GEN CON ONLINE

Investing In: Gen Con Online

“…I saw such open and friendly behavior around me. I might have felt a stranger at first but most of us were strangers to one another and it didn’t matter. Thursday lunch rush made for finding a table but a group of strangers came together and I learned how to play Ganz Schön Clever. That’s really what GenCon is: groups of strangers coming together to enjoy games. Sure some friends come as a group but they too welcome in the quiet observer or lone stranger asking to be included. I saw it numerous times.”

Recognize that? It’s from my guest article right after Gen Con 2019 and the amazingly supportive community I saw.

And I want to see this again.

Ragnaros the Firelord

Back to Gen Con

My fine friends and friends I’ve yet to meet, I’m so excited for the week ahead! While we may not all be packing up our cars or flying out to Indianapolis for the best four days in gaming, we are going to gather online for them! It’s really not even just four days anymore, which last year certainly showed me. It’s honestly more like a whole week and maybe that’s why Gen Con is now The Home of Tabletop Gaming!

I’m excited to try and capture even a fraction of the excitement and enthusiasm for gaming as I felt last year. It won’t be the same as the throngs of people in the will-call line certainly – and that’s not so bad – but I will miss seeing the cosplayers walking buy. Of course, the Costume Contest will still be held online! We’ll be able to see all the amazing creativity through social media and the finalists will have videos on the Gen Con site.

I’m also going to check out some merch. Years ago I spent a lot of time in the Vendor Hall, sampling games and checking out new tools, tricks, and collecting free swag. I got to do a little of that last year, though it was more targeted as I otherwise got to spend time with my fellow Order of the Amber Die members or playing some Pathfinder 2E. I can do so early this time. I definitely want some commemorative dice and I’ll take a gander at the pins. The ultra rare below is quite beautiful. I’m no pin collector, but I do enjoy it and had some rare ones to bring for trade. I’ll do some through Pin BAZAAR and save others for when we can gather next year! I’ve also got some merchandise on the way to me already…

Gen Con 2020 Ultra Rare

More Pathfinder 2E!

Like say the Advanced Player’s Guide! With Pathfinder 2E freshly in everyone’s hands last con, everyone was eager to know what we’d see in the next year. Learning we wouldn’t have to wait long for the Investigator, Swashbuckler, Oracle, or Witch was extremely good news. Of course not only would it come out the following year, but we had the playtest to play with in the meantime. I may be partial to the witch due to my character Ateran over at Roll for Combat’s Three Ring Adventure, but I’ve loved seeing Vanessa’s acrobat in use too. She’s tricky, sneaky, dexterous, and wily! Also, she can really pack a wallop when she’s positioned right! The oracle and investigator are thrilling too! Did you see the Striking Thirteen story and Investigator art over on the blog?

Oh quick shout out that I got to meet Vanessa at Gen Con last year, as well as Stephen at Roll for Combat, Perram from here at Know Direction, and I’m so thankful to have done so! Such creative, friendly, fun people! Thanks for letting this enthusiastic fan stare stars at ya!

Baba Yaga and Old Mage Jatembe meet for a meal while a strange chicken lays an even stranger egg

And if ya know me, or you’ve read some of my love for the Pathfinder world building then you won’t be surprised at how eager I am to get my hands on the Lost Omens: Legends book! TheRuneweaver over on twitter was raving about it and I’m so ready! If ya missed it, Perram had Paizo devs Luis Loza and Eleanor Ferron on stream to talk about it too! I love me some stand out NPCs and reading of them to better understand the politics, intrigue, and maneuvering schemes of these figureheads of Golarion will be thrilling. No doubt, TheRuneweaver is right: I will read it cover to cover! Hopefully you saw the epic piece of fiction between (who the alt tag confirms) Baba Yaga and Old Man Jatembe (yay and yay alt tags). The art’s grand (see above) as it always is for these Lost Omens books!

More IWATC!

Y’all apparently loved my piece on I WAS A TEENAGE CREATURE, and I was so glad to hear your interest. Well I owe ya an apology because I’d promised more, and I was going to share some details, encourage you to sign up for the events the creator is doing for Gen Con but… They all sold out almost immediately! The creator is also doing a Buffy one shot, but that sold out too! I got in on it thankfully and a couple of his games, and I’m eager to share some more playing experience with you as well as see how others enjoy it.

The Caster

I know Kae, my friend and fellow player of Gehenna Valley over at Gehenna Gaming, got into a game with me so you’ll be sure to see some thoughts from her! She’s playing in the Family Business one shot with me. “When a student’s dark secrets are revealed, the local Teenage Creatures are in great danger…” Sounds quite promising and I have to wonder if it’s a specific player’s character or an NPC we’ll be investigating. I’m not sure which pre-gens will be available but I’m eager to try the Caster if available, check out that art above! Oh, I wouldn’t mind the vampire either. I do love vampires (hence my World of Darkness love) and because the art was given to me: check out the vampire below!

I also signed up for the Detention Club game as it reads clearly like the Breakfast Club movie. “Coach Blakemoore went missing, and the replacement coach has given you and your fellow Teenage Creatures detention on Saturday, that he’ll be supervising…” I’m hoping to play a big time troublemaker, whoever it is I play. Bender all the way! “Screws fall out all the time; the world’s an imperfect place!” I really appreciate how the students of the Breakfast Club all banded together despite their differences as they realized the poor parenting, external pressures, and terrible guidance were all leading to feeling similarly. Also, I love me some teenage rebellion. What better way to bring the characters together?

The Vampire

Love One Another

Granted, part of why I loved Gen Con was how I saw people come together, support one another, and have fun playing games even if they were strangers. Now I’ll perhaps tarnish this loving sentiment to say that I do think not everything is a difference of opinion anymore. We need to stand up for one another and say/do what’s right in the face of oppression, equal rights, and our health, safety, future as a society. However, most of that’s not likely to come up in a game. In fact if you’re running a game and wondering what not to include (COVID, police, racism, homophobia, etc.) then I will point you over to Gehenna Gaming’s consent form. It’s a great way for the GM/DM/Storyteller/MC and the players to be on the same page for the game ahead.

Because, let’s face it, we all want to have a good time, play some games, explore some worlds, and a little escapism is really good for the soul. Let’s have some fun. We’ll get together again soon, I’m sure, but in the meantime I hope you will support and love one another virtually. You might not be able to see that intimidated or shy stranger from across the hall, but if you’re in a chat room or game with one, help them have a good time and I’m sure you will too!

Investing In:

I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!

About Investing In

I wasn’t quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!

Sources

Banner – GEN CON Online logo, Gen Con

  1. Costume Contest 2019 – Ragnaros the Firelord, Gen Con
  2. GEN CON Ultra Rare Pin, Pin BAZAAR Gen Con 2020
  3. Baba Yaga and Old Mage Jatembe meet for a meal while a strange chicken lays an even stranger egg, art by Firat Solhan
  4. The Caster, Dani Pak of donebydani.tumblr.com/ 
  5. The Vampire, Dani Pak of donebydani.tumblr.com/ 

Rob Pontious

Rob Pontious works in web commerce by day and is a writer for KnowDirectionPodcast.com's #InvestingIn, a player for Roll for Combat's #ThreeRingAdventure podcast, and also a player for GehennaGaming's #GehennaValley MonsterHearts2 twitch stream. He's a lover of TTRPGs for over three decades, a gamer, and a GAYMER. You can find him on social media as @silentinfinity.