Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The GenCon Chronicles: Part 2

Be forewarned: this post may contain many awesome pictures.

16 August 2012: Day 1

We all somehow managed to crawl out of beds, enjoy a breakfast put on by the hotel, and then get on the bus in time to get to the convention center.  There was a bit of standing in line so that we could get our GenCon coupon book (which ironically I never ended up using).  Then we set out to see what we could see!  My friends wanted to check out the vendor hall area first.  I didn't have anything planned until about noonish so we waited outside of the vendor hall.
It's not General Conference, but people waiting to get in the hall
After a bit of waiting, we all poured in.  And was I quite surprised at what to find in there!  First off, the room was huge!  And it was filled with a lot of little booth set by all sorts of vendors.  Companies were selling trading cards, shirts, miniatures, games, anime, etc.  Just about everything geeky that you could think of.  Sadly, I only took one picture of the awesomeness that was the vendor hall.

Warning, room is much bigger than it appears!
Ok, I did have a second picture, but it's of the ceiling!
Picture of the Gnome Games swag bag on the vendor hall carpet. Does that count as a third picture?
My first event of Gencon was a Planechase Limited game.  Planechase is a variant of the Magic the Gathering card game.  I've played before, but thought it would be fun to do it at GenCon.  I located the room that Wizards of the Coast (creators of Magic) were having the event in.  Needless to say, the room was huge!

See above warning!
As I wandered around, lo and behold but who was guarding one of the entrances to the room?  Jace!  Jace is a character from the Magic mythos.  I'm a bit of a fan boy, so I had to take some pictures of his statue.

His eyes are glowing! Squeeee!
I wish I had a cape like that.
I found a rather awesome poster/drape/thingy with Nicol Bolas on it (he's one of the 'big bad guys' in Magic).

Nicol Bolas will own the multiverse one day (or so he thinks)
 As I wandered around, I also found a Serra Angel ready to do battle with evil.
Is she running away from Bolas, or is it a strategic retreat?
Stylish angels
Turns out Wizards was sharing their room with many other card games.  I heard that Legend of the Five Rings and Yu-Gi-Oh were also there, and many more that I didn't look into.
I'm thinking the guy in the bottom right might be Brandon Sanderson!
 Overall, playing Planechase wasn't exactly a lot of fun.  I was expecting that we would be building our own decks from some booster packs.  Instead, they handed us all some of the pre-built decks and we played with those.  I ended up with the red/green deck.  I discovered that the deck could pull off one or two awesome moves, and then it would get steamrolled by other decks that had a bit more staying power.  Although it was awesome to have a 1/1 creature become a 31/31 at one point.  I said that my had a rough childhood, so he had to eat a lot to become stronger.
My shiny new Gencon dice! Also, that is a 16.
 My second event of the day was learning to make sushi.  That was a lot of fun!  The rice they used was incredibly sticky, and left my hands feeling funny.  Here are some pictures of my attempts to make sushi.  It didn't turn out very pretty, but it tasted great!
Pristine, before I got my hands on it.
Sushi anyone?
Before cutting the roll.
It's a veggie roll!
My 'masterpiece'

 In the evening, it decided to rain.  Some friends and I braved the rain to go to a 'Steak and Shake' place.  I wasn't feeling all that hungry from the sushi, so I got a salad and an awesome tasting shake.  Here are some Indianapolic pictures:
A random train they had inside a building
I forget which stadium this is
17 August 2012: Day 2

I originally had three events this day but cancelled one when I learned it was a tournament of sorts.  I didn't want to get involved with it, so I had to cancel the day before.  In the morning, I played 'Nuns on the Run'.  It's a rather enjoyable 'Hide and Seek' game where novices try to find a secret wish while dodging the older nuns that act as guards.  It's made by the same company that makes Settlers of Catan.
Yep, it's giant Catan!
 Here are some interesting this that people did with cards:

Around lunch time, I went with some friends to a nearby mall.  We got a kick out of seeing that the mall was the 'Simon' brand.  One of the original reasons that I went to Gencon this year was to finish a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that had been running for many years (about 8, although I joined in 3 years in) over e-mail.  My characters name is Simon.  The joke was that when he finished adventuring, he settled down and started a mall.  He hired one of the other characters to act as mall security, except he didn't know how to use nonlethal force.  That's a story for another time though.

During lunch, I commented to my friends that I hadn't been able to locate any drinking fountains, despite my best efforts to do so (I've got a sixth sense about drinking fountains, I'm a little obsessed with drinking water).  My friends looked at me funny when I asked about drinking fountains, and then explained that in Wisconsin, drinking fountains were called 'bubblers'.  Also, ATM machines were called 'Tyme machines'.  I was a bit confused, but thought that bit of trivia was interesting.  With that knowledge, I was able to locate the conventions 'drinking fountains' which were really more like water dispensers.

It's a bubbler!
The last event of the day was a playtest of the 'next version' of Dungeons and Dragons.  I had a blast with it. I think part of it was that the person running the game did a good job at being entertaining and keep all of the heroes engaged.  Sadly, the game ended in a cliffhanger with some strange gray ooze chasing us.

Oh, and what is Gencon without a few cosplays?  Here are a few pictures I managed to take.
Apparently this is a 'Dalek' from the Dr Who series. It kept saying something about 'exterminate' so I kept my distance
Stormtrooper sightings were common. (From the Star Wars universe)
Zuko and his mom or sister.  Not sure which one that is.
Commander Shepard and Liara! (Mass Effect video games)

1 comment:

  1. That's actually Zuko and Mei (his girlfriend). I think they got married, not sure. I totally want that Catan board! It's Catan but in the shape of the united states. Awesome!