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Gen Con UK 2008

Yesterday I went to Gen Con UK with kb98, held in the sunny grounds of the University of Reading. As well as buying a load of games and getting some free swag too (Magic decks, D&D adventures & minis, large dice etc), we actually got to play some games and meet some friendly RPG designers.

I played my first game of Magic for several years, beating the WotC demonstrator(!) with my naïve white weenie tactics and beginner’s luck, and then the two of us took part in a 4e D&D demo run by Esdevium Games. Although it wasn’t our first 4e game, we still picked up some good advice on tactics from the helpful and enthusiastic DM and felt confident enough to face the Dungeon Delve immediately afterwards. This involved six players trying to get through three encounters of increasing toughness in 30 minutes and was great fun! The DM was excellent, going very fast round the table, calling everyone by name on their turn, and trying to kill us all with great relish as we manoeuvred our minis around some cool-looking Dwarven Forge dungeons. We got as far as half way through the second encounter featuring two bugbears and a carrion crawler with most PCs still standing (including my cleric and Kate’s eladrin ranger) before we ran out of time.

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Later, I bought the new Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide and got Rich Baker to sign it. He explained that he thinks the new FR is a bit like when Star Trek: the Next Generation launched and it’ll take some time for players to get used to the changes! We also chatted to Erik Mona (lemuriapress ) and Jason Buhlman (iuztheevil ) at the Paizo stand and got them to sign my copy of Expedition to the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk and the very cool-looking shiny new Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting.

Before leaving we had a chance to watch a cool falconry display featuring a massive bald eagle and a tiny barn owl, and also bumped into Hanbury and huggyrei who I hadn't seen in ages.

I hadn’t been to Gen Con UK since the time it ran over the Easter weekend in Olympia a few years ago and this was one a big improvement: just being able to wander around the leafy campus grounds in the sunshine (we were lucky with the weather, I guess) made a difference, but it also seemed better run this time and had a really nice friendly atmosphere. We had a great day and will definitely go again next year if we can!

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