In lieu of my Sinister post today, I bring you my GenghisCon XXXIII Recap.
Another day, another convention, right? Actually, no. This year, I vowed to make it to a larger number of cons to promote Third Eye Games and really get the word out. How lucky was I that my friend Ron Blessing (“that” crusader) got me in touch with the organizers of GenghisCon XXXIII to see about bringing me out to Colorado, Land of Chapstick and Dehydration? In the end, I have to say, I had the warmest reception at this con than I have had at any convention thus far (even my hometown cons, which is saying a lot).
I flew out Thursday morning in order to get there before the action started. Apparently, I like to show up late to flights, because the lady at the desk checked my bag for free cause “oh man, you are SO late”. When I ran as hard as I could to the gate, I got to stand in line because they were still boarding, so she was a big liar face. Saved some money on not having to pay for checking my teeny bag though, so that’s cool.
I slept on the plane.
I was greeted at the baggage claim byt Leif Olson and Bill Stillson, the organizers of GenghisCon XXXIII. These two guys are REALLY awesome, by the way. I was getting the star treatment by getting picked up by both of them. We were off to a good start. We went to a place called Smash Burger, which was kind of like a much, much better Steak n’ Shake. No complaints from me here… the burger was VERY good and so were the sweet potato fries. I also got schooled on how I can’t read Roman numerals very well. Anything past 8 and I’m a dunce, apparently.
Afterward I met up with Ron and Vern Blessing (The Game’s the Thing) and Sean Preston (Reality Blurs). But while Ron and Vern went to go pick up Clint Black from the airport, I got to hang out with Sean. It was a great time of chatting about business and things that had gone on in our lives recently (we’re old friends), like my upcoming wedding and his being a lot healthier than last we met in person. He also introduced me to Elder Signs on the iPad, which then sucked up the rest of any downtime I had during the rest of the weekend. lol.
Then came the fated Fiasco game. It started off innocently enough, but got crazy as soon as the floor was cleared of people around midnight. It as myself, Bill Stillson, Ron Blessing, Sean Preston, Chris (Savage Mommy) and Cian from the Rocky Mountain Savages. It went stupid as soon as someone mentioned leprosy and we were all cracking up… enough that Clint Black fought exhaustion to stay awake to watch. That is all I’ll say though. Too many details will distort your brain.
After a really good room service omelet, I tried to see if there was room in my friend Veronica Blessing’s Deadlands game. It was the first time she had ever run at a con, so I had to be a part of that. For fun, Clint Black also joined in. I played Jim, the muscle of the group who thought animals talked to him and Clint played the leader of the gang, Jack. We were told by a player in the group that they were entranced by the exchange between me and Clint. In fairness, we’re both pretty silly and feed off each other very well even outside of games. On the other hand, the game mastering was superb and Vern did an awesome job wrangling us, despite my continuously creating new NPCs for Jim to interact with (human or otherwise).
My afternoon game was Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade. Now this was a crazy game. The players took the idea of rival ninja a little too seriously and all attempted to approach the the mission in different ways. So, yes, I basically ended up running 5 parallel games, each vying to get to the end before the others. The game was REALLY gripping and everyone had a great time, so that is a testament to how cool a Wu Xing game can be. Highlight of the game was when the Recoiling Serpent swallowed the general of the Izou Empire. Just crazy.
After dinner, all of the guests assembled at the bar (myself included) and we had a grand old time just hanging out all night. Well, not all night for me. I turned in at about 10:30pm since I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Lots of fun, but I had had my limit. I did get to hang with Lee Langston and Justin Suzuki that night though, so that was cool.
I woke up and played some Elder Signs, but still hadn’t won. It was hella-fun but kind of frustrating. I got called to attend Savage Breakfast in the hotel restaurant and joyously went down. Had an awesome conversation about how Star Wars can be used to unite all geekery (even if only in the hatred of Lucas) and how Star Trek does nothing but break people apart with the incessant version-wars. I still say that Enterprise was executed more poorly than Phantom Menace as far as prequels go.
So, after breakfast Vern and I wandered around trying to find a pick-up game. We never did, sadly. Not enough stragglers around. I did get to check out Con Jr. and it looked like a great time, so I plan on bringing my kids(or maybe just one to start) next year. We ended up playing Elder Signs, where Vern and I proceeded to demolish that game in my first time winning. Don’t worry, I’ve won one additional time since then. It is a tricky one though.
