Showing posts with label Gen Con. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gen Con. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Going to Your First Con

It's just about Summer and that means Cons are in full swing.   One question that comes up from readers is "what do I do at my first Con?" or even "how do I prepare?"

I have talked about these ideas in the past and was recently inspired to share some of these ideas in honor of the Amazing Las Vegas ComicCon coming up at the end of June. If you're trying to plan your travels for your first ComicCon there are awesome Las Vegas package deals to suit anyone's needs.

I would say I have not been to a lot of cons, but so far this year I guess I have already been to three! So as always, your mileage may vary.

What Should I Bring With Me?
Many Cons are now limiting what you can bring in with you. Some don't want you to bring in fake weapons anymore, others might allow real swords, but have zip-tie on them.  If you are cosplaying be sure to check the rules first!
At many cons, the lines for food, drinks, and everything else are long. Sometimes really long. If you can bring in a bag, pack some snacks.  I still hear horror stories about the year that Gen Con ran out of bacon! So plan accordingly.
No one loves caffeine more than me, but skip loading up on sodas and energy drinks and instead opt for water.  IF you are walking a lot (and you do at most big cons) you will need it.

What should you wear? 
Comfort is the key.  If you are going to a large con then again you will be walking a lot, so comfortable shoes are a must.  This is also your time to let your freak-flag fly. I have an entire collection of t-shirts I can only wear in public around cons! Nothing offensive, but certainly ones that only my Geek brothers and sisters would enjoy.

If you are Cosplaying, again comfort is key.  Granted you might not be walking as much since you could be posing for pictures more, but consider it.  I have a great Victorian outfit I wear. But the trouble is it is also all black wool.  Great, as long as I can stay in some AC all day.

Whatever you decide, make sure you have everything.  Like any trip make sure you have extra clothes too.   I also make sure I have room for the t-shirts I'll buy at the con too.

What are some important dos and don'ts?
Please, PLEASE, check with your con's website to see if they have any special rules long before you go.
Many/all cons have a website FAQ of things you can and can't do.  Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con, for example, has a FAQ here: https://www.amazingcomiccon.com/about


DOs
- Pace yourself! You have a lot to see and do, no sense wearing yourself out Day One.
- Eat well! Plan your meals. Cons are great times, but eating sometimes gets pushed aside.
- Wash Your Hands!  Ever hear of "Con Crud"? You will! Exposure to so many different people leads to new viruses. Add bad eating habits, less sleep and different levels of exercise you have a nice mix that leads to Con Crud.
- Bring cash.  Not every place takes credit/debit card and some autograph lines only take cash.
- Budget yourself! Don't spend all your money day one.
- Have a great time! This is great experience and you should enjoy every moment you can.
- Looks for hidden treasures! Every town that hosts a con hopes you enjoy yourself.  See what they have to offer. I have found great places to eat and some I get just as excited about as the con itself.

Make sure you have your hotel and travel plans set and ready to go.

But there are also a few DON'Ts
- Don't be a jerk. Other people are coming to the con too. Some it might be the only one they go to this year or for many years. Don't be a jerk and ruin their con.  That goes for people working the cons, people working at the hotels, restaurants.
- Don't forget you are there to have fun!

I have to add that when it comes to Cosplay.  Cosplay is NOT Consent. Come on, don't be a jerk.
I don't care if you know every line of every Deadpool issue there is, that girl wearing the Gwenpool outfit that she spent hours (maybe days or weeks) working on is just as welcome here as you are.  She (or he) doesn't need Geek Gatekeeping from you, harassed or touched.  Tell her "hey, that's an awesome Gwenpool!" Ask her if you take her picture and then move on.

Remember the rule: "Butt on the floor, pictures no more."


Cons are becoming more and more family welcoming. So remember that this is also a lot of little kids' first cons too.  Give them a reason to want to come back every year!

Ready?  Let's go!


