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Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:38 pm
by Black Jack Rackham
Hmm, for some reason I thought Event Submission started today. But nope, not until the 12th. Nevertheless here will be our schedule unless something drastic happens.

Thurs (30th):
9am-1pm HoA, Ep. 15 – Black Sheep (GM: Ken)
2pm-6pm HoA, Ep. 17 – One More Favor (GM: Me)
7pm-11pm HoA, Ep. 19 – Rising Tensions (GM: Me)
7pm-11pm HoA, Flashback (Episodes Odd)x2 (GMs: Sam, Alexandra)

Fri (1st):
9am-1pm HoA, Ep. 20 – The Keystone (GM: Me)
2pm-6pm HoA, Ep. 18 – Finessing the Queen (GM: Ken)
2pm-6pm HoA, Flashback (Episodes Even)x2 (GMs: Sam, Alexandra)
7pm-11pm HoA, Ep. 16 – Fall From Grace (GM: Ken)

Sat (2nd):
9am-1pm HoA, Ep. 17 – One More Favor (GM: Ken)
9am-1pm HoA, Ep. 19 – Rising Tensions (GM: Me)
2pm-6pm HoA, Ep. 18 – Finessing the Queen (GM: Ken)
2pm-6pm HoA, Ep. 20 – The Keystone (GM: Me)
7pm-11pm HoA, Personal Agendas (2 Tables, GMs: Ken and Me)

Sun (3rd):
10am-2pm HoA, DOMINGO GIGANTE! (GM: Ken and Me)

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:36 am
by Black Jack Rackham
Just a quick update. Got a series of emails today saying that our events have gone from "Submitted for Review" to "Accepted for Consideration" (next step is "Active" which means we have a location). So all is going according to plan.

EDIT: although for some reason they changed DOMINGO GIGANTE! to the much less awesome Domingo Gigante!

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:59 am
by kenderleech
Well, who really has the energy left for all that yelling on sunday anyways?

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:15 pm
by Black Jack Rackham
Bad news (potentially) for GenCon. SDCC (that's San Diego Comic Con for the uninitiated) which is one week before GenCon, just announced they're calling it because of COVID. I know this sucks. BELIEVE ME I know. But like I said all those years ago, I want to keep gaming with all of you until we die of old age (or we get the breakthrough which lets us live forever). So if skipping this year means I get to do that, well, small price to pay.

Now nothing is set in stone yet. But I just wanted to get this out there.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 4:11 pm
by kenderleech

Reading thru, and looking at the ICC/LOS preset floorplan options.. It looks like any games being run tabletop style will be capped at.. 3 players and a gm, to maintain appropriate distancing, and that there will be a masks/gloves requirement, And also, potentially, medical professionals screening temperatures at the designated entrance points.. which will be the Only entrance points.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 7:58 am
by salamanca
Hownd9es one run a game for only 3 people? Isn't 8-10 a mandatory minimum or something?

Small groups are for bad GMs nobody wants to play with.

But good on required masks and gloves.
And good luck on corralling people through the dealer room with distancing.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 10:17 am
by CaitlinCallahan
Yeah, the dealer hall will be the biggest challenge for GenCon - they'll need to widen the aisles even further (likely having to cut into booth space). That is, of course, assuming that they are up and running by early August.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 12:15 pm
by daundelyon
GenCon has officially been cancelled.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 12:36 pm
by Black Jack Rackham
Alexandra beat me to it.

Wise decision on their part. For those worried about canceling reservations, I am out of block at the Conrad and had no problems at all.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 12:40 pm
by vogelsong
It's the right call, and the necessary one. Looking forward to seeing everyone August 5-8, 2021! (Assuming next year's school calendar cooperates.)

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 4:22 pm
by cpugs

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:56 pm
by kenderleech
Today let us remember... The Ram.

The White area.

Princess Calfishhian.

Watching The Matrix and The princess bride at the same time.

Meat Comas.

Spending 45 minutes to find the people 4 feet away from you, because the one person you would recognize is in the bathroom.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:28 pm
by Black Jack Rackham
kenderleech wrote:Meat Comas.

