Mar 032012
 

Ok, look at this image.

3PO walks in on Chewie

It’s like 3PO walked into the bathroom and was surprised to find Chewie there. Like, what the hell is 3PO doing wandering into the can? He can’t be there to take a piss, and where else would Chewie be brushing his teeth? And Chewie is just standing there, not paying any attention to 3PO at all, so this must be a relatively common occurrence for him. It implies that Han walks in on Chewbaca in the can all the time.

Sep 292011
 

This week we get to the convention itself!

As you all know, Eric J Carter is Awesome. In addition to creating the fantastic Undergopher logo and the logo for Sand and Steam, he also created the logo for the Sid Sackson Fan Fest. Here he is with the banner that was hanging proudly while gamers of all generations played some of Sid Sackson’s greatest games.

Eric and Grey

Now, on to the convention. Our first stop was the VIG hall, a magical place where you can relax, kick up your feet, and enjoy a free beverage while you peruse your latest piece of GenCon swag.

VIG swag bags vig bags
more swag

Why, would that be Andrew Mahon of Pulp Fiction Comics and Games sporting an authentic Undergopher t-shirt? Why yes it is. This year he was neither a VIG nor a companion, so we made him stand while we sat in comfort. He tried to complain, but I explained that, as a VIG, I had three “frownie faces” that I could use to vote people out of the convention, and I wasn’t afraid to use ’em up early.

The VIG Hall glare The VIG early entry line

Moving on from the VIG hall we were escorted to the Dealer hall to enter an entire hour earlier than the rest of the convention goers. I know that doesn’t seem fair to the rest, but I can assure you that it’s awesome for those of us who get to do it, so we hardly mind your jealous glares as we saunter past.

The first few pictures were taken in a mad rush, and this is the only one that came out half decent.

one of the first in

The first stop for the group was the Cookie Fu booth! It’s a fantastic game and I all recommend that you pick up a Battle Royale set and give it a try. I got a shot of the dice for the up coming Death by Dim Sum expansion and the Cthulhu Fu game that they’re also coming out with.
cookie fu Death by Dim Sum Cuthulu Fu

Here are what you’ve been waiting for: shots of the Dealer Hall without the massive crowds. I’m going to split these up over a few weeks.

The first picture is MERCS, a minis game that I’m sure that WDR will be reviewing at some point.
MERCS russians art alley
hatsMERCS the dealer hall
MERCS Minis event hall
Dalek Dr. Who Booth Cryptozoic
Leather Lair Crimson Chain Ascension
Gaming Paper I love early entry

Sep 222011
 

Sorry for missing a week, I thought I had scheduled these better. Anyway, to jump right in, how many trolls do you see in the following pictures?

brady and the troll kevin and the troll

The correct answer is three (yes, I admit, that was the obvious joke, but I’m not above going for the low hanging fruit.) Now speaking of Trolls, Troll Lord Games published an awesome and fully playable adventure for Castles and Crusades that they released as a placemat for Scotty’s Brewhouse.

Scotty's GenCon playmat

Unfortunately all the copies brought back by the Undergophers were waterlogged and destroyed, but it was awesome to see the GenCon spirit in full force at Scotty’s. Speaking of which, I bet you’d like to see a few pics:
Enjoying a drink at Scottys WDR 8one6

Yes, I did in fact eat the entire Big Ass Burger. It was a shameful act and I intend to repeat it next year. :-p Earlier that night at the Embassy Suites happy hour, the Undergophers enjoyed a few rounds of Zombie Dice and achieved a milestone: The first Zombie Dice win for Hooligan!

Zombie dice Enjoying free booze
Hooligan Rollin' WDR and zombie dice
Zombie dice And Holigan wins

To finish off the post here’s a shot of the lobby of the Indianapolis Embassy Suites. It’s a fantastic hotel and it’s the only one I ever stay at when I’m in town.
Embassy Suites Lobby

Next week we get to the convention itself!

Sep 152011
 

This week we take a look at GenCon Wednesday, the fifth day in the Best Four Days of Gaming (not to diminish it’s bestness).

Here we have Eric J Carter attending his first GenCon and standing in the fantastic room at the Indy Embassy Suites (seriously, this is the only hotel you should be staying at in Indy.)

Eric in the room

Here we have the Will Call line for the the convention. This line didn’t get any better as the convention went on. They say that if you listen closely you can still hear the sounds of people standing in the GenCon Will-call line.

The Will Call line the will call line

Now for some amazing photos: The Convention Center almost empty! Seriously, this is almost impossible for me to believe and I was taking these photos. I’m used to this place being stuffed to the gills with all manner of geek and nerd, so seeing it sans nerd was sort of weird. It’s like this place exists outside of the context of GenCon or something else crazy like that.

The hall is almost empty last year's dealer hall the old dealer hall empty hall cardhalla 2011

We make a quick trip at the con merch booth…

the new gen con shirt this year's gen con bag buying con stuff

The bag is fantastic and became my new Pathfinder bag. Now, quick question: Who likes banners?

paizo poster Wotc Banner catan!

Here’s a sneak peak of the Auction hall and the Dealer Hall.

the auction hall the dealer hall the dealer hall

That should do it for this week. Next time we’ll get to part two of day zero (would that be part .5?)

Sep 082011
 

It’s been a while since I’ve done a photo post (and the last one was a collection of minecraft screenshots, so it doesn’t really count) and I’ve recently taken a butt-load of pictures so I figured it was time to put a few more of these together. This week will be the first part of GenCon 2011!

Here are a few pictures of the “pre-flight boarding”. Trying to efficiently pack the bags of four people at six in the morning with only a few hours sleep is not the easiest thing to try and accomplish.

