Jenny and I opted to stay at the cluster of hotels near the airport instead of at the hotels adjoining the convention center; What can I say, those downtown rooms were ridiculously expensive.
On Thursday evening, we decided to head back to the hotel around 7pm. The lobby at our hotel (Wingate at Windham) was fairly open but no one was hanging out there.
Since I wasn't ready to retire for the evening set out to investigate the other hotels that were nearby; There were a total of 4 hotels within 100 yards of each other.
The first hotel I went to (Microtel) had two tables full of gamers busily settling in for the evening. We talked for a bit and I discovered that they were all part of the same World of Warcraft guild and had agreed to meet in Indianapolis for GenCon.
So here were about 10 people, most of whom knew each other but only by their World of Warcraft handle. It turned out they were all very friendly. After a leading question about what they were playing, they invited me to join their Savage World one-shot that would be starting at 9pm.
I told them I was very interested, but figured I'd look around at the other hotels to make get a lay of the land.
I next went to the Sleep Inn and had an interesting exchange with an artist who worked on Castles and Crusades and the hotel clerk; I got the sense that the hotel clerk, a young woman, really wanted to go to GenCon and dressed up as a vampire. The artist had spent the day manning the Troll Lord Games booth and had an aura of fatigue about him; I left in search of other more energized geeks.
Finally I went into the Comfort Inn, and saw that the lobby was vacant. I did a quick about-face and went back to the hotel to work out my plans for the evening.
Jenny was up for going out, but needed to work on her SeedStock.com article. I suggested she could write her article while I played Savage World. She donned the white ear buds of noise cancellation and began her dutifully typing.
Meanwhile, I grabbed what I thought would be an interesting character: a noble orc paladin named Crusher. I figured, in a group of unknown players, of whom I could tell that several of the players were itching to get their Chaotic Neutral game on, I would play the straight-laced foil to their larcenous miscreants.
As it turns out, the game master, whose name I've since forgotten, randomly gave us backgrounds, and my character ended up having a larcenous miscreant goblin henchman named Gobbo.
As it turns out, as the story unfolded, Gobbo proved far more capable a fighter than his heroic master. Where Crusher was unable to hit anything, Gobbo with his substantially worse odds was kicking ass and taking numbers.
So much so that the other players at the table were all cheering him on, and I was spending my meager hero points to keep Gobbo alive.
As the game rolled on, the handful of guild members that were playing WoW when we started our Savage Worlds game had throughout the course of the evening turned their attention to our table. One of them went so far as to say “Man this game kicks ass, next time I wanna play.”
As the game wrapped up, I was, and still am, very thankful for this World of Warcraft guild to open their table and let me sit with them and enjoy and old school romp with a motley collection of heroes.