--
Don't forget that the big OSR Sale is going on over at DriveThruRPG.  Just a little over 10 days left. Lots of great titles on sale including some from The Other Side.  Check them out.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: Victoriana, 2nd Edition

Victoriana and I have a long and complicated relationship.  I find it interesting that to date I have not done a review for this game.  So let me fix that now.  I discovered Victoriana, 1st Edition around the time I was writing Ghosts of Albion.  I picked up the game, but since I was deep into working on and playing Ghosts at the time I didn't look at it much.  Finally, I did and then learned a 2nd Ed was going to come out.

I spent some time reading the 1st Edition rules and thought it was interesting, if odd.  For starters, I am not sure why there was no U.S. Civil War. I was also not a fan of the Fuzion system.  I liked all the odd races for the game (even if it did lead to the infamous Orc from Africa debate) and felt like it was, as it has been later described as Victorian Age Steampunk.

The thing that struck me though is how similar that cover is to the Ghosts of Albion BBC logo.  In particular the silhouettes of  William and Tamara.   I am sure it is nothing but coincidence,  but I could not help but notice it all the same.  Save for the pointy ears on the Victoriana cover that *could* be Tamara and William from Ghosts.

I went into the 2nd edition with a lot of preconceived notions of what the game was.  That is until Gen Con 2007.  Friday night I ran a Ghosts of Albion game and a lot of the authors and playtesters for Victoria 2nd Ed came.  I later joined them on a 8:00am Saturday morning game.  I was hung over, battling the oncoming con crud.  I played an Ogre butler with a Wits (intelligence) score of two whose saving grace was a giant shotgun that he wielded like a pistol.  I had a GREAT time.

Victoriana is a perfect example of why you need to play a game instead of just reading it to do a full and proper review.  Reading through the rules the first few times gave me a bit of headache, but playing it was a snap.

Victoriana, 2nd Edition is a 286 page book. Color covers, black and white interior.  A couple of words about that.  The art for this book moves between D&D-esque fantasy races and vintage photographs.  Many of the photos are of author Andrew Peregrine's own family.  I think this gives the game a unique touch.  Personally, I do not want color art in my Victorian-era games. This is a world in black and white.

Vic is best described as a Victorian "cyberpunk" game; not just in terms of ethos, game design and play but also mechanics.  The game is based on d6 dice pool with the extra advantage of a "black dice" to add more random flavor.  Roll your pool of Characteristics, Skill, and Specialties and see how many successes you have.

The system that powers Victoriana is known as the Heresy system. Maybe an allusion to the game company that published Victoriana 1st ed.

The real feature of this game is the ability to play a number of fantasy races in a magic-is-real and in-the-open Victorian London 1867.   The similarities to ShadowRun continue here.  You can play dwarves, ogres, elves (Eldren) and other fantasy races.  It could also be described as Steampunk ShadowRun or even Steampunk D&D. To call it that would really be selling the game a little short to be honest.  I often described it as most Victorian games turned up to 11.

The game won a Silver Ennie for Best Writing and there is a ton of great material in this game, if viewed from Victoriana's own lens.

Appendix 3 Source Material is a great read for any fan of the Victorian era.  Six pages of great and pretty exhaustive material.

The supplements for Victorana are all top notch with the same artistic style and flare of the core book.

Victoriana is one of those games I always seek out to play at conventions when I can.  I have always had a great time.

If this sounds fun to you there is a free preview of the game here.



Monday, August 8, 2016

Gen Con 2016 in Review

I am back from Gen Con.  As always we had a great time. I am on my lunch so I thought I would fire off an update.

Every night was devoted to the Against the Giants adventure. We didn't get as far as we wanted, we only got through G1 The Hill Giants and +Thork Hammer aka R.C. Pinnel's G4 The Stone Giants.




They encountered their first drow of House Eilservs from Erelhei-Cinlu.
Since I am running this all under D&D 5e I am making the Drow of House Eilservs all partially Warlocks of Tharizdun, whom they know as the Elder Elemental God.  The G4 module played into this rather nicely.

I bought some things of course.  Mostly stuck to Castles & Crusades books.


Can't wait to dip into Victorious!

Went to the ENnies.  I didn't win, which I will admit was disapointing.
I'll post more later on this.

