Gen Con Report: Sat, Aug. 16

Given my particular limitations, Shabbat at Gen Con for me is always about taking it easy, strolling the hall in peace and catching up with friends. Like last year, I slept in late, ate breakfast at the Embassy with my roommates, then went upstairs to do my prayers while Josh attended a Quick Write seminar downstairs. At noon, prayers done and a small lunch eaten, Josh and I headed to the Exhibit Hall to see everything we hadn’t so far.

Up to this point, we had all seemingly forgotten that we had brought cameras so the pictures were very few. Saturday was dubbed photo day, and Josh took a number of shots around the hall (which you can see here). My mission for this time in the hall was to look around for stuff I’d come buy Sunday before going back to Miami; it went so-so. We dropped by the Khepera Publishing booth to check out Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone aka. Greeks in SPACE!!! As I saw someone state in in a forum, “Any answer other than “Hell Yes!” to that premise is just wrong.” Jerry Grayson seems intent on making awesome games and lots of money with systems that people have tossed to the trash can (D6 for GODSEND Agenda, Omni for Hellas) and this one doesn’t disappoint. I failed to pick it up, however, but later I found out that Josh did get the last copy (Battle-Scarred Edition!) so I’ll be playing it at some point soon.

Hellas Battle Scarred Edition

And because I promised Josh I’d give him hell for this pic: Josh in Hoplite helmet 
Photo courtesy of Andy Kitkowski.

The other book I wanted was John Wick’s Houses of the Blooded, but try as I might, I never found where John had set up shop so I left the con without it. I also completely forgot to buy a copy of Things We Think About Games and of The Solar System. Thank goodness for IPR on all three counts. At around 2 pm we left the hall so Josh could get some lunch, and we ended up walking around downtown Indy a bit, which is a fine activity, even in the midst of the convention (it refreshes you, trust me). We went back to the Embassy to eat our lunch because at 4 pm we were scheduled to meet with Chris Perrin to do a playtest of his game Mecha.

Mecha pilot Koji Kabuto says:  
Mecha Playtest.

The game was great. We ended up in our room and with a party of four (Josh, David Moore, Chris Norwood and myself) playing these kids with mecha who are trying to overthrow the gods of this futuristic and disfunctional Utopia (one of the included settings with the game). That Perrin got some cheap MechWarrior mech minis added to the coolness of it all, and of course, the fact that it is a game about mechas just rocks it to 11. The mechanics are pretty smooth, and play up the whole man+machine aspect very well. I want this game out so I can own it and start hacking it to pieces.

Mecha Playtest  
Without a battlemat, we had to improvise.

At 7-ish pm, we made our way to the Media Meet & Greet at the Westin, an event that seems like it will become a tradition. I love the Meet & Greet, both because I like meeting fans of gaming podcasts (mine or otherwise), but also because it is a chance to say hello to my fellow podcasters that I may have seen only briefly during the show or have not seen at all.

Podcast Meet & Greet: Chris Hussy, Itamar Weisberg, Brilliant Gameologists' Meg, Me & Chris Perrin 
L to R: Chris Hussy (Fear the Boot), Itamar Weisberg (Hamis’hakia), Me, Meg (Brilliant Gameologists) and Chris Perrin (Canon Puncture).

We did the Meet & Greet up until about 9 pm when the party moved to the Boardgames Ballroom for those who wanted to keep gaming. I went back to the hotel, closed Shabbat, changed into my kilt and met up with Dan, Chad, Itamar and a couple of friends from the Fear the Boot forums; our destination: the White Wolf party.

I missed the party last year because I had commited to a playtest at that time. Even this year, I had offered to run a game of Witch Hunter for some folks working the hall during the day, and I would have had no problem gaming at that time. The game never materialized, however, so I was left with the desire to hit the party. One problem, though: I did not have an invite (remember what I said about not being able to do any White Wolf interviews?). Dan however had one and when we got there he managed to get in thanks to a connection, thus I inherited his ticket. However, I had left my ID back at the hotel, so I had to walk back to get it, wisely also using the opportunity to eat something (again, PB&J sandwiches woohoo!). Once back at the ICE Lounge, I was ready to enter The Succubus Club.

The party was fantastic, everything the hype promised and more. It was open bar so I started right upon entering with a Vodka & Cranberry (I won’t do a list, don’t worry) and went to meet my friends, finding fellow Booters Chris Hussy and Daniel “Grungydan” Henson along the way. We hung out for about half an hour, but after that it was time to hit the dance floor, and I pretty much did not leave it for the rest of the night.

The music was an extraordinary mix of modern evocative dance songs (Goldfrapp was especially cool) with just amazing Retro/Goth/New Wave tunes, with a heavt emphasis on the latter. I was in dancing heaven. I used to go to a local goth club called The Kitchen back in the late 90’s pretty much every Saturday night and this music took me right back there. I wish I could get a set list for all that was played that night, because it would go directly into my iPod. Kudos to the DJ for a great experience. I wish there was more to say, but I literally danced for like 4 hours straight with nary a break in between and that’s pretty much it. I will say that I was a good boy. I had a couple of friends who had a few too many drinks and did things that they should be glad there are no pictures of, but aside from having a couple clove cigarettes and drinking a bit too much (though thankfully I spaced it enough that I didn’t get sick or hungover the next morning, just sort of lost in this music-filled trance), I was a very good boy.  🙂 

At 3 am they turned on the lights, and around 3:15 am they turned off the music; at around 3:30 I was outside talking drunken crap with Don Dehm and Jeremiah Lynch of Pulp Gamer. We made our way back to the Embassy where I had a glass of Jeremiah’s homemade mead and then went to my room to find everyone awake still. David Moore apparently had as much to drink at the White Wolf party as I did but in half the time and hd gotten himself in trouble with his wife for some drunken comment or other (he also ran into Jared Sorensen and said to him, “You wrote Burning Wheel!” [which, for the non-gamers who read this, he didn’t]). Josh and I went downstairs for a bit but turned in at around 4:30 am and promptly passed out.

David Moore: The Morning After 
David Moore the morning after the White Wolf party.