According to the pile of inbox and direct messages I had when I sat at my computer this morning, my absence was quite noticeable. Of course, I was in Aurora, Colorado for GenghisCon XXXV (or 2014 for those who are Roman numeral illiterate like I am). It’s probably one of the best conventions I’ve ever attended and it keeps getting better for me each time I go. This was my third trip, so I obviously like it. It’s one of those cons where you feel at home and everyone knows you and wants to have fun. This year especially, though, I felt like a special guest, which was really cool. I want to thank Bill Stilson, Leif Olsen and all the staff for inviting me once again and putting on a great show.
GenghisCon is now also the very first convention my daughter, Gabrielle, has had the pleasure of going to. I brought her up so she could enjoy the amazing Con Jr. experience they are creating there to really prepare the young ones for a “real con.” I put that in quotes because it very much IS a real convention in its own right already. The kids buy tickets and book games and everything just like the adults, and I’m happy to have brought my kid to participate in a great program. Shoutout to Andy and Sherry, and all the other volunteers who are working hard to bring the kids into gaming.
Games I Ran
So, I put four games on the schedule, but only three of them really went off (muster or non-muster, who knows what would have happened).
On Thursday, I ran a wonderful Part-Time Gods session. I actually was going to run The Assault adventure from Divine Instruments, but it didn’t take long before the players took the game WAY off the rails. Instead of investigating a murder, they just so happened upon a club girl and attacked her in her hotel room. The battle was actually kind of grueling, but they made the bad guys run away in the end It basically ran like one of my sessions at home, cause I just made everything up on the spot since they went a completely different direction that what I had planned. But you know what, I think that was even better due to the crazy nature of their choices.
On Saturday, I ran Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. for Savage Saturday Night. It was a small group of 4, but the game quite simply just POPPED. Everyone was on their game, whether or not we had a couple issues with random tangents, but considering it was Day 3 of the con, I was pretty happy about. It ended with a bang, a BIG BANG, as they basically said “Can we just drop some explosives?” I had no real logical reason to say no to such a proposition, even though it ended the game earlier than it would have earlier. I’m a fan of doing things differently, though, so no arguments from me at all.
On Sunday, I ran Camp Myth: The RPG for Con Jr. There were a few hiccups, since I had put myself down for a 4hr slot but only prepared a 2hr game and the game had 8 kids in it even though I had capped it at 6 players. Amazingly though, the kids had a great time and begged for more when I asked if anyone wanted to go longer than the 4 hours. We all made our own campers (instead of using pregens) and ended up going for 3 1/2 hours of crazy dice rolling fun. I was told by several of the parents that Camp Myth: The RPG ended up being their kids’ favorite games of the con, which really touched my heart. It also made me feel better since I felt under-prepared and overwhelmed during the whole thing. Some great kids with awesome gaming careers ahead of them, though.
Games I Played
For some reason, this GenghisCon was the year of the deck building game. Right from the get go, me and my daughter were playing the Lord of the Rings Deck Building Game, the DC Deck Building Game, Ascension and Legendary (the Marvel Deck Building Game). It’s kind of funny, cause I’m noticing how many of those have “the deck building game” in the name of the game. It should make the creators of games like Ascension and Dominion very happy that they are able to avoid having to add that to reach out to customers. Anyway, I really fell in love with Legendary and really wanted to pick it up, of course then realizing that it’s pretty expensive. I played these games at almost every opportunity, except for the one Settlers of Catan game I played in with my daughter, which was very fun as well.
On Friday Night, when my game didn’t go off, I instead went in search of something new to play. I went to the “Non-Savage Worlds” floor of the Annex game building and didn’t really find what I wanted, though I did get to talk to the creator of StrikeForce: 2136 about his game. It sounded fun, but it was a little hard science-y for me. Instead I found my friend Nic who was playing a came of Turn of the Card, involving the Titanic and Zombies. It was quite possibly one of the best games I’ve played in at GenghisCon outside of the wonderful Deadlands game from two years ago. I’m definitely going to check out the system, cause it’s very flexible and fun. Our GM, Kristin, was simply phenomenal.
On Sunday, I was also able to FINALLY play Fate. I’ve tried my damnedest to get a game together and have read the books and made characters a bunch of times, but had never been able to play. It played as great as expected, with only a minor incident in the group when on of the players decided to go PvP on the fly. It was odd, but didn’t affect how the system handled the game in general. Overall, great stuff!
On top of all of the great games I had the pleasure to be a part of, I got to weigh in on the direction of the con with its organizers (my attempt to actually help them become better, even though they are friction’ awesome) and I got to be a part of a couple of local podcasts, Smiling Jack’s Bar and Grill and RoleplayDNA. I’ll link to the shows then they come out. I got to hang with some of the other guests, Sean Patrick Fannon, Bill Keyes, and Ross Watson, but not nearly as much as I would have liked.
I will definitely be going back next year and may be bringing the whole family, now that I know my daughter liked it. I want to thank Bill and Leif again, as well as the hotel staff who really took care of me. And Rick who made my daughter feel so happy with their talks. I don’t know if there’s more to say… it was pretty much just awesome.
All of you (yes, I’m talking to you) should consider hitting this con. It’s a blast!
Until next time.