Gen Con '09 in Review

My wife and I were lucky to be able to go to Gen Con this year. My daughter stayed with the grandmother and the dog with a neighbor so we had the whole week without much in the way of responsibility. I won't bore you with all the things we did but I figured I would touch on the highlights and disappointments, at least for me.

Highlights

Games

Ryan Macklin's Mythender game. Tony Dowler, Amy Garcia, my wife and I had the opportunity to take part in a playtest of Ryan's new game. It was a ton of fun to game with all of them. This game helped my wife understand why I love the various small press games like I do. It also helped her to be more descriptive in combat as that is an essential part of the game. This was a shorter game simply because it was late and people had to get up early to work their booths.

Shane Ivey's Monsters and Other Childish Things game, a game from Arc Dream Publishing. I don't remember besides my wife all the people that played but it was also very awesome. In it half of us were children and the other half was their monsters. My wife played my monster and as such tried to get me in trouble while we were on a plane to Washington DC. The real highlight of this game was when one of the other monsters decided it was best to eat the plane in order to save us. There was plenty of interaction between all the characters.

The last game was a demo of a recently new game on the market called Shard. It is available through Studio 2. One of the writers demoed it for us and he was simply amazing. He really got into descriptions and gestures that made the demo feel like a full fledge game. My wife fell in love with the setting and so we picked it up. In it you play anthropomorphic animals who have established a civilization on another world. Their culture is modeled after a mix of ancient China and India. There is vary little metal so the animals have turned to native insects as their weapons. My wife's whip was a centipede. 'Nuff said. When I find a chance I will review the game more throughly after I finish my stack of stuff to read.

Restaurants

Palomino - We went there twice. On Wednesday night before the con, they had half price wine, so we ordered a really nice bottle. Their steaks are amazing. Reasonably priced save for the steaks, but I can forgive that due to how awesome it was.

Cafe Patachou - They are only opened for breakfast and lunch and are not the cheaper food that gamers like, but it's awesome. My wife had croissant french toast, seriously that sounds bad on so many levels.

People

Besides those I mentioned from the games I played with I got to meet Robin Laws, John Wick and Ken Hite. My wife and I attended Laws versus Wick in a GM seminar smack down. Wick was awesome and gave me a undamaged copy of Houses of the Blooded. My copy was bought off IPR and my mail man decided it could fit in my mailbox. Whoops!

Disappointments

Games

Eclipse Phase by Catalyst Games. I signed up for a demo of this and from the start the game didn't go well. The GM was late due to grabbing some food, which I can understand, but it felt like we were unimportant. Second, the GM handed a stack of character sheets to everyone and said to pick one, but ignore all the bonuses since the circumstances of the scenario said to. Which is difficult since we are all new to the game. Third, there is a TON of skills on the character sheet and none of us had the complete set of them. And finally, when the GM just read from a script in between bites of food. I left due to boredom but I still think the setting looks wonderful. We will have to see how it all plays out.

General

Rudeness of people on the exhibit floor. Simply put people didn't really pay attention to where they were going or the fact that they have a backpack on. I really wish people would learn to pay more attention to other human beings.

Missed some people who I wanted to meet. That is a minor thing as I plan on going to Origins and I hope to meet some people there. I really wanted to meet Ben Baugh of Monsters and Other Childish things and various crazy rpg.net threads and some more of the podcasters/bloggers that I read and listen to.

Surprises Purchase of the Con

I picked up a copy of Realms of Cthulhu by Reality Blur Studio on a whim. Shane and Simon from Pinnacle was there along with Reality Blurs people, so I had people sign it. Wow, I was taken by surprise how solid of a book that was. I would check it out when it comes to a Gaming Store near you.

Conclusion

I am sure I am missing stuff but that is a quick overview of what happened. My wife was pleasantly surprised by how much fun she had at the con and I am glad she did. We ate good food, met some good people and played some wickedly fun games. Look forward to when I can go again. I think I will attend Origins before another Gencon, but who knows.