Gencon 2014–Items of Interest

This post is all about the odd and wonderful things I ran across at Gencon 2014, presented in no particular order.  Our Gencon 2014 adventure begins at the gametimber.com booth where my salivary glands went into overdrive for these amazing card deck boxes.

gametimber.com_deck_boxes

 

Well made, beautiful and a steal at $35.00 each. I may yet pick one up as storage for my cypher deck.  This was the find of the show for me in terms of the vendor hall.

 

I also dropped by and played an Oculus Rift game called “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.”  One person wears a VR headset and can manipulate a bomb while another player has a book to describe how to defuse the bomb. I played it twice and was a crackerjack defuser, but lousy at giving directions.

oculus_rift
We used a mop and bucket to clean up the mess.

The OR headgear was cool, but the technology is still quite raw and lacks the polish of a Playstation or Xbox game. Still, it was a neat toy and I look forward to improvements.

 

Chewbacca playing a cello. There is really nothing else to say.

 

chewbacca_cello

A shot of the D&D play area. It was well attended, so far as I could see.  That said, 5E seemed less present than my recollection of the Pathfinder release a few years ago. Basically my method is to look for people carrying the new books around the convention center.  While there were many, I expected a bigger splash from WOTC.

d_n_D_area_gencon_2014

Though not a Pathfinder player, I do give Paizo credit for forward thinking. This sign sums up why I believe Paizo will win the edition wars.

pathfinder_kids

 

A dual-track for kids to advance them into the full game, run in the main Pathfinder area with all the adults is a great idea.   Old people are not the future of RPGs and Paizo clearly understands that fact. Other companies would do well to follow their example.

 

My award for the “Most Disturbing Thing Seen at Gencon2014” goes to this shot of the CCG area.

my_little_pony_card_game_creepy
What is wrong with this picture?

 

Saw a couple of cool board games, but managed to avoid buying before playing them. Given my history of getting screwed by awful games that look amazing, but are as fun as a slow amputation I now play games before buying.  Still, these games looked cool enough for future investigation.

Cthluhu Wars had some amazing miniatures in huge quantities. Definitely sexy on the table.

cthulhu_wars

Zombie 15 used the standard (and in my opinion overused) “escape the town filled with zombies” scenario, but added in a 15  minute timer. The tight time limit really jumped up the excitement for this game.  Action was fast and furious and reminded me of Space Alert.

 

zombie_15_boardArtisan Dice  won my prize for the most unusual dice at Gencon. Using plastic and alligator jawbone (yes, a real alligator) to create these odd and slightly creepy chaos generators.

artisan_dice

Speaking of dice, I know at some point all gamers dropped a d4  and had first-hand experience with the pain of a caltrop when you find it in a pair of socks. However, the MDG dice company takes this to an entirely new level. One of my cohorts bought a set of MDG metal dice and we quickly noticed a tiny issue with the d4.

dangeous_dice1It is combat ready! The d4 on the right is my well-used Dwarven Metal from Crystal Caste d4.  The one on the left is a lethal weapon. I hope you play games on a steel table because the MDG set has the sharpest corners I have ever seen on dice. You are warned!

 

Gencon always has its share of odd games, but this one is memorble. Furries are now in the gaming arena. Furoticon. The name says it all.

furoticon

In non-gaming items of interest, I did get a kick out of this sign next to one of the food trucks.

gencon2014_food_truck_menu“Ham Solo” is a classic, but the “Break Windu” made me smile.

Food is a key part of Gencon because gamers burn many calories slaying dragons and chugging between distant ballrooms.  Here is a typical shot of a gamer refueling station.

empty_coke_machine

Note the row of (healthy) water bottles at the bottom and the lone soda at the top that survived because the machine was out of order!

That about covers  my experiences at Gencon2014 and I end as I always do with an image of a sad fatality, a gamer that gave his all and foolishly passed out in a public place.  Behold, the wages of Gencon.

dead_gamer

 

Gencon 2014 was amazing and I shall return next year!

 

Trask, The Last Tyromancer

trask

Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.