Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yes, I know it's May...

That is, I'm quite aware of the fact that it's been a long time since the GaryCon V and almost as long since I last posted about it. Life is what it is...

But I do want to get the remainder documented, so I will push on...

GaryCon V - Day 4, Part 1

Saturday is always a bit of a mixed bag for me. I want to squeeze in as much as I possibly can. But there are several conflicts battling with my old age need for sleep. For example, I know Saturday night is going to be the annual Night of the Walking Wet game which runs until the wee hours of the morning, so I’ll need to get some sleep in during the day.

Saturday was also to be the day the kids were to participate in the For Kids, By Kids game run by the oldest son of a friend of mine Rich Franks. His son ran a game last year for kids and my two had a blast. This was one of the games which they were really looking forward to with anticipation. Alas, due to some scheduling issues, Rich’s family was not able to attend this year.

But in the true nature of GaryCon and SIGPUP, one of the parents of the participants picked up the ball and ran a game for the kids - so total props go to Patrick for taking over and running The Haunted Keep for this group. Colin and Storm had just played The Haunted Keep with Paul Stromberg running it the previous day. So this GaryCon, my kids got to hone their skills in separating player knowledge from character knowledge!

So while they were off exploring the Haunted Keep, I got to play in another DCC game – it’s like an addiction! This time it was The Croaking Fane, run by the stellar [url=]Michael Curtis…again! The Croaking Fane is a third level adventure written by the very same Michael Curtis. It focuses around the disappearance of the followers of The Lord of Evil Amphibians.

There were some additional folks around the table, some who had never played DCC before. Because Michael had added folks beyond the original number (something that happens often at GaryCon), we were short of third level characters. Michael offered to have multiples of the same character, or, almost sheepishly, a sheet with three zero-level characters.

I jumped on the zero-level characters. I figured I’ve played a bunch of DCC at various levels, and some of the folks that were trying out the system might get a better feel using third-level characters. Zero-level characters are pretty weak and don’t actually have a class…and so can’t really do the class specific things – like Mighty Deeds for Warriors or spell-casting for Wizards. Better to let those who want to take the system for a spin get a better feel for it while I delighted in seeing if I could get my barbarians Og, Gog, and Dog through the adventure.

It was a great adventure; in the vein of DCC modules, very atmospheric and fun…so much so that I don’t have a single picture. Alas, two of the three zero-levels did not make it – ironically both dying due to losing their hands and bleeding out. I don’t want to say much more specific about the adventure for spoiler reasons. I did get to play alongside the talented gentleman Jim Wampler again and we had fun pushing the action with our inquisitive characters. I’ve yet to play in a bad session of DCC.

Both the kids’ game, and my DCC action, ended around 2 PM. So we grabbed some food and chilled in the room for a bit. Then I wanted to take some time for one of my favorite things – the Auction. Every year there is an auction held for benefit. Last year, if I recall correctly (and If you’re out there Luke Gygax or Chris Hoffner feel free to correct me!) it was to help Jim Ward. This year, it was to assist Ernie Gygax after a fire in his residence claimed almost all he owned. In the first couple of years, GaryCon II and III, it was to help build the Gygax Memorial. One thing is consistent; it’s always a good cause.

It starts with a raffle:

Then there is an introduction and then Frank Metnzer and Tim Kask start the bidding. It is amazing what goes up for auction and for how much some of the items are purchased. The biggest sellers are usually original art work. And watching some of these collectors go after things is…impressive. I've bid a few times over the years, only to be completely blown out of the water by folks with much deeper pockets than I.

But truly one of the coolest things is the collection of stories of people who pay top dollar for an item, and then turn around and donate it for the auction the following year. The gaming community, especially the portion that goes to GaryCon, can really be quite generous. As in years past, I hung around and wished and dreamed about being able to pay the going rates for some of these things. And as in years past, I left early with nothing. Ah well, such is life….

I took the opportunity after the auction spend a bit of time with the kids, then grab a little sleep, knowing, as I said, that it was going to be a long night...