Blogging Gencon 2009 - Photos Part II

Just a few photos care of baron arem heshvaun, of the Paizo messageboards.


Lou Agresta to Run at FLGS

Hey readers,

I'm evaluating running a PFRPG (or N-PFRPG, a little something secret and special, shhhh) campaign at my FLGS in Poughkeepsie. Generally, I'd expect the group to play weekly (real life permitting) and to help me with intermittent playtesting. Anyone local enough have an interest? I haven't picked the day yet, as I would like to hear from potential players.


- Lou


A Handful of Gencon 2009 Photos

I expect they'll be more, but for the interested I've posted a handful of Gencon '09 photos on the RPGAggression Facebook Page. You can join that here:


Blogging GenCon V

Sunday began at 8am and ended at 9:30am. In between, battle fury raged. Giant mechs staggered across the landscape unleashing blistering fire. “MUDPEEP fires gattling laser. MUDPEEP destroys TARD’s armor…”

Erik Frankhouse of Sunder Studios and I played Battle pods after gaming from Saturday night until Sunday morning. Sunday ended at 9:30am, when I crashed, but resumed at 12 noon when I awoke, showered and ran to play Terrowerks with my friends Nick, Rone, Emily, Erik, Brendan, Shirak, John, and Terry. This is a live action game where a team of Marines and Humanotech execs take a sub down into a research station dark. Think Aliens meets Resident Evil meets True Dungeon, but without the set detail.

They give you airsoft guns, which is fun. Then you run around like mad to “rooms” (cubicles set up to make such) trying to fulfill the personal missions from your character sheets and save the station. Results were mixed. The story elements quickly fell apart as our “marines” lost cohesion and ran around shooting up the alien-scape. Most of us had fun, though one or two were a little bored until the staff offered to let them become aliens!

That said, my story was a blast. I found myself caught between wanting to steal a piece of tech and wanting to use it to start the nuclear detonation countdown. I opted for countdown. A great trick Terrorwerks played: they put a live person behind the out-of-control-computer at the heart of the game. You knew it was someone at the other end of a mic, but the sound quality was great and the illusion of talking to an AI computer was very strong. Well acted.

Overall, I give it a B/B+ and hope they make enough to take the experience to the next level.

Food came next. More battlepods. More floor walking, and now it was time to pick up presents for everyone back home. The goodbyes started to trickle in, as folks not staying until Monday departed. The remainders headed for dinner followed by another rest before one final game.

And what a game. What a strange, marvelous, unexpected fever-dreamy game. Nick Logue ran for Boomer, Tordek (aka Sam), Shirak, myself, and our friend Julian. We used Marvel Superheroes for the engine and flew to a strange world of intergalactic tensions. Nigh unto gods, we struggled against each other and a pervasive chthonic psi threat in which only one of our member believed. Titanic fleets smashed planets. Suns erupted. Whole worlds burned. Then the mysterious alien thing behind the conflict seized mental control over two of us, myself included.

Controlled by the alien, we fought one of our number who foresaw the future, dodging everything we threw his way, but in my warped and alien-dominated state, I conceived a notion for his defeat. Empowered beyond the Unearthly scale to shape and warp high space opera super-science mega-technology to my whim, casually I extended my power and seized a passing fleet of Titan Class Space Cruisers for raw material. Melding all the ships into a single weapon with me at its heart, I aborned the Quantum Uncertainty Cannon (QuaUC). Behold its might! Neither my foe nor myself would know the effects of its blast (beyond disrupting reality) for uncertainty striped the very essence of its energies.

Dodge this, you prognosticating mut* f*ck*! I fired -- QUAUC! And everything changed.

Nick Logue reached calmly into his bag and handed out our Pathfinder Character Sheets. “You’re in a dark cavern, your longbow drawn, and the cultists hold your sister…”

Our wizard declared a sense of déjà vu over the blast of his magic missile, and Nick added, “No. You are having déjà vu over being a wizard who remembers a time in the vastness of space…”


We all sat about reading the newspaper, discussing the fire raging in California, having woken from a dream of adventuring in a cavern with déjà vu triggered by the actinic charge of magic…


We are in the fire, fighting it. Waging war against the blaze. No. We are the equipment on the firefighter, fighting the fire off his skin while the firefighter fights the blaze…


Next page in the newspaper. A black and white photo of a 50s family. Each of us is a member of the family. Domestic violence breaks out. I am the family dog. I pee on the brutal father as he hits his wife…


Laser fire blasts through the table of a guy watching porn, just as he climaxes. The laser fire, reminiscent of a magic missile giving us all déjà vu of a time when space itself bent to our whims and our fires destroyed planets, burns through his jism. That sperm was Nick Logue, who now is never born and therefore, this game never happened.

