GaryCon VII – Day 3

Saturday wraps up my scheduled events for GaryCon VII and it was a fun day. The morning started off simply enough, though I had to park quite a ways from the door to the Geneva Ridge resort – no surprise there, since Saturday is typically the busiest day of most cons! But I got to my table in time and got setup without issue. Before too long I was running a group of players through WK2 Curse of the Kobold Eye, which I was honestly a bit surprised about. This was my only game that did not sell out during pre-registration, and in fact NO tickets for it were sold! I half expected to sit at the table alone for 10 minutes or so before packing it up to find a pick up game elsewhere.

But lo and behold players showed up! I had a blast running the AD&D 1st Edition game, which I generally play fast and loose for the sake of game speed and excitement. It just feels natural, and given the haphazard fashion with which the rules are put together for that early edition, I can be forgiven (I hope!) for not having it all memorized. The players seemed to have a blast too.

After my first game, I wandered down to the lower levels of the con to check out the dealer room. I hadn’t had much of a chance to wander through it before so I decided to poke around at what was available. I ended up with a handful of Robert J Kuntz adventure modules put out by Black Blade Publishing and a copy of WEGS Old Skool. I then found myself in the “VIP” area where the tables are a bit larger and the names are a bit bigger than the rest of the con sites.

I have always wanted to play in a board game called Dawn Patrol at GaryCon – it is a WWI game of flying aces and the descriptions made it sound like so much fun. They’ve bee running the game at GenCon since the beginning (longer than any other game!) and they had a nice setup here at GaryCon. Big table, friendly people, and it caught my eye. I listened for a couple of minutes on how to play and immediately knew I wanted to give it a shot, so I ordered pizza from the resort to be delivered to the table and sat down.

Little did I know I would be sitting down with Mike Carr, the designer of the Dawn Patrol game originally so many years ago! He was incredibly friendly and, though the sheet for my plane (a French SPAD XIII http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPAD_S.XIII) was quite daunting I was eventually picking it up. Turns out Mike Carr grew up in St. Paul a stone’s throw away from my current location! Small world, that’s for sure. It was a lot of fun playing and I’m going to try and look up the Dawn Patrol players in the Twin Cities to see what I can get in on.

As a side note, Mike Carr also has done a lot with AD&D at the beginning. He was an editor on a lot of the original books (PHB, DMG, and MM!) and wrote In Search of the Unknown, an introductory module for AD&D. That blew me away when I looked him later – that module was a big influence on my early gaming days at the Mound Westonka Library in Mound, MN. Holy crap!

The Dawn Patrol game went right up to my last schedule game for GaryCon, AD&D 1st Edition WK3 Revenge of the Over-Kobold. I had a player who wrapped up the trilogy in this session (amazing!), and the players were victorious over the wicked Over-Kobold in the final showdown. Afterwards, one of the players pointed out a few things I forgot about AD&D that I truly appreciated, and I’m even more glad he waited until after the game. He was right, of course, but in the midst of things I neglected a few mechanics. I’ll remember them now!

A great day of gaming  behind me, I am quite exhausted. I think I’m going to try and look up some WWI movies in the next few weeks …

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