I am not ashamed to say, I read that as Meat Commas...

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:10 pm
by salamanca
Mark has a comma problem.

I relish seeing some memories of an event i have never attended. Please dish as time allows. (Trust me, it helps)

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:40 pm
by kenderleech
Its thursday. I wake up from meat coma. Grab everything i packed tuesday for today, and forget my hat and badge. turn back at the 2nd light to get them both, as well as my wallet.

Depending on the year either 1) I forget my dice 2) I forget my caffiene or 3) I am unable to find a place to park less then 2 miles away.

If 3) then panic text mark and ask him to get my table set up for me. He attends the show opening, I run the first game of the con. 50/50 of it being episode 2, 7 or 12.

If 1) i grab a set of muppet vomit dice, and try to not use them.

if 2) I cry and pay the extra money to starbucks and ask for a "Large, plain, black" and watch them die inside like i am.

Game goes well. 1st game always does.

We talk about getting lunch from lochmillers, but really, its more to see what the excuse they have for not being ready for gencon is this year.

I either get my dealer hall time, OR we have 23 people show up to play 1 8 person table.

Then I sit in on someones 7-11... Or i run the 4th table, the over-overflow.

Specifics.. in no particular order.. One year i parked at the speedway gas station almost 3 miles away.. for the low low price of "buy 4 reeses cups" and "Walk 3 miles"

Im sitting in a slow episode 1 evening game. I know half the players.. In fact, they are here because i said "Come play 7th sea" Someone threatens to turn jenario into a pinata.

The First time i fell over with an el vago death was at 1130 in the morning on a thursday.

Last year, i was ready for everything, and had money to buy stuff, and everything.. and screwed up my knee and spent the whole con in the room we were running games from.


It is year 2 of the campaign. I had signed up for 3 magic tournements. The prior year, i had played every available CV event, despite being 20+ episodes underlevel for them, dying in the last episode i played in.

I go to my first magic event, 1st round, opponent plays 3 turns says "I dont like your deck" and quits. round 2, my opponent is playing a game of solitaire, and manages to lose because I built my deck Specifically to beat decks like his. round 3, I play a 65 minute round of magic, and lose to the timeclock, because i couldnt prove my opponent was slowplaying. I look around, and see NOTHING but games i dont want to be sitting against for an hour at a time. I decide to drop, and refund my other events into generics. I grab the program guide, and flip thru, and see a 7th sea game, starting in 45 minutes... a 20 minute walk away. I stomp my way across the building, skywalks, escalators, and so forth, and walk into the room that had the banner that matched the game description. My last words as a free person were "Do you guys take generics?"

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:27 pm
by CaitlinCallahan
Well, I'm going to share about my experience last year, and start with Tuesday night (I know, I'm late....)

Adam flies in from New Jersey! I am very excited (since it's been a few years since I have seen him), and am really looking forward to spending the con with him. It's also a bit nostalgic, since he'll be sharing a room with us.

Games Plus has reserved larger booth space than the previous year, and as a result, has upgraded to a slightly larger truck. Floyd picks up the truck from Route 12 Rental, and takes it to the store to load it. Unfortunately, the upsizing was not quite enough, and the wheels are looking a little flat from the weight of all that had been crammed into the truck. I'm called to meet him (and others) back at the rental place, where the truck is being further upsized (yes, this means transferring all of the content from the horribly overloaded truck to the new, more spacious vehicle in the rental company's parking lot). I am chastised a bit for attempting to move some of the heavier items on my own.

Eventually, we get everything transferred, and drive the truck back to the game store, where it will be parked overnight.

Wednesday morning - we meet at the game store at a ridiculously early hour. Floyd will be driving the truck, with Adam riding along to keep him company. I'm driving the Highlander, with a couple of guys from the store tagging along with me. The drive down is uneventful, and after dropping the guys off at the convention center, I go check in at the hotel and dump the luggage in our room. I then head over to the dealer hall, where I have to wait for someone to bring me my badge (they're sticklers for ensuring that only exhibitor badges are allowed in pre- and post-con, primarily due to insurance reasons - one year, Nicci and I were escorted out of the hall by security because we only had regular badges - terribly disappointed to not be able to help with tear down....)

