jump to navigation

GenCon 2017, The Loot! September 6, 2017

Posted by jkahane in board games, book hut, conventions, gaming hut, gencon, personal, photos, reading hut, roleplaying games, rpg hut.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Finally, as promised, here are some thoughts with lots of photos of the stuff that I bought down at GenCon Indy (what is affectionately called “the loot”). Lots of photos in this one. 🙂 To read the report on my final thoughts of GenCon 2017, check out this journal entry.

September 4th, 2017

In terms of the stuff that I bought at GenCon, well… I went down to GenCon hoping to find certain products in the Exhibit Hall. I’ve not posted an overview photo of all the stuff that I purchased in Indy, because that wouldn’t do it justice, to be honest. So let’s start in on this stuff…

One of the first things I wanted to pick up at GenCon 2017 was a new set of dice to use with the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG. I was looking for something Arabian Nights themed or something with a scarab on them (since the game uses scarabs in a very interesting way in the rulebook and the various supplements). I was pretty pleased with these six-sided beauties. And the scarab glows in the dark!


6-sided scarab dice

Something else that I wanted to pick up at GenCon, well, I needed to since I was going to be running “The Dying Ship” scenario for Coriolis – The Third Horizon there twice, was the adventure itself and Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing kindly agreed to supply me with a rulebook and GM Screen for my use as well, through the good folks at Modiphius Entertainment. Here’s a photo of that game material.

14_gencon2017_the_darkness_is_coming.jpg
The Dying Ship adventure


The Coriolis – The Third Horizon stuff gifted me

As mentioned, I went by the Ulisses Spiele NA booth in the hopes of finding some material for the Torg Eternity RPG, but they had nothing available on the Thursday, though I was told that some dice and some t-shirts would be in on the Friday and Saturday. However, the other thing I went looking for at the convention was The Dark Eye RPG, since it actually sounded very cool and I’d heard some good things about it. The lovely Mhàire Stritter at the Ulisses Spiele NA booth told me some of the strengths and weaknesses of The Dark Eye RPG, and I was sold on the game, and bought a whole stack of stuff.


The Dark Eye RPG haul of books

For those interested, I’ve got the Quick-Start Rules, the Core Rules, the GM Screen (with the Inns and Taverns book), the Aventuria Almanac, the Aventuria Bestiary, Arivor’s Doom (scenario), The White Lake (scenario), Witch’s Dance and The Thorwal Drum (both Heroic Works scenarios), and several issues of the Aventurian Herald (not pictured). So much The Dark Eye goodness, but there were other things there at the booth I would have picked up if I’d been more up on my game knowledge of what was available. *sigh*

As it turned out, the folks at Ulisses Spiele NA got the Torg Eternity dice and the new t-shirt both on the Friday, so I was able to pick up a set of the dice (one to a customer) and the t-shirt. They’re both beautiful.

22_gencon2017_crowds_outside_the_exhibit_hall.jpg
Torg Eternity dice set


Torg Eternity t-shirt, front


Torg Eternity t-shirt, back

I also bought a whole bunch of old TORG supplements, as these will give me some additional material to use when running the new Torg Eternity RPG. I was rather pleased to have picked these up, though I worried that the weight would get me in the suitcases, though I needn’t have worried about that.


Old TORG RPG supplements

The filk band (at least I still think of them that way) Water Street Bridge was performing live at the convention, in one of the ICC hallways, and I saw some of their performance there and picked up three of their CDs. Wish I’d picked up the rest.


Three Water Street Bridge CDs

Over at the Stronghold Games booth, I managed to snag a copy of Terraforming Mars and also the supplement for the game, Hellas & Elysium. Lovely stuff.


Terraforming Mars and Hellas & Elysium

Phil Foglio was in the the Exhibit Hall selling stuff in the Author’s area, and I picked up a couple of books from him, the Myth Adventures graphic novel and the first volume of Girl Genius. He was kind enough to sign them for me.


Phil Foglio’s Myth Adventures and Girl Genius, Volume 1

Over at the Third Eye Games booth, I spoke for a bit with Eloy Lasanta, and also picked up the Pip System Core Rules and the Mermaid Adventures game (which uses the same rules). Both of the copies are signed.


Pip System and Mermaid Adventures from Third Eye Games

Also in the Author’s area of the Exhibit Hall, I stopped by Doug Bedwell’s booth and picked up a copy of his humourous sf novel, Robot Captain.


Robot Captain by Doug Bedwell

I also picked up a couple of dice bags that I couldn’t resist, and these will be holding my current gaming dice and some other stuff.


New dice bags and dice purchases

I also picked up a batch of t-shirts and several buttons at GenCon 50 but am not posting pics of them for various reasons.

For the most part, none of the purchases were actually impulse buys, other than a couple of t-shirts, the Phil Foglio books, and maybe one of the dice bags. Overall, I was pretty pleased with my purchases at GenCon 2017 though there were a few things that I wanted to purchase and/or forgot to purchase that I had wanted. But no use crying over spilt milk, as they say. My real regret here was that the folks from Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing (makers of Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis – The Third Horizon and Tales From the Loop) weren’t at the convention this year, so I didn’t get to see them and the fact that there was no Torg Eternity merchandise (other than the dice and t-shirts) available at the convention. No real mock-ups of the game rulebook, though I did see one that Darrell Hayhurst brought to the Ulisses Spiele NA booth to show to people. And I should have picked up a couple of the other things available for The Dark Eye RPG, but didn’t know better. I did ship the initial purchase of The Dark Eye game materials home via FedEx, at what I feel was exorbitant prices, but if I’d waited another day, I could easy have shipped more stuff (though I’m glad I didn’t, given what the charges for the stuff that I did ship home cost).

And that’s it. The last post about GenCon 2017.

Time to get down to some of the reading of all this loot that I got down there. 🙂

As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.

Advertisements

GenCon 2017 Final Thoughts September 5, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, health hut, personal, photos, roleplaying games, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg, torg eternity rpg, tv hut.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

As promised, here are some final thoughts and a bit of perspective on this year’s GenCon Indy for 2017. Think of these as random Musings and Ravings (sic) about the convention, and some pics of stuff as well. To read the report on my final day at GenCon, check out this journal entry.

September 4th, 2017

So, how was my GenCon 2017? I guess that depends on perspective, but of course, hindsight is wonderful.

When it comes down to it, on a scale of 1 to 10, I rate GenCon 50 9/10 from Tuesday to Saturday, and 4/10 from Saturday afternoon to the end of the convention.

My real regret is not meeting half my virtual friends who were at the convention.

One of the things I wrote about before I left for GenCon Indy in this blog was the fact that there were certain things I wanted to do and accomplish at the convention. For the most part, I think I managed what I set out to do, but there were some (major) wrinkles along the way.

For one thing, while I managed to pack as lightly as I could for the convention, with just a smaller suitcase (with a messenger bag inside it), an overnight carry-on bag, and a carry-on bag with my meds, both diabetes and other, I was a bit thrown off by the addition of the insulin therapy materiels that I needed to take with me. You’d think I’d have been used to that, given that I’ve been on insulin for several years now, but it’s not the same taking the insulin therapy stuff with me when going to a convention out of Ottawa. Still I managed. Anyway, back to the luggage… Even so, I found the luggage to be quite heavy (despite the Swiss Gear luggage being relatively lightweight) due to the fact that my left shoulder was bothering me quite a bit before we left, and this didn’t improve during the Tuesday morning trip to the airport and the flights and all. was a great help in this regard (more on that later). Suffice to say I’m glad that I shipped The Dark Eye RPG stuff that I picked up in Indy via FedEx (a goddess awful costly shipping, but what can you do?) home, as that cut down the suitcase weight somewhat, though I was afraid with several of the purchases I made after the stuff went out with FedEx (such as the old TORG supplements and the Terraforming Mars boxed set) that the suitcase was going to be too heavy come the Monday of travel back to Ottawa. I was spared this, to be honest, because SteveR and I split the weight of some of the gaming material between our check-in luggage, and that helped tremendously.

The hardest part of the convention for me was the Friday and Saturday, carrying around the gaming stuff to run the two Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG scenarios, and I was very grateful to have SteveR around to help me out by carrying the main book and GM Screen. My shoulder had given out on the Friday, and I was in intense pain for most of the week starting on Friday morning. Since I never got back to the Westin Indianapolis hot tub, as it was mostly body soup for the week once the GenCon attendees started arriving, there was absolutely no relief for my poor shoulder, and the lumpy, much softer than usual bed didn’t help. I was glad that I packed the extra pairs of underwear and socks, to be honest, given what happened Wednesday early afternoon, and I’m also glad that SteveR and I had stayed in downtown Indy this time around, rather than being 30 minutes away at a hotel like the Indianapolis Marriott North (where we stayed in 2015). That would have been disastrous.

When it comes to my health issues, well… What can I say? Other than the stupidity of not eating properly diabetically on the Tuesday of the flight to Indy that created the mess I went through on the Wednesday, and the business on Friday where the same thing could have happened, I would have been fine for the weekend. Except, of course, I overdid things on Saturday with the walk from the Westin to Union Station, and ended up with the bad blisters on my feet. From Saturday onwards, the convention this year was somewhat of a living hell for me, as the stabbing pains in the bottom of my right foot was like walking on broken glass without being a yogi trained for such things. I seriously considered heading back to Ottawa on the Saturday, but truth be told, I wanted to run the Coriolis – The Third Horizon game session Saturday night and I didn’t want to let SteveR down and all that. I stuck it out, but the wheelchair being manual and my inability to use the left shoulder and arm made me have to rely on SteveR for motive power, and I really do regret that. He was going through his own stuff at the convention (and I’m not going to mention what; if he wants to share the details, he’ll do so in his blog), and I really felt guilty most of the weekend. And, to put it mildly, I was somewhat depressed.

