At the ENnie Awards on Friday night Peter Adkison assured the crowed that there would be a GenCon next year. This was a relief to me, as it’ll be my 20th in a row and I’d hate to miss it because the con itself was canceled. It sounds like the success of this year’s show ensured GenCon will get out of its financial difficulties and that is good news. There is no other convention like GenCon and it has a recipe that I don’t think can be replicated.
This year’s show was good but a bit strange for me. Coming so quickly after Ropecon I didn’t feel like I was really there, if that makes any sense. The upside of that was that it was a real low stress show. I was still on a high after the Finland trip, all our GenCon plans went off without a hitch, and there was just nothing to get worked up about. Spending quality time with my GR homies and excellent sales ensured I stayed in a good mood for the whole show.
Green Ronin debuted the Wild Cards campaign setting for Mutants & Masterminds, the first of our George R.R. Martin projects, and sold out of that handily. We also had a lovely Freeport poster map for sale (coming to our webstore soon), which really does justice to Andy Law’s new city map from the Pirate’s Guide to Freeport. Fittingly, one of the four ENnie Awards we won was for Best Cartography for that book; well deserved, Andy! The surprise upset of the ENnies was the True20 Companion beating out Hero High. Traditionally, the M&M; fans come out in force for the ENnies, so we figured if we won anything in the Best Supplement category it’d be for Hero High. Looks like the True20 fans really stepped up this year. Congrats to Erica Balsley, Dave Jarvis, Matthew Kaiser, Steve Kenson, and Sean Preston! I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention my excellent co-authors on the Pirate’s Guide to Freeport, Patrick O’Duffy and Rob Schwalb. That book picked up a silver ENnie for Best Setting, while Hobby Games: The 100 Best got one for the bizarrely named Best Regalia category. I must give a shout out to Jim Lowder, the book’s editor, who did a tremendous job, and the 102 other contributors who made it sing. I’m hugely proud of Hobby Games: The 100 Best and it was great to see the book pick up an Origins Award and an ENnie this year.
My only real regret about GenCon is the same one I have every year: I wish I got to play more games. I spent most of the convention at the Green Ronin booth, with Thursday being particularly brutal because of last minute set up. That day we were all at the booth from 7 am to 6 pm. Saturday night I got to play D&D; with friends from my college game group (Bill, Todd, and Aaron) and Rob Schwalb and two members of his group (Tom and Adam). We didn’t come close to finishing but with such good company it didn’t matter.
Like any good gamer, I picked up some cool stuff at GenCon. I’ll blog about that later, as I have to get ready for work now. Overall, GenCon gets the thumbs up as always.