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*|
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|