GenCon 2012: Day Three

I’m back in the room early tonight, thanks to a nasty headache. Just need some time in the quiet, which is hard to find on the dealer room floor. So, no Games On Demand for me tonight.

Today was a pretty good day, all around. I got to read some Shadows of Esteren this morning, found some dice and dice bags I liked, and discovered that Conspiracy X had been reprinted. I’ve done about all the shopping I was planning to do ((Plus a little bit more.)) , though I’m still toying with the idea of grabbing a copy of RuneQuest 6th Edition.

And some very deserving folks won some Ennies, do that’s good, too. Margaret Weis Productions took home a couple at least for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Pelgrane Press got a couple for Ashen Stars and Liber Fumo ((And I just met Paula Dempsey on Thursday and told her how much I loved that book!)), Jeremy Keller won a judges’ award for TechNoir, and Evil Hat won Fan Favourite Publisher. Congrats to all the winners.

I mentioned that I got to read a little more of Shadows of Esteren. I’ve got to say, I’m really liking the way things are going with the game. Gonna try reading some more tonight. And there’s definitely a review of the game in the offing.

But now, I think, a hot shower and some ibuprofen. And a couple of pictures for you.





GenCon 2012: Day Two

First of all, for Tyler, here’s a picture of Night’s Black Agents:


And, as a bonus, a picture of The Zalozhniy Quartet:


The big thing to talk about today is Shadows of Esteren. This is a game that just finished its Kickstarter for an English edition – the original is French. It’s a dark fantasy game that doesn’t resort to strong sexual themes and imagery, relying instead on mood and moral quandary. The system looks very interesting, the world pushes all of my buttons, and the book is just gorgeous. I haven’t finished reading it, but expect a review when I do.

Here’s the mini-review: both Clint and I were impressed enough on short familiarity that we bought the starter set, which is a GenCon special that includes the rule book, map, character sheets, and a couple of other goodies. If you’re at the show, looking for an interesting new fantasy game, go see these guys. They’re friendly and approachable ((Okay. They’ve got an artist at the booth doing sketched in the front of the books for Kickstarter supporters. He’s working in pen and ink and watercolour. As I walk up, I overhear him telling a customer that he can only do about twenty pictures a day. Only twenty. I’d be happy if i could do ONE ad good as his – ever. The guy’s amazong.)) and informative, and have a great game with some very sweet price deals at the con.

This evening, I got to try out Dungeon World at Games On Demand. The group was a little large, and time was short, so I don’t think the game showed to best effect despite the heroic efforts of the GM. Still, it was fun, and gavel some great insight into the game, so I appreciate that. Thanks to the GM ((Whose name I didn’t get.)) and to the players for making it a good time.

That’s it for tonight. Now to bed.

GenCon 2012: Day One

Day one of GenCon 2012 is over. Busy day.

Things started pretty wild when they opened the dealer room doors. There’s always a pretty intimidating rush of people, but it seemed like a larger crowd this year. I was grateful to be in the booth, avoiding a trampling.


I managed to sneak out to grab my preorders for Night’s Black Agents and The Zalozhniy Quartet from Pelgrane Press, where I met Paula and Steve Dempsey, which was a treat. Then I headed over to Margaret Weis Productions to snag my preorder copy of the Marvel Civil War Event Book. I got to say a quick hello to Cam Banks and meet Amanda Valentine – a most excellent editor – and also Jen from the Jennisodes podcast. She gave me a Ninja Panda Taco button, which was nice because I’m looking forward to that game coming out.

I managed to get some generic tickets and found the Games On Demand room, where I ran into Matthew Gandy, another excellent editor. He filled me in on how the room worked, and Clint and I came back for the 8:00 slot to play some Apocalypse World.


The game, though of necessity short, was a lot of fun, and gave me some much-needed insight into how it works mechanically. Many thanks to Trevis for running it, and to the other players for making it fun.

And now to bed.

