This past weekend I attended PaizoCon 2016, my second PaizoCon, and I’ll never forget it.
I still have not yet tried the Pathfinder RPG as I’m a big fan of Pathfinder ACG, mostly because it’s easier for me to play with my schedule and ability to find people to play with. I did try to get a couple of Beginner Box RPG games on my schedule so I could at least get a taste, but they were all full before I could get in.
But, I was totally fine with that because I did get two great lottery events on my schedule–an Adventure Card Game Open Playtest (testing out competitive ACG play) and a session of “We Be Goblins!,” a totally goblin ACG scenario that I played last year as well.
I then filled the entire rest of my schedule with ACG organized play. The brand new Season of the Runelords (using the first boxset, Rise of the Runelords) premiered at PaizoCon this year with two adventures, and I made a brand new character, Athnul from the Monk deck, specifically to play through the new Season.
I had also planned on spending the remainder of the weekend playing through the rest of Season of the Righteous with my Ranger character, Arabundi. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my character sheet! So, a little disheartened, I printed a new blank sheet, reset my Ranger deck, and planned to start Season of the Righteous over from the beginning.
I got to PaizoCon early on Friday morning and grabbed my swag bag. Just like last year, it was full of a bunch of really awesome goodies–a box of Pathfinder Battles: Reign of Winter pre-painted minis, Pathfinder Mini-mates, a Cleric class deck, Pathfinder Tales: Skinwalkers, The Dark Elf Quick-start rules, the Pathfinder: Goblins hardcover graphic novel, a program, and a promotional ACG card. I already have a Cleric deck, but I’m sure I’ll be able to trade it with someone at some point.
I then headed into the open play room and, while waiting for a Season of the Runelords game to start, jumped on a quick demo of the upcoming Mummy’s Mask base set. While a lot of the cards did not have finalized art, the demo gave a great taste of the new characters, character classes, and some new game mechanics. I’m sure GeekDad Jonathan Liu will be doing an in-depth review of the base set when it comes out, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but there are some very novel new game mechanics that will change some of the gameplay you’re used to without making it feel like too much of a departure from a beloved game.
After the demo, I found a couple of people looking for a game, and we started the first Adventure of Season of the Runelords. One of the things I love about the Organized ACG games is that there is a lot more flavor and story behind the game versus the adventures straight out of the box. As someone who only plays ACG, I don’t get a lot of backstory and characterization from the RPG unless I’m doing organized play (or playing the new Pathfinder Adventures mobile game). Unfortunately, we lost on our first attempt–we ran out of blessings with one location and one card left. We immediately played again and succeeded with only two blessings left! The new promotional card for playing ACG this year was a new spell called “Fire Sneeze.” The promo cards certainly make me wish I had my own box set to play with!
We all decided to take a quick break for lunch, and I headed straight over to my second favorite part of PaizoCon–the Reaper Paint and Take. Last year was my first time painting a miniature, and I really enjoyed it and have since painted more and even backed the latest Reaper Bones Kickstarter. I chose the mini of the alchemist, Damiel. But, as I mentioned, not knowing much about the characters because I don’t play the RPG, I decided to do my own custom paint scheme. Damiel’s outfit immediately reminded me of my second favorite anime series of all time–Trigun (for those keeping score, Cowboy Bebop is my favorite)–so my paint job was inspired by Vash. I had a lot of fun painting this one.
I decided to sit and let him dry for a minute and eat a snack before heading back in to play more ACG, and then it happened–my life changed forever sitting at the Reaper Paint and Take table at PaizoCon 2016.
My wife and I have been working on adopting our second child since March 2015. On Friday, halfway through the first day of PaizoCon, I received a call that we had been chosen by a family to adopt their newborn baby girl. I grabbed a pencil and the first piece of paper I could find–my newly printed, fresh Arabundi character sheet–and frantically scribbled notes from our counselor about the family and baby. After finishing the call, I packed up and left PaizoCon to head home, meet up with my wife and son, and set off on a six-hour drive to meet our new daughter.
Ironically, my son was born on the same weekend I was supposed to go to Emerald City Comicon in 2013, and we now have a tradition of going to ECCC together every year. Of course, I plan to include my daughter in our cosplay (we already have a couple of group cosplays picked out) and ECCC attendance going forward, but she already has her first mini waiting for her, painted on the same day I found out she was going to be my daughter. I can’t wait until we can play Pathfinder together.