GenCon 2011: Afterword

GenCon is now over, for real. And I’m okay with that. I had a ton of fun, and if I were living GenCon every day it wouldn’t be as special.

I’m writing this particular post from my room at the Marriott – my wife and I decided to stay Sunday night and go home to Colorado on Monday. This was a good way to do it, since we were able to enjoy all of Sunday without having to worry about checking out of our hotel or scrambling to catch a flight or anything like that.

It also meant that I was able to do some gaming Sunday night. I put out a call on Twitter to see if anyone was around the Marriott post-Con and wanted to play some games, and I ended up playing a fun game of Smallworld Underground and having a nice dinner with four new Canadian friends. Cool people, cool game, and good food.

Quick-hit thoughts from GenCon

  • The RPG blog reading community loves GenCon. I got a lot of traffic on my blog during the Con. I’m glad you liked reading what I had to say!
  • The RPG blog reading community especially loved reading my detailed notes about the Wizards of the Coast New Products Seminar on Saturday. I’m not surprised, really, but my normal daily traffic is 200-400 hits per day; Saturday and Sunday had nearly 1,500.
  • True Dungeon is a must-experience part of GenCon. It costs $38 per person, but it’s worth it. And the token-trading community around it is amazing!
  • Watching all of the costumed attendees is a ton of fun. They’re clearly proud of the work they put into the outfits, and they all seemed happy to pose for pictures (though I personally wasn’t in picture-taking mode).
  • I think the way to try out RPGs you’ve never played before at GenCon is to sign up for a session in advance, which is a little disappointing. I was hoping to stumble into someone looking for another player for old-school D&D, Traveller, Dresden Files, Fiasco, etc., but it never happened.
  • Staying at a hotel connected to the convention center isn’t cheap, but if you can afford it, it’s money well spent. I loved not having to drag a heavy bag with me at all times, since it was easy to drop stuff off and pick stuff up back at the room.
  • Getting food at the convention was not the problem I feared it would be. The sit-down restaurants even a couple of blocks from the Con were able to seat us quickly every time, and if we went, say, 5 or 6 blocks away we pretty much had the place to ourselves. There’s no real place to buy groceries, though (I was glad I took care of this on Tuesday when I was staying on the north side of town for work).
  • The temptation to game late into the night was easy for me to resist, as I really enjoy a good night’s sleep. Had I given in to that temptation I probably would have had miserable days of exhaustion. Heading back to the hotel around midnight worked well for me.
  • Twitter is beautifully suited to GenCon. Being able to send out a quick blast to find people for a pick-up game is great. It’s also a good way to find out the location of people you want to meet.
  • I really enjoyed getting to meet so many members of the RPG blogging and podcasting community, and I wish I had met more. I at least said brief hellos to NewbieDM, Jeff Greiner, Mike Shea, Tracy Hurley, Thaddeous Cooper, Randall Walker, Ameron from Dungeon’s Master, BrainClouds, and Matt James. I also met Morrus and PirateCat from EN World and some other EN Worlders. I missed out on meeting Ryan “RangerWickett” Nock, which I horribly regret, but I never knew where he was.
  • Meeting folks like Mike Mearls, James Wyatt, Rob Thompson and Mike Robles from WotC was pretty cool, too.
  • Running into a friend from California who I hadn’t realized would be there was awesome, and he had two other awesome friends with him. Good stuff.


I also wanted to post some follow up comments about the D&D New Products Seminar from Friday. First, I did do a little light editing before I sent it live (a quick read-through to correct a few typos or unclear sentences, plus adding a little bold facing to the various new announcements); I wasn’t planning to do that when I wrote the intro, but decided I really ought to do a basic amount.

Second, I wanted to add some clarifications after a post on Greyhawkery to which I responded in the post’s comments. Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium is intended to only be available to game stores, though those stores themselves are allowed to sell it online. However, Mike Mearls did say something about Amazon being able to buy it, but this part was really unclear. I think the intention is to make it so that Amazon et al are not able to offer the book at a massive discount relative to what hobby stores charge, but it wasn’t clear how they were going to do that.

Also, Greyhawkery offered speculation that next year’s setting will be Council of Wyrms. I wasn’t familiar with that setting, but he linked to a post from NewbieDM in which the original was unboxed. From having sat in the room at the WotC seminar, I agree that Council of Wyrms would fit their description of next year’s setting.

Thank you – come again!

So, thank you everyone for reading my GenCon posts. If you have questions about any of it, please let me know. And I’m always happy to have more readers for my usual talk about running games online, creating maps, using a projector setup with MapTool and so on. Comment, email, etc. – I appreciate the feedback!

One thought on “GenCon 2011: Afterword

  1. ODM,
    Really enjoyed reading your commentary through the GenCon. Man, I’ve gotta find a way to be there next year, even if I have to mail myself there.

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