Friday, July 27, 2012

Losing my Convention Virginity: GenCon, Here I Come!!

I guess the sign says it all.   No game left behind.  It should actually say no gamer left behind.  As I ponder my upcoming trip to Indianapolis, I realize that it is only about 20 days away.  How awesome is that.  from the day I booked my badge to the event registration date, time flew fast.  Not to worry though, I am prepared; well prepared booking-wise, but not quite aware yet of all the awesomeness I am going to be subjected to.

I have been gaming for 28+ years and have never been to a gaming convention, whether it was in Toronto (when I lived there for 10 years) or any other place for that matter.  In essence I am a convention virgin, at the age of 38, and my first one is going to be GenCon: I am scared out of my pants.  I am extremely lucky though, cause this year I am travelling with a pro convention goer, Derek Myers (Ameron from Dungeon's Master), who has shown me the ropes on how to register, how to get the best events and how to make all the travel arrangements.  Without him, I would not be in a hotel right next to the convention centre, nor would I be attending some of the cool seminars I am actually signed up for.

Overwhelmed is not a word I use lightly for the amount of events going on at GenCon.  The hardest part about this convention was finding enough time to to the absolute minimum I would like to do.  There is so much stuff to do.  Seminars on building chain-mail, board games galore, new gaming systems tables(that I will unfortunately not have the time to try while I am there), and most importantly D&D.  Here is a look at some of the events I will be attending at GenCon as well as some of the things I would like to accomplish on this trip.

Living Forgotten Realms

Living in a small town has not afforded me the luxury of playing much more than D&D Encounter on a weekly basis.  I did play some LFR years ago when 4th Edition first came out.  Unfortunately, Encounters came into the picture and basically overshadowed our LFR game. So what am I going to do? Use my old character and go play some LFR.

Thursday August 16th, RPGA1235194 - Rising Darkness 8:00am
Friday August 17th, RPGA1235209 - Raging Darkness 7:00pm

D&D Next and D&D 4th

First official playtest for me. First official play with a different group that the one up home.
Thursday August 16th, RPGA1235363 - Sorcere & The Clawrift - D&D Next Playtest 5:00pm
Friday August 17th, RPGA1235308 - West Wall - Drow Adventure

For the sake of simplicity I will just list the seminars I am attending.  Since this is the first time I am at GenCon, I tried to fit in as many as possible.  It is possible also thought that I will miss some of them due to my involvement in a couple of tournament games and if I make it to any of the following rounds, well I will have to give up some of them.

- The First Time Game Master
- True Dungeon 101
- Basic Square Chainmail Dicebag
- RPG Freelancing 101 (thought I would check it out?)
- D&D Next: Monsters, Magic Items, and DM Mischief
- Dragons and Dwarves and Elves, Oh My! - Fantasy Tropes
- D&D Next: Creating the Core
- The Future Look at D&D
- Networking for Writers
- Writing When Inspiration Fails You
- Tome Show Production

As you can see all these seminars run from 1-2 hours apiece and I will really be kept busy for the 4 days I will be there.

True Dungeon Adventure

Totally stoked for this one.  I convinced Derek to try it this year.  I have read about it for awhile and love the fact that this year they doubled their size of dungeon space for this year.  I am excited to see what comes from this experience.  If you don't know what True Dungeon is you can see a preview of what is to come:

For more information on how freaking cool this is going to be check out True Dungeon.  This year, Derek and I are going to try Draco-Lich Undone (puzzle-oriented).  I think it is going to rock.  Love puzzles.

Board Games
This is something totally new to me.  I have NO board games at home and am dying to try some of them at Gencon.  Here are the games I will be playing:

Roll Them Bones: The Zombies

The Hobbit



D&D Championship 2012

5 - 22nd level characters, 4 encounters, 45 minutes per encounter.....  What more could you want in a tournament game.  Pressure, pressure, pressure.  Not for the feint of heart.  Experts only!  I am up for the challenge.  

Last but not least...

Fourthcore Team Death Match

When I saw this listed as a GenCon event, I asked myself what this was.  I researched it and this sign says it all:

When I pointed this out to Derek, we jumped at the occasion to get in on the action.  Since signing up for the match at GenCon, Derek and I have had the opportunity to do some testing of the system and we love it.  Just happens that we were playing at the table with our third teammate Dan.  We are quite the team, having triumphed over the others in our games of FTDM Toronto.  Player Vs. Player

Team Moose Hockey Maple Syrup Eh? here we come.  We need another player tho' and if you are interested and are going to GenCon this year and can play at the Saturday 10am entry round with us, please submit your name to this all-canadian team of fourthcore players.  Contact me at or leave a comment below.  You can also communicate your interest to Derek

Things I Would Like to Accomplish on This Trip

- promote my blog site.
- meet the people from the blogsphere.(the people I read everyday)
- make new friends.  I love to meet people and this is one of the most important things of the trip.
- try all sorts of new games and play with a variety of people. Something I really have not done in the last 12 years of gaming.

Are any of you going to GenCon?  Did I miss any activities that would be interesting to follow up on?  Drop me a line and tell me what you think.  

Does anyone know of any social activities I would be interested in?

Until next time, have a blast!!!