Friday, May 10, 2013
So this week I made my schedule out for GenCon Indy This will be my 9th GenCon. I'm pretty excited as I didn't go last year. One thing that disappointed me this year was the issues I had getting a room. I registered about two weeks after registration opened. However by that time the room blocks were ALREADY sold out. They say that attendance is growing each year. One of the reasons the GenCon LLC moved the convention to Indianapolis in the first place was the shrinking hotel capacity for Milwaukee. Now if Indy is having the same issue maybe GenCon should move to Las Vegas! In all seriousness I'm not a meeting planner or development expert but two sites on the Internet: Meeting Source and CVent. Seem to suggest that Indianapolis isn't even in the top 25 for hotel and convention space. I guess GenCon LLC picked it cause it was in the Midwest but so is Chicago. Meeting source says that Washington DC is number three. OK I'm sold on there but I live 40 minutes from DC and work there so I'm biased. Maybe Las Vegas is a good choice. Its number two according to Meeting Source, lots for non-gaming family members to do. It has an airport that's reached from a ton of locations. I can't say that Indianapolis has a ton of direct flights. BUT I know that you can get a direct flight to Las Vegas from Flint, Michigan. So there Peter Atkinson! Viva Las Vegas for GenCon 2014 anyone? A plug for Sean K. Reynolds. His list here is a good starting point for GenCon newbies on how to get a handle on the convention.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
A lot of people I think have always questioned the role of organized play games in the context of the overall game experience. For people not familiar with organized play. A character is created with a certain rule set and guidelines and that character is given experience at an end of a 4 to five hour module. The character then can be take to other organized play games such at GenCon. The rules are specific and experience is tracked by such things as a logsheet. After the four hour session play continues with another adventure, where ever that adventure takes place. It is different from a home game which a DM normally runs for a group of friends and play freezes then picks up later. I think at first when they were created by Frank Mentzer at TSR in 1980 they were to connect games. The Role Playing Gamer's Association grew from a local Midwest USA focus to cover the world. TSR allowed the RPGA to use other systems such as Shadowrun for Virtual Seattle and Call of Cthulhu for its adventures. This ended in around 2003 when marketing the d20 system for 3.5e became the focus of the RPGA. In 2008 when WOTC switched to the 4th edition rules set for D&D it killed its eight year 3.5e campaign Living Greyhawk and started a new campaign Living Forgotten Realms (LFR). Paizo created it own organized play group the Patfinder Society. The rules for LFR had a few changes such as module replay allowing a new character to play a module that an older character had played. Also modules were set to optimize the 4e rules set not allowing sleep or extended rests for the majority of play. Recently with the announcement of 5th edition or #dndnext is its been termed. A few people in my local area have been complaining about the lack of commmitment from WOTC to LFR. I think this needs to be looked at with the purpose of oraganized play or marketing. As much as people don't care for this WOTC is putting its energy into dndnext. As much as it pains my friends to see their love (for LFR) much like mine for Living Greyhawk start to die dndnext is coming out in 2014 so LFR is a relationship that is doomed to end.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I'm feeling loquacious so I thought I'd post again...A friend of mine Jeff posted today on his Google+ page that he'd gotten some more titles from Appendix N. Appendix N refers to the 1st edition Dungeon Masters Guide p. 22. The author Gary Gygax included a list of fantasy and science fiction books that he thought might be of some use to assiring Dungeon Masters. Jeff inspired me to crack open my DMG and take a look at what titles were on the list. I hadn't remembered all the titles on the list. I was amazed (in a good way) to find Manly Wade Wellman. A long time ago, I purchased a few of his used hardbacks on Amazon.com because Wellman was a main source of inspiration for another love of mine Hellboy creator, Mike Mignola. Mignola was mainly inspired by the character of Silver John. Silver John was kind of an occult detective in the Appalachian Mountains in mid 20th century America. I'm not sure if Gary read those novels. Wellman was a pulp writer who died in 1986. I can see that other pulp writers infuenced Gary. I was suprised today at the link between Hellboy and D&D. I wonder if Gary would include the graphic novels of Mignola in a "new" Appendix N. I could see using In Nomine or GURPS as a system for a Hellboy game. But Hellboy himself might have too much over the characters. Some of the themes and settings of Hellboy don't seem to fit directly into a fantasy game. Maybe some link to Ravenloft? Who knows..
I was reading over The One Ring the past few days and I have to say I love the artwork and I'm impressed what I've seen so far. I think as I mentioned on a post in the cubicle 7 forums that my one concern was I would have liked a few more creatures in the Loremasters book. Simple animals like vipers, horses and bears weren't included. Given that most of Middle Earth seems like Western Europe, I would have expected those to be included. I'm running a one shot game for friends in a few weeks. I'm looking forward to the other supplements. I'm glad that I finally got this. I've been a fan of Middle Earth role playing products for a while.