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It took me about five hours to get my Gencon tickets - that beats even the Origins record for poor-response websiteness. I do give Gencon credit for letting me download the schedule as a spreadsheet, though. That was an enormous help in finding interesting and obscure games, and sorting out what I wanted to play when. That way I was ready when the system went live - as were, evidently, thousands of other people, more than the system could handle. From minute one there were constant timeouts.

The Gencon folks took the site down as I was trying to check out, and I nearly had a stroke.  I was worried that I'd lose those few events I did manage to get into my cart, but they were there when it came back up the next day. .. about an hour after they said it would. To be fair, I've never tried to write an application able to handle that kind of load, so I suppose I shouldn't cast stones.

But darn it, I missed out on a Firefly LARP, a Serenity game and the Cthulhu Masters (which I've never gotten into, though I've been trying faithfully since 1987...). Ah, well, I did get some neat-sounding stuff, so I'll quit whining now.

Looking over my choices, this looks like the year I return to my gaming roots. I attended my first Gencon in 1987, and in those days there were no "living" campaigns. Every table had characters provided, and Gencon was my gaming dim sum.  I sought out systems I'd barely heard of so that I could give them a try without making the commitment of buying books. This year, except for the Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Gencon exclusive, every one of the games I've picked has characters provided.  I have to admit I'm kinda excited at the prospect.

I have nothing against campaign games - I developed and ran a campaign that I was very proud of - but picking up an unknown character and trying to make him or her live for 3 hours is a totally different challenge. It used to be something that RPGA was particularly good at, but they seem to be going pretty much all-minatures and table-top video-game styled games these days.  Instead of RPGA durance vile, judging or coordinating every slot, I'm spending the long weekend in Indy (as in Independent Game Producers) heaven. My only regret is that I may not have time to get to the dealer's room!

I've gone back to what I call the Iron Idiot schedule, too -- 4 slots a day, pretty much every day.  I'll be exhausted, but oh, the gaming!  And, I'm happy to say, I have a room reserved at the Marriott across the street, so I won't have to go far to collapse.

The schedule may change a little, as I was reminded today that I'd promised the Blackmoor folks that I'd run one slot. I offered them Thursday 8 am, or Thursday 8 pm, or Sunday 8 am. Those are the only ones I'm willing to even consider giving up.

It's nice to be excited about Gencon again.

The Schedule

Thursday 8/18/05
8:00 AM to Noon (RPG00264) Of Course You Realize... This Means War (Mutants & Masterminds, 2nd Ed) BlackWyrm Games / Dave Mattingly. Relive the Golden Age of superheroes. It's April 1944, and just a month after its launch, the German supersub Jormungandr has sunk much of the Allied fleet in the Atlantic. I love superhero games - what can I say?</font>

Noon - 4:00 PM (RPG01475) Firefly Hero (Hero System, 4th Ed) Infinite Imaginations, Inc. / Geoff Speare. Play the crew of Serenity on another rollicking adventure. Hijinks may ensue. It's Firefly - nuff said. If only I could have gotten into the other Firefly games too...

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM (RPG00306) Dreams Don't Come True, But Nightmares Do.... (CHILL 2nd Ed) Blackat Studios. Movie monsters and a book of forbidden tales form the storyline for this classic horror adventure. You and your party play investigators in the world of CHILL, where monsters roam the lands and spirits haunt the living. Whoah! Chill, and I'm not running it? I'm so THERE!

8:00 PM - Midnight (RPG01375) City of Heroes RPG (City of Heroes/Unisystem) Eden Studios, Inc. / Matt McElroy. Don your mask and join Eden Studios for an adventure in this crimefighting, tabletop version the online video game. Those of you who know me know that it's been my ongoing torment that I haven't been able to play City of Heroes due to a severely slow Comcast connection (which they insist is fine). Now I can!

Friday 8/19/05
10:00 am - all day (WKS00018) Roleplaying Game Design Workshop (Jared A. Sorensen) aka memento_mori. Join some of the hobby’s best and brightest independent designers in this all-day workshop. Learn the theory behind roleplaying games, the basics of RPG design and setting creation and how to avoid the pitfalls of both print and electronic publication. Whether you’re an aspiring game designer or just a fan of the hobby eager to know more, this is the workshop for you. So bring your ideas, your notebooks, your enthusiasm and your brain! This event has four sessions and is an all day event. I have to say that I'm very excited about this. While I'm not particularly inclined to design role playing games, I am somewhat prone to creating shared-world campaigns. I spend a lot of time reading what the independent designers are thinking, and I'm very jazzed about the idea of spending the day picking their brains.

Saturday 8/20/05
8:00 AM to 1:00 PM (RPG01929) Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Episode 10: Castle Blackmoor, GEN CON SPECIAL - (Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 -Blackmoor) Zeitgeist Games, Inc. / Dustin Clingman. King Uther Andahar has announced that the annual delve into Blackmoor's Dungeon is at hand. Each year, numerous brave adventuring parties enter the gates to Blackmoor dungeon in search of fame and glory with but a scant few returning to recount the tale. This is the sole campaign-style game I'm playing.

