GenCon Thoughts


#1

I went to GenCon. After becoming a grandparents on Thursday afternoon my wife and I went on downtown Thursday night to pick up our badges and roam the event.

Went back Friday, but she took a break to visit baby and pick up our youngest, who just about died when she walked in that night. Then Saturday morning we went and set up the house for the baby and picked some of my daughter’s vegetables that were starting to go bad. After spending 4 hours working my ass off we went back to GenCon in time for the costume parade.

Then I did a bad thing. I got my youngest signed up for the Beginner Pathfinder modules, a total of four modules later (Until 11:30 that night, and then two Sunday morning) she got a certificate and a 10% off coupon on the beginner boxed set. Sunday was the Pathfinder games and more shopping, and I finally tracked down Howard Taylor to sign his book for me.

Lessons for next year.

Schedule myself more events, generics are nice to have but I spent a lot of time wandering. Schedule some RPG time.

Pack lunch, and drinks, in car. We had planned to pack stuff, but the baby really threw us off.

Remind daughters not to have babies during GenCon.

Don’t wear flip flops the whole time.


#2

@Woodman, what’s “Pathfinder” all about? I gather that it’s a beginner’s type of AD&D, but how does it work and how’s it different from “normal” AD&D?


#3

Pathfinder is AD&D 3.8. Same general feel as the old AD&D, that most of us here who played, played. It’s tightened up some, feels smoother. Character sheets feel like old school 1st edition ones where all the information you need is on the sheet and less space is spent on BS. A player that had no idea what was going on could be stumbling along in about 10 minutes, 20 if you had them make their own character.

It’s open source, so you can actually check it out on line. The good stuff you have to pay for, but you could run a Pathfinder campaign without a single book. PCFs of most books are $10, and the manuals themselves run from $12 paperback splat books, to hard bound $30-$60 glossy manuals, to the collector edition leather bound tomes (I didn’t even look at price).

The beginner set takes all that tightening up and trims it some more. No Attacks of Opportunity, fewer options for character generation, fewer spells, and some other things. The beginner set goes through 5th level, and there are multiple free supplements to transition you from beginner to the full game, plus the fact that you could add the splat books to the beginner stuff.

I got my hands on, but didn’t buy, a hardbacked piece of art that was a manual for a campaign that went from 1-15th level. Nice filler art, pictures showing important places, campaign fluff, easily read instructions, everything. Since it’s open, I’m sure there is some sort of licensing, but it doesn’t seem to be much, there seems to be a lot more supporting it. And even old D&D modules could work.

The Pathfinder Society is kind of like the RPGA, but seems more accessible and friendly.

Pathfinder feels like what happens when people who loved D&D got a chance to fix it.


#4

Oh, and the Shadowrun PC game looks awesome. And the My Little Pony game has the 10 year old girl/40 year old man market locked up. I couldn’t even get a walk through for my youngest because the people running it were just exhausted.


#5

We’ve played Pathfinder before, 3.5-based, I think. I rather liked it, though it’s been long enough that I couldn’t get much more specific than that, I’m afraid.


#6

Played Pathfinder with my 6 year old last night. We role played her leaving the farm and going to town. Had her dad make her prove herself by clearing out some centipedes in the barn, and then when she decided to just sleep in a field when it got dark I made her do som eknowledge checks and find somewhere safer.

Which didn’t mean she was totally safe. But it’s ok because she sneak attacked on goblin and one shotted him and the one of the remaining ones rolled a 1, then a 20, to one shot his buddy. So it was really a one on one with a 1/3 CR monster and a level 1 rogue.

When she finally got to town she was beaming.

Awesome stuff.


#7

I’m still somewhat regretting my decision not to go this year, though I wouldn’t have been able to anyway (stupid work rollouts…grumble)

I’m planning on next year, and I’ll definitely be going to play in the Shadowrun Missions games.

Woodman, if you were talking about Shadowrun Returns, it is a pretty neat game. I picked it up on Steam the day it released and it’s definitely got the feel of a proper Shadowrun game to it.


