GenCon Indy 2010 After-Action Report, Part One
Its Wednesday, I'm back in the office, and still excited over the best four days in gaming. I met a lot of old friends, made many new friends, talked to some of my favorite authors, and managed to play in three games. The seminars were very helpful, especially Breaking into RPG Writing and The Rules of Writing. The exhibit hall was a blast, and between shaking hands and passing out business cards I picked up a book or two (actually, ninety-six books and magazines). In the coming weeks I will post reviews of these, both new titles out this year and older ones (Snarfquest being the oldest).
Of the three games I played, Terrorwerks was the best, but all three were a great time. For those of you who don't know, Terrorwerks is a LARP with the emphasis on action. You play part of a space marine or corporate team sent to rescue a hostage and stop a space ship from crashing into a colony world. Armed with an airsoft gun and sheer courage, you face off against pirates, aliens, and zombies in a wild new definition of first person shooter. As the Unitek representative, I did my best to channel Paul Riser and perform by role as corporate scum. To summarize forty-minutes of high action gameplay, I managed to achieve all of my secondary objectives, but failed my primary goal of survival. I will definitely play this again, and again, every Con I go to that they are at.
Along similar lines, I played in a The Rising Zombie LARP, as a zombie. Another good game, though not on the same level as Terrorwerks. This one used soft darts and foam weapons, and featured (at least for the survivors) a series of puzzles and room based encounters. As a zombie, I got to shamble from encounter to encounter and try and eat survivors. Getting killed, respawning, and going back in was a hoot, and gave me a great idea for a PCs as Zombies game.
In an entirely different vein, I managed to get in a game of the Tower of Gygax. Not only did the proceeds go to the Gygax Memorial Fund, the old school dungeon crawl was great fun. It brought back a lot of memories (and also how to use THACO) as I and my party of misfits tried to solve the puzzles in room after room. I died, but then, most people do. Sadly, my elf mage figured out the death trap too late, tried to cast sleep on himself (so he wouldn't feel it), and made his resist sleep and charm roll, c'est la vie.
GenCon is really the gathering of the tribe, and I had the opportunity to see some old friends. I had a lovely dinner with Lori Tankersley and Kristina Bayer (along with, Ted Snider, Lori's boyfriend and my wife). I hadn't seen either of them in over a decade. While walking through the halls, I ran into: Art McGeee, Jeremy Mullis, Brandon Robinson (who I last saw at high school graduation), Brave Tim (sorry Tim, I didn't need you to lead me to the food court this time), Mindy Grayson, Tod Puletz (what does it say when old gaming buddies spend more time showing pictures of their kids than talking gaming), Good Kip, Jay Cline and his fiancé Jamie Overdeer (the Legends of Vincennes game shop folks), Chris Fitzpatrick (Crocodile Games is doing some wonderful stuff, just don't tell the wife I was looking at minis again), Brian Roe (wish we could have talked more), Jeff Gilbert, Kelly (soon to be Gilbert) Lethgo, Ty Brewer, Bill Yocum, my sister (I will not apologize for the Jail 'n' Bail, and await your wrath), her new husband (married August 6th), and his son.
In part two I'll talk about the industry folks I met, as well as the seminars and workshops I attended.