Friday, August 14, 2009

Gen Con Running Liveblog: Day 2

Hello, and Greetings from Gen Con Indy! We'll be updating with news and pics through the day! You're welcome to comment and request coverage of various products and booths--after all, this is for you! If you missed our Day 1 coverage of the convention, check out all the news and pics right here!

Check back throughout the day as this article is updated. You can also follow RPG Blog 2's updates on theRPGsite (caution: contains some strong language) and Twitter. Enjoy!

(Follow links for photos)

The first day of Gen Con is in many ways the toughest. People are jetlagged, they're still setting up, scouting around, and they haven't quite got the knack of convention life down yet. By Day 2, people are more settled, know their way around a bit better, and get into that rhythm. Of course, plenty of people didn't sleep due to gaming and/or have hangovers, so it all sort of balances out.

I had a great time with Jeff over at The Bone Scroll yesterday, hanging out for a while. With any luck, some of us are meeting up for a quiet, light breakfast, to discuss gaming, geek stuff, and the convention thus far. I'm hoping the cafe I'm thinking of is still off the beaten path!

This afternoon will see "the Friday Rush", as people get off work and flood in for the weekend. Also, the D&D new setting announcement is at noon. I'm sure we'll all know soon after just what it's going to be.

More from the floor in a bit!

10:33 Great, great breakfast at Cafe Patachou. Organic--after so many Slim Jims the past 24 hours, my body didn't quite know what to do.

Took some pics of costumes on my way in.

Luke Crane ran into me, or vice-versa. He did get copies of the newest Burning Empires book in this morning, so I'll be checking that out in a bit.

For West End Games, Eric Gibson told me they should have Septimus in by the end of today! So we'll finally get to see this puppy. Talked author to Bill Coffin, told him how much I admired his Palladium Fantasy work. Forgot to charge my camera last night, so those I'll have to be careful with photo updates until I get home tonight. I should still be able to get some more for you.

Q-Workshop is busy this morning. Those dice are gorgeous, but they aren't cheap.

And...there's the TARDIS, at the Who North America booth.

On the Who crowd, I'm still being told October for the Dr. Who RPG. We'll see if I can get more in a bit!

For some reason, Blackmoor doesn't feel right with that logo. Probably just me, being a crappy neo-grognard.

Strong crowd for the second day. I'm going to try to hit the next setting D&D announcement, but we'll see.
There's a lot of booths still to hit!

Just in--the next setting for D&D 4e will be Dark Sun for 2010. This was just announced at the D&D Extravaganza.

13:08: Man, Luke Crane makes a pretty book. Here's the newest for Burning Empires.

17:30: Sorry for the delay, but I've been in Return to the Tower of Gygax! Tim Kask himself was our first DM, and then we had a replacement take over--Mr. Frank Mentzer! Both gentlemen were gracious, funny, and definitely old-school. My buddy Schuyler actually got a "white ribbon"--basically showing to the world that he rocked the Tower! He dipped arrow in green slime to defeat some rampaging trolls--brilliant. This is a wonderful, wonderful event, and I encourage anyone going to Gen Con to partake if they have a love of legacy in this hobby. Mr. Mentzer also chatted us up about the history of D&D. It was just a fantastic afternoon.

It still doesn't touch the RPGA, but Pathfinder Society is looking pretty good!

Septimus is FINALLY here--I got a picture with Bill Coffin holding his baby. A hardcover is on the way, but it's a pretty nice, black-and-white layout.

I met Andy Hopp today, of Low-Life fame! Super-great guy, and very unique artist.

Considering the daggers being glared at times from the ENnies booth this year, and to keep everything sedate, I won't be covering the ENnies tonight. Apologies, but I'm sure you'll be able to find coverage.

As usual, I'll be posting a larger recap tonight, as per usual.


Pathfinder remains easily in the lead for convention buzz, but Wizards of the Coast’s announcement today about Dark Sun definitely got some folks talking. The really interesting thing is that there isn’t a huge legacy fan base for Dark Sun—a lot of the younger players I spoke to didn’t really have much of an idea about what it was—so they’ll be defining it for a new generation of fans. For me, my precious Greyhawk is safe, and my mad, hopeless plot to have it licensed to certain legacy-keepers remains alive.