Then came my Part-Time Gods game. After handing out the characters, I was pleasantly surprised at how most of the players at the table really got into character. They did some DJ battles, took on some giant hell hounds, negotiated political music endorsement deals, challenged authority, destroyed two cars and lovingly constructed a franken-dog. Keep in mind that most of these awesome things had nothing to do with the adventure. We got through maybe 30% of the actual adventure, but we all had a freaking blast!
Savage Saturday Night came next and was an event to behold. Lots of table, lots of gamers. I played as a victorian Lois Lane in Lee Langston’s game and was thanked by the table for making the game better. That brought such a big smile to my face! That was the second time I got that kind of feedback and I’m not used to it. That shows, though, that Colorado gamers are shy about giving you their full opinion. I also got to go over and check out Ron Ringenbach’s Savage API game that he was running as well. Got to dig into the rules and see how players responded to them, so that was great too.
After watching the tail end of the WombatCast live recording (which was crazy), I went to bed. Passed out pretty easily.
Sunday morning was the recording of Smiling Jack’s and the final episode of The Game’s The Thing. And though I showed up to record, I was pulled away by some fans who needed one more player for a Settlers of Catan tournament. I couldn’t let them miss the finals, now could I? I got to play with a great group of guys who really knew the game in and out and were very patient with me learning. I finished just 1 point behing the winner, though, so I picked it up pretty quickly. lol. I picked up the game for the iPad too, so I’m getting better.
I did get to make it to the Game’s the Thing, even though I heard they were talking about Savage API on Smiling Jacks (note to self: listen to that episode when it’s uploaded). The final episode was an emotional moment for everyone involved, but we all got to talk about our favorite moments and send the show off with a nice roundtable full of friends. We also got to hear about the new podcast that the Blessings are starting with some of their designer friends called Roleplay DNA (no link currently, but I’ll be sure to talk about it when it comes out). I’ll be following along for that one, and I hope all of you will as well.
Then it came to the point in the con that was most nervous about, running a session of Savage API myself. Now, I obviously know everything there is to know about Apocalypse Prevention, Inc, but I had never run a Savage World game (even though I had played in plenty) so it was going to be a challenge. To help balance that, I ran Seafood Chowder (an adventure I’ve run a lot). In hindsight, however, it would have probably gone with a more action-oriented adventure. Half the group REALLY wanted a lot of fights and Seafood Chowder was definitely more of an investigation/diplomatic mission. The mission ends with a lot of grey area, where there there is no clear good or bad choice to solve the problem, and I think that threw them off too. The other half of the group enjoyed it thoroughly though, so I’m happy as long as someone had fun. I think I did a decent job with the rules, but it was definitely not perfect. A learning experience was had.
Afterward, we had a final dinner with all the guests and I got to say farewell to Clint (who was flying home on the Redeye to 3 inches of snow) and Veronica (who had to work in the morning). Sean and myself joined Bill and Leif for a final game of Fiasco which involved Bill and I teaming up for 3 decades to keep up the illusion of an indian curse on our town by scalping people every few years. There was a lot of jail-time and double dealing going on and we went into the wee hours with it. It was a gas.
With GenghisCon XXXIII officially over, Sean and I had our last breakfast with Bill and Leif. It was bittersweet, but it made me really really excited to make it back next year to experience it all over again. Before we left, though, Bill came back in and warned me of how cold it was outside and suggested that I put my thermals back on. Curse you, Bill (note: no, i don’t really blame you)! I was overheated for the rest of the day, but we did have a fun day.
I had a late flight, so Ron Blessing came back out to get Sean and I and we went to Total Escape Games (really nice setup) and went to an awesome local brewery, both of which were completely great. And there were plenty of great conversations had on that last day, aboug gaming and whatever.
Then I flew home. I slept on the plane after a few tries at Elder Signs.
In conclusion, this was the first convention that I’ve gone to that I really felt like I was a “Special Guest” and not just guy they had come to the con. DragonCon comes second, but that’s more because of the fans that I get to see every year there. I had a warm reception from everyone involved with the Denver Gamers Association and the Rocky Mountain Savages and I thank you all.