Goodman Games

Gen Con Wrapup
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Author:  goodmangames [ Sun Aug 29, 2004 7:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Gen Con Wrapup

This was a great Gen Con. It's taken me a week to put together this wrapup because it's hard to transcribe such a fun experience into words. But here's a shot at it anyway!

The two highlights of the con were Blackmoor and the Dungeon Crawl Classics tournament. I'm going to cover the tournament first, since I just finished posting about the winners. We had 42 people sign up via preregistration, and we managed to open up another 12 slots with pickup games run by Jason "Iron DM" Little. Unfortunately, we still had to turn away more than 30 other fans who wanted to get in. We offered alternate spots in case someone didn't show up for their slot, but then that backfired -- in one case, we had 10 alternates show up hoping for a slot in a 6-person game! (And of course the full complement of 6 then showed up.) Next year we'll be prepared with more slots, better timing of the rounds, and a better system for getting whole teams into each slot.

For the 54 fans who did get in, the tournament was a blast. The Crypt of the Devil Lich proved to be an excellent adventure, and we got repeated complements on how much fun it was. Ten separate authors worked to give this module its incredible array of deathtraps, and the work paid off. Unfortunately, the one downside -- in my DM-mentality worldview -- is that not enough PCs died! We discovered that it's awfully hard to kill 15th-level characters. Of course, we were also dealing with seasoned dungeon-crawling professionals. In my home group's playtesting of the module, there was one room that dropped 3 out of 6 PCs in a single roll. (That's the rainbow room, for those of you who played it -- anybody else trigger the symbol of weakness on top of the Strength drain from the shadows on level one?) But we didn't have quite so much luck at the tournament.

For those of you who participated in the tournament, please feel free to post your highlights, lowlights, and suggestions here. Chris Doyle, who organized the whole shebang, will be carefully considering all suggestions for next year, so let your voice be heard! Chris did a great job of organizing this year's event, along with help from Jason "Iron DM" Little, Jeff Quinn, Adrian Pommier, Richard Iorio II, and Ken "Secret Backup DM" Hart. One thing's for sure: Next year we're going to kill off more characters. Just you wait. We'll figure out a way!

Having Dave Arneson signing at the booth was another big highlight. It's not every day you have the co-creator of D&D at your booth... it's not every day you get to publish Blackmoor... and it's not every day that Dave Arneson is signing Blackmoor on the first day of its release at your booth! It was great having Dave there and meeting some of his old friends who are now immortalized in Blackmoor as the various NPCs of the world. I only wish the booth hadn't been so busy so I could have had a chance to actually sit down and chat more! Many other contributors to Blackmoor were also on hand, including Dustin Clingman, Jeff Quinn, and Richard Pocklington, and we got a chance to play some late-night Settlers of Catan where we discussed top-secret projects for the coming year.

Blackmoor itself turned out great. It's everything it was supposed to be: big, bold, brooding, and beautiful. It got constant compliments throughout the show, both from old-timers and newcomers alike. The first supplement, an adventure called The Redwood Scar, is already in progress, and the development team has ideas for many more great sourcebooks which will be revealed in due time.

There was so much else going on it's hard to focus! We released Geek Wars: Battle for the Con, our first card game. Game designer Richard Iorio II ran demos the entire weekend, along with help from Susie Quinn, and many a happy fan walked away hooked on a great new game. The highlight of the Geek Wars demos came when one of the cards came true. As many of you know, the cards poke fun at gamers and their habits. Well, there's one card called "Soda Spill." It happened to be on the top of the deck when someone walked up with a big soda in one hand and said, "Hey, this game looks cool!" He gestured and promptly spilled his soda all over the "Soda Spill" card, as well as a bunch of nearby books. How much more accurate could the game be?

I was on a Sword & Sorcery panel to discuss DragonMech, and was very pleased at the great reception. (As the author of DragonMech, I'm obviously biased!) One guy from the panel audience immediately came down to the booth to pick up DragonMech, telling me that my description of aboleth mechs hooked him from the start. (Yes, aboleth mechs; wait until the Mech Manual to learn more!) Ken Hart and Jeff Quinn both ran some great DragonMech demos, which also helped introduce some new folks to the world. And we released The Shardsfall Quest hot off the presses.

And then there were the signings. In addition to Dave, we had Brad McDevitt and Jeff Quinn signing at the booth. Brad has had work in more Goodman Games products than probably any other artist, ranging from drow to dinosaurs to dungeon crawls. He showed off some great work from his portfolio. Jeff signed copies of Complete Guide to drow and DCC #8: Mysteries of the Drow. He helped set the high standard for Dungeon Crawl Classics in the very beginning with Idylls of the Rat King, which is now out of print but will be back in a 3.5 edition early next year.

