By Todd Secord

Holy smokes!  What a couple of weeks!  Easily the most GEEKED out vacation we’ve had in a very long time.  First, The Crew headed down to Indianapolis to hit Gen Con, and then back to Toronto for FanExpo the following weekend.  We drank too much, gamed too much and spent gobs and gobs of cash in the pursuit of having good times with good friends*.

Have you ever been to Gen Con my gaming fellows?  If not, than you may place your freshly beating heart on a plate and consume it accordingly, because it is, as the kids may say, “the shit.”  We got a lot of games, all of which will be featured in future entries in one way, shape or form.   In the meantime, as our hangovers fade into the last days of summer and the reality of life comes crashing through like Grond on a bad day, we find ourselves prepping for some of our favourite times of the year – and the really great excuses they give to get together and game.

Unfortunately, we’re adults.  We have obligations, and families and bills to pay.  And because we’re such responsible people – yes, likely ‘cause we’re geeks – gaming does take a back seat.  And because gaming starts to take a back seat, the tension of not gaming begins to build, like a demonic boil, or a little tea-pot, short and stout.  But really, closer to the demon boil idea.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, for us, the gaming thing happens in seasons.  And as of right now, ‘Tis the Season…


Every addict has a gateway drug, and I think for The Crew we would say it all began with Talisman.  Anyways, at least for all the members of this present group.  Here’s Rob’s pride and joy, keeping the staff of FFG in BMWs with a relentless determination to collect all of its trillion expansion sets, and yes, those are painted minis.  He and Kelly painted the minis for it.  And all the trillion expansion minis as well.  God Bless ‘em.

Although, I believe it was Rob that bought the Tequila that night, so, cheers Rob!  I love it when someone describes a game as “beer and pretzels.”  When Rob and I are in the mood it can get redefined as a, “beer, tequila, pizza, pretzels, scotch, Doritos, and then us slow dancing to Take My Breath Away to the hilarity of Kelly ‘s camera phone” game.

Lastly, they wouldn’t let us on the internet if we didn’t include a picture of a cat.  In this case, playing Talisman.

Ok then, right this way if you will…

Standard gaming table for us:

So, like, we love battle mats, tiles, miniatures, 3d walls, condition markers, and things that you can write erasable markers on.  We love GM screens, and using our phones and iPads, and funky dice, and dice towers.  And, without a doubt, we totally and unequivocally love counters.  What you’re seeing on this particular game table is us play testing the new 5th edition D&D Next thing.  But, we sorta forgot that it’s supposed to be all theater of the mind because, as you might have noted, we like stuff.

This means that we’ve been playing a lot of 4e – Essentials specifically.  The Fourth Edition really, really loves battle mats and counters.  But we like it for other reasons.  We had a few rooks join our group a while back and Essentials 4e was a nice intro to it all.  It got my Girlfriend playing, so yeah, cheers 4e.  Recently, I put the Pathfinder Starter’s Box in the hands of one of those “rooks.”  Rob’s so juiced to run it that we’ll likely be doing that soon.  We’re looking forward to getting back to 3e (3.5e, whatever, I’m getting lost in all this), and I’m sure that it’s a just a matter of time when James will announce that he wants to hit up some freaking AD&D.  Personally, I think it would be cool to try the rooks on some of the classics, like Tomb of Horrors, or White Plume Mountain.  Whatta think James?

I guess though, in the end, we just enjoy the game for what it is.  As a group, I think it’s safe to say we’re way more critical of movies and music, but games seem to escape this over the top scrutiny.  Even if we think that the game is not so great, we’re not angered by this the same way we might have after being suckered into watching a crappy movie.  Most games are what you make them…excluding video games.  They’re a lot like movies unfortunately.  More importantly, can you do this with a video game?…

Amazingly, I discovered not long ago that good ol’ George Harrison was into the same thing…

Who knew?!

Next:  The Gen Con Experience as we’ve come to know it.  And, our buddy, Frodo Lincoln.


*This statement is a massive over-simplification that involves hundreds of stories, big and small, the majority of which the author is not necessarily at liberty talk about , but definitely a few will be worth noting in the next entry because we actually think that we’re that fucking interesting.  Ed.

Posted in Todd Man Out