Sunday was pretty much unscheduled for us. We planned to wander the exhibit hall floor, do some shopping, visit the gaming rooms at the Marriott to play some Dungeons and Dragons, and check out the off-site things we had missed.
Game of Thrones was hosting an experience called, "Survive the Realm!" at the Omni hotel across from the Convention Center. They were supposed to open at 11:00, so we slept in and took the shuttle in around 9:30. But by that point the line for it was so long that it wrapped around the block... and we couldn't even tell the end from the beginning. It was just a loop of people surrounding a block of buildings. I know this because we literally walked around the block just looking for an obvious break in the people! When we found none, we said screw it and thought we'd check back later if we had time. I just wanted a photo of myself on the Iron Throne (and maybe a tattoo!) so I don't think we missed too much.
After we decided to skip the Survive the Realm experience, we headed to the exhibit hall. We stopped for coffee on the way and decided instead to go straight to the Marriott to play D&D during the 11:00 - 1:00 gaming slot. Inside the Marriott next to the Convention Center was a series of rooms where various table top games were being demonstrated and taught to new players. There were board games, Pathfinder demos, and various levels of D&D. I think there was a Magic tournament too, but I forget...
I had never played D&D before. None of my friends in high school or college played (that I knew of) and we were under the impression that girls weren't supposed to like those things so we hid our interest in them. Example? I owned SO many Pokemon cards and had exactly ONE friend who knew about them. Shit, I even had a holographic Charizard that I got from a booster pack! Boom!
Back on topic: so I never played D&D before, even though that gaming style really suited me. Half the games my sister and I played as kids involved us running around the yard describing the adventures we were having. Sit us down at a table, grab some paper and dice, and it's basically the same thing. :-P
When I saw there were Learn to Play D&D sessions at Comic Con, I got really excited. Finally, my chance to learn to play! I could be a n00b without feeling the need to apologize for it! My fear of failure and anxiety have kept me from going to join any gaming nights at my local comic book store, because the idea of being mistreated for not only being a n00b, but being a female n00b is too much for me. But this, this I was going to do!
My boyfriend agreed to accompany me - even though he grew up playing his brothers' original D&D game, he had only played the 4th edition once and hadn't heard of the changes made to the 5th edition, so this would be kind of new to him too.
We arrived at the Marriott and went to the table in the back to sign up. After a short wait we were placed at a table with five other adventurers and our Dungeon Master, George. After a brief explanation of stats and classes, we selected from the pre-made characters. I became Rohwena Bottlebrush, the halfling rogue out for revenge on the person who placed a hit on her.
Our adventure had us delivering a supply wagon to the city where the hit was placed on me. But two days out, we came upon two dead horses in the road - the horses belonged to the person who hired us to deliver the supplies! After noticing the arrows that peppered the horses, we were attacked by a group of goblins who just happened to use the same kind of arrows. Guess that mystery was solved! But what happened to the riders?
|This is right before my halfling rogue completely MURDERATED a goblin!|
We spent the next 30-45 minutes fighting the goblins. It was fun to learn how attacks happened for each character, who used different dice, and what abilities were available to each class. My halfling took a major hit, and my boyfriend's dwarf was able to heal her up. She then stabbed the crap out of a goblin and killed him! Success! We eventually took down all the goblins, except the one we kept alive for questioning. During the battle we learned about healing, what happens if someone goes down too many hit points, and about special attacks that trigger extra damage when allies are nearby or a natural 20 is rolled.
After a short rest, during which some people healed, we questioned our captive. George played this goblin so well, making him a difficult and reluctant prisoner who kept pretending to be asleep. The goblin was played as being stupid, but was actually very clever in how he refused to give information; his simple answers, which some might think of as being a classic dumb monster, kept us talking in circles, trying to figure out what we could ask to get a more specific response. Eventually we got enough information out of him that we could walk in the right direction to find our employer. Following the tracks we found, we finally reached a cave...
And that's where the adventure ended! To be continued in the next installment, which was another round of D&D starting at 2:00. We didn't want to stick around because we wanted to do other things that afternoon, but if we had chosen to keep playing at 2:00 we would have kept our characters and received information about gold and points to take with us into the next game.
George was a great Dungeon Master - he explained things clearly, interjected about our gameplay to help us understand mechanics and strategy better without being bossy about it, and sometimes changed our rolls on the fly to offer us a more well rounded gameplay experience and see how things worked that might not have happened naturally in our gameplay this time - such as, "oh you rolled a 17? Well, let's pretend that's a 20 so we can see how this situation would happen." Or, "Okay, let's pretend that that hit was for all 9 of your hit points. Here's how you would play your follow turn." Thanks for a great time, George!
