We left Wednesday at 7:15 AM. According to Google Maps, the drive from Philly to Indy should take about ten and a half hours. With traffic and food it usually takes about twelve hours, and this year was no exception. We got to downtown Indy, popped over to the convention center to pick up badges, had a bit of trouble with the event tickets that I'd ordered for Wynd, then went to our hostel to check in.
The hostel was beautiful, the people were friendly, and my only regret was that we didn't get much opportunity to enjoy it. After check in we went to the Jazz Kitchen, a jazz club that I visited during Gen Con 2007 when Dana, Arinna, and I went salsa dancing. This was a much better experience. The jazz was much better than the salsa had been and the food was even better. While my michelada was (barely) passable, I had the best pork chop of my life. Highly recommended.
Thursday began with a Heroes of Rokugan game. HoR is a living campaign based on the Legend of the Five Rings game. The adventure we'd signed up for, which had been advertised as a low-rank adventure, turned out to be for much more advanced characters than Wynd and I were playing, so we got switched to an impromptu table. Our GM was terrible - it was an investigative adventure except he simply read the text straight from the book, often without prompting, rather than having us actually speak to the NPCs. I was glad to get my 4 xp, then moved on.
Next was Swing Dancing, the first of my Gen Con dance classes. Though this had been sold out online, we had a number of no-shows. In the end, there were twenty-four people, the majority of whom apparently had some (though not much) experience with swing. People had a great time and Wynd and I were very well received. To say I was pleased with the whole experience would be an understatement, though it did go longer than I think was strictly necessary.
In the evening, Wynd and I had planned to go ballroom dancing, but decided at the last minute to do another HoR game. I'm pleased to say the GM was much better this game, even if the dice hated me. Well worth it.
Friday I got up early. 6 AM, to be specific. You see, on Tuesday I woke up to find a bat near me and am now on a rabies vaccine regimen. This requires several doses over an entire month. My mother was very helpful and helped me find a hospital in Indianapolis that would be able to get me through with minimal difficulty. Unfortunately, I went to the wrong hospital. Finally, I got to the right place, got my rabies booster, and took Wynd to the con.
We had two classes back-to-back. the first was a Latin dancing class, where I covered salsa and rumba, and went down pretty much the way swing did on Thursday (read: very well) and got thirty-three people. The second class was a workshop I've been trying to run for nearly three years: Dancing for Larpers. We only had seven attendees, but I think it was very well-received. We hit all the points I wanted to and got in lessons on faking ballroom dance ability, as well as a basic waltz lesson.
Following Dancing for Larpers, Wynd and I had lunch with Ian and Meg, some friends from my monthly l5r larp in Maryland. There then followed a wild west d20 Modern game with a good GM and a very fun bunch of players. The day concluded with a 7th Sea larp. The larp was fun, but the best part: three BSFFA's plus John from Top Hat were there. Oh, and this exchange:
Me: (backing up into a Montaigne nobleman, then bellowing at the top of my lungs) What is wrong with you?
Me: Can't you see where you're going? Are you so drunk and addled of wits that you slam into people without care?
Him: You bumped into me!
Me: (even louder) ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR?
Me: NO ONE CALLS ME A LIAR! I will face you on the field for this insult!
And that's how you arrange a duel when you absolutely, positively, need an excuse to fight someone to prove that you can beat them.
Oh yeah, and I beat him despite being severely wounded prior to the duel.
Saturday began with my Learn to Dance class, the emergency prep class for the Gen Con Ball that I first taught in 2007. We had twenty-nine people here and they all seemed to enjoy it. Unfortunately we had to end early due to the space being improperly allocated, and even more unfortunately we were scheduled eleven hours before the dance, unlike the hour beforehand I'd requested, but it still seemed to go well.
Then there was the costume contest. Wynd and I wore the costumes we'd tested at Balticon, the Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swan costumes she created for us. Our performance was a paso doble to the Pirates of the Carribean theme music, and I think this was the best we'd ever danced it. Unfortunately, I was not able to get someone to video it but I'm told that a couple was recording the whole thing and it will be on You Tube soon. Watch for it on this blog!
We didn't win - and if you saw the other costumes you'd see that's no shame - but I'm very pleased with how we did. Also, these guys had my favorite costumes of the con (check it out, really).
We finished the day with the Gen Con ball. The theme this year was Masquerade. It wasn't the best time I've ever had at the dance, but still fun. We ran into Nat and Caitlin, two friends from UWMBDA, my ballroom group back in Madison, who cleared a circle with their hustle. We also ran into a few BSFFAs, Emory, and some of the people from our dance classes who were even using their dancing.
Oh, and this happened.
Shopping. Played a few demos. Twelve hour drive home with twenty White Castle sliders. It was awesome.
Not as busy as Gen Con's from previous years, but very fun. I loved running classes, played some great games, and saw old friends. Next year I'm going to run the classes again, but drop them down to 1 hour, and do what I can to get Learn to Dance moved to 7:30. Unfortunately, the seminar and workshops this year were pretty poor selection so I don't feel bad about missing those. Overall, a great time.