Friday, August 12, 2016

Gen Con 2016 - Day 2

5:45 a.m. my alarm went off.  I didn't so much wake me up as prod me out of the cycle of tossing and turning and glancing at the clock.  Wondering why I hate myself enough to sign up for this event, I pulled myself out of bed for the Orc Stomp 5k.

Even at oh-gods-early, Poke-hunters are about (including W!).  As I understand it, you have to walk to hatch your eggs in Pokemon go and I found myself wondering if there was a market for egg-carriers.  I imagined a Chewbacca-like bandolier full of phones running the app.  Did I mention I was sleep deprived?

I'm not a runner, more of a fast walker.  One of the reasons I sign up for the Orc Stomp is to give me something healthy to work on.  My goal each year is to beat the previous year's time, which means getting a little faster.  My goal this year was to beat 46 minutes, which meant sustaining an average speed of 4 m.p.h..  Not a blistering pace, but not a casual amble.  My official time ended at 44:54, beating my goal and the person in the t-rex suit.  N!, having come back after having a level 0 gamer last year finished well ahead of me, W! ambled in near the end of the pack, having caught several Pokemon on the route.

A quick visit to the X-Hall let me quickly peruse the aisles I didn't make it down on Day 1.  Then I headed to a slightly early launch to meet with the author of the adventure I had run on Thursday so that I could give him my feedback.  We met at Noodles & Company and the decision to make it an early lunch was a wise one.

There's not a lot of seating at N&C (compared to the Gen Con crowd), but we snagged a table and our food came out quickly despite the fact that hungry gamers were pouring in.  It's a decent value, and the food was fairly simple but good.  After our lunch meeting, it was back to the Marriott to get ready for the second game I would run this year.

This adventure was written as an homage to Shadowrun.  It wasn't a huge leap to translate the ideas to a steampunk game.  Again, I had one veteran player, but she seemed as interested in her knitting project as playing, in that she only seemed engaged when her character was doing something.  Everyone else seemed to have a good time, so I chalked it up as a win.

I met N! for dinner, and we decided to gamble on the Ram since it was a bit before the X-Hall would close and we could just grab a couple of seats at the bar.  The Ram used to be *the* place to go at Gen Con, but it seems like in recent years, they just phone it in since they realize they will be wall-to-wall for Gen Con anyways.

We scored two seats at the bar and ordered.  One of the tv channels was set to their in-house player, which was showing what I can only guess was a selection of movies fished out of the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.  Seriously, what do Little Rascals or Son-In-Law have to do with nerds?  My food was mediocre.  I wondered if they had given me the wrong burger until halfway through and the garlic fries were over-whelmingly smothered in garlic.

The upside of eating at the Ram is we always end up having fun talking to the other patrons at the bar, either fellow gamers or muggles trying to figure out what's going on.  This time was no exception.  Also positives were that the beer was pretty good (a honey porter IIRC) and our bartender did a good job juggling us and an ongoing torrent of drink orders.

Our evening game was an adventure in One Ring, a RPG set in Middle-Earth.  N!, W! and I were all signed up and none of us had ever played the system before.  One of the fun things about Gen Con is playing new games.  In this case, so you don't buy them without trying.  I'm not a fan of the mechanics in One Ring, but that could be its own article.

Our table was an interesting dichotomy.  Half the people at the table (including the GM) were 20 or under, while the other half was 40+.  So yeah, I may have felt a little old.  Of course, this may have been influenced a little by the fact that I had been o-dark-early to run a 5k (in fact all of us "old folks" had done the 5k).

Afterwards, W! wanted something to eat so we stepped into Champions, which is in the Marriott.  I figured to get a Gen Con beer and some french fries while W! had dinner (I think he had skipped dinner either chasing Pokemon or taking a nap).  The bartender was just short of rude and I did a double take when I got the bill - $11 for a beer.  Note to self - and the internet - go to Champions only if you are cool with overpaying for the convenience of it being in the hotel.


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