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Gen Con Wrap-Up I – RPGs

Normally I don’t actually game much at Gen Con, aside from a rare pick-up game or an after hours card/board game with friends. I prefer to cruise the near-endless Exhibit Hall and attend seminars, but this year I decided to check in on the gaming.

Games Played

Out of the four RPGs I played in this year, two were excellent, one was just okay, and one was not-so-good. Particulars will be withheld to protect all involved, but the two excellent games had great players and solid GMs, the okay game was short some players but had a solid GM, and the not-so-good game had okay players but a weak GM. This confirms my thesis that the most important factor in a game is the quality of the GM. Despite all of this, I still managed to enjoy myself in all of the games.

Regardless, SOP for convention games should include the following:

Lessons Learned

What I learned from the four convention games I played at Gen Con:

About  Kurt "Telas" Schneider

Kurt Schneider played D&D in 1979 at summer camp, and was hooked. He lives with his wife, daughters, and dog in Austin TX, where he writes stuff, and tries to stay get fit. Look for his rants under the nom de web Telas or TelasTX. Quote: “A game is only as balanced – or as good – as the GM."



5 Comments (Open | Close)

5 Comments To "Gen Con Wrap-Up I – RPGs"

#1 Comment By Knight of Roses On August 21, 2009 @ 9:17 am

I was thinking of doing just this kind of article but you beat me to it.

I was thinking a sign that clearly said what game was at this table would be an excellent idea too.

#2 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On August 21, 2009 @ 9:30 am

Thanks. I should add to the first of the “Lessons Learned” that detailed rules nuance can indeed be found in the more advanced games, but the vast majority of games on the list are for Experience: None or Some.

#3 Comment By Walt Ciechanowski On August 21, 2009 @ 10:41 am

I should have had this on yesterday’s list, but it works here too:

Show up on time. This didn’t happen to me, but a GM wandered in an hour late for the table next to me and seemed stunned that all the players had left.

I had a similar experience last year, when a GM walked in 20 minutes late, saw that there were only three of us, and cancelled the game.

Also, I’m not sure what the official policy is, but allowing a 10-15 minute grace period at the start of each event would cut down on “early flight” and anxiety from previous events.

#4 Comment By Noumenon On August 21, 2009 @ 11:04 am

So that’s why he let people cast Fireball on creatures with spell resistance instead of letting me look it up. It was listed as a “Some” game, and that meant he didn’t care. I feel much better about that now. Not my kind of game — I don’t want my final dragon to be killed by someone throwing down Daern’s Instant Fortress after Dimension Dooring with no Reflex save — but I can relax now.

#5 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On August 21, 2009 @ 11:46 am

@Noumenon – LOL. Sounds like someone should have gone to our seminar on “Creating Common Ground”, so he could understand the need to establish common expectations before the dice hit the table.