Thursday, August 11, 2011

Report - Gen Con 2011 - The Turning Point

Normally I find that I have a lot more fun at Origins than I do at Gen Con. It just seems to me that the atmosphere was far more relaxed than anything at Origins while at Gen Con it's nothing but pushing as fast as you can all the time.

This year was the Turning Point. This year I walked in and felt like I was going to have a lot more fun this year than the I've ever had. We had arrived in on Wednesday, because I come in with the Canadian Contingent for Catalyst (yay Alliteration), I had a day to just kind of acclimatize myself. No more rushing to get there and jumping right in, it was a far more pleasant experience. Maybe it was the better mindset that I was coming in with, there's an announcement that's coming forward that might have something to do with that, but it was just different, and better.

That being said what happened to me at Gen Con?

Games that I ran:
I had two games of Geasa go off and 1 game of Critical!: Go Westerly go off. That means that the one CyberGen game that supposed had 6 people, and in reality only had one, failed ... again. I'm sure that this is a sign that I'm only not slowly starting to understand here, I think I'll get it eventually.

Geasa Game 1
We ended up playing in the second century, with a Devil trying to be good, an Angel trying to understand humanity, the head of the Catholic Church and a Macedonian Spy looking to get out with his information.

A couple of great Fae moments. The Spy was trying to escape and instead had to stick around because of his Fae. He ended up just paying half of his travel costs when he was compelled to investigate a fire because it might have to do with his mission. Annoying, certainly and he railed about it a little bit.

The second bit was right at the end when the Angel, trying to negotiate between the Church and the Old Believers for peace ends up being compelled to blame the Old Believers that they had made up that someone had stolen their artifacts and riots in the streets ensued. Which is where we ended it because of time.

Geasa Game 2
The second game of Geasa didn't go as well, mainly because the group mostly didn't get it. When four fifth of the table sit there and wait for you to tell them what's going on it's hard to run a GMless game. They had an interesting dynamic between them, because they had come in as a group. You could tell who was their GM and how they were used to just kind of letting him go, and most certainly he could go and tell a great description and a wonderful narrative, but he just didn't seem to be able to let go. It got me thinking and will probably lead to a blog post on Geasa later on.

Anyway, they were a motley group of characters. We had a pirate trying to reform, we had a fisherman who lost his ship to taxes, a smuggler on the run from his former employer, a tavern wench wanting something more and a noble dandy looking to escape an arrange marriage. When I saw this I went, "Hey, this is the best start of a pirate crew ever" but I didn't say anything because I like to watch the stories develop but it kept stalling. Not what I had in mind, but the story in question. Eventually it culminated with their GM guy going, "I don't know where we're going! I don't know how to get there."

Now maybe I got lazy and didn't explain goals enough, because that's supposed to be what drives you. Maybe it was a case that I should have taken a far more proactive approach to what's going on. Maybe Geasa isn't for everyone and some people are going to have a hard time with it. Whatever the reason, I don't think my answer of "Well, we'll find out when we get there" satisfied him, but oh well.

Critical!: Go Westerly
The Game of Critical went off beautifully as well. Geoff and/or I will have to come up with a new scenario for the next con season, but we'll have a couple of months to pound that out. However, You All Meet in a Tavern ended up with some gems for lines.

Stelph: "Is this Human Seawater? Elven Seawater is far superior."
Angelique: "You just suck the fun out of every trap."
Barnabus: "There you go perpetuating stereotypes. 'Peaceful Protestors' and 'Blood-thirsty elves'"

I really can't wait to get this book out. We've commissioned the art, and now it's just the last edits and the getting of the book together.

The Stuff that Came Out and/or I Picked Up

I managed to pick up a copy of Bulldogs! and Unhallowed Metropolis Revised. I also got a copy of Blood Bowl Team Manager which is perhaps the best deck building game I have played (Yes it's a Deck Building Game, but it's not the only focus of the game). I picked up Escape from Aliens in Outer Space which looks pretty damned awesome but I want to wait until I have at least 6 people playing.

Smirk and Dagger ended up putting out an amazingly addictive Dice Game called Suttaku which I think everyone should go and pick up. It's got 12 beautifully created large dice for stacking and is one of those games that you can play quickly and end up playing 10 games before you feel any desire to stop, but then you pick up the dice and you just want to keep rolling.

What Else?
I ran into the awesome people that I always run into. I got to laugh, and have fun and enjoy myself and feel that Firestorm Ink is actually doing stuff, and possibly stuff that people want to see.

Now to finish up Bulldogs! and Unhallowed Metropolis ... and Eclipse Phase (which I should have done ages ago).

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