I did get a chance to meet +Zak Sabbath, Stoya and Charlotte Stokely at the ENnies and that at least was cool.  Zak took home 3 of the 5 ENnies he was nominated for, that was also cool.  My son loved his speech thanking Satan.  My son threw up some horns for that.  I also got my copy of Maze of the Blue Medusa signed by Zak and Stokely.



Opted to play a lot of different types of games this year.  Played a great game of Castles & Crusades.
Played some Exploding Kittens (really fun) some Munchkin (also fun), got into a board game at the Mayfair group, but didn't really care for it.  Tried to find a board game we all liked, but no success there.

I got some more art for my game room from Wayne Reynolds.  I think I want to get one of those frames that holds three pictures at once.



Wonder how much he would charge to do some art of Larina....

I picked up a copy of Gettysburg for a friend.  Picked up some more dice. Signed up for the Star Trek playtest.  Was going to pick up Pathfinder Horror Adventures, but there wasn't really anything new in it for me.   I might grab it later at my FLGS.

Loved all the Cosplay.  My son went as Jacob from Assassin's Creed and found a like-minded friend.


There were tons of "Harley Quinn"s but also a lot of "Rey"s from Star Wars. I thought that was cool.


While the con is still dominated by middle-aged, bearded white guys I am seeing a lot more families and kids.  This is a great thing.

Ate and spent WAY too much.

Not sure if I can make it next year.  It is later in August and my kids' school starts before Gen Con.

All in all a great time.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A to Z of Adventure! L is for Lendore Isles

L is for Lendore Isles (and Len Lakofka).

I was a fan of Len Lakofka way back in the day when I first discovered his work in Dragon Magazine.

I think it was his articles on the Gods and Goddesses of the Suel Empire that read first. Especially the one on Wee Jas.  Or it could have been his article on the Death Master NPC.

But in any case it was his L series, the Lendore Isles, that most people know his work.

Module L1, The Secret of Bone Hill, is a classic for a number of reasons. First it was Lakofka's first foray into module writing. There is was plenty of background detailed in this module as well, a lot for what amounts to an introductory module.

The typical hack-n-slash or kick in the door plot is given over to what really amounts to a mystery.   The adventure section itself is actually only a small part of the adventure.

I also think it was that Bill Willingham cover.  I made character based on that magic user.

I got the chance to run my kids through this at Gen Con 2014 and we had a great time with it.
I had planned to run L2 Assassin's Knot, which is a great follow-up to L1, but time did not allow it.  By the time I had calculated all the XP the characters were ready for something else anyway.  Which is too bad, there is a great murder mystery in L2 that my youngest would have loved.

L3 Deep Dwarven Delve was completed at the same time as the first two adventures, somewhere around 1979, however it would not see publication til 1999 for the D&D Silver Anniversay Edition set.  I have never actually owned or even read this one. A fact that was lost on me till I started working on this post!  In fact the game it was written and published for, 1st Edition AD&D, was no longer in print and 3rd edition was on the very near horizon. Even the company, TSR, was no more having been bought by Wizards of the Coast.
(eta I checked and I did buy it on PDF at some point)

You would think that 20 years is enough to keep a guy out of the gaming biz. Well Len then released the next installments of the Lendore Isles adventures on the old-school gaming forum Dragons's Foot.

The next adventures were L4 Devilspawn and L5 The Kroten Adventures.
Plus material to support these adventures.

I have ready through these other adventures and I can't help but feel that they might work great for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. They have the same feel to me and think they would compliment each other very nicely.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

RPG a Day 2015, Day 5

Day 5: Most Recent RPG Purchase

Well fresh off of Gen Con there is a lot.


HEX: Revelations of Mars
Pathfinder Occult Adventures
Victoriana 3rd edition
Chill 3rd Edition
Beyond the Supernatural
Palladium Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition
A bunch of Mayfair AD&D books
Castles & Crusades Castle Keeper Screen
Amazing Adventures Character sheets

AND a bunch of Munchkin stuff.