Booth set up.'s August, in Indianapolis. The temp outside is probably in the 90's, and we're in the dealer hall, unpacking boxes and setting up the booth. Did I mention that, since the cargo doors are wide open (to facilitate booth set up), the air conditioning is not on? Yeah, after a couple of hours, it's pretty muggy, and a bit (major understatement) sweaty. Eventually, the booth is as ready as it's gonna be (of course, several of the guys will be showing up early Thursday morning to rework a couple of the displays).

We get back to the room, and the other guys pick up their luggage from our room, and it's time to clean up for dinner. Dinner on Wednesday night is the group of us at Harry and Izzy's - always a good time. Floyd talks me into ordering the lobster tails (despite the exorbitant price tag), and life is VERY good! After a leisurely meal, we returned to the hotel to chill for the rest of the evening, and enjoy the slices of sugar cream pie that we got in "to go" boxes from the restaurant. A most auspicious beginning to the convention.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:51 am
by CaitlinCallahan
Thursday morning - I'm at the dealer hall early, taking advantage of the early shopping hour for exhibitors. I stop by the Games Plus booth, to make sure they don't need me for anything. I go by the infamous hand crafted pen and pencil booth, studiously looking the other way (I REALLY don't need any more pens), and make it ALMOST past the booth. The display at the end of the table catches my eye - wooden mechanical pencils. I end up purchasing a purple one (and get scolded when I return to the booth, since Floyd had planned on shopping for my birthday presents at GenCon this year).

I walk the room, rather briskly, with Floyd, as he wants to check out the competition. As a result of our survey, there are some pricing changes made to a few items at the booth. I'm a little nervous about the hall opening - this will be the first time I've actually worked the booth (what if I screw something up?). Turns out, I was nervous for nothing. I absolutely love working the booth! Games Plus is a bit unique at the con - they carry a bunch of older, out of print, magazines and games. The eagerness of the serious collectors as they wade through the collection of books, modules, and magazines, and the joy on their faces when they find something that they've been searching for, is pretty rewarding.

Thursday night, Floyd, Adam and I have dinner once again at Harry and Izzy's (I know, you'd think it'd be boring, but the menu has a decently wide selection and the food is SOOOO good).

Friday - Adam and I get to the booth around 11:00 to relieve a couple of folks. Something I forgot to mention - the way the booth is set up, two people work one half, and another two people work the other half. There's a yellow pad of paper for each side of the booth to record what has been sold (I know, not exactly "high tech"). When Adam and I get there, our side of the booth is trailing pretty far behind Rich's side of the booth. Taking this as a bit of a challenge, Adam and I go to work. By the end of the afternoon, Adam and I have pulled ahead of Rich, and Jeff (the store owner) is accusing me of being a witch. :D

Also on Friday, a young woman in Nott cosplay (from Critical Role) asks if she can leave a painted rock somewhere in the booth. She explains that she's leaving them various places around the con for folks to find. I place the rock near the 5th Edition core books.

The whole Games Plus team has dinner that night at - you guessed it - Harry and Izzy's. It's a very pleasant ending to a very hectic day.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:15 pm
by kenderleech
Fridays are good days. Ive usually got my act together, at least on remembering stuff. Ive got my timing down to get a good spot for parking (took 10 years) and unless theres some unusual event that day, I park where i plan. Hike to whichever marriot we are in, and set up. 50/50 on if i beat mark or not, but someone always beats me there. Morning is my dealer hall time, except for the year we went 150% over tickets sold, or the year i messed up my knee. Lunch with Joy and Travis, and then run games till the end of the con.

