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Gencon Gnomespotting 2010 & Gnome Gencon Tips

Posted By John Arcadian On July 29, 2010 @ 12:15 am In Gaming Conventions | 12 Comments

There are going to be a fair amount of Gnomes/ex-patriot Gnomes at Gencon this year. We’ve got a lot of things going on: Eureka being distributed through Studio 2 Publishing (Booth #320), The Cooking Up Adventure Plots with Gnome Stew seminar, The Ennies Dinner, running various games, and ritual Halfling murder. So finding us to say hi (we don’t bite above the kneecap) won’t be too hard. There are 2 guaranteed events where you can find almost all of us to say hi or get your Eureka book signed.

Friday Night  6:00 PM – Westin : Grand Ballroom IV: The ENnies: The 10th Annual EN World RPG Awards
Saturday 10:00 AM – Marriott : Santa FeEureka! Cooking Up Adventure Plots with Gnome Stew

If you can’t find us at one of those, here is a handy picture guide to the Gnomes in attendance, in reverse last-name alphabetical order -  because I felt like it.

“DNAPHIL” Phil Veccione

Kurt “Telas” Schneider

Martin Ralya

Scott Martin

image image image image

Walt Ciechanowski

Patrick Benson

John Arcadian

 

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Ok, with that self-aggrandizement out of the way, we wanted to answer a suggestion from the pot by BryanB.

For you GenCon veterans….

Where are the ideal places to park (cost v. location)?

What are some of the tasty places to eat in the downtown area?

What are some of the cool sites to see in Indy?

Well Bryan, we’ve got a fair amount of info for you from the Gnomes. There are lot of people out there more qualified than us, so lets point you to some links first.

Links

The Gencon Survival Guide – Nice, clean, helpful – Alan De Smet’s site is a great source for Gencon info. http://www.highprogrammer.com/alan/gaming/cons/gencon_survival.html

Madbrew Lab’s Restaurant & Pub Guide – A great little list of Gencon eating establishments.
http://www.madbrewlabs.com/gencon-restaurant-pub-guide/

The Gencon Community Forums – There are a lot of great things here for Gencon Attendees.

The Forums – http://community.gencon.com/
Places to Eat – http://community.gencon.com/forums/p/24045/269173.aspx
30 Quick Gencon Tips – http://community.gencon.com/forums/t/19953.aspx?PageIndex=1

Sean K Reynold’s Gencon Tips – Sean Reynolds has quite a few good Gencon Tips for you at his website.
http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/gaming/gencontips.html

Gencon Travel Tips – This forum post at tabletopgamingnews.com has a lot of good info regarding travel to Gencon.
http://talk.tabletopgamingnews.com/index.php?topic=340.0

 

Gnome Tips

We Gnomes have a few ideas about Gencon ourselves,  so in alphabetical order by last name here are our tips for Gencon.

John’s Tips:

  • If you haven’t gotten registered for games, don’t fret. Walk around the areas where gaming goes on as there are usually open games or people looking to throw down for an impromptu game. You’ll probably find a lot of nifty games you hadn’t thought of trying. This holds true for bigger events as well. If you don’t mind not being with your group, True Dungeon sessions usually always have one opening or a few no-shows that they try to fill.
  • The VIG is a great way to go if you can. It is expensive but provides a lot of extra options.
  • Don’t forget to get stuff signed when you are at booths. It goes like this. You pick up a book at a table and say that looks nifty. You talk to a guy behind the table about it and have a good conversation. You realize halfway through this person made the game. You buy the book and forget to get it signed. I always get wrapped up in conversations with game creators and forget that I’m talking to a game creator. I’ve got so many books from people I know on a first name basis but don’t have them signed, and that seems like a pity. The same holds true for art in the Artist hall. My office walls are covered with art from artists I’ve worked with and am friends with, but very few are signed. The artists and creators are flattered when people ask them to sign stuff, but at the same time few creators push their fame and won’t mention signing a book. They are just happy for the sale. Remember, get stuff signed. The creators love doing it.

