Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gen Con 2011: Day 3 or the Day of Wallet Bloodletting

No games to run today so I brought out my check list and wandered the hallway. I made two trips as I convinced myself to buy some goods that I probably didn't need and weren't on my list but on well.

Wyrd Miniatures: Pupper Wars. It's a board game with goofy looking puppet miniatures and I'm hoping it's a big hit with my g/f. If not, I've spent a lot of money on a group of tokens that will go into the closet. I also bought the Dead Justice limited edition convention set. If nothing else more undead are always handy to have.

Coolminiornot: I picked up the preorder special edition dwarf berserkers regiment for Avatars of War as well as a painting DVD, Miniature Painting Secrets with Jennifer Haley. I was going to buy another fig but it was $40 for a medium sized figure due to its limited edition status so that sucker went back to the shelf.

Dark Age miniature gaming. I don't play the game, but one of the factions has some fantastic monsters in it. This was another unplanned purchase but the big resin brood howler, broodhound pack (2 of 'em), and mandible are mine.

Tablemaster: They have various base flocking material and if you bought the whole set it was fairly inexpensive so that's what I did. Another unplanned miniature purchase.

Mouse Guard boxed set. I'm hoping I can talk the g/f into some rpging if it involves some cute, battle axe using mice. Don't know how that'll roll as she wasn't tricked into it with other games, but she does enjoy some card games. By the way, the guys here had great bags, regular bags with good handles that you can use at your local grocery store.Archai I believe, same people who do the Artesia book.

Burning Wheel Gold and Bloodstained Stars: The guys doing this are right next to the Artesia both. When I first came there, I asked for Burning Wheel, but was on the Mouse Guard side. So pick up some graphic novels because Archai is running a fantastic deal there (bought the Cycle of Air and got the Cycle of Earth free for Okko) but then went to buy Burning Wheel Gold and Mouse Guard and couldn't get Mouse guard because that was the guys I just bought the graphic novels from. Argh! But nonetheless, cool bags. Bloodstained Stars and the graphic novels were unintended purchases. I'll have to check online as there's supposed to be another Okko novel and the books look fantastic.

Masks and Eureka: Both sounded like good all purpose gaming supplements. The former was on my shopping list, the later not but in for a penny...

Cthulhu Gloom: Speaking of card games my g/f likes... She's a big fan of Gloom so I'm blaming her for this purchase.

Maps of Mystery: I picked up the three for Deep Vistas and received a free adventure with it. Unplanned purchase but I'm a sucker for maps and miniatures as may be coming out here...

Gamemastery Map Pack, extra dimensional spaces and Swallowed whole, along with Faiths of Balance, Faiths of Purity, and Malevolent & Benign, a Pathfinder Bestiary. I didn't buy the extra dimensional spaces when it first came out because I wasn't tuned into the use for it despite something similar in say, Wheel of Time. However, after beating Dungeon Siege III... well, suffice it to say I'm at least a little motivated to have the map pack. Also received a free convention exclusive miniature that will probably be available on the website by Monday if it isn't already. All unplanned purchases.

Kings of War: I went there to see if they had Mhorgoth the Necromancer. I like the figure. The faceless necromancer with energy shooting out of his hands and playing about in front of him. So I did pick him up from my check list but... Abyssal Dwarves... I picked up an 'army deal' with a huge boxed set and the lord's war conclave and received a box of 20 undead as a bonus. Mantic will get my business again.

Dungeonmorph Cards and Font by Inkwell Press I believe. I wanted to buy the dice but they were not available so I gave him my information so that I'm on the list when it comes out.

That's the stuff I've got in front of me. When I get home tomorrow I'll open the other bags. Mostly Gale Force 9 products I'm 99.9% sure as well as stuff I bought with my store credit at Cubicle 7.

General notes...

There was at least one booth that only took cash. The guys who make the high end RPG dice and have done so for Cthulhu as well as the Pathfinder adventures. Listen, it's the year 2011. Most of the places I made purchases were using phones to run the credit cards. There is absolutely no reason NOT to be able to accept credit cards.

Year of the Smart Phone. Okay, not necessarily the year of, but man, at least the Gen Con of. I've had my phone over two years. It's a first generation G1. I keep wanting to upgrade but the data package is killing me. While there were lots of people with cameras, I think most pictures posted online have come from the phones.

Tablets... not so much, but still in presence. Interesting enough, it looks to be a mix of both the ever popular iPad's and well, everything else. Got my hands of a Kindle and man, that sucker is light compared to a tablet, it's also easy to read, and holds a charge very well. I'm very interested now in the kindle if only I hadn't spent all of that money already... argh...

Costumers... I'm not one to judge in terms of quality, effort, etc... but some general notes, as I've already said. Some of these fans are punishing themselves tremendously in the name of fun and I salute that. The humidity here is some of the worst I can recall in my time here. It's also hot but I'm from Chicago and it's hotter back home. Next, and this is for the women, the time to be pulling your skirt or tattered tassels or whatever, down below your ass is when you first put it on. It's not every five feet of the convention hall as you realize that darn it, gravity is not going to pull that sheer material past your ass. If you're going to show your ass off, go ahead. Just don't put together an outfit that you constantly have to be messing with. It can't be fun to do so and its gotta be annoying.

Dealer: No problems. Usually I have a smart ass or two that loses a sale or has me get in their face and ask them to repeat that but seriously, all dealers were awesome this year. All friendly, willing to talk, etc... The only real problem? Not enough people on check out, or in general, not enough people manning the booths. They were so busy running demos that when customers were ready to check out they had to halt the demo, run the bill, and then get back to the customer.

Technology: This should probably be filled under the year of the smart phone bit but... wi-fi is everywhere. Hotels have it, the food courts have it, the posh restaurants have it, etc... and with that, comes a freedom for charging people for internet access. I can't tell you the exact number of dealer who did NOT pay for internet access this year because the prices were stupidly high, but it's like how hotels used to charge for access to Wi-Fi. Get with the times or go home I guess is the message. Or something along those lines maybe?

Author's Alley and Paint Exhibit: Both of these were actually IN the dealer's hall. It was kind of neat and there were a lot of great pieces of art. If I owned a house or had someplace to display the art, yeah, that would have been me spending even more money I don't have.

The only thing that I am personally bummed about is the lack of my own inner circle amigos. One of them died in April of cancer. The others don't leave the state and pay to play. In the past they've come out for the dealer's hall, but as the tickets for just all around purposes are $48 a day, they are not driving 200 miles for that. It's always fun to hang out with your crew and shoot the breeze and see what other people you know think about things. Maybe next year I can talk a few of them into coming out for the whole convention and try the paint and take and the free movies and pick up games, etc... probably not. As much of a home body as I am, they are far far worse.

Anyway, that's enough rambling. It's time to read some Okko!