I really dont have any stand out memories of fridays, just general good feelings.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:27 pm
by daundelyon
The majority of the pens I use at work come from Pens and More. Actual conversation:
Owner, handing my purchase to an assistant: She gets 10% off.
Random guy: Hey, how can I get a discount?
Owner: Buy as many as she has.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:17 pm
by Black Jack Rackham
Alright, if I am going to do this, we really need to start at the beginning.
Monday - I have already packed and checked everything at least 3x. BUT today is going to be nerve-wracking so I promised myself I will only do it once more because there was that one time I forgot (SOMETHING) and I am certain I will do it again (well there was also the year I took off with both my credit cards and Jenny's and we had to make a stop so I could overnight mail it back to her, that was fun). Oh yea also I have been telling myself for the better part of a week at this point to start going to bed earlier because I have to get up EARLY to leave by 5am (because its a 15+ hour ordeal and I can only do it in one go if I start very early. I just can't stay up all night like I used to).

Spoiler alert: none of this will happen.

Tuesday - begins about half an hour early because I was so anxious I set my internal clock and it wakes me up just to ask if I want to get up a bit early. All works out great because everyone else here is also up early and we're on the road within 15 minutes of our scheduled time (sometimes early sometimes late). I consider this to be the first day of the con because we play games all the way to Indianapolis. Most of them are idiotic (like counting the deer) or tired cliches (like the orange bottles) but once nerds get something in their heads it's always funny. And I adore it for that. We hit all the spots we've talked about so many times. We also go the south route (through most of PA) which is my favorite route, more to see and do. And it doesn't end until about 10pm when I am finally in the hotel and thinking about the phenomenal shower I will have in the morning (Quietly begin countdown until the chaos really begins, T minus 2 days)

Wednesday - The reason I came early is to run games that aren't 7th Sea. Don't get me wrong I love running 7th Sea, but I don't get a chance to do goofy fun stuff (which I also love). The KFG is gone now, replaced by the RFG, almost all the same people but the pizzaz seems to be wearing off. I am disappointed by that, I really love doing this. I hope that it's just because of the name change and the fact that half of the places we used to run in are no longer in business. We'll see. I usually run something weird and new (maybe horror maybe science fiction) and then KAMB. I always save that for last because it is just so much fun. One big long improv on a terrible dad joke, It's Paranoia but for swords and sorcery (which I almost never have them do). The most fun is when the players finally figure out just what, exactly is really going on. I think their favorite may have been trying to cross a Walmart parking lot.

Immediately after I have to rush over to GMHQ to get not only my badge but everyone elses. They all show up too and dance, dance like puppets on a string! AH YES THE POWER! Ahem... where was I? Oh yea, badges. We grab them then go for dinner. (which is where Ken's meat comma comes in).

I go to bed relieved to be here and knowing that I still have all of GenCon to look forward to

Thursday - Ken already told you, but here's my perspective. I always beat ken to the room. ALWAYS ;) Today I have two games, afternoon and evening so I don't HAVE to get up early. But I have all the gaming stuff so I get up anyway. Not that it really matters, Ken brought all the stuff needed and I WANT to see everyone. It is the highlight of any con for me to see the shining faces of players who are ready to game, who don't know what a treat they're in for, and the returning veterans who do but are trying not to spoil things.

I could go to the dealers hall but it doesn't open for a couple of hours and while I saw the crowds a couple of times (which was fun) I know this marathon is going to take it out of me so I want to conserve my energy so I'll just sit here for a while and...


I will be back in an hour or two and find the players laughing at something ken is doing or they did that ken found amusing. And for a second I am jealous I am not sitting at the table. So I sit nearby and try not to interrupt too much.

The day goes on too long, I hang out as long as I think I can get away with because in the back of my mind I realize I will not see some of these people for a year, and I want to make the most out of it. But I still remember that even though I have already done two full days of running games, I still have three more to go, and that includes Saturday which will go WAY over (Yup, I can never keep PAs on time, no matter where they are).

I go to bed slightly bummed because I just used up one of the four days.

Friday - only one game to run and it's first thing, So I could theoretically play a game. But I already narrowed down a list six months ago and by now I really just want to either go to the dealers hall again or just sit and watch. Once every couple of years I follow through and usually it was just good. Last year I did Christian's game and it was AWESOME. That will keep me going for some time.

