Welcome to the second half of E’s Con Travels to Origins 2009! If you missed the first half, you can click here or just read my quick recap below:
- Drury Inn – free WIFI, pretty decent breakfast, no complaints!
- Wearing my GDG “Are you single?” shirts has gotten me some attention and queries. (Oh, and a few confused looks.)
- Played a ton of Dominion with the new expansion, Intrigue.
- Went to two Monte Cook sessions and then to lunch with Monte Cook, who is a really great guy.
- Attempted the RPGA’s Ultimate Dungeon Delve and failed. Vowed we’d have our revenge.
- Hung out in the Looney Labs Big Experiment and played lots of Are You The Traitor?
- Drooled over exhibit hall stuff, especially Dwarven Forge dungeon tiles and adorable stuffed animals.
On to the second half of the tale!
Friday Night / Wee Hours of Saturday Morning:
Got together on IMs with Graham of Critical Ankle Bites who helped me build the ultimate rogue, a drow named Stabbie McRogue. (McRogue is a very common drow surname, I’ll have you know. In fact, it’s not just for rogues. There are a few in the McRogue clan who are clerics by trade!)
Went to bed happy and ready to conquer the Ultimate Dungeon Delve!
Woke up semi-early and headed to the RPGA’s session on building Villains and NPCs. I was feeling pretty antsy/ADD, but DaveTheGame totally took notes and will put something up on Critical-Hits for you. In this session, we learned that Gelatinous Cubes are not politically ambitious, there’s always room for hot feywild action, gnome politians with wererat flunkies are sexy, and that your big villain should not be the Cobra Commander.
Oh! We also heard a tasty rumor that the improvments to DDI’s DMing tools were coming soon. (No, I don’t know how soon. No, I don’t know the specifics.)
After that session, we popped into the Looney Labs Big Experiment and saw some giant furry Icehouse pieces before heading out to the food court for lunch.
So I’m in line at the BBQ place to get a sandwich and the girl behind me strikes up a conversation. Turns out she’s from the d20 Girls Project and is working at their booth in the exhibit hall. She said the guys were always asking her and the other girls if they were single, so it would be great if they could give the guys my card. SWEET! I gave her a stack.
Then – the guy on the other side of me is like “Hey, do you have cards over at the RPG LARP table?” …and he offers to take some to display over there! Double sweet!
Best time ever spent in a fast food lunch line!
Over lunch, the procrastinators in our group are rolling up their characters on their laptops. Then we head over to the RPGA room to print the characters and get ready for our rematch on the Ultimate Dungeon Delve!
Stabbie was totally ready to kick ass! We got a new DM who was really cool and fun. And fast! I’ll let DaveTheGame tell you DMing junkies all the stuff this guy did to make combat go quickly.
To review, the Ultimate Dungeon Delve has 6 encounters which must be completed in 45 minutes or less by a team of 5 PCs. If you go over time on one encounter, you are out. Most groups weren’t getting past encounter 2 or 3.
We finished encounters 1 and 2 with plenty of time to spare (since they were the same ones we’d attempted the first time – metagaming ftw!). Encounter 3 was the tough one – but we had 2 minutes left on the clock when the last baddie went down. Encounter 4 was hilarious (and frustrating!) because Stabbie was dominated for 5 rounds. Yeah, I failed THAT MANY SAVES. Ugh! It was horrible. In the fifth encounter, our fighter (*cough* DaveTheGame *cough*) ran across a bridge that busted and left him on one side of the chasm and us on the other. Luckily, we still won in the end.
Anyway, we got to the final encounter, but not before finding a clue about curing some affliction or something. (I was still cursing my d20s over the whole domination incident.) And OMG, there’s a big silver dragon attacking us! When the dragon started doing claw frenzy I was thinking, “Okay, it’s been fun, but we’re totally f’ed here.“ Stabbie went down and used her very last healing surge thanks to the cleric.
The fun part about the last encounter is that it was a fight/skill challenge. So we were like, okay, we know something about a cure, so let’s see if we can figure it out. Y’know, while we fight off the dragon and his buddies.
We’re smart cookies, so we manage to concoct the solution to the dragon’s curse. But how are we going to get the dragon to eat it? STABBIE TO THE RESCUE! Stabbie made a flying ninja leap up on the dragon’s back and force-fed it the cure (while hanging on for dear life with her 9 hit points and zero healing surges).
Witness the awesome:
We won! There was much hooting and hollering and people coming over. We each got to pick out a D&D book and seeing as I have all of them already, I’m going to run a contest to pick someone to win my extra copy of the Eberron Player’s Guide.
For those folks attempting the Ultimate Dungeon Delve we recommend strikers! Lots of them! Ongoing damage is for pansies. Upfront damage for the win.
I have to say, playing competitive D&D is exhausting! It’s really intense and by the end, I was ready for a nap. We had some dinner and DaveTheGame went to cover the Origins Awards and I went back to the hotel to chill.
Well, I thought I was going to chill. I ended up having to deal with issues with my web host suspending my account due to CPU overload. Upgraded to WP 2.8 and now crossing fingers for more up-time.
So sad that it was the last day, but I was sooooo pooped and cranky that it was probably a good idea to go home.
We did the last tour of the exhibit hall. I got my Chibithulhu (thanks, DaveTheGame!). Since people were interested when I tweeted about the status flags from Dark-Platypus Studio, I went back to take some more pictures. DaveTheGame recorded some audio of the guy talking about them, which I’ll link as soon as he has it ready!
In the meantime, more pics:
If you don’t have a magnetic battle map (which you can buy from Dark-Platypus as well!), you can use stickytack to affix the flag to the base of the mini.
Got a ton of lizardmen and no way to keep track of them? Each flag has a number, so your players can say “I attack #6 with my Sly Flourish!“ The flags are magnetic and stick to the top of the pole so you can keep stacking up conditions if need be.
What’s also great about the flags vs. the colored magnetic discs is that these don’t mess with each other. If you’ve ever had minis pushing each other around the battlemap due to polarity issues, you know what I mean here.
At last, it was time to pack up the car and drive home. I’m still recovering today, but am looking forward to GenCon even more!