GenCon 2010–Being There   Leave a comment

Where do they get these fabulous displays? Ah, the glories of GenCon!

How quickly we forget! It was only a week ago that GenCon actually started. Rick and I had breakfast at Denny’s. I went for the all-you-can-eat pancakes for $4.  Four was all I could eat. Indiana pancakes are huge.

Yum! Denny's pancakes in the morning.

As I look at the pictures I took, (no, I didn’t take a picture of my pancakes for breakfast–I just grabbed that off the web.–heh) I remember that I actually did something else on Wednesday besides set up the booth.  Rick and I made the long walk to Union Station–it’s a hotel where a lot of roleplaying is set–to run demo games of Lost Worlds and Weapons of Mass Destruction.  On our journey, we passed this guy. In fact, we passed this guy dozens of times during the week.

Red Dragon looks more curious than hungry, I think.

We found our room, grabbed a table, and waited for victims–I mean gamers to show up. With nothing of my own scheduled yet, my plan was just to help Rick demo things.  While there I met Dave Mattingly who was running a Champions demo. He came over and played Weapons of Mass Destruction with Rick and me for a while, and then I went and played an alien superhero in his Champions demo when his players finally arrived. Good fun–it has been over two years since I last played Champions with Steve Perrin and the California gang.  This fellow was one of our superheroes, and he came in costume.

Two swords are better than one.

When I got knocked out of the Champions game, I went back and helped Rick demonstrate Lost Worlds Fighting Fantasy.  It is one of Flying Buffalo’s main product lines, and I always wind up playing/demoing it quite a bit, which is okay with me because I like the game.

One of the first Fighting Fantasy characters, Skeleton with sword and shield is Rick's favorite demo book

( There really is a space between these pictures, but WordPress is not giving me the same formatting that I put in the rough draft. If you see some bad formatting below, blame it on WordPress. I did everything I could to keep things symmetrical.–Ken)

Tunnels & Trolls got the Lost Worlds treatment. This fellow, Umslopogaas Scorpion-Tail is a black fighting wizard, and one of my earliest player characters,

 Ugh!  That’s Trollish for hello, again.



Times change. Today’s fighting fantasy characters come from a Japanese anime series called Queen’s Bridge, and they are all delectable female fighters. Sexism is alive and well in Japan.All three of the books pictured above use the same gaming system and can fight each other. We talk a good battle about how the Japanese books can fight each other, but in truth, I’ve never seen anyone use them for anything more than art books.  The pictures are so very pretty.  But let’s get back to Thursday.  This guy showed up at the Flying Buffalo booth on Thursday morning and wanted to know if I was running any Tunnels and Trolls.

Joe drove his family up from New Orleans to attend the Con and play T & T.

 I should have had a game at 9 a.m. that morning, but it didn’t get into the program book, and nobody signed up for it.  I arranged to run a game at 2 p.m. that afternoon if we could get two or three people to show up.  In fact, we got several more players including two members of  Trollhalla–Sligo and Dupin.

Sligo, also known as W. Scott Grant in the mundane world, was the friendliest and most helpful of all the people I met at GenCon.

Dupin is the well-respected blogger whose real name is Christian Lindke. He played a very intelligent game and when the time came to meet his fate, he stepped up and met it bravely.

Joe, Scott, Christian and his friend Eric who can be seen to the left of Chis in his picture were abducted from GenCon and sent to Trollworld to retrieve a magical maguffin for an old wizard. They had to chase a party of marauding goblins into Uncle Ugly’s Underground to get the maguffin back. It was just a short adventure, but they killed a giant spider, and devastated a peaceful (except for the occasional marauding band) community of goblins, and although half of them died horribly–yes, there is some character death in Tunnels and Trolls–they got the maguffin back and were all returned to Earth when it was over. I had a good time with these guys, and I hope they did, too.

That was the important part of the Con for me, and it came early–the first day. I got to play another game of T & T in Tom Loney’s game on Saturday morning, and that was fun, too, but I’d rather be the Game Master.

Jolly Blackburn in his native environment

One person who I very much enjoy spending some time with is Jolly Blackburn, he who created the Knights of the Dinner Table.  Jolly is a consummate gamer, a great storyteller, and a generous guy.  The only freebie, not counting meals, that i got at the Con came from him–the Bagwars Saga graphic novel.  We talked for about 20 minutes–not long enough. Kenzer and Company has a great corps of friends running their busness. It’s a group I’d love to join, but I have my own group.

And that’s probably a good spot to stop this blog for today. Many other things happened on Thursday, but I’m having a hard time remembering, and anyway, I’m back in the real world now, and have real world things to do–like eating breakfast, and going to work. There is more to tell and it will come in a day or so.

(to be continued)

I am so jealous. Jolly has his own comics empire, and it's all great funny stuff.

Posted August 12, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

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