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GENCON 2014 – A Quick Report on Day 1 (Thursday)

gencon wotc logosGreetings Gentle Readers and Fellow Gamers!

It’s nighttime now after Day 1 at GENCON 2014, and I wanted to drop a quick report about all my activities here so far.  We actually arrived last night (Wednesday) after a pretty leisurely drive, and I got a good night’s sleep to be sure I’d be ready for the first day of the convention.  I did take the time to stroll down to the Indiana Convention Center (ICC) before turning in, and the lives to pick up badges and event tickets were already full of excited gamers.  It definitely looked like there would be a good turn out this year!

Wednesday Night Crowd

Wednesday Night Crowd

Rising early, I headed over to the convention center to get my press pass, but that turned into quite a wait.  It took more than an hour to queue through the line to get my pass, and nearly another 30 minutes after that to get my event tickets.  That left me only a few minutes to get myself to my first event – Dungeons & Dragons: Ready, Set, Play!

This two-hour event was hosted by Mike Mearls, Greg Bilsland, and Rodney Thompson, and walked attendees through Character Creation with the Player’s Handbook, as well as an overview of some of the Core Mechanics in 5th Edition D&D.  There was also some nifty handout packets for the five Factions of the Adventures League Program – the new Organized Play Experience from WotC.  I chose the Lords Alliance faction, and got a packet with information about the Lords’ Alliance, including a letter from the faction leader, a decal, a certificate for a one-use magic item, and character sheets.  Very nice presentation overall, and the other players at my table seemed equally impressed with the contents of their faction’s dossiers.
DnD Ready Set Play x

Lords Alliance Packet

Lords Alliance Packet

Fellow DnD Gamers Opening Faction Packets

Fellow DnD Gamers Opening Faction Packets

After a lunch break, I was supposed to go have an interview with Jeremy Crawford, Co-Lead Designer of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.  But alas, he was called away to other duties and my interview had to be rescheduled until tomorrow (Friday).  Be assured I have some good questions for Mr. Crawford and look forward to hearing about his experience creating this new edition of D&D.

Having a bit of free time to kill before my next event, I took the time to wander around the Exhibition Hall for a bit and check out the vendors and wares in there this year.  And during my wanderings I happened to meet a few individuals in person that I’ve only interacted with remotely by email.  First off, I ran into Russell Morrissey, the owner of EN over at the Wizards of the Coast display/castle.  Obviously, I’ve been posting on EN World for some time now, but this was the first time Russ and I actually met in person, so that was quite an excellent encounter.  Once in the Exhibition Hall, I also ran into Joseph Goodman of Goodman Games and Branden LaSalle who designed Maximum Xcrawl – which I just recently reviewed on EN World.  Incidentally, I only managed to take in about one-third of the Exhibition Hall booths, so I’ll have to plan a couple more trips through there before the weekend is out!

Wizards of the Coast - New PHB's for SalE!

Wizards of the Coast - New PHB's for SalE!

Finally, I went to a Behind the Scenes at Paizo seminar, hosted by Adam Daigle, Christopher Carey, and Jessica Price.  The seminar covered how projects are handled at Paizo and how they manage to churn out so many products each month – it is quite remarkable really!  There was a bit of interesting Q&A from what I took to be hopeful freelancers looking to score a potential gig.
Paizo Panel x
Tomorrow, I’ve got a Geek & Sundry Panel to attend, a discussion about the Tyranny of Dragons with Kobold Press, seminars about Pathfinder and Green Ronin, and the DragonLance Party – and a few more things too if I can find the time!

It’s been a good start to GENCON 2014, but there’s a lot more convention ahead… so look for Report on Day 2 tomorrow!

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.


3 Responses to “GENCON 2014 – A Quick Report on Day 1 (Thursday)”

  1. Arbanax says:

    Hey mate, love the write up on the first day, look forward to the Jeremy Crawford Q&A


  2. Mike Gabriel says:

    Michael, Most definitely interested in not only your interview, but how you went about choosing a pc for your faction. I just started a “Next” campaign on Wed and randomly chose the same faction as you.

  3. @Mike Gabriel – I’ll hopefully have the interview notes ready by Tuesday – the recording is pretty good but there’s a ton of background noise I have to sift through to get quotes exactly right. As far as my faction goes, leafing through the PHB, I was inspired to revisit a character that I designed back in early second edition D&D for an Adventurers’ League toon. The campaign the character was in died off, leaving the character at about 8th level, and I never got the chance to play him to his full potential. He was such an interesting Byronic hero I was always a bit wistful I never got to see him develop, so why not resurrect the concept in this new edition? Once I decided to remake Draccus, I immediately knew that the Lords Alliance would be an awesome fit – Draccus would have nothing to do with the other factions, of that much I was certain.

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