|Tabletop Tournament & Freeplay Area|
The main goal for Friday was getting into the DnD Next playtest that evening, but we did manage to view a quick demo or two, do a little shopping, and attend a panel before getting into the line that wasn't a line before the line for the line (yeah, that's how I felt). While Ben and Hannah tried their hands at Warmachine, I wandered through the booths and ended up purchasing the Zombie Dice expansion and the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game (which I placed in our family Easter basket, with the hope that my 16 year old will be up to running a family game!). We then snuck into a panel that amazingly wasn't full and then snuck back out again when our rumbling tummies overrode any interest in what they were talking about.
After an extremely overpriced and yet satisfying lunch, we got into the line for a panel entitled "Design an RPG in an Hour".
The line was long but it was fun to chat with people, or in my case listen to everyone chat with everyone else as I tried to get my bearings. The workshop was run by one man whose goal was to share the elements of what goes into designing an RPG by creating one with the audience. It started out as a promising concept and was fun...at first. It began to go off track when the presenter's personal opinions strongly overrode those of the audience and was further hurt by the lack of time management. It was a great idea though and a creative way to share information without lecturing.
At this point it was about an hour before the two hour line for the playtest was to officially open. We'd been warned that this would be a very popular interest and Ben was really wanting to participate in this, so we hung out in the area and this was when Ben was lucky enough to demo the upcoming Dungeon Command. His wife and I chatted with a couple of guys from San Diego while a Wizards of the Coast volunteer showed us the elements of the game, Conquest of Nerath (which seemed to be a RISK meets DnD board game). By 4:30 there was a large group of people milling about and the volunteers were becoming concerned about managing the pre-line line. We were directed around the corner and told to stand around and chat but NOT form a line. This proved amusing as people were asking what the line was for and were receiving the "Line? What line?" response. Finally, we were asked to form a line and the two hour wait began.
Zombie Dice, and laughing with the people around me. We were right in the front of a huge line of people (about 200, I believe) and we were all excited to have the chance to play the currently in development edition of DnD. After signing non-disclosure agreements, we made our way to the tables and spent the next four hours playing.
It was 11pm and we still had to drive the hour home, but Hannah & I wanted to try our hands at painting miniatures. Reaper was offering a free Paint & Take mini and we headed over there to paint one before leaving. I found it oddly relaxing and would love to learn more.
We finally hit the road about midnight, with plans to focus on playing games Saturday!