GenCon 2013, Sunday

Read about the lead up to GenCon 2013.

Read about Thursday at GenCon.

Read about Friday at GenCon.

Read about Saturday at GenCon.

The final day of GenCon. The inevitable melancholy started setting in as the day wore on.

I had experienced this before, so I wasn’t surprised, but I wasn’t sure how Tanis would feel. I knew he had had fun, but, as he said it, “I thought I would have fun but be ready to go home. Instead, I wish it would continue another day or two.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Writing Critique

My son pursues writing (along with many other hobbies), so when we saw a writing seminar on the schedule, of course we signed up. The basic premise was that we would write something on the spot, and then they would critique it. The authors on the panel were Maxwell Drake, Erin Evans, and John Helfers; though authors, they had all been editors too at some time in their careers. There were about a dozen participants, including myself and Tanis.

The authors/editors introduced themselves briefly and then we jumped write in; we were given 15 minutes and the theme “There is a time in everyone’s life when everything changes. For (blank), that was when he moved into a quiet, suburban neighborhood.”

The seminar was good, but I walked out without much encouragement. Not much was given in praise to any of the participants. But, it was a critique, so what was I expecting? Honestly, I don’t know because I’d never attended one.

It was worthwhile though, as I learned many things such as “show, don’t tell”, and “What is your hook?” I think that was my biggest complaint though, that given 15 minutes and about 300 words, the panelists seemed to harp on that alot. I don’t think 300 words is much time to get a hook in, but I’m not a professional, and they are.

Some of the other stories I thought had some real potential and I wanted to read more. There was one about a lady who moved in and was invited to a new church by her weird though amiable neighbors; church started at midnight. One man had a movie monster story told from the perspective of a construction crew and how great that was for them; he was dinged for not sticking with the theme. Mr. Helfer also partcipated and wrote a blurb about a cybernetic veteran who suffered from PTSD type symptoms; we then critiqued his work, though personally I refrained since I don’t have editorial experience.

My story, unedited and raw, is here. The thought was that the boy and mother were in some sort of paranormal witness protection program, in a universe not unlike the Dresden Files. I think it has potential, but with a young bou it seems oriented towards YA, and I have zero interest in writing YA fiction.

(If Tanis wants to share his story, he can do that on his blog.)

Last D&D Next All Access

Ah, the inevitable last session. We didn’t finish the adventure, but we did gather the artifacts and wrapped up the adventure to a satisfactory conclusion.

Our GM, Tim, was really good. While I tend to be more evocative in my descriptions and thematic in my interactions, he was steady, knew the rules well, ran the table efficiently and improvised well. It was interesting to listen to him talk about the things that the adventure didn’t detail.

Our characters had leveled up to 8th level during the adventures. The rogue, under the current rules, is pretty dangerous and mobile starting at 5th level.

After we wrapped up the adventure, the group autographed each other’s Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, including e-mails so we could stay in contact. So far I haven’t. :(

I gave some enthusiastic kudos in Thursday’ review, and I stand by those. I think Wizards has a perrenial hit on their hands, their own version if the VIG GenCon pass. I might volunteer to DM. They received some great extra swag, such as the Scoundrels of Skullport.

Last Impressions

The Last Few Hours

We made our last visit to the Expo hall. Tanis picked up the Hematite dice from Crystal Caste. I picked up Sixcess from our game Saturday night and then collected artist cards so I could look at their online galleries to purchase some prints for my office. (I didn’t have room in my luggage for prints.)

Wizards had a drawing at 4:00 for some last minute swag. We hung around and didn’t win. :P. I was able to have Ed Greenwood autograph the 1e Forgotten Realms I picked up.

The Journey Home

We didn’t fly home until Monday afternoon. Our bags were so overloaded that we had to check a bag each. I had an expo shopping bag stuffed full of the dirty clothes that wouldn’t fit in the baggage due to the swag.

During the trip I was able to write down much of this reflection while it was fresh. It helped having a four hour layover in Chicago.

Wrap Up

I think I’ve been pretty enthusiastic about this trip; I’ve already booked next year’s hotel room and put registration dates for 2014 on the calendar.

My experience has been heavy on D&D and other RPGs, but if you’re into tabletop games of any kind, GenCon has you covered certainly. I heartily recommend the experience.