Andy Hopp unfortunately wasn't able to do his signing because he was enlisted to judge the costume contest. But that certainly sounds like a fun job, so I can't blame him! Primeval Groves, Andy's latest installment in the Wanderers Guild series, was brand new at the show, and it got a great reception.

The one downside about the show was how busy the booth was. That's an upside, too; we had a very strong turnout, but it kept me on my toes! I love talking to people at the booth, but I didn't get enough time to really focus because I was constantly helping people. It also meant I didn't get enough time to walk the exhibitors hall and the artists alley (both things I love to do), or just hang out and watch crazy stuff happen. But I'm not worried. After all... there's always next year!

Thanks to everyone for a great show – thanks to the fans who keep Goodman Games in business, thanks to everyone who helped at the booth, and thanks to Indianapolis for the drunk Colts fans who provided so much amusement on Saturday night!

Author:  goodmangames [ Sun Aug 29, 2004 7:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

I already posted the tournament results to our main web page, but just in case anyone missed them, here's a recap.

The top-scoring team in the First Annual Dungeon Crawl Classics Open Tournament was The Josh O'Connor Experiment, starring original members Josh O'Connor-Rose, Mark Karay, Juan Burriel, Michael Maenza, Dustin Short, and Matthew Filla, and last-round substitutes Andrew Brogan and Tom Caudron.

The second place team was Clan Yeoman, starring Samir Shamma, Dave Stanford, Tim Buckley, Dan Adams, Nicol Roell, and Riyal Shamma.

The top-scoring individual (who will receive an original character portrait by Erol Otus) was Dan Adams of Clan Yeoman.

The 2nd-place individual (who will receive original art from Dungeon Crawl Classics #1) was Michael Maenza of The Josh O'Conner Experiment.

Congratulations to everyone for a great tournament!

Author:  drhoover [ Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Burn 'em with your shooty!!

Our group had a great time playing in the first round of "The Crypt of the Devil Lich." In fact, we had so much fun that we only made it through the first 3 rooms! It didn't do much for our advancement to the next round but I'd be willing to bet that "Mellyoun's Laffing Legion" was the only group that made their DM laugh himself into a migraine.

That DM was none other than the incomparable Jeff "The Mighty" Quinn. He was an awesome guy and we had a real blast despite (or perhaps because of) some of the worst dice rolling I've ever seen.

Some of our highlights:

    The realization that you can drag a paralyzed gnome through a room to "search for traps" (hey, he's still a rogue).

    Our ever-present battle cry: "Burn 'em with your shooty!!" (a reference to the wizard's Rod of Scorching Ray which seemed to be the single effective tactic we came up with)

    The female paladin turning her helmet around backwards to keep from being disoriented by the light in one room and proceeding to blindfight her way through most of her own party. Despite incredible bonuses to hit (even blind) she never landed a hit on the proper target. This included rolling two "1s" in a row while touch attacking an undead nasty with her Lay on Hands ability and accidentally (...ahem...) touching herself.

Kudos to Goodman Games and a special thanks to Jeff for a great adventure that turned out to be the highlight of our Con. We're already looking forward to next year! :D


Author:  superfan [ Mon Aug 30, 2004 5:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hello all from the Superfan,

I got a chance to play in (and lose in) two rounds of the DCC tourney. Never had so much fun being a loser in all my life!!!!

Jeff and Jason were superior GM's that taught me a how to wet myself with every new room?"

Devil Lich is a worthy hommage to Tomb of Horrors. Thank god I'll be running my party through it with the pregen characters. I don't think any of their well loved characters would survive it!

Thanks again for the best Con ever....I'm coming back stronger and with my home group, and we're gonna WIN!!!!!!!!

Ben "wishfull thinking superfan" Waxman PA :oops:

Author:  chrispys [ Mon Aug 30, 2004 5:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

I had a chance to play in one of the DragonMech demos ran by Jeff Quinn. Jeff did a great job running the game and capturing the flavor of the world for our group. Such a great job in fact, that I also went down immediately after the demo and picked up both the setting book and Shardsfall Quest.

I love the setting, and will be running adventures in it soon! Thanks to Jeff for running a memorable game, and thanks to you Mr. Goodman for creating such an awesome setting!


Author:  fathead [ Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:28 am ]
Post subject: 

The Crypt of the Devil Lich was easily our favorite event of the con. The module was superbly written, and the DMs were stellar! I'd like to offer a whole-hearted thanks to our DMs, which made the tournament so much fun!

