Saturday, September 04, 2010

Dragon*Con: Day 2

Yesterday really wiped me out, so I decided to be lower-key today.

I again got tons of cool pictures, which I will post once I get back to North Carolina. I made sure to eat breakfast (unusual for me) because I was too tired to have dinner last night, and that definitely helped. I then split time between the art exhibit and some of the 30-minute mini-concerts---where I could sit down, listen to some cool music, and take pictures. I bought a t-shirt in the art gallery from the artist who I believe is responsible for 'Houses and Humans'. (For that matter, I recognized a couple of artists from signatures amidst pictures on covers of D & D novels and also pictures in D & D game products.) The picture shows a dragon on top of a crushed house, roasting a chicken and sipping some tea. How very English! I want to buy a picture to hang on my wall in my flat, and the problems is that there are so many cool things that I don't know what one or two things to get. And there's part of the art gallery at which I haven't even looked yet! I'll do that tomorrow. (I also want to head back to the dealers and exhibiters halls, but that might not happen until Monday.)

Then I had lunch with a friend (who came down for 2 days of Dragon*Con) [+ his wife] who was a fellow math postdoc at Georgia Tech but with whom I also overlapped a year at Caltech. After that, I wandered a bit and decided to get in line early for the Firefly panel with 4 alums of the show. (I have a nice picture of the panelists---did I ever mention that I like my camera's zoom feature?) I figured that I could get good pictures of passersby while waiting in line, so I occupied my time that way. The line ended up being outside much of the time, but thankfully the breeze was nice, I never ran out of photo ops, and only one person who walked by told us that it was not too late to turn away from evil. The panel itself was meh, though it had a couple of shining moments and the stars certainly have an excellent rapport with each other. After the panel, I played in a 3.5-ish D & D game (it was heavily modified, including the magic system---but for 4 hour sessions at cons, this helps quite a bit) based loosely on a part of the first book in the Death Gate Cycle. It's too bad we were in the Air realm; the first book was painful to read, but it was necessary because it set up all of the other stuff. In truth, though, very few aspects of that world were overly relevant to the game. The event was team run by 3 DMs, and a huge group was split into 3 groups of 9-10 people each, and each group was assigned a different mission---so in essence three different games were going on simultaneously (though if one group wreaked havoc, others could use it to their advantage). This is way too many people per DM, in my opinion, and our group included 2 small children who were often bored/distracted and went on side quests. (And in one case, needed in game to be prevented from destroying any chance of success in the mission---a little bit of magic from my character did the trick and resulted in profuse thanks from every adult at the table, especially the boy's mother.) It was a bit of a challenging real-life scenario in which to game, and the huge amount of background noise in the room didn't help, but we made it through and most people seemed to have fun, so things worked out well in the end. (I was often very frustrated, but I strongly suspect that the 9 people around the table and horrible background noise were much larger factors than the children occasionally needing to be reigned in.)

Then I went back home, and here I am.


Ravi said...

Could they seat everyone for the panel? I came by 10 minutes early and the line wrapped around the block twice. It's a big room, but I gave it up as hopeless.

Mason said...

I doubt they seated anywhere close to everybody. I was among the people who were only barely outside, so I was well towards the front of the line. (Actually, many people behind took advantage of the line wrapping to get in ahead of me, though it was people more towards the middle of the line who were more likely to be screwed over by this.)