 Walt’s Tips

  • When I drove, I usually parked in the lot in front of Conseco Fieldhouse. I preferred the Circle Center parking garage, but you have to get up pretty early in the morning for a space.
  • Eating for me is catch-as-catch can. Circle Center mall has a decent food court and India Garden has a great lunch buffet but is several blocks away. There are plenty of restaurants in the area.
  • I’m not sure about weekends, but there are food street vendors outside the Convention Center on weekdays. If you’re just looking to grab a hot dog or drink then you’re probably better off there than inside the Convention Center.
  • The dealer hall is only open from 11-6. If you want to spend time there, then you probably don’t want to load up on back-to-back morning and afternoon events.
  • Don’t get suckered by the Skyway. While it may seem convenient, if you’re trying to get from Point A to Point B quickly then you’re better off going outside.
  • Also check out Walt’s “From Con to Con: I was a Gen Con Virgin” article for some more great advice. – JA

Martin

  • Head a couple blocks from the convention center for breakfast. Get
    over by the war memorial, and you’ll find the same inexpensive
    breakfast options minus the giant lines. Avoid Einstein’s Bagels.
  • I like passing by the war memorial because it’s a very cool plaza, but apart from that I’ve seen very little of Indy — which is too bad, because it seems like an awesome city. Sorry I can’t help with this one!
  • This will be the first year I’m not parking at my hotel, as I’ll be
    staying with DNAphil and his posse. He knows all the sexiest parking
    spots, though, so listen to him.

Telas

  • I prefer to stay at the Embassy.  Never underestimate the power of a good breakfast.
  • The food court at the convention center is a last resort.  If you can make it to the mall, you’ll have a better selection and value. 
  • The Claddagh is still one of the best pubs I’ve ever been to in or out of Indy, although the Ram supports Gen Con more.  Claddagh’s menu, beer selection, and (Irish) whiskey selection rock.
  • The pizza joint by the CVS was surprisingly good; can’t remember the name now.  The CVS deserves a mention, if only for getting drinks and snack food at near-normal prices. 
  • Buca di Beppo is a great place to take a crowd; the servings are massive.
  • The entrees at the Weber Grill underwhelm me every year, but the deserts keep bringing me back. 
  • The sushi place near the Ram was decent, and was mostly empty during an afternoon. 
  • Finally, this thread at community.gencon.com is worth it’s (virtual) weight in gold: http://community.gencon.com/forums/t/22456.aspx

Phil

  • Parking — The lot connected to the convention center is the most expensive and fills up quickly, but it is very convenient in terms of getting to you car during the day.  If the lot connected to the convention center does not work, then the Circle Center Mall parking is the next spot, as it is also connected to the convention center, though just a bit farther to get to.
  • Caffeine Intake — If you have the Caffeine monkey on your back, you are in luck.  There are a number of places to get coffee.  I favor the Starbucks in either the Marriott or the Westin.  Here is a money saving tip.  There is like a $3.00 difference between Iced Latte and an Iced Coffee.
  • Food– Stake ‘N Shake is always packed at lunch, so expect to wait on line for a burger. What is not as well known is that they also make a good and inexpensive breakfast, and not nearly as busy. 
  • I do most of my eating at Circle Center.  It’s close, and you can find a good variety of food.  Seating can be tricky, so its best to find a table first, and then get a meal.  Kind of like college all over again.
  • Also, PF Changs (if you like it, I do) has take out.  So call it in and then take it somewhere else. We do that typically at night, for our open gaming.  Get a table, call in an order to Changs, and then eat while playing.
  • Things To Do At The Con– For $5 you can get an auction tag, and bid on items in the auction.  The auctions are pretty hit and miss, but I have seen some incredible things come up for bid.  I got a first edition Whispering Vault book for $5.00.  Plus its also fascinating to watch what items people will bid on.  After some time in the auction room, look at the auction shop, where there are marked down items, without the bidding.  I have never left the auction shop without something in hand.

