GenCon AD&D Tournament

Here it is, 4:00 on the day after GenCon, and I’m now starting to feel recovered enough to post about it.  Actually, I’ve spent a lot of time today sifting through pictures and video footage I took while there, so expect a lot of posting including media in the upcoming days.  I’m going to try and keep the individual post sizes down, which means focusing each one on just one thing, so for today I’m going to talk about my first game of the convention.

Sagamore HallI reported to the Sagamore Ballroom bright and early Thursday morning at 9:00 AM.  Note to self: stop buying breakfast at the hotel restaurant on the first day.  I do it every year, and every year I’m amazed at how expensive it is.  When will I learn?  Anyway, I love playing in the Sagamore Ballroom.  It’s right above the exhibitor hall and it’s enormous.  It really makes you feel like you’re at GenCon.  I’m really hoping that when the ICC renovations are done, other games that are spread out in various hotel ballrooms will all return to the main convention center.

Usually the Sagamore is for “official” D&D games only — which really means WotC endorsed 4e stuff.  So I was a little surprised to be playing an AD&D game here.  Turns out the game was in fact a tournament.  They ran three tables of it, it was scored, and apparently it was in two parts.  They never sold tickets for the second part, the assumption was that if you came on Thursday morning to play, you would come back and play Friday morning as well.  An unfortunate assumption, as I already had another game scheduled for Friday morning.

The game itself was a lot of fun.  The module was Stonesky Delve, a module written expressly for GenCon 2010 and which I found in print in the exhibition hall.  I actually bought a copy of the module and am thinking of running it at the next HelgaCon, so I won’t give too many details away.  The thrust of the first half though was mapping out a natural cavern, and I had volunteered to be the official mapper for the table.  This had to be the most difficult map I’ve ever had to draw.  It was maddeningly fun.  I was also playing a dwarven thief, and had a nice reparte with the other party thief – a halfling.  It was quite flattering to hear his complaints when I mentioned I probably would not make it to the second round on Friday.

Anyway, it was very cool to be part of an official AD&D tournament at GenCon.  I feel like a real bona-fide member of the OSR clan now.  I’m also now really intrigued by the idea of a point based tournament system for running convention games.  It really does help give the game a certain context and motivation, even if ultimately at the end the points are meaningless.  I never even found out how we scored.  However, I did leave my crazy map behind for whoever played in that GM’s second half of the module, and I’m just tickled by the idea of someone being handed that thing and expected to pick up where I left off.  I wish I could’ve seen how that game went.

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