Penny Arcade Expo 2007: Day 2 – I Make a Lousy Dragon

August 26, 2007

PAX continues unabated. I was up until 5:00 AM with the night topped off by a trip to the nearest diner – the Hurricane Cafe – which was a good seven blocks from the Sheraton and the conference center. The thing with urban centers is that they are particularly lousy at facilitating living in the off hours, hours frequented heavily by the nascent zombies that comprise the PAX audienceship.

The exhibition hall is much busier today than it was yesterday, and there are quite a few more cosplayers and other adorable misfits filling the halls of the Washington State Conference Center today. I managed to get in games of Puerto Rico and Betrayal at House on the Hill before having a nice chat with the people from Prima Publishing about the ins and outs of being a strategy guide author. Assasins Creed made a big splash in the main theater today, but I was not in a position to snap up any media from the demonstration.

Betrayal at House on the Hill can be an uneven boardgaming experience, and I was pleased the game worked out as well as it did. I became the traitor, and had a pet dragon (Haunt 15 for those keeping score at home). I managed to decimate one of the other players, but the protagonists had the time to equip one player mightily and rather than drag out the affair I met him head on and died – badly. But it was fun.

There are a few things I’ve noticed about PAX: the vast majority of PAX goers are local, and they don’t seem to like strangers chatting them up in line. Also, the tabletop freeplay is pretty barren, and what I saw a lot of today was curiosity seekers wandering in and taking a game from the library, only to return it 10 minutes later after reading the rules. The groups of people doing this we’re all small and looked awkward and unhappy. I felt for them, I really did.

I’m going to return to tabletop land shortly and hopefully manage to facilitate some fun-making for such curiosity seekers.

Last note: Will Wheaton is really quite attractive in person. Is this some sort of latent impression from watching him on television all those years? The ineffable charisma of a celebrity? I don’t know. It was a short line to get an autograph, but I passed as, well, what the hell do I need signed by Will Wheaton?