GenCon this year was slam packed with all kinds of awesome fun. I costumed, I met game designers, I played games, I met cool people — it was all so awesome. However, there are a few moments that stood out in my mind when it was all over. And here they are…
At my age, most people have had their favorite set of dice and “perfect” dice bag for a while, and they have long since gotten “too cool” to care about such a thing. Since we were scheduled for a Dungeon World game and my husband left all of his “too cool” non-matching dice at home, I had to buy some at Gen Con. I picked out a speckled pink and purple set from Koplow along with a shiny purple dice bag. Then after the game, I realized that I actually now play RPG’s enough to justify having my own special set like a grown-up. So, I bought some cool Q-Workshop dice because I wanted some for monster attacks, a totally unnecessary addition — but it’s my set and I’m proud of it.
4. Punching coins like Mario at 8:00 in the morning and calling it exercise.
While Christian was off in the vendor hall early Thursday morning doing press things, I decided to have some fun of my own. After perusing the event list, I decided to do Zumba with GeekyGamerGirl. For those of you not familiar with it, Zumba is an instructor led exercise class that falls somewhere between Jazzercise and a dance party. And, yes, I intentionally chose to dance at eight in the morning, and, despite the exhaustive nature of Gen Con, I did not regret it. Not only did it have the fun energy and great cardio-vascular exercise of a traditional Zumba class, our instructor GeekyGamerGirl (aka Karen), actually is a Geeky Gamer Girl. As a result, she added in some great nerdy elements including a James Bond routine, a routine to the Mario brothers theme where we pretended to punch coins, and all kinds of other fun, geeky, dance-y goodness. The class was great; Karen had an awesome energy which she tried to pass on to everyone in the room, and she was super friendly and nice. This was a great way to spend my morning, a great group of people to spend it with, and a great instructor to lead us through it all.
It wouldn’t be my article without a discussion of my gluttonous con habits and a discussion on which establishments best quelled the belly beast. Last year I mentioned the Mac Genie and Heavenly Sweets food trucks, which we certainly returned to this year. This year’s new favorites were the yummy Thai tacos from Tacos without Borders, the unique “upscale” food truck offerings (such as crab cake sandwiches and elk sliders) from Serendipity, and the rich, dense cupcakes from Flying Cupcake. The food was absolutely delicious, and, like many food trucks last year, most of the trucks this year had themed menus… My husband even got a chocolate cookies and cream zombie cupcake complete with red “blood” frosting and an eyeball decoration. Nerdy and tasty!
Dungeon World is a story-driven RPG. Your character is a legend, failure is the only way to get experience, much of the world is made up by the players, and “partial successes” result in hilariously epic mistakes by your character. During the particular adventure we played, we were chasing an old lady, who our characters had recently saved, through terrifying caverns with goblins, undead, and the most fearsome sea creature of all… The Crabopotamus! Yes, you read that right.
Like I said, much of dungeon world is player-created, so the GM frequently asks players questions about their characters and the world they populate. In the middle of the adventure, the GM turned to a player and said, “You see bubbles coming out of the water. What is that making those bubbles?” The player grinned and said, “Guys, that is a CRABOPOTAMUS!” and then rolled a partial failure on his lore check… So of course the Crabopotamus was huge and had crazy abilities.
But a giant Crabopotamus was no match for Tina (“Tinker Toes”) the artificer — my character — and her arsenal of bombs and flaming gadgets, along with her companions and their humorously wild magic, talismans, and abilities. We easily (okay, with much difficulty and hilarity) slayed the Crabopotamus and went on to save the old lady. The whole adventure was awesome, our GM was great, and I had a great time fighting the bad guys with the other players. The best thing that came out of this session, however, was the drawing of the Crabopotamus (and its “cousin” of the seas, the Sharknocerous, which we thankfully did not end up facing).
I know, I know, I have written about Shyguy’s performance almost every time I’ve seen him at a con, but that’s because every time the experience is just that unique and noteworthy. Of course he played awesome geeky music, and of course his performance was amazing and silly and artistic all at the same time. And, of course, he had a crowd of people dancing near the stage. This is all a given at his shows. However, this time, he invited people on-stage during one of my favorite songs. I’m all about getting attention even if I look like a moron while doing it, so I grabbed another huge Professor Shyguy fan I’d met earlier, and we went up on stage and danced like no one was watching… Except everyone totally was. I had a blast and I truly look forward to seeing what awesome trick he’s going to pull out of the hat next time.
Of course that’s only the tiniest part of all the awesome things I experienced at Gen Con… Look for the second part of my Gen Con experience with more pictures very very soon!