Posts tagged GenCon

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space

GenCon 2012 Experience

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This past weekend, I went to GenCon, the largest gaming convention in America. Although I went largely to promote Wild Card Creator, this was also a great opportunity to do some personal gaming.

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space

The box set featuring Matt Smith made it’s release at GenCon, but I think I’ll always be attached to my David Tennant box set.

Saturday I arrived in the Dealer Hall when it opened and got a quick look at the place. Boy is it massive! I only got to visit a few booths before I had to go off to run Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space. Just like last year, I volunteered for Cubicle 7’s Demo Team which gave me a great opportunity to run one of my favorite systems and get some store credit while I was at it.

The scenario they gave me was called “Ghost Engines” and was actually a pretty decent scenario involving body-swapping aliens, gargoyle-like people, and a trans-dimensional train. It was a pretty enjoyable scenario that kept everyone engaged. I have to say that the writing quality for premade adventures for the line have improved markedly over the years. Maybe one of these days I’ll throw my hat into the ring too and write up a scenario to submit to Cubicle 7.

It’s become a tradition at the larger cons for Pinnacle to run a Savage Saturday Night event where dozens of Savage Worlds games are run. The turnout for GenCon was unprecedented and I would estimate that at least 50 games were run, all with full tables! I handed out as many cards for Wild Card Creator as I could, then got roped into a Gilligan’s Island game. As hard as it is to believe, I’ve never seen the show, but I was told that all I really needed to do was hear the theme song and I’d be good.

We played a somewhat modified crew of the original five on the ship. I wound up being the millionaire’s cousin; an Olympic athlete. It’s not every day that your Savage Worlds character gets to wield a javelin and a discus! Not long after we crashed, we fought a boar. Feeling overconfident, I decided to throw my Olympic javelin at it with a called shot to the eye (–6)…and made it! The boar was instantly killed by the assault and we had a tasty meal.

Unfortunately, Gill went missing and we had to go look for him. Turns out that he found himself in some Mayan ruins and put on a headdress that turned him into an ancient Mayan sorcerer king that could summon mummies! After half an hour of whiffs from both sides, we finally managed to get the stupid headdress off of him, patch up the ship, and complete our three hour tour.

Sunday was devoted entirely to roaming the Dealer Hall and it took a good six hours to do so, including stopping to play a few demos. I wound up picking up the new Doctor Who Card Game, The One Ring: Tales of Wilderland, five Paranoia supplements for a buck each, the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game, and $3 used book describing all of the original worlds of Torg (one of the most inspiring settings of all time in my opinion). Not a bad haul.

I also got a chance to watch a demo of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, the first of three role-playing games for Star Wars. Fantasy Flight Games has elected to follow their Warhammer 40k RPG model and release multiple rulebooks each focusing on a different aspect of the universe. Edge of the Empire focuses on bounty hunters, smugglers, and scoundrels while the upcoming Rebellion vs. Empire and Force and Destiny books will focus on soldiers and Jedi respectively. The rules are cross-compatible so you can mix characters from any of the books. They also use specialty “narrative dice” like Warhammer Fantasy 3rd edtion. Although the beta rules were available for purchase, I ultimately decided to save my $30 for when the real thing comes out.

I was surprised to see just how many companies were running Kickstarters; I saw no less than 15. While I imagine there are a greater number of RPG-related Kickstarters around the time of GenCon than at other times of the year, it was surprising just how important that crowdfunding platform is in the roleplaying game industry (or if you’re cynical, how glutted it is).

And at the end of the day, I got to visit the booth for Mythic Era of War Games, the company founded by one of Wittenberg’s own alumni (no website yet, so I can’t link to their stuff). Perhaps next year Journeyman Games will have its own booth as well.

All in all, it was a great trip and I’m glad that I got to go. If you ever get a chance to visit, even if it’s just for a day, take the opportunity!

GenCon 2011 Experience

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I had a great time at GenCon 2011 this year. Unlike Origins, I only went for the weekend, but enjoyed it nonetheless. My time was divided between running Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space for Cubicle 7 and touring the vendor hall at the exhibit.

Running Doctor Who was an interesting experience. I was given some prerelease materials including character sheets for the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy Pond, Rory Williams, and River Song. The current box set features the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and his companions, but Cubicle 7 is in the process of creating a new box set which has the same rules, but has art for the Eleventh Doctor era. I’m told that PDF character sheets from both eras will be available online once the new set is released.

