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GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

Last post 05-12-2013 5:21 PM by Quarex. 259 replies.
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  • 08-24-2012 5:49 AM In reply to

    • Lesimony
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Derek Guder:
    garhkal:

     I am honestly surprised motorbikes are allowed to Rev up that damn loud so late in the evening around so many hotels..  i saw a copy friday pull someone over for having a cracked muffler (Noise reg violation) and his broke muffler sounded QUIETER than the bloody bikes...

    There are times i would love to get powers of spell casting so i can cast silence 15' radius on each and every damn motorcycle i find!   Then hit them with permanency!

    I love motorcycles, but I'm one of those rare few that really thinks they should be seen and ridden, but not heard.

    Loud motorcycles (and cars - and whether it's mufflers or music) are incredibly rude and inconsiderate. Not a fan.

    garhkal:
    On the drive back to Gulfport, during one of my food stops i got to talking to a highway cop about it, and he mentioned something about most states don't apply the vehicle noise polution regs to motor cycles...  Wonder why that is?

    Because there's a reason most serious bikers want their bike loud. We NEED you to hear the bike, because we are harder to see, and drivers frequently miss seeing us. In the majority of accidents involving a car and a motorcycle, the driver of the car claims they never saw the bike until it was too late. I try very hard to be concious of motorcycles when druving in a car, and I still sometimes don't notice them until I hear them. The saying "loud pipes saves lives" is true. That's also why most states/cops don't enforce noise regs with motorcycles.

    BUT - This does not excuse excessive reving of the engine just to show off, especially late at night or in quiet neighborhoods. This is when cops SHOULD enforce noise laws.

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  • 08-24-2012 6:37 AM In reply to

    • Black Jack Rackham
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Lesimony:
     The saying "loud pipes saves lives" is true.

    I've heard this of't quoted saying but to my knowledge there's never been a study proving/disproving it.  'Till then I'm keeping the pipes on my bike baffled.

    Mark

    "I gots all my own teefs" actual Pick-up line overheard at a Diamond Shamrock in New Waverly, Tx.

    Come check out the website for my new living campaign, The Heroes of Altamira guildofsanmarcos.net. Who knows you might even find yourself playing.
  • 08-24-2012 7:27 AM In reply to

    • Black Jack Rackham
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    The Good

    Attendance at my games! – I saw afterward that a few of the original tickets were turned back in but that didn’t make a lick of difference to my players.  I should have turned in 56 tickets over the course of the convention but ended up turning in 62.  At one point I even had to call in an extra GM to deal with the overflow.  And best of all, those numbers don’t reflect the off-the-books adventure I ran Sunday morning (which had another 7 players! Yes you read that right, I got 7 folks to get up early on Sunday morning to play my game)

     

    My Players – I consider my games to be heavy on the roleplaying side of things and my players didn’t disappoint. Many got right into the flow of things but in a way that allowed the adventure to continue (rather than throwing digressions in my path).  I love it when players take charge of their own fun.  And they all shared very well too.  I couldn’t ask for better players.

     

    Location – Admittedly, we were all the way out at the far end of the JW Marriott hall (which necessitated some folks walking a bit) but that really worked out in our favor.  Max 4 tables in the room and often not all four were being used.  So no massive shouting to be heard, crowds bumping into your table, etc.  I went to see where some of the ‘premiere’ groups were holding games and they weren’t nearly as nice. 

     

    YTCC – It’s been years since I managed to get a ticket and with my schedule I simply haven’t had the time to camp over there hoping to get in on generics.  But I got a ticket this year and, as usual the Psychotherapist got either the crazy person or the therapist (this year it was the crazy). I don’t know if they’re trying to tell me something, but it was tons of fun regardless.  And I finally dropped off the adventure I’ve been promising them for nearly 4 years now.  Hopefully you all will be raving about it next year…

     

    The Meh

     

    Seeing old friends – For the last two/three years I’ve been watching the dissolution of a group I’ve been a part of for nearly a decade now.  I think this year it’s finally over, but that’s good because the infighting and rancor seems to be over.  I met in small groups with several of them and it’s looking like there’s now a light at the end of the tunnel.  For that I’m grateful.