Because I have only one game I do errands and run for food for the GMs. I always thought we did Lochmullers because it was close and we knew what to expect (plus Ken likes Ruben sandwiches).

Oh yea, by this point I have been told to remember the cards now three times (because I have run 3 games) and I have probably forgotten for at least the first hour of each.

I go to bed a little more bummed because now GenCon is half way over. I console myself remembering tomorrow is THE BIGGEST DAY! (It doesn't really help)

I will do Saturday's review tomorrow :)

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:15 pm
by CaitlinCallahan
Okay, I have another memory I have to share. This dates back to when the Con was still held in Milwaukee. I don't recall which day it was, but Floyd was running a D&D game the next day, and was up late putting the finishing touches on the adventure. Adam and I were tasked to create the character sheets for the game. We divided them up based on the classes we each liked to play, and created three to four characters each. Adam and I attended a seminar (might have been an L5R session), then headed over to the room where Floyd's game was running. As we stood in the doorway, waiting for them to wrap up the session, we can see Floyd point towards the two of us, and say something to the table. All of the guys at the table turned and looked at us (making me more than a little bit nervous). The session ended, and the entire table ran over to us and dropped to their knees, thanking us profusely for creating the characters they had just played.

Definitely a high point in my GenCon memories.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:23 pm
by kenderleech
I realized i DO have a friday memory. The first time i ever got Applause from my players. It was the year we were in an easy to reach room in the marriot, and we were Swarmed with players all con long. Like, scrabling for GMS because we didnt want to turn players away. I took 11 players to run episode 2. Were you thinking id run something else?

It was the first time I apologized for my pronunciations and meant it. I had multiple spanish as a primary language players. I all but dropped the dice, because with 11 players, they were outnumbering the brutes... So i jsut let them tell me the cool things they wanted to do, and then check the dice. No initiative unless more then one guy wanted to do the same thing.

When el vago gets shot (i dont think i need a spoiler for that, do i?) I had players actually cry out. and when I gave his soliliquay, the tale was silent as the player who had at random picked the vago pregen took on teh responsibility. We went to time because of Cool Stuff Happening, and at the end, there was applause.. both from them for my making them have fun.. and from me.. because of how much fun they made it for me.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:23 am
by CaitlinCallahan
Okay, another specific memory where I'm not sure of the day - the first time I met John.

I had been playing in a weekly on-line 7th Sea RPG run by Thwak, Jimbo, and Dana on a rotating basis. Lisa (Dana's wife) and I had signed up for one of Thwak's 7th Sea games. Thwak holds a philosophy similar to Dave's regarding table size. We must have had twice as many people show up, so we moved an empty table over to accomodate the number of people. Thwak did not have enough character sheets for all the players, so Lisa and I used our characters from the online game, and Thwak let one of the players use his character from the game as well. While Thwak was distributing character sheets, Lisa and I took it upon ourselves to describe the character's personality to the guy playing him. (For some reason, Thwak did not seem to fully appreciate this...) ;)

Now, even with the use of three characters from the home game, there still were not enough character sheets, so Floyd and John wound up sharing one. They decided that they would be playing Inish twins. The game commenced, and there was much laughter (at one point, I thought cherry coke was going to come out of Thwak's nose). I don't remember the exact details, but at some point, Floyd was banished to the opposite corner of the room. John boldly proclaimed "Inish solidarity!", and joined his "twin" in the corner.

Lisa and I had the perfect angle to observe the two of them in their exile, while Thwak was preoccupied with running the game. They slowly made there way from the far corner, to a nearer corner, then began sneaking their way back to the table, managing to stay in Thwak's blind spot. The look on Thwak's face when they surprised him (right at his back) was priceless.

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:59 am
by salamanca
Sneaking up on Thwak is never a good idea.

Deb, are you going to cover the incident involving Floyd and a lobby carpet and some larpers?

Re: Countdown to GenCon 2020

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:00 am
by salamanca
Oh! And a request from each of you for your first memory of your first Gencon, please?