There’s a lot going on with the Gen Con experience. I am home, not attending this year, and I miss the show. I miss the experience.
Back in 2014, I almost went to Gen Con with my friends Ron and Vern as a revival of This Just In From Gen Con with the blessings1 of the TJI stakeholders. But things out of our control happened and, well. There it lies.
However, my goal with that year’s TJI would have been to bring the experience of the convention to the listeners. That list of experiences is a good place to start.
The crowds: I really wanted to hang out in front of the exhibit hall before the doors opened for the first day. There’s so many people from all over. I would have done brief interviews with just random gamers: how far they traveled, what Gen Con means to them, what they’re excited about. Just look at that crowd shot in yesterday’s post — that was 2016. The image above was from 2012. All these people, all with their different stories, winding up in a sweltering, muggy city in the midwest for a half-week. It’s something that still amazes me.
I’m also missing the costumes and cosplay. To me, Gen Con isn’t Gen Con without cosplay. The techniques and time that goes into making the costumes2 is amazing.
But what I’m missing the most is connecting with people. I’ve been working with the folks at Magpie Games for two and a half years without meeting them in person. I’m working with WIBAI Games on a really cool boardgame for the past year and a few months. Haven’t met them in person, either. Same with Growling Door Games and the Chill work I’ve done. The John Wick Presents crew, my friends at other game companies I haven’t seen in such a long time….
As I mentioned yesterday, it’s ironic now that I actually know people attending Gen Con and I’m not there.3
One year ago: Most recent RPG played?
Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. The year before it was Shadowrun’s 5th Edition. I seem to only play 5th Editions of games.
D&D5 is a fine game, definitely faster than 3, 3.5, Pathfinder, and 4, but still a bit slow for my tastes. I’m running the Princes of the Apocalypse campaign. It’s a nice sandbox campaign setting, but it’s so easy to accidentally venture into an area that’s way too difficult for the heroes to tackle. This is always fun because it teaches the lesson of tactical retreat. However, I’m still wishing the game would go through the fight sequences a lot faster.
Two years ago: What’s your favorite RPG you never get to play?
When I answered that question the first year, it was a Buffy, the Vampire Slayer game set during the Golden Age of Piracy with a Pirates of the Caribbean feel. I’d still love to run that game. I revisited the question last year and the answer was Apocalypse World. It’s really my favorte game system these days.
This year, I’m still in the AW camp, wanting to run a short game of The Sprawl, a Powered by the Apocalypse game. It’s cyberpunk goodness which will scratch that Shadowrun itch. I’ve been looking over the PDF here, listening to Hamish’s interview on a podcast, and Daniel has been tweeting recently about wanting to try it out. So maybe.
Yeah, it’s either an Apocalypse World game4 or the PbtA game The Sprawl.