I just wanted to jump on here real quick and offer a sincere apology for not having a more recent post! You see, I was surprised a few weeks ago by my middle son who decided he wanted to go Gen Con for his first time ever. So, after much scrambling, we are headed to Gen Con in nearby Indianapolis!
My first Gencon was in 1983 when it was still being held at the University of Wisconsin. I was halfway through high school and about to burst with excitement when I walked into the vendor hall. I partook in a TSR sanctioned D&D tournament which showed me that railroading PC’s DOES occur at the higher game levels. (Close to actual quote of the GM at the time. And yes, I was so mad I STILL REMEMBER IT. “Yeah, that Revenant was supposed to come after the Ranger character in the party. It was designed for the Ranger to die because he would be too useful later on in the adventure. IF the party could come together there was a slight chance he could survive…” )
I was a midwestern kid from a small town and a chunk of that town thought for sure roleplaying was the work of the Devil. I had to find my game books in a dusty hobby shop that specialized in model trains, planes and race cars. Not that I really cared but I never knew if I was doing any of this roleplaying stuff right. By the time that summer weekend was over, I had a pretty good idea. I played in a double blind Gamma World miniatures battle that blew my mind. I saw my first large scale miniatures wargame that blew my mind. I saw the first ever fantasy wargame battle strewn out on 30 square feet of convention floor that blew my mind!
Because of my interest in art I spent a large chunk in the artist’s hall and for two days was befriended by Timothy Truman who gave me impromptu art classes. I remember him showing me the best way to draw legs and arms. I would take my sketchbook in and sketch next to his table and we would talk about all stuff comicy and geeky. Needless to say — Mind blown!
I think by Sunday morning of that first GenCon my brain was completely goo.
I’m not really sure how many I’ve attended now. I attended them in Milwaukee numerous times including one time where everything fell through and I and my friends had no where to stay! Funny enough, I’ve attended them less now that it moved to Indianapolis and is much closer to me. The first year it was in Indianapolis I was working from the other side of a vendor table with friend Chris Engle after becoming enamored with his Matrix games, the first story style game I ever played. I was even pushing my first garage made RPG at the time. After that, I would go if I could afford to drive up but not attend. You know, just to meet old friends who were either going as convention-goers or vendors for dinner. I don’t think I’ve been in probably five years.
But that’s all past now because I’m headed back. This time I get to bring the next generation along and start a whole new round of stories, adventures and shennanigans!
I’ll most likely have a post out in the week following the con. In the meantime, if you want to see a bunch of goofy con pics from a paleo-gamer, feel free to follow me on Instagram where I’ll be posting more than my fair share! If you’re at the Con, let me know. I’ll be the tall, graybearded fellow walking around with a nostalgic grin!
Announcements – Annnnnnd before I forget, I’ve been working on the Super’s setting for the solo play and I’ve managed, I think, to come up with a decent hack for the FU RPG. Very shortly I’ll be presenting that as well as an outline of the up to date gameworld. Hang in there!
I gotta deal with this pesky game convention thing…