#8

I’ll be there next year, and I’ll be playing quite a bit of Pathfinder I think, as well as hitting some of the board games up. I think my wife and I might get a hotel room for Wednesday and Thursday night.

Tonight Tapple is on deck for pre-dinner entertainment .


#9

Anyone going this year? I’m in again, and this time Sproutling is actually signed up for a couple events. Pathfinder Kid’s Track is pretty nifty.

Not going near the My Little Pony events this year, last year kind of scared her off. I have nothing against bronies, but damn, leave some room for little kids please. Hard to explain to a six year old why she can’t get to the table to even see the game.


#10

Wish I was going. Haven’t been since 2011.


#11

I wish I was going. My roommate is planning on going. I unfortunately don’t have the money this year, since this past winter was the first one I spent in control of a house (and said house unfortunately currently has oil heat, which is expensive as all hell), so I didn’t get to do my usual ‘saving for the convention’ thing.

And yeah, some of us bronies can be pretty…obnoxious. I try my damndest not to be (which is helped by the fact that I’m naturally on the ‘quiet and off to the side’ part of the antisocial scale), but the card game at least LOOKS somewhat interesting. I’ve picked up two of the starter decks over the last few months, but haven’t really got time to sit down and go through the rules. I’m planning on maybe playing a few games of it with my daughter to figure out how it works sometime.


#12

It wasn’t really that they were obnoxious, it’s just that a 6 year old who couldn’t understand the rules couldn’t find the physical space to crowd around a table. The youngest kids at the Pony tables were lower teens and seemed to be experienced gamers.

Now, it was the first event we tried to horn in on without tickets, generics only last year, and it was my daughters first 15 minutes at GenCon. This year, if she’s interested, I’ll camp out and we’ll find a slot. So three parts there; first event inexperience, maybe a bit too young for it, and big bad bronies blocking bitty babies out. :smile:

This year, she’s raring to go. She’s played Pandemic, Small World (To death on her Kindle), Seasons, Pathfinder, Descent II, and she can read a million times better. Not being able to quickly read cards and instructions was a big boost to her desire to read.

On the actual game, watch a Let’s Play on it. Apparently the rules went through google translate too many times back and forth. I haven’t played it, or bought it yet, but everything I read on it gives them a B- or so on the game and a F-- on the rule book.


#13

Not surprised. Most games made out of existing IP tend to be like that. From the little I’ve read, it seems to play something like the older Star Wars CCG used to, with location cards that stuff happens at and the like.


#14

I’m going again, along with ANHWizard. No other folks this year, which is too bad. More makes merrier on road trips.


#15

Heh. Road trip. When I go to GenCon it involves an airplane. :smile:


#16

Well, and I guess that’s where I cheat. It’s just another 15 minutes farther than my morning commute. If I had to go somewhere else for it DragonCon would just have to do.


#17

Yeah I could cheat for ComicCon this weekend but I went last year for the first time since the late 90’s and it’s gotten way too big for it’s own good. My introverted self can’t be around that many people for very long without getting stabby.


#18

Ok, the countdown starts. I think I’m sneaking downtown Wednesday to try and hit the tapping party for the Froth of Kahn. TF, let me know if you and ANH want to hook up somewhere for a beer or game.

I ended up not signing up for anything again. I’m going to have to try to sneak my way into the AEG event on Friday night again, sold out before I got it. I was just looking at the Pathfinder and D&D events and I couldn’t see putting 4 hours into a game I can play at my LGS. I expect my wife will bail Friday around noon and bring sprout back with her Friday night.

There are 5 events my daughter could do for Pathfinder, but that’s 10 hours worth of gaming, for a seven year old. We pulled 8 hours out last year, and we may still do it, but I wanted to have the flexibility to go either way on it.


#19

We’re here, don’t know if we will brave the crowd around the tapping party tonight. ANH is probably going to spend most of the con in the board game area; he does some stuff for the Gorilla Games folks (like Jeff Siadek). He gets “people’d out” too.

I’m sorta all over the place, so I’d have to check my schedule. I’m a VIG, so I’ll be stopping by the VIG lounge often enough.


#20

I decided to skip the tapping party.