Aug 16, 2013

GenCon 2013 - The Delve, the Toon, and some friendly gaming

Yesterday was the first official day of the convention, and what a whirlwind day it was.

Things started out with me having to get up early so I could un-register for some events I didn't want.
I was planning to take care of the events on Wed, especially with GenCon touting it's "24 hr a day service" at the Badges and Events booths. Unfortunately the 24 hr/day doesn't start until 7am on the morning of the first official day of the con, otherwise, they close at 9pm. If I had known that, I would have taken care of the event issues right away. And I can't fault GC for this, it was noted that Wed had limited hours, I just didn't see it.

Anyway, everything got taken care of and I headed off to my first event, this year's version of the D&D Dungeon Delve. This time around, there wasn't really a dungeon, and little delving going on. Instead -- oh wait, I don't want to ruin it.

Suffice to say, I had an ok time. I found myself knowing some of the rules better than the DM at our table. Also I wasn't really a fan of how the story line included multiple tables playing parallel adventures. This meant that while we were doing something in X location, the table next to us was at location Y. This allowed for a "pod leader" to provide flavor text to the several tables at once at the beginning and near the end. This might have been great, except for the fact that the acoustics in the hall made it difficult to hear this person some of the time. Likewise, one of the other new wrinkles was that only one of the collected tables actually fought the big bad at the end (in this case a dragon). For the rest of the tables we basically just "re-fought" the previous battle, which wasn't terribly creative or fun. Also there were times when our table was l forced to weight as the others caught up.

I like the idea of the cooperative tables, but the execution left something to be desired.

Next up, after a dizzying turn in the dealers room, it was off to a game of Toon. This is a wonderful game, if you haven't played, owing more to improve theater, than a structured game. Somehow, for this game, it works. And while Toon is all about making silly, it's also a wonderful test of skills for a DM, to be able to keep up with truly random thoughts and players, and somehow keep things on track toward telling a complete story

Lastly, to finish up the day, I meet up with some friends for drinks and games. I don't see them often, but once there, we felt like no time had passed as we were talking, having fun, and rolling dice.

That may be one of my favorite parts of the con, catching up with old friends. If you go to the con, try meeting some people, you may end up staying in touch and having your own reunion moments the following year.