Alex at PAX East – Day 1

(Here we have another post about the first day of PAX, but from Alex’s perspective rather than Matt’s)

PAX Day 1

I won’t lie to you, the first morning of PAX East was a bit rough for my friends and me. The previous night we partook in the PokeCrawl (a Pokemon themed pub crawl), and, as would be expected at such an event, we drank. A lot. Thursday night one of my friends I was staying with and I decided to get to the BCEC early, like there by 9 AM early. Yeah, that didn’t happen, we got there at like 11 or so. But I digress, onto the show!

The first thing I did once I got there was to make my way to the tabletop area where my friends and I played several games of the card game Ascension. Now we weren’t at some demo of the game, my friend Phil brought it with him and taught us how to play. I thoroughly enjoyed the game. It is a deck-building game, but you do not “fight” against other players, instead either killing monster from a center row or the cultist that was always in play. The point of the game is to collect honor, either in a physical form from killing things or from buying new cards with various effects. This leads to players creating one of two different types of decks: fighting or buying. Unfortunately, since I am not hugely good at strategy, I would always end up with a hybrid of fighting and buying which would end up with me losing, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying the game so much that I kept coming back to it all weekend.

After a few games though, I bid my friends farewell and went off to wander the expo hall for a few hours. This was much less interesting than I anticipated since I was doing so alone since my friends were either playing Ascension or Magic, DMing, or just plain not at PAX yet due to massive hangovers. This did, however, give me a chance to hunt down nerd celebrities and meekly take out my 4e Player’s Handbook and have them sign it. So that day, I got MC Frontalot (who claimed to have written “this whole fucking book”), Jonathan Coulton (who debunked the nerdcore rapper’s claim), and Paul and Storm (who just seemed to be genuinely nice guys who were as excited for their show on the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel as I was) to sign it. I kept my eye out from Miss Felicia Day to have her sign, but alas I could not find her. Even if I did though, there would probably be several dozen other geeks swooning over her too, so I probably wouldn’t have been able to get to her. But again I am getting distracted from the point of all this: PAX.

The last part of Friday is a bit tough for me to write about. Not because it’s hard to describe or I am at a loss for words, but because I don’t wanna get my ass sued by Wizards of the Coast. Yes, I am talking about the D&D Next playtest. It was a lot of fun. And I think that is all I can say on that. The changes they are making are really making for a very enjoyable game. But also a part of it was the group I was playing with, my old D&D group from college (minus our DM who was actually running another game at the playtest). We all fell right back into our old roles, the metaplayer whose characters just act like jerks, the strong roleplayer who keeps to her alignment, me as the character who constantly finds himself in some sort of danger (earning me the nickname “Crisis”), and all the rest. We fought monsters, or in one case bribed one to fight with us until our jerkish character tied to kill it to get our money back, saved the helpless, and avenged the death of a friend (several times). So, ya know, your usual incredibly fun adventure with old friends. After this we left the show to rest up for the next day of adventuring and geeking out (by which I mean we got frozen food from 7-11and played a few games of Ascension before sleeping a couple hours).

NEXT TIME: I actually play some video games and play a game of D&D I can talk about!


  1. mdonle said:

    I never learned how to play Pokemon, would you teach it to me sometime? ya know, show me the trainer ropes?

    • agrandin said:

      it’s been a long time since i did, but if you have the game, yeah, totally!


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