Gen Con 2017: Day 4 and Recap

Sunday is always a day of last chances and regrets. It's a day of packing up all your newly acquired treasures and checking out of the hotel. It's a day of tracking down that person you didn't manage to see all show, and then realizing as your heading out the door that there was someone else you didn't even know was in town.

The one thing of note I did on Sunday this year was visit the 50th Anniversary retrospective at the Lucas Oil Stadium. This was an excellent collection of gaming artifacts from the history of Gen Con and beyond. I was particularly interested in the early prototypes and playtest manuscripts of various games. Thanks to everyone who lent pieces of their collections.

Unfortunately, the time came to say goodbye to another year at Gen Con. And then travel back across the scorching plains of Ohio without air conditioning. And then get stuck in a completely pointless traffic jam at the Pennsylvania state line. But eventually, we made it home to our cat and our AC and our own bed.


This was an unusual Gen Con for me for many reasons. The first and biggest was that I was an Industry Insider. I had to sit on panels, something that I had very little experience doing and which made me more than a little nervous. Thankfully, I had amazing folks sitting on them with me, and all of my panels went really well.

And of course, the crowds were huge. I must say, though, that while intellectually I knew that there were more people than ever before, it didn't really feel much more crowded than the busiest days of years past. The staff at Gen Con and the ICC did an excellent job accommodating the masses.

Finally, I didn't do as much as I usually do. Other than my panels, I ran two games and attended the Diana Jones and Ennie Awards ceremonies. I didn't play in any games, aside from a few demos in the exhibit hall. I barely hung out and chatted with anyone.

And yet, it was still a really good Gen Con. I'm so glad I applied for the Insider program and was able to do it. There was an energy at the show from so many new folks discovering everything Gen Con has to offer.

I don't know if next year will be as big or as busy or if it will capture that same kind of energy. It will most likely go back to the typical rhythms of years past, maybe with slightly larger crowds. (Indeed, I don't expect Gen Con to sell out next year. The anniversary was a unique event drawing such numbers.) I have no doubt that I will be back next year.


Commerce is a big part of Gen Con, and I like to run down the Cool New Stuff (tee-em) that I pick up at the show. So here we go:
  • 13th Age (Pelgrane Press)
  • Eyes of the Stone Thief, for 13th Age (Pelgrane Press)
  • Tartarus/Terra Nova flipbook (Pelgrane Press)
  • Cthulhu Confidential (Pelgrane Press)
  • Cthulhu City (Pelgrane Press)
  • Enterprise-D All Rolled Up (All Rolled Up)
  • Fate Adversary Toolkit (Evil Hat)
  • Unknown Armies 3rd Edition (Atlas Games)
  • Eclipse Phase Quick-Start Rules (Posthuman Studios)
  • Starfinder (Paizo)
  • Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting (Green Ronin)
  • Mars Attacks: The Miniatures Game (Mantic Games)
  • The Chameleon (Big Potato)

UPDATE: I missed a few things:

  • Mutant Crawl Classics dice (Goodman Games)
  • Rowboat, tree stump, bubbling pools, and crystals (Legendary Realms Terrain)


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