24 Days to Go
Gen Con 2015 fast approaches, and many convention-goers-to-be are already blitzing social media with their wish lists. With an enormous exhibit hall (just look at the map!), chock full of all sorts of gaming goodness, sticking to a budget can be really, really difficult. Although you may arrive at the convention with certain games in mind, its so easy to overspend and come home with a lot more than you originally expected. Let me be the one voice of reason in your brain:
It's okay to overspend at Gen Con. Seriously… just drop the cash!
Gen Con is once a year, and if this is your first trip, you are going to see products that have only existed in your imagination. You could spend hours on Amazon.com browsing, or devoting yourself to weekly trips to a local game store, and still not scratch the surface of what you are going to find in less than a month. Pewter Numenera miniatures, Settlers of Catan stuffed sheep, a Bioshock: Infinite board game, when I showed up last year my jaw dropped. There are going to be so many cool items for sale.
Don't have post-con-remorse… just buy everything!
Unfortunately I was Gen Con'ing on the cheap back in 2014. I booked a room twelve miles outside of town and then split the cost three ways. Our trio of adventurers also shared the costs for gas, tolls, and a rental car. To defer the cost of the convention itself I ran four official Monte Cook Games events, so my badge cost was covered. Finally, my purchasing budget was only $150, and at least half of that was spent on stuff for other people… like my kids.
2015 will be different!
I am not sure if my wife has realized it or not, but the budget for this year has definitely been boosted. We're still staying in a hotel outside of town, but I'm splitting the hotel and travel costs with my wife and not other people (so technically there is no "real" split.) Right now I'm thinking that I'll beat last year's budget by several multiples, so long as nothing changes in our finances between now and July 30th.
Even though I plan on spending more freely this year, that doesn't mean I will do so blindly. I too have a Gen Con 2015 wish list, and I thought I'd share it with you.
Before I share this list, I thought it best to add a few disclaimers:
- These are the products that I absolutely "need" as of right now.
- More may be added to the list before my arrival at Gen Con 2015.
- My wife had a little input on several of these.
- I'm open to suggestions.
Dear Santa Gamer
Peril on the Purple Planet by Goodman Games
I love Dune, I love Dark Sun, and I think I'm one of maybe a handful of people who thoroughly enjoyed Disney's John Carter. When I first laid my eyes on Peril on the Purple Planet, I knew I had to get my hands on its contents! From what I'd read, this DCCRPG boxed set, written by the demigod known as +Harley Stroh and chock full of over-the-top +Doug Kovacs art, would transport my players to a gritty alien world…
… where I could either kill them quickly or at my sick and disturbing leisure!
But there was one problem with the Peril on the Purple Planet Kickstarter: I didn't discover Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG until after the KS ended. For the last several months I've considered pre-ordering the boxed set from the Goodman Games website, but each time I went to make the purchase I've held off… because Gen Con was coming! I'm not entirely sure that PotPP will be available at Gen Con 2015, but I've got my fingers crossed that it will be there waiting for me!
Dragon Age RPG Core Rulebook by Green Ronin Publishing
I already have a giant stack of fantasy RPG products that I haven't had a chance to play yet, so it may be crazy that I'm considering another addition. But this is Dragon Age, and I have so many fond memories of Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2, that I've felt compelled to pick this game up for quite some time. But the timing has never been quite right. When I was heavily into Dragon Age Origins, there was just the first boxed set. I was already fully invested in D&D 4th Edition at the time, and since there was only one boxed set available, I wanted to wait until the other two boxes were out.
I waited too long!
Back in December I finished a play through of Dragon Age 2 on the Xbox 360. and thought to myself:
"Self! We should go pick up those Dragon Age boxed sets now, especially since we're going to begin Dragon Age Inquisition soon."
I found out that getting ahold of one of those boxes required surrendering your first born son to Green Ronin Publishing. But there was hope: the Dragon Age RPG Core Rulebook was in development. Still on the fence with the system, good friend +Marc Plourde ran our Quattro con Carnage group through a fifth installment of our four part series… featuring the AGE system!
You can read his play report here.
I really enjoyed the streamlined mechanics of the game, and opportunities for character customization when compared to my typical OSR fare. The stunt system especially caught my eye! I don't know if I'll be picking up the Fantasy AGE core book or Titan's Grave, but the DA RPG Core Rulebook will definitely be coming home with me… hopefully signed by Chris Pramas!
Out of Print D&D Awesomeness by TSR
I could spend an entire blog post on the AD&D 2nd Edition and D&D Basic stuff that I want to pick up at Gen Con 2015. I am lucky to have three Half-Priced Books nearby, and frequent them each regularly in the hopes of finding something from my youth. Occasionally I strike it rich, like the time when I found a D&D Rules Cyclopedia for $10, or a Larry Elmore Red Box for $12. But those moments are few and far between. I'm glad that I've designated Thursday as our shopping day, because it means that I'll have the best chance of sorting through the used collections before they get picked over.
Hopefully I'll find at least a few of the following:
- Dungeon Magazines from the early 1990's
- D&D Basic Modules: Since these are compatible with my OSR and OD&D Retro Clones, I love coming across these in a big stack of used books!
- AD&D 2nd Edition Ravenloft books: I think there are only a few modules left that I don't have… and I want them.
Fairytale Gloom by Atlas Games
Jen and I love playing Gloom, both at home and on the road. While I've considered Cthulhu Gloom, my wife doesn't have any familiarity with Lovecraft. But recently I learned that there was a Fairytale Gloom, which means that we've got some cards to buy! I can't wait to see what kind of "families" are in the game, and I expect that we'll be picking this up early in our trip so that we can play it on the fly.
Q-Workshop Dice by… uh… Q-Workshop
Can a gamer have enough dice? No! I picked up some Steampunk dice for Jen last year, but neglected to get myself anything from the Q-Workshop booth. Technically I left Gen Con 2014 with a set of The Strange Dice, since I was running demos of Eschatology Code, but this year I'm going all out. Since I'm picking up the Dragon Age RPG, I'm going to want some DA dice. I've also got my eye on the Runic Dice, because of my current Viking obsession.
A New Dice Bag by someone who makes dice bags
Back in 2000 I was running a Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition campaign for some of my friends in Levittown, PA. It was a great group of guys, and sadly the campaign was short-lived because I was moving to Pittsburgh. If you remember 2000, this was back before Maptool, Skype, and G+ Hangouts (a.k.a. the Stone Age), so there was no other way effective way to continue our campaign. As a parting gift, one of the gamers got me this really cool dice box, which I've used for years.
Sadly this box is now broken.
I've never been much for dice bags, since I had my sturdy box. But when I was ordering my massive amount of Star Wars RPG gear I had an Imperial Dice Bag added to the purchase. Once I had the sack full of polyhedrals I found that I enjoyed the heft. So I want another one, but this time for the rest of my gaming…
… who knows, maybe I'll just end up with a different dice bag for each game I play!
What Did I Leave Out?
I have a few weeks left to plan, so if there is anything that I missed let me know. I love suggestions!
Are you going to Gen Con 2015? If so, what are your top planned purchases?