Now to find the time to play them all.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Gen Con Haul

The BEST thing about taking my wife and kids with me to Gen Con other than having their company and dedicated gaming time is that I pretty much get to buy what I want under the guise of "it's for the family gaming nights!"  Well. It also happens to be true.

So here is this year's haul.



This is a cheat since I had already backed the Kickstarter.  But I got my book, dice and Martian princess figure.


Got these half-off because a Beyond the Supernatural game I was in was cancled.


My BIG buys.  Notice a theme?  Occult Adventures looks fun. Victoriana 3rd Edition is one I have been wanting for a while.  But the big win?  CHILL 3.0!!  OMG people this is such a cool book.



Mayfair D&D.  All of this for about 10 bucks.


Still loving Castles & Crusades.


AND an autographed print from Jacob Blackmon of my iconic witch Larina for "Strange Brew".

And last, but not least...although I didn't buy it at Gen Con, it came in the mail today.

My "Death Wand" from Magical Miscellany.  The newest endeavour by my friend Kim Pauley.
http://www.kimberlypauley.com/etsy-creations/




It is a real work of art!  I am going to need to stat this up!

Back From Gen Con!

Well another Gen Con has come and gone.
I had a great time.  I got to meet up with some old friends, met some new friends and "met" people in person that I have only talked to on social media.

Wednesday night we played Baker Street with author and designer +Bryce Whitacre.  It was so much fun.  My kids had a blast with it. Expect a full review soon.

Every night we played Ravenloft, the classic I6 module.  I used the fifth edition conversion I found, but I am suspecting now after playing 5e for a bit that 5e characters and bit stronger than their 1e counterparts.

The entry hall of Castle Ravenloft

Strahd's crypt, Saturday night.
We managed to get through the entire adventure over the course of Gen Con which was perfect really.

I even got my original module from 1983 signed by Tracy Hickman.



We got in an RPGA/DDI game as well and a few others.  Most were good, but we also had two clunkers.   ProTip: When you are demoing a game and the one image looks like another, but different meaning image, don't throw your graphic designer under the bus. It makes YOU look bad.

I also got to meet in person John and Matt of ODAM Publishing. I didn't hit their booth in time to grab a book, but the copy they had left looked fantastic.

More on what I did pick up later.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Night Videos: Gen Con / Vacation Edition

Welcome back to Friday Night Videos! Vacation / Gen Con edition.

Tonight the songs are less overtly about gaming or my relationship with gaming and more about my vacation in Gen Con.

Summer meant a lot of thing to me over the years.  Going out with friends, picnics, drinking, teaching while in college, working two jobs for college!  But for a shinning moment there for a while in the early 80s before discovering girls, beer, or the crushing responsibility of being an adult(!). Summer was also about vacations and playing some RPGs.

So here is my ode to that time and to Gen Con next week.

The Go-Gos.  Was there ever a band LESS like D&D?  Who cares.  This is a fun song.




While I followed Stevie Nick's solo career with the obsessiveness than only a teenage can manage, I never was that interested in Lindsay Buckingham's.   I did want this album at one point I recall.




Wednesday was my 20th Wedding Anniversary.  We got married in Jamaica and you could not go twn minutes and not hear Shaggy.  This whole album is a ton of summer time vacation fun.  This song NEVER fails to put me into mood.




Let's get to some more D&D/RPG-ish songs.  Going to California by Led Zeppelin is another great one.  Why? Because no one has written a "Going to Indiana" song.




Ok. Let's pay homage to Indiana's favorite son, John Mellencamp.  I know a lot of my audience might not get this, but John "Cougar" Mellencamp is a pretty big deal here in the midwest.  And nothing captured the feel of living in the Midwest in the 80s better than his 1985 album Scarecrow.  Believe it or not but it was a huge influence on my gaming.  I wanted my Chill games to capture the same feeling of hopelessness as "Rain on the Scarecrow" and joy as "Lonely Ol' Night" (yeah, listen to the song it is an ode to summer nights in the midwest where everyone feels like they are on their own).  I may live in the Chicago greater area now, but I did grow up in a small town.



