gen Con was't even an option, and I was barely even aware that such things existed.  So, to be so addicted to them already is pretty amazing.

As to this year’s Gary Con, it was a good time.  About what I expected.  As I stated before, all of my games were second (or even third) choices, so I went in to most of them with little to no emotional investment.  And yet, I still had a lot of fun for the most part.

My favorite game of the weekend was actually my first one.  On Friday afternoon, I took part in a game that used Dungeon Crawl Classics to emulate a post-apocalyptic world that was a mash up of Mad Max and Thundarr.  It was pretty damn cool, actually.  Some of the rules were a bit odd at first, and the heavy reliance on random outcomes (through tables) was jarring.  But it all worked out, and it even had a personally satisfying climax for me.  Friday night was the planned steak dinner with friends.  Mmmm…steak…

Saturday morning started with a game at 8:00.  We stayed up pretty late Friday night, so I was draggin’ ass already.  But, with the help of some coffee, I muscled through it, and had a pretty good time.  It was a Castles & Crusades game.  Pretty standard fare.  The GM kind of had a hard time keeping on track, and he kept missing what players were saying in order to explain some minor detail to another player.  It could have been better-run, but it could have been worse.

After a quick lunch with my wife, it was a 3.5 game which ended up being our regular D&D group from home, minus my wife and one other.  It was a high-level game, involving dragons and such.  However, we got a late start because Luke Gygax [namedrop] didn’t give up our table for a half hour.  So, we lost a lot of play time.  Then the DM kind of screwed us by having an encounter begin at extremely long range, so we ended up spending five rounds of play running uphill and dodging boulders.  Kind of frustrating.  But, we made it through, got to the lair and took care of some business involving a sick and insane gold dragon, and then…we ran out of time.  So, we narrated a bit about the final encounter that we never got to do, and that was it.  Honestly, if the DM had better managed the first encounter, we could have done the last.  Anyways, it was still fun. 
Saturday evening was supposed to be a Tekumel game for me and a C&C game for my wife.  But, due to being over-tired from the night before, we both bagged out, spent a little time with friends and went back to the hotel to rest instead.  I kind of felt bad for being one of THOSE gamers, but it really couldn’t be helped.  Something to keep in mind next year.

Sunday morning had us in games at 10:00.  Mine was a 2nd Ed. AD&D game, and another high-level adventure.  It was pretty fun, though the group tended to overthink everything, and for some reason THAC0 was giving me an aneurism (my basic THAC0 with my bastard sword was -1, so I only missed on a roll of 1 in most cases).  In the end, we didn’t defeat the evil, and “lost” the game, for lack of a better term.  That was disappointing.  I know it happens, but it just goes against my style of play.  We’re the heroes, gawdammit!  As it was, that one lasted 6 hours, and threatened to run over.  Since my wife’s game had ended two hours earlier, I was actually just glad to be done.

As I said, it was a fun weekend, despite not getting the games I wanted.  I think the lesson learned here is not so much to aim for the games you DO want, but to avoid the games you DON’T want.  No more 2E for me, thank you.  That game reminded me of why, when I got into 3E, I never looked back.
Now, to get ready for Gamehole Con in November.  More on that later.

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