Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Living 4 Crits @ Gen Con 2018

Gen Con 2018 shall go down in history as our craziest, most whirlwind, most absolutely exhausting gaming endeavor of all time. I literally do not know where to start. 

Maybe we should just go to the pictures... 


Not much to see here, just a friggin' massive thunderstorm that we had to drive through while crossing through Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 

Our trip to Indianapolis began on Wednesday at 6:30pm, when we left our apartment in Glen Mills, PA. I had been up since 5am, and went to work until around 4:30pm. Came home, finished a quick packing, and we were on the road. It was me, Cooper, and Jen headed west, as the rest of the family was in Pittsburgh visiting their grandmother. 


We made it all the way to Pittsburgh, picked up Carrie and Evie around 11pm, back on the road at 11:30pm. Our plan was to drive 3 hours to Columbus, but we accidentally booked the wrong hotel for the night. An hour west of Columbus we were told (at 3:30am) that we were at the wrong place, and needed to backtrack 45 minutes or so. 

Screw that!

We made the call to keep on driving the last 2 hours to Indianapolis.

You really can't make it out in this picture, but our car was then surrounded by feral cats. No joke. There were several of the little things trying to get into our car, not letting us leave. We had to distract them with Slim Jims. Then we made for Gen Con.

By 6am we were at Home2Suites in downtown Indianapolis, and we were allowed to relax in the breakfast nook while our room was prepared. We had a choice: try to go to sleep for a little while, or jump right into Gen Con.

We opted for Gen Con.

Fortunately, we linked up immediately with two of our favorite people from Pittsburgh: Michael Bolam and Ethan Hammersmith. Damn, it was great to see them! 

As soon as we finished our walk to the Indianapolis Convention Center we made our way to the Goodman Games event room. Hey look, it's Judge Joan! 

There's no way we would've been able to make it to Gen Con 2018 without the help of our incredible friends over at Monte Cook Games, so we spent a lot of time helping them out over in ICC240 with all of their events. There was such an incredible energy in that room!

You know, I didn't think we'd make it to the convention center until well after noon. But we were actually able to watch the opening of the exhibitor's hall!

Even though she only had about an hour's sleep, Evie was ready to game! She was short a few players at first, but her No Thank You, Evil! game kicked off by noon.

We needed coffee, so me and Evie headed over to our favorite coffee spot in downtown Indianapolis: Bee Coffee!

We let Carrie sleep.

But after the sleep, me and Carrie went out into the Exhibitor's Hall and started looking at all that fine loot. Especially the art loot! 

... and then we got Tacos. 

Hangin' with Gary at DCCRPG after hours! 

The amazingly Australian Reece Carter was our Judge for Thursday's DCC after hours event, Escape From Planet Punjar. In this picture, he's preparing to send us to the year 50,000 alongside Judge Tim Deschene. 

Seriously, two of the best people on the planet Earth. 

It should be noted that Reece is an incredible kisser. 

Who let Evie into a bar for after-hours gaming? Shouldn't you be in bed?

Actually, even with next to no sleep, we were up for an entire night of this badassery!

Cooper, was less enthused, and spent a lot of time on his 2DS. But Judge Reece let him roll a few dice still. 

Another of my most favoritest people: Craig McCullough is in the house!

I mentioned something about being a cat person character (was playing a Kith from the Purple Planet) and Judge Reece made me wear a cat mask. Because that's how we do during DCC After Hours. 

It was at that point that all kinds of famous gamers started walking in. Here's Brendan LaSalle. Zak S. was there too. A few others as well. But none of them knew it was me...

... all they saw was a poor little kitty cat. 

At least I didn't have to wear the ass-demon hat like Dylan. 


Cooper and I kicked off Gen Con Friday doing something he wanted to do...

... video games!

He was quite fond of several of the classic console games, but one in particular caught his interest: MORTAL COMBAT! 

When I went back upstairs, Judge Evie was hard at work GM'ing No Thank You, Evil! again in the Monte Cook Games event room. 

So me and Cooper went out onto the floor, looking for great deals. Cooper found a sheep. Not a great deal, as I was worried he was going to break it, and then I'd have to pay!

