Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Great Gen Con 2015 Review

Yes that's Smarf

Jim & Jen Con

Warning! This is not a quick review of last week's convention but rather an emotional autobiography about our phenomenal experiences in the Gen Con recursion. If you don't want to read everything just start scrolling down until you see an interesting picture and begin from there.

We've returned from our non-relaxing yet oh so exciting vacation to Indianapolis for Gen Con 2015... and wow are we exhausted. Six days of adventure and adventuring with friends, creators, and friends who just happen to be creators. Oh, and there was gaming!

Immediately following Gen Con 2014, I wrote a blog post that covered some of my favorite experiences from Indy's festivities. Included in the post were some short game recaps, pictures of new friends, and stories about the convention. This year, I'm expanding my post-Gen Con report. I will not be sharing "some" of this year's highlights...

... I give you ALL of the highlights!

This blog post is massive! If forty-seven pictures along with short descriptions is too long for you to read, just scroll to the bottom of this post, and you will find links to all of the Gen Con video entries Jen and I created. We had fun creating four of the videos, but one was incredibly difficult to post, and another I created on less than two hours of sleep. 

Gen Con 2015 was a very special trip for the two of us. Not only was it +Jennifer Walls' very first visit to the "Best Four Days in Gaming"it was our first vacation away from the kiddos in six years! The last time the two of us escaped our minions was in 2009 when we ventured to Penn State for four days of nostalgia. Since Jen is a relatively new gamer, I was a little nervous about how much she'd enjoy the trip. Massive waves of gamers, clamoring over each other for hard to find sourcebooks, dice, and mini's. The exhibitors hall can be intense for someone new to Gen Con...

... to help Jen feel better I signed her up for a two-hour stint in the Monte Cook Games booth. Figured she'd have to learn sometime... 

Turns out it was a great experience for the both of us. Months of planning and preparation turned into incredible memories and dozens of new friends. But let's go back to the beginning of our journey...

Without further ado, I bring you Gen Con 2015, the Jim & Jen Experience!


Pure goodness in my mouth


Tuesday


It all started Tuesday afternoon. Jen and I got in our rental car (a fairly new Ford Fusion with a moonroof... woot!) and set out for Indianapolis. Along the way we listened to the Doubleclicks, ate pretzel chips and trail mix, and enjoyed several coffees. But I wasn't satisfied with just the typical Starbucks. 



I was on the hunt for something different, and I found it in Ohio...

Coffee and grilled cheese dinner!

I love Tim Hortons! Sadly we don't have any locations near Pittsburgh. If I want Tim Hortons coffee I have to either drive up to Erie, or head down to West Virginia. I heard there was a new location in Washington, Pennsylvania, and you can definitely find them across the border in Ohio. This leaves me to believe that the management of Tim Hortons has some kind of "beef" with the city of Pittsburgh.



If you are an owner of Tim Hortons reading this blog, please tell me why you don't love Pittsburgh.



We made it to our Hampton Inn just after dinner-time, and we wanted to go out and explore.  Unfortunately we decided to save money and stay about a dozen miles north of downtown Indianapolis, so there wasn't much to do.  We could've caught a movie, but instead decided to visit a local establishment that provided fine beverages.  

Jennifer loves Leinenkugel and I'm obsessed with Dogfish Head IPA's, so this is how we ended our evening Tuesday.

There weren't enough seats for Jen, so we shared

Wednesday


After waking up Wednesday morning Jen and I went for a quick swim in the pool and prepared for the convention.  To psyche ourselves up for a full day of unofficial events we turned on the television and watched something inspirational...

This scene makes me cry

What?  You mean that you don't watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding before gaming?  I have to admit that the only reason we watched this Nia Vardalos classic was because The Devil Wears Prada wasn't on.  


That's a tall!

Immediately following My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Jen and I looked at the clock and remembered that we had a 2pm game downtown. 

Yikes!

Grabbing our gaming gear, we hopped in the Fusion and took off for the city.  We made it into town just in time to do a brief tour of the area surrounding the convention center before finding our good friend +Marc Plourde at the Westin.  

