Friday, August 12, 2011

GenCon 2011 Wrap-Up: The Events

Welcome back to my wrap-up of GenCon 2011. As you can see, I was pretty impressed by the caliber of people I met while at the convention. Most of these folks I met while attending some pretty cool events. I kept my schedule light so that I wouldn't be rushing around, but I still managed to do some  pretty cool things. Here's how it went down:

Wednesday - 

We got into Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon. We had planned for this anyway, but we left early so that I could make it to an evening "pre-Con" event. That event was Drunken D&D. While tales of this strange event can be heard in a number of places, I was lucky enough to not only witness, but participate. For the curious, Drunken D&D is an unofficial event run by Dave "The Game" Chalker, and Phil "ChattyDM" Menard. With the help of Tracy "Sarah Darkmagic" Hurley and Mike "Sly Flourish" Shea, each of these four outstanding dungeon masters ran a table with a host of "variant" rules for a Dungeons and Dragons game. As the name of the event suggests, there was a quantity alcohol involved (voluntary consumption, of course). The games got pretty wild, and a great time was had by all. I feel fortunate and grateful to have been invited to this rather exclusive event, and I have hopes that I'll be invited back in the future.  Even if you don't get invited, though, the event is a blast to watch. Drunken D&D is a hell of a good time, and it really got me into the spirit of GenCon. I believe that more information will be posted about this event over at the Ennie Award Winning Blog Critical - Hits. Keep an eye on their site to learn more!

Thursday - 

After hitting the exhibitor hall, I only had one seminar to attend on Thursday. I managed to get a ticket to a WotC monster design seminar hosted by Jeremy Crawford, Greg Bilsland (from WotC) and Matt James. Enjoyed some great tips on what "the industry" thinks great monsters should look like. Good tips were offered that I can use in my forthcoming 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons games.

Friday - 

If you follow me closely on Twitter, you might have teased out the fact that I had a proposal excepted by WotC. As a result, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a "Freelancer's Seminar" hosted by Mike Mearls and other dignitaries from the company. There was one awkward moment when myself & two other folks had to step out of the room (we had yet to sign NDAs), but Greg Bilsland came to the rescue, provided the correct forms, and once signed, we were back in the "freelancer fold".  I can't mention what was discussed in the meeting, (NDA), but it was a nice introduction and a bit of an "inside look" into what the company is expecting out of its freelancers. As a result of this meeting, I was pretty high the rest of the convention. It also gave me the encouragement to have further proposals written up and prepared by the time the next WotC submission window opens October 1st.

That evening, still buzzing from events, Anna and I took in the D&D Trivia contest over at Scotty's Brewhouse. Hosted by Greg Bilsland & Mike Robles, the trivia contest was a blast as we had some excellent food, a few tasty beers, and hung out with friends. I rocked the monster identity portion of the trivia contest, getting 9 out of 10 creatures. Note to self: A Forlaren looks a lot like a Berbalang. Wish we could have stuck around longer, but Anna was pretty tired from standing a lot that day, and we had to walk back to the hotel. Still, a great time.

Saturday - 

I took it easy Saturday, as I wanted to prep for my one panel - The Dungeon Master's Round Table.  Hosted by myself and fellow panelists, Tracy Hurley, Thadeous Cooper, and Mike Shea, we took questions from the audience, had some discussion from the crowd, and tried to dispense a little of the DM wisdom the four of us have collected over the years. I was pleased to see the room was "standing room only" and that we could have probably gone for 2 hours instead of just the one hour we were allotted. I hope the DMR crew can get together next year and do a similar panel, but for a longer length of time, and a larger room. If you are reading this, and actually attended the panel, THANK YOU for being there and please spread the word.

Well, that's pretty much it. While my schedule wasn't jam-packed with stuff to do, the events I attended were so "signature" for me, that I felt like I experienced a very full GenCon. It will be tough to top next year. I do plan to add at least one game of "True Dungeon" because after watching countless people participate and have a blast, I really need to do that to!

Until next time...

Game excellently with one another.

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