 

Hopefully these tips are helpful to attendees. If you’ve got any tips for Gencon, drop them in the comments section. We would love to hear them.

About  John Arcadian

John Arcadian is the head of Silvervine Games, a freelance writer and art director, a website developer, a builder of sonic screwdrivers, and a purveyor of kilted mayhem. When he isn't out causing trouble in his kilt... Well, no, that is pretty much what he does when he isn't running RPGs or or trying to take over the world.




12 Comments (Open | Close)

12 Comments To "Gencon Gnomespotting 2010 & Gnome Gencon Tips"

#1 Comment By zacharythefirst On July 29, 2010 @ 6:21 am

Looking forward to seeing my fellow bloggers at the show!

If it isn’t too out of line, may I also bring up my 3-part guide to some highlights of the Gen Con dealer hall this year?

http://www.rpgblog2.com/2010/07/gen-con-preview-part-1.html

http://www.rpgblog2.com/2010/07/gen-con-preview-part-2.html

http://www.rpgblog2.com/2010/07/gen-con-preview-part-3.html

Safe travels, guys, and thank you for visiting my wonderful hometown!

-Zack

#2 Comment By BryanB On July 29, 2010 @ 11:11 am

Thanks for the information! Now I feel just slightly overwhelmed instead of completely overwhelmed. :D

#3 Comment By John Arcadian On July 29, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

@zacharythefirst – That isn’t out of line at all. Good resource!

@BryanB – Happy to help. We work in positive and negative degrees of whelm, aiming to achieve that wonderful whelm balance.

#4 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On July 29, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

I should add: The picture of me is a bit dated. I’ve washed that shirt at least a couple of times since then…

#5 Comment By Alan De Smet On July 29, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

If you’re looking for pick up role-playing and are open to more unusual stuff Games on Demand is freakin’ great. Although they officially are starting games whenever within the time period, My limited experience is that a lot of games tend to form for the 10am-2pm and 2pm-6pm blocks. I’m the sort of person who books his Gen Con schedule very aggressively, but last year I left space for Games on Demand and it was totally worth it; it exposed me to the excellent Mountain Witch and Shock: Social Science Fiction.

(Also, this article reminds me that it’s been a few years since I updated my Gen Con Survival Guide. I am shamed!)

#6 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On July 29, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

Also: Look for the kilts. At least three Gnomes will be sporting them this year, probably more if we can find one small enough for Martin.

#7 Comment By Alan De Smet On July 29, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

I like the thought of asking random kilt wearing people, “Are you a Gnome?” “Ummm, what?” “Well, you’re wearing a kilt, so I figured you might be a Gnome.” :-)

#8 Comment By John Arcadian On July 29, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

@Alan De Smet – Games on demand sounds awesome. I might have to check that out. A few years out of date or not, the article is a great one. It covers all the basics in a nice, succinct way.

@Kurt “Telas” Schneider& @Alan De Smet – You don’t know how many times I’ve been approached that way at conventions . . .

I’ve got at least one extra kilt that I’ll be bringing with me, so we could force Martin into one for the seminar.

#9 Comment By Martin Ralya On July 29, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

@Alan De Smet – Dude! That looks like pure gold for me this year — thanks for the tip!

#10 Comment By ChattyDM On July 30, 2010 @ 6:59 am

John, we HAVE to meet this year… I’m putting up my own schedule so have a look this afternoon and try to catch me.

Looking forward to seeing you all and I’ll drop by the booth to get Eureka for sure!

#11 Comment By John Arcadian On July 30, 2010 @ 8:46 am

@ChattyDM – I agree! My schedule is wide open after saturday morning, so I’ll have myself a Chatty hunt!

#12 Comment By Scott Martin On July 30, 2010 @ 10:59 am

@BryanB – That’s where I am. Now I’m worrying that I won’t be able to remember all of the good advice…

In any case, it sounds like GenCon’s just going to be more than you can experience in a year. Guess that means we have to make plans to return.


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