Marc (our GM) and Jen (not a GM yet)

Fellow gamers +Lonnie Harris+Michael Diamond, and +Francois Labrecque joined us for Marc's Fantasy Age conversion of Death in Freeport.  I played Flinder (pronounced "Flind'air"), a Gnome Mage.  Jen had a Halfling Noble Rogue named Merriel Pennywise.  I was a ball of sass-talking trouble, and Jen wasn't much better...

... I felt bad for Marc!


Lonnie, Mike, and Francois scheming

This was the perfect beginning to a week of non-stop gaming, and we had a great game!  Marc is a resourceful GM, so when our party decided to derail the adventure after an hour, he was ready for our shenanigans.  Overall I really enjoyed the AGE system, but will probably hold off on purchasing the corebook for the time being since my GM'ing queue is taken up by the Cypher System, Savage Worlds, and DCCRPG.

All that gaming did leave us hungry.


Three Carrots was a hit!

Dining for us is always a challenge.  I have a severe shellfish allergy and both Jen and I are new vegetarians.  After hopping on Yelp we discovered a really well reviewed eatery called Three Carrots located in the Indianapolis City Market.  The meals were fresh and prepared to order, and the staff was truly excited about their food.  We ended up eating at Three Carrots twice during the week, and had some of their prepared meals at a local coffee shop as well.  

Andy, Keith, Scott, and Rustin

After devouring a grilled veggie open-face flatbread, seitan and dumpling soup, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, we headed to the Omni Severin for my "killer" Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG  game!  Through Google+ and Facebook I drafted seven willing victims... er... I mean "adventurers" for +Carl Bussler's adventure Well of Souls.  Jennifer joined in as well, but had to share my chair because we were short on room.  


After giving the players, five of whom were new to DCCRPG, a quick synopsis of the system and rules, I handed out randomly generated characters created with Purple Sorcerer Games' 0-level generator.  The players came up with some great names like Grumpy and Rube, Dingus and the Cardinal, and Sir Robin's Minstrel and Hobo Joe.  Once the twenty-fourth character was dealt I realized that I made a major mistake...



... the adventure was designed for twelve to sixteen characters!



Troy, Marc, and Mike

No worries!

I had the players select eight of their characters for a "ritual" with an NPC at the beginning of the adventure, and then proceeded to kill off all of the volunteers instantly.  This was DCCRPG, and Judges don't pull punches.  



I don't want to spoil the adventure, but I will note that I added an additional "magic item" to the quest.  Once the eight volunteers died, I had the NPC place their damned souls into a weapon:  


The Blade of Eight Souls:  This +1 Dagger grants a +3 permanent Strength bonus to any chaotic wielder.  Should a non-chaotic character picked up the weapon, however, they needed to make a DC 14 Will Save or instantly have their faces melt off (thus causing death).  If the saving throw is made, that character instantly becomes Chaotic.

It was a great game, and I came to learn that four of the players went off and purchased the DCCRPG rulebook at the Goodman Games booth.  

Another woot!

I can see Monte Cook!

Thursday

Thursday is the first official day of Gen Con, and we were up bright and early for the opening celebration.  But before we entered the convention center, Jennifer and I stopped by the Marriott to visit the Monte Cook Games room.  Nine tables devoted to Numenera and The Strange were set up and ready for play, and our friend Troy was helping arrange the display banners.

Hey, it's Troy!

Once we were done perusing the hotels, Jen and I went over to the exhibitor's hall and prepared for the madness.  


Cypher-induced madness

We began our day-long excursion in the exhibitor's hall with a trip to the Monte Cook Games booth.  The place was packed!  Twice the size of last year's booth, this year's setup sported a pair of demo tables: one for Numenera and The Strange and another for No Thank You Evil.  There were several dozen Numenera boxed sets remaining, but according to my wife Jennifer (who worked the booth) the big seller seemed to be the Cypher System Rulebook.  

