May 3, 2013

My Woefully Past Due Gen Con 2012 Report: The Old and the New

As I start getting ready for GenCon 2013, I find myself thinking about last year's event, and since I didn't write a blog post about it at the time, here's...

My Woefully Past Due Gen Con 2012 Report

GenCon 2012 was probably my tenth GenCon overall, and my third in a row. While there's no point touching on any of the announcements or products available at the show, I do want to highlight a few things that really helped make this one of the most memorable visits ever.

Trying New Things

Every convention I typically sign up for a few D&D games, and 2012 was no different, playing in a few 4e events as well some D&D Next. In addition to this staple of the RPG field, I always try to sign up for something outside my comfort zone. In the past, it was trying new card games like 7th Sea or Death Angel, RPGs like Brave New World or Star Wars (back in the West End days), or board games like City of Thieves. In 2012, I was hoping to try out the new Marvel RPG game, but all the slots were sold out. In the end I went way out of my comfort zone and did a cardstock modeling class.

As someone who never thought he had the patience or skill, I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I've been making cardstock buildings consistently since GenCon and now have enough for a small village, or parts of a large town. It doesn't hurt that I'm planning on running a few city-based adventures in the near future.

Make Travel Part of the Fun

Unless you live in the immediate area, going to GenCon usually involves some degree of travel. For 2012, I was going to the convention with some hometown friends and for a number of reasons, not the least of which was cost savings, we choose to drive out to Indianapolis instead of flying.

When you plan your travel, make sure to get the party started as soon as you can. That might include having a few quick and ready games for waiting at the airport or having some fun movies or audio books for the drive.

In fact a friend of mine routinely listens to the Lord of the Rings on audio during the drive to and from Indianapolis. And if your looking for audio books to check out, visit the new list of classic D&D audio books now on

Bring Friends

I've done GenCon now both as part of a group and as a solo act, and while there were benefits to being on my own, the convention is 1000 times more fun when you share it with friends. With the new online friends tools available on the GenCon site, it's easier than ever to book your events and pick up an extra ticket or two for a friend.

In 2012 I ended up sharing at least half my events with the guys I traveled out with, and I'm hoping to do it again this year.

While it's great sharing various events with friends, don't pass up the opportunity to meet some new people. One of the great things about GenCon is we're all there to indulge our passion for games of all kinds and you probably have more in common than not with anyone you run in to at the convention. Take the time make a new friend or two, you wont be disappointed.