See you all at Gen Con!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

No OSR at GenCon?

I spent my Sunday registering for games at Gen Con. It was fun, and frustrating, as normal.
I didn't get into all the games I wanted, but I got into enough and some of my alternates that I am happy.

But the whole time I am reading through the list I could not help but wonder.
Where are all the OSR games?

I saw a few, but by no means a lot.
I saw a few 4e games too and a lot of 3.x ones.

Look. I don't pretend we are anything more than a drop in a large bucket, but I did think we were a bit of a bigger drop than this.

Is it time for our own convention?  People dedicated to running these newer oldschool games?
Is anyone going to run anything at Gen Con not on the lists?


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gen Con 2015

Chatted with the family and we are heading to Gen Con again this year.

So far we have no big plans.  Last year was dedicated to D&D5, this year no plans yet.
I might run something.  I have a couple of Ghosts of Albion games I would love to run.

The kids are thrilled.  I am excited.
Looking forward to it!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Zatannurday: Zatanna Cosplay at Gen Con 2014

I didn't get a ton of pictures of Zatanna at Gen Con this year. Nor did I find any others online.
But what I lack in quantity I made up for in quality! At least I hope so.

Again, I didn't get anyone's names.







Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gen Con 2014 in Review. Part 2: The Games We Play

I have already mentioned that I spent a LOT of time playing D&D 5.  That was really our plan from the very start.   Plus we also went down a day early to enjoy ourselves a bit more.

Tuesday
Started with what has become a tradition for us.  Loading up the car and heading out to breakfast.  We got to Indy in record time from Chicago; not many people on the road when we left. 
Hit the pool for a bit and then played some D&D 5 Keep on the Borderlands.
The boys had hit the left hand side first so all that was left was the Kobold and Orc caves.  I was getting tired so I decided that without the influence of the Cult of Chaos the humanoids went back to their normal mode and killed each other off.  The best part?  My youngest got it and was all "whoa that evil cult was keeping them from fighting? How powerful are they?"

Wednesday
Got up, hit the breakfast and headed over to the Zoo.  It was walking distance from the hotel and really nice. We were there all day.  I thought it would be nice to take a more relaxed vacation and get in some things my wife enjoyed too.  Plus Indy is always so good to the gamers that throwing some more money into their coffers seemed like the right thing to do.
We got our swag bags.  The bags were nicer but the stuff they used to put in them was missed. 
Opted for dinner at our hotel restaurant.  Not bad, but (and I hate to say this) we are used to better food in Chicago.
We went to the J.W. Marriott open gaming room and caught a table just as a group was leaving and set up for L1 The Secret of Bone Hill.  My wife joined us for this round.  We had to look crazy with my 1st ed module, D&D 5 book and boxed set and a bunch of 3e/4e tiles.  The characters managed to completely avoid going to Restenford at all.  They went to see the gambling monks and pieced together enough information to hear about Bone Hill. Or as my wife put it, it was the name of the adventure so we had all better get there eventually.  
The adventure went well and the group stopped for the night.  The Exhibitor's hall opens in 10 hours and I needed to sleep.

Thursday
Got up, did breakfast and headed to the hall for opening day.  The boys were quite excited.
Our general rule is that we have to scope out the hall first before committing to any purchases.  My oldest ran into a friend and they were off.  My youngest, my wife and I headed over to Steve Jackson Games to pick up Munchkin Adventure Time and spin the wheel.  End of con tally on that: several card boxes, dice, munchkin cards and a cup.
Went to some other retailers. Stopped by DriveThru and Eden.  Stopped by the one retailer where they were selling "Buy 1 get 3 Free" but all I picked up was GURPS Goblins.
Went to the WotC area and played some D&D 5 with the same characters as last night. Our DM was great and she really took the time to help out my kids.  Sure they didn't really need it...but it is the effort I appreciate. 
We headed out to the food trucks for dinner (loved them!) and finally came back to the hotel.
Went back to the Open Gaming tables and got a table just as someone was leaving again! We were starting to play a guy stopped by and asked if we were playing D&D 5 and if he could set in.  Nice guy by the name of Jon.  He looked every bit the grandfather he was and had mentioned he came to Gen Con specifically to try out D&D 5.  He didn't care for it when he played it with another group that day and was actually going to give up on it.  He took one of our characters and we started.
Well he loved 5e and really enjoyed how well it worked with the 1st ed adventure.