I was hoping to have my copy at Gen Con in time to be signed by Monte, Shanna, Bruce, Bear, Charles, and Tammie, but my pre-order didn't come in time.  Oh well, there is always next year!

Jodi and Clint Black guide Savages towards Pinnacle's beautiful books

After picking up some Cypher-swag, we stopped by the Pinnacle Entertainment Group booth so that I could grab my copy of The Last Parsec Corebook.  I had it on good authority that there would be a few copies available, and I definitely wanted to make sure that I was one of the first to have it in my hands! 

I fumbled on my "Don't Blow Your Budget" roll
I think I was driving Jennifer a little crazy by the time we arrived at the Goodman Games booth.  Imagine that the exhibitor's hall is a map of the United States.  The Monte Cook Games booth would be in Wisconsin, the Pinnacle Entertainment Group booth in Atlanta, and the Goodman Games booth all the way over in Arizona.  Back and forth we wandered, looking for good buys, and grabbing awesome products.  

The sheer magnificence of the Dungeon Crawl Classics display caused me to practically throw my wallet at Joe Goodman.  I walked away with the Peril on the Purple Planet boxed set (my #1 most anticipated purchase of Gen Con 2015), Frozen in Time, and a Judge's Screen.  Jen doesn't know it, but I sneaked back over while she was looking at board games and grabbed Crawljammer #1.  

It looks just like Conrad Merrick, my Strange character!

Last year I skipped the Artists' section of the exhibitor's hall, but this year I didn't want to make that mistake.  Having learned that +Doug Kovacs, the mastermind behind many of the DCCRPG covers, had a booth set up, I wanted to find something suitable for my office at work.  I needed something epic but not too gruesome... 

... I didn't want to make my HR department angry.

Looking through the prints, my hands drifted over to the original pieces of work, where I found this "golem."  To me it looked like my character from +Jeremy Land's Dark Spiral campaign in The Strange.  Conrad Merrick was a Sharp-Eyed Paradox who Abides in Stone on Ardeyn, and the rune-carved rocky dude in this picture was definitely abiding in some stone. 

I had to have it!  

Later when I came back to meet Doug in person he told me the work was an Eidolon for a 4th Edition D&D book.  For me it will always be Conrad!



We made other purchases on Thursday.  It was really hot outside, and Jennifer needed to have a fan.  One of the exhibitors sold leather cases and very nice handcrafted fans, so she dropped some more cash.  

Incidentally, every day afterwards got cooler.


Charles the professional model


Our very expensive day in the exhibitor's hall came to a close once the Monte Cook Games seminar kicked off at 3pm.  We got to see a large portion of the completed Numenera: Strand movie, and the announcement for Into the Night, Numenera adventures in the stars.  

Autographs!

After the seminar we grabbed dinner at Three Carrots, met up with some friends, and got ready for the Savage Worlds GM meetup.  We got to meet some fellow Savages, including +Jodi Black and Savage Rifts creator +Sean Patrick Fannon.  Turns out that Jodi has seen some of our YouTube videos with the kids and shared them with a local school (that's so awesome!)  We met Jodi's husband +Clint Black on Friday, who shared a few stories about younger GM's.

I did my best to not turn into a complete fanboy when I had the opportunity to talk with Shane Hensley, but I think I rolled a one on the attempt.  I've been a fan of Deadlands since the 1990's, playing the classic version right up to my conversion to Savage Worlds in 2012.  It was such a pleasure getting to spend a little time with such an amazingly creative person!

Turns out that he's watched some of our YouTube videos too, and really enjoys what Jennifer and I play with the kids.  He gave us some inspiring words about gaming with children, specifically our own kids and how they will remember their time adventuring in years to come.  Since Shane's kids are a little older (I'm pretty sure one is in college), he spoke from experience.  

One really cool moment during the function was when Shane signed a young gentleman's copy of Hoyle's Book of Games.  I think the guy's name was "Josh" (sorry if I can't remember) and he had a copy from 1889.  He was very nervous about asking Shane for the signature, so I brought it up to Shane in conversation.  Shane totally signed it, they took a picture, and it was awesome.

