Tabletop Tuesday: Tabletop Day Recap

TableTopDay_logoMarch was pretty much a miserable month with moments of brightness few and far between. One of those illuminated days was International Tabletop Day. The brainchild of Geek & Sundry’s Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, Tabletop Day was conceived of as a way to spotlight the gaming community, turn people on to new and exciting games, and to breathe a little life in to all those little local nerd stores that are scattered like polyhedron dice across the infinite sea of geekdom.

For my part, I didn’t get a chance to go to either of the two shops that I visit far too infrequently — TCB in Marion and my old stomping ground, The Wizard’s Keep in Muncie, but I did get my game on, pretty much all day and night long.

elder_signI woke up early on Saturday, did my quick flyby of twitter then settled into a little computerized chess, just to get the blood flowing. Three games later (2 wins and a draw on moderate level) I was ready to tackle the bane of my existence — Elder Sign. In a half dozen games I had yet to beat this thing, and that morning was no different as I went insane whilst battling Nyarlathotep.

By then, Connor, my 9 year old son, was up and ready to join in the action. We played a rousing game of Animasia — an RPG campaign he came up with (and GMs) in which I play an anthropomorphic rabbit ranger named Echo Bunnimann. Then he and his mother left for an Easter Egg Hunt at the Sweetser Methodist Church, leaving me to another game of Elder Sign (in which I was killed while battling Cthulhu). Once my little family returned, Kim and I watched Conn and his cousins Spencer and Danielle play for a bit, visited with my dad and my nephew Sam, then, after they’d all shuffled off, Kim, Conn, and I tackled a game of Sorry (which Connor narrowly won… as usual).

Then, it happened. Connor and I bellied up to the table and set up Elder Sign once more. He was playing the magician, Dexter Drake, while I assumed the role of archaeologist Monterey Jack. Jack and Dexter were up against none other than Shub-Niggurath, “The Black Goat of the Woods”. I put up a good fight, but Monterey Jack fell against a cultist in The Gift Shop, leaving Conn’s Dexter Drake to the task of collecting the final few Elder Signs we needed to stop Shubby in his tracks. And by Odin’s Beard… he did it. It took some pretty lucky roles of the ol’ dice, but the kid came through and we won our very first game of Elder Sign.

owlbear-smallAfter supper, I left my wife and child behind, daring the chilled night air and a jaunt to a most haunted location in the heart of Converse, meeting up with two of my Oak Hill Dungeons and Dragons Club co-horts — Doug and Joe — for a Pathfinder adventure in the land of Enochia. It was a game light on combat, but heavy in suspense and intrigue and we had a great time.

I drug myself in around 1AM, kicked around the internet a bit, and then sauntered off to dreamland while visions of the Old Ones danced in my head. An awesome day that came nowhere near making up for an unawesome month, but for a handful of hours I was transported out of the black and into an owlbear stunning colorspray that did me more than a little bit of good.

Thanks, Tabletop Day. You came along just when I needed you most.

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2 Responses to “Tabletop Tuesday: Tabletop Day Recap”

  1. We’ve got a whole bunch of Arkham Horror sets, but unfortunately don’t get around to playing them as often as I’d like. How does Elder Sign differ? I’ve not heard much about it. Is it a different type of game, or just the newest expansion pack?

    • It’s similar to Arkham Horror (as its made by the same folk). It’s a cooperative card & dice game where characters explore a museum searching for Elder Signs so they can stop a randomly chosen Old One from awakening. You fight monsters, cultists, & madmen along the way. It’s a lot of fun, but you need a lot of luck on your side to get through it. So in that respect I guess it’s just like real life :)

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