My personal favorite moment was when the monk, in a spurt of irrationality, took advantage of his high iniative and explored the rotating room before my thief was able to check for any traps (thereby setting off an obnoxious green gas...and, of course, my thief fails his save). While my thief is busy attacking the ceiling (quite a feat for a diminutive little gnome), the monk continues "exploring" the room. The monk drags me along with him. One round later (and another roll of the dice), I attack the monk. They tie me up and leave me lying in the middle of the room. Another round passes (as a DM, I can't seem to pass up the opportunity to cause my players additional grief), so I start rolling around onto other squares (all the while frothing at the mouth and madly screaming). Meanwhile, the monk is continuing his "expert" search of the room (setting off more traps, of course). The mage (finally fed up at this point), yells at everyone to stop where they are. He walks over to my square and sits on me until my thief returned to normal (and of course I squirmed the whole time and did my best to bite him).

Ahhh....why is it that some of the most memorable stories are those of your group at their worst?


Here are some suggestions for next year:

Keep the same core group of characters. I had a lot of fun playing Mellyoun.

Change around the spell selections some. Obviously, this is up to your discretion and will be based more on whether certain spells can bypass encounters easily.

Author:  brogan_a [ Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hey Ryn the Ranger from the winning team here. I can honestly say that this was the best Con experience that I have ever had. And I don't think anyone would disagree that Jason Little is the best fricken DM ever! I was lucky enough to have him DM for me the first and third rounds. My favorite room? That has to be rotating room one the first level. For some odd reason the "holy" paladin wanted to release the alips into the wild instead of killing them. Well she was able to turn the alips and as we walked clockwise around the room so they would move against the opposite wall and hench escape through the door we can in at, we managed to set off 3 traps in rapid succession; but hey the alips got out! I can't wait to run my group through the module when it gets released! I was able to purchase all of the DCC modules that you had for sale at the booth and I look forward to owning the rest when you release them. Thanks again for a great time!

-Andrew Brogan

Author:  fathead [ Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

We didn't have Jason Little as a GM, but I can say that the GMs that we had were incredible. They made the tournament entertaining, engaging, and challenging. Great job guys!

Author:  fathead [ Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

Andrew Brogan,

You guys are from Cincy? So are we...

Author:  brogan_a [ Sat Sep 04, 2004 5:56 am ]
Post subject: 

I am from Cincinnati, though the rest of the team was from other parts of the midwest. Glad to see you make it to the finals, look like the Queen City was well represented!

-Andrew Brogan aka Ryn the Ranger

Author:  ynnen [ Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:54 am ]
Post subject:  Glad everyone had fun!

Hey all, it's Jason Little... Many of you may remember me from Gen Con as one of the DMs for the Devil Lich tourney. I just wanted to say that I had a great time DMing at Gen Con, and thanks to all the players who stopped by!

There were tons of great people, and each session had some very interesting quirks and memorable situations. I only wish we had more slots so that we never had to turn anyone away!

I'm glad everyone had a good time, and I hope to see many of you next year for the next DCC Tournament. I'm going to start a new thread for the DCC Devil Lich adventure, hoping folks will post their favorite moments. Can't wait to hear your anecdotes!

Author:  scrotoz [ Sat Sep 11, 2004 4:28 am ]
Post subject:  Great GEN CON experience

I had a great time in the Devil Lich tourney. You guys win the award for "First edition feel, third edition rules". And kudos to Jason amazing DM running an amazing adventure (though it seems that his dice rolls suffered throughout the entire weekend). I only wish my team (What Plan?) would have made it through the first round.

The highlights of our session were: Lady Varin fighting the vampire monk - bare-breasted (she had to strip her armor off to get through the opening) and our monk deciding that the eyes of the vampire monk had something to do with a riddle we found. He pried them out and tried to stick them into every orifice in the dungeon.

As a side note, I got the chance to DM my normal playing group (including the esteemed Mr. Brogan) through your module 'Mysteries of the Drow' at GEN CON. Once again, a great, great product... and my dice where a little hotter than Jason's :twisted:

Thanks again for a GREAT time... I definitely want to signup for whatever you have planned next year!

Author:  JasonGawker [ Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:46 am ]
Post subject:  Hey

Hello everyone

The con has definitely been great. Ono of the better cons I've been to. It just made me realize how much I want to learn more and more about D&D, for example I just bought some books here, they seem excellent and low priced as well. What do you think? Anyone read any of those?


Author:  Seben-PistonRager [ Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:50 am ]
Post subject: 

Whoooo... way to True Res. this umm... 4 year dead thread....
I wish i could have gon to Gen Con.. haven't been in forever, at least since they moved to Indy...

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