When we circled back to the Omni Severin to see if anyone else was hanging around we found out that not one, but TWO of our friends met +Wil Wheaton!  Both +Andreas Walters and +Michael Diamond met the Sorcerer-King of the Geeks, and placed in his hands their books (The Baby Bestiary and Agents of the Beyond, respectively.)  

Did I mention yet how much I love Gen Con?

Rockin' out at the Doubleclicks concert with Aidan Slakinski


Friday

Jennifer and I kicked off our Friday morning tour of the convention with a stop at Bee Coffee.  Located right across the street from the convention center, there were two reasons that we spent so much money at this small little establishment:

  1. They made incredible coffee and tea, especially iced tea.
  2. After four purchases, you got a special "Bee Coffee" die. 

Bee Coffee selfies!

Well I'm all about those free dice, even if I have to spend a lot of money on coffee to get one!  It is a cute, caramel colored six-sider, and even has a little bee where the "1" should be.  Perhaps I will use it as a wild die in my Savage Worlds gaming.  

We had another full day in the exhibitors' hall, although we tried to limit our purchases to specialty items.  I was in the market for Savage Worlds dice from the Pinnacle Entertainment Group booth, and Jen reminded me that we needed swag for the kiddos.  Last year I didn't have enough time to hit all of the aisles, but this year we scheduled two full days of perusing.  This was rather enjoyable, as we were able to spend time checking out almost all of the booths, even those that we typically wouldn't consider.  

There were only two booths that we didn't visit.  I don't play Pathfinder, so we skipped the Paizo line, and I wasn't waiting an hour to expand my X-Wing Miniatures Game collection.  Maybe next year, Fantasy Flight Games!


Aubrey and Angela kept us quite entertained

Before we knew it, it was the afternoon and we had a show to see!  Our family loves The Doubleclicks.  We have two of Angela and Aubrey's albums, we watch their On Air Hangouts, and I saw them live at last year's Gen Con.  I enjoy their music so much, that I devoted an entire blog entry to their awesomeness  This is my only music-based post to date.

Jennifer flanked by a pair of Slakinski's: Jules and Aidan

We weren't alone at the Doubleclicks concert either.  Our fellow MCGenius Troy was there, as well as the entire Slakinski family: Shannon, Ray, Jules, and Aidan!  We definitely wanted to sit together as a group, but Jen and I were touched that Jules and Aidan wanted to sit next to us.  It was so much fun!  

Jennifer and I are happy to report that we will get a chance to see the Doubleclicks live again in September when they come to Pittsburgh as part of #NerdNightOut.    

Rather cunning hat, if I do say so myself

After the concert Jen and I had to flee the Westin and run over to the Hyatt for another game.  It may seem like all we do is role-playing, but there are several board games that Jennifer and I enjoy.  One of these games is Firefly the Game by Gale Force 9.  Up until Gen Con, our only experiences with the game were in short one-on-one sessions, but from reading the rules, it seemed that Firefly would really shine with more players.

That's where Mike and Albert came in!

Okay, Firefly does have a bit of a setup

Mike played the legendary role of L.G. Babcock III in my Gen Con 2014 session of The Strange: Eschatology Code.  Actually, Ray and Shannon were in that game as well, and it was where we all first met.  Mike and I kept up through the year via Facebook, and a few months ago we made a promise to game together at Gen Con 2015.  Mike is a fellow Firefly fan, so when he offered to bring his copy to Gen Con, Jen and I were all in.  Mike's friend Albert, a fellow Browncoat, also joined us for an adventure out in the Black.

Best.  Crew.  Ever.

We were a little shaky on the rules, but Mike and Albert were fantastic teachers.  The premise of Firefly the Game is pretty simple: build a crew, take on jobs, keep flying.  Jen selected Captain Mal and the Serenity, and I went with Atherton Wing and an Interceptor (Jubal Early's ship).  

Even though I was "Solid" with the Alliance, I kept running into them

Turns out that Jennifer and I were pretty terrible!

