The Princess and the Pirate

Adventure / Comedy (more)

26 August 2004

GenCon Indy 2004

Last weekend, the Princess and I travelled to Indianapolis for the first time, in attendance of GenCon (which moved from Milwaukee 2 years ago). Here are a few notes...

Soylent Green: Hanging out with Dave VanDyke, Phil Chase, and their posse was certainly the highlight. We don't get to see enough of Dave and Phil, though they only live just over an hour away. Buca di Beppo, a family-style Italian restaurant, gave us a good opportunity to chat and act like fools on Saturday evening. As usual, I bumped into John Merrill, and as usual, he was heavily engaged in a CCG session (Shadowfist this time). It's too bad Ed Heil didn't show; and, of course, Randy Cox and Joe Porrett were unable to attend this year as well, which was a bummer.

Indianapolis: While in Indianapolis, I remember missing something in particular about Milwaukee, but I can't recall what it was at the moment. Indy turned out to be a pretty nice city, with more to do within walking distance than we had time for. I appreciated the 30-second countdown display on their crosswalk signs.

Food was fairly easy to come by, though a bit pricey. My favorite was Wednesday night's fare, eating at the bar of Loughmiller's pub; very nice chicken Caesar salad, and their chips and salsa were delicious. The Japanese place in the mall's food court served a great chicken teryaki lunch special.

We intended to visit the zoo on Friday afternoon, but a rainstorm kept us indoor at the convention instead. So we went on Saturday, which was a big mistake. The animals were great, but there were so many children making noise and pushing to the front that it really dampered our enthusiasm. We visited the gardens next door to the zoo, including an mood-lightening indoor butterfly garden, but again, too many kids made it a bit of a drag.

Celeb: Thursday night, I rode the elevator down to G to acquire a few items at the gift shop, across from which was the hotel's expensive, open-area bar. As I made my purchases, I noticed David Carradine sitting at the bar's piano, playing and singing "Desperado". He finished his song and then he and his friend rode up in the same elevator as myself and a couple other con-goers. It became clear Carradine and his buddy had tipped a few back, and they joked with us all the way up. When the rest of us exited the elevator on the 12th floor he smurkingly remarked, "Good! I thought they'd never leave!"

Events: Ugh. Why can't convention organizers EVER get their act together? GenCon Indy dished up the typical logistical nightmare I have come to associate with all game conventions. Friday night was the worst of it; I bought event tickets for the Princess and I to play in a Euchre tournament for which there was no designated area and no GM. Sigh.

True Dungeon neither exceeded nor fell short of my expectations. It is a good way to spend a couple hours with friends. The shuffleboard style combat suited me well... probably my regular Crokinole helped. I got saddled, however, playing the Bard, which requires fast absorption and memorization of a booklet of notes. Our party reached the final chamber, having lost 2 members, then regained 1, and about half of us survived the last encounter. My character perished because of time running out, but the Princess' Cleric went the distance.

Purchases: After playing an intro game as an event, I picked up Camelot Legends. I also bought Manga Manga to play with the Princess. Both were $5 off. The only other thing I bought was the Trollbabe RPG, mostly because Ed has done some work on the comic; but after reading some of it, I kinda like it anyway.


If you have a color printer and some extra time on your hands, you might like to try cutting and gluing together some PaperFormers, mini paper models of all the characters you fondly recall from Transformers. They actually transform.