On the positive side, I managed to take care of myself and my health for the most part, as through the insulin therapy and the sheer amount of walking prior to Saturday afternoon I was getting made me feel “off” several times, resulted in some dizziness at times and feeling light-headed. Fortunately, I had glucose tabs with me, and these were very helpful over the week in Indy. (Except of course the night where we went to High Velocity for supper, as I’d forgotten the glucose tabs.) I drank a lot of water and tried to stay hydrated, but wasn’t all that successful on a couple of days. For the most part, I pretty much followed the “8-3-1 Rule”, though there were several nights where I barely got 4.5 hours of sleep, but I made sure I ate the three meals per day – breakfast, lunch, and supper – and supplemented that with snacks twice a day, and got in my one shower per day… Even so, I lost 6.8 pounds over the course of the convention. I didn’t use as much antibacterial solution, relying more on soap, and did not catch con crud ::knock on wood::. Just the feelings from the heat and humidity, combined with the physical exertion at times, I guess, made me feel a bit dirty and grungy at times. I did have to adjust the insulin shots down during the convention, as my sugars plummeted from the physical activity at the convention.

Finally, there’s the pacing. One of the things that I promise myself every convention I go to, and GenCon is no exception, is that I’m going to pace myself. GenCon is one of those conventions where this is always a real issue, because it’s just sooooooo big that one just can’t see everything, and so one has to make the most of what one can see while one is there. Staying in a downtown hotel helped with this time management, for obvious reasons, and I did a lot more walking during the first part of the week (Tuesday through Saturday), and virtually none during the Saturday/Sunday period or on Monday. This was the biggest GenCon Indy so far, and the convention has spread out and expanded so much there was a lot more ground to cover. I had wanted to play in some games, but such was not to be, no doubt due to the running of the two Coriolis – The Third Horizon games and the hit-or-miss method of using Generic tickets. And after Saturday, that was made more difficult. I did get to play in some demos, which was fine, and I loved playing in the Aventuria Card Game stuff at the Westin, but I was pretty pleased overall with the convention, though I’d have liked to have played in some full games, rather than demos.

As I’ve noted earlier, GenCon is just too big to see everything. I did a bit of wandering around during the Thursday and Friday when I had the chance, and was able to take some photos of people and stuff that interested me. I think I was a bit jaded this year at the various gaming materials I saw, since most of my photos are of people and the like. One thing that I photographed on late Saturday afternoon was the balloon dragon that was quite impressive.


Balloon dragon

What was really cool about it, as per usual at GenCon, is there’s an auction/raffle where someone got to “slay the dragon” by exploding the balloons one at a time. I would love to have been there for such destruction, but the wheelchair days prevented this. That and I’m not sure I could take the explosive noise of the balloons popping, truth be told.

There were a lot of folks in costume over the weekend, and I took several photos of folks. One of the costumes I really liked was the Revolutionary Captain America. Great costume.


Revolutionary Captain America

Needless to say, one of the real highlights for me at this convention was seeing some of the folks that I like in the gaming industry. GenCon is certainly the place to do that. It was good to see Darrell, Dean, Eric and Ross from Ulisses Spiele NA; Robin, Simon and Gar from Pelgrane Press; Chris Birch and the folks from Modiphius Entertainment (they really do have some of the best rpgs out there these days, as witness the ENnie Awards); and Jeff Combos at the Exile Games booth. The real pleasure for me this GenCon was meeting Jeff Barber, totally coincidentally at the IGDN Social at Loughmiller’s Pub and my virtual friend, T.R. Knight, whom I’d not met until GenCon. He gifted me some cherry jam (it tastes delish, by the way!), but it was a pleasure meeting him and his wife and daughters. I’d wish we’d had more time to socialise, but GenCon is busy and his schedule was pretty tight. We did talk a couple of other times, and it was lovely bumping into them in the ICC hallways when SteveR and I were coming back from supper at the Marriott on Sunday evening. I also got to pick the brains of Darrell Hayhurst, Dean Gilbert, and Ross Watson about all things Torg Eternity, and had a good time chatting with them. Eric Simon and Mhàire Stritter of Ulisses Spiele proper were great as well, and I wish I’d talked more to the folks there about The Dark Eye RPG, as I’m now in love with the game. That said, for everyone I did talk with, there were others I missed. I didn’t get to see a lot of my Twitter friends and those I’ve only met virtually there, and I’m really sad about that. (No names here, but you know who you are!)

The Exhibit Hall was as usual, massive. Actually, more massive than the one in 2015. (Not really surprising given how GenCon has grown and the fact that this was the 50th anniversary of the convention.) I’m not going to go into details about the Exhibit Hall and dealers’ room since it was…just too big. And to be honest, the fact that I was wheelchair-bound on Saturday and Sunday meant I didn’t get to wander and see as much of the hall as I would have liked. I will say that some of the best stuff I saw was at the smaller dealers, those tucked away, and some of the really fun stuff was in the Entrepreneurs’ Avenue. That said, most of the game manufacturers were there, with some exceptions, but there were also folks selling game accessories, steampunk clothes and gear, kilts and other items associated with the culture, t-shirts, buttons, Doctor Who merchandise, dice bags and dice accessories, books, art prints and… well, you name it, you could probably find it here. Some of the stuff that I saw really impressed me, but I had come to GenCon Indy to purchase specific gaming stuff that I was looking for – primarily some Torg Eternity stuff (nothing was available other than the dice and the new t-shirt), some t-shirts (I think I bought too many, but c’est la vie), and The Dark Eye RPG. I was also hoping to find some of the old TORG RPG game supplements, and lucked out with that. I also picked up a couple of games that I wasn’t planning on – Terraforming Mars and Mermaid Adventures – and I’m glad I did so, and would have picked up Photosynthesis and Five Tribes, but didn’t know how to ship them home after I’d done The Dark Eye mailing through FedEx and wasn’t sure I’d be able to take them back with me in the luggage.

I didn’t get to play in any full fledged games, mostly due to the fact that all the games I wanted to get in were full by the time my place in the game registration queue came up and had bad luck with Generic tickets (again). Plus there was the fact that the games I could get into were also scheduled around the times I was running Coriolis – The Third Horizon. However, I did sit and watch a lot of games when I had the chance and really enjoyed what I saw. This included some Photosynthesis, Torg Eternity, and several others. I should have tried to catch some of The Dark Eye games as well, but such was not to be. I did manage to play in some Aventuria games with a guy that I met at the Westin, and had a lot of fun (winning a couple of duels helps the enjoyment, I think). 🙂

This year, I used the mobile phone to take a lot of pictures of stuff at the convention (mostly for personal use) and did a good degree of tweeting as well. I used my tweets of the convention to keep a record of my time at GenCon 50 this year, and they have proved invaluable for these convention reports. Didn’t really get to use the mobile phone to set up socializing or anything, with the exception of two things that I’m not going to discuss. Am I sorry about the stuff I didn’t get to see or do? Sure, but again it comes down to making sure you pace yourself as well as the health and other restrictions that you have for yourself. And I’m proud to say that I stuck to my own lifestyle and physical limitations (for the most part, with one glaring error).

That leads me to discussing the hotel… What can I say about the Westin Indianapolis? The hotel was right downtown, with less than a five minute walk to the ICC, and the room was very nice. I actually went through the ADA service that GenCon offers to get the hotel room, and was glad that I did. Comfortable, accommodating to those with physical injuries, and a built-in mini-fridge as well! The staff at the hotel was extremely nice, and were so helpful during the convention – the photocopying of the Coriolis – The Third Horizon material, the business with the soiled clothes (1 of 2 of my pairs of pants), the events after the injury and the wheelchair (well, okay, that was mainly the head of security on Saturday) – and the place was relatively busy all the time once the convention started. I liked having all the gamers around, but it wasn’t claustrophobic as was the actual ICC and some of the other venues. Overall, I would stay again at the Westin Indianapolis without any hesitation at all.

As for the stuff that I bought at GenCon (what is affectionately called “the loot”, I’ve discussed a bit of that above, but I’ll leave that for a separate post with a ton of photos. hehe

Do I have any regrets about GenCon 2017? Yep, I do… Given the size of this convention, one just cannot see the whole convention and do everything that one would like to do. First off, I regret not seeing more of the Exhibit Hall and the Dealers’ Hall (I think I may have seen 25% if I’m lucky). Secondly, I regret not getting to the GenCon Museum, which I really would have liked to have visited. I regret not getting to play in any Torg Eternity or The Dark Eye games, ’cause that was something I really wanted to do at the convention. I wish I had spent a bit more time (heck, a lot more time!) at the Art Show and Authors’ Avenue. I deeply regret not getting to meet and spend some time with virtual friends, old and new (that I’ve met the past year or so on the internet; you Twitter folks know what I’m talking about!). Most of all, I absolutely regret taking the actions that led to my feet blistering and the cellulitis, as that put a huge damper on my convention on the Saturday and Sunday. All of that said, I enjoyed myself for the most part, but am somewhat relieved that I can’t do this convention every year (unless one of the game companies flies me in to it! :)) Just too expensive to do every year, between the airfare and the hotel room costs. And the fact that one has to book rooms so early. And the fact that I’m getting old and that this was a tough convention to do given my state of health.

And that’s it. GenCon 2017 is now well and truly a wrap for me, other than all the great reading material I’ve got from the convention. And the memories, both good and bad, of course.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.

GenCon 2017, Day +1 Report September 4, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, gaming hut, gencon, health hut, personal, rpg hut.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Here is the report of the seventh, and last day, of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the sixth day can be found in this journal entry.

August 21st, 2017

I woke up on the last day of the trip to Indy feeling somewhat out of sorts and rather sore in various parts of my body. Not to be unexpected, given everything that happened on Saturday. However, today was the day to fly home to Ottawa, so it was time to get up and at ’em (as they say). Woke up relatively early, since there was a lot to do in the morning before heading for the airport. I was having a rough morning of it, cramps or nerve pain in my left underthigh and you-know-where from the awkward leg position from long periods in the wheelchair. Standard, generic wheelchairs aren’t designed for people with long legs. I suspected some of that pain would only get worse as the day wore on. Needless to say, my feet were hurting and the blisters were…there. The feet were…pretty swollen. So I figured that flying would be… difficult, to say the least.

