||[Aug. 19th, 2013|09:35 pm]
Labcats, the RPG Blog
Two weekends before GenCon, we did a local dance event, Nocturne Blues. I was also proofreading for Golden Goblin Press.|
The weekend before GenCon, we went to Nelco. Josh and Gaylord Tang did the Write a Game in 26 Hours or So, along with Team Leader Jeff Diewald, Chris Amherst, Melanie Saunders, and Alon Levy, who was under the amusing impression that he'd get to sleep by 2 or 3am on. Saturday night.
I was the official morale officer this time, with food and a fresh eye. By eleven or so, half the characters were written, so I started reading. By about 4 or 5am, I'd looked over all the characters, made comments, and tumbled into bed. I was slotted into the larp when it ran a few hours later, and then, Gaylord, Josh, and I hit the road. Between dramamine and an early night, Josh and I were mostly refreshed on Monday.
On Tuesday, I arranged for car service at 7am on Wednesday. We got to sleep at 5am. I had pants to hem, and a zine to finish, as I was determined to get my zine in before GenCon, since I now need to prep for Necronomicon this weekend. We also had packing to do, and as Josh was in one larp and I was in two, costuming. We knew who we were in the Carnivale Arcane larp, which meant Josh packed his top hat in a box that formerly contained reams of paper, and his spiffy green Regency tailcoat. I was the fortune teller, so I packed a skirt and two piece blouse ensemble, and a friendly Robin Wood tarot deck. Casting was not done in advance for my other larp, so I dithered and packed something flexible.
I woke up at six, and Josh woke around 6:30. The driver was punctual, and we got to the airport and through security quickly enough. Traveling with a single tablet and zero netbooks or laptops makes it faster for me, and I only need two bins, not three or four, at least in summer.
We deplaned and took the $1.75 bus to the JW Marriott. Originally, we'd been in the Crowne Plaza, but the wing with our room was being renovated. GenCon Housing staff contacted Josh to explain this and asked if he wanted the JW Marriott or the airport Crowne Plaza. Naturally, we wanted the former. It was somewhat pricier, and a bit less convenient in terms of distances, but it was also a very nice hotel with a large room, a 24-hour fitness center, and good service. It also did have skywalk access to the convention center.
We then gathered people, resources, and tickets. Josh and I were rooming with Gaylord Tang, who was already at the con, and who met us in the room. Tristan Goss was en route from Australia, and while we got our badges and tickets, we coordinated with Jen Midkiff, a local musician who had an air mattress to loan us. Hotels often won't move a cot in, citing fire code rules, but, the JW Marriott, like the Crowne, had no issue with us bringing in an air mattress, and staff assured us that it would be fine to leave it for Jen at the front desk, after the convention. She'd have liked to attend, but other commitments and budget considerations got in the way.
We shifted the beds slightly to make room for the air mattress, and the housekeeping staff left it in place all weekend, treating it as they would any other bed. We met up with Tristan, who showered us with gifts from Australia, then he got his badge and tickets, while I exercised, and Josh played a game in the hotel lobby. After, Josh, Tristan, and I went to The Tilted Kilt. It didn't have a full menu, but the pizza was good, and the portion of garlic fries was generous. We went back to the hotel and crashed.
Thursday morning, I got exercise, then went to the ICC (convention center), room 110, where Cubicle 7 games were being held, at least for that slot. I was in a 3rd edition Victoriana game, and Tristan was in a laundry game.
All of the Victoriana characters had both a male and a female version, with only pictures and names differing between the two, afaik. Walt Ciechanowski, the GM, said that this was not only to let player have the character of whatever gender the player wanted to play that slot, but also to drive home the point that even if you want the Victoriana setting to be sexist, the game itself should not be. PCs are extraordinary folks and can exceed societal expectations.
After the game, I went to the exhibit hall to shop. I had my wheeled suitcase, and I shipped most of what I purchased back home. I got a bit of food and went to my next game, Mystery Solving Teens, using Gumshoe, but not Bubblegumshoe. The GM had tried to contact Pelgrane about getting a draft of Bubblegumshoe, but as that hadn't happened, we used a somewhat modified Gumshoe that took into account players who were Scoobies -- er, teenagers on summer break, and their dog. Like the Victoriana game, it started with a smaller adventure before the main plot.
After the game, I met up with Josh, and we had dinner. Normally, we do Ruth's Chris on Saturday, as it isn't usually crowded, but this year, we tried it on Friday, and it was booked for the VIG event. So, we ate at McCormick and Schmick's. After dinner, we went back to our hotel for exercise, a shower, and some sleep.
Friday, my first game was in the JW Marriott. Josh and I had breakfast there. Then, I played in a Kerberos Club game that used the Savage Worlds system. Peter Hildreth came by to say hello. His game started an hour before mine ended, and he needed to explain to a few adults that his was strictly for children. I think this was in the event description, but I guess they missed it.
After that, I did more shopping and hung out with Josh. Then, he went to a Shadowfist tournament, while I went to the Dresdenfiles larp. They were a few folks short, but I was able to recruit Gaylord. There were a lot of fun moments, and I don't recall feeling at loose ends.
Josh and I wandered the exhibit hall Saturday morning. He was in full costume. We got food from a food truck and went to the Carnival Arcane larp. I changed. The game was fun, but despite having sold out, had many empty spaces, one of which Gaylord filled. It was fun, and I never had time to be bored, as plenty of folks wanted to talk to or get help from the fortune teller.
After that, I managed to get a boarding pass for the 6pm Games on Demand slot, but did not get the game I'd hoped for. On the other hand, I had a great time in the Fate Accelerated Game I did get into. On the whole, I like the boarding pass system, though I did not like the lights dimming every hour or so, to remind folks of the time. After the game, I caught up with Josh, and we slowly made our way to the hotel, where he helped me pack, packed his things, and then did a bit more gaming while I got some sleep.
Sunday, we all checked luggage. JW Marriott set aside a very large room, likely a ballroom, on the third floor, for checking luggage. It was always manned and folks were helped quickly. I very, very much appreciate that. Josh got Jen's air matress to the frot deak as I went to the Hyatt, where three players, including me, waited for our 10am game until 10:30am. After that, I got a boarding pass for Games on Demand, did more shopping, and got into a 2 hour Dungeon World game.
After that, I went back to the exhibit hall, finished shopping and saying goodbye to folks, and met up with Josh and Gaylord. After the final cheer of the dealers, we went to the JW Marriott, got our luggage, and tipped. I hope others did as well, as the hotel did an excellent job of making this process easy for us.
The JW Marriott has some kind of arrangement with some company, as our rate to the airport was less than we generally pay in metered cabs. We checked luggage, had dinner, went through security, where we got to go through the metal detector, although Josh got selected for a random check to make sure he hadn't handled explosives. This was relatively quick. We got onto the plane, and I fell asleep, waking up only long enough to confirm I wanted cookies. We landed and collected our luggage. Then, Gaylord took a bus to a subway, while Josh and I cabbed home.
The weather in both NYC and Indianapolis seemed cooler and less muggy than in the past two years or so.