Gencon 2011 has come and gone with out a peep from me. Before I left I had contemplated writing nightly updates with all the cool things I had seen and done. The more I thought about it the less sense that made to me. I was attending Gencon as more of a vacation than anything and doing a ton of writing was not how I wanted to spend my time. Beside that, I don’t think I ever made it back to my room before 4 a.m. (Thanks Mike Robles) and there is no way in hell that I’m going to be doing much writing at 4 in the morning.
I’ll start my Gencon recap by letting everyone know that this was my first ever experience with the convention. I have been to cons before but never a table top dedicated convention of this size. I have yet to miss a PAX prime, even when we were all stuck in the tiny halls of the Madenbour center in Bellevue Washington. I have done the Sandiego Comic Con, a con I so lovingly refer to the comic less con, or Pop culture con. As far as cons go this was not my first rodeo. But that does not mean that I was ready for what I experienced. I had no idea what was waiting for me when I got off the plane in Indiana.
Indianapolis embraces Gencon like no other city does for a convention. The airport had a huge red dragon with a Dungeons and Dragons advertisement on it in the baggage claim. The restaurants all had signs and decorations from various table top games. One bar had all of its windows covered in Warhammer 40k posters. Many of the hotels even had Neverwinter key cards instead of the generic hotel room cards. Before I even got to experience the convention its self I was immersed in a community who openly accepted and reached out to gamers. I’m sure the vast amounts of money we spend each year throughout the city helps the locals with their enthusiasm, but I have never seen a city so excited to have 50k gamers descend upon its streets for 5 days.
As I am a bit of a social butterfly most, of my best experiences happened not during con hours at a show or in a seminar, though there are a few that stand out in these locations, the lion’s share of my good times happened after hours. Dave Chalker and Philip Menard’sDave Chalker and Philip Menard’s Drunken Dungeons and Dragons game was a superb way to begin this enthralling week. The duo had put together a symphonic concoction of genres and game systems into a night of multi table competition. Each table competing via different game mechanics and injected rules to save their respective realities from a Highlander-esq there can be only one scenario. The competition was fierce and insanely comedic as more and more libations were consumed between each chapter of the game play. The culmination of which was a 4 way sudden death challenge that involved the pulling apart of the very fabric of reality and reconstruction of the very same, some call it Jenga.
My team was lead to victory over all other by a confidant showing by Danny Rupp, a man who instantly attained the title of BFF, and a very, very drunk me. Thanks to the combined efforts of everyone on our team the world of Gamma Tera was saved forever while Darksun and all those other worlds that no longer matter were wiped from the face of existence. Lets all take a moment of silence for them.
After the excitement of the party died down a late night romp around Indianapolis ensued which eventually ended with cigars in a really awesome throw back cigar bar that made me feel like I was living the big band era and enjoying the life of the infamous Rat Pack.
As I stumbled back to my hotel I began to take stock, I was at Gencon, the legendary gaming con of cons. The con had not yet started and I was already having the best time I had had all year. The atmosphere was so friendly and inviting that even at my most introverted moments I knew I would most likely not be afraid to try anything game wise, with anyone. It was because of these things I knew I was going to have one hell of a great vacation.
So there is a vast sum about which I would like to write, and I think I will dedicate the rest of this week to my Gencon wrap up. I most likely won’t get to everything so if I leave anyone out of my recount of my week please don’t take it as an offense, I just don’t remember that much about when I was drunk.
Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.