Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gen Con 2014 - Day 1

Every year I tell my self I will get downtown bright and early despite staying up late on Wednesday. Normally this is to beat the parking situation. My actually success in this in the past years has been hit or miss. Since I knew my parking situation was dealt with, there was less pressure, but I felt like I was making decent time, even stopping to grab breakfast I figured to be on site about 9. As long as I could get there around the time the Exhibitor Hall opened, it was all good.

My parking was taken care of, the traffic was a different story. It was as congested downtown as it would be by the X Hall. The traffic issue wasn't even Gen Con traffic, it was probably people being stupid. I ended up arriving just as they began the pre-opening speeches.

Speaking of which, if they are going to do that and want people to hear them, a few suggestions. First, stop the hall musicians during this time. There were a few thousand impatient gamers and one of the roving acts. Second, use a better sound system or turn up the volume. Finally, keep it short. As the crowd's attention wandered, their conversations rose.

When it comes to the actual opening of the X Hall, I don't try to go in with the tide of gamers. I'll wait until the crowds disappate. Then again, my sister found me to be infuriatingly patient on Christmas morning - she wanted to wake our parents at the crack of dawn, I was content to wait and avoid raising their ire before we could open our presents.

I met with a friend and we ventured into the hall, hoping to get a little shopping/sight-seeing before our game. We normally start at aisle 100 and work our way across. Evidently it was a popular idea. The crowd was significant, leading me to predict that Gen Con would break 60k. (Surprisingly, it was "only" 56k).

Our game of the day was a Pathfinder adventure. I picked the less-than-bright dwarf fighter so I could chew scenery with my quasi-Gaelic brogue. The GM was a bit less than prepared, and pacing suffered. My d20 betrayed me right out of the gate.

The fight before the "boss" encounter was a dragon that should have tore us up. Instead it was an hour of it playing apple-bobbing with our swimming cleric while our weapons bounced off and our wizard whittled it down. Time ran out for the session, so the GM declared that the dragon had killed the boss and taken the relics we were after, wrapping everything up. All in all, we still had some fun and I got out a few dwarf quotes on twitter:

"Kiss my axe!"
"I always keep my word... even if I can't spell it."

We went for an early dinner at the Ram (Oz tip - never plan to eat at 6 p.m., that's when everyone else will be leaving the hall.) We got a table in the bar right away, which seemed to bode well. However, service was slow and my medium burger ended up being closer to well and it seemed like our food had sat around a bit before being brought to us.

I called it an early night since I had to be up at 4:30 a.m. for the 5k Orc Stomp.


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