GenCon Report


So, I actually made it to GenCon, just on time for its 50th Anniversary. I’ve just known about this ultimate gamer convention since I was twelve and playing original Advanced D&D.

What can I say about it? I almost didn’t go, even with an RPG title of my own to show, since many backers have not yet received their printed copies. Wiser voices convinced me that, since the PDF/mobi editions of the game and book were already out there (so that backers were already playing and even offering feedback), it was an okay thing to do.

And I’m very glad I went; I got to meet a lot of fans who had backed the Kickstarter or just read the books, and that is always a good thing. First, authors are mostly hermits, and since we don’t get out much it’s smart to actually emerge from our hermetic isolation to blink in the sunlight and talk to real live human beings. Second, it’s just incredibly energizing to hear in person from you. Supportive or enthusiastic comments on my blog, or rave reviews, are wonderful, but Real World, hand-shaking, exchanges of gratitude (and I’m more grateful than I can say), are true magic.

Also, I got to meet Mercedes Lackey.

Mercedes. Lackey.

Yeah, Arrows of The Queen, Lackey’s first Valdemar book, came out while I was in college and hugely shaped my literary preferences. Come to think of it, certain aspects of Talia’s story are strongly present in Astra’s story. Which just goes to show you how much writers are inspired by Those Who Wrote Before. I didn’t geek out, I was casual but Thank You Thank You Thank You. Or something like that; it’s a bit of a blur.

Mercedes Lackey, how cool is that?

So what else to say about the convention? What did I learn there?

  1. Standing at a booth for eight hours, four days in a row, sucks.
  2. Mountain Dew is the Water of Life.
  3. Pathfinder is taking over the world (this was their gameroom).GenCon3
  4. Indianapolis is a great place, full of good people (especially Buzz and Julie). I feel bad now that I staged a “biological terrorist attack” in their sports stadium.
  5. Max, the creator of Cards Against Humanity and now Secret Hitler, is not evil. In fact he’s very cool (I got to play SH with him and a group of writers/guests at the Worldbuilds charity event).

My verdict of GenCon is I will probably be back next year, with the sourcebook completed and in the hands of all my patient Kickstarter backers. I can sacrifice my feet in return for another experience like that. Meanwhile, time to write! Recursion needs feeding.

Marion G. Harmon

13 thoughts on “GenCon Report

  1. Ahh man! I was there with a big group and spent a good amount of time in the exhibition hall and walked through the artist / author alley but totally missed you! I usually go through every lane in the hall to look at all the booths, but didn’t have tine this year. Next year for sure! Been going to Gencon for last 4 years now (and went twice back in the early 90s).

    Its a great time!
    R/ Sean

  2. I got to meet you there as well (the guy who bought one of the WTC:SE books and brought your info to John Helfers).

    Very glad you made it and will be glad to see you back next year!

    Bit of advice for next year. Foam floor matting. You can get 6 tiles for about $20 on Amazon.

    It doesn’t completely kill the pain, but there’s a BIG difference between 4 days of standing on foam pads on concrete and 4 days of standing on bare concrete…This is the voice of unfortunate experience….

  3. It was fantastic to meet you at GENCON this year, and I am looking forward to seeng you back there again next year. I would love to sign up for a WtC RPG game demo!

    1. Can’t believe I missed this question. They are books by two other authors. Maxwell Alexander Drake, and Christine Haggerty. They split the cost of the author’s table with me, and were there part of the time.

  4. “Also, I got to meet Mercedes Lackey.

    Mercedes. Lackey.”

    I know what you mean. I just attended my first Worldcon, and I got to meet Ken Liu, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Carrie Vaughn, and it felt just sliiightly intimidating.

    Nothing compared to standing in a queue for an hour to get George RR Martin’s signature, though. Pretty sure my legs were shaking at one point.

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