     

    Food Poisoning? – Every year at KFG I order iced tea while running at Wed before GC.  EVERY time I order anything else, it never shows up.  It’s become part of a running joke between me and the server I always get.  This year was no exception.  Only this time (after asking when it was coming) I ended up feeling “not so good” afterward.  I’m not sure it was food poisoning (as nothing truly horrific happened to my innards) but I went to bed real early and it never came back.

     

    Dealer’s Hall – great size lots of variety, but really not much I was interested in.  Most of what I bought I had already seen at Origins and just didn’t have time to get then.

     

    The Double-Chastising – when I arrived at my first game, I found someone else sitting at my table.  I politely told them the policy and they got all antsy in their pantsy, insisting that it was I who must have misread the table chart (I didn’t).  So rather than march the GC staff down there (and be a jerk about it) I simply took the proffered “well just use my table then” suggestion.  Yes I know that’s not the way it works and could be problematic (in this case it wasn’t).  However, when the next table came to set up (20 minutes early) and I was trying to finish up (right on time mind you) in marched the GC staff to chastise me.  That I get, but hey, I told you who started the whole thing.  Go yell at him why don’tcha?

     

    Netrunner sold out – not sure if this was artificially created (as some have suggested), logistical failure, or simply poor planning.  But in any case I was ready to buy two copies.  Your loss FFG.

     

    The Fairfield – Liked the prices, liked the free breakfast, but those didn’t make up for the problems.  My room overlooked the front of the hotel where there is also an outdoor bar.  An outdoor bar that has live music till 10pm, LOUD live music till 10pm.  Next there’s the insulation, or rather the lack of it.  I could hear banging and clanging at all hours of the night, and I don’t even want to talk about overhearing a nearby couple fight because all our exhaust vents attach to one another.  Then there’s the hamster trails.  The entire rest of the complex has easy-to-reach connections between them.  But that’s apparently too good for you Fairfield.  Though I must admit trying to navigate my way through the first time as kind of like a scavenger hunt.

     

    The Bad

    None to speak of.  And isn't that wonderful?

     

    Mark

     

    "I gots all my own teefs" actual Pick-up line overheard at a Diamond Shamrock in New Waverly, Tx.

    Come check out the website for my new living campaign, The Heroes of Altamira guildofsanmarcos.net. Who knows you might even find yourself playing.
  • 08-24-2012 8:56 AM In reply to

    • Gman69
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    The Good - I played in two zombie miniature games that were awesome. My 13 year old son and I thoroughly enjoyed both. One was run by a group of guys from a group called "Loose Bolt Games" and used the savage worlds rippers showdown system. A wonderfully run game that had 3 tables of 2v2 running and events on one table could affect the other 2 tables. Beautiful minis and beautiful game. The second zombie game was a home brew and was run by Sinister Jester Studios. The game started a little late as one of the GM's was sick so the other GM had to cart everything from the car and was a little late with his second trip of supplies. However, the game was still quite entertaining and again, looked great. We played in 2 Red Shirt Games events and they were run very well as is the normal. Monster Mash is a yearly staple for my son and I and it never disappoints. If you have any interest in mini games, give this a try. It is a 2 hour event and is very well run. The rules have been tinkered with as each year goes by, but always in a way to make the game better. Where else can a gnome mage stand toe to toe with a Mutant T-Rex and have it be an even fight. The second Red Shirt event was a home brew Car Wars type game. Still a new game system that the GM is working to improve but my son and I had a lot of fun with this as well. Cool Stuff Inc did a great job selling some dented games at a fairly steep discount. I was able to purchase the Summoners Wars master set for $35 there as opposed to the $50 MSRP at the Plaid Hat Games booth. The MEH - This is my son's second Gen Con and so far our first events at both cons have had a GM no show. Not the best start to either Con, but it doesn't get us down, we just find other things to do. Still a bad way to start a con. Not overly impressed with the dealer hall. WOTC should not even be allowed in there if they are not selling anything. They have turned into a constant skip as each con comes. Sad to say but I may jump to a different ship soon (Pathfinder and Savage Worlds being the leaders in the market place it seems). The bikers in town. I agree with others that feel like they make Indy less of a gamers city for a weekend. While I had no direct issues, it is sad to see the city playing host to a polar opposite group on the same weekend. The Bad - Surprised no one else has mentioned this, but the food selection at the ICC was horrible. The eatery by the elevators leading to the Downtown Marriot was not once fully operational during the entire con. I can understand not running it on Thursday and Sunday, but not for Friday and Saturday. They had a chinese food and sub shop that never once opened. In addition, on Saturday, the pizza place had a good 30 minute wait for pizza at Noon. They had no idea what they were doing and were not prepared for the Saturday lunch crowd which is ridiculous. The Cosplay traffic snarls - I love seeing the costumes but they need a place to be so those wishing to take pictures don't stop people from getting to where they need to. The hall between the True Dungeon area and the exhibit hall was almost a stand still at times. I am all for a designated area for this.
  • 08-24-2012 9:20 AM In reply to

