This was my second year as a guest at Genghis Con (still one of the cleverest names I’ve heard yet), and I must say it was a hoot. I want to first thank Leif Olson and Bill Stilson for flying me out and letting me be a guest and then a thank you to all the players that came out and made my weekend special. Last year, I sat around and talked a lot. This year, I played in a ton of games.
The Con starts on Thursday, setting up and having just the night slot for gaming. I flew in (my plan was delayed, bleh) and immediately was greeted by Bill Stilson. We had a burger at Smash Burger (which is now becoming tradition) and then headed to the hotel… where I took a nap.
This is where it gets interesting. I was introduced to a gentleman who wasn’t going to be able to attend the con for the whole weekend, but took time after getting off of work to drive down to the con and ask to speak with me. We had an awesome conversation about games and I invited him to play in a game with me next year (since I hope to be invited back next year again). Later that night, I also met “my biggest fan”, JC, who loves everything I do. Gotta love that.
I was supposed to run a game of Part-Time Gods, but no one showed up (bummer, i know). Instead, I leapt into a game of Wushu, Matrix-style. While I had a lot of fun, I think it was more for the group I was playing with and less for the game itself. It was a little too rules-lite for me and the whole “if you say it, it happens” thing seemed a little wonky. As a player (or GM, honestly), I need mystery and chance to make a game fun for me. Wushu just kind of didn’t deliver on that, sadly. But again, we all had fun learning a new system and enjoying each others company. Mailboxes were involved.
Afterward, I had an awesome late night chat with Ron Blessing and Doug Keester about game hopping, computers and overall geekness. It was pretty epic, actually. I also got to meet Nic Willey (Avengers GM Extraordinare), which was a pleasure.
I woke up and had some breakfast with Justin Suzuki and heard a little bout how Tremulus is all about scottish bar signs. Didn’t make me want to play that game any time soon. Ha! (obviously, I’m kidding. I can’t WAIT to actually try it out). After that, I had Ron’s morning game ticket, so I was off for a game of Hollow Earth Expedition. Mind you, I wrote the awesome adventure for the system, Five Talons of the Jade Dragon (pick it up now), but I’ve only had a handful of play experiences with the system. I did some pretty gonzo stuff in that game. We played a group of amazon warriors and it was a hoot. The GM was flexible and give us a lot of room to mess our selves up. It slumped a little bit in the middle when the entire group had a Whiff party during combat, but overall the game was amazing.
It was then time for me to run Wu Xing. I had 1 player show up, but Leif Olson did a great job rounding up 5 more players to play in my game. Seriously, he round them up from minis painters, random passers-by and the security team. We had a suite to play in on the 4th floor, which gave us a lot of quiet and privacy, which was also pretty cool. We didn’t have to contend with the loudness of playing the general area. Even though not everyone was one board at the onset of the game, by the end of Nobleman’s Daughter, the group as a whole loved the game and 3EG had picked up a few more fans. Even got to have running conversations with some of the players were appeared to be enraptured with the system and the setting. This is always good news and I’m always happy to talk about my babies.
After a quick dinner, it was time for mustering again. I wasn’t signed up to play anything in particular, so I resigned myself to play in just whatever was open. Found out that my friend Ron Blessing’s Last Night of Earth game was open, so i jumped in that. Not the board game, but a Savage Worlds revamp of it for roleplayers. This is where I met Michelle and Wendy, both amazing people and players. Wendy was creepy (don’t take that the wrong way, it’s definitely a compliment). The game went off well and i got to kill a bunch of zombies.
Then Ron mentioned his Buffy Fate Core game he wanted to test out. Of course, I’m always down for anything Buffy-related, so we got another late-night group together and played until about 2am. I got to be Angel… it was epic.
So, waking up Saturday morning, I came to a strange realization. The pregens I had for my Savage API game were from before the book was complete and needed to be updated. I decided to skip out on a morning game to spend some time making characters that would be enjoyable. Veronica Blessing even came down and helped me with one of them, which was awfully nice of her. It took about 2.5 hours to write-up 6 characters, which is pretty good for me. I take too long, because I try to make everything match and have a meaning. lol.
It all worked out, though, because my Savage API went off without a hitch. Everyone had a ball. Everyone was useful. Everyone had a voice and had a big part of the game. The best part was having a Hidden Folk in the group, hopping from body to body and then the other characters had to keep track of her actual body the entire session. “Wait, it’s in the trunk or am I carrying it?” It was pretty awesome.
Then it was time for Savage Saturday Night. I was ready for some playing and I lucked my way into Derek Johnson’s Predators game. I got to play the only female in the group (who I put in a tight red dress, which was interesting to say the least). It was pretty fun, maybe a little more military-leaning than I usually like my games, but Derek did a great job of making it accessible for everyone. And MAN could those Predators punch a punch. I almost died once from a single shot, otherwise, I was kind of the leader. I don’t think all the men were ready for my character’s jelly.
I tried to get another late night game going, but smarter people than I were ready to go to sleep. I’m glad they said no, but I was pretty miffed at the time. the sleep was needed though… because I had a new challenge in the morning.
CON Jr. is what they call it. It’s where all the young players get together to play board games and RPGs geared towards them. Of course, I signed up to run a game of Mermaid Adventures and found myself into front of a group of 5 kids (4 girls and 1 boy). Now, I have run the game several times for kids that were either mine or a friends’, but I had very little experience for running for strangers’ kids. I’m happy to announce I’m now ready to tackle any group after this one. Each kid was very different from the next one, giving me a collection of personalities that you wouldn’t think would work together well… and yet they did. There was a bit of in-fighting in the group, but I just went with it. It showed off how the PIP system handles conflict and there was a healer in the group anyway, so magic band-aids were applied after each fight. Actually, it was because of the healer that we didn’t get to role on any of the 0 Hit charts, but it was probably for the best. We were having too much fun for someone to go down.
After my Mermaid Adventures game, I wandered the halls, got some lunch and generally lulled around. I was worn the hell out, but still having a ton of fun. I didn’t have the afternoon session planned, but I realized i was hanging with a good group of 4 to possibly get a game of Battlestar Galactica in. Thus, I borrowed the board game from the board gaming area and commenced to set it all up. We had a young boy ask if he could play too, which gave us 5. Sweet! During the course of the game, I decided to shoot the boy’s character in the face (who ended up NOT being a cylon) and airlock Veronica (who infact was). Michelle then airlocked Doug, who was the other cylon and then humans squeaked by at the last minute to survive. BSG gets better with every play, seriously.
Then it was closing ceremonies and a great dinner with some Savage friends. I found that I owed a lot of people games for next year. I’m going to have to run some specific games for invites only. It’ll be awesome.
I’m convinced that Genghis Con is possibly the best convention, ever, in the world, for gaming. GenCon is still the best for networking and awards and junk, but I’ve never had better games played than I have at Genghis Con. This year was amazing, being my second year, because people knew who I was, anticipated seeing me and some people even went out of their way to talk to me (as opposed to las year where there was a bit of “who are you, again” going around). If you get the chance to go to this con, take it! you’ll thank yourself.