Friday
Busy day!
Hit the hall again. We played a game of Flapjacks and Sasquatches; which was a blast.  Picked it up after playing.  It is a dice and card game where everyone is a lumberjack and you have to cut down the most trees.  Of course other lumberjacks are trying to stop you and there is the ever present danger of a Sasquatch rampage.  Honestly I was expecting very little with this and I had a great time!
Played a 1950s inspired game of Ubiquity.  It was a lot of fun but I think my youngest and I enjoyed it the most.  Plus I wanted to get a good feel for Ubiquity.  I have had Hollow Earth forever and Leagues of Adventure is just sitting there begging me to play it more.

Did a ton of walking around the hall.  Finally headed back to the hotel room to get ready for the ENnies!


(ok I had more pictures but they were blurry as hell)

It was really cool to see +Jen Page and The Dungeon Bastard in person and hanging out with the glitterati of the RPG scene reminded me just how small this business is.  

Best Blog came up and I didn't win.  
But I can't feel bad about that. All the winners were multi-author projects that even had editors.  I have me. Plus it was so cool to see my Other Side banner up on the screen.  Maybe next year right!
Oh and by now I am sure you have heard. Monte Cook, Paizo and Evil Hat took everything.  

Missed my Mage game but I just had to show off Union Station to my wife.  That is my absolute favorite place to run a game.  If I am running Ghosts of Albion then I want to do it there.
Got back to the hotel. Headed to the Open Gaming Room for more D&D 5.  We only played a couple of hours though.  Which was good because everyone was making great time. Jon found us again and had to let us know how much he enjoyed the game.  We got very, very close to finishing the game but we all started to turn into pumpkins by midnight.  

Saturday
Who the hell let all these people in???
Seriously, I have not heard the numbers yet, but it had to be 60,000 people.
We ran into some other friends on our way to a game.  We played some Dungeon Command.  The 4e-ish tactical dungeon battle game.  My youngest loved it and won.  For his efforts he got a free Sting of Lolth set!  I am not sure if you have seen these but they are full of pre-painted minis.  Worth it for that alone.
The cosplays were great! We make an effort every year to see the parade.  Some people were saying there seemed to more this year, but I thought it was less.




 

Again, my wife has the bulk of the pictures.

We played a couple of demo games in the hall, but everyone was selling out of everything!

Went for our last session of D&D 5. I ran the last of Bone Hill for about 2 hours and Jon then DMed all of us through a Birthright adventure he had.  Lots of fun.
Headed back to the room to pack.

Sunday
Ugh. Last day.  We had to get my son's bunny from his cousin so we opted to skip the last day of the hall.  Plus everyone was coming down with something so we wanted to get home.

All in all it was a great Gen Con.  We barely scratched the surface of all there was to do.  My oldest got to play Duke and we wanted to try that.  Plus there was that game "I am not a Werewolf" or something that looked fun.

Next year I hope to get in more board games and demos.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gen Con 2014 in Review. Part 1: D&D is back

Well another Gen Con is behind us.  Once again I ate more than I should, stayed up later and spent more money than I really should have.

D&D is Back!
I ended up play about 28 hours worth of D&D 5 over the con.  Ran most of that time and played for about 4 hours with 2 different DMs.
This is not the best version of D&D ever, but it is really, really damn close.  It plays and reads like a D&D "Greatest Hits" and you can see bits of not just every version of D&D in it, but little bits of Pathfinder and Castles & Crusades.  As I read somewhere else, every game has been stealing from D&D for so long that it was D&D's turn to steal some of it back.

