Thursday, August 21, 2008

GenCon: Day 1

The trip began way too early in the morning. I had to get up at 4:30 am to drive up to Indianapolis. Well, I had to sit in the passenger seat on the way up while Scott drove. ;)

We arrived in Indy and went to the front to register. Surprisingly, the registration process was simple, smooth and straightforward. Unfortunately, most of the gaming events were sold out in advance, and I managed to double-book some of the seminars. Others were just so physically far apart, we couldn't stay for one and make it to the other.

After that, lunch was in order. Found a nice little coffee shop across the street from the convention center called Ah Barrista. Really good sandwiches.

Then, the first seminar:White Wolf's Q&A for their new game, Hunter: the Vigil. The crew was great, very entertaining and gave a lot of information on how they designed the game. If you're familiar with the old World of Darkness game Hunter: the Reconing... well, forget it. This is its own beast. This has more in common with Hunters Hunted than HtR: mortals who might have access to esoteric abilities, not mortals called to fight by supernatural beings. You can play a straight up mortals game with this, or you can delve into more mystical groups such as the Lucifuge. I only wish I had snapped some pictures.

Unfortunately, my Secrets of Eberron seminar was in a hotel far enough away we couldn't make it in time. Instead, we hit the exhibit hall and did some shopping.

Exhibit hall

The main hall. I was surprised how much space they laid out for the vendors.

Fantasy Flight booth

Fantasy Flight Games had a huge amount of floor space, lots of demos for various games out there.

Tannhauser demo

Demo for the game Tannhauser: Undead Nazis versus cybered-up Allies!

Fantasy Flight booth - opposite angle

The other side of the FFG booth, lots of Confrontation minis.

White Wolf booth

White Wolf's booth.

Eve Online booth

Eve Online booth.

I have no idea what this thing is.

... I don't know. It was there, I took a picture of it.

Boffer Weapons

Boffers! People were whacking each other with these all weekend.

Banana & Monkey

A monkey and his banana.

Castle Molds

This is a great idea: rubber molds so you can make your own buildings and terrain for your minis games.

Wizards booth

The Wizards of the Coast booth, one of the bigger floor spaces (naturally). They had several demo tables, as well as...

D&D Character Generator

The new Character Generator app. From what I've seen it looks really useful.

Paizo booth

Paizo's booth was very purple.

Crocodile Games set

Crocodile Games set up some great tables to show off their minis.

Green Ronin booth

Green Ronin had a booth too.

Charity Die

Just outside the hall, the giant foam d20. It was hollow and people were encouraged to drop some of their own dice into it. The giant d20 and its contents would be auctioned off Saturday, and the money donated to charity.

After browsing around the hall,we did a “play to win” game of Risk 2210. This version of risk uses sci-fi units and a slightly different map to fit the theme. It also has some modified rules, such as command cards and a 5 turn limit. That limit makes it possible to play Risk in a few hours, rather than taking up all day, which is a major plus in my book. It came down to a tie-break at the end, and Scott won the game!

The game ran a bit long, so we missed out on a reading by Michael Stackpole. Still, we had a good time. Afterwards, we checked into our hotel and went out to eat at a fantastic Italian place, Bucca de Beppo. Wonderful food and fantastic service made it worth the price.

Coming up next, day 2, including pictures from the D&D 4e Q&A session!

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