I showered and shaved, and then SteveR took care of the dressing on my right foot. We went down to Shula’s and had our usual breakfast. I had wanted pancakes or oatmeal, but the carb load would have been too much for me this day and I didn’t want to take any chances. In any event, I had come to conclude that the breakfast was too expensive if not eating from the buffet and if one has special, dietary needs. After eating, we returned back to the hotel room to finish the morning ablutions and pack the rest of the toiletries away in the check-in bags. I checked us out of the hotel and collected the bill on our way to the airport (there was no line at the Westin Indianapolis front desk). Check-out was a breeze. We headed for the airport around 11:45 am. Here’s a picture of me getting ready to head out of the hotel room for the last time.


Me in wheechair leaving hotel room for last time

We arrived at the Indy airport, and after getting me a wheelchair (a bit more comfortable than the one in the hotel, but still manual), we checked-in for the flight, and then made our way through American security and over to the gate area, where the kind lady who wheeled me all the way through everything left me in the care of an agent there. SteveR and I learned that we would be pre-boarding ahead of everyone else because of my inability to walk. During our trip from the ticketing area to the security area, before the gate entry, we saw the gaming area for GenCon attendees that the Indy airport folks had put together.


Indy airport gaming area

Once at the gate area, the agent took us over to a small bistro-like restaurant, Au Bon Pain, and had a delicious, fresh Caesar wrap and some soup and water there for lunch. It was really good, and hit the spot. We returned to the gate from which the plane would depart, and sat and relaxed for a little while before the pre-boarding began. I’m not going to say much about it, but one gets through the jetway in the wheelchair and then trundled onto what is called an aisle seat and strapped down as if straightjacketed, and then taken ass backwards onto the plane. Humiliating, and somewhat painful.

Once the flight from Indianapolis to Toronto got underway, it was comforting. Here’s a pic outside the window.


View from 31,000 feet on the Indy to Toronto flight

I don’t remember what we did for food, if anything, once we got to the Toronto International airport, but we went through the process of an agent wheeling me through to the gate area, though this time taking longer because of tag-team wheeling with two other passengers through the Canadian Customs part of the trip. Once at the gate area for the Toronto to Ottawa flight, we sat back and relaxed there.

The flight home from Toronto had a similar pattern to that of getting aboard the plane in Indy, but to be honest, this time we barely made the flight and I got aisle seated into the plane with a good number of passengers already aboard. No doubt almost late for the flight due to the tag-team business I mentioned above, but also because SteveR and I were the last passengers off the flight from Indy to Toronto.


On the tarmac, waiting to leave Toronto

We arrived in Ottawa, and SteveR’s parents met us at the airport. My mom was at my place, waiting for me to get home. We didn’t have any problems with the baggage and the like in Ottawa, as it was already whirling around on the baggage carousel, as I was helped off the plane and into a wheelchair, again the last folks off the flight. We decided to go to Boston Pizza for supper, since it was close to 7:30 pm by this time, and neither SteveR nor I had eaten since lunch, other than some snack food we’d brought with us and some ginger ale and pretzels on the two flights. It was when we got to the Boston Pizza location at Walkley and Conroy that I remembered I’d have to walk from the parking lot at the rear of the building to the front entrance! That was the longest, most painful walk I’ve made in a while. But I think the food was worth it! I had the half-rack of ribs with a salad, and a beer. Goddess knows I needed it by then.

After the late supper at Boston Pizza, SteveR’s parents drove me home, and SteveR helped bring in the luggage for me. Another incredibly painful walk from the car up the stairs into my house. Mom was there waiting for me, and after she helped me do some of the unpacking (notably the toiletries and the laundry from the suitcase and overnight bag), she headed home. I took a couple of Tylenol before crawling into the bed. I was so tired, that I had a good night’s sleep despite the pain in my feet. I woke up around 9:00 am on Tuesday, the 22nd, and made a doctor’s appointment for that afternoon.

And that’s it, the final entry about the actual trip to Indianapolis and the events of GenCon 2017. This was a very long Monday, due to the medical issues I was dealing with, and I’m glad that I got home that evening.

In any event, I’ll be writing just one or two more posts about this year’s GenCon, a retrospective of sorts, some thoughts on the convention, and some photos of my loot from the convention.

As always, thoughts and comments are much appreciated. 🙂

GenCon 2017, Day 4 Report September 3, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, the dark eye rpg, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Here is the report of the sixth day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the fifth day can be found in this journal entry. Note that this blog entry is quite long and has some photos in it, so be warned. 🙂

August 20th, 2017

I woke up this morning in the bed at the Westin Indianapolis hotel feeling groggy and somewhat tired. I didn’t sleep well the night before, and my right foot felt very bad. Both my feet were swollen but not as badly as they had been the day/night before. SteveR and I went through the morning ablutions and I showered and all, after which SteveR replaced the dressing on my right foot. He told me that it looked a bit better than it had the night before, so I was relatively optimistic, but Goddess did it hurt like heck. We ended up having a late breakfast at Shula’s, due to the medical attention that I needed first and then the wheelchair trip to the hotel restaurant.

I told SteveR that I wanted to go to the Exhibit Hall, if possible, for a last look around at stuff, and because I wanted to say goodbye to several people there. Then the afternoon and evening would be spent back at the hotel hobbling around and packing for the flight home to Ottawa on Monday. The trip from the Westin to the ICC was interesting and different because we had to take elevators rather than escalators, but we managed to get to the Exhibit Hall in good time. The ICC hallways were still relatively busy, though not to the degree they’d been the previous three days, but there was still good traffic.


ICC hallway traffic on Sunday

There was still a good amount of business going on in the Exhibit Hall, even though it was Sunday, and lots of vendours were selling some stuff at discounted prices. Stopped near the Cheapass Games booth as I loved the sign, and took the photo seen here.


Booth business at Cheapass Games on Sunday

It was rather awkward getting around with SteveR pushing me in the manual wheelchair, as the various convention folks just didn’t really want to get out of the way. SteveR and I wandered the Exhibit Hall for a bit, and stopped at the Ulisses Spiele NA booth to say goodbye to folks. Everyone there wanted to know what had happened, and I told them briefly about Saturday’s “incident”. SteveR and I headed for the R. Talsorian Games booth so he could say goodbye to some folks as well, and that was kind of nice to see. We paid a visit to the Modiphius Entertainment booth after that, and I was pleased to learn that they had sold out of the copies of Tales From the Loop that they’d brought in, but also that they’d sold several copies of Coriolis – The Third Horizon based on the two games of such that I’d run at the convention.

From there, we wandered around a bit, and came to the author’s section once more. I had heard about Doug Bedwell’s novel, Robot Captain, and decided to stop by the booth and pick up a copy of the book for myself. Chatted with the author a bit, too.


Doug Bedwell and his novel, Robot Captain

We then headed over to the Paizo booth to say goodbye to the rest of the Ulisses Spiele NA gang and the folks behind The Dark Eye RPG, and that was somewhat bittersweet. Fond farewells. Made the mistake of going past the OffWorld Designs booth, and I am ashamed to say that I picked up three more t-shirts. *sigh* From there, SteveR and I visited the Pelgrane Press booth to say some goodbyes. Finally got to say hello and goodbye to Gar Hanrahan. We talked a bit about our lives and the gaming we were doing at the moment (both work and play). He’s a lovely fellow, and I’m sorry I’d only got to see him on the last day of the convention.

By this time, both SteveR and I were a bit tired, and my feet were just too painful to keep going, even in the wheelchair, so we headed out of the ICC and headed for the Circle Center mall and the food court. We grabbed a couple of hot dogs and a bottle of water each at the A&W there. A decent hot dog there, of course, but I found it a little bit greasy for my taste. We headed back for the ICC and the Westin, but on the way saw the display of costumes called the Dragon’s Hoard once more and had to take a photo of them. Just sorry that I forgot to take one of the side area where they had the Firefly costumes worn by Inara Serra (played by Morena Baccarin). *sigh*


The Dragon’s Hoard of costumes

SteveR and I headed back to the Westin from the mall, and stopped off at Capital Grounds to pick up a chocolate chip muffin. We then got back to the hotel room, and when I got out of the wheelchair my feet were swollen and both were hurting badly, as well as my thigh muscles from sitting in the wheelchair. I sat for a while with my feet elevated and that helped, as did the water and the muffin. SteveR relaxed somewhat as well, and he clearly needed it as he looked a bit pale. I called down to the Westin lobby and learned that I could take care of checking out of the hotel the next morning from the hotel room. That was something of a relief, as the wheelchair limited my mobility and I didn’t really want to get caught in a line-up for check-out the next morning. After a bit, we both got up off the beds and started in on the packing of the suitcases and the like until we were ready for supper.

We decided to go back to High Velocity in the J.W. Marriott for supper, but at the last minute remembered there was a decent place in the Marriott Downtown, though neither of us could remember the name. We made our way to the Marriott Downtown and found the place – the Circle City Brew and Grub – where we had our final supper in Indy. We ordered our food, and when it came I couldn’t believe the size of the Emerald Garden (salad) and the huge Troll’s Delight (turkey leg)! Here’s the visual proof.


Emerald Garden (salad)


The Troll’s Delight (turkey)

While the turkey was delicious, as it had an interesting smoking method applied to it as part of the cooking process (and thus its reddish pink colour), that was just too much food for this Canadian boy with Type 2 diabetes. I did it justice, I thought, eating about half of one side of the bird leg and enjoyed the meal for the most part.

SteveR and I returned to the Westin hotel, and continued to try and finish off most of the packing for the trip home. The trick was to distribute the Coriolis – The Third Horizon, the old TORG RPG supplements, and the Terraforming Mars materials between us so the check-in suitcases wouldn’t be too heavy. Once we got that sorted out, the rest of the packing for the night was relatively easy. After finishing off the packing, I took my second insulin shot of the day, had some Cheerios with a bit of apple, and then relaxed for the next 30 minutes or so just re-checking some of the packing and keeping my feet elevated. And at least I was out of the damned wheelchair. We crashed around 12:35 am, though I couldn’t fall asleep until around 1:15 am. Foot pain.

In any event, the next post will be about the trip home to Ottawa, and then I’ll be writing just one more post about this year’s GenCon 2017, a retrospective of sorts, some thoughts on the convention, and some photos of my loot from the convention. As always, thoughts and comments are much appreciated.

