Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thought Bubbles from GenCon

Just got back from GenCon.  It was my second time attending, though it was my first time playing games (last year, we just hung out on the convention floor and headed back to Chicago after sensory overload).  Here're some quick thoughts:

I played a session of Wild Talents with one of the designers, and we're actually playing it "right."  It's always pretty strange to me when a bunch of people read a book chock full of rules and walk away with the same ideas.  Laws are always implemented differently across contexts.  I guess roleplaying is just pure.  Sometimes.

We demoed a few games at the Forge booth.  The Shab Al Hiri Roach was sick, as in good  full of debauchery.  As an academic, a game about an ancient and evil telepathic roach controlling academics is strangely familiar.  The funny thing is, the one guy who wasn't controlled by the roach acted exactly the same way as the ones who were controlled: petty, violent, and all about climbing the social ladder.  We also played this cute little game called Zombie Cinema.  The designer, a Finnish dude, was funny as hell with crazy deadpan humor.  But when we tried to play it ourselves after buying the game, we had a tough time making it hum.

I played female characters in 3 different games this weekend.  Is there something I'm not telling myself?

I unexpectedly played a few board games (Ticket to Ride and Caylus) and unexpectedly had a lot of fun.  I like board games, but they don't consume my creative juices when I'm not playing them.  My one buddy (my former GM from grad school) told me that he barely plays rpg's anymore because board games give him more consistently satisfying experiences.  I think he's on to something.  When rpgs are good, they're really good.  But sometimes, gaming just leaves me meh (even though I clearly keep coming back for more).  You know what you're getting every time with board games.  And Caylus makes my brain hurt.  I'd definitely play it again, but I only know a couple people who'd play it.

A weekend at GenCon is really expensive.  When old friends meet you there, it's also really drunken and bereft of sleep.  I had fun, but I don't think I'm going back.  If anything, I'll try to hit some of those cons that run indie games around Chicago (which I've never done before).  

It took me two days to recover.  I'm getting old.

The GenCon dance was maybe the most incredible thing I've ever seen.  Since middle school.  Arms length dancing to crappy classic rock songs.  We also succeeded in getting turned away from the White Wolf after party twice.  I guess we're not Ventrue.  I'll just have to soak that insult.


Anonymous said...

The Finnish guy is Eero Tuovinen, for the record. He has plans of adding play advice to arkenstonepublishing.net.

Supah said...

Thanks for the Eero's name and the website. I'll definitely check it out.