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.
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?
- Standing at a booth for eight hours, four days in a row, sucks.
- Mountain Dew is the Water of Life.
- Pathfinder is taking over the world (this was their gameroom).
- 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.
- 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