GenCon 2016: After Action Report

I just got back from this year’s GenCon yesterday, and am mostly recovered from the associated fatigue, so I wanted to share some thoughts while they were fresh in my mind.

First off, a shout out to everyone I saw, and to everyone who I didn’t. Both lists are incredibly long, and I will not bore any strangers who happen across the blog with the full enumeration, but to those I saw, thanks for the great times, and to those I did not, you were definitely missed. Hopefully I’ll catch more folks next year!

In terms of how the actual con played out for me, I was incredibly busy off in room 122 running demos of Age of Rebellion and Dark Heresy. Twenty four hours of RPG sessions is no joke! But my groups were all a lot of fun, and kept things going in a lot of different ways, keeping it an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. I got a number of folks who hadn’t played the games before mixed in with various veteran players, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I didn’t make it to the exhibit hall until Saturday afternoon, and only bumbled around in there for a short period, during which I forgot to visit a number of booths I had promised myself I would see. Regrettably, I was too brain-fried to remember to check out a cool new RPG that had been recommended to me earlier in the con (1879, by FASA–it sounded really cool), to stop by the ErfWorld booth after hearing they might not be in next year, or to make a number of other important stops. Still, I did acquire some nice loot and see a bunch of awesome displays, so there is that.

In terms of new releases I’m particularly hyped about, this year was actually more about expansions to me. There weren’t a lot of brand new products I was desperate to hear about (possibly related to the industry shifting towards more crowdfunding-based models in a lot of quarters), but there were a number of developments on existing ones I was interested in–new ships for X-Wing and Star Wars Armada, or the new Force Awakens Beginner Game. There’s also some stuff that fits somewhere in between those areas. I was very excited to hear about the Kickstarter for Scion 2nd edition coming from Onyx Path later this month, but I’ve been following Scion 2E for a while now, and it’s not quite a GenCon release. As GenCon news, though, it’s pretty good. I was also pleased to see Cavaliers of Mars, a creator-owned project also being published by Onyx Path, was up and running enough for demos, as I contributed a small bit of writing towards that game (more details on that at some point later).

Overall, my GenCon this year was more about the people than the games–old friends, present and absent, new acquaintances made, and keeping the demos fresh with the aid of the various groups for which I ran them. Still, that’s definitely not a bad thing, and it’s a credit to the social nature of the hobby that this is possible.

Hope to see you all at GenCon 2017!

 

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About Jordan Goldfarb

I am a freelance writer working in the Role-Playing Game industry. My goal is to bring passion, creativity and intelligence to whatever I do, wherever I do it.
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