    • Generichick
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Khaisai:

    vilrandir:
    It must be that I hang out with really horrible people so I get used to it

    Screw you, hippy! Stick out tongue

    Oh, we are SUCH horrid people....I'm remembering THAT one for next year! ;)
    Ooookay then, Sparky. And after we kill it, we can go to Disneyland!
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  • 08-24-2012 10:20 AM In reply to

    • AlanS
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Derek-

      But when you have say 2 generics less than you need, and a $4 game that you missed, stand in line for Battle pods, then are told they won't take the other ticket, it's a bummer.  Either make it clear to GMs that they can take other tickets, please, or change the policy so attendees don't think they are good with what they have on hand instead of buying extra generics.

      We had 4 brand new attendees, a family, and they had a great time but were not real happy that their tickets and $$ got wasted on a few. 

    Thanks!

    Alan S
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    the Relic yawned: now was Its dawn.
    Crowed at last, Its evil massed,
    to conquer fast, this planet vast...
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  • 08-24-2012 10:23 AM In reply to

    • Shrieking Emu
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    AlanS:

    Derek-

      But when you have say 2 generics less than you need, and a $4 game that you missed, stand in line for Battle pods, then are told they won't take the other ticket, it's a bummer.  Either make it clear to GMs that they can take other tickets, please, or change the policy so attendees don't think they are good with what they have on hand instead of buying extra generics.

      We had 4 brand new attendees, a family, and they had a great time but were not real happy that their tickets and $$ got wasted on a few. 

    Thanks!

    Yeah, I asked at the Customer Service booth as I was refunding some tickets if that policy worked, and they said no. I think Gen Con needs to come out and say if it works one way or the other instead of this semi-secret, semi-honored policy.
  • 08-24-2012 1:12 PM In reply to

    • NascragMan
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Lesimony:
     The saying "loud pipes saves lives" is true. That's also why most states/cops don't enforce noise regs with motorcycles.


    I never knew there was a rationale behind the loudness.
  • 08-24-2012 1:26 PM In reply to

    • Rbree
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

     I missed two event Sunday Because I got into the black round of YTCC.  I decided to not turn the tickets in because I was running late and let my kids use them for the Arcade room... they guy taking tickets there said he was specificaly told not to take tickets from other events... and by then it was too late to get my money back because the origanl events were over.

     

  • 08-24-2012 1:27 PM In reply to

    • Wricherde
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Good - The Con was a home-run again.  This was my fourth year and I've always been sad when it was time to leave. 

    More specifically, I really enjoy the Mayfair ribbon system.  Play a bunch of games (including free demos in the Hall) and at the end of the weekend buy a cheap copy of the one you liked best.  That's brilliant - win-win at its finest.

