Carl Hausman, MG Kids Correspondent
On Friday and Saturday I spent part of the day at the 15th Dexcon games convention at the Hyatt Morristown. It was really fun!
On the first day, when we went I signed up to play Labyrinth Lord: The Deep Woods Cave. Then I went over to the lobby where I got to play a game of Dragon Chess.
Dragon Chess is a sort of mixture of chess and Risk. You have light, dark and neutral pieces. The light fights the dark and the neutral can fight for either. Your goal is to defeat all enemy pieces, cause your opponent to be unable to take his turn or conquer all five of the arcane circles.
I had four goblins, two goblin hurlers, a dragon, a carrion crawler, a demon, a wizard and two dark priests. I got to play against my dad, and the beginning went pretty well. But then in the end I lost. And finally forfeited the match when I was down to only my weakest piece left.
After that, I went home.
Photos by Paul Hausman. Please click icon below for captions.
The next day we got there and I went and finally figured out, after some searching, which table Labyrinth Lord was going to be at. Since there was an hour to go, I checked out some games that were around, looked at some things in the shop, and ate lunch.
Then the Labyrinth Lord game started. I was the orc fighter. An orc fighter isn’t too smart. He basically charges forward and beats everybody up. Usually this is a very successful strategy. Unfortunately it can make things rather difficult when you’re trying to sneak around a super-powerful creature or are in some similar circumstance. There were also a human cleric, a human thief (who kept dying), a dwarf fighter, a human paladin, a human ranger, and an elf ranger.
We went into the dungeon seeking to find the wizard who was creating dark creatures. When we first got in, there was a short passage, then the cave extended so that we could go either left or right. Most of us went to the right and were caught in a battle with some hobgoblin guards in a spacious cavern, with an alarm gong.
There was another passage extending off to the left. A couple of us went into the cavern on the left. It was about the same size with a passageway on the right. They managed to shoot down an exceptionally large hobgoblin before he could get to them.
After this battle, we decided to go down the narrow passage on the side of the cavern where the large hobgoblin was shot down. We walked a bit and came to a slightly larger cavern with a wall partially blocking our view. I tried to sneak around the edge of the wall to see the room behind it.
But as I mentioned before, orcs are not the stealthiest beings. I poked my head around the corner and was immediately sighted by another very large hobgoblin, three archers, and three small hobgoblins that, though they didn’t look very strong, had rather dangerous-looking spears. This was a temple to their god.
After fighting these and having the thief die twice (once in a pit trap and once fighting the very large hobgoblin), we moved out the larger of the two passages coming out of the temple. There was nothing there but a latrine. So we went down the other passage next to it. We came to a small cavern and saw two goblins arguing and collecting hot water from geysers in the room.
The thief snuck up and managed to shoot one goblin down and wound the other. We came into the room and questioned the wounded goblin. We learned that the goblins were slaves and that the places we were planning to go to search for the dark wizard were “no-go” places.
We went out one of other the two passages from the room, which was very short. We had come to a small chasm in the floor crossed by a rickety rope bridge. We used ropes to reinforce it, then entirely to cross, as it collapsed as some of us were on it.
On the other side, we encountered two undead warriors. One was a skeleton of a dwarf and one was apparently an undead cleric. After defeating them we found that they were guarding an imprisoned satyr. We freed him. And in return he healed those of us who were hurt and gave some of us a blessing of the wild, before teleporting away. I was one of the ones who got the blessing. (He only used the blessing on the people who had broken his chains.)
We returned to the geyser room and the goblin decided to help us. We then went out the other passage from it, and came to a fairly large cavern evidently used as a barracks. There were two guards sleeping there whom we attempted to slay in their sleep. They awoke before we could. However, because they were unarmored and groggy it didn’t take very long to fully kill them.
‘WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? KILL THEM’
We went through a passage out of the barracks and came into an immense cavern. The part we were in had several hobgoblin guards. There was a large column of rock towards the far end and from it to the wall from which we had just emerged was a lava-filled chasm with a rickety stone bridge over the top.
Nearby the large stone column was a slightly blocked off area. Inside it was a hobgoblin commander, two armored gorillas and a large cage holding a creation of the dark wizard we were seeking: A mutated porcupine dog the size of a horse, with wings.
Across the lava chasm was the dark wizard’s sleeping area, several hobgoblin archers and a massive pool of what looked like acid, but was probably the blood the wizard used for his creations. Apparently he’d originally been using the blood of the satyr we had freed.
But now he was using the blood of a captured black unicorn. Standing over the pool was the dark wizard himself. In a typical bad movie scene he looked up, said, “What are you waiting for? Kill them.” And went back to his work.
And so the fight commenced. In another typical bad movie scene, several archers across the chasm were shot and plummeted down into the lava. The porcupine dog got released, but then started attacking one of the goblins, giving our cleric a chance to smash an oil lantern over its back, immolating it.
The two gorillas came bounding over and locked in combat with the dwarf and paladin, and finally one of them struck down the dwarf, causing him to need a healing potion. Once the dwarf fell, I left off fighting the hobgoblin commander, yelled, “Die stupid monkeys!” and liquefied them in two turns.
Meanwhile, the human and the paladin ran over the bridge and killed the wizard before he could even cast a spell. All that was left was the still-burning dog, which was killed pretty quickly. At this, the last goblin threw down his sword and shield, held up his hands and promised to lead us to the black unicorn. And so, we won the dungeon.
So that’s what I did at the 15th games convention. It was really fun and I can’t wait for next year!
Admission to the final day of Dexcon 15, on Sunday, July 8, is $30. A schedule of events is here.
MG Kids correspondent Carl Hausman, 11, a parishioner at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, is an artist and game developer.