Back from GenCon

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.

August Update Post
My Official Comment on WorldCon 2018's Social Justice Cannibal Feeding Frenzy

35 thoughts on “Back from GenCon”

  1. Happy you had a good, stress free time. I’ve got to get back to Gen Con some time. Probably right after they invent a medication for my aversion to crowds.

  2. Wish I could of been part of the MHI RPG. Are you going to be a vendor at FanX? I’m going this year and wanted to pick up more of your books.

      1. I did the kickstarter the first day. Still didn’t get a spot to play though. Are you going all 3 days or just a day or 2? I have to check and see what books or memorabilia I have for you to sign. Thanks for the info.

  3. ” got a bunch of messages from people worried about my safety”

    Had to laugh out loud on that one. Some little “tough guy” snowflake taking on someone the size of Larry Correia. Not gonna happen (4 or 5 of them together, maybe).

    The video from Portland has one of them trying to hit a guy his own size with a CLUB and getting his clock cleaned.

    1. “Had to laugh out loud on that one. Some little “tough guy” snowflake taking on someone the size of Larry Correia. Not gonna happen (4 or 5 of them together, maybe).”

      ….and only if they can make a sneak attack from behind. 😀

    2. Nah man, cowards like that just aim to cause major damage in their first hit, which is where bike locks and razor blades start making appearances.

      Be safe.

  4. Somebody’s horse is wandering around Wake Forest, the last I’d heard. I emailed Tony Daniel (just for giggles) and he said it wasn’t his—apparently his are all steel.

    (FYI: Baen is in Wake Forest, NC.)

  5. Larry, I was fortunate enough to run into you while you were wandering the vendor hall and the 5-10 minutes you talked to me was a highlight of my weekend.
    Now that the fanboy stuff out of the way, I ordered Big Trouble last year and upgraded to the deluxe 5-6 player version. That game is amazing! It not only puts you in the movie, but in the stuff going on just outside the movie. The models are fantastic, and at a $99 price point it was probably the best deal at the con. I recommended that to everyone.

    Again, great to see you again and glad the con went well.

  6. Sounds like it was fun. Finances precluded me going…but perhaps next year.

    MHI RPG at the con? ARGH!! I have a pile of people who are eagerly awaiting that to arrive in my hands! Plus…I am jealous I could not play in the game you ran.

    I am awaiting my copy of BIG TROUBLE. My shop has it ordered by the first copy went to the other pre-order as my finances were too tight. Should be today or tomorrow for mine 🙂

    Still need you to come back up our way Larry. The INFINITY group here would love it. They said tell him he will not regret it.

    Take Care my friend

  7. So many good rpgs out there. Miss living around friends and family and gaming together. With the old school Star Wars rpg, I created my all time favorite character. He has a Thakwaash, a race with multiple personality disorder. He was so much fun to play. I remember one particular session where we were trying to bluff our way past an enemy garrison. For some odd reason the group decided to let me do the talking. Had pretty much convinced them to let us pass when I rolled a belligerent personality that liked picking fights. Group never let me talk again.

    1. I miss playing my silver-tongued smuggler. She was infiltrating an Imperial base (wearing an Imperial officer’s uniform) and when caught by the lieutenant in charge, she convinced his squad that HE was the traitor/imposter and they started shooting at him.

      It was glorious.

      (Lots of points in the con skill, and I always have loved playing fast talkers.)

      1. I played Star Wars RPG when it originally came out. I loved it. I was the Nerdy Engineer, and had my own ship, The Aluminum Finch. I basically ferried the other player characters around and fixed/built cool stuff for them. WOW I remember so much from that game.

  8. I just got my new Infinity stuff from a Ninja shopper working the CB booth…it looks so cool.

  9. Just saw a showing of Big Trouble in Little China at the movie theater last night. Excellent.

    Is $100.00 the going rate for new board games now? Is the playing board hand-carved from mahogany? Are the pieces made of titanium? I guess if people are buying it.