GenCon 2017, Day 3 Report September 2, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, health hut, personal, photos, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, the dark eye rpg, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Here is the report of the fifth day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the fourth day can be found in this journal entry. I should warn you that this post is very long and there are quite a few photos in it. 🙂

August 19th, 2017

I woke up this morning feeling relatively all right, but somewhat tired. My stomach and bowels had stabilised overnight, it seemed, and I felt ready to face the day. It was going to be a long, difficult Saturday what with having to walk to Union Station for a seminar and then running a game from 8 pm until midnight. On the other hand, I was looking forward to running the game as it was the Coriolis – The Third Horizon scenario “The Dying Ship”. I was a bit more confident about that adventure now that I had run it once already. SteveR and I went through our morning ablutions routine, and the shower made me feel a bit better and took away a bit of the left shoulder aches and pains that I was feeling and I was ready to start the day.

We went down to the Westin Indianapolis restaurant, Shula’s, and had breakfast. I ate my usual 2-egg omelette with mushrooms, ham and mozzarella cheese with some toast and decaf coffee on the side, but SteveR switched things up this morning and had some steel cut oats. They had been cooked to the consistency of gruel, and I was glad I’d not tried them. I spent part of breakfast catching up on my Twitter feed, and saw that SteveR had sent me a couple of costume pics from the night before, a Wonder Woman and the two central characters from Moana. Very nice.


Wonder Woman at GenCon 2017


Two ladies as Moana and Maui

I also saw on the Twitter feed that the Coriolis – The Third Horizon had won another award at the ENnies the night before, but also that Tales From the Loop had picked up a couple of awards as well. It was going to look strange and silly if the Modiphius booth didn’t have copies of the Loop when the Exhibit Hall opened today. Here is a pic of those awards.


Tales From the Loop awards

While eating breakfast in Shula’s, started chatting with new friends at the adjoining tables. It’s fun meeting new folks at the convention who also share your interests – gaming, people! – and had a good conversation with them. The three gamers I was talking to all had little roleplaying game experience, but were very into board games and some live action stuff. Nice to see the variety at the convention in terms of the gamers and their interests, but one of them, Annie, said that she had recently been curious about roleplaying games. We talked for a bit about the basics of said games, and breakfast passed rather amicably. As we finished off breakfast, I realised that it was already the third day of GenCon 2017. Where had the time gone?

SteveR and I went back up to the hotel room, finished the morning ablutions off and grabbed what we needed for the morning before heading over to the ICC and the Exhibit Hall. Before going to the Exhibit Hall, I went over to GM HQ to drop off the tickets from the game of Coriolis the night before, and complained to the folks there about the other fellow with his 12 players and the amount of noise they’d made. The head honcho in the GM HQ told me that there were only supposed to be two tables in the room, not three, and that the game was only supposed to have six players, so I gave him all the information I could remember about the game, and he promised me there would be disciplinary action taken. (Whether there was or not I have no idea.)

SteveR and I then made our way to the Exhibit Hall. Being Saturday, it was even busier in the Exhibit Hall than at any other time of the convention, and I walked the hall with SteveR for a bit until he decided he wanted to buy a couple of things and headed off on his own. I kept on walking around and seeing what was there. Don’t remember where I was when I saw this game being played, but snapped a photo of it.


Game of Quartermaster General being played

I made my way to the Modiphius Entertainment booth, and there was a massive crowd there. The folks were waiting on the copies of the Tales From the Loop game. Chris Birch told me that T.R. and a couple of other folks had gone to the Fort Wayne warehouse to pick them up, and should be back soon. They were only going to have a hundred or more copies of the game. Sure enough, T.R. and the others came in with the boxes, and started putting the copies out for sale. They were snatched up at a frenetic pace. I was rather pleased for the game, which had won several ENnies the night before.

I bought a few more things that I probably should have skipped on, but what the heck. It was only money at this point. Wandered around a bit more, I came across Phil Foglio‘s booth and couldn’t resist picking up the Myth Adventures graphic novel and the first volume of Girl Genius. And a free tote bag! Phil’s a really nice guy, and it was a pleasure meeting him.


Phil Foglio at his GenCon booth

Wandered out of the main hall, and into the ICC hallways, and came across some neat characters.


A great costume, even if I don’t know who/what it is

Came across a magnificent John Hammond and his marvellous cane. Had to take photos of him, and the cane. The fellow was very kind and also talked to me about the construction of the cane.


A terrific John Hammond


John Hammond’s marvellous cane

Also saw an interesting group of characters posing for photos, and managed to snap a picture of them.


Interesting mix of characters

Another couple of characters that you might recognise.


You might recognise these two characters

Went back in to the Exhibit Hall and caught up with SteveR. We headed over to the Stronghold Games booth, as I wanted to drop off a business card there and see whether I could myself a writing or editing gig for them. While that remains open still, I did pick up a copy of the Terraforming Mars board game as well as the Hellas & Elysium expansion for the game. Looks really good, and I definitely want to play this when I get back to Ottawa. As to the writing or editing gig, that remains to be seen.

It was getting late in the morning, and SteveR and I still had plans to walk over to the Ulisses Spiele NA seminar that was to be held over in Union Station so we left the Exhibit Hall. Stopped off and caught a bit of the Water Street Bridge performance in one of the hallways of the ICC. I took a photo of the band performing, and bought three of their CDs. Good music.


Water Street Bridge performing in the ICC

By this time it was close to 11:45 am, so SteveR and I dropped out purchases at the room in the Westin, and then made the arduous, seriously long treak from the Westin to Union Station for the Ulisses Spiele NA seminar on future products the company was going to be working on. My legs were aching by the time we got to the seminar, about 5 minutes late, and the room was pretty much full though we managed to find seats. I considered tweeting something about the seminar, but it was being recorded. We learned about stuff in the pipeline for their games, including Torg Eternity and The Dark Eye RPG.


The Ulisses Spiele NA seminar

From the seminar, SteveR and I made our way back to the Westin, stopping off for some food – a slice of bad pizza, to be honest – at the Cross Roads Bistro. I wasn’t happy about the pizza or perhaps it was the way my feet were feeling, but I had a feeling something was wrong, other than my stomach.


The Cross Roads Bistro sign

We got back to the Westin hotel and made our way back up to our hotel room. And that’s when my life at the convention changed for the rest of the weekend (and for the weeks after we returned from the convention). The moment I took my right shoe off, I knew something was wrong – the entire right side of my sock was covered in blood and what looked like a greenish liquid. I thought that it was my hammertoe that had burst, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I had a very bad blister on the bottom of my right foot, about the size of a large Canadian toonie. Lots of blood. This was not good. (And no, despite taking some photos you won’t see them here at all.) In addition, I had two developing blisters on the left foot. Suffice it to say, I’m not going into more details here other than to say that I considered catching the next flight home to Ottawa, though I didn’t as I wanted to stick out the convention as best I could. The Westin staff proved very helpful, and by the time 5:00 pm rolled around, the wounds were antibiotic-ed and bandaged, and I had a wheelchair. A manual wheelchair that I couldn’t move due to the left shoulder problem. I’ll just say at this point that SteveR was a goddesssend for the rest of the convention. I spent a bit of time that I had with SteveR occupied elsewhere catching up some more on the Twitter feed, and saw that Modiphius was down to just a few copies of Tales From the Loop left.


The last of the TFtL game at Modiphius booth

SteveR returned to the hotel, and I talked to him about supper. Since he was off to another event that evening, he wouldn’t be joining me. He did agree to help me get up to Shula’s restaurant for supper, since I needed to eat early before the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG session that night, but he wouldn’t stay. For those who read my tweets once I got up to supper, yes, I was feeling quite sorry for myself. The meal at Shula’s was overly expensive, and not something I’m going to post photos of here (though I took a couple), suffice it to say spending all that money on supper didn’t improve my mood. I had hoped to go to Loughmiller’s Pub again for the evening meal, but there was no way to wheel my chair there, and they probably couldn’t accommodate me given the narrowness of the aisles around the tables and sheer crowdedness of the place during the convention. *sigh*

Around 7:30 pm, SteveR returned and helped wheel me over to the Hyatt for the evening game of Coriolis – The Third Horizon, helping me carry all the gaming books and the scenario that I’d need for the evening game. We got to the Hyatt and went into the Directors 1 room for the game, and I was pleased to see that there was no other game in the room that evening. A complete difference compared to the previous night’s game, to be sure, though the sound in the room would echo a bit as I discovered when we started playing.

The Coriolis – The Third Horizon scenario that I was running on this Friday afternoon was the newest adventure published by the folks at Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing called “The Dying Ship”, and had just gone on sale at the convention the day before. The scenario features the same characters from the “Dark Flowers” Quickstart adventure – Dr. Armita Wana, Zebaraimas “Zebo” Hutul, Samioh Amin, Rouya Ghallab and Nima Dol-Soufi – as the characters investigate what’s going on aboard a freighter that has gone silent, and discover a deadly secret. One that may all not live to tell the tale about. While I’m not going to go into detail about the scenario for the obvious reasons, since I plan to run it at other conventions in the future, I’ll only discuss some of the elements of the game here. Bear in mind there are SPOILER WARNINGS here, so be warned.

As mentioned, the Saturday night Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG session of “The Dying Ship” was completely different from the Friday night game. The quietness in the room that had a bit of an echoing quality to it when speaking lent an interesting eerieness that perfectly fit the Coriolis RPG scenario feel. Out of the five players that pre-registered for game, four of the players actually showed up so one of the two fellows who had Generic tickets (the fellow whom I’d spoken with about the game at the Modiphius booth on Friday) got into the game. The real neat aspect of this was that none of the players had played Coriolis, but were eager to do so based on the hype surrounding the game being the “Arabian Nights in space”. The five players, all guys, got into the game really early, having a good grasp of the game rules once I went through the spiel about them, and loved the premise of the game.