My bags for GenCon Emergency car kit Eric and Hooligan
WDR packs up bags are packed!

These next three are from the early morning fuel-up, both for the car and for ourselves. You can hear this part of the trip on episode 50 of UnderDiscussion.

WDR pumps gas Hooligan chicken minis

To wrap it up this week I’l post one of the rare images me. (I’m usually the one behind the camera, which is why I didn’t make it into the GenCon event catalog this year like Hooligan and WDR.)

I drive

Come back next week for part two, wherein we actually make it to Indy!

May 102011
 

Here are some pics from a recent game night at the FLGS.

Paul brought in an old Milton Bradley game from the 80’s Fireball Island. I wasn’t able to get in a game (I showed up to game night late) but it looked like it would be fun to break out once in a while.

Fireball Island Fireball Island Fireball Island Fireball Island
Fireball Island Fireball Island Fireball Island Braving the bridge
The cards have it The gem has been dropped! The box The home streach Fireball Island Fireball Island

The one game I was able to get in that night was Munchkin Quest. It’s a fun game, but one I regretted starting as late as we did.

Monsters and Munchkins Building the dungeon Large dungeon

Also, there were a couple of other games going on that I was able to snap a few pics of. Below are some pics from a game of 7 Wonders.
Building up your wonders Playing 7 wonders Thrilling head to head action 7 wonders
Amy at Game Night Going military 7 Wonders

May 032011
 

A couple of weeks back I started running an open Pathfinder game up at the FLGS in my area. (Shout-out: Pulp Fiction) I decided on Eberron because I really like the setting and the way that it can be used to run almost anything on the “Pulp-Noir” spectrum. It has a place for gritty back alley dealings between shady agents of the crown trying to get an informant to talk while at the same time supporting ship raiding sky pirates made of wood, metal & stone and nomadic halflings protecting their lands from the monsters that creep out of the mists and doing it from the back of a razor-clawed dinosaur.

I tend toward enjoying the Pulp end of the spectrum when both playing and running games, so it should come as no surprise that I decided to take the “Exclamation Point!” end of the pulp spectrum. I started everyone off at second level as far as char-gen goes (mostly because I have the fragility of first level and it would let the players begin the game multi-classed if they so desired), and I’m experimenting with a couple of house rules to add to the  over the top “Action!” vibe I’m going for.

Oh ya, and I started the first session in medias res on top of a speeding lightning rail engine as bandits try to commandeer the train for their own greed-fueled desires.

"The Train!" Train top battle Fight!

(Above is the cleen shot of the lightning rail map and then an overhead view of the fight  in progress and an attempt at a more dynamic shot.)

The PCs all work for Uncle Zader’s Antiquities and Curios, one of many antique and junk stores in the market districts of Sharn. They were escorting a package back to the city when the lightning rail was boarded and their charge was grabbed in the chaos. Naturally they responded the way any upstanding citizen would, by following them to the roof of the train and demanding their stuff back.

A few clever maneuvers got most of the party to the front of the engine to confront the ringleader of the brigands.  A few rounds of exciting combat later (One of the house rules in effect is “The better you describe it, the more I’m likely to let you get away with”) and their possessions were back in hand.

News travels quickly, and in Sharn a good scoop can make or break a journalists reputation, so it was no surprise that while the party were busy receiving praise and minor monetary compensation word reached a reporter with the Sharn Inquisitive about their heroic deeds. After a brief and modest statement to the press they bring the package to Uncle Zader, a small, old gnome who knows his antiques and curiosities. He reveals that the package contains vital clues to a possible treasure trove from the War of the Mark and that they next day they would be descending into the Depths of Sharn to find the Tomb of the Lady of Plagues, but first, they would have to find the most likely entrance.

Player Shot Back Alley Brawl Player Shot
(Above are Kat, an image of the back alley brawl, and Kevin & Matt)

While searching the slums for clues to the entrance to the particular piece of Under-Sharn they were trying to find they were confronted by a couple of Dask thugs demanding money. A brief fight later they discover that the tavern they’re behind happens to be the entrance they seek. Bribing the barkeep with more money than he would have demanded if consulted about the matter got them into the basement and then into the Depths of Sharn.

The Under-Sharn The ruined mansion
(The graph paper layout of the depths and the ruined manor in which the tomb rested)

Only the natural hazards of the only-slightly collapsing chamber and a few unfortunate goblins stood between the characters and their ultimate goal. Things didn’t go too well once inside the ruined manor, for the adventurers had failed to bring many things that could affect the centipede swarm that erupted from the sarcophagus, but no form of insect could trouble these daring do-ers for very long! Within the great stone box they discovered a strange talisman around the lady’s neck. The session ended with them deciding to take it to Uncle for identification.

Apr 262011
 

After recording the recent “Mistakes We’ve Made” podcast, many of the Undergophers sat down to play another game of Gamma World, and like all adventures of the UnderGopher Gamma World Traveling Freak Show we recorded an actual play episode. (Fun Fact: until a third actual play episode gets recorded I’m holding it in my pocket as a sort of strategic podcast reserve.) Here’s another batch of Gamma World play photos.

Dice Prep for the end of the world Get em'! Slacker WDR checks the book
Kat Rollin' 'dem bones! We move in to face the machine Freebird The encounter map
Refering to his notes Slacker A smile WDR And Again!

It was another great game run by the Undergopher’s own WDR. Gamma World really lends itself to the idea of a pickup game when a few members of the regular crew can’t make it for the regular game. I’m still not convinced that there’s enough there to run a long term campaign like you would under Pathfinder or D&D 4e.

In case you’re interested, here’s the links to the previous Gamma World pictures. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.