Thursday, 21 August 2014

Gen Con 2014

This year K8 and I returned to Gen Con the best four days in gaming. This year the show saw 56,614 unique visitors, busier again than last year.  

Once again we went for the entire week and spent a couple of days doing touristy things before getting into the convention itself.

On the recommendation of Steve our waiter at Patachous on the park (an excellent restaurant with the tag line of “A Students Union for adults”) we went to visit the Indianapolis State Fair.

The state fair was really interesting, we saw loads of animals, lots of fried food vendors, a pioneer village recreation with a guy making stone blades and then we found an elephant ride stall so we immediately did that.

On Wednesday morning we went to the Eiteljorg museum which is all about Native American and western art. After that off we went to Will Call to get tickets, we lucked out and only had to queue for less than 10 mins. Every other time we went past for the rest of the weekend the line was at least an hour long. We spent the evening hanging out with Tammie and Charles.

Gen Con day 1.
Bumped into Keith Baker and his lovely wife Jenn over breakfast. Really pleasant catching up and talking crazy travel to get here! Made our first run on the trade hall. Then did a 13th Age adventure design seminar. The upcoming Eyes of the Stone Thief and Shards of the Broken Sky sound awesome. K8 bought some awesome boots from these guys Sons of Sandalar.

Then I went to a Feng Shui 2 seminar. We have been playtesting Feng Shui 2 and it is excellent it was already one of my top 5 roleplaying games and the new version (even in early playtest) is better. They will be kickstarting it in September and it will be released next summer. At the seminar they spoilered some art and layout and talked about the playtesting process.

K8 went to several Writers Symposium seminars with Michael Stackpole (K8 will probably write about this in the comments as she had a great time in his seminar)

Back to trade hall I went, starting in one corner I began trying to walk the entire hall. I met Wolfgang Bauer, bought the ‘Kobold’s Guide to World Building’ and the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure signed by all the guys on the Kobold Press stand.

I was also thinking about getting a copy of Doomtown but the AEG line was about 3 hours long all day and I was concerned about fitting it in the bag home.

Then I went for dinner with the guys from work and K8 went to a Dr. Who larp.

Dr. Who LARP was amazing! They had a recreation of the TARDIS console which, given that it was made from fold up cardboard (everyone has to travel to get here), with twiddleable stuff stuck on (from corkscrews to telescopes to wind round levers or lev-ers) was wicked!
People busting out “English” accents was also splendid. I had a fantastic time, there was loads for everyone to do and I found a small group of likely lads and lasses who formed Team Acquisition and Redistribution :D  We had people in stitches as there was a lot of “sciencing” *shudder* going on and we were the comedy but sane light relief. It was probably cheating a bit to play the LARP as Georgie, or Lou(isa) Ewit as the character was called, but splendid people and made some new, and now also facebook, friends.

Day 2.
Finished walking the entire trade hall! There are a lot of traders here. Bought the Kobold Guide to Game Design, while K8 got a Guide to World Building. K8 rode a Rivet Wars tank and convinced it’s costumed protectors that she was not a spy! I got some signatures in my world guide (Keith Baker and Monte Cook). I went to the "When the kobolds met Tiamat" seminar while K8 went to make a scale mail dice bag. Once we met back up we found the Tectonic Craft Studios stand and I bought some laser cut terrain (and I would go back to that stand again several times!). Then we went to the Doubleclicks concert. In the evening we went to the Ennies! Numenera (10 Awards!), Fate and Pathfinder did really well.

Day 3.
More Trade hall! I tried to get in early to get some of the convention exclusives from PIP. I didn’t quite get to the queue in time but thankfully one of my colleagues got in on an exhibitor ticket and managed to reserve some figures for me. K8 meanwhile went to make a puppet class.

Instead of lunch we went to The Strange launch seminar. Which started with an IC brief and Shanna IC as an Estate Operative (They were apparently originally going to call them Estate Agents but Charles convinced them otherwise having lived in the UK) telling us each of them would tell us a single lie during the presentation. Cleverly her lie was the number of lies told during the seminar.

Then even more trade hall! We got cool things! Played Warmachine Tactics on the PIP stand. Chatted to Monte Cook Games crew! Bought dice! Bought a little but more terrain (and chatted to him about marketing). Found coffins for dwarven forge in a buy by weight box on the Ral Partha stand.

Saturday night was the Numenera 9th world meet up and we hung out with the volunteers and guys from Monte Cook Games again. I also trolleld Matt Strange quite hard.

 He is my diet reward for my first week back. (I’ll write about that in the future)

Day 4.
Trade hall, 13th Age monster design seminar, in which we made a “Shadow Mongoose” (A Monster I never want to fight) Trade hall! K8 got some Jewelry, I felt like I had forgotten something but never remembered what.

We went for dinner in Fogo Du Chow which is a Brazilian Steak House and was Brilliant! Stop and go signs for meat!

Epic Odysseus-like trip Home with plane snow and delays and 27 hour day with 3 ish hours sleep.

Dave’s loot
The Kobolds Guides to World Building, Game Design and Magic.
Hordes Warcaster Xerxis 2 (and terrain bits to make him crashing through a wall on his Rhino like the Cool Aid Jug guy)
Some Privateer Pins
The Iron Kingdoms Monsternomicon
A signed copy of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen
A lot of Tectonic Craft Studios 3D Laser Cut terrain.
Erfworld, Decrypted Red Dwagon plush.

K8’s loot
A companion Cube Plush
Art from [who?]
The Strange Limited Edition, Character Sheets, Players guide, Dice Pack, Xp and Cipher Deck.
Campaign Coins Shideron Medallion
Very nice necklace
Erfworld Hamstard, pins and sketch.
The Kobolds Guide to World Building
A Khiva pin from the Eideljorg Museum
A Dvd for being English
Some Novels from the Writers Symposium
Doubleclicks Album and T-Shirt
Gen Con T-shirt
A Wrist Dragon
Some Red Dragon Inn Badges
A The Strange Badge Holder
Hairband with leather flower
Kobold Press Patch
Scale Mail Dice Bag and spare scale mail stuff.

Things I saw that I will buy once they reach here:
Shadowrun Crossfire Deckbuilding game
Cash & Guns new edition (With John Kovalik art)
A Copy of The Strange for myself
Numenera Technology Guide (For K8)
The Warmachine Celephax book and models (for Nats)

If you fancy going to GenCon next year I wrote a guide on how to get there. It is still mostly up to date though the Hotel rooms had gone up slightly and the Dollar was slightly weaker so overall we spent about the same amount as last year.