Sigh....another 361 days till the next Gen-Con.
I always have an amazing time when I go to Gen-Con and every year it seems to get better and better as more games and extras are added each year. This year had it's fair share of great events and fun times and here is mini list of the things that I loved and loathed about this year's Gen-Con. (The love list is much longer than the loath list)
Loved-The Coupon Book: I know some people were complaining about the lack of SWAG Bags, but for me personally I prefer just getting the coupon book. It's less I have to care and most likely pitch when I get home. The past years had things I just didn't care for in the bag other than the coupon book and maybe my free D6. With all the stuff you get over the four day span the SWAG bag just got lost in shuffle so this made life a little easier.
Loved-The all night pick up and line speeds-I only had to wait in a line for less than 15 minutes to get my badge and tickets in the afternoon. Granted the line was long, but the booth workers did their best to make sure everything was fast so you weren't waiting that long. Plus you could always leave and come back later and not worry about closing.
Loathed-Cthulhu Dark-I didn't think it was possible to make a Cthulhu game boring and than I found this and I've had more fun at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned than playing this. The event was called Christmas in Berlin and the description was that a family was found murdered and Germany spies are suspected and the local infantry is hot on the trail of the prime suspect and it's set during WWI. Seriously this sounded like fun and I was really excited about this and it was the only Cthulhu game I was able to get into.
A good game makes the time go by so it doesn't feel like four hours and I felt every second of this four hours. So Cthulhu Dark has one of three modes and this was from the mouth of the GM-Investigate, Run or be Killed...how is this fun? I know Cthulhu games are about investigating and mostly likely being killed or going crazy, but to not even give the players a fighting shot at combat is just sucky. You have to come up with your characters on the fly and than try to work from there. It also felt like I was being railroaded at every turn and was just there to listen to the GM tell a very boring story. One of the guys I game with had the follow up game to Christmas in Berlin and had it with the same GM and also complained about the boredom he felt playing. I will not by doing this system ever again, it was not worth the four dollars in ticket price or the four hours of my life I will never get back.
Loved-Camp Bloodbath and Spectum Games-This made up for the horrible Cthulhu experience. Camp Bloodbath was a horror comedy game run by Spectum Games and the GM was Cynthia and she made the game fun and let us do what we wanted to do. The system was easy to learn-Take D10, D8 and a D6. Your bad stats are the D10's and the really good stats is a D6. The goal is to get matching numbers
(Get four 6's one your D6) to not be killed and either flee your killer or fight back. Genre points are also helpful and are a little like drama points. Some characters get them right off the bat and the players can earn them by doing typical stupid horror movie things-IE-Going off alone to see what is that noise or in the case of our game, each time we got a horror movie reference or amused or GM.
I was actually a little bummed out that we wrapped up an hour early. The system is called Slasher Flick and it takes all the horror movie troupes and places you in the roles of horror movie characters and you just go from there. At no time did I feel railroaded or bored with the group I was in. Roleplaying is stressed so if you have a group that really enjoys acting up this is the game for them. Fight scenes are light, but can be fun. I went to the website http://www.spectrum-games.com/index.html but it's still a work in process so please give them time.
Loathes-The lack of Saturday night events-Saturday night was always the busiest night for events and now they don't seem to have a lot of late night events. We were walking around at 1 am and people were still just milling around the ICC and the event guide really didn't have a lot past eleven. Events that used to be later on Saturday: TOVA Auction, the Costume Contest, the Dance, ect seemed to have been moved up to earlier time slots leaving the evening kind of ho hum. Yes there are plenty of bars and late night hang outs which are good, but if I don't wanna drink or eat and game instead my options were limited.
Loved-The food trucks-I never thought I could get good Mac and Cheese off a truck and I was proven wrong this weekend. The trucks offered a lot of variety (Pizza, Cujan, Cupcakes, ect) for a good price and the area near the ICC was nice was relaxing and having a quick dinner with folks.
Loved-The City of Indy and the Locals-The 1st year I attended Gen-Con it was clear the city had no idea what it was getting into. A lot of places were actually running out of food on Saturday night and the city just seemed overwhelmed by what was going on. Flash forward nine years and the city pulls out the welcome mat for us and make sure we have a good time each year. I have rarely had a bad dining or being out and about experience while in Indy during the con and that's in large part thanks to the locals and people who work in the service industry.
I heard from one waitress that the gamers are the nicest and best group of people to come in. She complained that the people who come in for The Brickyard tend to be the rudest group of people she waits on all year. She complained that they talked down to her, held up tables for hours while they got drunk and than left her a two dollar tip. She said we come in, we're fun, we're polite and we tip the best. One bell boy summed it up the best while we chatted waiting for the car.
"I see people all the time and most of the time it's for work or something else and they are just unhappy or not friendly at all. You guys come to town and you're happy and fun and it's just nice for a change to see happy people!"
Damn straight were happy people because we're at the best place on earth!!! GFY Disney you don't have shit on Gen-Con!