While the snowstorm hit Cape Cod on March 21, 2013, Myself and two other friends were on our way up to Boston to PAX East 2013 For any of you who don’t know, the Penny Arcade eXpo (PAX) is a weekend convention every year in Boston. 2013 was my second year there, and boy, was it a blast.

We got in around 730, watched The Last Samurai and went to bed. The next morning we made food, grabbed my T card and headed ot the subway. This being my second year, I had learned a few things. Let me explain:

  • Cash is your friend. Places will take debit cards, but several times I got games cheaper because I had cash. It’s easy to haggle someone down when you can show them bills rather than a card.
  • Do not buy food there. It is way overpriced. (Exception: Refillable fountain soda, only 3.50. and the Taco bowl, its huge, delicious, and filling.
  • If you know someone in Boston, try to stay with them! I stayed with my friends aunt and uncle both years, it’s a 20 minute T ride. And its free housing. It is marvelous.
  • Spend the first day seeing the “sites” (exhibit hall, etc.). Then spend the next two days trying games, playing table top, and setting time aside for panels.

My goal for the weekend, other than attaining new board games and dice, was to try out D&D Next, essentially 5 edition. On Friday, I played a small 2 hour session of 5e run by the WOTC booth. It was incredible. They have completely overhauled the system and brought D&D back to its roots, with simple to use skills and more room to roleplay and tell dynamic and inclusive stories. The next day, we played in a four hour campaign run by WOTC. It was the “Mines of Madness” created by Scott Kurts (PVP comic strip creator).

 
It was awesome, and we had a great DM.  While there I also met Chris Perkins, the creative lead for D&D.

I didn’t go to many panels over the weekend. Not because they were boring, none really appealed to me. But the ones I went to were amaizng. The first was for he DayZ mod. A zombie mod for the hyper realistic army shooter ARMA II. They showed off tons of new visuals and systems that will be in the standalone game. I even got a picture with the creator Dean “Rocket” Hall!

The next panel was for terrain building. Mainly Warhammer and Warhammer 40k, but it will easily be applied for my D&D purposes. Also, I am starting my 40k army.

The games I wanted to see the most was Star Trek: Catan, wondering how it varied from the original. While I didn’t get to play, it seemed very fun for any Star Trek or Catan fan. The games I walked away with were Twilight Imperium and Star Trek: Fleet Captains. Both are huge, and cannot wait to report back on my adventures with them.

PAX is also a great place to try out board games. They have a huge library style check out room where you can play games to see if you like them. There are also all sorts of tournaments ranging from Magic to Warhammer 40k. It is just a great weekend to hang out with your friends and enjoy the nerd culture that we all are a part of.