another misAdventure

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

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gencon: Saturday and Sunday (August 18-19)

Finishing Gencon, because the last two days won't make for long blog posts.

Saturday, I lazed around a bit more in the morning, since I didn't have anything scheduled until 1:00 and I didn't have anything I really wanted to do before that. So, I got things picked up in the room as best I could - mainly to get my stuff organized for a quick exit the next day.

I'd played enough Fluxx in the previous two days that the box was getting worn already, so I went back to the dealer's room to get the wooden box to store Fluxx (with an extra rule card, but that rule gets a bit annoying so I may pull it out of the deck more frequently). Oh, and I forgot, I bought the sixth collection of Girl Genius on Friday, and got it signed by all the creators. Just to stick that in since I forgot on Friday and that completes the set of things I bought in the dealer's room.

Back to Saturday - I reported for my judging shift, another shift of Living Kalamar, but only one table of players was there so I got released as a Kalamar judge. I went over to headquarters to see if they had something else they needed me to judge. Unfortunately, they did. They asked the group of us if anyone had prepped the preliminary round of the D&D Open. No. Has anyone ever run the Open before? Eeep. I had to admit that I had. So, I wound up judging a first round table of the D&D Open with zero preparation. I didn't even have maps before we started. But this group was insistent on playing even though they knew I had no time to prep, because they'd driven 14 hours just to play the Open.

As it turns out, they were a fun group and very willing to work with me as I took a few minutes to read each encounter as they got to it. The D&D Open is a timed event, so they were somewhat handicapped by that. On the other hand, I may have done a better job of killing them if I'd had a chance to understand all the enemy tactics (I definitely could have done more with the bugbears that would try to bullrush people off the machinery). As it turned out, they survived (I got one down to 1 hit point0 but didn't have a chance to do anything with the final encounter. They were happy, though, and got a group picture with me at the end.

In the third slot I was signed up to run "D&D for beginners". We didn't have the beginners at first, so I got recruited to oversee a Three-Dragon Ante tournament. Later, the players showed up for D&D for Beginners. I didn't know how it was scheduled, I found out later it was supposed to run at 8:00pm and 10:00pm. There was a big batch of people who showed up, so I ran a double-sized table through the first time, and then a table of six starting at 10pm. So, I didn't get done that night until just after midnight. Everyone else was back at the hotel by then, so I got a Polish sausage from a street vendor and called it a night.

Sunday morning, I got as much stuff packed up and out to the car as I could manage, with help from Ryan and the girls. I then left Ryan in charge of checking out of the hotel once we knew everything and everyone was out (i.e. Matt and Tony).

I walked to the convention center with Kathy. On the way through the RPGA room I ran into the group that I'd judged in the D&D Open. They'd made it to the final round. That made me feel better about the whole thing -- I hadn't slowed them down so much that they couldn't advance to the second round, but they were a good enough team to get through that round as well so they didn't advance just due to my inability to challenge them properly.

I was signed up to judge the Kalamar special, and Kalen and Kathy were signed up to play that. They wound up with two tables for the special, but more judges than that, so again I was released. Since I'd run D&D for Beginners the night before, Therese from headquarters latched onto me immediately to run that again. So, two more slots of full tables of beginners.

I got done at just after 1:00 and headed over to the True Dungeon riddle reveal. That gave me a chance to see some of the stuff they had on the combat side, and to see what we'd missed on the puzzle side to solve the stuff that we missed (or brute-forced).

Finally, we got lunch at Houlihan's, walked back to the cars, said bye to Kathy and Tony (heading different directions), and headed out. And I'll let Kathy tell how we totally failed to give her good directions back to the interstate to Normal.

And that was it. I drove back to Aurora and crashed hard. I was glad that I'd taken the next day off, and hadn't planned to fly to Cleveland until Tuesday morning. I needed all that time to recover (maybe could have used more!).


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