For  much of the game Jen tried pulling off chances to "Misbehave" while not having the proper crew to take on the random tasks.  On my side I couldn't complete any jobs save for a short mission for the Alliance.  Some kind of dirty scoundrel I was!  Albert won the game, trouncing the rest of us.


Mike, Albert, Jennifer, and yours truly

Friday night Firefly was just delightful.  Granted the game was a big part of the experience, and Jennifer and I were thrilled to finally play with a full table.  But what made this game special was Mike and Albert.  Gen Con can build lasting friendships, and I'm very proud to have met Mike last year, and to get introduced to Albert this year.  Without Gen Con Mike and I (and the Slakinski's for that matter) would never have met... 

... and that there would've been a gorram shame!

When did Andy become a Cthulhu cultist?

After we helped Mike and Albert pack up the Verse, Jennifer and I prepared ourselves for a spectacular party with Monte Cook Games over at the Omni Severin Hotel.  Following an eventful ENnie Awards (in which The Strange grabbed the Silver in both Best Interior Art and Best Game, and the Ninth World Guidebook nabbed Gold for Best Cartography), the entire MCG crew joined some of their ravenous fans for a special Cypher System Rulebook launch party.

Jennifer and I felt a little under dressed for the occasion, until we saw our friend +Andrew Cady  and his cultist cosplay... that made us feel a lot better (thanks Andy!)  

But this launch party masked a secret agenda...

... it was +Charles Ryan's birthday, and his fellow MCG'ers were prepared for a big surprise including a cake topped with a Numenera creature called a "Seskii."

Charles' Seskii cake

Jennifer and I stayed out way too late, but we got to hang out with our friends, fellow Cypher System fans, and meet some incredible luminaries of the gaming industry.  I got to meet Robert Schwalb (immediately after he bear-hugged +Bruce R Cordell), although I didn't have the chance to chew him out for the terror Serbrus Ton'bur (my Doomed Glaive who Consorts with the Dead) experienced in Schwalb's Numenera adventure Beyond All Worlds.

Next time, Schwalb... next time...

It was just a fabulous evening.  Jennifer spent some time chatting with +Monte Cook and +Shanna Germain about our crazy children.  I spent a lot of time talking with +Bear Weiter+Matthew Stawicki, and +Cathy Wilkins (the latter two happen to live not too far from my parents!)  

I also learned that +David Wilson Brown is sort of a Ninja.  If you look for him specifically he's never around, but if you let up your guard even for a moment he appears!  With dice!

While playing The Strange, we had a terrifying irregularity

Saturday


Saturday started off... interesting.

Technically we didn't get home from the MCG gala until 1:45am Saturday, and we couldn't fall asleep.  Finally around 5am Jennifer and I dozed off, with the alarm waking us just before 7.  Like a pair of zombies Jen and I took showers, got dressed, and made our way downtown.  We didn't smile, we didn't talk, we communicated with brief grunts and nods.  

Jen:  "Tih?" (she meant tea)
Jim:  "Uh huh."
Jen:  *puts tea in my hand*
Jim:  *takes tea, does not smile, does not thank Jen*

We couldn't sleep in Saturday because the two of us had places to be.  I was GM'ing an adventure for The Strange called Mastodon on behalf of Monte Cook Games, and Jen's schedule had her working the MCG booth from 10am to noon.  

When I walked into the MCG RPG room at the Marriott I was still exhausted, and desperately trying to perk up so that I could show my players a good time...

... and then I saw my friend Troy and everything changed.

So full of life and energy, Troy was bouncing around introducing himself to his players, and preaching the innovations of the Cypher System.  Troy's energy was both intoxicating for his players and inspirational for a GM who couldn't wake up.  He got me moving, and even had me boasting that my table would be louder than his (it wasn't, Troy's group was loud and boisterous with enthusiasm).  Whenever I looked over at Troy, I could feel his excitement for this very special game.  

Thank you +Troy Pichelman.  You probably don't realize how much you saved my butt Saturday morning, but I'll be forever grateful.  

