Sunday, August 13, 2006

GenCon 2006 - Day 1

Botherhood of the Kilt.

Thursday, opening day. Running on fumes, I get to the Con fairly early, picking up my program guide and swag bag. The main event is the opening of the Exhibition Hall. The throng of people gathered in front of the main entrance chokes the wide hall leading to it, making it difficult for anyone to get through. I wormed my way through the crowd then took a seat on the balcony overlooking the entrance. There's nothing gained by being first in, so I see no point in standing with 500 other people. I sorted through my swag bag and jettisoned anything I don't want to lighten it while the initial mob presses through the doors into the X-Hall.

Once the crowd died down, I made my way in. The X-Hall is the heart of the convention, where you are most likely to bump into people you haven't seen in years. Since I knew that I'd have a few hours to kill before I'd meet up with Nicole, I began my search pattern through the hall, starting in one corner and working my way up and down the aisles. Just about anything gamer related and many things just sci-fi/fantasy related was for sale. In addition to shopping that borders on overload, there's the people watching.

There are actually fewer booth babes than many years ago. One of the game designers actually gave a very good explanation. While booth babes did indeed draw men to the booth, they would mill around, take pictures, and not buy anything, all the while possibly blocking out potential customers. Fortunately, the number of female gamers have increased. There is no shortage of goth schoolgirls, medieval wenches, and slinky vampires at the Con.

I also noticed that kilts are becoming more and more popular among gamers. I was wearing my kilt from Utilikilt, and I noticed that was I encountered other kilters it was like being in a club, recognizing each other with a nod.

My first purchases were several miniatures for my current D&D campaign (which means I've probably doomed said campaign). My initial thought was "I'll remember where these are and buy them before the Con is over." Three steps away I realized how unlikely that was, turned around and bought the minis. Now I'll have plenty to work on.

I went to pick up the sleeveless leather coat I had ordered for the Firefly LARP (as well as other potential future uses) only to find out that the default color for that item was not brown, but black. Since I didn't specify a color, they brought me a black one. Since I messed up and they brought it to the Con specifically for me, I felt obligated, even though I hadn't paid in advance. It wasn't that bad, as I initially considered black but didn't like the style they had at Origins in black, but my hat was brown. So I bought a black hat. But now I would have a black coat, black hat, and black shirt... too much black up top. A dilemma to solve later.

I met up with Nicole once she was liberated from her seminar and we turned our focus to looking for candidates for her Companionesque costume for the LARP. I had a good idea for colors and styles she liked, but sizes were a problem, as they typically didn't have them small enough. And of course there was the traditional corset shopping. Nicole narrowed the choices to two, which we mulled over for the next hour. Yeah, helping a woman shop for a corset is a tough job, but someone has to do it. When we returned and there was a line of women waiting for corsets, I realized what a good job a purveyor of corsets must be and asked the vendor if he was accepting interns. He said he indeed was and charged journeyman fees for said internships.

By the time we finished shopping, exploring, and having dinner with Greg (Nicole's brother and our Rolemaster GM)and Ken (another gamer that played in Greg's game once upon a time),it was too late to get into any games that would get out at a reasonable hour. Greg went to get into True Dungeon, while the rest of us went to Nicole-Con to watch Serenity with the returning game designers. After the movie, games were broke out but I didn't stay long as I wanted to get some sleep to be awake for Friday's LARP, which would run late.

On the way home, I stopped at a Meijer on the south side to get a grey shirt. I drew a few looks tromping around in my kilt. Heheh. I was home and in bed by 1ish. This would be my earliest night of the Con.


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