I played the best convention game of my life at GenCon 2000. It was a multi-round RPGA event called “Barbarian Lives”. It used the newly-released Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition rules to tell a soap opera-inspired tale of romance, heartbreak, and monster hunting.
At the time, the Role-playing Gamers Association (RPGA) was still a notable force in gaming. In addition running it’s popular Living City of Ravens Bluffcampaign it would sponsor events like the D&D Open (in which a team of players tried to make it as far as possible through an adventure) and the D&D Feature (an individual event where everyone voted on who role-played the best, and the best players from each table advanced).
“Barbarian Lives” was one of the later. I’ll admit to being a little skeptical when the event first started — a D&D soap opera … with barbarians? But from opening scenes I found myself at a table with a great group of people, and it only got better as I progressed through the three rounds of the event. The multiround nature of the event, in which only a few could advanced, brought out the best role-players and I was surprised and honored to find myself counted among them.
I remember playing the the final session into the wee hours of the morning in Milwaukee. The next morning I was exhausted, but that was definitely a year when GenCon lived up to its mantra of “The Best Four Days in Gaming”.