Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Genghis Con 2014 Report


Greetings, readers! Today, I'm going to share a brief report of my time at Genghis Con in Aurora, Colorado this year. I was a gaming guest of honor, and thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Genghis Con is one of my favorite conventions, and it is something I strongly urge any gamer to check out if they can.

Eventually, I need to post a follow-up about just what it is that makes Genghis Con such a fantastic gathering of gamers. Something more to put on my "to-do" list! 

Wednesday Night: I arrived and was picked up by DGA president Bill Stilson and his wife Tammy. Bill and Tammy waited with me for Michael Surbrook to arrive and we talked about all kinds of stuff. Bill and Tammy are wonderful people! Unfortunately, Surbrook's luggage was lost, but would eventually be mailed to the hotel.

Thursday: Started the day out with a nice surprise--the Red Lion hotel for the convention had greatly improved its restaurant! Breakfast was actually quite good. Followed this up with talking to Robert Dorf and his lovely wife Elizabeth A Dorf, hanging out with Jacob Burgess, and generally enjoying the company of friends!

That afternoon, I got a chance to be part of a Savage Worlds Smiling Jack's Bar and Grill Podcast with Sean Patrick Fannon and Justin Suzuki, with plenty of other folks (including Michael, Sean Gore, Chris Fuchs, and others).

My evening game was very special--I had been invited to a Rogue Trader RPG game where I was to take on the role of my very own PC/NPC, Sarvus Trask! The GM had thoughtfully included an old character sheet for Trask and his ship, and the adventure was a fine time had by all with a clever twist at the end. An excellent start to the convention!

Friday: In the morning, I ran my Shadows Angelus game for Michael Surbrook and a group of four other gamers (among whom I remember "Mohawk guy" as the most memorable) who had played two years ago. It was awesome to find people following Shadows Angelus from year to year. Mike seemed to particularly enjoy the fun, and we fought demons all morning long. My afternoon game was Dreadnaught, ran by Jacob Burgess. In this game, I played a Texas Ranger dealing with a surprising foe in an alternate post-civil-war encounter with trains fighting other trains. It was a lot of fun, and ended with some surprising character interactions. Playing a Texan while BEING a Texan was actually quite fun as well.

Lars Shear (left), Olivia (center, and our awesome server), Jacob Burgess (right).
Friday night was the first of the two most memorable and exciting games of the convention for me (and possibly one of the best games of all time that I've been a part of): Bill Keyes' The Widening Gyre. This game had an all-star squad of players, from Mike to Ken (forgot last name), Dan (forgot last name), Jake, and another fellow (forgot name entirely). Part of the reason I have trouble remembering the names of the players is that we all submerged entirely into our characters for the night, one of those magical games where we were in total immersion for the setting, cracking some hilarious jokes, and basically enjoying the cream of the crop for everything that is Steampunk. My character invented an electric guitar and heavy metal about two centuries too early, and we fought Ninjas, explored ruins, and rescued folk from dire threats. It was absolutely one of the best gaming experiences I can remember.

Saturday: I ran a game of my setting for Savage Worlds, Accursed in the morning. The game overall went pretty well, although there were some bumps along the way with my handling of the character sheets. I always look critically at my own work and I am certain I could have done this much better--and will, in the future. However, I am reasonably certain everyone had a good time (Robert Dorf was doing very well as the golem priest and Mike Surbrook took the Revenant Witch Hunter like a pro!).

Saturday afternoon provided the second incredibly memorable game of the convention. Robert Dorf ran his Champions of Justice 2014 game where we took on the roles of Luchadors fighting for the honor of the ring. The game was incredibly imaginative and entertaining, ending with one of the most climactic battles ever—a 90-foot tall Vampire doing battle with a 90-foot tall Mega-Lucha!

Saturday evening, I participated in one of Sean Patrick Fannon’s Justice & Life games for his setting, Shaintar. This was my fourth time playing Shaintar, but it was the first playing alongside Sean as a fellow gamer rather than with him as the GM. Sean had turned over the GMing reins that night to Sean Gore instead, and the evening’s adventure was a bunch of rollicking good fun. Sean and I had some fantastic roleplay moments between his priest and my paladin, especially when pondering the unique nature of the two worlds (Shaintar and Accursed) colliding as they had. At the end of the night, I was able to throw in one of the Savage Worlds Adventure cards (Noble Sacrifice) to great effect, essentially saving Sean from sacrificing his priest to close a portal to evil. It was great fun, and I definitely see the appeal of the continuing, living universe built by the Justice and Life concept.

Bill Keyes, with Mike Surbrook on the left.
Sunday: The final day of Genghis Con is always a challenge—all the energy and passion of the last few days tends to catch up to people (and lack of sleep!), and this year was no exception. My morning game was to run a game of Deathwatch (once more featuring Mike Surbrook and the crew of “Mohawk guy”). The game went really well overall, and Mike managed to find a way to broker a nearly impossible compromise between the three bickering Space Marine chapters—something that’s never been done before in over six different runs of that particular scenario. In the afternoon, I played in another of Jake Burgess’ games, this time Fantasy Hero! I got to play a big dumb barbarian who was more than he seemed (and the perfect role for someone as loopy and tired as I was). We ended the con with the (by now traditional) Birthday dinner for Tammy Keyes at Pappadeaux… I had a fantastic steak!

And thus ends another year of Genghis Con. I’m already counting the days until I can go again. I'm extremely grateful to the DGA, the Con Committee, Bill Stilson and Leif and Ed and all the other great folks who run Genghis Con, the Rocky Mountain Savages, Chris Fuchs, Justin Suzuki, and all the gamers and GMs I got to play games with this year.

2 comments:

  1. It was great seeing you, Ross, and I shall henceforth think of you as El Santo: Heart of Mega Lucha!

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  2. Surprising character interactions indeed.
    When I talk to you and Robert, and Michael and Eloy and you all tell me, 'You don't know how good you have it here in Denver!' It reminds me of when people would say the same thing to me as a child. Only now, I know not to take these things for granted. As a relative newbie to the con experience, I must thank you lot for making Genghis Con fan-freaking-tastic! Only 362 days 'till next year!

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