I ran the end of "B2 Keep on the Borderlands" and all of "L1 The Secret of Bone Hill".  D&D 5 scales very well with the 1st Ed adventures and thanks to all the free stuff that WotC is throwing at us I was able to get D&D 5 stats for every monster in both modules.  We even had a guy join us that wanted to try D&D 5 and had played 2nd ed almost exclusively.  I think we made him into a D&D 5 fan by the end of the night.

At first I thought I would dislike the new faster XP progression but it really works nice.  While the former math teacher in me likes the nice progression from 3rd ed I think this new progression will work better.
Besides, the XP are 1/10 of what you saw in AD&D1 anyway.

Playing in the J.W. Marriott's "Open Gaming" room. 

The great thing about running the Keep on the Borderlands under AD&D and then again under D&D5 was I really got to get a good feel of both games in the same environment.  Trust me, if you liked AD&D then you should like D&D5, though everything in "5" runs faster.

I love the Backgrounds and the Archetypes.  The Backgrounds work better than what you have in Pathfinder (and can EASILY be ported over to any other system) and give you a good feel for what your character was before he/she was an adventurer; or something I like to refer to as the "Luke Skywalker".  Before Luke was a pilot or a Jedi he was a Farm Boy.  How does this translate, well he did target all those wamp rats back home.  Sure it feels a little "FATEy" but that is great.

Archetypes are the return of 2nd Ed kits, only reigned in.  Kits stopped being useful to me after the Complete Book of Bards was published and each and every kit in there was over powered.  In D&D5 they seem more reasonable.  In my group we had two Rogues, one was the Thief the other was the Assassin.  They were able to help each other out when needed but also had their own roles to play.

Multi-classing is of the 3.x variety (yeah!) and if anything easier to do.

The Wizard, Sorcerer and Warlock now all feel very different from each other.  So you can see some of 5's 4e DNA here.

I know people complain about the price of the books. Well I got in 28 hours of play and 6 more of enjoyment (reading, making characters) so far.  That's 34 hours of fun I had with my family.  Compare that to going to the movies which runs me (just tickets here) $36-40 per two hours. That's $1240.00+.  Frankly D&D5 is a steal.   Plus my wife enjoy it so much she wants us all to play a couple of hours each week!  Honestly I can't even put a price on that.

I also think, though I have not tried it yet, that D&D5 could run 3rd and 4th ed material too.  I might have to give that a go.

On an interesting note we played D&D 5 at the Wizard's area as well.  We had a WotC DM.  In the past I have less than stellar luck with this and most of the DMs were not very good.  I am happy to report that our DM was fantastic.  She let use our current characters, was great with teaching the rules and was all around a good DM.   In fact everyone I dealt with, talked to or otherwise interacted with at WotC were fantastic.

Does this mean I am done with "old school" D&D?  Hardly.  But it does mean my system of choice when it comes to D&D will be D&D5 for a while anyway.

Is it a perfect system?  No.  There are still some things I would have done differently.  But when I read the rules and I keep 99% of them intact, that is a good sign.
Hell. I am not even sure I do that with Ghosts of Albion and I *wrote* all of those rules.

Pathfinder Note
I still enjoy 3e and Pathfinder. In fact I still have a game of it going that I want to wrap up.
I had planned on picking up the Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide at the con.  I like to buy some games directly from the publisher at Gen Con since I know how much they look forward to these sales.
Well one of the Paizo employees was so rude to my son while he was looking at one of the goblin things that I decided I really didn't need to buy anything.
I am not making a big deal of this.
But it has turned me off from getting the book to be honest.

They in no way what-so-ever missed my money. But the contrast between how WotC treated my kids and how Paizo did really stuck with me.

Next update. I'll talk about all the other things I did. Plus my first time at the ENnies (short story, I lost, but still had a great time!). Oh and pictures.  All of them are on my wife's phone though.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back from Gen Con

Well I am back from Gen Con, but completely beat and everyone here has some sort of upper respiratory thing.

Will post more tomorrow, but I had a fantastic time!

Friday, August 15, 2014

#RPGaDAY Day 15, Favourite Convention Game

#RPGaDAY Day 15, Favourite Convention Game

I have had the amazing luck to have played in some really great games at Cons.

