Tuesday, August 10, 2010

GenCon 2010 - The Tale of Wil Wheaton: Dragon Slayer

Hello all!
I just got back from GenCon 2010 and I'm glad to say that it was a great time, and that True Dungeon was a fantastic success this year!

GenCon itself was a great time. It is a lot of fun to hang around with so many people with common interests. This is true for anyone I think. But I want to tell you about our time with True Dungeon this year!

This was the second year that I have had the privilege of attending GenCon in Indianapolis as a True Dungeon volunteer. Michelle and I along with two of our friends made the 4.5 hour drive last Sunday and spent the week helping to oversee the build, run and tear down or the event. We had a great time last year as new volunteers and were extremely excited to be given the task of becoming build leads. After the build, the two ladies became NPCs. (Non-Player Characters for you non-gamer types) They played the same character on different shifts. That of a half crazed protector of an artifact that the players were seeking. My friend Mike and I assumed administrative assistant roles. That might bring to mind typing letters and sending mail and such, but in True Dungeon, it means making certain that all of the rooms are running smoothly, that lights are working, radios are charged, and markers aren't dried out to name a few of the varied tasks that surface. Essentially we were running all over the place putting out fires. We all had a blast, and can't wait to get back next year!

There are two stories that I can tell you from the event this year:

The first concerns a couple who got engaged during their run of True Dungeon. The guy contacted the TD's creator and owner, Jeff Martin and had a special treasure token made which read "Ring of Engagement - Lisa, will you marry me? -Adam" and then arranged for his wife to find it in a treasure box as the party's rogue. The token popped the question for him, and when she turned around, he was on one knee with the actual ring pictured on the token. Here is a photo of the token!

I didn't get to see this happen, but I hear it was a great moment! She did say yes, by the way!

The second amazing story from True Dungeon this year, involves Actor/Author/Blogger and Geek Royalty, Wil Wheaton and some of the cast of the award winning web series, The Guild! (Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, Robin Thorsen and Jeff Lewis)

Here's how the story goes: Our finale this year was an encounter with Smoak, the Red Dragon! He was about one story tall, animatronic, and probably the single hardest challenge in TD history. Only a handful of groups managed to beat him, and most of those groups barely survived. Wil, Felicia, Sandeep, Robin and Jeff made their run late on Friday night with one of their event coordinators, and a pair of TD staffers. By all accounts they were good with the puzzles, and an effective, and intense group of players. They made it in good shape to the final room with our enormous fire breathing dragon!

This is where the story becomes legendary! The dragon was about to unleash the spray of fire that would put an end to our intrepid adventurers, when Mr. Wheaton stepped up to the slider board. (I should interject that combat in True Dungeon is carried out with a shuffleboard-like table and plastic sliders in which players' weapon tokens are placed. A silhouette of the enemy is on the far end of the table and where the slider comes to rest determines hit or miss and how much damage is dealt.) Wil made his slide just as the dragon was about to breathe, and his slider landed on the critical hit zone with the damage pointing in such a way as to kill the dragon in a single shot. This, as has already been said far and wide, is a one-in-a-million slide. A feat not accomplished by anyone else at the convention. The slider had to land in that exact spot, and the ring around it had to be facing that exact way. A heroic and legendary tale to be sure. I hear it told that once the party realized what had happened, Wil proclaimed that from now on he was Wil Wheaton, Slayer of Dragons! Here is a photo of the victorious party, celebrating at the feet of Smoak himself!

Today is a good day to slay a dragon! *Image by Fotoz by Fritz*
This story will more than likely be told and retold forever among the ranks of True Dungeon volunteers and Staff. There was no better outcome for this party. They succeeded in their quest, and they did so in a way that was entirely dependent on the skill of the players. (And perhaps a goodly amount of luck as well)

After the epic attack, Wil was given the d20 used to roll for combat initiatives. A gargantuan die, which he has named "The Dragon's Heart". It will no doubt become a legendary artifact itself! Later on at the con, my wife and I met Wil at his table in the autograph section of the exhibit hall and asked him about his experience. I was pleased that he along with the cast of The Guild, had a great time with True Dungeon. And Wil, seemed more excited than anyone. And why not? He has done what many gamers have only dreamed! He has slayed a legendary Red Dragon!

Wil Wheaton: Dragon Slayer and The Dragon's Heart


Anonymous said...

Wil Wheaton, the dragons slayer!!

Keith said...

Okay, awesome. And you've been tagged by the Dragon Slayer himself.

psyferre said...

"From this day forward, I shall be known as Wil Wheaton, Slayer of Dragons!"

- Wil after slaying Smoak

The proposal was really awesome. The rest of the party cheered really loudly when she accepted. :)

Adam Martin said...

I am the lucky Adam. She pulled the token from the rogue chest in Room 6 of Dragonward:


The token next to the ring:


The two of us:


And the post-engagement cake:


It was a lot of fun, and Jeff Martin was totally awesome through the whole process. The token was his idea.

Trudger said...

Wow! Hi Adam! Congratulations! I'm glad to see you here! The token was Jeff's idea? Yeah, he seems to have a lot of good ones. :)

You two look like you make a great couple! See you next year!

Sara said...

That is so neat! I love this story! Both parts!

Bogg said...

I am Bogg.

What a story! Glad you all had a great time.

Tom said...

Congratulations, Trudger! You are now officially world famous. Not only have you become an integral part of the True Dungeon organization, not only did you get to be -- at least peripherally -- part of an awesome story such as this, but you have been linked to by the man himself: Wil Wheaton! And to think, I knew you when you were nothing but a humble weiner jerk. Can I have your autograph?

theamazingjaime said...

I just wanted my name here.


Justin Strawn said...

It sounds like you had a great time. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

...And somewhere, Sheldon is shaking his fists skyward and screaming:

Anonymous said...

Wheaton wasn't the only one to kill the dragon. The first run of nightmare a guy with the quivering palm bracer killed it in the first round.

Anonymous said...

Yep, someone did in fact kill him with a quivering palm bracer, but it was also an assisted kill as I understand it. A knock in. Not to detract from any group who killed the dragon of course, but Wil's kill was the only single slide kill that I know of.

Anonymous said...

Our group was the 5th group to Slay Smoak. No insta kills tokens, no everyone had all UR tokens. Nope we just beat the dragon down! In reality our fighter who did have one purp which was the Sundering Cestus, managed to hit Smoak on the first 2 attacks, thus making the horrid AC 21 into 17, the rest was just good slides and good luck on failed spell resists.

Eternal Lizdom said...

For the best and most detailed account from someone on the inside, I suggest reading Jeffardy's blog- he was playing WITH the group!