Friday, June 12, 2015

PaizoCon 2015 highlights

Better late than never! Here are some of my personal highlights from PaizoCon 2015! (Yes, it was awesome!)

Some good stuff in the loot bag

The loot bag I received when I registered was full of all kinds of gaming goodies: a Pathfinder novel, a rogue class deck for the PF Adventure Card Game, a Mummy's Mask poster, a Social Combat Deck, a bunch of miniatures, and other stuff. I think the total value of the products was more than the ticket price, so... enough said.
Putting faces to names

As an RPGSS contestant, and later, as a Paizo contributor and RPGSS judge, I've met a lot of intelligent, kind, and interesting people online, but I haven't had a chance to meet them in person, until this year at PaizoCon. Since everyone was wearing a badge with their name on it, it was fun noticing that a stranger in front of me is actually someone I've talked with a lot online. Below are some of my favorite people I met at PaizoCon. It was also great meeting a lot of Paizo developers and designers I've worked with in past projects. It means a lot to me that they're no longer just names in my email, and I look forward to working with everyone I met at PaizoCon.

The... golf club?

Excellent seminars

I attended several interesting seminars at PaizoCon, including Concepting Monsters with Jason Engle, Designing Pathfinder RPG Monsters, So You Want to be a Pathfinder Compatible PublisherBetter Encounter Design with a Kobold, and Cartography for RPGs Workshop. I also checked out How to Win RPG Superstar because I wanted to hear what sort of things Owen and Monica were discussing on the panel (and because I wanted to say hi!)

A monster sketch by Jason Engle
Before they started, Owen asked if anyone in the audience had made it to the second round in RPG Superstar in the past. A few hands went up. He then asked if anyone had made it to the third round. Fewer hands were raised. Fourth round? Only my hand was up. Owen asked who I was, and I replied "the Finnish guy". He then asked if anyone in the audience had been a judge on the RPGSS contest and when I raised my hand, he invited me to sit on the panel. :-)

Monsters duking it out on a Black Rock

Adam Daigle and Brandon Hodge hosted a fun tournament called Green Blood on a Black Rock where monsters fight 1-on-1 on an island while pirates place bets (chocolate coins in gold tin foil) on their favorite monsters. My pirate captain name was Finn MacCool because I'm a Finn and... well I'm sure you get it. ;-) There's also this Irish dude who goes by that name and owns a bar in Seattle's university district. Or something like that. Here's a picture of him:

Anyway, we started the tournament by rolling initiative. I rolled really well so I got to choose my monster first. I chose the clockwork soldier because it had a really good attack bonus, AC, and damage, and it even got some DR.

Jeff Lee's polar bear fighting a manticore
The clockwork soldier vs the mud elemental (played by Charlie Bell) in a very exciting final match!
I------- am the champion, my friends! In the background, chocolate gold coins and my new shirt.
With a bit of skill and a lot of luck my monster destroyed all its opponents and won the whole thing! I also got a lot of chocolate coins, and a shirt!

Mike Selinker's gold coins

A funny thing happened later that night. I was going back to my table in the hotel bar when Logan Bonner nodded at me and said something like "that's him". He was sitting with Mike Selinker, the creator of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Mike introduced himself and said he wanted to thank me for winning him a lot of chocolate coins. He opened his laptop and showed me a picture of a huge chocolate coin pile and asked if I wanted a share of his winnings.

Mike told me he had stopped by in the room where we played Green Blood earlier that day, and he had been given a bunch of these gold coins. He couldn't stay for a long time, so he had just bet his coins on my clockwork soldier. Since I won the tournament he won a lot of chocolate coins. :-) I'm a great fan of the PACG, and it didn't seem right that he was thanking me, so I also thanked him for making the awesome game. He replied "that's secondary, but you're welcome". :-D

Mike's a swell guy and I'm lucky I met him in person.

Pathfinder Society, PACG, and delves

I also reserved a lot of time for playing Pathfinder. I played The Wounded Wisp, a fun replayable scenario that I believe was interesting for both new and experienced players. Sunday night I played the Serpents Rise special in which you get a rare chance to play as Aspis Agents. There are also some other nice surprises, and overall, it's one of my favorite scenarios this season. On Monday, Kalervo and I found a bunch of guys from Louisiana and played Returned to the Sky with them. It was a very enjoyable scenario with some sandbox and roleplay elements, exploration, combat, and advanced technology stuff.

I also played a scenario of the Wrath of the Righteous season of the Adventure Card Game. It was my first organized play experience with the card game. I think it's a good format and we should get some organized play going in Helsinki as well.

There were two drop-in, drop-out delves GMd by Paizo employees and special guests. I played as Merisiel in a delve where goblins attack Sandpoint wave after wave (see photo below). One of the GMs was Cosmo Eisele, who tried hard to kill us... but failed. :-P

It was my first PaizoCon and I had a really good time. I want to thank everyone at Paizo for organizing the event, and everyone who attended for making it such a fun and friendly place.

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