It was a crazy four days at GenCon this year, the first for the three members of the Goblin Beat that attended, but it was also a blast. This being our first GenCon we made sure to way over book ourselves on games for the weekend, which meant that we ended up leaving several games with empty seats so that lucky players with generic tickets could play. In fact we missed both of the Deadlands Noir games we signed up for though we did pick up a copy of the hardbound book so we’ll be able to play that for a podcast at some point in the future. Buying the book itself was an interesting experience since we were in line with Wil Wheaton who was also buying some Savage Worlds supplies. It was very cool that he came to GenCon this year for the sole purpose of playing games, I’m sure he had as much fun as we did.
Friday was by far our busiest day and we played two adventures in the official D&D playtest area using the newest revision of the D&D Next rules. The first adventure had us working to help repel an invasion at Candlekeep. The interesting thing about this adventure was that all of the people playing at the time were grouped into ‘pods’ with several tables comprising a single pod. Each table had their own DM who gave us our objectives but the entire pod had to work together to succeed. The end of the adventure had each group of adventurers defending a separate tower while a ritual was performed. Monsters bombarded each tower and a great Blue Dragon flew between tables at random. He would attack one tower for several rounds before moving on to the next table. Although we defended our own tower successfully and Terry even followed the dragon when it left our table (and dealt the killing blow himself!), enough of the other tables fell that the ritual itself failed and we were unable to save Candlekeep! Hopefully other groups had a better time of it.
We all sat in on a game set in Shaintar and ran by the creator Sean Patrick Fannon. Danny won the award for most entertaining player thanks in large part to Blarg, his Ogre warrior character and his patented ‘throwing arbalest’. For those of you unfamiliar Shaintar is an epic fantasy setting from Evil Beagle games that uses the Savage Worlds rule set. There is a wealth of back story and several great source books that will give you all you need to know to play games within the world.
Saturday was a special treat for Matt and Danny as they sat down with Joanna Gaskell and Edwin Perez from the Standard Action Web Series to play-test part of an upcoming Pathfinder adventure which tells part of the Standard Action story using the actual characters from the show. Danny played Edda, Joanna played Wendy, Edwin played Fernando (his character from the show), and Matt played Martin which meant he was also able to hold Snuffle’s character sheet and attempt to control him. Kevin Mickelson is writing the adventure and he also ran the game. The two encounters we played through were extremely well done and the characters really feel like the ones from the show. We will be sure to let you know when the adventure is published and we will do an actual play podcast of ourselves running it at the first opportunity. Two of the best moments in the game were Matt having Martin create a flaming sphere which he sent off into the forest once the battle was over and Edwin creating a dancing Fernando in the middle of the road to distract the monsters.
The entirety of Saturday night and a good bit of Sunday morning was spent playing games from the Gaming Library. We played through several games, a few of which we determined to purchase, and had a great time. If you haven’t played them we would recommend Carcassonne, Pandemic, Smash Up and Descent from among the games we played that night. Each of them was fun and very different in play style.
On Sunday (and in large part thanks to the folks from Standard Action) we met up with the guys from Crit Success who were showing off one of the best gaming inventions ever, dice rings. We will do a full review of these nifty products soon but in the meantime if you do not know what they are you should probably go ahead and check them out.
We did many other things at GenCon and we had a great time. Below are a few more pictures from the crazy times we had. Enjoy and let us know what you think. Did you go to GenCon? Did we see you there?