GenCon 2004, Day 2

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Day 2 at GenCon is at a close, and here's my report for the day. Today was quite different less time at the show, and I brought Matthew and Jacob today. We were up pretty late last night watching the Olympics, so we slept in a bit and arrived at the show around 9:15am. I was scheduled to be on duty at Days of Wonder at 10am; we used our time to sign Matthew up for the RPGA and ask some questions about our D&D campaign on Sunday. We are participating in a Living Greyhawk adventure, which is a pretty cool concept. More on that tomorrow.

Things worked out well on the show floor. I let Matthew and Jacob roam using the buddy system, checking back every 30 minutes. They were able to get in demos of the Neopets CCG and Pirates of the Spanish Main. I spent my entire shift on Memoir '44 this time, playing two complete games. Both demos were converted to sales, which is always nice. Also, while giving demos at DoW, Rick Thornquist was nice enough to stop by and chat. I've been a big fan of Rick's writings for some time, so it was great to finally meet in person.

We did some shopping after my shift. I picked up the new FFG game Colossal Arena, the new version of the classic Knizia Titan: the Arena. I used a coupon at the AEG booth and purchased two starter decks of Spycraft, getting a free booster in the process. We were scheduled for an afternoon session of Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM), the light Anime role-playing game. Jacob and I both wanted to own the rules to this game, so we stopped by the Guardians of Order booth and purchased the 2nd edition rulebook. Our last purchase of the day was three GenCon t-shirts from the gift shop, also using a handy coupon.

After a quick lunch in the exhibit hall, Matthew was eager to sit in one of the Anime theaters to watch a short movie. After scouting out each of the 4 (!) theaters for age-appropriate material, we settled on one theater and watched a show for about 25 minutes. Good stuff, but it was part of a series so took a while to get a sense for the plot.

We wrapped up the day with our BESM session more on the below with the photos.

I do want to commend the GenCon staff for fixing many of the problems I noticed last year (I'm sure they were widely reported). I've seen very few lines and mixups with the events.

Scheduled Gaming

This is the RPG room where we played BESM. There was also quite a bit of D&D going on in the same place.

The adventure we played was Groundhog Recess, an event put on by The Impossible Dream. The setting was Advanced Dimensional Green Ninja-Educational Preparatory Super-Elementary Fortress 555, a setting that involves elementary students with often super hero qualities and flaws. What a perfect setting for Jacob and Matthew! This picture is a relationship graph showing the main characters and their linkages to other people in the story.

Jacob took on the role of Timmy, a young boy that befriends a 50 foot robot.

Matthew played a furry dog that is able to walk on two legs and speak. He also happens to be a surgeon.

That's our gamemaster Akira -- he was amazing! He kept us all entertained throughout the event.

So why the name Groundhog Recess? Well, the plotline was that we were doomed to repeat the same recess over and over again until we determined what events we needed to prevent/change in order to restore balance to the universe. Or at least our playground. Oh, I played a kindergartner who also happens to be a mad scientist.

GenCon Sites and Sounds

A photo from one of my demo sessions of Memoir '44. Hey, and that's Dale Larson on the left, creator of Cyberboard, a PBEM board gaming system for Windows. I'm currently using that for a slow-running game (my own fault!) of Europe Engulfed.

Our lunch break in the exhibit hall. Mmmm, healthy nachos and brats.

Who ya gonna call?

Matthew with the pirate Jack Sparrow.

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