Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hello GenCon 2014! Goodbye GenCon 2014!

One of my stated goals of this blog for the year was to attend GenCon.  While I have attended the show once before back in 2009, I was there mainly for miniatures and wargaming.  With my renewed interest in Dungeons and Dragons and the 40th anniversary of the game, this was to be the year of D&D at GenCon for me.

I received my badge in the mail last week.  My excitement nearly bubbled over as I opened the envelope because it arrived on the very same day as my new D&D Starter Set.  Surely that was no coincidence.  It was an omen that GenCon 2014 was going to be a wonderful experience.

My worthless GenCon badge (altered to protect the innocent)
Well maybe I read the omen wrong.  It looks like GenCon 2014 will not be a wonderful experience after all.  It now seems that I will not be able to go.  I just received a big promotion at work that will probably preclude me from taking the required time off in August.  To say that I'm disappointed would be an understatement.  Don't get me wrong though, the promotion is a big thing.  I'm very appreciative that I was chosen to fill the position.  I just wish that my plans were not affected in such a drastic manner.  I was really looking forward to my trip!

So now my badge is quite worthless.  It will not even make a good souvenir since no awesome gaming memories are attached to it.  The tickets I purchased for multiple gaming sessions and painting seminars are also not worth the paper they are printed on.  In the garbage they go.  Even the nice room I booked at the Springhill Suites will go unused.  I guess I need to call and cancel soon so that some other lucky gamer can get a last minute downtown hotel room.

No gaming for this guy in Indianapolis this year.  Yes, I'm bummed but I'll get over it.

Okay.  So no GenCon this year.  Ive been working hard to meet all of the goals I set for the year when I started this blog but I'll have to concede defeat on this one.  I'm sure my failure will not be held against me by the RPG world.  Ha!  Plus, there is always next year to make a triumphant return!

As always, thanks for reading (and in this case, listening to me bitch and moan).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Delivered: D&D 5th Edition Starter Set

Amazon came calling yesterday and delivered my preordered copy of the new D&D Starter Set.  I wasn't expecting it until today so getting it a day early was a nice surprise.  I realize it's been out at select stores for a while now but that wasn't an option for me.  The closest hobby shop is over 50 miles away on the mainland and they would not have had it early anyhow.

I have flipped through the contents but have not looked closely at the details yet.  I'm still immersed deep within the pages of Moldvay and I don't have the time right now to digest the starter set properly.  I'll write a post with my thoughts in the near future but don't expect an expert review.   Others are much more qualified to do so.  Though I have been an avid collector of all editions of D&D for about ten years now, I've been out of playing far too long to be able to compare/contrast the good and bad from earlier editions.  I just plan on talking about what I like and/or do not like about it.

Just flipping through the pages last night I can already add two comments.  1) I do like the art work.  That's no small thing for me to say.  I'm firmly rooted in the traditional art from the golden years of TSR: Elmore, Parkinson, Easley, and Caldwell.  Anything different is difficult for me to admire.  So far I'm a bit impressed however.  Mainly I think I'm happy that D&D seems to be moving away from the later 3/3.5 and 4e era styles.  I really hated most of that stuff!  2) I dislike the pamphlet style books inside.  Give me solid Moldvay and Metzer style covers please!  I want to feel like I'm holding something substantial.  Otherwise I feel like I'm flipping through a glossy catalog or travel brochure.

Did any of you pick up the new starter set?  If so, what are you thoughts thus far?  Even if you are completely committed to older editions, do you think you will collect the newer stuff?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Save vs. a Cold or Suffer 1d6+2 Days of Misery

The title says it all.  I went away for a short mini-vacation and brought home a souvenir I neither wanted nor expected - a summer cold.  For the next week that little cold exploded into a major ailment and brought me to my knees.  Either it had some super secret ingredient to make it more potent or maybe I'm just getting older and unable to recover as quickly.  Either way, I felt terrible and spent my free time resting on the couch or going to bed early.  Needless to say, both of my blogs suffered from my inactivity (apologies for the crosspost if you arrived here from the other blog).  My cold is gone now though and I feel like a new man.  It's time for a blog update.

*  I've finished rereading both the Moldvay Basic Set and the Cook Expert Set.  My notes are complete and ready to be translated into future posts.

*  I have played several games of Moldvay Basic D&D via Google Hangouts over the last few weeks (the next session is this Thursday night).  I'm working on a post right now about my experiences returning to the game.

*  GenCon is all lined up.  I just need to buy my plane ticket.  I've signed up for plenty of games and activities so the convention should be loads of fun for me.  Work is getting a bit crazy though.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a conflict of schedule does not arise.

*  I've downloaded the new 5th edition D&D rules.  I've been following the play tests since the first release and I must say I'm rather pleased with the "finished" product.  I'm still waiting for my preordered Starter Set to arrive on the 15th.  After that, I'll write a post with my thoughts on this version of D&D.

*  I have started work on my own campaign world.  It's still very much in the planning stages but I can't wait to share what I have with the community and hopefully elicit some good tips and advice.

*  Finally, though it's not related to D&D, I have another hobby item to share.  I've been interested in photography for a long time and I'm always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy taking photos.  I've wanted to try aerial photography for a while now but the cost has always been too steep for me to justify.  No longer... Prices are now a bit more reasonable so I just dropped some cash on a new quadracopter and have been experiencing an entirely new side of photography.  Allow me to share one of my early practice photos.  Here is a shot of my neighborhood taken from 130 feet of altitude.  We can call it a "dragon's eye view" photo to help tie in this blatantly unrelated photo to D&D.

That's all for now.  Sorry for the unintended break and thanks for checking back in.  Most of all, thank you for reading!