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM (RPG00180) Prime Time Adventures with Danielle Hall (Prime Time Adventures) Indie RPG Explosion / Danielle Hall. Think "Lost" meets "The Misfits of Science" as you play a superhero teen when a plane crash strands you and your novice crime fighting team on a deserted island - or is it? Set up scenes, use your powers, and earn 'fan mail' like a TV show!  Again, I have to say, what's not to love? I bought a copy of the game because it sounds interesting, and I'm all a-twitter at the idea of getting to play.

8:00 PM to Midnight (RPG01380) WitchCraft:  Save or Exterminate? ( WitchCraft/Unisystem) Eden Studios, Inc. / Mike Wallace. What can you do with someone who won't change? Forgive them and work out a solution? Or exterminate them and rid the world of one less problem? Designed for WitchCraft. WitchCraft is one of the best games I've never played or run. C.J. Carella is a freakin' genius, as far as I'm concerned, and he really did his homework for this one.

Sunday 8/21/05
8:00 AM - Noon (RPG00240) The Real Roswell! (Savage Worlds) / William Reger. July 7th, 1947. Reports that an Altairan flying saucer has landed in the fields outside of Roswell in the State of New Mexico have been confirmed. Your team must land, find the saucer and its criminal occupant, and escape with all evidence. Savage Worlds is another game that's gotten great press, and I want to give it a try.

Noon to 4:00 PM (RPG00090) 62nd Floor (Dread) The Impossible Dream / Epidiah Ravachol. A security guard calls you from the lobby, sounding panicked...then gunshots, then silence. Can you keep the terrorists from reaching your floor? Diceless, numberless horror. Bring your steady hand. Diceless, statless horror that evokes telling ghost stories around the campfire?  I can hardly wait!



( 16 comments — Roll the dice )
(Deleted comment)
May. 18th, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
I coulda fit it into my gorram schedule, but by the time I was able to connect, all of the sessions were sold out. Ah, well, at least I'm playing a Serenity demo at Origins.

I might as well send them my money now. No matter WHAT I think of the game, I know I'll buy it.
May. 19th, 2005 02:37 am (UTC)
Gaming every session? You're crazy!

Me? I'm not scheduling anything in advance for Gencon. I'm going mainly to socialise with net friends and schmooze for more freelance work. I may play a demo here and there, but that's it.

And I'm staying the hell away from the RPGA :)
May. 19th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC)
Yes, yes I am. The last time I did the Iron Idiot schedule, I was 38 and it darned near killed me. At least, I fell asleep in my *soup* at Maders. My hand to god.

I just really want to play all of these silly games, y'see...

I will absolutely positively find time to meet you, cutie, even if it's after gaming is over for the day. And, some of the games I can bear to opt out of. Somehow I need to make sure that we have a way to get in contact, because I would just be bereft if I didn't get to deliver a hug in person.
May. 19th, 2005 07:04 am (UTC)
Re: Crazy?
Given that gaming starts at 8am, it may be possible to catch up BEFORE the gaming starts in the morning on one of the days. That may actually be the best bet actually.
May. 19th, 2005 02:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Crazy?
*gulp* In the MORNING? You mean, like, before 6 am? Maybe if I just stay up all night...
May. 19th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Crazy?
Dear God, woman, don't be riciulous! In a civilised society, 6am shouldn't even exist :)

No, I was talking more along the lines of 7-7:30, which, while not giving us a lot of time to chat, it would let us at least catch up :)
May. 19th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Crazy?
Nuh-uh. To say hi and hug, yeah, but baby, I want at least an hour of face time to get to know you. I'll even buy you a drink (assuming it's in the evening after gaming). If I have to, I'll [[shudder]] give up a gaming slot. 'cause you rate, sweets.
May. 19th, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Crazy?
Awwww :)
May. 19th, 2005 01:35 pm (UTC)
Hey, I'll be there on Saturday. Say hi if you see a guy in a black hat, a pretty lady with a baby and a bald English guy (aarondb. :)
May. 19th, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC)
Saying Hi
Y'know, we live close enough to each other (aren't you in Toledo-ish?) that it's a mystery we haven't gotten together to game. I'm just sayin'...
May. 19th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Saying Hi
Cleveland-ish, actually. Where are you?
May. 19th, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Saying Hi
Ah, further than I thought. East Lansing, MI - about an hour and a half north of the state line. Rats.
Jun. 1st, 2005 06:44 am (UTC)
I was fairly annoyed with it. They said it open on Monday, but the RPGA stuff didn't open up until early Tuesday--after taking all day with the slow website to find this out--and by the time I was buying events some of them were sold out. Jesus.


Look forward to seeing you there!
Jun. 24th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC)
Me too you! I'll have to wander by the RPGA area just to exchange hugs with my peeps.
Jun. 13th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
Hi! I find more people on LiveJournal every time I dig. :) This is Carrie Amodio (of Lucas and Carrie. The one with the Oblee now.)

I'll have to see if there's an available spot in a Firefly game at the same time we have a free slot. That would be incredibly cool.
Jun. 14th, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
Carrie, hi! (added to friends) I'll be very surprised if all of the Firefly games aren't sold out. I wasn't able to get into two that I wanted even though I was online refreshing away as soon as registration came up.

I plan to start a Serenity campaign in the fall when the rules come out. :) I am such a geek...
( 16 comments — Roll the dice )

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