We finished playing at 12:30 and went to the exhibit hall. Blizzard's #LootCrazy was starting at 3:00, so we tweeted to be prepared for that. The exhibit hall was going to close at 5:00 and the shuttles would stop running at 7:00, so we had plenty of time to shop.
We started by just wandering around. I wanted to buy an Amy Farrah Fowler Big Bang Theory Funko POP! Vinyl figure, but the only booth I found one at was selling it for $12.00 - the other booths were selling for $10.00, and I can buy that exact one for $8.00 on Amazon, so I passed. But I did find a Princess Leia bobble head POP! figure for $10, so I bought her.
We also noticed that the Blizzard booth had almost no line. Curious to see what exclusives were left, we stopped by even though we'd be coming back later for #LootCrazy. The only exclusives left were the Whimsyshire Treasure Goblins and the Cute But Deadly Cloaking Zeratul. While I had started the Con indifferent to the Whimsyshire Goblins, seeing them every day had made me come to love them. They're just SO CUTE! So I got one! I still haven't named him yet. But I love Whimsyshire (it's the only reason I log into Diablo III... to MURDERATE ALL THE UNICORNS!!! Love and sparkles and pink and death!) and at the Blizz panel they said there is a chance the Whimsyshire Goblin might be put into the game! Since I always chase down the Treasure Goblins for all the treasure, regardless of what baddies are around and will start attacking me, this is just my cup of tea.
At some point we wound up in the middle where there were a few rows of artists, near the smaller comics sellers. I wanted to buy something for my sister, since she is a Batman fan and this was Batman's 75th anniversary, so I picked up a little something for her upcoming birthday. But there's a chance she might read this blog, so I can't talk about it here!
We visited the Bandai booth at the end of the day. The Sailor Moon display was great - I'm not 100% sure everything on display was also on sale, but I think they were because the display was missing a few items that had been there earlier in the Con. I really liked the Sailor Mars keychain on the display. At that booth we bought a Gundam model figure for my boyfriend. He already has two, so this one will join them once it's built.
When it was time for Blizzard's #LootCrazy giveaway we returned to the Blizzard booth and got our prizes. My boyfriend got a Diablo figure to match his earlier Tyrael, and I got a pin. I don't remember who the character was because I traded it for a Sylvanas pin at the official booth pin trading board.
Once we were done in the exhibit hall we left the Convention Center for the last time and went into the Gaslamp for a late lunch/early dinner. To advertise the new show Ascension on Syfy, the Ascension cafe had been opened up in the Hard Rock Hotel across from the Convention Center. Decorated in 1950-1960s style decor, this cafe really sparked my interest in the show with their front displays explaining the show's premise - that a spaceship is launched in the 1960s to save the human species, and the show is about that population dealing with the real purpose of their voyage. The food was really good too - we had burgers and lemonade.
After eating, we had one last wander through the Gaslamp and then headed to the interactive zone across from Petco Park. We hadn't visited this area yet, and were curious about what we had missed and if anything was still running. A few things looked like they were still open - the Sleepy Hollow virtual reality experience still had a line, though I couldn't tell if they were letting anyone else into it - but overall we decided that we hadn't really missed anything there and ended up just getting in line for the shuttle, which was right next to the interactive zone (yay Red Line!)
We arrived back at our hotel around 5:30 pm and just had a relaxing evening. We played with our new Magic cards a bit, looked over the rest of our swag, and packed for our flights back home. Monday was again spent traveling all day, and we arrived back home around 2:00 am Eastern Time.
My boyfriend and I were talking about going back and we think we would need a minimum of two days in a combination of either Thursday, Friday, or Saturday badges to make the trip worth it. Our favorite panels were the ones we attended on Friday and Saturday (though Thursday's Star Wars Rebels panel was excellent), and we could spend a third day doing the offsite things, like NerdHQ, Geek & Sundry, and this year's Vikings Experience.
Attending Comic Con was a great experience, and I would definitely go again. Already we have friends back here impressed that we were able to go, and I am definitely experiencing Con withdrawal - I don't want to go back to reality, I want to stay where the geeks are, where I can wear a costume and get uncontrollably excited about things without being made to feel silly about it!
Thanks for reading about my Comic Con experience!