Saturday, August 23, 2014

The GenCon Haul: Breaking it Down


I sent this picture around ye olde social networks the other day, so I thought I'd go ahead and talk about the stuff that's in the pic, since a lot of it has either a story attached or needs some elaboration. Here we go.

  1. Sean Andrew Murray's Gateway: The Book of Wizards. This thing is sweet. Not exactly game related (Sean Andrew Murray aparently does art for some CCG or something, that's the tenuous link), but man, does this thing really have that Ur-Hadad strangeness feeling. It's a book about the wizards of a city that magic built, but which later declared magic to be illegal. Wayne first pointed this one out to me, and Wayne, Doug & I all walked away from GenCon with copies.
  2. Various Strange Dice: Included here are some d12 hit location dice (which we decided we needed after the STOUTFELLAS game at GaryCon; these work great as a "cancer die"), Katie's foreign language dice (Polish & German, see below), some Crystal Caste d3s, various d30s, etc. I've been a fan of Crystal Caste for a decade or so, but that has more to do with their excellent game mats (which are MUCH better than the Chessex ones), but now I'm sold on their dice as well.
  3. More DIZE PR0N! Katie & I both bought sets of GameScience Dice; she bought light blue, I bought green. We "inked" them when we got back on Sunday. Also depicted here are oversized gem-style dice from Crystal Caste. I've been using a set of oversized Koplows for awhile, but I think these are nicer-looking. 
  4. Red Dragon Inn 1: We already own RDI3 and several expansions, but playing this game at GaryCon and Chez Kovacs has gotten Katie & I hooked on this one. Only two more boxes of this game (and then a bunch of character expansions) to complete our collection (which means we're really not nearly complete... yet.).
  5. Harley Stroh's Fate's Fell Hand: This came out at GenCon last year, but back then, I was on this kick where I thought I didn't have to buy a bunch of DCC modules because I wasn't likely to use them. I thought just having everything in pdf was enough. Then, I started picking up the print versions of the modules at GaryCon. Doug said he was going to run this module for the Metal Gods crew (since none of us had ever read it), so I wasn't sweating this one. Then, Jen Brinkman found out her FLGS was closing, so she bought up all the DCC modules they had and offered to send them to DCC community folks; this was the only one I didn't have, so I bit. Instead of cash, I traded this to Jen at GenCon for a copy of Metal Gods #2. 
  6. Harley Stroh's Dragora's Dungeon: Okay folks, here's the part where I admit something that's going to lose me some old school cred. Clyde Caldwell's art actually bugs me. I just don't get it. It feels like the prancetasy version of a Victoria's Secret catalog. Not even that good. More like the prancetasy version of the lingerie section of a Sears catalog. THAT HAVING BEEN SAID, this is a badass module. Harley did a great job writing it and Daniel Bishop converted the HELL out of it. Based on the cover alone, I would have avoided it; knowing that it has the gooey nougat center of Stroh-degree badassery, I couldn't resist.
  7. Goodman Games GenCon Program: A total no-brainer. The Goodman Programs are fantastic and, to my mind, serve the purpose of an in-house magazine or even the oft-whispered annual. Nothing does more to sell me on every product line the GG crew put out than this thing (other than maybe Brendan LaSalle's phrenetic sales pitch for Maximum XCrawl). Also, Joseph Goodman's awesome hexcrawl adventure is an excellent change of pace for DCC.
  8. Scott Mathis's Transylvanian Adventures: There were no copies of this to be had at GenCon, but Doug Kovacs came through with his two personal copies, one of which he sold to me, the other he sold to Edgar Johnson. I've been holding out on this until I actually had a physical copy; I knew this was the sort of thing I wanted in-hand to read, rather than on-screen.
  9. Glipkerio's Gambit Tower Out of Time: I've had the pdf of Tower for over a year now thanks to the World Tour program, but I missed out on Glipkerio. Sure, getting these in print was necessary, if only from a "complete the set" viewpoint.
  10. The classic Judges Guild Campaign Hexagon System: I got this when we got the GameScience dice and got it from Lou Zocchi, who was really pleased to explain that Bob Bledsaw had given him permission to reprint this; I'll assume he did that before he died. This is an amazingly poor photocopy of the original which, to me, makes it feel so much more authentic. I'm a sucker for classic JG material, the crappier-looking, the better, and this definitely fits the bill. Lou didn't even crease the spine. I'd never actually even seen a copy of the Campaign Hexagon System, and finding Lou's bootleg copies really hit the right spot, tickling the nostalgia centers of my brain just right.
  11. Tom Moldvay's The Lost City: This was initially the sort of purchase that was going to be a completionism purchase; then, I read a pdf copy of the adventure and fell in love with it. At GC, I happened to find a copy of B4 in excellent condition; sure I paid more than the $7 I had seen this thing going for at GaryCon (where my hesitation of one hour cost me the deal), but it's in perfect condition.
  12. Goodman Games' 5e adventures: Some folks might remember that my lovely wife, Katie, is learning how to DM. In doing so, she's alleviating my "DM's dilemma" and letting me try out 5e as a player rather than as a DM (I've never had that luxury before... ever). Since everyone and their uncle will have played that poorly-named Phandelver module (poorly-named AND it's Forgotten Realms, so... lots of stuff for me to not like there), we decided to pick up the 5e adventures from Goodman Games. These have to be better than the WotC ones, right? 
  13. Jurgen Mayer's Shinobi Clans! I wanted to buy this at GenCon last year, but I don't think it was out yet. I met Jurgen last year, but got to know him this year, so I was all in for supporting a cool guy I know. Then, I found out the game was remarkably cheap ($25 or so) and I couldn't say no. We still haven't played it, but I'm really looking forward to giving this game of ninja-and-counter-ninja a shot.
  14. The Adventure Time Card Wars game: What surprizes me about this game is how solid the game play is for a game based on a single episode of a cartoon show. The game ends up as a mish-mash of CCG tropes blended with Adventure Time-style humor in a quick and easy-to-learn game experience. A solid game that I'd like to play more; the only real drawback is that it's strictly 2-player.
  15. Judges Guild Heroes & Villains (for the Dragonquest RPG): I've never played (or even read) the Dragonquest RPG. I was given this by Bob Bledsaw II at the Goodman booth on Sunday after I fanboyed at him about how excited I am over the upcoming Goodman reprints of the early JG material. Bob just handed me a copy of this thing (which Joe Goodman later suggested probably came from Bob I's personal collection) and thanked me for my enthusiasm. I'm really excited to see where this collaboration between Goodman Games & Judges Guild goes. 
  16. Hugh freakin' Heftblade: Yes, this is the vinyl Hugh Heftblade poster from the Goodman Games booth. No, we didn't bribe anybody, we rolled for it on their "You're buying some crap at the GG booth, roll some dice!" chart in the GG GenCon program. And no, you can't buy it from us. This guy is going in our DCC/OSR museum for posterity. We'll also probably trot him out for special occasions like cons and game nights, so don't be surprized if you see this guy in the bar with me.