Usually, about this time of year, I get really depressed. There are specific reasons for this. First and foremost, I hate winter. And snow. And ice. And cold. And coats. And January. I hate January. Christmas is over, it’s colder than ever, and there’ no end in sight. But most of all, January sucks because Gen Con registration takes place eight months before the actual event, and the one-two punch of reminding me that my yearly pilgrimage to Indianapolis is so far away via a reminder in the form of having to pay for my badge is almost too much to bear. Call it “seasonal affective disorder”. Call it “the Spellplague”. I don’t care. I’m very unhappy. I take morale penalties to all my skill checks. Me are best writer this time year.
But wait! Not this year! At the end of this week, I’ll be attending DDXP, and doing the very thing I love the most at Gen Con: meeting up with friends and playing games until I run out of hit points. I’ve never been happy during a January before. I’m a little scared.
Gen Con has traditionally been for me what some folks refer to as a “mancation”, where I don’t have to be a husband or a dad or really do anything aside from have fun. Some people like sun and sand. I do too, but I like d20’s and harsh convention hall lighting more. I’m very much looking forward to that at DDXP as well, but to hear some of the regulars talk, this experience promises to be a bit different. Smaller. Friendlier. Full of more secrets. Baldman Games’ DDXP website implies there will be much up-close and personal contact with the people who design the games I love so much. The 15 year old side of me still wants to squeal and pass out when I read stuff like this, but my frosted side is a little more used to meeting industry professionals after a couple years in the ol’ blogging trenches. It got easier when I realized they’re usually very nice guys with interests very similar to mine except they have really cool jobs that I want. And don’t let Chris Sims scare you. He may look like a Viking. He might even inflict unspeakable horrors on your party (who ends the name of their con adventure with “BITCHES”???). But rest assured, he is a very nice man provided you do not under any circumstances look him directly in the eyes.
I wish I could say I had a giant list of events I am Definitely Going To Attend, but I sort of… how do I put this…. completely forgot about the whole event pre-registration thing until it was too late. Woops. That’s OK. I’m told there will be more to do there than I can swing a dead catoblepas at. What I’m looking forward to the most, oddly, is finally getting to play Gamma World. Yes, that’s right. One of the fathers of the mighty Junkulator hasn’t played the game yet. To me, it’s just a big pile of random wonderful, but I’m told it can really spice up a good GW game and I would like to taste the radioactive fruits of our labors. I’ll be helping Dave The Game with the game he’s running throughout the con. Well, actually, I don’t know that “helping” is the right word. Let’s just say I hope he doesn’t kick me out of the hotel room after the first day. Regardless of my lodging situation, we’ll be introducing our junkulating friend to lots of people.
I’m really looking forward to playing a lot of D&D, especially the brand-spanking-new Ashes of Athas Dark Sun living campaign setting, co-authored by our own Chris Sims. There’s some Ravenloft games going on just in case I want to remember that it’s January again, and many boardgames in which I fully intend to roll many dice and move many little tokens about while grinning madly. I’d also like to get some Magic: The Gathering drafting done, and I’ll be bringing my World of Warcraft TCG decks in case anyone is brave enough to face my Elekk-Spark Shaman deck.
Whatever happens, I’m going to be on full alert for new games to try, knowledge to soak up, and new people to meet. I am excited. I think I might be more than excited. If time travel were real, some people would go back and kill Hitler. I would simply make it Thursday morning.
Hope everybody going to the con has a safe trip, and I’ll see you all there! IN THE FUTURE!