We ended the game around 3am, wandering away dazed, wondering if the game was actually over or still playing on around us, by us, toying with us, or only solipsistically with us…

And so Gencon 2009 ended.


Blogging Gencon IV (for real)

Saturday was great. After chatting with Rone Barton of Atomic Array – easy to do since we’re roomies this con – about the day’s broadcast, I grabbed a power bar for breakfast and headed for the convention hall.

As I had each morning at the hall, I first walked the dealer floor. Jam packed excitement everywhere I turned. Bumping into friends, I made my way to the Paizo booth to see how PFRPG sold the previous day. Flew off the shelves. Kept flying off the shelves while I watched.

I next hit Indie Press Revolution and the Burning Wheel booth with my friends John and Terry and stumbled into a game of Action Castle. This game is hysterical. A party game, essentially, the entire piece consists of one fold out pamphlet. The person holding the pamphlet is the computer, and the group – the larger the better – surrounding the ‘computer’ all play a human-run version of Zork, the old Infocom title.

Moderator: “Welcome to ACTION CASTLE. There is a cottage here. There is a fishing pole. Exits are south.”
First Player: “Pick up pole.”
Moderator: “You have a fishing pole.”
Second player: “What do we have?”
Moderator: “I cannot do that to we.”
Third player: “That’s funny!”
Moderator: “I do not understand funny.”
Fourth player: “South.”
Moderator: “You go south. You are on a garden path. There is a rosebush here.”

Marvelous! And only $5. Needless to say I bought that one. I also bought Empire of Dust and plan to review this fascinating little indie sci-fi title in a Rudis Review one day soon, so more on that another day.

Then it was time for a writing Seminar with Michael Stackpole, “Editing to Perfection.” Excellent as always. Whether writing to entertain or teaching to write, Stackpole always delivers.

Another energy bar on the run, then time to prep for my Open Gaming event at the Canterbury Hotel. This is an invitational I host to give industry folks, exhibitors, designers, writers and such an opportunity to go “off show” and run games for each other. I ran a Call of Cthulu game myself.

My friend Brandon “Candy Man” Hodge ran CoC as well. A Delta Green meets Call of Cthulu set in the civil war. His props were outrageous. The photo of the Innsmouth Union General -- just over the top! Nick Logue went mad, twisting Marvel Superheroes beyond anything it was ever designed to do, while John Stavropolous ran Dogs in the Vinyard and Thor Olvarsund ran the Ennie award winning Mouseguard. Some board games, especially Venus Needs Men, rounded out the mix. Fun was had by all.

I didn’t stop gaming until 8am the next morning. More on that in the post about Sunday!


Blogging Gencon Part (almost) IV

Just a quick note to say I haven't forgotten and the Saturday report will come. Just exhausted. Ran Call of Cthulu until 8am Sunday morning, followed by an hour of Battle Pods. Must. Nap. Now. More soon!


Blogging Gencon Part III

Rushing off to a meeting, but I wanted to fill everyone in on Friday. A great but exhausting day! After staying up to 5am playing in Nick's Marvel game, I slunk toward the convention hall around 10am the following morning. Enthused but subdued -- until the next game followed by an awesome seminar on characterization with Michael Stackpole. Moving on to a little friend-coordination and registration-wrassling, we secured a game of Terror Werks on Sunday (I'll fill everyone in after the game), and that made it time for some lunch.

On the floor, things had slowed a bit at the Paizo booth, but this is normal. Saturday (today) will be the real test. You see, most people who want a product - and know they want it - pick it up the first day. The undecided and those who first see the product at the con need a few days to think about buying. As a result, sales in the middle of the con typically slow, followed by a mad rush to the tables and booths on Saturday and Sunday For example, I plan to do all my gift shopping on Sunday, because who wants to carry all that stuff around?

By the by, I've my eye on a big plushy d20 for my 2 year old. Or maybe that huge Super Cthulu? So hard to decide. So--ooooh, shiny!

