Bay of Spirits #5 - Nilas

A retelling of Bay of Spirits #5 from Callast Nilas Orkan's point of view. On-going GURPS adventures set in the beautiful and evocative Bay of Spirits setting by Randy M. at Roan Studios.


Bay of Spirits #5

The group of companions spend the morning conversing with the leader of Piper's Quay, the Laird's son, Taber Sinann. On-going GURPS adventures set in the beautiful and evocative Bay of Spirits setting by Randy M. at Roan Studios.


Bay of Spirits #4.5

The group discusses what their next moves should be in this PbP style Continuing Story segment. On-going GURPS adventures set in the beautiful and evocative Bay of Spirits setting by Randy M. at Roan Studios.


GenCon 2023 Recap

I have arrived at the promised land!
(Disclaimer: I don't get jack from any links posted on this site. Just wanted to help people find some stuff I thought was cool!)

I survived Gencon, not sure how, really. It was just SO MUCH! After waiting well over half of my life (and I'm nearly 50 these days) I can say it was worth it! I had SO MUCH FUN and played SO MANY GAMES during the Best Four Days in Gaming! Was so excited to be one of the over 70,000 attendees at this record breaking event and look forward to returning year after year!

So here is a rundown of my GenCon23 stats:
  • Slept 17 hours (wed-sat night)
  • Drove about 9 hours
  • Attended 15 con game events (was signed up for 16 but one host did not show!)
  • Played over 40 hours of actual gaming at a table
  • Played 3 more games at the hotel
  • Participated in my first LARP - a 1930s Call of Cthulhu game
  • I met one of the players from a game I play in for the first time in real life (He was running the LARP above.. Hey Randy!)
  • I met one of my PbP players for the first time in real life. (Hey Rudolf! Thanks for the Con tips!)
  • I actually WON one game at the Con (Redwood!)
  • Scored three free games, all from playing in the Catalyst Games room
  • Stood in lines less than 1 hour (food, will call, bathroom, merch, etc)
  • Walked almost 80,000 steps Thursday to Sunday! (I'm quite impressed by this stat!)
  • Lost one driver-side windshield wiper when it FLEW off my car while driving through a rainstorm in the middle of IL before sunrise. Had to limp along to 3 different exits until I found a gas station that had some Rain-X! Sheesh!

The sun rises over GenCon 2023
Overall, GenCon is just HUGE. Initially overwhelming, but quickly I got the hang of it. I brought food and mostly just ate my own stuff, though I did partake in the refillable GenCon rCup. That got me 1$ refills from anywhere in the facility. I had planned to NOT even go into the Vendor Hall, but apparently that isn't really possible. I bought a couple of games and a GenCon23 shirt. I bought Habitats and Kubuto Sumo (both by AllPlay) and I bought Bigfoot: Roll and Smash. I played Habitats and Bigfoot during the con and liked them both so much that I had to get them. Kubuto Sumo I head some folks talking about at the AllPlay area and I looked it over and had to snag it (we've already played it twice since I've been home. 
My first look into the Exhibition Hall. That's a LOT of games, you can only see about 25% of the room here!

So, here's the complete list of Con games I played:

  • Genotype
    10a-12p Genotype - A Mendelian Genetics Game. Was invited to this by a player in one of my PbP games. Thanks, Rudolf! In this one, you are trying to grow new variations of plants by genetically modifying them by crossbreeding. Historical, strategic, and fun!
  • 1-5p GURPS: Six  Guns & Sorcery hosted by Nick and Nose. A Deadlands style GURPS session. I took the role of Aric the Sorcerer and the group went out looking to solve some supernatural issues in the Old West. Nick and Nose were awesome GMs!
  • 6-10p Zombie World: Blood in the Streets. Narrative card-based RPG. The premise was cool, surviors in an abandoned prison trying to stay away from zombies. Got to sit with my guy Don (from my home game group) and play. The GM was a bit over the top and the style of play was not my prefered, but it was entertaining.
  • 10p-12a Betrayal at Baldur's Gate. A cool re-skin of one of my favorites.. Betrayal at the House on the Hill. Played with a really fun couple, they were really nice and the game was cool. I was NOT the traitor and me and the husband got to gang up on his wife when she turned into the Queen of Goblins and tried to take us out! We were victorious. 
    GURPS: Six Guns and Sorcery

  • 8-10a Shadow Run: First Taste. A quick Shadowrun scenario to get into the game. I've always loved the idea of the setting, just never actually PLAYED the game. Now I have!
  • 10-11a Sail. A cool little 2-player cooperative game by AllPlay (which I realize is one of my favorite game companies, since I own 10 of their games and 2 game bags! Formerly BoardGameTables.com) Ive got Sail (and some others) coming from a recent Kickstarter so I thought I'd have a shot at playing first!
  • 11a-12p Habitats. Awesome AllPlay game. This was convenient, I just moved over a table from the Sail game! I went to the Vendor Hall and bought this one after playing.
  • 1-3p more Shadowrun fun! Just working on building my own character. Quite a complicated system, didn't even get done with the character in 2 hours!
  • The Thing
    6-11p CoC LARP: Now Happy Days Are Here Again by Elder Entertainment. This one was something. A 5 hour LARP. I've never played anything like this before. There were close to 30 people in this event. I was a reporter attending an even where the Governor said he could turn lead into gold in 19302 Louisiana. It was a lot of fun, though I am not sure I did a very good job. Quite a few people died, I "smoked" a lot of candy cigarettes and ate invisible hors d'oeuvres. A portal opened to the dreamlands, there were sacrifices just wild! But a lot of fun! This one was run by a fellow player from an online Pulp Cthulhu game I'm in. Was great to put a face with a voice.
  • 11p-12a The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31. Super cool. I've played the newer version of the game (once) but this one was just as cool. Less stuff going on, more social deduction and paranoia! We won, though no thanks to me, I thought the OTHER GUY was the infected one. Good thing I was out-voted before we flame-thrower-ed him!

