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What I Did On My Summer Vacation 2012

Hey all. It took a few days to recover and to get back into the swing of things, but I am now ready to give my post-Gen Con report. For me, this Gen Con was one of the most fun and most relaxing trips I have had, more so than a number of recently past Gen Con’s . So let me tell you about what I did…

Savage Gen Con

This Gen Con was very much about Savage Worlds [1] for me. I am just starting to get my Agents of Oblivion [2] homebrew started, and I was lacking in a lot of Savage accessories. So first thing Thursday morning I made a beeline to the Studio 2 [3] booth and stocked up (see below for what I got).


More important than buying Savage Worlds gear, I ran three sessions of Savage Worlds for friends. I first ran a fantasy game using my Iron Heroes homebrew setting, Elhal. That adventure was created using Eureka and Masks, or as I like to say, EnginePowered. My other two sessions were two parts of my Agents of Oblivion homebrew, which I used my traditional prep style for.

I had a lot of fun GMing Savage Worlds, and I can see myself enjoying this system for a while. I really liked the combat system and not having to track hit points for all the NPC’s.

Never Unprepared


This was Never Unprepared’s first Gen Con, and it was a lot of fun meeting people who had purchased the book before the con, or were purchasing the book on the Dealer’s Floor. I had the honor of signing a number of copies, which is still pretty exciting for me. More exciting was getting to talk to people who had read the book, and hearing their experiences.

I also gave a talk about NU, which was well attended and turned into a really good Q&A session. Chris from the Misdirected Mark [6] Podcast recorded the session, so -fingers crossed- it will be available for people to listen to in the near future.

Other Games

I got to play a few other games at the Con, including my favorite board game Pandemic [7]. I got to try Arkham Horror [8], which was a bit complex, but pretty cool. We also got in a little Fiasco [9] as well as some D&D Next. I will not speak of Fiasco, as the records of that game have been sealed for everyone’s protection. I can talk about D&D Next, during which I really enjoyed my time as the Dwarven Fighter. I thought the mechanics did a nice job of making a martial character more enjoyable than a 3.x fighter and less complex than a 4e one.


The ENnies were a pretty wild evening. The pre-show party was a blast and I got to spend time with some great friends, including Eloy Lasanta from Third Eye Games [10], and Philippe Menard (Chatty DM). We also had a bunch of Gnomes in attendance, so it was bit rowdy in our rows.

We were all honored to win the Gold for Best Blog, for which many of us had our fingers crossed that this would be our year. So thank you to those who voted for us; you guys rock! And hats off to all the other blogs who were nominated.

Then there was Masks. In a category that included the Paizo chase cards and supplements from M&M and Shadowrun , my heart was racing. Compared to those giants we are just Gnome height, and I was a bit intimidated. When they announced Masks for the Gold there was a lot of yelling from us Gnomes. It was both a surprise and an honor.

As for Product of the Year, I don’t think any of us gave that much thought. With the incredible list of nominees in the category, it was truly an honor just to be nominated.

You Pick It


As discussed in the 4th Annual You Pick It, I Review It [12] event, I had two items to pick up. I started off by visiting the Shadows of Esteren [13] Crew and talking to them for a bit. This was their first trip to the US and they looked to be having an awesome time. I have the Shadows of Esteren book in hand, and am in the process of reading it.

If you are on G+ I am going to post my updates as I read the book using the hash tag of: #shadowsofesteren_rev

Once I am done reading the entire book and playing a session or two, I will then release my review.

I also got my paperback copy of Agents of Oblivion. I have read the PDF in prep for my own game, so I will do a review for AoO in the next few weeks. Spoiler…its awesome.

Shop Until You Drop

I love to buy things in person. Online purchases are nice, but I love getting something off the shelf, paying for it, and having it in my hands. Because of this, I often hold off on purchases until Gen Con. This year was no different, and I went on my normal -and somewhat modest- spending spree, which netted the following:


Here is the breakdown:

Until Next Year

This Gen Con was one of the best ones that I have been to in a while. The Con atmosphere was great, and while the official numbers are not in, it looked packed everywhere I went. It’s been less than a week, and I am already thinking about going next year.

For those of you who were at Gen Con, I hope you had a nice time, and for those who did not go or have not been, I hope you get a chance to enjoy it someday.

Next time I post, the GMing advice will be flowing once again. In the meantime, if you were at Gen Con, what was your favorite thing you did, purchased, or saw?

7 Comments (Open | Close)

7 Comments To "What I Did On My Summer Vacation 2012"

#1 Comment By mcmanlypants On August 24, 2012 @ 6:56 am

You know it’s a good game of Fiasco when no one is willing to talk about it after. Heh.

Is Shadows of Esteren as impressive in physical form as it seems? I backed the Kickstarter to get the PDF version but the buzz is that the physical book is exceptionally nice to hold and flip through.

#2 Comment By Phil Vecchione On August 24, 2012 @ 6:59 am

Shadows of Esteren is a gorgeous book. Hardcover, very sturdy. The paper quality is excellent, and since you have seen the PDF you know that the art and layout is excellent. This book holds its own in print quality with the big publishing houses.

#3 Comment By Razjah On August 24, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

The Shadows of Esteren looks really cool. I can’t wait to see the review. The possible difference in European game design is something I look forward to reading about.

#4 Comment By clight101 On August 25, 2012 @ 8:50 am

It was a blast playing some Savage Worlds with you and the Green Shirts. Looking forward to the Shadows of Esteren stuff.

#5 Comment By Phil Vecchione On August 27, 2012 @ 6:30 am

Glad you had fun. It was nice to finally get to sit and game with you. We live in the same city and its still a bear, with scheduling to get a game in.

At some point we should continue that Savage Elhal game.

#6 Comment By Hypnotoad On August 26, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

I picked up savage world as at Gencon and look forward to running it for some of my players. I was also sure to get my copy of NU purchased and signed there and since then I haven’t read it since my other GMing friends have been resading it.

#7 Comment By Phil Vecchione On August 27, 2012 @ 6:29 am

I hope you enjoy Savage Worlds. Having played a bunch of it in the past, and now having had the chance to run it a few times, it really is a light and fun system.

Glad to see that NU is getting some milage. Let me know if anyone has any questions/comments.