Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gen Con Day 1 -- Cold Water, Human Traffic Cones, and Spit Takes

I started writing this post at 5:30 a.m. I've been adding to it whenever I stopped back at my room to drop off purchases or before heading to some other event. So the following are just thoughts and reactions to Gen Con as they happen:
  • Woke early so I could take a shower, grab a bite and prep for the day. Shower was short, as there was NO HOT WATER. Took a shower before bed last night. Maybe I used it all up? (j/k - will bitch at the front desk later about it)
  • Head over to the center about 1.5 hour before official opening. I have never seen more kilts before in my life -- and I've been to a Highland games event. I doubt the Scottish heritage of some of these folks...
  • While thumbing through the Gen Con program, I got a bit of a thrill seeing my name listed next to the games I'm running. I'm mentioned in the same book as gaming's stalwarts.
  • There is nothing more annoying than a loud-mouth attention grabber who isn't nearly as funny as he thinks he is. Dude, we weren't laughing at your shouted comments. We were laughing at the braying jackass making a public idiot of himself.
  • Gen Con attendees are almost universally the nicest big-ass group of folks I've ever encountered. Nearly everyone has been down-to-earth, helpful, and friendly to a fault. And I struck up a 20-minute conversation with a random stranger about Bunnies and Burrows. Try doing THAT at your local mall.
  • I don't carry a watch, but I do carry a phone so I know what time it is. Left it in the room. I was that "'Scuze me, what time is it?" guy. Sorry for the annoyance.
  • With all of the inspiration around me, I'm coming up with all kinds of Mutant Future inspiration, jotting furiously in a notebook every 3 minutes. One to share: In my world, the survivors who roam the wastes will now refer to the Final Wars That Ended the World as "Apocalygeddon."
  • The convention center needs a better AC system. 30,000 gamers = 30,000 BTUs.
  • Finn just walked by carrying Jake. Missed the photo op.
  • "Abnormality Atlas," "Deviant Database," or "Miscreation Manual": Which do you prefer?
  • I swear, the next human traffic cone who stops dead in front of me because he suddenly saw something shiny is gonna get a backpack swung at his head. I've already collided with three of these sudden-stoppers. Please, move to the side of the aisle and out of the traffic lanes before slamming on the brakes.
  • I'm staying at the Canterbury Hotel. Discovered a door on the third floor that said the Center Mall was right through the door. Walked through, and found myself in the Food Court on the other side! It appears I won't starve for the next four days.
  • At noon, I zipped over to the JW Marriot to play in The Tower of Gygax - a 24-hour, 4-day, on-going old school adventure. Walked in and was asked to pull up a chair. During the game, I was joking and kidding around with the barbarian player at the table. At some point, one of us said something funny enough to cause the DM to do a good old-fashioned spit-take. The game stopped while everyone laughed their asses off at this. Turns out the barbarian I hit it off with was Luke Gygax -- Gary's son. Good to meet you, Luke!
  • Hit the OSRG booth and got to talk with Joseph and Suzi for a bit. I think I bought one of everything they were carrying. Joseph said, at the rate he was selling, the booth could be empty by Saturday afternoon! He was also good enough to take a handful of Savage AfterWorld business cards from me to slip into the bags of anyone buying Mutant Future material.
  • Picked up a copy of Cheers Gary at the OSR booth and had it signed by Gail Gygax and editor Paul Hughes. They were recording testimonials about Gary for their website, so I did that too. I also picked up a Tower of Gygax t-shirt while there, as well as made an additional $20 donation to the Gygax Memorial Fund.
  • Good lord, I think I'm crippled. It's 4 p.m. and I'm in my room eating a Food Court burrito. I needed to stop by the front desk for aspirin (forgot to pack any) because my back, feet, thighs, and neck are killing me. But after a power nap and drinking three or four 5-Hour Energy shots, I'll go back out tonight to see what's what.
And now, some random pictures of whatever I pointed the camera at:A picture of people taking pictures of the D&D display at one entrance.

Cardhalla is already in full swing this year.

Me shaking hands with a life-size ogre statue. I have named him "Brittany."

Taken 5 minutes before the official opening of the doors to the dealer hall. Picture this mass behind me and to my right as well. A huge mob of folks.

James Ernest of Cheapass games throws the ceremonial first die of Gen Con and we're underway!


  1. Great stuff! Keep it coming. We on the outside appreciate your efforts!

    I didn't know about that ceremonial first die. That looks like a pretty exciting moment there. Does everybody cheer?

  2. Magic door to the food court? Wow that's like finding the Wardrobe to Narnia for a gamer.

    Were the Savage Afterworld business cards just cards with info on your blog?


  3. I didn't know about that ceremonial first die. That looks like a pretty exciting moment there. Does everybody cheer?

    Yup, this is apparently a tradition started by Gary himself. Crowd went nuts, then the doors open, and the stampede began.

    Were the Savage Afterworld business cards just cards with info on your blog?

    Yes, they're just basic cards with info on the blog and where to find it. I brought them to pass out at my Mutant Future games, but brought extra to scatter here and there. When I dropped by the OSRG booth, I thought it may be a useful resource for mew MutFut players, so I asked Joseph if he'd be kind enough to hand out a few to new MutFut purchasers.

    The Food Court was a great discovery, but that burrito is kicking my ass right now. I wanted to head back to the auction (runs until 11 p.m.), but I don't think a trek to the Con Center is such a good idea right now. Maalox ahoy!

  4. Drizzt seems to be thinking, "Once this paralyzation expires, I'm gonna dual-cleave about 50000 exp!"
    Rations are a serious dilemma at Gencon.