“I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli
- Dice… check.
- Paper and pencils… check.
- Laptop… check.
So yes, PAX East is almost upon us, coming up on March 26-28, and I’ve been already working through lists of “to-do” items, trying to get geared up and ready for the big event in Boston. It really seems like getting ready for a gaming convention used to be a whole lot easier, and required a lot less planning.
As I recall, I went to GenCon South back in the 80s with my buddies, with about a week preparation time. And then we went to GenCon the next month on little more than a whim.
Well, admittedly, it was more a whim plus a couple six packs at our weekly D&D gaming session. It seemed like a good idea the night before, and in the hot and sunny (and sobering) light of following day, I don’t think any of us wanted to be the nay-sayer as we packed up the car to head out. We had, after all, made a sacred pact to going to THE GAMING CONVENTION over dice, beer, and pretzels, and our favorite D&D game! Of course, there was also the feeling of adventure as we set out, driving from South Carolina to Wisconsin – and none of us had ever made the trip!
- Mapquest to Boston… check.
- Hotel room reservation… check.
- New Drivers’ License… check.
Going from Michigan to Massachusetts is a pretty long drive, and I found out it’s a lot shorter if you drive through Canada. It shortens the trip by almost 3 hours each way, in fact. So I ended up having to renew my license a year early just so that I can upgrade it to the “enhanced” version they offer here in Michigan, which lets you cross into “the country next door” without a passport. Who knew that in the wake on 911, it would be harder to go to a gaming convention?
- New glasses (bifocals)… check.
- New converse hightops… check.
Yeah, I said it – bifocals. You hit your forties, and your eyes betray you. It’s not bad enough I’ve had to wear glasses since I was a pre-teen, but now I’ve got bifocals. But at least it gave me an excuse to buy some new frames, and more importantly, I’ll be able to SEE the convention. And you have to own some decent walking shoes at a convention. Never underestimate how much walking you’ll have to do when visiting a new town!
- Itinerary… check!
Well there is certainly a lot going on at PAX East, and it’s almost depressing to have to decide what you want to attend at a convention, and then prioritize the whole thing, without having to miss out on a really cool event along the way. Obviously, my big priorities as a D&D 4E blogger is a desire to hit as many of the Wizards of the Coast events as possible! WotC definitely has a nice offering at the convention, and I’m making it a personal goal to play in all of them.
- D&D Encounters: Undermountain
- D&D Convention Delve: Ruins of the Spectral Glade
- D&D Dark Sun Preview: Death in the Arena
- D&D DM Challenge: Horrors of the Underdark
- Three-Dragon Ante Tournament
I was recently lamenting that I was running two D&D 4E games but I don’t get to play in any, but at least at PAX East I’ll have plenty of 4E Gaming if I want it. A full description of the D&D Events run by WotC is available here for more details.
And of course, amongst all that play, I am hoping to check out some panels and seminars. I am fairly disappointed to learn that the only panel being run by Wizards of the Coast – and in fact the only D&D related seminar – “D&D Seminar: Save my Game! Live”, is not happening until the last day of the convention (Sunday) and at 2:30pm in the afternoon. Sadly, by then I’ll be on the road heading back to Michigan, so I’ll have to make-do with other panels and events. It is a bit disappointing there are not more D&D 4E discussions, but PAX East covers all forms of gaming, from console video games to MMORPGs to paper-and-pencil, so I guess there is room for only so much 4E.
Still, there is a lot to look forward to at PAX East, and I will be publishing blogs Friday and Saturday nights to recap the events of the day. And if any of you Readers out there plan to be at the event, and you see a guy with a Neuroglyph Games logo wondering about looking dazed, be sure to come over and say hello! I’m hoping to interview some conventioneers for my reports from PAX East, not to mention get lots of pictures! Oh yeah… almost forgot…
- Digital camera… check!
So until next blog… I wish you Happy Gaming!