Greg, Doug, and Francois


Now even though Troy's table was louder, our group had a fantastic time playing Bruce Cordell's adventure.  My players were funny, vibrant, and willing to work together as a team to complete the mission.  One of my players, Doug (playing party leader Luis Ventura) went out of his way to perform actions that were simply spectacular.  When a velociraptor tried to escape a private hotel room into a hallway full of unknowing spectators, he had Luis grab the beast from behind and drag it back into the room.  During the final battle he "rode" the end boss whilst trying to impale it with a spear.  

Good times.

Griffin, Heather, and Josh

By the end of Mastodon I was fully awake, and ready for more Gen Con excitement... but I needed food.  Unfortunately we didn't have time right away, and we had to run over to the Crowne Plaza for the Pinnacle Entertainment Group seminar.  I won't repeat everything that was announced, but here are the highlights (from my perspective):

  • Rippers returns around Halloween (so I think we may have something special to play at Disney World for #GetOutAndGame)
  • Necessary Evil Returns!
  • FLASH GORDON!!!


Duo's healthy, home-cooked food truck wasn't just for vege's

After the Pinnacle Entertainment Group Seminar we could eat!  

For the third time during our trip we hit up Duo's food truck for their "slow food fast."  Jen had the "Trouble with Tribbles, which was brown rice, black beans, spinach, tomatoes, tofu, and a special aioli.  I had the Mandalorian Chowder (corn chowder).  Several times Jennifer and I remarked how easy it was to be vegetarian in Indianapolis, although we weren't sure if this was all year round or only because of the convention goers being in town.

By 5pm Saturday Jen was zonked

I told you how we were really tired when we woke up, but by Saturday late afternoon we were absolutely slugging out on the floor of the JW Marriott.  Do you see that picture above?  That's Jen on the floor.  She's laying on the floor, with her arms on the floor.  I keep mentioning the floor because Jen's a germaphobe.  I don't mean that she washes her hands a few extra times each day... she's a full-on, hands always covered in sanitizer fanatic...

... and she's laying on the floor.  

We were exhausted, but there was one more game.  A special, unofficial game of The Strange with +Rich Howard, his dad and nephew, his friend Steve, ENnie Award Winning Cartographer Chris West (he just won gold for Numenera), and Chris' wife Angela.  

Oh, and my friend Marc joined us...

... no pressure... 

The plot of this secret game was pretty friggin' sweet if I do say so myself.  A Firefly/Serenity inspired story so spectacular that I shared it with a few folks just to get their reactions ahead of time.

One more game!
Leaf on the Wind

A group of quickened Pittsburgh Firefly fans, the Monroeville Mudders, have been hard at work trying to figure out a way to "Save Wash."  Following a heartfelt speech at the Pittsburgh Comic Con by actor Alan Tudyk, the Mudders connected with a rogue collective of fellow Pittsburgh recursors (the Steel City Cypherians) to discover a Firefly recursion and bring Wash to life... for real.

The Monroeville Mudders plan on "translating" the Serenity into the recursion known as Ruk.  

The players are Estate agents who must get to the bottom of this terrible plot.

Wish I remembered what was happening here

No spoilers for this adventure, as I plan on running it again very soon, perhaps for some of you.  But it was a riot!  We had so much fun, and I would love to play with those very same players again next year if possible.  Hats off to Rich for making all of the arrangements for the game, and for finding us the perfect table.  Carter, Dr. Jim, Chris, Angela and Steve it was so great meeting you all.  

Oh, and Marc, you were cool too.


Krok attack!


Sunday


Phew, we made it to Sunday!

If you think this blog post is long, try experiencing the convention in its entirety.  Gen Con is tremendous in both its entertainment value as well as its ability to sap all of your life away...

... as well as your free cash.

Jennifer and I took our time getting to our scheduled Sunday game.  We spent the night before packing up for the long ride home, and had to check out of our hotel.  But once we were on site it was time to game!