    I also really enjoyed the D&D Next playtest, although it looks like that's a minority opinion.  I would have enjoyed a longer session, but it was nice to get a taste without committing a big block of time.  Looks like it's going to be a quality product, too.  Not to take anything from anyone else's frustrations, but I was really impressed with the whole thing.

    Meh - As several people have noted already, it seemed like photo-taking was a bigger traffic flow problem this year than it's been before.  Especially outside of the True Dungeon room and of the Vendor's Hall I felt like I was forever trying to work my way around a group of people taking a picture or stopped by a traffic jam as people tried to get pictures.  I add my vote to those saying there must be a better way to handle that.  The costumes were great as always and obviously I get wanting to take pictures, but those are busy hallways.

    True Dungeon was pretty lackluster for me.  Mostly because of my group - we had a self-appointed Person In Charge and having orders barked at me was kind of a killjoy.  I wish it was possible to go with my group of 6 buddies and just buy the other 4 slots.

    I'll also echo the request to either clarify and publish or get rid of the "use regular tickets as generics" rule.  I tried to do that in the Mayfair room and got quite the dressing-down for my efforts.  If there was something in the Program Guide, even, that people could be pointed to that would be a big help.  I'm sure the guy still wouldn't have taken the ticket but at least it might have lessened his rant a little.  Holy cow, was he offended that I would try to "rob from Mayfair." 

    Bad - Only two, and neither of them Gen Con's fault in any way.

    MotoGP was a huge down.  I was in the Homewood, in a room facing Meridian, and it got REALLY old to listen to the bikes go by and the music play.  That's been discussed plenty here already, though, so I won't go further into it.

    Also, one of my buddies had surgery on his calf a few weeks before the Con.  His surgeon gave him a green light to go without crutches or anything, but by Sunday he could barely walk and he spent Monday night in the hospital getting his leg drained.  Rough way to come home, but he reports he had a great weekend anyway.

    My armor class is -3

    ... that used to be good.
  • 08-24-2012 2:21 PM In reply to

    • mccn
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Shrieking Emu:
    Yeah, I asked at the Customer Service booth as I was refunding some tickets if that policy worked, and they said no. I think Gen Con needs to come out and say if it works one way or the other instead of this semi-secret, semi-honored policy.
    I think it's pretty clearly stated in the Event Host Policy which GMs are supposed to read that you can indeed take other tickets, at your discretion (you are not required to), of greater or equal value to your event, just as you would generics. I remember seeing it in there!
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  • 08-24-2012 3:47 PM In reply to

    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Tom , Thx, I'm a former K9 OFC, (still got my dog).

    S3vn, I kept checking genconpug on twitter and didn't see much activity. Also when I had free time I would walk by ppl gaming like some creepy stalker just hoping someone would say hay, we got a spot open. It worked out better when I just came out and asked.

  • 08-24-2012 7:53 PM In reply to

    • garhkal
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

     Being most of the bike accidents i see are from bikers weaving in and out of traffic, sometimes too close/in someone's blind side, their loudness is not a saver..

     

     

    I never knew there was a rationale behind the loudness.

     

    I have heard it before, but never seen anything to prove its true.

     

     

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  • 08-25-2012 12:49 AM In reply to

    • NDGeekboy
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    Draven:

    AnaKhouri:
     I think a designated costume photo space would be great,

    I agree.  Something with a neat background like you find on cruiseships.

    A single photo op space probably wouldn't be enough, given that these shots are typically shots of opportunity. Maybe if there were areas randomly set aside throughout the center...?

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  • 08-25-2012 6:10 AM In reply to

    • JonOz
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

     I think a photo op area would be a good idea, but it will only partially mitigate the problem.  Unless the cosplayers are going to stay in the photo op area, folks will still ask them to stop for pictures wherever they go.  Saturday I was in a group all dressed in a Star Wars theme with children, so we were stopped frequently (which is fine, the kids loved posing).  In front of the X Hall, it's not a big deal as there is plenty of space to go around, but inside it's harder to do and still keep clear of traffic.  The only solution to that is wider aisles (which means less booths) or occasional dead zones/empty booth spaces by intersections (which means less booths).