When we got back to the Monte Cook Games room, I caught Jen playing with the six fingered hand from Invisible Sun. I still have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what's going on in that game, but I now think that it has to do with Wizards, some guy named Vance, and a crap-ton of hallucinogenic drugs. 

All of which were stretch goals in the original Kickstarter I think.

Hey look kids, it's Judge Marc from Glowburn running Cypher System

After her GM'ing duties were over at the Monte Cook Games booth I was able to get Evie into the DCC Tournament with a table full of great guys, and the deadly but super sweet Judge Tim Deschene as game master.

Sadly it was a TPK, but Evie had a wonderful time!

Turns out that there was a TPK on Tim's beard this week as well... he carved that majestic fur-mask off not long before I wrote this blog.


By Sezrekan's Corpse, it's the incredible Harley Stroh! 

It was about this time that Dwarven Forge obsession kicked in. 

Cooper and Evie spent about a half hour building stuff at the booth... and the DF crew were TOTALLY COOL with it. This may have helped seal the deal that we needed some of that sweet, sweet, Caverns Deep swag. 

So there was this moment when just me and Judge Evie were at the Dwarven Forge booth and a bunch of famous gamers were there. Joe Manganiello, Satine Phoenix, a few others. But Evie was absolutely starstruck by one of her GM idols: Stefan Pokorny. 

Later in the day, Evie wanted to get a picture, but was worried he would say "no." 

But of course he didn't! 

Hey look, we're back at the DCC after hours, and this time we brought our favorite Canadian family: the Slakinskis! 

Judge Evie was hard at work running Escape from Planet Punjar with the rest of the crew that night. DOOM!



Saturday morning I agreed to take Evie and Cooper over to Lucas Oil Field where we made foam weapons together as a family.

Afterwards, the cosplay began! Carrie as Peridot, and Cooper as DanTDM.

Meanwhile I ran my first session of Numenera at the convention. Great table, great energy, and three newcomers to the Cypher System!

Cooper was totally into the whole foam swordfighting scene later in the day. He would enter the tournament twice, and we have it all on camera. 

It was all fun and games, though, until I was forced to fight!

At least I made it to the second round of the tournament. I guess all that Aikido training helped somehow.

I had some apprehensions of running an 8pm to midnight game of Numenera. I thought I'd be too tired, or too quiet, or too hungry or something. But nope, I ran one of the best games of Numenera in my entire life! I think I'm going to talk more about it as a Vlog later this week, so we'll see. 


Sunday morning. 8:30am. Jen, Cooper, Carrie all in bed. 

But not me and Judge Evie! 

We were the last one's out on Saturday night, staying out until 1:15am at the Embassy Suites bar with the Dungeon Crawl Classics crowd. But we were also the first ones up, and the first to get to the gaming. Here I'm running Evie over to see if we could get her into a DCC game with some generic tickets. 

Lucky for her, Brendan LaSalle had a seat saved for her. 

Best dude ever!

Then I ran over to the Monte Cook Games room and found out that the 10-noon game of No Thank You, Evil!, with GM Jules, was cancelled. 

So sad!

More great DCC people! Judge Valerie Emerson, and DCC Rocks! Facebook Admin Jonathan Perkel...

... he does exist! 

If there is ever a DCC module titled "Two James' Vs. a Giant Gong" this would be the cover!

More swag-shopping with Shoto Todoroki...er... I mean Carrie. 

"Don't I look so emo, dad?"

Kid, I remember when Emo didn't mean anime and Hot Topic. Back in my day, all we had was Dashboard Confessional, and we liked it!

Best. Hat. Ever! 


By the end of Sunday we were starting to burnout. So we crashed in the lobby of the Omni Severin and hung out with great peoples!

All the great peoples!

On the floor!

I think I successfully passed on the tradition during this Gen Con. Here's a scene from the last game of our trip: Judge Evie running Dungeon Crawl Classics in the lobby with three young players. 

There's so much beauty in this adventure. You may not even notice it.

Unless you know what adventure she was running, in which case you're probably crapping your pants right now.

Happy Gen Con 2018 people!

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