As for the game itself, Saturday night’s session of “The Dying Ship” was highly enjoyable. The players loved the magical and very faerie tale-like beginning with the old woman, and got right into the spirit of things when they received the potential job offer and request to meet at Wahib’s. They handled the encounter at Wahib’s with aplomb, and the player playing Samioh Amin did a good job of intimidating the opposition leader, and thus avoiding combat in the cantina. They were suspicious of their client from the get-go, but still were taken by surprise when they reached the Orun II and started learning the truth of their mission. The fellow playing Dr. Armita Wana played her loose, not exercising total control as the Captain might have, but was still an effective leader. Zebo was played with proper religious deference, and the player really liked the nature of the Icons and their influence in the everyday life of the people of the Horizon. The guy who played Samioh definitely played the sensor ops guy, but I liked the relationship between him and the fellow playing Zebo. Rouya came across very military the way the fellow was playing her, but did what she had to to keep the other characters safe, though she paid the ultimate sacrificeprice in the scenario. Finally, the fellow playing Nima had a good relationship with the Rouya character, and was devastated at her sacrifice. His Data Djinn skills were invaluable to the others, when it came down to it, and the player gave Nima a somewhat humourous aspect to him.


Coriolis RPG Saturday Game 1

I can’t mention any game highlights here without spoiling the scenario, so I won’t. All the players loved the basic game mechanics, and found them very easy to work with and understand. They told me they’d had a great time playing “The Dying Ship”, and thought the adventure was wonderfully “dark & twisty” (their words). Two of the players, fans of the Arabian Nights material, said the adventure and the game really had the feel to it, and they would definitely buy copies of the game the next day, while the fellow that I’d spoken to at the Modiphius booth told me he was glad he’d bought the game on the Friday, as it was well worth the price from the game session he’d just played. “It lived up to your hype of the game,” he told me. 🙂 Like I said, it was a good game session and let me forget my foot woes for several hours.


Coriolis RPG Saturday Game 2

By the time midnight had rolled around, I was feeling exhausted and drained from running the game of Coriolis – The Third Horizon, but had had a good time of it. SteveR came by around 10 to midnight, and watched the final moments of the scenario unfold. He helped me pack the gaming material while I also chatted with a couple of players afterwards, and then we got ready to head back to the Westin, SteveR helping me wheel(chair) back to the Westin.

We got back to the Westin hotel room, and SteveR helped me change the foot dressing and then we had a light snack (I can’t remember what we had for it, to be honest). After that we crashed. It was around 1:00 am or so, and I remember thinking that I was so very tired and so hurting in the foot before I fell asleep. But also how great the night’s Coriolis scenario had been.

That’s the wrap-up on the fifth day of the trip to Indy, and the third official day of GenCon 2017. Hope folks enjoyed the blog entry. The Sunday report on events will follow as soon as I get a chance.

GenCon 2017, Day 2 Report September 1, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, tales from the loop rpg, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Here is the report of the fourth day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the third day can be found in this journal entry. Note that this post is quite long, and has quite a few photos in it.

August 18th, 2017

I woke up this morning feeling somewhat rested, though not refreshed. I was surprised since I’d had bowel problems during the night (the price I’d paid once more for not eating for a stretch of the afternoon *sigh*). It promised to be a busy day at GenCon on the Friday, not least because I was running the first of two sessions of “The Dying Ship” scenario for the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG in the afternoon. I got up and took care of the morning ablutions, my left shoulder feeling very sore but somewhat relieved when I came out of the shower. While got showered and dressed, I checked the Twitter feed for the morning and was glad that I’ve been tweeting regularly about the trip to Indy and GenCon 2017, as those tweets would serve as part of my memories for the blog entries I’m currently writing. I promised myself that I’d take a bit more time to read over the scenario for Coriolis, as I’m new to it other than doing the editing on it, but I was looking forward to running it in the afternoon. Forgot to mention that before bed on Thursday night, SteveR told me he’d found the two Directors rooms in the Hyatt that I’d be running the game at – they were concealed at one end of the Hyatt Ballroom on the second floor. Nice to know.

SteveR and I went to Shula’s in the hotel (the Westin Indianapolis) for breakfast, and I was surprised that we had about a 10-minute wait for a table. Shouldn’t have been surprised, I guess, since with the hotel full of GenCon attendees, eating at restaurants was bound to be at a premium. We were early enough that we’d successfully make it to the dealers’ hall for the morning. I had my 2-egg omelette, but had mushrooms, ham (instead of spinach) and mozzarella cheese with it, and toast; still had the same attitude about the coffee. 🙂 From there, it was back up to the hotel room, the last of the ablutions, and then headed for the ICC and the convention proper.

We got down to the ICC with about 5 minutes to spare before it opened for the day. Just as crowded as it had been the day before, from what I heard, but the crowd was pretty intense and a bit crazy. I did manage to get a decent photo though.


Crowd outside the GenCon Exhibit Hall, waiting

I headed in with SteveR when the doors opened, and said a prayer for my safety. The Exhibit Hall was just as large and intimidating as it had been on Thursday, but there was a manic infectiousness about it that I loved, even with my mild claustrophobia at work. SteveR and I headed over right off the bat to the Ulisses Spiele NA booth, where Darrell Hayhurst was once more, and I managed to buy a set of Torg Eternity RPG dice while SteveR picked up a set for himself and one for Tammy. Love the dice, they’re quite beautiful! (I took a photo of the dice right then and there.)


The Torg Eternity dice set

Darrell and I talked some more about various things pertaining to Torg Eternity, and he also told me the basics about the Delphi Council game from the night before (you had to pledge $1,000 in the Kickstarter to play in this game), and based on some of the secrets he told me about that game, I really wish I’d been able to get into the game, but I just didn’t have the funds for that at the time. Here’s a photo of the USNA booth that early Friday morning. I’m in the pic (so find me). 🙂


The USNA booth (see me?)

From the USNA booth, I headed over to the Modiphius Entertainment booth once more. Here’s a pic that I took at the booth.


Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing stuff at the Modiphius booth

What’s interesting is there are no copies of the Tales From the Loop RPG there, and the game was going to be up for an ENnie Award or two that night. The shipment had been delayed, but the folks at the Modiphius booth said they hoped that the books would be in some time on Saturday (hopefully the morning). I was walking way from the Modiphius booth, and came across another booth (but for the life of me, can’t remember what the booth was called) selling t-shirts, and I caved in and picked up three more t-shirts.

Also caught sight of this cute dude/dudette at the booth, sitting there. (SteveR took the photo. I apologise for the blurriness.)


A cute whatsit

Walking around a bit after that, stumbled on the Days of Wonder booth and the various tables where Ticket to Ride was being played. Stayed there for a bit, and watched a bit of the game. Took the photo, of course.


Ticket to Ride game in progress

Continued to wander around, and paid a visit to the Pelgrane Press booth. Chatted with some old friends and took a look at the new merchandise that they had, but wasn’t feeling like buying anything new there.


The Pelgrane Press booth

Here’s a photo of one of the old friends I mentioned. (Robin D. Laws.) He lives in the Toronto area and I live in the Ottawa area, so naturally I had to travel to Indianapolis to see and chat with him. Had a good talk with Robin, and learned what he was up to gaming-wise (and no, I’m not allowed to say).


One of the old friends at Pelgrane (Robin D. Laws)

Walked over to the Paizo booth where some of the other half of the Ulisses Spiele NA folks were selling stuff, and lo and behold the new Torg Eternity t-shirts had come in a day early. Guess who bought one? Moi! 🙂 (Again, you’ll have to wait for the GenCon Loot post to see photos of the new t-shirt, but it’s absolutely gorgeous and colourful.) Had a good discussion with Dean Gilbert (aka TorgHacker) again about various things Torg Eternity related, and he swore me to secrecy about some of the stuff in the [redacted by the Delphi Council] book. Good chat.

SteveR and I decided that it was time to head out of the Exhibit Hall and grab some lunch, since I also had to run the first of two Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG game sessions at 2:00 pm, so started heading for the nearest exit from the massive hall. While on the way out, we wandered near the Chimera Hobby Shop booth, more a second-hand game shoppe than anything else, and guess what I spotted? Old TORG RPG supplements! I couldn’t resist, and bought a whole slew of the TORG RPG books, although I was sad he didn’t have any of the old boxed sets. *sigh* Still, it was a good haul. Rather pleased with myself. 🙂

We dropped off the stuff we’d picked up for the day back at the hotel room in the Westin, and I promised myself that I wasn’t going to buy any more stuff at the convention, maybe just a couple of more t-shirts and maybe some more dice. SteveR and I then headed for Shula’s for lunch in the Westin Indianapolis (one of the best kept lunch restaurant secrets at GenCon), and ate a club sandwich with a bottle of water. Absolutely yummy. After lunch, we went back up to the hotel room and collected all the stuff that I’d need to run the game of Coriolis that afternoon, and then headed over to the Hyatt and Directors 2, Table 2. I was looking forward to running the game, and meeting the players there.

We got to the Hyatt and went over to the Directors 2 room, and found that there some 10 gamers playing a game at two tables of the three in the room. There were five people pre-registered for the game (out of five asked for), so I figured that there would be a full table for the game. I started setting up for the game, and several of the players showed up and came over to the table and sat down, all ready to play. By the time 2:00 pm rolled around, I realised one of the players wasn’t going to show up, and there were no potential players with Generic tickets, so I put a couple of calls out for players on Twitter (though I got no response). I wasn’t too worried about this, as the adventure would play well with four players, and I could have them play the fifth character as an NPC.

The Coriolis – The Third Horizon scenario that I was running on this Friday afternoon was the newest adventure published by the folks at Fria Ligan/Free League Publishing called “The Dying Ship”, and had just gone on sale at the convention the day before. The scenario features the same characters from the “Dark Flowers” Quickstart adventure – Dr. Armita Wana, Zebaraimas “Zebo” Hutul, Samioh Amin, Rouya Ghallab and Nima Dol-Soufi – in which the characters investigate what’s going on aboard a freighter that has gone silent, and discover a deadly secret. One that may all not live to tell the tale about. While I’m not going to go into detail about the scenario for the obvious reasons, since I plan to run it at other conventions in the future, I’ll only discuss some of the elements of the game here. Bear in mind there are SPOILER WARNINGS here, so be warned.

