Sunday, August 28, 2005

So Mike wants to know what True Dungeon is.

It's the closest I've ever come to LARPing (live action role playing), though it might qualify.

True Dungeon is a walk-through dungeon created for GenCon. Players pay $19.50 for the right journey through up to 8 rooms...solving puzzles and killing monsters in a "real" dungeon type atmosphere. Players are themselves but they select a character class to provide a balance to the party and ensure all the adventuring skill-sets are covered. Parties consist of a Paladin, mage, thief, cleric, fighter, bard, ranger (in optional Hardcore adventures a barbarian is added).

You're outfitted with stats and some basic features like one weapon, one set of armor (both random), and class specific abilities. Players have the option of purchasing bags of tokens that (also random) represent different equipment you can use in the dungeon. Things like scrolls, magic, potions, armor, weapons. This gives you the ability to survive the challenges of the dungeon and the near inevitable failure of your party (at one or all of the challenges).

Here is a link to their site where you can learn more. I see no need to re-type what someone else has already done.

It was a lot of fun. Though the price speculation and the rarity of the tokens was a bit tedious. Nerds gone wild. They're only little pieces of wood....and truth be told they didn't actually play a large part of the game (aside from the healing scrolls and potions...they're the only ones to stock up on).

I'll gladly do it again next year. The puzzles are actually pretty simple but I think most groups over analyze them and get it wrong. Simple common sense prevails. I need to remember this next year.

Mike, you would love it. There's going to be a Gencon in SoCal in Nov. along with another True Dungeon. I imagine it's fully booked...but you might look into it. can always plan on going with us next year....

As requested by Kat...Life-sized Devil Bunny Needs a Ham. This is looking "up" the building. The row of white at the top is the safety area you're trying to reach. This wasn't as fun as Life-sized Kill Dr. Lucky. Similar setup. The house was drawn on the floor and people were their own avatars trying to kill Dr. L. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of that game.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Obviously...Lucas needs to consider adding female troopers to any future Star Wars project. Perhaps even the last three would be redeemable if the clone troopers were...

View of the Gencon convention floor...with all the vendors. I still think carnies at the Fair are scarier.

It's the Thing....and he's coming right for me...that left a mark. Next time...I'll ask for a photo (or maybe just leave him alone).

It's Batman...from one of the card-playing rooms.

Giant-Sized Settlers of Catan. Someone built a big hex-board with sculpted mountains, forrests, grasslands, etc. The game played the same but it was GIANT. And fun.
I went to my first Gencon. Will it be my last? Uncertain. Did I have fun? Sure.

What is Gencon? Only one of the largest gaming conventions in the country, if not the world. All kinds of gaming. Miniatures (though no Games Workshop), card games, board games, role playing games, LARPS, even computer games. I went with my good friends Wes and Frank after hearing them rave about how much fun they had last year.

I played hard and thankfully had some canceled events so I had time to visit the vendors. My biggest find of the week was a reletively new miniatures company, Magnificent Egos. Good looking figures and they had an archer with a longbow that's similiar to a character I'm playing in Pete's world (Ereth). One of the cool things about this company...they gave away free mini's based on purchase amount. I found some that I liked and planned to purchase...when they were bagging my merchandise they added three extra figures. I spent something like $49.50 and they game me the figures for the $10, $25, and $50 level. Very cool. The folks were friendly and not pushy.

The other find was the card game Fluxx. I had fun playing it with some strangers and had to buy it. I hope it can be integrated into regular weekend gaming rotation. It was won some Mensa award for good games.

Let's see, what else....there were a lot of obese people, black t-shirts, greasy hair, and gamer funk. But people were friendly and relaxed. There were people in costumes that would gladly let you snap pictures of them.

I learned that, while I like to hack/slash with's not the same with strangers and limited to four hours. I actually think I enjoy the role playing better than the roll playing. If I go next year I will sign up for more board games.

I played giant Settlers of Catan, Robo Rally, fun life-sized versions of Kill Dr. Lucky and Devil Bunny Needs a Ham.

True Dungeon was a lot of fun. I take a great deal of pleasure in knowing I made it farther than anyone else in our party. We all died in the last room. Then we had a chance to defeat Death in order to return to the land of the living. I was the only one to score the critical head-shot. Of course I then forgot to grab a light source from one of my slain companions...but it was still very fun.

And a word about Indy (the very small part I saw). I didn't like their water. But they do have White Castle and there was one near the convention center so I had some sliders. The convention center was great...though Gencon is so large that they're actually running out of space. Or so it seemed to me.

Oh...and the vendors were giving away very little in swag. I was hoping for some free stuff and it didn't really happen.

Monday, August 22, 2005

My test in allowing anonymous postings has failed. Photos and GenCon reports over the next few days.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Off to Gencon for the next four days. Hope to return with lots of stories and photos. I've never been to a convention like this before so I have no idea what to expect.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Started a new book this evening and I am racing to finish it. I should be done by tomorrow or Wed. So...what is this juggernaut of literature that I cannot put down? It's a book with a series of critical and comical essays surrounding everyone's favorite canceled sci-fi series: Firefly.

The book is Finding Serenity : Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly. I am liking it a lot. For the most part the book consists of fan essays gathered in a volume, but the authors are (up to the point I've read) all actual writers and some were even attached to the show. Jewel Staite (Kaylee) even wrote a piece detailing her thoughts and favorite moments. It's one of the last esays so I haven't read it yet. Also included is the English translation for all the Chinese used in the series (on a per episode basis). Next time I watch an episode I'll have that section handy.

When I'm done I'll gladly pass it around the the friends here in F'ville. Peter has already requested first crack at the book. I figure the Collin, Kat, or Wes will want to get a shot at it as well.

More on my other new book once I get started on it...which should happen on the flight to Indy on Wed.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

So, I was watching Attack of the Show on Monday. They occasionally have crappy LA bands play live on the show. I usually give them about 30 seconds before I fast forward. This band, Hot Waffles, played and despite the fact they truly are not a good band they're kinda quirky like Tenacious D.

I mention this because the song they played was titles "George Lucas Raped Our Childhood." What a great title. And the song expresses some of the frustration that a lot of us have felt these past few years with the new Star Wars movies and the various special editions (Mike...talking about you). Check the link and click on the Music tab. Then give the song a listen. You'll be happy you did. I can tell you that the song on their site titled "Bert and Ernie are Gay?" isn't that good and doesn't live up to (what I hoped was) it's humorous potential.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Vagabond...looking sad and's fair to say he is neither.
Wikipedia is a dangerous place. So much information. So many links. I find it hard to get out of there once I visit. I keep finding new subjects to explore.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Big News

The Carvel/Cinnabon is finally opening. Saturday Aug. 6. I'll be there. Who wants to come with me? I hope they actually serve the ice-cream that I like. If not life will go on and the trips to Dallas and Syracuse will continue to hold a little bit more meaning.

In other news...and to enhance a post from a while is a link to a blog of photos of old malls and shopping centers during their heyday: Malls of America. Kinda retro-cool.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The mysterious avocado-jello salad. Should a color like that be ingested? We all did...interesting texture and flavor. Not bad but not necessarily good either.

Me and Jack Derden...exhausted after a day of drinking. He's got more hair than me!