Friday, March 15, 2013

Gary Con Day 1: Table Service, Forgotten Wraiths, And My Suicide Nat 20

Wha..? (sniff) What time is it? (Glance at clock) Oh, geez...

Good morning folks. Sorry for the lateness of this post. I usually try to have these "Live From *** Con" posts up on the same day of the event, but it was a very late night for me and I just woke up. Gotta make this fast, as my first event is in an hour and a half.
  • Met up with Jeff Sparks of Faster Monkey Games for breakfast and to drop off materials for the Goblinoid Games Booth. General BS'ing occurred as we discussed pancakes, international travel, our respective spouses, and the Evil That Is 40 Gig PDFs. We ran into Jim Wampler of Marvin the Mage fame who is also the Art Director for the recently launched Gygax Magazine. Got a button from him!
  • Played in Jeff's Mutant Future game. This was, as I recall, my first time as a MutFut player at a con, and it was great to have him running us through the mutie-half of his Realm of the Technomancer. PRO TIP: If you find a human head suspended by wires with LEDs blinking in the eye sockets, do NOT play "pinata" with it.
  • As a fan of Pacesetter's Action Table system, I went old school with the afternoon game I ran -- Chill, 1st edition. In this horror adventure, SAVE envoys were dispatched to Oregon to investigate a series of murders that were very similar to a string of killings 40 years earlier. The excitement started when, while interrogating the original killer (now in his 70s and having been in prison for 40 years), he admitted there was a seventh forgotten victim that no one ever found out about. Then the guard who was in the room with the prisoner and the PCs another guard in the room as well as the prisoner before flashing a rictus grin and disappearing. THAT was hard for the PCs to explain. They eventually followed the clues, fought some possessed timberwolves and "Muffit", before finding the unmarked grave and putting the spirit to rest.
  • Meanwhile, at the table next to mine, Stephen Sullivan -- one of the founders of Pacesetter and co-author of their systems -- listened in to my game and had some every nice things to say about it. (Thanks Stephen!) We discussed Timemaster as well, and he then signed my Mutant Future rulebook which has become my de facto autograph book for conventions.
  • Last year, I remarked how neat it was that the Gary Con staff visited each game in progress and brought the DMs drinks and snacks as part of a "Gamemaster Concierge benefit." They kept that up this year as well. But new this year? The lodge's restaurant waitstaff visited tables and took food orders, which were then delivered to the gaming tables! As someone who just gamed for 13 straight hours, it was GREAT to get a sandwich brought to me mid-game without having to stop. It beat the cheese-crackers in my backpack! I'm fine with a player munching on a burger while we play, so this was an awesome addition to the already-great service!
  • At 8 p.m., I joined Michael Curtis for his Dungeon Crawl Classics game "In The Court of Chaos." This was a playtest run of a game he's working on, so I'll stay coy about the details. I was an elf forester who couldn't make a decent roll to save his life. In fact, EVERYONE at the table was tossing the crunmmiest series of dice throws I've ever seen at the table. Spell misfires that hit party members, failed saving throws, more naturals "1s" than you can shake a stick at. And the fumbles, oh those damnable fumbles. We somehow barely made it to the endgame where we met our doppleganger doubles. they had all of our powers and all of our abilities. The difference? Their dice rolls didn't suck. They were protecting The Magical MacGuffin on a walkway-accessible platform over a bottomless pit. The battle raged on and we lost 4 party members, taking the dopplegangers down to one guy remaining. The MacGuffin had been grabbed, dropped, kicked, and fumbled, and it now wobbled dangerous near the edge of the walkway. Hit points were low, it was my round, and the egg lay between me and the doppleganger. "It's just him?" "Yup, he's all that's left." I turned to the remaining party members. "Make this count." I turned to Michael. "I bumrush him, grab him around the waist, and we BOTH go over the edge of the walkway and into the abyss." Everyone gasped at my suicidal plan. I rolled...and got the first nat 20 of the entire game. We both went screaming over the edge to our deaths, the MacGuffin was retrieved, and I was bestowed with dual "DCC Winner" and "DCC Kill" ribbons for the play.
  • By the time that game ended, it was 1 a.m. Came back to the room and crashed as I was playing for nearly 13 hours straight. Nice to know I can still dice-sling with the younger folks, but Christ am I sore. Wrapping up this hurried post with a few pictures. Gotta go prep for today's Timemaster game. 'Later!

Ah, Wisconsin in March. Just look at all that warmth. (I'm from Ohio, so this is usual March weather for me anyway.)

The registration table was at full swing that morning as folks lined up to get in.

Miniature games underway.

And the gaming hall (one of 5 or 6) was in full swing.

Some of this year's Gary Con swag!


  1. Your DCC tale is one for the ages. Great work!

  2. Great Chill Event! But I don't see the YouTube link to the police station massacre.....

    1. It was yanked shortly after being posted for being "too graphic." (Also, I believe SAVE is now analyzing the footage in preparation for future Revenant attacks....)


  3. Oh my gosh Tim, I'm glad you summarized what happened at the end of that DCC playtest! I watched that game for about an hour or so while you guys navigated the last few areas (it was cool to see the Skatch kids play so well), but I started to get really tired and retreated to my room a couple rounds into that doppelganger combat. I regretted not staying to watch the end, but at least now I know how it ended!

    I had a great time playing with you in Jeff's game on Thursday, and in your game on Saturday!