The Coriolis RPG game went pretty well given the circumstances. As mentioned, four of the five players showed up for the game, one woman, and three fellows. Two of the players were from Hawaii and had never roleplayed before. One had played in the “Dark Flowers” game the night before, but the GM had used modified rules, and the fourth player was a newbie to the game system but not to roleplaying. The players took on the role of four of the characters, with Rouya Ghallab (the combat oriented character) to be played by agreement by the group as a whole. The game went really well for the first hour and 1/2, but noise from the tables of 12 (!!) players in the room drove the fourth player out of the game and the room, this despite attempts to get them to quiet down. I was pretty annoyed, and thought the game would end then and there, but the other three players decided to continue on, splitting the two now NPCs between themselves. (More on the disruptive tables of players to come in the Saturday report.)


Running Coriolis on Friday 1

The scenario went really well, with the prologue encounter with the old woman setting the stage, and the players becoming nervous about the mystical elements that were seemingly occurring. I had an urchin run up to the characters looking for Dr. Wana, and then handing her the first hand-out, and that got the players set for the meeting at Wahib’s cantina. They took me by surprise by sending one of their own, the artist/courtesan Samioh Amin, to check out Wahib’s and see what they could learn. The players were surprised by what occurred there, and took matters into their own hands to prevent their losing a potential client. From there, the scenario went very well, and the players got creeped out as they travelled to the gone silent freighter, and were creeped out by the atmosphere that I gave the scenario. They did a good job getting aboard the Orun II, and then things got more mystical, even more creepy, and the players loved it! They were barely able to win out in the situation they found themselves in, and had a moral dilemma on their hands at the end that they agonised about before taking what action they had to so as to prevent an even great catastrophe.


Running Coriolis on Friday 2

There was some terrific roleplaying on the part of the three players in the game, with the Hawaiian lady who played Dr. Wana taking firm command of the party of characters, but allowing them to give her feedback. For their part, they allowed her to make the final decisions, but the fellow playing Samioh Amin was rather headstrong and clashed with her at times. He played the character rather sneaky and shifty, and did a great job playing the social chameleon and it was his sensor ops rolls that allowed them to learn some useful information before they attempted to board the Orun II. Lastly, the fellow playing Zebo did a great job playing the true believer in the Icons, and the others responded to that, facing their own attitudes towards the Icons and how religion played itself out in the characters’ lives and in the course of the adventure. The players had a terrific time playing in the “Arabian Nights in space” setting, and really loved the atmosphere of the scenario and the at times creepiness of the adventure.

When we were finished, SteveR had returned and while I was packing up the gaming materials, the players told me they were really fond of the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG system and game rules, and loved the simplicity and intuitiveness of the game. They also admitted to adoring, but being terrified of, the Darkness Points and that set of mechanics. The fellow who had played in the “Dark Flowers” scenario the night before mentioned that he really preferred the rules “as written”, as he had feared that this scenario would make him and the others feel that they couldn’t succeed at dice rolls the way he and the other players felt the night before.

Anyway, SteveR helped me finish packing up the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG game materials, and then we made the trek back to the Westin to drop things off at the hotel room. Those Coriolis rulebooks are very heavy. SteveR had somewhere else that he needed to be that evening, so after he left the hotel room I sat back and rested for a bit. Once I decided to go and eat supper, I figured that perhaps a good choice would be Loughmiller’s Pub. While getting ready to go outside, I got a text message from my friend Andrew Davis, whom I hadn’t seen since 2015 (but whom I was in touch with through texts and e-mails) asking if I wanted to go to supper with him and his sister, Izzy. We agreed to meet up at Loughmiller’s, and had a good meal there and good conversation. I had a really good plate of fish ‘n chips (c’mon, it’s a pub…what do you expect?) and had a beer with that meal, too, and the mood was relaxed and festive. After dinner, we had some tea and then went back to the Westin lobby to chat for a bit more. After Andrew and Izzy took off for the night, I sat back in the Westin lobby and watched some of the “>ENnies and the award winners being announced. There was a nice surprise in there. 🙂


Coriolis – The Third Horizonwins an ENnie Award

I also had a nice little bonus. MarkJ, whom I’d met in the lobby during one of my other sit-downs there, remembered seeing me at the Ulisses Spiele NA booth, and asked if I’d like (to learn) to play some Aventuria with him. I was very pleased to do so, and managed to win two duels out of the five we played. Easy to learn game and probably some beginner’s luck involved. Fun game. I was having so much fun with the game, I forgot to snap a picture or two. Ah, well.

SteveR sent me a photo of a terrific costume that he’d seen at the convention, a really cute, somewhat hot Agent Carter.


Agent Carter is at GenCon

I sat around in the Westin lobby for a bit more time, tweeting a bit, and talking to several of the gamers at various tables. I also watched about 20 minutes of a game of Terraforming Mars (which influenced me on Saturday) before SteveR returned from his not total disaster evening (see his own blog posts about this when he writes them up). We walked over to Capital Grounds in the Westin hotel and picked up a chocolate chip muffin before heading upstairs to the hotel room.

Up in the hotel room, SteveR and I snacked on the chocolate chip muffin and I had my Cheerios after taking my insulin shot for the night (my sugar was very low to begin with), and then I crawled onto the bed and went over the day in my mind. While the Friday had started off badly, things got better after that. I had a good breakfast to start the day, and didn’t allow my blood sugar to run helter skelter. Not to mention eating a decent set of meals and snacks for the day helped my tummy tremendously.
I then re-read some of “The Dying Ship” material before bed. I hit the pillows and fell asleep relatively quickly (for me). I think my body knew that it was going to be a long Saturday.

That’s the wrap-up on the fourth day of the trip to Indy, and the second official day of GenCon 2017. Hope folks enjoyed the blog entry. The Saturday report on events will follow as soon as I get a chance.

GenCon 2017, Day 1 Report August 31, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, coriolis rpg, gaming hut, gencon, personal, photos, roleplaying games, rpg hut, the dark eye rpg, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Here is the report of the third day of the trip to GenCon 2017, and the actual first day of the convention proper. The report on the second day of my trip to GenCon 2017 can be found in this journal entry.

August 17th, 2017

I woke up this morning feeling much better than I had on Wednesday, though my back hurt something fierce from the lumpy, soft mattress on the bed. I took care of the morning ablutions (the hot shower did wonders for my back), and after he had done the same, SteveR and I headed down to breakfast after I took my morning insulin shot. This promised to be a busy day, as it was the first actual day of the convention, so a good breakfast was important.

I had a 2-egg omelette (cooked with some cooking spray, rather than butter), with spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, and it was satisfying and not too filling as the omelette the day before had been. The decaf coffee was still too bitter for my taste, so I drank a cup of it sparingly. SteveR and I headed back up to the Westin Indianapolis hotel room to get ready for the morning. We had planned not to go to the International Convention Center (ICC from hereon out) for the opening of the Exhibit Hall and the dealers’ section, as it would be more packed than ever to get in at 10:00 am. (Note: From some of the photos I saw on-line that morning, it was an absolute madhouse and sea of humanity, so I’m glad we didn’t try to go that early.)

Once SteveR and I went over to the ICC and got to seeing things in the Exhibit Hall, much of it is a blur (though I did take some photos here and there). I started off by going over to the Modiphius Entertainment booth, as I needed to pick up the stuff that I needed to run the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG games I was going to run on Friday and Saturday. T.R. Knight and his family weren’t working that morning, and I didn’t see Chris Birch there, but one of the folks working the booth recognised my name, and he brought me the stuff that I’d need to run the game – the main rulebook, the GM Screen, and the new scenario that was debuting there at the convention, “The Dying Ship”. SteveR was kind enough to carry the heavy Coriolis book and GM Screen material for me, since my shoulder wouldn’t bear the load. He was also eyeing the new Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, but he didn’t pick it up (yet).


The Darkness is coming to GenCon…

From there, SteveR and I headed over to the Ulisses Spiele North America booth, and I was pleased to see that both Eric Simon and Darrell Hayhurst were there. I introduced myself to Darrell, though he recognised me (and my wearing the 2015 TORG ETERNITY t-shirt didn’t hurt!), and we talked about all manner of stuff pertaining to the game for a bit.


Darrell Hayhurst of USNA and me

I didn’t want to monopolise his time, however (that’s bad etiquette at conventions), so I spoke with Eric about The Dark Eye RPG, since I was thinking of picking it up as a possible alternative to the Trudvang Chronicles (whenever that comes out). A lovely young German lady who also works for the company (I think) talked to me about the game and made me a good deal offer on a whole bunch of the game materials (and I wish I could remember her name). The folks at the booth put the Dark Eye materials away for me, since I didn’t want to lug it around the dealers’ room and I didn’t want SteveR to be too saddled with the game materials.

From the Ulisses Spiele NA booth, I headed towards the other side of the Exhibit Hall, encountering lots of slow moving traffic, and people who don’t understand that you have conversations off to the side of an aisle, not in the middle of it (this happened a lot during the weekend, but that’s another story). SteveR and I worked our way over to the Exile Games booth, and chatted with Jeff Combos and his daughter (they grow up so fast!). I also saw Tom Cadorette there as well, and we chatted for a bit, and caught up with each others’ lives. The booth had a good amount of Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX) materials, but nothing new. I also checked out the Quantum Black RPG that was for sale at the booth (the two designers of the game were also there), but it does nothing for me in terms of the Cthulhu meets Ubiquity feel, and I would rather run the Chill 3rd Edition RPG if I’m going to play horror, to be honest.


Jeff Combos and his daughter at the Exile Games booth


All things HEX at the Exile Games booth

SteveR and I went all the way to the Paizo booth were more of the Ulisses Spiele NA folks, namely Ross Watson and Dean Gibert (his user name most places is TorgHacker), were working. I introduced myself to the two gentlemen, and we talked a bit more about Torg Eternity and some of the plans for it. Had a good conversation with Ross and Dean, and learned a few secrets about stuff coming up, among other things. Dean mentioned that there were going to be a limited number of Torg Eternity dice sets available on Friday and the new Torg Eternity t-shirts on Saturday. Aggghhhh! That meant that I needed to come to the Exhibit Hall early on both days to make sure I got one of each, though I was able to convince SteveR to get here if I couldn’t make it for whatever reasons.


