Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gen Con Day 1: Demon Dogs, The Wrong Room, And Meeting Wil

Good morning! (As I begin today's post, it's 6:51 a.m.) Getting ready to head to breakfast then over to the ICC for the traditional Opening Ceremonies. Later today, it's the inaugural run of my "Thundarr the Barbarian" Mutant Future game. So here are today's thoughts:

  • Gen Con Plus: I like it when random folks start up a friendly conversation with you about their interests, hobbies, and whatever. Gen Con Minus: I don't like it when they continue to follow you around and talk about their interests, hobbies, and whatever after you've excused yourself and walked away.
  • Want to have 30,000 geeks and nerds razz you? Have your computer crash on you while setting up your "Welcome to Gen Con" video presentation/ Nothing like watching the Blue Screen of Death pop up on a 30-foot screen overhead.
  • At the Opening Ceremony, it was proclaimed by the Indy Mayor that Gen Con is officially "the four best days in gaming." The traditional Throwing Out of the First Dice was done by Mike Carr, designer of Dawn Patrol, which he has run at every Gen Con since Gen Con 0 in 1968. Couldn't get a picture due to the crowds.
  • This year, rather than checking badges individually upon entry, they opened up the door to the Dealer's Hall and stepped aside. Ever see 30,000 gamers break into a mass sprint?
  • My Thundarr the Barbarian game was AWESOME. All of the players were very familiar with the TV show, so many '80s action cartoon cliches were tossed about. The twist to this game was that a wizard had opened a dimensional door, creating TWO Thundarrs, Ooklas, and Ariels! Yup, all of the players got to play one of the main characters. And everyone got a chance to be a star, as every player performed some miraculous feat of derring-do. Here are some highlights: Thundarr racing up and cleaving a Possuman's club in two; Possuman cringes and toadies up to the gang and becomes their new lacky "Nathan the Possuman"; while riding a runaway fire truck being chased by laser-firing Possumen in Indy cars, the two Ariels cast simultaneous Sleep spells on the drivers, causing them to crash spectacularly; at the final showdown at the Indy Speedway, Ookla picks up a VW Bug and swats a giant purple worm with it; Thundarr leaps onto its back and rodeo-rides the worm; meanwhile OTHER Thundarr and Ookla pull a Fastball Special, bringing the wizard down from his high perch; Ariel creates a bridge to reach the wizard while OTHER Ariel races along it to drop the magical MacGuffin in the Bad Guy's lap. I could go on, but the game ran beautifully, although quite fast. (We finished in only 2 hours due to some awesome rolls by the teams.) Everyone seemed to enjoy the game as well and the teamwork amongst everyone was awesome-sauce.
  • Having some time before my 5 p.m. Labyrinth Lord game, I decided to stop by the Dealer's Hall to see if I could meet Wil Wheaton, who was the Guest of Honor at that time. Big fan of Wil's, and his embrace of nerdom and geekery is awe-inspiring. The line was fairly short (it was the end of the day), so I was able to meet him and exchange some pleasantries. The visit merits its own post, so stay tuned!
  • Sadly, I screwed up and missed my Labyrinth Lord game. I went to the wrong room, hung around for 10 minutes past time (at which point I decided I was lost). When I did find the game, it was well underway and it appeared someone with generic tix had taken my place. Glad to see it had a full house, but chagrined that I missed it.
  • I'm heading to a game of Are You A Werewolf? in about an hour, so I'll close this with some photos of today's events:
The crowds are gathered outside of the Dealer's Hall, waiting for the stampede to begin.

Wizards had this awesome full-sized display of Lolth. The underlying blue light made it super-creepy.

Lords of Light! Our Thundarr  the Barbarian game rocked! (Much "thwarting" was had.)

And Wil Wheaton was pretty much the cool guy you'd expect him to be. We talked at length about...well...regular readers of this blog KNOW what we talked about. Stay tuned for more!


  1. Very cool that you got to meet Wil Wheaton. That's pretty fantastic. I almost dropped everything to make a last second trip up to Gen Con last night, but work's work sometimes. Everyone's just raving about the Lolth statue, too.

    1. Oh, my visit with Wil took an awesome turn. Read the next post for details!

  2. Thanks for the updates! I'll follow them throughout the weekend.

  3. Don't forget about Ookla jumping off the fire truck and planting the car! Lords of Light! All of us players had a BLAST! Thanks for running it and hopefully we'll catch you at Origins next year.