Hmmm....What are my thoughts on my first PaizoCon? In a word.....
But seriously, it was a fantastic experience. I'll admit, going into this I was a bit nervous. I hadn't been to a Con in years, and I was going to one where I had never met anyone in the flesh. These were all online friendships, something that's still somewhat new to me. Hell, I was even going to room with someone I'd never met in person! For someone who can, at times, be a bit paranoid, it was a leap of faith.
So there I was in the Seattle airport, and the first two people I met were Mike Welham and Jess Door - two PaizoCon veterans. And Mike was the RPG Superstar winner of 2012!! We met! We shared a cab to the hotel! We had lunch together. All in all a pleasant experience with two awesome people.
Next up was my roomie - Patrick Curtin. A funny guy, and a truly cool dude. I'd like to think we hit it off pretty well.
That night was the Meet and Great at this place called Claimjumpers. Some dude named Glen from New Zealand came and sat down at our table (after making sure we were fellow Paizonians), and sat with us the rest of the night. I met Hugo Solis, among others. Also got to meet Tom Riner (Tordek), his wife, and two of his sons. Tom and his boys game with my brother and Wolfthulhu down in Houston, so it was a real pleasure to meet them. I had good food and plenty of beer (maybe a bit too much).
Next morning we got in the registration line, and when we got up to the head, a Paizo employee simply handed me my envelope, without me even saying who I was. Clearly, I had a reputation with the Paizo folk. That seemed to be enforced when I introduced myself to Cosmo, who responded with an "Oh, it's you.". Hmmm, mayhaps my reputation amongst them is not all that good. But Adam Daigle was much more cool with me, so maybe my rep ain't so bad after all. And the PMG was so quiet, yet friendly. Friday I also got to meet Holger and his fiance Sabine - two really awesome people.
I didn't have any games I was signed up for, so I spent most of my first day shopping at the store (shakes fist), going to some seminars (future APs was awesome), and generally hanging around. Saturday, Mike got me into my first ever Pathfinder Society game. Patrick joined us. I got a chance to play my Dwarven Monk. It was a blast. Later on I did some more shopping (shakes fist), then we hit the Rise of the Rune Lords 5th Anniversary discussion and got our hardcovers signed by the aritists, writers, etc.
Saturday night was the banquet! I started at Gary's table, migrated over to Sara Marie's after eating (great food), then kind of milled about out in the hallway. Poor Gary was so nervous, but he got through his presentation with no problems and I think his was the most talked about afterwards.
Sunday, we finally got around to playing my Crypt of Illusions - a game that had been percolating in my poor, tender head for years. I finished the draft development just for this occasion. Mike, Jess, Holger, Patrick, and Steve all played, with me doing my best to slaughter them. We had to call it a break early, but I think they still had fun. Later, at lunch, I went through more of it with Mike, Patrick, and Jess.
After Sunday lunch, we said goodbye to Jess, then later on that night to Mike. Patrick didn't leave until early the next morning, with me following not far behind. Steve Schopmeyer (TOZ) and his lovely wife were kind enough to give me a ride to the airport.
All in all, it was a great experience. One I hope to repeat another year - hopefully with more of my fellow FAWTLY Folk from the Paizo Boards.