Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gencon: Days 3 & 4

Saturday at GenCon started out early. The "Haunted and Historical" tour kept us up late, so we almost overslept and missed...

Killer Breakfast

The "Killer Breakfast" does not serve breakfast. :) Basically, it's a silly thing that authors Tracy & Laura Hickman put together. Everyone piles into the room and a group of about a dozen people get pulled up onto the stage and given "character sheets." Tracy then gives a scenario and starts asking the people "How did you get here," and "What do you do?"

If people's answers are too boring or just lame, they get "killed" and taken off the stage, to make room for the next person. Of course, the trick is that everyone will get killed by the end of it, so it's no big deal. The people who are the most entertaining "live" the longest onstage. A couple of my favorites:

Killer Breakfast - Pirate Wench

The Pirate gal actually lasted a couple rounds, if I remember right, because she played it to the hilt. And besides, everything's better with pirates!

Killer Breakfast - Service

As I mentioned before, there is no breakfast served at Killer Breakfast. When Tracy Hickman asked this guy "what do you do?" he got up and pulled out a table, then proceeded to serve Tracy & Laura a light breakfast. He lived a couple more rounds. :)

Killer Breakfast - Yoda

Yes, this guy dressed up as Yoda, complete with little arms on sticks. And he really stole the show. He also was sitting next to a kid who was doing a Harry Potter-ish thing to play, and they really had fun playing off each other.

Killer Breakfast - Monster in Darkness

I really wish I could've got a better picture of this. Someone dressed up as the "Monster in Darkness" from the comic The Order of the Stick. Did a great job of it, too.

Of course, in the end, the entire audience died. :)

We managed to double-book several events on Saturday, so we didn't get to do everything we had planned. After the Killer Breakfast, we got some real breakfast, and did more shopping in the dealer's room. Then, it was time for "Tracy Hickman's X-Treme Dungeon Mastering!"

X-Treme Dungeon Mastering!

This was a seminar where he talked about the various ways to play games, and how to avoid many of the pitfalls gamemasters make when running their games. He had a lot of great insight, including...

XDM and Joseph Campbell

... using Joseph Campbell's monomyth to help build your stories.

DNA Winner

At the end of the seminar, Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis held a contest. Apparently, a batch of human DNA samples are going to be sent up to the ISS as a kind of "back up" for the human race. They drew out a name and the guy pictured in the middle won.

Again, the seminar kept us from attending a couple other events, so we just spent some time walking around getting pictures and such. I stopped by the miniatures painting area, and they had a bunch of their contest winners out for show.

Mini - Red Dragon Minis - Sculped Giant Frog
Minis - Beholder Minis - Sewer
Minis - Mecha Minis - DDR

Then, the big event of the con...

Charity Die

Gary Gygax, one of the co-creators of the original Dungeons & Dragons game, died this past year. In tribute, the con had this huge styrofoam d20 die out on the floor. The die was hollow, and people were encouraged to drop some of their spare dice into it.

On Saturday evening, a charity auction was held. All purchases made at the charity auction went to help soldiers who had been badly injured in combat. Several artists and writers donated unique pieces of their work, along with lots of other gaming related items. But the big event of the night was auctioning off the huge foam d20 and all its contents.

Charity Auction

The auction started off kinda anemic, without a whole lot of bids going in. It was a bit disappointing, but some of the presenters gave impassioned speeches that seemed to get people more in the giving mood. The die ended up going for $1500.

That brought an end do our Saturday. Sunday, the final day of the con, started out after a good night's sleep. We only had a single event to attend, the "Worst Mistakes in Game Writing" seminar. Several writers talked about the typical mistakes people make when trying to get into game writing, and took questions people had about the subject. It was really informative, and I hope they do it again next year.

After that, it was just a matter of getting home. GenCon was fabulous fun, and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year.

I have one more follow-up post to make. There was a bunch of good cosplay at the con, and I'm going to show off some of the highlights in another post later today.

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