    1. Well, aside from inflation, a lot of these games are just plain coming with far more stuff than they used to. Hundreds of miniatures, cards, art pieces … Gone are the days of “You get red blocks of wood, and you get blue blocks of wood.” Now it’s “You get this set of detailed metal/plastic pieces, and you get this other set.”

      People seem to prefer it. I sure do.

      1. Yeah, it’s a mixed bag.

        On the one hand, a great game works with cardboard standees or even wooden cubes, and you can get more games for less money.

        OTOH, if I buy a game with wooden cubes and it doesn’t work out, it’s basically resell or toss. But if I buy a game with lots of minis, if the “play the game” part doesn’t work out, “paint and use the minis in other games” might.

        Also, if a good game also has pieces/minis that really fit the theme, it helps draw you in to the game. And I’d rather pay more for a great gaming experience than less for an OK one.

  10. What vendor were you with? I found the Savage Worlds booth but could not gind you. Just hoped to say “hi!”

  11. It was cool to bumping you at the War Store bargain bin. Somehow I’ve missed that little gem over the years I’ve been going. If you are interested, I’ll let you know if we run any Firestorm events next year. I might even be able to convince Dave to attend.

  12. Glad you had a good time. Sorry we didn’t see you while you were there. We were running demo tables during the award ceremony.

    I saw you were going as a vendor, did you have a booth that I just didn’t see?

  13. Glad you had a good time.
    Didn’t see you like I was hoping, but got to talk to Alan a bit.

  14. What vendor were you with? I went to the Savage Worlds publisher hoping to find you but you weren’t there. Glad you had a good time. Just hoped to say “hi!”

  15. Did not get the opportunity to speak with you this weekend, but did enjoy hearing you at the Roadshow. Wishing Ms. Lackey a speedy recovery, husband was disappointed she was not able to be there.

    Surprisingly (only because there was so much other freakin’ cool stuff going on all weekend), that and Jim’s other panel on Baen ended up being the highlights of our weekend (second only to getting to hang out with eldest boychild who lives halfway across the country). I learned a lot more than I expected and came away with a new book! Of course after the Roadshow my book budget for the next 6 months is now blown, but still.

  16. Sorry to miss you at the con. I was only there Friday and Saturday, and Saturday was taken up with a tournament. Friday I had meetings with various people, and trying to shove as much game stuff into the gaps as I could manage.

    Let me reiterate what Larry said above. GenCon is great, full of great people, and it sucks that one lone dipshit decided to try to ruin it. There was also some noise from a safe space group after the con declaring that they couldn’t come back because it was such an unwelcoming and unsafe environment. I really have to question what qualifies as unwelcoming, when I saw literally every kind of geek mingling and having fun and, other than the guy mentioned above, being welcomed. It’s a puzzle.

  17. Antifas have to sucker punch people and run away, things don’t work out well for them if they try to fight otherwise. Though, they usually aren’t quite stupid enough to do it without their masks on.

    Cant say I’m surprised you’re a Witcher fan, there being that tiny overlap in subject matter and all. Probably preaching to the choir, but Witcher 3 was the best RPG ever, imo. Geralt was an incredible protagonist, and the world building (I guess its called) was just incredible. Every time I’d go and read one of those monster biographies I’d admire just how well it fit into the dark fairly tale world and rules they built, and how much imagination and cleverness it took to do that. I mean, they invented whole swaths of things that seem straight out of Grimms fairy tales-like the “trail of treats”. They really did a phenomenal job.

  18. Larry thanks for the game, damn entertaining. Bob was probably our MVP. That was Matt’s first time playing a rpg and he had a blast. Looking forward to the write up.

    Tuco.

  19. Glad to hear that a good time was had.

    1 jerk out of 50,000?

    If only the rest of life had that ratio . . .

  20. Larry,

    I’m the guy you ran into in the elevator Saturday morning on the way to the Con from the hotel. Just wanted to say it was a pleasure meeting you. I had hoped to bump into you (1 in 62,000 odds!)so I think I used up a good portion of my con luck doing so.

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