Saturday, August 15, 2009

GenCon 2009: Friday

What can I say? Tower of Gygax rocked my world. A return to old school 1st edition D&D, before everything got so complicated. Before the terms taint, bloodied, and grapple entered the scene. Back when you just took 2 actions -- move and attack, move and cast, or double move. Back when dungeons consisted of puzzles rather than long battles.

The main premise of Tower of Gygax is that you've entered this tower that was built by a wizard, and that constantly shifts and changes. But this Nethack-like dungeon is not dull; the room description s are rich and the puzzles challenging. Some rooms need to be pushed through with combat, but most require the lining up of symbols or the solving of a riddle, or even just the careful use of the elven ability to search for secret doors. Tread softly; there are deathtraps around every corner! So the premise if fairly ridiculous, and you're expected to die as if you're in a Paranoia game, but this experience is too fun to pass up. You must try it next time you're at a con where it's being offered.

Of course, I started the day playing a nine hour game of Advanced Civ, coming in 3rd out of 7 players. Since I've never seen the end of a Civ board game, it was nice to have this run to completion. When it comes to board games, this may be my favorite; it's definitely in the top five.

A good two games of Pompeii later, I was ready for Tower of Gygax. You know the rest. I emerged from the game at 7am after almost 5 hours of playing and then chumming with the DM afterward. I was the lone survivor and had the Crown of Paradise to show for it, providing command abilities and the ability to open up pocket planes at will. Good times!

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