4-way collision in Car Wars
  • 8a-12p even MORE Shadowrun: Friendships Never Grow Rust. Played in a full-on Shadowrun mission. Super cool. We were successful. I caught on to the game pretty well and fit in fine with some veteran SR players.
  • 12-2p Car Wars 6e. Finally got to sit down and play this new Car Wars game. I've been a fan since junior high and have had this new huge set for several years since the Kickstarter, but have yet to play it. Check that off the list! It was fast and fun. One player was hell bent on just pushing the limits and crashing into everyone as fast as he could! At one point, all 4 cars were touching in one big collision in the center of the arena. It was way cool, nothing like the old Deluxe Edition game from way back, but it's the right game for right now, I think. Sadly, I think there are too many other cool car combat games out there (looking at you Thunder Road: Vendetta) for this to really go anywhere.
    Let the Car Wars begin!

  • 3-4:30p Bigfoot: Roll and Smash. Why would you not sit at try this game out. The dice were actually little rubber tires that you roll. Create a drive path and then go out and smash some cars, skid through the mud, and fly off some ramps. I ran out and bought this immediately after playing as well.
  • 5-9p Touch of Evil, The Supernatural Game Sadly, the GM didn't show, and after over half an hour, they brought the game over with someone who had never played it and started reading the rule book. The other gathered players all seemed a bit apathetic and uninterested, so I excused myself and caught up with the group I was staying with for dinner and some games back at the hotel. Had more fun doing that!
    Tire Dice for Bigfoot

Gaming in Lucas Oil Stadium

The view from our balcony
  • 8a-12p Knights of the Dragon #6 Lair of the Liche A DnD3.5e game in a Living Campaign. This game COULD have been good, but wasn't. There was a good group of players but the GM sucked. He was very rude and off-putting. Often he was straight up adversarial. The adventure was short (4 hour slot, ended after an hour and a half. Nearly a TPK on multiple occasions. There were lots of puzzles but no clues on how to solve them. I was really hoping this one was gonna be good. Alas.
  • 12-2p Tortuga 1667 Great game by Facade Games. I own this one but had never played it. Glad I did. I was a really neat little game that you can play with a few or a lot of people. 
  • 2-3:30p Redwood So this one was the sleeper. I picked it because I just didn't want to leave the Con yet. I had seen a few advertisements around and just went with it. This one was my absolute favorite of the Con. Fantastic game play (very unique to me) beautiful artwork, and really interesting game premise. I can't wait to get this game on my shelf. The rules were super simple though the gameplay and scoring will take some figuring out in order to correctly strategize.

impromptu lightsaber battle
The of course, there was all the other amazing stuff to look at. Food was everywhere, though I mostly ate my own food to save a couple bucks. The many cosplay costumes were super interesting. There were thematic musicians and bands on every corridor-corner. I walked past numerous live-recording podcasts, youtube shows, game shows, etc. The card city being constructed was super amazing (they knocked it down for charity Saturday night by having people thrown change at it... sadly I missed seeing that) They were building a really sweet looking moon lander out of balloons. It was very large! While I was eating lunch one day, a lightsaber battle broke out right in front of me, I was almost sliced right in half!

The guys I stayed with were great, though I didn't see them TOO much. Still had a good time hanging out Saturday afternoon/ evening drinking, eating, and playing some games. I hope I didn't snore too loud, BVH!

Well, I think that's it. I can't wait to get back to Indy next year for GenCon 2024! I hope to make this a yearly thing, though going forward, I will probably take a (slightly) more relaxed approach, but hell, this was my FIRST TIME and I wanted to get my money's worth!
My GenCon Haul. Several were freebies, the rest I bought.
Some sort of Robot-Rally

Ursula cosplay
Balloon Lander
Main corridor and Balloon Lander

(DisclaimerI don't get jack from any links posted on this site. Just wanted to help people find some stuff I thought was cool!)


GMjasoN! goes to GenCon

In a very rare moment, I make a non-session report blogpost to celebrate my eminent departure for Indianapolis, Indiana. For the first time in my life, I will be attending GenCon! I have wanted to go to this event since I was about 10 years old and learned about it from an ad in Dragon Magazine. Every year, my cousin and I talked about it and dreamed of going when we were older. Then we got older and it just seemed that so many excuses and reasons appeared to NOT go. I drifted out of gaming for many years, being busy with life, music, work, and building a family. Finally, I got back into gaming and the GenCon dream was reignited. Still, year after year, excused and reasons for not going popped up. Eventually, I said no more excuses and bought myself a ticket, booked a place to stay, and got really excited.... then Covid happened. GenCon was cancelled and when it came back, I wasn't ready to attend for a couple more years. But THIS YEAR, I AM GOING! I have a packed schedule, staying with a good group of guys (boardgamers, not RPGers, sadly) I have 1 GURPS game on my schedule, get to do a couple of games with some of my never before met in real life online gamer friends, and participating in a Cthulhu LARP game. I am so excited! I hope you're going to GenCon, too, maybe I'll see ya there!