[Note! This GENCON 2006 report is being written chronicalogoly, but the way blogger works, is later posts are shown first. To read the report in order, please scroll down to “Gencon 2006 – Day 1” and start reading from there.]
Before we get to the pictures and the story of Day 2, I need to finish Day 1.
After the True Dungeon Ken and I wanted to go to sushi restaurant. This is a place that Ken, Geoff, Ethan & I went last time I attended Gencon in 2004. We loved it then. Now it is looking a bit beat up. The air conditioning was non-existent and the service was slow and unreliable. Still, that didn’t stop Ken, Brian and I from ordering a whole boat of sushi.
Okay, I forgot to get a picture of the boat – I was too busy eating it to really bother with the camera. The picture above is stolen from the web. Anyway, 75$ later I was stuffed on raw fish. The experience was worth mentioning.
Okay, onto Day two of the convention…
This is the day I didn’t brush my teeth. The above picture kinda represents my state. I was kinda clean having just taken a 4 minute shower. My hair is still wet in this photo. Once again, Ken, Woody and I got up at the break of dawn to play DnD. This time we got up at 7am to catch an 8am game (okay, I lied; we got up at 7:45am – hence the 4 minute shower and lack of teeth brushing.) The guy in the above photo looks nice here, but I think he was getting tired of my antics by the end of the game.
It seemed I got the most fun playing ridiculous character concepts. I think my lack of focus got on some people’s nerves since I wasn’t gung-ho about solving whatever, but I was instead interested in flushing out my character’s personality.
Okay another photo that is less gross of the same game so I can continue without you gagging:
Ken played a druid, which for those of you not up on your DnD terms, is a dude that worships nature. He’s kinda like a Greenpeacer, but less fanatical. Woody played a fighter.
I was having a big problem picking a character. This session was a bit odd. It was a Zeitgeist Game. Which meant there were a ton of DMs hired by Zeitgeist Games to run pre-made adventures. When you went through an adventure, you got loot that got recorded on some Zeitgeist Games database somewhere so you could re-use that character in another adventure at another tourney somewhere else. The fact that everyone’s character was permanent (usually you use the character just for that single game then you never play them again) made people even less tolerant of my antics.
Anyway, I was having trouble picking a character. Every arch-type was covered at the table, so I opted to play another Druid – just like my buddy Ken did.
Now it is important to understand Ken here. Ken likes to powergame. That is, he wants his character to be the best at what he is supposed to do. Ken knows all the rules and options available to characters, an always picks the one that appears to be the most advantageous to him. However, I don’t do this.
I played the younger druid bother of Ken’s druid. While Ken’s character loved nature (like all good druids do), my character hated it – even though he was a druid. He was constantly summoning animals by his side and allowing them to be slaughtered by the monsters the party was fighting. I started out the game with a pet camel that I had named “camel” – more out of disrespect than lack of.
I still think the character was funny. In particular in contrast to Ken’s power gamed druid. Ken eventually got into “it” and was always bragging (in character, of course) how Mom and Dad loved him more than me. Whenever he rolled better numbers than me, he always made sure to point it out.
This amused Ken and I a great deal, but probably got old with the rest of the table.
This is the game where Woody got really irritated with two of the guys we played with. It’s funny, because all-in-all everyone we played with was top-notch. And I’ve played with some big-time losers at Gencon before. Still these two guys were sorta condescending to our DM. (She’s shown in the above pic, the two obnoxious guys are behind me, not shown in the photo). It seems they played in Zeitgeist Games a lot and they thought they knew everything. Still, I didn’t mind them too much. They just looked at me funny when my druid kept trying to saw down trees (he hates trees) with his scimitar.
The lady DM really got into reading boxed text. Normally boxed text bores me to tears because the reader is usually reading it for the first time themselves & can’t quite get the oomph into it. She, however, was a good orator and did voices and everything. I really enjoyed listening to her. This was Woody’s favorite session.
After the 4-5 hour session, we went and grabbed some lunch. This is where I saw the angel. It was a cool costume.
I saw this lady later and she was able to fold up the wings behind her. They looked pretty cool tucked away as well.
Some people dressed like cards. I didn’t ask – I just took the pic.
Okay, I don’t have any pictures of my favorite game session of the whole convention. I was just too engrossed in the game to remember to photograph the thing.
This game was the only one where all my buddies (Woody, Brian, Ken, Chris, Sarah and myself) played. We made the entire table. No strangers, except a lone DM.
The game was run by a guy that worked for The Game Mechanics. I think it was JD Wilkers, a game designer. I probably played my least annoying character in this game, namely because my buddy Brian was being mega annoying instead. He played the best looking guy in the party, so he was in charge of talking to everyone. His guy drank with everyone he spoke to, so by like the eighth contact, his bard was smashed (or that’s how he played it). He must have had a pretend drunk conversation with DM for at least 20 minutes. Woody’s character (a cleric of some good deity) ended up picking up Brian’s bard and hauling him out of taverns over his shoulder – all the while the bard was pointing at people in the bar and waving all cool-like.
This game was punctuated by a surprise Mind Flayer. We were all about 5th level or less so the mind flayer pretty much kicked our asses. When we weren’t being stunned, we were having our brains eaten. When our brains weren’t being eaten, we were being charmed into buddying up with the big baddie. Somehow we recovered sufficiently to get a ton of Pro Evils cast on most of the party, and then we got lucky and killed the damn thing.
When we found the loot, my guy stole it and gave it to his crime bosses. Chris’ mage failed his task, and was never heard from again (he belonged to one tough mage’s guild, I guess). Woody’s cleric basically got Spanish inquisitioned when he came back having failed his quest. Sarah’s thief shared in my guy’s stolen goods and “won DnD” as she puts it. I loved the endings and the dynamics of the game. Tops.
Okay, this photo is of our last planned game session of the night. (We had one more afterwards, which was a pick-up game – but I’ll get to that in another post.)
I wasn’t that big on the Zeitgeist model of DnD sessions – but Woody loved them. So we went back later that night and tried to level up our guys to 3. (In the photo, Ken is the one bending over – he didn’t play – he just came and watched.) I played my “I hate nature” druid again – much to the chagrin of the players and DM. It’s funny, because earlier in the day the group tolerated the pissy druid – but without his brother to, well, balance him, he probably came across as even more annoying.
I tried to pattern the character after Larry David. One of my favorite lines from Curb Your Enthusiasm had Larry telling his wife something to this effect, “You know, sometimes I think what it would be like if I was deaf and couldn’t hear the birds sing. You know, it wouldn’t be that bad really.” That line sums up what I was trying to do with my character.
There was a woman at the table that was talking to a captured goblin that we had tied up. The DM said the goblin apologized for eating a baby. The lady was playing a paladin or something and acted disgusted at the goblin. My character injected that he had tried baby before and it wasn’t that bad. She got mad at me & my character accused her of being a close minded bigot – each culture does things different, one shouldn’t judge. The lady pretty much ignored me after that.
My character’s best line in this session was after we just entered a cave: “Can’t a druid find some nice urban adventures around here?” The DM actually laughed at that one – most of the time he just gave me dirty looks.
After we finished playing, Brian, Woody and I wandered around a bit. We stumbled across a dude holding up a sign that said “Free DM”. We quickly jumped into his game – which ended up being the most interesting session of the whole convention. But I’ll blog that later, by itself.