I ran three sessions of the adventure “Cat’s Eye,” which will be released soon (probably as an adventure in the Matt Smith set). As I hinted in my last post, it involved hobos, aliens, and lots and lots of cats! The scenario only took about 2 hours, but since the players signed up for a 4 hour game, I ran a shortened version of “Sovereigns of the Sea,” my one-shot involving the TARDIS arriving on the Queen Anne’s Revenge and Blackbeard trying to find a treasure that, unbeknownst to him, belonged to aliens who didn’t take kindly to pirates.

All my games went well and I had a lot of fun with them. But my favorite one had to be the “Sovereigns of the Sea” part of the second session. The player who was playing The Doctor had to leave early, so we were left with River Song, Captain Jack Harkness, K-9, and Craig (that guy from the episode where the Doctor rented out a room in a house where the second story was actually an alien spaceship). None of the players wanted to take the Doctor, so we decided that River kicked the Doctor out of the TARDIS and took the companions on their own adventure!

River SongJack Harkness

There was so much great banter between River and Captain Jack in our games. They really need to meet!

Fully intending to go to the Caribbean beach (and leaving the TARDIS decked out in beach attire, complete with putting a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses on K-9), they arrived on the Queen Anne’s Revenge. When the pirates tried to make them walk the plank, River just led the group into the TARDIS and (knowing how to actually drive the thing) took it to the beach where they waited for the pirates to arrive. River told the dumbfounded pirates that she was a magical witch and proved it by “resurrecting” Jack when they shot him.

When the monsters started emerging from the sea, they all figured that since The Doctor wasn’t around, they could just shoot them willy nilly. Craig on the other hand had a shining moment of awesome as he grabbed a coconut, chucked it at the Sea Devils, and rolled 15 over the “Nearly Impossible” difficulty level, knocking out two of them and intimidating the third to drop its weapon! The pirates decided to flee, what with a witch, an immortal man, a mechanical machine, and “The Craiginator” on the shores!

Then detecting the Sea Devil’s hibernation pods inside the mountain, River decided they should all take a shortcut. So they hopped into the TARDIS to have it materialize where the hibernation pods were. Seeing the Sea Devils emerge, “The Craiginator” convinced them all that he was the Chief Warlord of Earth and that they should all go back into the hibernation pods instead of die trying to fight him. Another incredible roll and he actually managed to pull it off! With the aliens dealt with and the pirates gone, the companions decided to spend the rest of the time lounging on the Caribbean beach!

Going through the vendor hall, I got to pick up a preordered print copy of Savage Worlds Deluxe and had it signed by Shane Hensley and Clint Black. My Savage Worlds fanboyism definitely showed through there. I bought a few new nifty things as well, including The One Ring and the very strange Spam Dice Game.

Signatures inside Savage Worlds Deluxe

My signed copy of Savage Worlds Deluxe!

Spam Dice Game

Not sure that I'll play it very often, but it's definitely an interesting thing to have on your gaming shelf!

I also got to try prerelease demos of Fantasy Flight Games‘ new Star Wars Games: X-Wing and Star Wars: The Card Game, both to be released in Spring 2011. The first was a tactical minis game which pitted X-Wings versus TIE-Fighters. It was a lot of fun and in our demo the might of the Empire used superior tactics to crush the pathetic Rebellion! I asked if maybe it might be possible to do the Death Star trench run in the final game. The GM gave a huge smile and said, “Fantasy Flight Games is big on expansion packs.”

The second was a cooperative “Living Card Game.” Basically, several players with different Rebellion decks worked together to whittle down the non-player Empire deck. Unlike traditional trading card games, all the cards in a set are included in the expansion packs, so trading is not necessary and you don’t have to worry about commons, uncommons, and rares. It was pretty fun and I just might purchase the base set at least.

All in all, a good experience and I wouldn’t be opposed to going next year if things work out.

Heading to GenCon

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Sorry that I haven’t posted recently. I’m trying my best to make a blog post every 3 or 4 days, but Real Life™ has gotten in the way lately.

Thing is, I’ve been preparing for GenCon! I’m going there for the weekend and running 3 sessions of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space. I ran two of them at Origins, but this time I’m actually running them for Cubicle 7, the company that makes the Doctor Who RPG. They sent me the adventure (involving hobos, aliens, and lots and lots of cats!) and some prerelease materials for the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) set that is coming out soon. And I’m getting a free GenCon badge out of the deal too!

So it’s all going to be an awesome weekend. I probably won’t have the time or the energy to update my blog while there, but I should blog soon after. Hopefully it will be a good time all around (and I won’t break the bank too much in their giant vendor hall)!

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