When some of the podcast fans decided to have an event in Illinois, I was immediately interested. GeeklyCon was more of a meetup for the podcast cast members and their fans to hangout, but the event organizers did an amazing job of making it feel like a small convention.
GeeklyCon was a 4-day event from June 19-22, that included badges, exclusive event t-shirts, tabletop gaming, a downtown scavenger hunt, pub crawl, live show of the Drunks & Dragons podcast, and so much more that I missed because I only went for one day! (Gah! Such regret!)
I only attended the Friday festivities of GeeklyCon, which took place in downtown Plainfield, IL.The gracious owners of The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe were nice enough to give us full access to their gaming tables, and private rooms. I've been to a few gaming shops, but I haven't been to one as impressive as The Wandering Dragon. It's definitely a hidden gem that you should visit if you're ever in the area. They have an extensive amount of merchandise for sell, and a library of games that their customers can play in store.
When I arrived at the store to check-in, they had badges and t-shirts ready for attendees, and we had to roll a giant inflatable d20 to get inside the store (just for fun). I rolled a Natural 20...because I'm awesome! All the badges had a word or phrase written on the back that referenced one of the podcasts, and we had to find the other person who had the same phrase on their badge. It was an awesome way to get people to just be social and make new friends.
My badge had "Dicey" written on the back, and my match was a guy who drove down from Canada! He and his wife were very awesome people, and I hung out with them for a good chunk of the day.
When I arrived at The Wandering Dragon, most people were already playing various role-playing games. I immediately came in with an arm full of games from home, and ask if anyone not playing anything wanted to play a game.
I introduced 3 new players, including Mike from the Cthulhu & Friends Podcast, to one of my favorite tabletop games, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. We played in what I would say was the coolest private room in the entire shop. It was Lord of the Rings themed with banners and swords hanging on the walls.
Everyone seemed to have fun, and our Monk single-handedly defeated the villain. Anytime the villain was revealed, our Monk was the active player, and every time the villain fled, he was the player who found him. It was pretty epic, and I don't know if I've ever seen that in a 4-player game.
After a couple of hours of gaming, a group of us strolled around downtown Plainfield, and stopped by Uptown Eatery & Tap for lunch. The food was great, the company was even better, and we had the best server ever. It's hard to believe that most of us hadn't met in person until GeeklyCon. It was pretty awesome matching faces with forum screen names and Twitter usernames.
When we got back to the Wandering Dragon, I brought out The Resistance Avalon. The game can be played with up to 10 people, and we had 8 people playing at the most. Essential it's a party game where we're all followers of King Arthur going on quests, but some Minons of Mordred are amongst us trying to sabotage our whole mission. I have a full review of the game in a previous blog.
Tim and Jennifer from the Cast of Thrones and Drunks & Dragons podcasts actually played with us before they had to prepare for the live show. They both actually got a chance at being the spies in the game. So much distrust, and so many good times. I think we played for a couple of hours at least with various groups of players.
After a day of gaming we headed towards Joliet Junior College Fine Arts Theater for the Drunks & Dragons Live show. It was unlike a normal episode of Drunks & Dragons. The introduction by Sayer was a definite treat at the beginning of the show. There were costumes, singing, a bit of LARPing, the introduction of the new cast member Nika Howard, and a Q&A session.
GeeklyCon then returned to downtown Plainfield for a pub crawl! I chatted with so many great people and made so many new Twitter friends that night. Some of the folks at GeeklyCon all went to get tattoos the day before, and I got to see their fresh ink!
This was the first time I actually had an opportunity to really chat with the folks whose voices have entertained me during car rides and sluggish work days for the past couple of years now. One thing I absolutely couldn't leave without doing, was getting a photo with the Cast of Thrones team, and my Cold-Rolled Steel shirt that I designed (which is a super obscure Game of Thrones reference, that people at GeeklyCon actually thought was funny).
It was pretty surreal to meet people who were familiar with my designs, miniatures, costumes, and whatnot after telling them my Twitter user name. It's good to know people actually read my tweets. Hooray to social media for bringing folks together! After meeting everyone on Friday, and literally spending all day with them, I regretted the fact that I wouldn't be participating in the last 2 days of GeeklyCon.
During our pub crawl, a group of people stopped me to ask why we were wearing badges, and what this event was all about. One of those people apparently worked for the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, and she seemed very interested that we all came from around the country (and some from Canada) to an event at their local gaming store, The Wandering Dragon. I didn't get her name, but she seemed very interested to talk to the owners of the shop about their business. As a gamer, I love knowing that our event could help other people see the value of having a store like that in their area.
Overall, such a fun time. Shoutout to all the podcasters and fans who made my GeeklyCon experience memorable. If I have an opportunity to do this again, I'll be sure to go for the entire weekend. This was also my first time in Plainfield, and I'd love to visit again, and take my husband to that sweet gaming store.
I also recommend that you check out all the amazing podcasts that make up Geekly Inc and prepare for hours and hours of entertainment. Who even needs a radio anymore? I personally listen to Cast of Thrones, Drunks & Dragons, and recently started their Random Encounters podcast.
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