Gen Con and Back Again

Gen Con Afterhours Pits & Perils!

Whew! Gen Con 2018 was a wonderful trip. I came away with some great and painful (my feet!) memories. It had been a couple of years since last I attended, so I decided to take in all four days. The best and most welcome news was that my son, Thomas, wanted to go along. He is graduating college soon and I looked forward to spending some Dad-Son time together.

Me and Thomas

Just a quick recap of our time…

We met up with some gaming friends of ours. For the four days, we booked three games (about four hours each). That gave us time to wander the vendor halls and our evenings open to play some pickup games.

Thursday we played in The Aeon Society & the Vault of Destiny using White Wolf’s Adventure! system. It was really pulpy. My character was a “man of bronze” type and Thomas played a multi-millionaire femme fatale. He played her to the hilt…winning the adventure for our group by seducing the villain and then casting her aside!

Later that evening, I ran a Pits & Perils adventure, The Banner has Fallen, that I wrote for the Gen Con trip. The players (Thomas, Kevin, and Joe) played a couple of PCs each. It was a play test and I wasn’t sure how lethal it would be. The scenario was a fog shrouded battlefield just after the King’s army had left the field in a rout. The PCs were remnants of the King’s troops and had to make their way to safety. The guys battled looters, an enemy knight, and then a trio of evil witches with their zombified servant. One of Thomas’s PCs was killed when the chief witch hovered above him on her broomstick and dumped a hat full of spiders on him…one failed poison save and oh well! The hours flew by too quickly, but we all had a fun.

Friday began with a science fiction game called Esper Genesis, built on 5E rules. It was an action filled four hours as our group battled power armored thugs and investigate a derelict spaceship. The final scene was a close one, I thought a TPK would result, but our group prevailed.

Saturday we played in a Savage Worlds adventure called Percy Fawcett & the Temple of Oblivion. It was written by Pete Sauber and he GM’d it for us. What a great experience. We played historical characters from the 1920’s (I was Harry Houdini and Thomas was Ernest Hemingway). We had an exciting trip into the Amazon. Pete Sauber was a very skilled GM and our table was a little raucous, laughing aloud and having a great time. This was a perfect example of the social aspect of gaming. There were very few rolls, only a couple combats, but we as a group talked about the Amazon and the historical characters. Kevin played up his PCs faults, being arrogant and needing to best his mates. All of the players knew each other at the table, but a very nice lady joined us and played her character (Eleanor Roosevelt) with style. It was fun watching the interaction between the characters as our party traveled up the Amazon.

Saturday night, Joe ran a Space 1889 scenario for us in one of the hotel lobbies. He did an amazing job…no notes, no book…just a few dice and flying by the seat of his pants. Thomas played a German spy in our group of Englishmen. He managed to sabotage a British fortress and survive an attack by hordes of Martians. All of this was done right under the nose of our loyal British PCs! What a true spy!

To paraphrase our GM Joe, “As the sun sets in the horizon, you hear loud explosions and smoke coming from the fort. The Union Jack is slowly lowered…”

Sunday was time spent in the Vendor Hall. It was still pretty busy. I picked up some assorted dice, a foldable dice tray, and also the boxed set of Weird War I (Savage Worlds).

Sunday afternoon we played more of my Pits & Perils adventure. The PCs had a crazy encounter with Death, which made the adventure memorable. It was an Oh Crap! moment but funny encounter. The players were really getting into the tactical aspects of Pits & Perils. It’s fun to think about how to use the surrounds and items you have to gain any advantages. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough material for several hours of play, but I had more than enough. It was getting late and we had to return to Southern Illinois. We all agreed that our pickup games were the most fun. It was just pretty cool being able to hang with folks that love to game.

I would love to go back next year. I’m planning on going to Who’s Yer Con in Indianapolis in March, Thomas too!

When I get a chance, I will share the adventure I made for Gen Con. It needs some dressing up, but there may be some ideas you can take from it.

More to come…