Aug 22, 2013

Gen Con 2013 - Jack the Ripper, Cthulhu, and a Some Murders in Baldur's Gate

I had originally planned to write each day of Gen Con as it happened, at the end of the day. Unfortunately my schedule left me with little time at the end of each day to do a proper recap. Here now is the first in a series of posts about my Gen Con experiences. Check back for more posts about my con experience.

Note: I just read a posting that seemed to indicate that Gen Con attendance was 49 thousand unique visitors, up over 20% from last year. Kudos to the Gen Con staff and planners, while there were more people this year, it didn't feel as congested in the hallways or the vendor's room as it had in the past.

As I've mentioned before, one of my goals at Gen Con is to try new games, to step outside my comfort zone. This year, I actually did that a couple of times.

One such game was Letters from Whitechapel, a game where one person takes on the role of Jack the Ripper, and the other players (up to 5) are the detectives trying to track him down.  Once the crime is committed, Jack tries to race back to his lair, while the detectives looks all over Whitechapel for clues to where Jack as passed through.

Over the course of four days, detectives can start to narrow down where the lair and try to position themselves in such a way to capture or trap Jack.

I thought the game was very easy to pick up, and my particular team was skilled (lucky) enough to actually catch Jack during the last evening. There are a number of optional rules that can be used once players start to get the hang of the game. This is certainly one I would recommend and happily play again.

Another new game I played at the con was Arkham Asylum. I actually own this game, but the sheer complexity of it made me want to be at a table with experienced players before attempting to run this on my own.

In this game, you take the role of an investigator going around Arkham to gather clues, and equipment (including weapons, tomes, and spells) to use against the various horrors that start springing up. I liked this game as well, though even after playing a full game that lasted about 3.5 hours, I still feel like I need to re-read the instructions and look for "how-to-play" videos on YouTube.

Lastly I played the Murder in Baldur's Gate adventure. This was apparently the same adventure that was part of the D&D Game Day, and serves as a kind of prequel to the upcoming Encounters season, also called Murder in Baldur's Gate. I really had fun with this adventure, though I thought it ended a bit too soon, the final encounter here is only relevant if you continue on to the weekly Encounters program. The adventure, which was slotted for four hours, only took our group 90+ minutes to complete, and I can't see how it could have been expected to run any longer than 2 hours.

Next time, I'll comment on some of the other things I did at the con, including one of my biggest personal accomplishments.