Me sandwiched between Ross Watson and Dean Gilbert

After looking at some of the other merchandise in the Paizo booth area, primarly the Ulisses stuff, SteveR and I headed from there to the Koplow Games booth. Several of the staff working there, including the owner, were somewhat baffled when I asked if they had any dice that were reminiscent of the Arabian Nights stories or the like, while the customers around me were amused and curious as to why I wanted them. They couldn’t help me with those, but did have some lovely scarab dice that glow in the dark, and I bought sixteen d6s from them. Very happy with that purchase.

SteveR and I went back to the Ulisses Spiele NA booth, and I bought a ton (well, it was only 12 kgs worth) of The Dark Eye RPG books. We were both ready for lunch, so we left the ICC and headed back to the Westin, where we stopped at the FedEx store in the building, and I shipped the Dark Eye books back to Canada. Somewhat expensive, but worth it (I thought at the time).

After going up to the hotel room and relaxing for a bit, we headed down to Shula’s for lunch. The place was quite busy, but we got in easily enough, and had a nice table by the windows where the sun was coming in. I had their terrific club sandwich (minus the mayo) with a tall glass of water (actually, two, as I was feeling a bit dehydrated). We went back up to the hotel room, grabbed a few things to take with us, and then I headed over with SteveR to the J.W. Marriott to hopefully get into the Torg Eternity game going on there, “The Burden of Glory”. The trip to the J.W. took too long, and there were no vacancies in the game, so we sat and watched the game for around 1/2 an hour or so. My GMing style for Torg (and Torg Eternity) is very different from that of the fellow (whose name I don’t know) running the game, but it was insightful to watch the game, to be sure. SteveR said that he’d come to watch the game as he was curious about how it played, and he told me that he really liked the use of the three decks of cards. My appetite to run the game was so whetted. *sigh* I could have taken a couple of photos of the table at play, but just didn’t feel right doing so.

SteveR and I headed back for the Westin to take a bit of time off and relax a bit. Caught up a bit on my Twitter feed, and heard about the terrible attack in Barcelona. Terrorism is unacceptable. My thoughts were with the injured and the families of the injured or dead. I realised that I needed to read up on “The Dying Ship” scenario for the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG that I’d be running, and discovered something – it didn’t have any character sheets and there were a lot of handouts to give to the players, plus several maps that were needed to run the adventure! I started to panic, but SteveR calmed me down by saying that we should use the printer in the Westin lobby. We went downstairs to try that and when that didn’t work, I asked the Westin staff if they’d be willing to print out two copies of the character sheets as well as all the hand-outs and ship maps and the like, and they were more then willing to do so! In colour! We used the on-line version of the “Dark Flowers” Quickstart scenario and some of the material off that document. When the Westin printer started having problems printing the character sheets out (perhaps due to lack of ink, or some other malfunction…in either case, I felt somewhat guilty about things), SteveR went over to FedEx to do the rest of the copying for me. I want to thank the folks at the Westin Indianapolis for their terrific assistance with my printing and other issues this day. If you’re reading this, *Thank you!* very, very much.

By the time I finally started to breathe calmly again, I discovered it was getting on towards supper, and since I’d not really snacked properly during the afternoon, I was feeling somewhat light-headed. I took one of my glucose tabs, but that only went so far to help out in this regard. SteveR and I decided to go and eat at High Velocity in the J.W. Marriott area, and so we headed there. By the time we got there, I was literally on my last legs, suffering dizziness and blurred vision. (Too little food during the day, and a lot of exercise.) The hostess at High Velocity told us that the wait would be at least 45 minutes, but they took pity on me when I told them of my diabetic condition (and I guess I must have looked pretty horrible) as we were seated at a table in less than 15 minutes. Looking over the menu, I ordered a caesar salad and the fish ‘n chips. The Caesar salad was extremely salty (though I needed a bit of that, too), but the fish ‘n chips really hit the spot. When we left High Velocity, I was feeling much better but somewhat tired.


Fish ‘n chips at High Velocity

Heading back to the Westin from the J.W. Marriott, I saw this game being played in one of the many hallway alcoves in the ICC, and couldn’t resist the picture opportunity, as it was just so cute.


A game of Oh, Gnome You Don’t! in the ICC area

Got back to the hotel room at the Westin feeling…tired. Just felt like a long day. With a bit of time before my insulin shot, I sat back and read most of “The Dying Ship” adventure one more time. After all, the Darkness is coming tomorrow at GenCon…for two days only. 🙂 Need to be read up on the scenario, obviously.

Also took a couple of other pictures in the hotel room, one of my lovely scarab dice, which will see use tomorrow. hehe (However, those will wait until the loot photos at the end of the convention.)

I took my insulin injection, and followed this by having a bowl of Cheerios with some milk. SteveR joined me in this endeavour (the Cheerios, not the insulin) and we chatted amiably about the day at GenCon 2017 and how things had gone. We both hit the beds, and continued talking for another half hour or so, and then turned off the lights. I didn’t sleep all that easily, but don’t remember the clock reading 1:00 pm. It was a long day, and I would need my rest for Friday and the first running of the Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG.

Anyway, so that’s the wrap-up on the third day of the trip to Indy, and the first official day of GenCon 2017. Next up will be the Friday report, when I get the chance.

GenCon 2017, Day -1 Report August 30, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, gaming hut, gencon, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Here is the report of the second day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the first day can be found in this journal entry.

August 16th, 2017

Woke up this morning feeling somewhat tired. While the bed looked really appealing when we got into Indy yesterday (Tuesday), the mattress was rather soft and a bit lumpy for my taste, and undid all the good the hot tub had done for my back and shoulder the night before. Today promised to be long day, what with the unofficial start to GenCon 2017 and the fact that the Will Call line was expected to be longer than ever. I was also going to spend the evening at the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) Social at Loughmiller’s Pub, so it would make for a somewhat long day. However, one step at a time.

SteveR and I took care of the morning ablutions, and then set out to find some breakfast. I was feeling somewhat queasy in my stomach, but attributed that to the fact that my body clock was off from the travelling, and we headed down to Shula’s for breakfast. It was relatively quiet when we got there, and we had an easy time getting a table. (It wouldn’t be that simple on Thursday, but that’s getting ahead of myself.) Wandering into the buffet section of the restaurant, I decided right away that I was going to order food off the menu. SteveR agreed with me on this, and so we went back to our table and ordered breakfast. I had a 3-egg omelette with mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella cheese, with bacon and toast, and had a cup of decaf coffee. The omelette was just too large for my taste, but it was delicious. Filling. I realised that for the next morning, I needed to cut it down to 2-egg omelette, and have them cook it without butter. Still, it was delicious. On the other hand, I found the decaf coffee to be a bit more bitter than I like it.


Me at breakfast at Shula’s


Steve at breakfast at Shula’s

We went back up to the room for a bit, and SteveR and I decided that he would head over to the CVS Pharmacy again to search for a couple of things, while I went down to the lobby and waited for him. (I didn’t want to spend too much time in the hotel room.) After he got back from the pharmacy, we would spend a bit more time in the room relaxing, and then would head for the Convention Center to collect our registration stuff for GenCon 2017 at the Will Call area. From there, we would head to lunch. And it was while I was sitting in the Westin lobby that I had my…accident. Suffice it to say, I spent what felt like an hour in the Westin lobby bathroom, with my pants, underwear and socks messed up, as I waited for SteveR to return to the hotel from the pharmacy and help me out. The hotel took the soiled clothes, and would clean them, returning them around the supper hour the next night, but in the meantime, I just felt humiliated, helpless and just plain depressed. And SteveR and I would be late for Will Call. This whole incident was due to the fact that I’d not eaten for close to 6 hours the day before during our flying experience, and when it was all over I vowed that I wouldn’t let this happen again at the convention or during our return trip to Ottawa. Anyway, not going to dwell on this any longer and I’m not even going to mention this again.

Once we’d returned to the hotel room and I’d dressed in clean clothes, we headed over to the International Convention Center (ICC from hereon out), and boy was the place packed! More people than I’d seen in one place in a while. We went and joined the Will Call line, and I figured it would take a long time.


The Will Call line, looking forward


The Will Call line, looking back

I should have known better. The Will Call process took less than thirty minutes, and the line moved along at a really good pace. We got to the desk area, and the GenCon 2017 staff there made the process relatively painless and pretty quick, but it was a madhouse of activity and I have to say that I’m glad I wasn’t working the Will Call area. Will Call took less than thirty minutes. Here’s another pic.


The Will Call area, when we got there

From there, SteveR and I went to the Event section of the booths, where the line was much shorter than I’d expected, and we both bought some Generic tickets. I was hoping to get into a game of Torg Eternity during the convention, and thought I might play in a couple of other things as well. While waiting in the lines for stuff, I’d been tweeting with my virtual friend, T.R. Knight, and we actually arranged to go to lunch with T.R. and his daughters. SteveR and I hustled to get to the Circle Center Mall, and we met them in a relatively quiet section of the food court area.

It was a pleasure to meet T.R. and his daughters. T.R. and I have been good virtual friends for a bit now, and this was the first time we met. They were already eating by the time we arrived, and though I didn’t really feel like eating (as I still had a rough feeling stomach), I realised I needed to eat. Fortunately, we were in the part of the Circle Center Mall where one of my favourite food places, Maki of Japan, was, so SteveR and I grabbed some food from there and rejoined T.R. and the girls at the table. I can’t remember what we ate there, but the conversation at the table was lovely and I felt like I had just met someone that I’d known for years. We chatted for a while about all manner of things, and T.R. presented me with the jar of home-made cherry jam that we’d talked about for several weeks on Twitter. T.R. and the girls had to return to the Exhibit Hall to continue helping the folks at the Modiphius booth set up. We agreed to chat a bit more when I saw him next, as I was sure that I’d see him at the Modiphius booth later on during the convention. Sadly, I forgot to take a photo or three. *sigh*

SteveR and I returned to the ICC and we went over to the GenCon 2017 (GenCon 50) merchant booth in the halls that was being run by the good folks at OffWorld Designs. The line-up was pretty long to get to the merchandise, but we managed.


