Monday, 16 November 2015

PAX AU x 2

Well, it is a truly sad state of affairs when it appears I am writing a single blog post to cover two years of PAX here in Australia. Setting that hopelessness to one side, lets lift the mood - because PAX is wondrous. While I wasnt at the first one here in Oz, the 2014 and recent 2015 shows were simply overflowing with gaming panels, culture, shopping, playing (tabletop and digital), showfloor exhibitions, cosplay, experiences and more.


Seeing the giant halls and theatres filled with people is pretty amazing and the atmosphere of so many fans of gaming in general is superb. There is just so much to see and do that I linked up and split up with friends throughout each day as our preferences tugged us into different events or panels or zones. Here are a few of the things/places that I got the most from:

RPG Panels

I think the very best panel thus far was the RPG+ panel where the dicestormer gang played a short game (Pathfinderish) with heavy audience involvement. The party each had clothes and traits from the crowd as well as facing trials and dangers spewed forth from the theatre. There was much merriment to be had and much learning of RPG goodness.
Related GMing panels were great as well, hearing stories and ideas from a variety of tabletop RPG styles and GMs.


Tabletop

Seeing so so many tables filled with people playing/trying tabletop and card games of all kinds is pretty amazing. I tried my hand at all manner of things from Dead of Winter to Roll for the Galaxy and many in between.
Penny Arcade's Gabe brought some early play of Thornwatch last year which was great to see at the panel and out in the playtest area. An interesting blend of RPG with a GM as well as deckbuilding.


LoL (champs plus art)

The League of Legends world championships coincided with PAX this year, but last year they were huge, loud and overflowing from their area the whole time. In 2014 it was the OCE Championships and Phreak and co were here to commentate and it was superb to see the atmosphere live and get loot.
They also had an artist there the whole time creating a pretty neat Aussie themed image:


RPG Play and Painting

I have tried out quick intro games for both D&D 5E and Pathfinder. The simplified format for both didnt show off any cool mechanics of the systems at all which was disappointing. In fact I am not sure anything mechanically cool happened in the games - though as players we embellished and I enjoyed both games. My little Kineticist in the Pathfinder game didnt do anything with her offensive spells in the whole game - spending turns moving, preparing or just missing. But I had great fun casting light on my toy Owlbear and using fire to help weld shut a floor grate.
Taking a break from all the action and games, I liked taking time to paint a free mini along with tables and tables of other people. Here is my 2014 magey character with the tables from this year:


All the other stuff

I have really enjoyed other panels on writing, design and getting behind the scenes of some of these amazing games. The Cosplay looks incredible and adds a real life to the event (I feel extra guilty for not trying). Getting to try out games, esp the indie ones is great fun as is just hanging, eating and chatting with fun folk for 3 days. Here are friends Evren and Segah doing their part!:


Melbourne

Since PAX is in Melbourne, that means I also got to see the city for the first time. I liked how easy it was to walk around to everything and even though I was working on my masters project this year in spare moments - both times I liked exploring the place and found some cool architecture along the way. Here are a few photos from my phone showing off the place (incl some Pyrite from the museum which looks insane):





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