Jules, Shannon, Aidan, and Ray choosing their crew

Since Sunday at Gen Con is family fun day Jennifer and I wanted to showcase how we run games for local game club, the Norwin Game Knights.  So I wrote an adventure called Disney's The Last Parsec for the Savage Worlds system.  Players took on the roles of Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, Anna, Elsa, Baymax, Hiro Hamada, Wreck-It Ralph, and Vanellope von Schweetz.  

Much like Leaf on the Wind, you'll see this adventure and a full write up at some point in the near future... so no spoilers... although the pictures are kind of spoilers I guess.  

Ralph found himself surrounded, but not for long

Our first slot was 10am to 12pm, and while I was getting ready for the game, a parent came in with her four-year old son Nolan looking for the "Disney Show."  Jennifer explained that we weren't putting on a show, but instead were doing an interactive story called a "role-playing game".  Rather than scooting out for another event, the mom and her son stuck around for the entire two-hour game!

Someone give that mom a medal and give Nolan his first wild die (once he's old enough to play with tiny dice on his own!)  

Poor Vanellope didn't know what she was getting herself into

This was our last event with the Slakinski family, which was sad for both Jennifer and I.  We ran into Ray and Shannon so many times during the convention, and they felt like our surrogate family.  We joked that it could've been cheaper to just find a hotel between Pittsburgh and Toronto and then met up there for a week.

Maybe next year we will.

Thanks again Ray, Shannon, Aidan, and Jules for making our Gen Con extra special!  


Jen's Gen Con DCC pick

We wrapped up our Gen Con experience with one more trip to the exhibitors' hall.  This is typically the time when you go to your favorite booth, link up with friends for sad goodbyes, and make promises for next year's Gen Con.  For us, most of this happened at the Monte Cook Games booth, naturally.

But the convention wasn't quite over... there was one last experience to be had.

Jennifer and I heard that there were some great giveaways going on over at the Goodman Games booth, so we made it a point to swing by before leaving the convention center.  I wanted a few more items before heading back to Pittsburgh, and Jen had her eyes set on Grimtooth's Museum of Death.  I need to stop and point out how epic it was to have my wife, once a non-gamer, choosing what Dungen Crawl Classics RPG adventure she wanted me to purchase.  

Best.  Wife.  Ever.

I picked out the Goodman Games Gen Con 2015 Program Guide, and walked up to the front of the booth, and there, standing before me was +Harley Stroh!  

I'm connected with Harley on Google+, but lets be honest, I'm a small blip on the internet radar, and he is a brilliant adventure writer.  I had to introduce myself, and decided to include that I was the crazy sick father who ran Disney Crawl Classics.  

Apparently Harley and several other members of the Goodman Games booth had read my blogpost!  I got some more handshakes, and when I asked if they would sign my Program Guide, everyone began passing it around.  Then I rolled on their random swag die and got a 20!  I won a pair of posterboard covers in Spanish (woot!)

My Gen Con 2015 experience ended with this one fantastic picture that summed up the week... 

Total DCC fanboy!

The drive home was rather relaxing.  Jen let me sit back and go crazy on social media while she made the six-and-a-half hour drive.  Last year on the drive home I felt kind of sad, mostly because of all the friends I had to leave.  But this year it felt different, maybe because I realized that repeat trips to Gen Con were possible...

... or perhaps I just realized that I was driving home seated next to my most favorite gamer of all time.  

ALL THIS SWAG!

Vlogs

While at Gen Con Jennifer and I filmed vlogs (video blogs) and posted them after each day.  If you'd like to watch one or two or six, here are the links.  Some were pretty cool, some look awful.  



Saturday covers most of our purchases and is rather long.  Friday's is a trainwreck.

  • Tuesday - The one when we arrived
  • Wednesday - The one when we filmed next to a crate
  • Thursday - The one that didn't want to upload
  • Friday - The one that I did with less than two hours sleep
  • Saturday - The one where we looked semi-conscious 
  • Sunday - The one in the car


I finally caved and bought some Tim Bits on the drive home