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GENCON 2014 – A Final Quick Report on Day 4 (Sunday)

gencon wotc logosGreetings to all, Gentle Readers and Fellow Gamers!

Last night (Saturday) I was out far too late to make a report after I got in – it was insane trying to get dinner after my final panel with the Colts game in town.  So I figured I’d roll up a Final Report about the GENCON 2014 experience tonight (Sunday) after I got back to good old Michigan.
nWod Panel pic
Saturday (Day 3) of GENCON was another busy day for me, and I had a full schedule of panels and events to attend from morning to night.  First off was the New World of Darkness panel which was lead by Rich Thomas and included notable designers Eddy Webb, Rose Bailey, Matt McFarland, and Ted McElroy.  The big announcement for this panel was that Onyx Path Publishing would be creating Second Editions of many of the nWoD Core books.  There will be a new Victorian Era sourcebook for Vampire: The Requiem, and a new Half-Damned sourcebook for details about Ghouls, Revanents, and Dhampir characters.  There is also a new supernatural entering the nWoD soon – Beast: The PrimordialBtP will feature characters who are ancient entities which feast on the primal fears of mankind – and these new supernatural beings will have crossovers and allies among the other entities in the New World of Darkness universe.
Suspense in RPGs
Next, I jaunted off to a panel on Building Suspense in RPGs.  This panel was seated with game writers and designers the likes of Ken Hite, Shane Hensley, Andrew Hacker, and Keith Baker.  This nearly hour long discussion focused on tips for Game Masters to generate feelings of suspense, dread, and outright horror from their players, and to create a better roleplaying atmosphere in adventure and horror genre games.  One of the first and possibly biggest tip for GMs to remember is that thrills, dread, and fear can be experienced by the players – but only if they want to let it.  There’s an unspoken contract that the players must want to experience those emotions at the table, and it can’t be forced on them – that said, there were a lot of great ideas brought up by the panel, and I’ll write up a blog about it in the coming weeks.
Green Ronin Panel
After that panel, I went off to find out What’s Up with Green Ronin?  This panel was chaired by Chris Pramas and Steve Kenson, and it covered the projects that Green Ronin will be publishing for the next year or so.  We can look forward to DragonAge (Set 3) coming out soon with rules for characters Levels 11-20, as well as new organizations and a mass combat system.  There’s also the Advanced Bestiary for Pathfinder coming soon, which will be released to the public after the Kickstarter backers have all received their copies.  In November, Green Ronin is releasing a Cosmic Handbook for Mutants & Masterminds with rules and powers for handling an outer space supers campaign (Guardians of the Galaxy inspirations!).  And there will be a new Freeport Handbook for Pathfinder, which is going to be  a whopping 512 pages long in full color and include a poster map as well.  DragonAge is also going to have its own Ultimate Edition, combining the rules from all three boxed sets into one book; there’s going to be a PDF series of the Atlas of Prime Earth for M&M detailing 10-12 different regions around the world setting and a Freedom City Companion Book;  and next year there will be a reprinting of the Song of Ice & Fire Core books, and a new magic system for the system behind SoIF so it can be used in other non-Westeros settings.  There is also the potential that Green Ronin will be publishing for D&D 5th Edition as it did for old 3rd Edition back in the day.  Steve Kenson said he’d be “…happy to design for it.”  But Chris Pramas pointed out that any sort of Third Party Publishing by them would be entirely up to the sort of terms of the licensing agreement WotC created for this new edition of D&D.
Pinnacle Panel
After the panel with Green Ronin, I was off to another game company panel with Pinnacle Entertainment GroupShane Hensley and Jodi Black along with some of the other PEG designers discussed the upcoming releases this coming year and beyond.  Pinnacle is coming out with a large number of releases over the next calendar year, creating what Mr. Hensley described as the “Wall of Wonder” when a gamer saw the huge number of campaign settings for the Savage Worlds system.  Some of the highlights this year include the East Texas University, a family style Deadlands Noir: The Big Easy Card Game, and a return of the Rippers setting (with a BIG surprise – we weren’t told what that was yet).  The Sixth Gun graphic novel is being made into its own Roleplaying game by PEG, and for fans of Fritz Lieber – The Savage World of Lankhmar is coming soon under Savage Worlds rules (I personally am really looking forward to this one)!  We also have new releases for Deadlands and Hell on Earth in the coming months (Stone and a Hard Place, The Relics Companion, The Worm Turns Plot Point Campaign, The Lost Colony Companion) and three new companions for the Savage Worlds of Horror featuring scenarios like the old EC Comics, some Cthulhu Mythos material, and even stuff that might best be called Stephen King-like.  There’s three new system books for a space opera setting called The Last Parsec based upon material from the Science Fiction Companion and a Weird War One setting for strange tales using the Great War as a backdrop.  There was also some tantalizing hints that DeadLands television series might be in the works, but we’ll find out more about that as the project gets farther along.  I should note that Kevin Andrew Murphy was in the audience and he indicated that there will be more fiction coming out from PEG, and Shane even mentioned the possibility of a Martial Arts Companion for Savage Worlds – indications of a potential Wuxia campaign setting?!
I stopped by a seminar about the computer application called RealmsWorks, which is designed to assist in campaign management for gamemasters.  Alas, I didn’t get much out of the seminar other than I needed a base working knowledge of the program to “get it”, and the program has a lot of features – possibly too many – to really be useful.  Perhaps my gestalt was misguided, but I left that hour long event with no real sense that RealmsWorks was any better than Rolld20 and Google Hangout for handling long distance games – and it’s kinda expensive.

On my way to my final panel of Saturday, I bumped in Erik Scott De Bie and we got to chatting about his new project, a graphic novel called Justice/Vengeance.   There’s a Kickstarter going on now for Volume 1: Libations for the Dead , and you can check out some of the artwork by Deviant Artists Tangra and Robot Panda.

The final panel of the day was entitled Queer as a Three-Sided Die and featured notable queer game designers and writers discussing inclusivity for all people of any gender or sexuality at our gaming tables,  and in our RPG products.  Jeremy Crawford (WotC), Steve Kenson (Green Ronin), Wesley Schneider (Paizo), and Renee (  chaired the nearly two-hour long panel and held an open forum discussion with the audience pertaining to personal experiences with acceptance and prejudice in gaming. This panel was filmed for a podcast, and I’ll post the link on this blog once it goes live.
Sunday Crowd
Sunday consisted of a three hour romp through the Exhibition Hall, finally getting the opportunity to do a little (a lot!) shopping in the weekend.  As usual, the best deals were to be had on Sunday, and I managed to pick up several new books for Savage Worlds, a batch of new dice, and some cool items for my desk at work.
More Sunday Crowd
And finally, I headed for home, and after a mere six hours of driving and numerous stops, am back home again.  Thankfully, I took tomorrow off to recover from this past weekend!

Personally, I had a great GENCON 2014 and it was fantastic getting the chance to meet and greet the awesome designers and writers who make some of my favorite games.  Please check back later in the week for details about my interview with Mike Mearls about 5th Edition D&D!

So until next blog… I wish you Happy Gaming!

About The Author

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.


2 Responses to “GENCON 2014 – A Final Quick Report on Day 4 (Sunday)”

  1. Mason says:

    What kind of deals do you tend to find on Sunday? What’s the discount like?

  2. @Mason – Well alot of vendors hate packing up stock and are willing to take 50% or more off just to not have to take their stock back home. Picked up a couple board games (Carcasonne for one) at about 65% off and picked up new fancy dice for under a buck each. I saw tee-shirts drop in price too – about 30% off from one booth – but there was nothing that really “spoke” to me for a new shirt. LOL

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