My GenCon 1997 Convention Report

My Summer Vacation, or What I Did at GenCon.

This was the thirtieth GenCon, and my 21st. It was also the first under new ownership, but no great changes were expected until next year, and it will remain in Milwaukee. (Milwaukee threw a bash for WOTC/TSR on Wednesday before GenCon to help make sure it stayed.)

This was the year I went just to have fun. No more months of designing games that I have little fun in running this year: all I wanted to do was play. (I've had people sign up for my events and not show; I've had one game with preregistrations that nobody showed up for. This year I didn't think it was worth the trouble.) And play I did. And after playing I may decide to run again next year.

You see, the games I played in weren't all that much fun. I had a good time with three of them, but not a real great time like the Champions tournaments I've been in in the past, and two other games were simply spoiled; those two brought the whole level of enjoyment down. I'll be getting on to those games later: they're a good example of how not to run convention games.

Anyways, it was good to see old faces again, like David Honigsberg, and a bunch of people from the gaming industry like "Doc" Cross, the Toon-Meister himself, and Mike Stackpole and Liz Danforth and Tim O'Brien. Then were was the art crowd like Pam Shanteau, Ruth Thompson, Heather Bruton, Diana Harlan Stein, Sue van Camp, and Lucy Synk. And I was surprised to run into MJ and JR Holmes, a couple of old friends from Milwaukee that had dropped out of MediaWest*Con because of personal troubles (she has the worst luck with accidents: the last meant she was techically disabled and unable to work.)

So there it is, four days of gaming, meeting friends, and generally enjoying myself. It wasn't the best of GenCons, but it wasn't the worst of GenCons, either.

I'm still debating on whether I want to run anything next year. I have an idea about a scenario where some vampires wake up in the evening in a different place than they went to "earth" the morning before. I worked out some of the details with my friend Paul Sunday evening over dinner (well, his dinner and my dessert) and this may prove to be very fun. Certainly paranoia-inducing.

Copyright © 1998 Terry O'Brien {dragonmage@sprynet}