Saturday, August 30, 2008

GenCon Day 2, Part 3

Day 2 was so busy, it took three posts to cover!

After the "Ways to Play" seminar, we took a bit of a break. We missed the Ennies and a Paizo seminar, instead retiring to our room to check out some of our loot. That will be a separate post, probably next week.

We returned that evening for the D&D Miniatures seminar. As we came in, the folks giving the presentation showed off a few of the upcoming minis they had with them:

Minis Seminar - Iron Dragon
Minis Seminar - Ogre Pulverizer
Minis Seminar - Thoon Hulk

Once everyone got settled, they began the presentation. There was talk about the current starter set and available minis boosters. Then, they talked about the next booster set coming out:

Minis Seminar - Demonweb

Oooh, baby. Yes, that's a mind flayer sketch on the left, and a stirge mini in the upper right! They did say they learned their lesson from the last time they put out a stirge (and it was hard to get), so it'll be a lot easier to get them now.

They talked about last year's championship winner, who got to help design a new figure. It's an elf ranger, with a crow companion on his arm. They did let slip that, yes, the Martial Power sourcebook will have rules for animal companions in it.

Next was Legacy support.

Minis Seminar - Legacy Support

The plan is to pick up posting new stats for the old sets starting in October. They'll publish downloads for the cards once per month, except for months where a new booster set comes out. They'll do this all the way back to Harbinger. They also said they were looking into making sure that old Chainmail minis that had an equivalent DDM figure would be allowed in league play.

Minis Seminar - 2009

The next discussion was what they wanted to do in 2009. Yes, that's another beholder, an aboleth (which they gushed over, saying they didn't think it could be done until they saw the first sculpt), and a rust monster. The rust monster is apparently going to be a critter in MM2.

Minis Seminar - Orcus

Yes, they still want to publish a colossal Orcus figure. They're having some issues finding a way to make it economical and affordable to gamers at the same time. They did cite that the Colossal Red Dragon didn't sell as well as they'd hoped due to the price, and some people mentioned they saw them for sale in some of the discount booths at the con for as little as $25, while the Gargantuan Blacks and Blues were going as low as $15. (Apparently those sold out quick, as I didn't find one at that price the next day.)

During the Q&A, someone brought up the lower quality of recent sets, and the Wizard reps agreed. Apparently they had changed companies, and weren't happy with some of the figures they got out of the last few sets. However, they said that this has been worked out, and they were really happy with Demonweb.

There was also a question of playing the minis game online through DDI. This is something the Wizards reps said they wanted to support, but the RPG side was first priority, so this would be further down the line.

After the minis seminar, it was time for one of the more expensive things I had bought tickets for: the "Haunted and Historical" tour of downtown Indianapolis.

Haunted & Historical

The lady in the green cloak was our tour director (I forgot her name by the next morning, unfortunately). She was working in cooperation with an actual "ghost hunter" society that operated in Indiana, and took us to some of the more famous "haunted" sites in town.

Haunted & Historical - Grand Central Station

Our first stop was the Indianapolis Grand Central Station, the first Grand Central Station in the USA. Supposedly, this is haunted both by a conductor, as well as a "ghost train" of President Lincoln's funeral train. And, yes, that's a full moon in the sky. I was happy with how this picture turned out on my little camera.

Haunted & Historical - Slippery Noodle

This is the bar "The Slippery Noodle." Originally, the building was a storehouse with a hidden tunnel to Grand Central Station, which was used to conduct escaping slaves for the Underground Railroad.

Haunted & Historical - Manager

As our guide was telling us about the stories, this guy came out to listen. When she was talking about one of the night managers who heard footsteps when no one else was there, this guy said "That was me!" The manager told us a few of his own experiences, as well as other stories he had heard about the building, which was a great little bit of lucky timing.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Statue at Night

This is the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, dedicated to all the service personnel who died in the Civil War. Supposedly this used to be the site of the mayor's mansion, but the mayor never lived there. His wife didn't like hanging her laundry in the middle of the downtown square, so they lived outside of town. Shortly after they moved out, there were rumors of a headless man seen inside the house, which persisted for years. One day, a young man went inside on a dare, and caught a turkey that was walking around inside the house. After that, the headless man was never seen again. ;)

We stopped by what is now a bank building, which used to have a restaurant in the upper floors. I don't remember the story well for that one.

Haunted & Historical - Indianapolis Athletic Club

This was the Indianapolis Athletic Club. Supposedly it was not built with fire in mind, so of course a bad fire broke out one night. The firemen couldn't get to the water line inside, people couldn't get out easily. They got some of them out, but one firefighter went back in to save a man trapped inside. The firefighter died of smoke inhalation later. After that, people say they can still hear a fireman banging on doors at night, warning people of a fire that went out years ago.

Finally, we stopped by the local arts theater. One of the owners apparently liked to jog around the upper levels on days where it was too rainy to do his jogging outside. He was unfortunately killed near his home one day while jogging, after being struck by a car. Folks report they can still hear someone running upstairs late at night.

Also, a homeless man apparently fell down an open window into the basement during the depression. He was badly injured and no one could hear him. When they finally found the body, they found bloody scratches on the wall, and the rock he had been using to bang on pipes, which he ultimately used to kill himself with. Apparently people can sometimes still hear banging on the pipes, or see a figure in the basement shadows.

So, that finally brings us to the end of day 2! We were absolutely exhausted after this one, let me tell you.

Days 3 and 4 will be much shorter, so they will likely be combined into one post. Then I'll have a final post, showing off some of the stuff we bought/won at the con, plus a bunch of cosplayers we saw!

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