Aug 17, 2009

GenCon: After the Fact

Ok, so GenCon 09 has come and gone, and once again I wasn't there (boo). My last convention was the year 3.0 came out, back when the convention was in Milwaukee, and the Safe House was still a restaurant to visit at least once during the trip.

I've been following blog posts and tweets from various people and once again, it sounds like everyone had a good time this year (PS, if you're at a game convention and don't have a good time, you may want to rethink your choice of hobbies).

By far the largest amount of posts were the various product announcements from WotC. Everyone went into the convention wanting to know what the new setting for 2010 would be, since no previous WotC communication went beyond announcing Forgotten Realms (2008) and Eberron (2009). Even though I am an ardent fan of the Dragonlance setting, I felt it was too soon to update that setting to 4e (and since the 3.5 update was handled by a 3rd party, Margaret Weis Productions, WotC doesn't see big revenue from Dragonlance as a roleplaying setting). So it was no surprise for me when it turned out that DarkSun is the next campaign setting.

DarkSun never really received a 3.0 or 3.5 update (except for a few articles in Dragon and Dungeon magazines), was always a fan-favorite setting, and is very different from Forgotten Realms and Eberron (good for keeping cannibalization down between settings).

Other interesting announcements from WotC at the con:

  • Castle Ravenloft - the boardgame. I'm surprised to see one of the best D&D modules of all time be reduced to a board game, but I'll be interested to see how it turns out. Certainly the fortune telling aspect will be kept (or classic D&D gamers will take up their own pitchforks and torches and storm the WotC castle at next year's GenCon)
  • Racial Splat Books. Thirty-two page books focusing on a particular race. If priced correctly, these might be interesting.
  • Focused Locations. The 32 page books format is not just for players. DMs will get the same treatment for encounter locations, hopefully fleshed out enough for long-term roleplaying (such as a base of operations) or for a quick crawl. Along with a fold out map, I'll certainly check these out too.
Lastly, there have been some chatter about the D&D giveaways, especially the backpack that they gave out for folks who signed up for DDI at the con. I'm sure you'll be seeing those on Ebay soon enough.

Hopefully next year I'll be on site for the announcements, games, and other activities, and I hope you'll be there too!

If you went to the con or read about it online like I did, what did you find most interesting? Leave a comment.