Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gen Con 2012: Day 1

So I arrived at Gen Con yesterday. Coming from Chicago, it was a nice drive out. I had already seen a few warnings about state troopers out handing out the dreaded $1,000 tickets so made sure to obey all posted speed limits. There was a lot of construction coming in but I felt that I still made good time. I managed to listen to a lot of newer bands or at least newer releases that I haven't given the attention to that they deserve like the Vaccines, Cults, (not the heavy metal group The Cult), Two Door Cinema, and the new Bon Iver among others.

On the way in, there were two things that struck me. The first was that there were a lot of blown truck tires strewn along the highway. And when I say a lot, I mean thousands. It was a little worrisome seeing all that burst rubber scattered throughout the highway. I couldn't help but think that the best way to prevent accidents is to you know, dispose of such refuse before another vehicle hits it? The other thing that amazed me were the number of wind turbines. These were huge monstrous things and most of them were in full motion. The space they took up seemed minimized as they were well off the ground in order for the blades to clear the land. Hopefully this is providing some useful renewable energy to someone.

I am here this year running games for Cubicle 7. You may have heard of them. They are bringing out The One Ring, the RPG based on the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. That's not what I'm running however. I'm running Doctor Who, Primeval, and the Laundry.

The Doctor Who game is based on the newer versions done by the BBC. Primeval is an upcoming game based on the television show by the BBC that uses a very similar system. The Laundry is based on the BRP system from Call of Cthulhu and has its own take on the mythos. I'm certainly no expert on any of the games and have been reading them via PDF which can be useful but can also be slow at times.

I've already run two of the games and they both seemed to go quicker than I would have anticipated. The schedule was supposed to be a four hour slot but the players in the first managed it in under two hours and the latter in under three. I don't know if that stems from my lack of familiarity with the system, not wanting to push conflict on the players when they're playing exploratory types or that the players used, for the most part, good common sense, solid ideas, and were very liberal with their spending of story points to make rolls and avoid conflict that way.

The players seemed to have a good time and a few of them even recognized my name. An interesting side effect of, you know, using your actual name on the internet I suppose.

I have another game tonight and three more to run before the convention is over. The only thing I'm uncertain about is how the game on Sunday will go because it starts at 12:00 and I believe I have to be checked out of here at the same time.

So far the city is very friendly. I spend a lot of time walking around yesterday looking for some speakers for an iPod so that a podcast could be played at the Cubicle 7 booth. It was interesting but way too long. I was also tired from the drive. I know it sound stupid, but driving can take a mental toll on me after a few hours. I'm also six and a half feet tall so that doesn't help in the comfort department either.

I'm fortunate in that my roommates are normal people. I keep hearing horror stories from others but the gamers I played with in both games were good and the room mates are normal. So far it's all win. I still have to check out the exhibition hall. I might do that later on today but after running the games this morning and having another tonight, I may just relax and bum around a bit. Maybe check out the paint and take or watch some movies if they still have them running this year.

So far so good.