Running Ghosts of Albion: Obsession is one of my favorite things to do in fact.
But I have a couple of games that bring me great memories.

Back in 2012 at Gen Con I took my kids and we started our 1st Ed AD&D game.  We played in the lobby of our hotel and it was a blast.  Of course we kept getting interrupted by people walking by and telling us how awesome it was that we were all playing 1st Ed AD&D.  We went through module B1 and had a great, great time.

Another one where I was the player in a Buffy/Charmed/Supernatural crossover.  The game was using Cinematic Unisystem (Buffy/Angel) rules so I went into it knowing I was going to have fun.  Well I had an absolute blast.  I played Piper, one of my favorite witches ever. In the course of the game I burned through about 5 drama points but I also had earned 6 for role playing. Course having seen every Charmed episode gave me an advantage.  I wish I had remembered the GMs/Director's name because I would have easily gone to one of her other games.

--
BTW Tonight is the night I learn if I won an ENnie or not.
Win or Loose it was an honor to be nominated and I thank everyone that voted for me!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gen Con Bound

Posting will be a bit off-schedule this week.

Getting ready to head out to Gen Con.  Going a day early to check out the zoo and spend some time away from the computer.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Found my Gen Con Game

Every time I have taken my kids to Gen Con we have started a new adventure.
I like to pull from the classics no matter what it is I am playing.  So in the past we have done S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth and B2 Keep on the Borderlands.

This year it is going to be L1 The Secret of Bone Hill!


I am rather fond of this adventure and have figured out some new tweeks to it to make it work great in my kids' AD&D game.  Plus I have a bunch of Len Lakofka's material from Dragon that I want to port into this.

Should be a blast!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Great Gaming Weekend!

What a great weekend for gaming!

Friday Night I went to my regular 2nd Ed game. We were missing some players so I got to bring along my oldest son.  We got there and more players were missing. So we created some new characters living in the same world with the idea that they could be alternates for anyone that drops into the game or we could even switch from our primary characters to these.  Some hiccups, but all in all a good night and a great bunch of characters.

Sunday Morning I registered for my GenCon games.  I didn't get everything I wanted, but I still got plenty. Going to be playing some Ubiquity and Mage the Ascension for the first time in years.

Sunday Afternoon.  Again, missing characters. This time my youngest son crashed on the couch from his night of playing paintball.  So my oldest wanted to play our 1st Ed game and finish up the Caves of Chaos.  Instead I had him take one of his alternate characters, an assassin, and discover that Mendel the Merchant was part of the Slave trade to and from the Caves.  This will play nicely when they hit the A series later.
Merchant killed, plot discovered.  All in a good day's work.  Now they just need to clear out caves A, B and C and they can move on to the next adventure.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gen Con 2014

Gen Con 2014 is approaching fast.

In case you are going and want to plan out your gaming the listing of 9,000 events is now out.
Registration is this Sunday and promises to be just as hectic as the last couple of years.  I worked out several alternate calendars to get everything in (scheduling for 4 is a pain).

Lots of Pathfinder, but not as much D&D as I would have liked.
And I'll be honest, out side of a couple of token games, the OSR is really no where to be found.  Ok to be fair there are a lot of DCC games, but it's that and Labyrinth Lord

The vendor map is also out now. So you can plan your shopping I guess.
http://images.gencon.com/GenCon2014-ExhibitHallmapwithlinks.pdf
The cool thing though is this is hot linked, so you can also go to the website of the vendors.

A couple of things jumped out at me.
First, Where is WotC?
Second, where is the group that sells all the OSR games?  I know that in 2012 they had their own booth but other years had been sharing one.

I was reading somewhere, can't remember where now, but it was earlier in the week, that the number of events is actually down a little from last year.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

D&D40 Bloghop: Day 18

Day 18: First gaming convention you ever attended.

I had attended some smaller Con at Southern Illinois University back in the late 80s.  But being a poor college student I didn't get a chance to do much.

My first Gen Con was not until 2007.  I have had a blast there every year since (except for 2013, we didn't go).

This year I am taking my boys again.  It should be a blast!
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