My evening was a blur of business meetings, but all fruitful, and then some relaxing and chilling. Which never lasts long. Before you know it, calls come in: "Hey, I'm running a Pathfinder game. Wanna play?" And, once more, I'm up late. 3am this time, which most lame, but what can I say? I'm an old grognard.

Definitely looking forward to tonight: I'm hosting an Open Gaming invitational at the Canterbury, and we expect to game until dawn!

I'll be sure to tell you all how it went tomorrow. Back to the con!


Blogging Gencon 2009 - Part II

It's the morning of the day after, and Gencon 2009 rolls along. Thursday was an amazing day. I spent much of it on the exhibitor floor meeting publishers. I finally met Stan! of Supergenius Games who hired me for a Call of Cthulu adventure due out for Halloween. I'm still hunting Hyrum with no luck, but I'll find him! Had a chat with Mr. Gareth-Michael Skarka of Adamant, whose first ever Pathfinder supplement is rocking the charts. I met Aldo of Impressions Marketing. All in all, a fantastic time.

For adventure, my brother Shirak and I sat ourselves down in Battle Pods and spent nearly an hour blasting away in a Mech free for all. Launching rockets, firing lasers, rattling chain guns. Dying. Well me, anyway. I died frequently, which brought the fun to others' kill lists so who cares, right? *grins shakily while hand shakes and visions of fireballs cross his eyes* Right?!

The evening capped with a dinner I host at the Canterbury hotel. Most of the Paizo crew were there, as well as many of my fellow freelancers. We ate, drank, and merrified. Jugs of Alcatraz brew graced our table as we played Werewolf, accusing and lynching each other into the wee hours, nearly 30 strong. There were so many highlight moments, its hard to recall them all, but I'll see if I can't get some pictures up later in the con.

Nothing ends a night at Gencon like gaming until 5am. And nothing tops gaming like Marvel Superheroes run by Nicolas Logue! The table held Greg Vaughan, John Stavropolous, Tim Hitchock and other awesome folks, all struggling to survive in Freak Town, the burnt out mutant ghetto in Logue's Watchman/XMan like future. The mutant registration act breathing down our necks. Awesome!

Well I'm off to some breakfast, locating/waking friends, climbing back into a mech to practice so I can blow said friends into fire-y balls of death, hunting down a game of Terror Werx (more on that tomorrow), and generally returning to the maze of fun that is GENCON 2009!


Blogging Gencon 2009

The first day of Gencon draws to a close, and I thought I'd share some impressions and experiences. First off, the con is jam packed. The crowd is thick and the fans pumped. Myself, I'm taking things a little slowly this con, hanging with friends and associates.

We kicked of Wednesday night with a Paizo contributor party. I watched Nick Logue put Lisa Stevens in stitches as he went through nearly every illo in the PFRPG Core Rule Book and sketch in dialogue: "Holy crap. Do you see that?! Whose bright idea was this adventure? Put the wizard in front!" Very funny. Wednesday is usually the slow day. Friends gather, consume food, a few drinks and catch up into the late hours.

Today I hit the dealer floor. Crammed with gamer goodness. The line for the PFRPG Core Rule Book went around the booth, down the hall past the restrooms, out the hall and nearly hit the street. I saw people walking away with stacks of five and six books. Not wanting to wait on such a long line, I asked Jason Bulmahn if I should be concerned about a quick sellout, or could I come back later. He slapped his hand on a massive 10' by 10', chest high (on me, thigh high on him) display and said, "This is not a table." Books. Nothing but PFRPG Core Rulebooks. "But they should be gone by late Saturday, so don't wait too long."

I bought mine a few hours later.

Later tonight I host a Werewolf game at the Canterbury hotel for industry peeps, fellow writers and their family. Always a hoot, and I'm looking forward to it. Some of you stopped in for Werewolf at Paizocon. Much fun. At this one, Tim Hitchcock always loads up on the booze. Clinton Boomer does the entire dinner in a Christopher Walken impression. Rone and Ed take notes for roasting folks on Atomic Array, and we all gang up on the Paizo team and any other publisher we can get in our villager sights to lynch.

For those of you who haven't played Werewolf, its a party game. Lots of fun, and you can check the rules here: Werewolf Try it. It gets a 5 Sword Rudis Review!

More later tonight or tomorrow.

- Lou