GenCon 2012: Arrival

So, we made it to Indianapolis. Stopped for lunch at The Tamale Place, which was easily as good as we had hoped. I was a little disappointed that they were out of their dessert tamales, but after seeing the huge amount of food you get with the tamale combo, I decided it was just as well.


Scott, Jarred, and Terry ((Terry’s a new addition to the gang this year.)) had beat me to the booth, and set up was close to done when I arrived. We finished up pretty quickly, and then went off for supper at The Rock Bottom Brewery.



Now, I’m back in our room, getting ready for tomorrow. We’re staying in the Crowne Plaza, which has a bunch of railway cars in it, along with some not-creepy-at-all white mannequins of rail passengers and conductors and the like scattered about. The cars are all named; there’s the John Phillip Sousa, the Louis Armstrong, and this one, which is right outside the door of our room.


And that’s about it for tonight.

GenCon 2012: On the Road

Posting by iPhone, so this is gonna be short.

We’ve made it to Rochelle, and had dinner at Vince’s Pizza, thus proving it wasn’t a product of our imagination. I actually tried the pizza, which was amazingly good. Clint had the ravioli – a huge plate with bolognese sauce and a meatball the size of a child’s fist as a sort of garnish.

So, yeah, great food, good conversation, pretty painless drive, and tomorrow we’re on to Indianapolis and The Tamale Place.


GenCon 2012: Fast Approaching

Early ((Far earlier than I’m usually willing to get out of bed.)) Tuesday morning, Clint and I get in the car and drive down to Indianapolis for GenCon Indy. This is the thirteenth year in a row we’ve done this, and we’ve pretty much got the road trip down to a science. I’m spending a fair bit of this weekend running around, making sure I’ve got everything I need for the trip in order, and I’m not leaving anything hanging at home.

I’m looking forward to the trip, though it’s a long drive. We’ve got a good pizza place ((Vince’s Pizza.)) to solve our normal first-night food issue ((We usually wind up hungry in Rochelle, IL, and are faced with chains like Pizza Hut and Burger King, which are not our first choices.)) in Rochelle, and Clint has discovered The Tamale Place in Indianapolis for us to try. Gotta say, it looks great.

And it’s my twelfth year doing booth weasel duties for Pagan Publishing and Dagon Industries. It’s always fun to spend time with Scott and Jarred, good friends that I only see once a year. There are a lot of folks that I count as friends but only see at GenCon, which is the primary reason I keep going.

The other big reason for going to GenCon is, of course, the games.

Things have changed over the years, though. It used to be that, if you were releasing a new game any time between, say, April and October, you tried to release it at GenCon. That made GenCon a wonderful place to see the best new products from various companies, a place to grab all the newest toys first.

It’s not like that any more. With changing distribution models – pre-orders, Kickstarter, PDF-only products, stuff like that – companies aren’t as tied to the GenCon release. Sure, it’s still nice to have new stuff out at GenCon, but it’s not the necessity it used to be. For myself, most of the really cool new things that I want and are going to be available at GenCon, I’ve already bought ((Though I may not have received them yet. I will, for example, be picking up my pre-orders of MHR Civil War and Night’s Black Agents at the Con.)). So, while I’ll still be wandering the exhibit hall, I’ll be looking for stuff I’ve never heard of that looks cool, rather than hitting up my favourite companies to see what they have that’s new ((‘Cause odds are I already know what’s new. And have bought it.)).

But there’s a different aspect to games that I’m going to get into more this year. I’m gonna try to play some. I generally don’t play games at GenCon, partially because I spend most of my time manning the booth and partially because I don’t seek out the games. This year, I want to make sure to hit up Games on Demand – they’re actually IN the convention centre this year, so easier to find – to try and play some of the games I’d like to run in the next few months. Specifically, I’m looking at trying out Technoir and Dungeon World, and maybe sitting in on another Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game. And I think I’m going to pack my Fiasco kit on the off chance I can swing a game or two of that.

So, that’s the plan. If you’re at GenCon, come stop by booth 715 and say hi. And if you’ve got a cool new game that you’re excited about, come tell me. I can’t come home empty-handed, right?