Waiting in line for GenCon merchandise

I managed to buy myself one of the GenCon 50 t-shirts that depicted the fully winged dragon in gold, while SteveR picked up a special anniversary t-shirt for Tammy and a t-shirt for himself (can’t remember which version of the t-shirt he picked up). We walked back to the Westin, and dropped off our purchases at the room, then headed out to the Hyatt see if I could find the room where I was scheduled to run the two Coriolis – The Third Horizon game sessions. SteveR and I walked around the second floor of the Hyatt to see if we could find the Directors rooms where I’d be running the games, but for the life of us we couldn’t. By that time, it was getting late in the day and we both wanted to relax a little bit back in the hotel before heading out to Loughmiller’s Pub for the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) Social. When SteveR and I got back to the Westin, the lobby was *packed* with folks checking in to their rooms. Turned out there was an electrical problem of some sort that was wreaking havoc on the process. Once back in the hotel room, I lay down on the bed back in the room at the Westin, and fell asleep for about 3/4 of an hour. Lovely nap.

After getting up, I took a quick sitz bath and felt a bit more human again. The rest had done me good, as my stomach was relatively calm. Headed over to Loughmiller’s Pub, but SteveR said he had to go back to the hotel room for something. I wandered through Loughmiller’s looking for a table for supper and reached the back without recognising anyone I knew (at least I didn’t think I did). At the back of the Pub, at one of the tables there, a fellow was sitting and I thought I recognised him – and then I saw the Biohazard Games t-shirt and realised it was Jeff Barber! This is the guy who created the waterworld (or waterpunk) Blue Planet RPG, and a fellow that I’ve been wanting to meet for at least 20 years! Oddly enough, Jeff recognised me since we’d been recently tweeting and he recognised me from my image there and my blog, and invited me to join him for dinner. I did so, and we had a pleasant conversation about all things Blue Planet and Upwind.


Sitting with Jeff Barber at Loughmiller’s

SteveR finally came in and joined us and we had a good meal. The Cobb salad that I ordered for supper didn’t agree with me all that much, so I ate rather more sparingly than I had intended. Didn’t even finish the beer that I ordered. *sigh* SteveR was still having problems and took off for the bathroom, and when he came back he ate sparingly and then excused himself and headed back to the Westin hotel room. Once Jeff and I finished dinner and talking, I wandered around a bit and met several other people that I knew, including Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games and Simon Rogers and Cat Tobin of Pelgrane Press. We chatted a bit, and I had a pretty good evening (notably after the earlier difficulty I had). After talking with a few people and giving them my business card (which will hopefully lead to some editing and/or writing gigs), I was feeling worn out and headed back to the Westin.

I wasn’t quite ready to head up to the hotel room, so sat down to just drink in the gaming atmosphere of the Westin lobby (there were already some gamers in action, mostly board games, by this time). I texted SteveR, who was up in the room, and convinced him to come down to the lobby for a bit and just sit and chat. He did, but were both pretty tired and SteveR looked a bit green around the gills, so we headed up to the room around 10:30 pm, and I dealt with my insulin shot and had a snack of Cheerios and some apple, before crashing for the night around 11:30 pm.

Anyway, that’s the wrap-up on the second day of the trip to Indy, and the day right before the official start of GenCon 2017. Next up, the first day of GenCon, 2017!

GenCon 2017, Day -2 Report August 28, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, gaming hut, gencon, personal, rpg hut.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

As promised, here is the first of my GenCon 2017 reports. I don’t know how long these will be, but I plan to write one for each day based on Twitter posts that I took about the convention and all, enhanced somewhat, so these are likely to be long posts. Additionally, there will be one or two retrospective posts with my thoughts about the convention overall. So enjoy.

August 15th, 2017

I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am. I say ungodly, because I’ve retired from work so don’t really have to get up this early any longer, but such is life when you’re heading for Indianapolis and GenCon 2017. I was a little bit groggy and tired when I woke, though I’d had about five hours of shut-eye. I was also a little bit stressed as, to be honest, I was concerned about all manner of stuff – notably having to take the insulin and all the damnbloody medications down with me to the convention. I did my morning exercises for the shoulder, showered and shaved, and continued with the packing for the trip, since all I really had left to pack were the meds and some of the toiletries. My shoulder started to bother me a lot during that process.

SteveR and his mother arrived around 7:30 am as we had to be at the airport for 8:00 am, and putting all the stuff in the car and everything went pretty smoothly. My mother came with us to the airport to see me off, and I could see she was worried about stuff, but didn’t have the chance to pursue the matter with her. The drive to the airport was uneventful, and we talked about various things. I had this funny feeling as we were driving to the airport that I’d forgotten something, but couldn’t figure out or remember what it was. Check-in at the airport was relatively easy, though we had to handle it at the actual Air Canada desk, as for some reason the automated system wouldn’t accept SteveR’s name when he tried to check-in. I think it had something to do with him buying the tickets, so his ticket stuff had to be handled first. I was pleased to learn that my check-in suitcase was well under the limit for the weight allowance. Yay! 🙂 Once we were checked in for the flight, we learned that we’d go through U.S. security and customs in Toronto, but wouldn’t have to deal with the check-in luggage. That was fine, since it meant less carrying stuff and my shoulder was hurting quite a bit. Naturally, when we went through Canadian Security, they had to check that my insulin was actually what I claimed it to be, so opened the freezer bag to check the gel packs of ice and the insulin itself. *sigh*

Once we got near the gate where the plane was going to take off from, we went in search of somewhere to eat breakfast. We settled on the Byward Taps restaurant for the meal, and that’s when I discovered what I’d forgotten – my little pill container with the morning’s medications! Damn it! I ordered breakfast, my usual consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast with some coffee. The meal was, to put it mildly, pretty disgusting. I’ve never seen bacon dripping with so much fat, and the eggs were scrambled without any salt or pepper and were…they just didn’t taste right. Hmm.


Sitting in Byward Taps waiting for breakfast

Back to the gate we went, and the boarding for the flight to Toronto went pretty smoothly. The flight was less than an hour, and was quite smooth as well, with a bit of turbulence along the way, but nothing unusual. In Toronto itself, we didn’t have a lot of time to get to the gate and do lunch, as we had to go through U.S. Security and Customs. That was not a pleasant experience, to be honest, as we had to wait in the Customs Clearance line for some 75 minutes, and I actually thought we weren’t going to make the flight. Naturally, U.S. Security also decided they had to check the insulin out and opened the freezer bag as well. (I was told that I was a randomly selected passenger for search.) Given that both flights had a beverage service on them (biscuits and ginger ale on the Ottawa-Toronto flight, pretzels and coke on the Toronto-Indianapolis flight) and I didn’t eat any food during the 6 or so hours that we had to deal with after breakfast, I was hungry by the time we got to Indy. Little did I know that I would pay the price for this in a big way on Wednesday…

We arrived in Indianapolis without incident, and collected our luggage and then hopped in a tax for the drive downtown to the Westin Indianapolis. We checked into the hotel, which was quite nice, without problem and got all the luggage up to the hotel room. The room appeared comfortable, and I was pleased to see there was a built-in fridge. Very nice! The bathroom was a bit strange, as it was a handicap room, so there was a sitting bench and two railings in the shower which couldn’t be used as a bathtub. (Wish I had taken a photo of that.)


The hotel room at the Westin

SteveR and I went back down to the lobby, wanting to go to Marsh’s to do the shopping we needed, but it turned out that the chain of stores had closed and the nearest grocery was Kroeger’s. I was a bit concerned about that, given what I’d heard about Kroeger’s but needn’t have been. We took a cab to the grocery store, picked up the footstuffs and pharmacy items that we needed for the most part and then cabbed our way back to the hotel. SteveR and I dropped the stuff off at the room, and then he went over to the local CVS to find what we were still lacking (he needed vitamins and I was in need of some Gold Bond Diabetes lotion and a pill container) while I started unpacking and tried to do my shoulder exercises again.

By the time SteveR returned, minus the pill container and the Gold Bond, but having found pretty much everything else, we relaxed for a bit longer. I went back down to the hotel lobby to give him a bit of time on his own, and saw that people were starting to arrive at the hotel for the convention.



Two views of the Westin Indianapolis lobby

SteveR joined me down in the lobby for a bit, and then we went up to Shula’s and had a lovely, if expensive, meal. Let’s just say they know how to make steak. We went back upstairs to the room for a bit after sitting a bit longer in the lobby, and then we changed into bathing suits and went down in search of the hot tub. The swimming pool, contrary to the advertising, was unheated, but the hot tub was just what my poor shoulder needed. Marvelously relaxing, and the pain went completely away. We returned to the room, and after taking my insulin shot and snarfing down some Cheerios, we crashed for the night. We were both very tired.

I remember thinking that I hoped to see some friends, both those known to me and those still virtual, but I had no firm plans for the day other than getting my badge and registration stuff for the convention. Besides, I don’t really know all that many people at GenCon, so… I just wanted to have a good night’s sleep and relax before the start of the convention.

Take the convention one day at a time, and just have some fun.

And there you have it folks, the first day of the Indy and GenCon trip for 2017. Somewhat long, yes, I know, but I trust it was enjoyable reading. The next entry will deal with GenCon Day -1, the 16th of August.

And So 2017’s GenCon Review Begins… August 28, 2017

Posted by jkahane in conventions, gaming hut, gencon, personal, rpg hut.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

As promised, I am going to start posting up reports about my trip to Indianapolis for GenCon 2017 today. While I don’t think I’ve caught con crud ::knock on wood::, I am suffering with the foot blisters and some associated ailments (including the side effects of the two antibiotics I’m taking), so I’m not sure how often or when these blog entries will be posted. So bear with me.

These posts are going to be quite long, I suspect, and are likely to involve a few photos here and there (as I took a few as did SteveR). For those who have no interest in the gaming hobby that I love and the reports from GenCon, just skip these posts. They’ll be clearly marked. For those of you who want to read these and get a feel for GenCon 2017, I hope you enjoy. Please comment in the appropriate section, or add your thoughts about the convention if you were an attendee. Thanks. 🙂