another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Madness (Gencon report - part 1 - Tuesday/Wednesday)

This is the Gencon report, part 1. Read more if you care. :-)

Matt's got a lot of Gencon stuff on his blog, much of which applies to me as well.

I took the day off work on Tuesday so I could get ready to go and leave by mid-afternoon. As usual, I still felt like I was pushing right up against the last minute, but it wasn't quite as bad as the past couple of years.

Since all six of us were going to Indy, we needed to take two cars. However, with Matt's short-term job, he decided he didn't want to come back to Aurora after the con, so it would be better if he could just drive back to Urbana. So, that was going to be a third car in Indy. However, I suggested that instead we caravan to Urbana on Tuesday, drop off Matt's car at his apartment, then he would ride the rest of the way to Indy with me. So that's what we did. Ellen and I in her car, Matt and Ryan in Matt's car, and Kalen and Kathy in my car. We got into Urbana just about dinner time, which gave us all the excuse that Kalen needed to decide to eat at her favorite place, Cheddar's. I think the only thing she really cares about there, though, is getting a Cookie Monster for dessert.

Anyway, after dinner, dropping off Matt's car, and a very quick tour of Matt's apartment (aka Beamer's storage space) for Ellen we drove another 1.5 or 2 hours to Brownsville (?), Indiana, which is pretty close to Indianapolis, and stopped at the Super 8 there (which was a decent place to stay).

Wednesday morning we drove the rest of the way to Indy, which only took about a half hour, and parked at the Westin so that Matt, Ryan and I could get ready to judge for Verbobonc Pre-Gencon Madness. This is a kind-of low overhead mini con which is run on the Wednesday before Gencon so that folks coming in for Gencon can play D&D Living Greyhawk modules for the Verbobonc region, which covers Indiana and Illinois. Since I'm in-region, and I've played most of the modules (all I plan to play), I judge all the slots at this con to give others from elsewhere (and everywhere) a chance to play.

Slot 1 I ran a table of "Deep in the Lortmils" which the players had no real problem with, and we got done early. That gave Ellen and I a chance to find the Hilton Garden Inn, our hotel for the next two days, and check in. The clerk said we'd have a surprise when we got to the room, and it was a nice surprise even though I'd guessed what it probably was: we had a suite. That worked out well, since we had six people in a room technically for four. Well, six people on Wednesday night - seven on Thursday when Narf joined us. We had plenty of space that way, though, as we brought our airbed and had plenty of floor space for it in the bedroom area, and Matt had a couch in the front room as wel as a TV so he could stay up as late as he wanted (and Narf could use the floor or the chairs in there).

Anyway we got checked in, had lunch at Jimmy Johns, moved a car over to the parking garage there along with most of the luggage (which Ellen got up to the room), and then I returned to the con to judge the next slot.

(By the way, I called Verbobonc Pre-Gencon Madness a mini-con, but it's only that because it's only one day long really. In terms of number of players I understand that it is now the largest regional con in our region. (Gencon itself is, of course,
much much much larger, but it's a national con and we thus can't run regional mod at Gencon proper). Sometime in there Kalen and Kathy also found me and collected a room key and directions to the hotel, and then they went back to the True Dungeon set-up that they'd been working on.

Anyway, in slot 2 I ran "Castle Estival", which is a two-round module. Except that we finished easily in one round (I was running it at APL 2, the lowest level, which is not all that tough). The players that I had suggested that we get a table at the convention center rather than a stretch of floor at the Westin. We did, and as well as running the table for them (an no, there certainly weren't seven players for that game, that would have been technically illegal!), we entertained some of the folks waiting in the badge registration line that wrapped around to where we'd set up.

Since we got done with "Castle Estival" early, I was available to judge in slot 3. I waited around for a while, hoping that I'd get a table of "Fallen Hero" (short and fun to run), while the possibility was raised that I could run another table of "Castle Estival" (which would then have the possibility of running well past midnight, depending on the players and the APL). As it turned out, what I wound up getting was a talbe of "Sign of the Black Orchid", which I had played but hadn't read yet. I was able to do an OK job of running that game semi-cold, and the players seemed to enjoy it and figured out most of the stuff in that very investigative mod. The couple of clues they didn't find didn't make much difference in the resolution, though most tables wind up frustrated by the way the ending is scripted, anyway.

"Black Orchid" has a tendency to run a bit long, but we got it done in the prescribed four hours. That got us right to midnight, and I was ready to call it a night. I checked in with Ellen via cellphone and heard that everyone else had found there way to the hotel, so I got my car out of the Westin garage, got it moved to the garage next to the Hilton, and hit the bed to get ready for an early start on Thursday.

To be continued .....


Post a Comment

<< Home