Aser and Megan go to GenCon50 2017

Another Gencon is behind us, and with the return to the everyday routine comes an opportunity to reflect on all we did and experienced in four glorious days of gaming, interviewing and walking: you would not believe how much walking, or maybe you would…. We arrived in Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon and flew out on Sunday evening. In between, we ran five games, played in one, attended two panels, and for the first time, conducted six interviews that are being posted throughout the week.

Last year we ran three different games, with Megan and I both taking a session of Numenera and Delta Green. This year, we cut it down to running four sessions of the same game. This was reduced to three as a number of people who were scheduled for one of our Saturday morning sessions didn’t show up. Let me now go off on a tangent to say that if you aren’t sure you can make it to a morning event, PLEASE don’t register for it, as it can really ruin the experience for the ones who do come. It’s also a pain for people who are relying on players being in those seats to meet their commitments to the convention, but more importantly, it it’s the nice, considerate thing to do. In our case, we had enough players to fill out one table, so things worked out. As I think will become a sort of annual tradition for us and MAMS Gaming, our GMing culminated in a four-table cooperative Numenera scenario on Saturday night. Each table was tasked with exploring a Tower that only appears for short periods of time, but as they entered they found they were not in the tower at the same point in time. There were a few hiccups in timing, but by and large it went pretty well, with the added touch of players having to communicate with one another over Twitter. Want to know what they said? You can find their communications under the hashtag #TowerOfLines.

Perhaps the biggest change from last year was that Megan went to the convention with a press badge, which allowed us to interview industry leaders like Monte Cook, James Sutter, and Chris Birch about their companies’ latest releases. We also got to talk to people bringing out new products onto the market that sounded very cool like Syrinscape’s app that lets you play an amazing selection of music and sounds at your table, a new crowd-funding platform specifically for tabletop games called Game On Tabletop, and MetaArcade’s adventure creator software that you will soon be able to use to make choose your own adventure you can release onto iOS, Android, Mac and Steam. You can currently play any of their Tunnels and Trolls based CYA games on your phone, search for Tunnels and Trolls in your app store!

We also had the opportunity to play in a game at a convention for the first time. Taylor from the Leviathan Files and Rich Howard from the Young Justice Files and Tribality are working together on an underwater-themed PBTA game that is very different and engaging. Megan played a manta ray and I played a shark with octopus arms. I think we saved the day? Anyone interested in trying something unique and original should definitely follow the development of Descent into Midnight. And of course, I wouldn’t miss a chance to see the unique brand of commentary and self-aware humor that is an RPPR live show, listeners of which can look forward to the weirdest RPG I, as a person who interviewed Monte Cook about Invisible Sun, have ever heard of.

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Lastly, what con report would be complete without a recounting of the loot? Megan and I each bought dice this year: hers including a new Chessex set and a hit location die from Modiphius and mine including a set of metal Fate dice from Norse Foundry and some colorful oversized d6s. We bought a hardcopy of Elder Godlike and some Delta Green adventures, two of the latter actually list us as playtesters. Our running so many Delta Green games means we got some credit to spend at Arc Dream, so we also picked up Sense of the Slight of Hand Man and some little things to give away in the near future. We picked up Cthulhu City, Out of the Woods, Cthulhu Apocalypse, and Armitage Files due to a devious 4 for 3 sale at the Pelgrane booth. Our interview with Chris Birch convinced me of the soundness of my decision to buy the Star Trek Adventures core rulebook. We also finally gave in and bought Pulp Cthulhu from Chaosium along with a Runequest quick start and the cutest retelling of Call of Cthulhu you are likely to find. Along the way, Megan got me the most accurate shirt, which reads “World’s Okayest DM.” Always a fan of free things, we got a copy of the new 7th Sea quick start for their new continent, which will be kickstarting next month and information from Ulisses about their new WH40k game, Wrath and Glory. And last but not least, we were surprised to see our names at the head of the list of play testers for Lovecraft and Tesla, which means we had to have a copy.

All in all, I think we had a great time. We continue to meet new and interesting people and get to know some old friends a little better. If you can go next year, I highly encourage you to make the trip and say hello.

Aser is a visually impaired attorney and assistive technology instructor that started playing RPGs shortly before the podcast's founding. He ran our games of The Strange and Night's Black Agents, and is an advocate for accessibility in gaming. His gaming interests tend towards mythos horror, investigation, espionage, and military role-playing games.

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