I got back from GenCon yesterday. This was the first year I went as a vendor instead of an author/panelist, which meant that I spent a lot more time in the Big Room of Spending Money. My total luggage for the flight home weighed in at 110 pounds.
I had a great time, ran the MHI RPG for the KS backers (I’ll write up a recap when I get a chance), had some business meetings, and got to demo a lot of products. I presented the Baen Fantasy Adventure awards on Saturday (I was too busy to be a judge this year, but I read the winners and they’re all really good).
Going as a vendor means that you get into the room early. For most people that would mean getting in line early for the super in demand stuff… For me, it means going to the War Store and picking through their bargain bins early before all the really awesome oddball stuff is taken. (I bought like 100 misc minis there for kitbashing purposes). I picked up all the new Infinity stuff, the new Witcher RPG, the entire run of Shadows of Esteren (no, seriously, they had a mega bundle of every single product, that was like 50 pounds of my luggage right there), the board game Fallen Land, the new L5R quick start from Fantasy Flight (this was the one thing that was disappointing. It’s a good size box, but inside is just a tiny quick start rule set, some pregens, a map, and some dice for $50. It felt like a bait and switch for all the suckers like me who love the old L5R), the 30th anniversary reprint of the old Star Wars RPG (flashbacks!), and a ton of other stuff.
One of the coolest products there (which was sold out by Saturday morning) was the Big Trouble in Little China board game from Everything Epic. I kid you not, it’s Jack Burton and the Porkchop Express putting boot to ass against the evil forces of Lo Pan. It’s awesome.
It’s weird for me. Normally I come home from GenCon with minis, but this year it was mostly books. SO MANY BOOKS. Now I just need to figure out when I’m actually going to find the time to play some of these. When you impulse buy 50 pounds of one game you’re kind of obligated to play. 🙂
On an unhappy note, there was an incident involving an Antifa jackass suckerpunching Jeremy from the Quartering (he was one of the Youtubers who reported on me getting kicked out of Origins). As far as I know the violent stupidity was from one lone dipstick, and he fled the con. I don’t know who the guy is, but apparently he’s some game designer, and he was MIA from his booth and from all his panels afterwards (I’m guessing he didn’t want the Indy PD to handcuff him on stage) I look forward to the guy getting charged with Battery, and then Jeremy suing him into oblivion. Stupid should hurt.
I wasn’t anywhere near that event, but as soon as word went out I got a bunch of messages from people worried about my safety in case punching people you disagree with politically was going to be the new hotness this year. Nope, it was just the one random moron. I had no issue with anyone the whole time. That isn’t really a surprise though, since chickenshits rarely try anything with us big guys they’d have to stand on their tippy toes to sucker punch. I only interacted with 50,000 other nerds having a good time.
There was another rumor flying around the con about how a GAMA bigwig tried a Don’t You Know Who I Am to bully his way onto the loading dock without his ID badge, the volunteers wouldn’t let him in, and he shoved them, then got thrown out because of it. Now I’ll admit, this one got me all excited because I was initially told it was the GAMA president, so I thought John Ward (who disinvited me from Origins) and how ironic it would be if the guy who said I created an unsafe environment for a family friendly event ended up pushing down poor volunteers who were just trying to do their jobs, but it turned out to be a different GAMA person. Bummer. Because that would’ve been hilarious. Still, way to cover yourself in glory there, guys.
Mercedes Lackey had a health scare. I got a call that night from a mutual friend who was at the emergency room with her. From the initial symptoms it sounded like a stroke, and that’s scary, but luckily it turned out to be a toxic shock reaction to chemicals (her hotel room had just been remodeled). Thankfully she was doing much better when I saw her briefly on Saturday.
I had a great GenCon this year. One of the guys I was staying with won the hotel lottery and we were actually walking distance, rather than the hotel 12 miles away I was stuck with last time. That sucked. I roomed with two old friends, one of whom I’d not been able to talk with much for a long time, so it was nice just to sit around and catch up.