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I promised Painlord a blog post after chatting with him for a few (I also promised I would get TOZ to write more than three sentences about his experiences too)... These are just a few of my thoughts and my experiences from the Con. Most people that saw me around the Con will remember me by the bright purple hair (blue&pink as well) .... or as Ms.'s TOZ (not sure how I feel about that one, but after 8 years I'm keeping him).
Thursday, having learned my lesson from previous conventions I usually try to arrive the day before and leave the day after. We were arriving early enough that we signed up for an afternoon pre-con game of Wrath of the Accursed. We had a fantastic time. The GM did a great job of instilling paranoia and rolling with some unexpected things that our characters did. I don't recall forum names (if I actually know them... I don't) but I thought that it was a great table. I had great time being the psudo-healer with my Warpriest Valkyrie (she got the most play this weekend). We also spent some time chatting and hanging out with friends that we saw. It's always great to spend time with old friends and meet new people as well. Some people were friendlier than others. Attempted to head off to bed for the early start on Friday; but got sucked into an ACG game of Skull and Shackles which was surprisingly fun! It wasn't at all how I thought it would be and I really enjoyed it. This means I will probably attempt to go and play more often locally now.
Friday I began my 8am slot with Fires of Karamoss; it was a pretty good table. I played my Warpriest again (realizing I really really need to get some scrolls of carry companion) with a group of lively individuals. There were some new players at the table and the GM was fantastic. It's a good scenario and I hope that when I GM this at Phoenix Comic Con I can do as well! Jetted off to do lunch after the slot so I could make my 2pm seminar with Nick Logue (GMing on the Fly), which was a really informative session. I realized I do quite a few of the things he mentioned, but I learned a lot of new things and took information away. The big three were to create relationships, try to say 'Yes' as much as possible, and be flexible with the world (so you can build it with the players). I love this idea and will be attempting to incorporate more of this in my PFS play. I often feel limited by the PFS - run as written rule - but I already do much of that in my home games (Skull and Shackles presently). I then headed off to dinner with friends before prepping for the Special that night - I had initially planned to play 3-4 or 5-9 tiers, but I ended up in a high level party with two new friends and 3 old friends (Rusty ironpants, ???, Holly, Daniel, and Jonathon) - I had a lot of fun playing my Beloved of Aram Zey sorceress; Justin Riddler was an awesome GM and I completely respect his skill and the fact that he shifted from one tier extreme to the other with ease. Only minimal loading time and completely understandable. The table felt 100% fun as the group would continue to RP while we were waiting for Justin to finish reading/prepping as necessary. All in all a fantastic day for me (My sorceress had a rough day though).
Saturday started with me feeling quite bleary eyed - I always have brief thoughts of sleeping in after the specials. I am glad that I didn't - I played Returned to the Sky with several awesome players. I had an great amount of fun playing my seriously unoptimized gunslinger (just ask the table, I didn't one-shot anything!); I was glad I'd taken several feats that really helped me and my table out. The roleplay was also great (people should stop Audrey from talking, that +0 Diplomacy is a killer) and the people all seemed like they had fun. Overall I thought that it was a great scenario to play in and I was glad I had gotten up. My table ran late and despite having an entry ticket to the "Crayon of Vecna" I decided to get lunch first. After a leisurely lunch with friends I ended up getting sidetracked by the card-game and built some decks with the help of my friendly local Cardgame VL. I then headed to the Horror in RPG's seminar - also interesting an informative with how to add some spooky elements to a game. After that there was dinner and a rousing round of Wrath of the Righteous card game; I honestly did not enjoy it as much as the Skull and Shackles game previously.
Sunday morning came way to early; started the day with a game of Tapestry's toil with one of the VL's that was working on getting his 5th star. It was an amazing table. Just awesome; I played my Warpriest again and the group had a great time. One of the players was hyper focused on completing his faction card things and it detracted a little bit, but as a party we took this in stride and incorporated it into the RP around the table more often than not. It was a great scenario and we had a fantastic GM who just made the table. Went off to my afternoon game GM'd by rknop where we got to be magical cats and it was SO much fun - I had a great table to play with and we all enjoyed hanging out. Then time for dinner and the special - I was pretty excited about getting to play in the special though a little hesitant because I knew I would end up with a random GM. Set up a group of 6 while in line and we had a pretty solid group.
We got to our table and I'll just say things went incredibly south from there. I can honestly say that I did not enjoy my experience at the special; especially after having some reflection time to realize just how incredibly awful it was. The scenario was great, the characters were great, and it had all the ability to be completely awesome; but it was not - My GM was entirely unprepared, there were no maps except a 2x8 square hallway and maybe an 8x16 set of greenery for all the other maps. We also got some 'harder' enemies. My character did not survive and I was not told ahead of time that the character I applied the credit to would die so I am more than a little frustrated with that - even if I understand that there is precedence for it (I didn't realize We Be Goblin's Too was this way as well till I read it here). I had a very bitter experience with the special and left feeling quite upset.
Monday morning I had planned to sleep in and skip my morning lottery slot since I was still feeling crabby from the previous night. I am SO glad I didn't - this game was my highlight of the con! It really made up for the lackluster performance of the night before. Stephen Helt was my GM for Midgard: Goblins in the Brewery and my table was amazing! I literally laughed so hard I needed to use my inhaler because I could not breathe. It was an amazing time. We spent most of the afternoon just hanging out and doing a reading of 'Old Man Henderson' for some new friends. Then we started a pick-up game for Returned to the Sky, ran by dinketry. As usual, this was the perfect ending to what was an amazing con!
Aside from the one blemish, I had a great time at the convention and I hope to see many of the same faces next year; I am terrible with names but I am always open to just hanging around and chatting.