Another GenCon has come and gone. I’ve pretty much kicked the mild concrud I picked up this year and very grateful I didn’t have the crud nearly as bad as many people I’ve heard on twitter. When there are 61,423 people all crammed into a convention center it’s hard to avoid the crud.
I actually remembered to film this year. And I was able to post a Day 1 video right away. Day 2-4’s video got delayed a bit due to internet issues and just being too exhausted when we got back to the hotel to even put together coherent sentences, let alone edit video.
This year’s GenCon featured a lot more role-playing games for me than previous years. I played in three different games with three different settings and systems.
The first game was part of the ConTessa game night. Ryan and I played in a game set in the Being Human world, and the system seemed to be home-brewed (but I’m not positive). I’ve never had so much fun coming up with chore lists and house rules. There were 6 players; two played ghosts, two were werewolves, and the final two played vampires. Each of our characters had a scene featuring our character. The other players either played their character in the scene, NPCs, or directed the scene. The GM was there to guide the character creation, help play NPCs and occasionally guide the scene. But it felt like it could work as a GMless system. The final scene was the house scene, all the roommates gathered around for dinner and dealt with the aftermath of our individual scenes. It was a blast and a perfect one-shot. Even though I only knew one person going into the game, I instantly felt at home with the other players and we all were leaning into the table to hear what was going to happen next. This was my favorite game of the convention. How could I not love a game with a 80-year-old grandma vampire who was constantly feeding everyone vegan cookies.
The second RPG game I played was a Numenera game. I’ve heard a lot about the setting and Cypher system and finally (after 2 years) got into a game. I’m not sure if I had hyped up the game too much in my head, but it wasn’t all I was expecting. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, just not as amazing as I pictured. I think my biggest drawback was that the system was not as easy to grasp as everyone kept saying. It wasn’t hard, but didn’t seem second-nature. The hook for the session was also weak. Essentially: We were out with drinking buddies we find a stranger in a trap, rescue him, learn of an evil plot and decide to take it on since we know the police won’t do anything about it. We all went along with it (it’s important to “say yes” in gaming) but was a little disheartening to have such a weak hook. Especially since there were better hooks on our character sheets but we were told those hooks were for another game and to ignore them. I definitely found the world interesting and am looking forward to reading more when I get around to getting the core book.
The final RPG game was the worst gaming experience I’ve had. I’ll go into the reason why in an upcoming post/video.
The rest of the convention was a blast. Although we didn’t compete (they ran out of space) we had a blast walking around in our cosplay.
I saw a few new board games that sounded interesting, although less than last years and the few that I did like were sold out before I could get a copy. Takenoko: Chibis one day you will be mine!
As usual, the food truck presence was awesome and almost everything I got to eat was great. I think the only disappointing meal was a downer because the portion was much smaller than expected so even though it was delicious, it wasn’t filling. And we finally got a dice from Bee Coffee. Huzzah for caffeine!
The panels I went to were great. I attended two Contessa panels, the opening ceremony and How to Hack Your Favorite Fandom. Got a few ideas from the latter on how to hack the 500 Kingdom books into a game. Also attended the Women in Gaming panel, wonderful discussion on issues and how to deal with those issues. The final panel was on social media and games. While that was geared more towards game makers, I found out about IFTT which is streamlining my social media presence.
There were two panels I planned to attend but due to schedule and mood didn’t make it too. Looking back I wish I hadn’t skipped those panels. I attended fewer panels this year than previous years and felt like I missed out a bit on what I love about the convention. Next year I’m going to add more panels back into my schedule. The discussions are really the thing that I love about conventions. Getting together with people from all over the world to discuss games, story, how to better the hobby, and just geek out with each other.