Blogger is truly awful for uploading a lot of pictures, I find . This is actually fairly nightmarish to post. Things will inevitably end up looking funky, and so I apologize, but I did want to share some pictures from GenCon, like I promised a week ago. I've been struggling to do so ever since >.<
So... let's get to the pictures!
Does this t-shirt look familiar? Remind you a bit of my classic solo-dungeoning style? My fellow raiders (since everyone in our raiding team was able to attend GenCon) thought so, so I had to pick it up.
One of the best things from GenCon was True Dungeon. There was a lot of room for improvement, but the experience was amazing. If you haven't heard of True Dungeon, you go in to a built labrynth style room with a group of your friends, after having decided which D&D class you will play, and equipping yourself with the proper "gear" via tokens (you don't actually change your clothes). In each room you are presented with different prop puzzles that you attempt to solve in order to "clear" the room, including combat sequences, locked chests, etc. Every class has a different kind of "skill check". For instance, I played a cleric, and everytime I wanted to heal someone, I had to pass a memory check, identifying the proper shape of prayer bead for a specific virtue. The rogueish class in our group had to delicately move a small bead through a lighted track in order to open a locked chest, and the melee classes had to slide large tokens across a drawing of a creature in order to strike properly. This is all in addition to using your collective brainpower to solve puzzles and do some problem solving. A lot of people ask if it's like LARPing, and it's not - there's no acting roleplay involved necessarily, and we were cracking up a lot of the DMs and characters in each room with our goofy antics.
I also picked up a lot of WoW TCG cards. We all got starter class decks (my fiance and I each bought two) as well as some booster packs. A lot of our crew are old school Magic players, and the overall opinion was that while it can't hold a candle to Magic TCG (and I doubt anything ever will) it was still pretty good, and there were some aspects of game play that were better.
Last weekend a bunch of us got together and actually played a WoW TCG raid, and that was very interesting. Pretty fun, but there are some definite weaknesses. I'm playing around with different deck builds, and fighting against different classes before I pass a final judgment. If nothing else, I got some nice loot cards from some promotions at GenCon. Cryptozoic is really doing a lot to promote the decks even in spite of all the problems caused by the changeover from Upper Deck (a lot of the cards still refer back to Upper Deck websites and promotions that no longer exist).
I'd been hearing about the awesomeness that is The Ram (a local pub/brewery type place near the convention center) for years, so I was excited to finally get to check the place out. Now I can be a cool kid too and have a t-shirt like all of my friends.
In order to get a hotel for GenCon, you basically have to buy a badge and get into the housing pool in February, and get lucky by reserving your room then. My fiance bought his badge, but was in such a rush to make sure we got a room, he didn't order mine. Therefore, I had the lovely experience of waiting in line at 7am on Thursday morning to get my badge... fortunately, as punishment, I forced him to get up and wait in line with me :)
A long time ago, when I first started D&D, I mentioned the troubles I had in finding a good female dwarf mini. My main goal for GenCon was to acquire a mini that would work well for my female dwarf cleric, which is essentially my staple class, no matter what (yay dorfchicks!). The folks at the Reaper booth at GenCon were able to locate the exact one I wanted in seconds. I was on cloud 9. Later, I tried to paint minis. Suffice to say, I will be begging and pleading with others amongst my friends to paint my mini for me, because I do not have the patience to paint tiny things. After an hour of it, I pretty much wanted to rip my own hair out, as well as the hair of everyone else nearby.
Probably one of the things people most recognize about GenCon are the amazing geeky costumes. I took lots of pictures of fantastic costumes, most of which are homemade, but in my eyes, these two costumes are the winners. The two folks pictured here had actually never met before... they were just two random people who had awesome costumes that looked fantastic together, and everyone wanted pictures of them.
Last but not least, I'm including a rather boring photo of the auction room at GenCon. I didn't spend as much time here as I would have liked, but there were some really superb things up for auction - of special importance were many personal effects of the illustrious late Gary Gygax, and the proceeds were donated to his wife I believe. Apparently, despite everything he'd done for the gamer culture, he wasn't able to leave much behind for his wife. I sure would have liked to bid on his beat up briefcase that he carried everywhere...
Okay, seriously. I'll try to stop gabbing about GenCon now. It's just that ever since the convention, my brain has been divided amongst multiple new games and things that I'm enjoying. My mind has expanded in pure delight! My pen & paper D&D group is going to try out OpenRPG so that we can game more frequently, since getting together has proven to be a bit difficult. If you have any experience or anecdotes from using OpenRPG, I'd love to hear them!