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  • 08-25-2012 6:29 AM In reply to

    • Wricherde
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    JonOz:

     I think a photo op area would be a good idea, but it will only partially mitigate the problem.  Unless the cosplayers are going to stay in the photo op area, folks will still ask them to stop for pictures wherever they go.  Saturday I was in a group all dressed in a Star Wars theme with children, so we were stopped frequently (which is fine, the kids loved posing).  In front of the X Hall, it's not a big deal as there is plenty of space to go around, but inside it's harder to do and still keep clear of traffic.  The only solution to that is wider aisles (which means less booths) or occasional dead zones/empty booth spaces by intersections (which means less booths).

    Even in front of the Exhibit Hall it was a problem this year, I thought. That's such a busy traffic area and stopping for a picture takes up a lot of room (unless you're willing to walk in between the subject and the photographer). Especially when it's a big group of people photographing and being photographed.

    That said, though, I completely agree with you - the only way to stop that entirely is to not allow people to wear costumes or to take pictures, and that' s no solution. Maybe it'll just take a couple of years for people to get used to the mores of the new space. This was the first year that hallway was this busy.

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  • 08-25-2012 9:43 AM In reply to

    • jerrytel
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    There has to be a better place for some of those performers to set-up as well other than that main hallway where the dealer hall used to be. That also got quite congested, especially on Saturday, when the long haired dude was performing whatever he was performing.


    Anywhere I lay my head I'm gonna call my home.
  • 08-25-2012 2:01 PM In reply to

    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    THE GOOD:

    Meeting Wil Wheaton and having a 10 minute discussion with him about mustaches. I kid you not, he and I figured out a chart in which we categorized the greatest and the worst mustaches of all time. He really is a down to earth and really approchable guy.

    Running unexpectedly into Grant Wilson. For those who have never seen the show Ghost Hunters, Grant Wilson is one of the lead investigators and cofounders of TAPS. The show he starred in has been, in my opinion, the standard in which most other paranomal shows should live up too. My family and I are fans of the show, so I when I ran into him in the dealer's hall, I was pleasently shocked. He does the art for and co-owns (I believe) the Rather Dashing Games booth. I chatted with him a bit, got his autograph, managed to score a picture, and was even intoduced to his lovely wife.

    Winning the Cheese Weasal Daily Drawing on Sunday. I was so stunned when I heared my name annouced. One badge for next year, and over $300+ worth of merchendise ^_^

    THE MEH:

    How things went at the dance. I've already talked about how I think things could have been better, but that was compounded by some of my group needing "emergency" rides back and forth to where we were staying. I was miffed about that, and didn't even get to slow dance my lovely girlfriend.

    THE BAD:

    Parking Rates. By far, this proved to take an unexpected chunk out of my pocket. Usually my group and I park a few extra blocks away at the parking garage at the intersection of Maryland and Delaware to save a few bucks. However, the MOTO GP and a few other events nearby made sure even that garage was chargin event parking.

    Not having enough money to buy all that I wanted. 

  • 08-25-2012 3:50 PM In reply to

    • Rbree
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    I parked about a block south of there in the Garage behind consedo and the most I ever paid was $12 for a full day.  You may want to try that next year.

  • 08-27-2012 6:06 AM In reply to

    • Osarious
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    Re: GenCon 2012: The GOOD, The MEH, The BAD and The UGLY

    garhkal:

     Being most of the bike accidents i see are from bikers weaving in and out of traffic, sometimes too close/in someone's blind side, their loudness is not a saver..

     

     

    I never knew there was a rationale behind the loudness.

     

    I have heard it before, but never seen anything to prove its true.

     

     

    That was my thought as well.

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