I was really happy to see Troll Lord Games getting some attention. When I went by earlier, it was fairly quiet, but it picked up in the afternoon.

The Margaret Weis booth cracked me up. You have a 20' end table, and like 14 people in the booth working.

Talked to Jeremy Keller, who was doing some really interesting demos of Chronica Feudalis. It’s nice to see a new presentation that seems inherently playable.

The Indianapolis Colts are playing the Minnesota Vikings tonight in the adjacent Lucas Oil Stadium, so we again see the hilarious juxtaposition of true-blue Indy sports fans mixing with 98-pound social misfits dressed as some obscure anime character. They didn’t seem to mind the wench outfits on the ladies, though.

The Reaper Minis booth has aisles of minis. It’s one of the most sublime gaming shopping experiences I can think of. And if you’re looking for something in particular (“yes, I need a gnome suitable for use as a pirate character”), their booth staff is spot-on with the help.

I say it every year: Dwarven Forge makes beautiful, beautiful displays.

The Mindstorm Labs guys released their creature supplement for the Alpha Omega RPG. They don’t seem to make many waves online, but observing them at the convention, they have a pretty dedicated following of fans. And their books are some of the most beautiful in the business.

Ran into David and company from GOLD: The Web Series. It was great catching up with him, and I’m hoping he’ll have good news soon on the sponsorship from the next season.

Tomorrow will be busy: I’m running a Microlite74 game in the morning, and doing my GM’s Jam in the afternoon. But there should still be plenty of room for some good coverage.

Jeff and I saw Michael (Chgowiz) right before the exhibit hall closed. It’s so great to see him here, and I can’t wait to catch up with him tomorrow.

WotC has some really cool promo statues. Oh, speaking of WotC, this next year will see the D&D edition of Heroscape. That should go over pretty well, I think. And remember, whatever Pathfinder may be doing at Gen Con, the RPGA is still massive.

I was happy we got the scoop on the new WotC setting today. OK, we tied Critical Hits on Twitter, but we were up with the news on theRPGsite immediately (and here just a few minutes after).

Today was a great day, and I talked to a lot of gamers who were still playing 1e or older versions of D&D (considering I was in games DM’d by Kask and Mentzer, that may not be a surprise). There’s tons of quality gaming, but outside of Pathfinder, I don’t see any single gaming product that’s really catching fire. This is a strange year, in a lot of ways—it’s almost like everyone’s taken a deep breath. There’s tons of events, and plenty of interesting accessories, but most folks I talk to see it as a down year for RPG releases, fair or not. That’s ok—Gen Con isn’t dependent on shiny new releases to be awesome. There’s dice and catching up with old and new friends and meeting your favorite designers. Obviously, companies need to make money, but the buzz or lack thereof I report on here isn’t indicative of their financial experience at the convention. I only report what I hear on the floor, and try to give you a sense of feeling for the convention overall. I hope I accomplish that, at least.

I’ll catch up with everyone tomorrow!


Joseph said...

Hope you hit that "next setting" announcement. I've got a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach...

GeekBob said...

My guess would be Planescape.

Anonymous said...

Nope. It's Dark Sun. Yay!

Zachary The First said...

And it isn't Greyhawk. Yay!

Aaron said...

And it isn't Dragonlance. Yay!

Schuyler said...

You know Zack you have done it now. Next year we are going to lose both Mr. Kask and Mr. Mentzer. Thanks man....

Zachary The First said...

Man, that is morbid. I sure hope not.

Congrats again, by the way! You owned that Tower!

Schuyler said...

I try to live up to the name of the best GM I have played under. Until today atleast

John W. S. Marvin said...

Have you gotten a look at Rogue Trader (FFG) yet?

Zachary The First said...

Rogue Trader? Saw a couple people walking around with it. I confess, I haven't done much with it.