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GENCON 2014 – A Quick Report on Day 2 (Friday)

gencon wotc logosHail and Well Met Gentle Readers and Fellow Gamers!

It’s Day 2 at GENCON 2014 and it’s been a busy Friday here at the convention.  Although I can’t be certain, the number of participants certainly felt higher today, with considerably more traffic in the halls and Exhibition Hall than on Thursday.  I tell you I won’t be surprised to hear that this year broke the record books again for total attendees – the community of gamers just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

Wil answers a question at the TableTop panel

Wil answers a question at the TableTop panel


I started today with Geek & Sundry TableTop Panel of Awesome with Wil Wheaton discussing all the plans for the next season of TableTop.  Say what you will, but Mr. Wheaton owns his geek-cred and was a very entertaining speaker even at an early morning show.  News of the new RPG Table Top series elicited quite a bit of excitement from the crowd, although we do not yet have information on the RP game system or players who will be part of this campaign.  Wil has been “hired” as the DM, and even brainstormed during the panel about the idea of a Behind the Screen series for DM tips.  There will even be a completely new unique fantasy campaign world for the RPG Table Top series, and I certainly wish Mr. Wheaton all the best working up a whole world on such a tight production schedule!
Wolfgang Baur and Steve Winter discuss their new adventure arc

Wolfgang Baur and Steve Winter discuss their new adventure arc


Next I was off to a panel called Tyranny of Dragons: When The Kobolds Met Tiamat featuring Wolfgang Baur and Steve Winter.   This seminar had these two well-known game designers discussing Hoard of the Dragon Queen – the new 5th Edition D&D adventure series written for WotC by Kobold Press.  Wolfgang and Steve told the attendees about some of the trials and triumphs of working with Wizards of the Coast to write the adventure arc as well as some of the behind the scenes design decisions.  I’ll have more information about this panel as part of my review this coming Wednesday of Hoard of the Dragon Queen on EN World.

By happy chance, right after the Tyranny of Dragons panel I had an opportunity to make my way to the Wizards of the Coast HQ at GENCON 2014, and have a short interview with Mike Mearls, Co-Lead Designer of the new D&D Player’s Handbook.  Mr. Mearls had some very interesting insights about his experiences while designing this new D&D Edition and I’ll be posting excerpts from our discussion in a blog later this week.

Following my meeting with Mike Mearls, I was off to a panel with Chris Pramas and Marc Schmalz of Green Ronin.  This seminar focused on the Pathfinder RPG products being produced by Green Ronin, particularly their Freeport setting and Advanced Bestiary.  There was some audience participation with asking attendees about the types of PFRPG products that fans would like to see that aren’t being produced by Paizo right now.  Suggestions ranged from a decent shipbuilding/combat sourcebook to expanding the Freeport setting to include other lands.
Mike mason chaosiumImmediately following that panel, I was off to the Call of Cthulhu seminar with Mike Mason speaking on behalf of Chaosium about the up and coming new edition and additional products.  The new Call of Cthulhu will be in full color and about 150 pages longer than previous editions – meaning lots of new content.  But we were told that the rules have been streamlined in the new edition, and there were considerably more optional rules now to allow Keepers greater control over what sort of CoC game they wanted to run.  We were also told about a new Keeper Screen Pack with 2 full scenarios in it, a Player’s Guide with greater in-depth character creation content, and an Unspeakable Horrors adventure book with 6 scenarios in it.  There is also the strong possibility of a Pulp Cthulhu edition finally being published, which would allow players to create more powerful heroes akin to the 1930s pulp fiction variety.  With additional powers, greater control over their luck, and increased hit points, these Pulp Cthulhu heroes will be able to take on considerably nastier Mythos monsters than their 1920s counterparts.
museum banner
After a short break, I headed over to Georgia Street where the D&D Tyranny of Dragons Launch Party was getting into full swing.  A pavilion had been erected there, and Lord Davian Dryadson made an appearance (nice costuming there) bringing back a blue dragon mask for his collection which was on display there.  There was a fairly good sized crowd, and WotC staffers were handing out Ampersand pins, posters, and Tiamat crowns to the partiers.  A party of Dark Elves showed up to the event, although I’m not sure whether they were cosplayers or part of the schtick.  Once the loud music and dancing started, I headed out of there to go check in on the Weis & Hickman Dragonlance Legacy Party – but not before crossing paths with WotC’s Trevor Kidd and Enrique the NewbieDM on my way out.

The crowd gathers to see the dragon relics in the Museum

The crowd gathers to see the dragon relics in the Museum


crowd 2
Dark elves crash the party?

Dark elves crash the party?


Dragon Artifacts

Dragon Artifacts


And more Dragon Artifacts

And more Dragon Artifacts


The new aquisition - a blue dragon mask

The new aquisition - a blue dragon mask


I’m rather sorry to report that I was unable to locate the Dragonlance Party at GENCON this year.  The ticket lead me to a room where there was an anime movie marathon and not happy fans of D&D’s Dragonlance.  I was told they had been moved to another room, but that room was also showing movies.  So if the event went off tonight, I have no clue where it was, which is rather unfortunate as I left the Tyranny of Dragons Launch Party to go looking for it.

But overall, it was still a fine day at GENCON 2014, and it was awesome to network with so many amazing game designers today.  Tomorrow has even more to look forward to so I better sign off and get some rest before the morning arrives, as it does, all too early!

So until next blog… I wish you Happy Gaming!


About The Author

Editor-in-Chief
Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.

Comments

2 Responses to “GENCON 2014 – A Quick Report on Day 2 (Friday)”

  1. The drow were one of two groups cosplaying at Gen Con I ran into and, while their costumes were amazing, are just fans and weren’t there on behalf of WotC. Just big fans there for the event with a major talent for costuming.

  2. @Darryl – Too cool – thanks for that info! Yea, their costuming and makeup were totally professional/acting company level. Maybe WotC should hire them for future schtick at presentations and events – simply amazing looking Drow!

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