We're Geeks. We Play Games.

I'll put something more exciting here later.

In the meantime, have a beverage and relax. It could be awhile.

What beverage would I suggest?

  • A nice sangria.
  • An old fashioned.
  • A Long Island Iced Tea.

PAX East 2014: Part 1

For the last three years, February-April has found us pretty busy doing one of the things we have come to love - going to cons.  TempleCon at the beginning of February, Total Con a few weeks after that and finally PAX East (annoyingly inconsistent) around the end of March/beginning of April.  They are all local, which is convenient, and all three make the last few bitterly cold New England winter months a little more bearable.

This year PAX was what I was looking forward to most!  Getting passes and a hotel room was a nightmare (one that may be the norm for the future) but we were good to go and looking forward to it.  The last two years we went were cut short due to real life, but this year was going to be different!

Or so we thought.

Friday morning started way too early as we made our way up to Boston.  Both Lori and I had scoured Guidebook and, not surprising, had a near identical agenda. Our day started with a panel and we found that waiting in line for a panel is much easier, as there is a place to sit. The queue room has nothing but the floor to offer as you wait.

The panel was called Indie Boardgames: Design and CrowdfundingThis was something I was really interested in because, like many tabletop enthusiasts, I would love to see a game idea of my own on a store shelf someday.  The panelists were all experienced game designers and have all launched successful Kickstarters.  (We saw our friend Harry who was spending some of his time at PAX promoting his own Kickstarter, Warring Kingdom.  Congratulations Harry!Unfortunately, my big take-away was discouragement.  I'd love to make a game someday, but the amount of legal crap that has to be done before is a little overwhelming.

We followed that up with a quick cruise through the tabletop gaming area.  We were passing the Indie RPG booth which had a sign that, at least for the moment, cleared up some confusion about their panel (neither Guidebook or the Pax schedule book had it listed correctly). It was the next panel slot and we immediately went.  All four panelists had a lot of interesting things to say, and most had games I was interested in.  One, Mobile Frame Zero 001, incorporated Legos into it!  I mean, come on, who wouldn't be into that?  (It helped that all his games were sci-fi related, a genre I can relate to.  There was one woman there who talked about a game she designed about roleplaying middle-aged women going through "the change" or some such madness.  I don't see that game in my future, just saying.)   Overall a very interesting panel, which led to some very interesting purchases.

Then it was back to the the tabletop game area to finish the cruise that was waylaid by our confusion being un-confused.  We weren't exactly looking to demo anything at the moment, we just wanted to get an idea of what was out there.  We saw a lot of games that we wanted to try, some new, some we were familiar with but had never played, and some that needed to be investigated further.  We then passed a table where a demo had just finished and I practically leapt into the empty chair so I could try the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.  I have been following this game since it was announced a year ago October and nearly bought it a couple of weeks ago, but had decided to be budget minded and wait until I got a chance to play it first.  Well, this was my chance, and I was thrilled to get it.  Lori and I sat down and dove in.  It was all I had expected and I was already planning to head over to one of the vendors to get it.

We were wrapping up when the guy running the demo mentioned the panel that Mike Selinker, the creator, was doing with Mike 'Gabe' Krahulik, who was going to be talking about his new game Thornwatch We had already planned on going, but once the demo guy mentioned it was one of the more popular panels of the day, we decided to head right over to make sure we got in- and were glad we did.  When we arrived there were already about 30 people in line and we had over an hour to wait.  But it was well worth the wait for one very important reason.

Little did I know, I was about to stumble on the highlight of the whole con!  While in line we noticed a pair of individuals moving through the crowd with a clipboard.  They were taking sign-ups for playtesting this game that we had just heard about: Thornwatch.  It was the game that Mike Krahulik was designing and speaking about.  Lori looked at me and I shrugged. We figured we would most likely regret it if we didn't sign up (we were right) and so we did.  Originally I was interested in this panel because I wanted to hear about the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, I left looking forward to playing Thornwatch (which is something that we enjoyed so much , we are going to do an entire post devoted to it!).

After playtesting Thornwatch we went to the last panel of the day, Tabletop System Wars II.  My main motivation for going to this was get ideas for games I would like to run and/or play.  Unfortunately, I missed most of it, as not only was this the last panel of the day, but also the last panel of the convention for me as I was waylaid by a nasty little stomach bug.  Stick around for part two as we share our thoughts and gushing feelings about Thornwatch!