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All posts for the month November, 2006

Gen Con 06

Last weekend was Gencon Socal, the gaming convention in Anaheim. The rpg-sandiego.org (online forums dedicated to rpgs in San Diego) community and I had a lot of plans for this one.

I left Thursday morning only to get stuck in heavy traffic for an extra hour. I arrived at the Marriot next to the Convention Center (across the street from Disneyland) around 1:30. My friend Andy was running late and I waited to make sure he got to the game he was running just in case I had to let his players know he was going to be late.

After that I attended a World of Darkness storyteller panel (2pm – 4pm) by Will Will Hindmarch (Vampire the Requiem developer)but had to duck out early to play in my first game: “Iron Kingdoms, The Five Fingers.” (4pm – 8pm) The game was set in a steampunk dark fantasy world and was a lot of fun. Players where cool and the GM did a good job except he read the dialogue straight from the module.

After the game I grabbed something to eat and a group of us went to watch “The Gamers 2” which was delightful and even better then the first one.

Friday morning we grabbed some breakfast at Cocos (American diner) and I then went to run my game “Blue Rose, Love of the Land.” (10am – 2pm) I actually had two players for the game (unlike last year when I had none) and we had a good time.

After the game I finally got to go down to the dealers hall. I bought some dice for my D&D library kids and demoed some game. Wizards of the Coast (creators of D&D, Magic tG, D&D and Star Wars Miniatures) has the ultimate strategy for demoing games. Basically for each game you demo you they sign part of a card. For each signature you get to add +1 bonus to a d20 (die with 20 sides) and the higher you roll the better prize you got. I demoed 4 games and got a 23 so I got some miniature for my D&D library game.

After hanging out in the dealer room for awhile I met up with my group to play True Dungeon (6:15pm-7:40pm). This is my fourth year and I was just going to have a link to a past blog entry describing True Dungeon and realized I never described in these pages so it is described in the next blog post.

A new member to True Dungeon was a girl who I gamed with named Liz who was amazing at the game. She was the thief (see TD description) and was able to solve the thief puzzles with no problem. As a matter of fact she was able to solve them while talking and solving room puzzles (the egg problem).

After TD we grabbed something to eat at the fancy steak house in the hotel and then hung out in the bar for awhile.

Saturday morning was a quick breakfast and then I went to my game: Mage the Awakening (10am – 2pm) which was run by the same group who ran the Werewolf game I played in two years ago. This was the worst game of the weekend as it was slow and the players were a little wierd. However, I got to learn the game better and will probably use it in the future.

I then hung out in the dealers hall until 4pm and met with Jonathan to see the publish your game panel(4pm – 5:30pm). Things got a little wonky. The big plan was for Saturday night when my friends Andy and True Dungeon Liz rented a large suite. There plan was that we get the rooms right next to the suite. Marriote did not originally put us next to the suite so on Saturday we had to change rooms. Andy and Liz had no problems changing over but my roommate (also named Andy) and I did. I asked three times throughout the day if our room was ready and they didn’t say it was until 6pm when we changed rooms.

After arriving in our room a bunch of us met in the suite. We decided to head out for dinner and ended up walking quite a ways only to end up at Cocos when everything else was booked for 45min. After dinner we headed back and the party started. There was plenty of booze and craziness which includes two guys passing out and the arrival of the guy who did Dungeon Majesty, a program about gaming with hot girls (who were also there).

At around 2 in the morning one of my friends, Albert, appears with a short girl and says there is a problem. My roommate Andy and I check it out and apparently they had double booked us in her room. Andy and I went down to the clerk and fixed things up.

Sunday morning Andy and I headed down to Cocos and got something to eat and then hung out in the dealers room talking with Jared Sorenson and John Wick (two independant game developers). I then headed to a Shadowrun game (12-3:30pm) which was probably my favorite game of the weekend. At 3:30 I headed out only to discover I had a cold.

So far, best con yet. Can’t wait until next year which will be in LA and probably have more video games due to E3 being canceled.

True Dungeon

True Dungeon is sort of like those haunted houses they do during halloween only it is done up like D&D dungeons. A group of around 6-8 players each picks a class consisting of the normal D&D classes (rogue, fighter, cleric, wizard, ranger ex) which allows you to where a laminated sheet on your chest. The sheet carries stats like hitpoints (life) and special abilities. Each class can also do something special. Most can fight but the thief can open special locks by moving a metal pick along a small crevice. If the thief reaches the end without touching the sides the lock open. The bard can memorize symbols that have meaning in the dungeon. The cleric and wizard can each memorize symbols to cast spells.

Once you are all caught up with your abilities the party is allowed into the dungeon. The dungeon is split up into 8 sections. In each section there is a challenge that you have to beat; usually a puzzle or monster. You have 12 minutes to complete the challenge. If you succeed you get to go to the next room. If you fail each player takes damage and is then allowed to go to the next room. If you die you loose and have to leave the dungeon. If you complete each room you get a pin that says you beat True Dungeon.

Puzzles can be fairly elaborite and difficulty varies. An example of one from this year consisted of 24 eggs in a circle. There is a old scale in the middle. A voice coming from a statue tells there is one egg you must find and throw into the fire (special effect on the door out) and it weighs a little more then every other egg. We have three tries with the scale to figure out which egg is the correct one.

Here is what we did.

1.You take 8 eggs and put it in each scale. If one side dips you know that that side has the heavy egg. If they are equal the egg is in the pile you haven’t used.

2. You then take those 8 eggs and divide them again in fours grabbing the heavy set.

3. Take 4 eggs and divide them into two taking the heavy set. This left us with two eggs and we guessed which one was correct. We ended up taking two points of damage for guessing the wrong egg.

Here what you are suppose to do:

1. The same as above.

2. Instead of dividing 8 eggs in half you take and put 3 eggs in each and take the heavier half. If they are equal you have two eggs left.

3. Weather you have a set with two eggs or three you take one egg and put it on each scale. If one end is heavier you know you have your egg. If you had three eggs and they are equal it is the egg not on the scale.

Combat is much more straight forward. Basically you have a smooth table that is about 8ft long and 3ft wide. One one side is an outline of a monster that is divided in 20 segments. On the other is a series of pucks with the name of each class on it and a series of numbers on the edge.

During your turn you take a puck with your class on it and fling it across the table and try to get it to land on a high number. The higher the number the more likely you are to hit. There is also a dot on the table and which ever number on your puck is pointing to the dot is the amount of damage you do.

During the monsters turn the DM (there is one in each room) declares who the monster is attacking and rolls a large d20. He then assigns damage and writes in on your character sheet around your neck. If you reduce the monsters hit points to 0 you kill it.

That pretty much sums up True Dungeon. I like it a lot and go every year. For more information you can visit True Dungeon’s web page.