Gen Con was great fun. It quickly ramped up to "too busy to post updates with the phone," and the post con work blitz has kept me occupied since. So here are a few quick thoughts and memories.
First things first: I had a blast playing a Rainy City game with Crazyred of D&D Doodle and his gang of ruffians on Friday night. As soon as time opens up in my schedule, I'll have a "personalities of the rainy city post" about the session.
Also had fun playing in Zachary Houghton of RPG Blog II's "Smash n' Grab at Kobold Caverns" game Saturday morning. The pre-gen characters had exactly the right amount of characterization -- a catchy concept, a note about why they might be after the gold, and clever assignment of equipment. I drew the town sheriff, and it was a piece of cake to hit the ground running with him. PatrickWR of RPG Diehard took home the most treasure as the town's halfling baker.
Got in a Pathfinder game Saturday afternoon. I think I may have more to say about this in the future, but one thing really leapt out at me during the session. The structure of play really wasn't all that different from the morning game from the player's seat. Musing on this.
Didn't manage to fit in a D&D 4 game, even though it probably should have been easy. I've been meaning to try it out, but I just didn't find a spot for it.
Now that I've had some time to look everything over, I think I can say my favorite products that I bought at the con are Rhialto's Book of Marvels (for The Dying Earth RPG), 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars, and How to Host a Dungeon. I also picked up a great selection of GURPS books to use with The Fantasy Trip (e.g., "GURPS Bestiary," "GURPS Fantasy Bestiary," "GURPS Low Tech," and "GURPS Arabian Nights") and grabbed the complete 3 volume "Priest's Spell Compendium" from the AD&D 2e era. These books will all get plenty of use.
In general, the best thing about the con is probably the people. I like nerds. Sure, there are some folks with real problems, including poor hygiene, that I'm not willing to ignore. But for the most part, Gen Con just strikes me as a place full of enthusiasm. The attendees are enthusiastic. The costumes are crazy cool, even though they're not always very good. (Yes, I even like bad costumes.) The exhibitors are usually great to meet, even though they're working their asses off the whole con and sleeping very little. The artists are especially easy to hang out and talk to. I can't wait to go next year. I have a bunch of new games I'm positively excited about playing, and I met a bunch of people I'm looking forward to seeing again.
I call that a success.