Gen Con Online that was awesome

Investing In: Gen Con Online RECAP

That Was Awesome

Gen Con has come and gone, and it was indeed awesome. I got to play new games, meet new people and I did it from the comfort of home. I might not have slept enough, at least getting a good meal was easy to do without standing in line! I did miss the in-person human element (even the crowds because that energy is phenomenal) but I’m thrilled to have had what we could online. And that includes the amazing work of our community cosplayers and costumers!

“Produce Games Everyone Can Enjoy”

Dragon Dice Logo

Before the con started off, something happened that inspired me. I learned Dragon Dice was back last year at Gen Con when I ran into their booth and the SFR INC folks. You may know of the dice collectible game back from the late 90’s when TSR produced it and a book series. I was a big fan and pleased to get back into it last year. There’s a strong online community I suggest you check it out, including simulator support. I didn’t play any Dragon Dice during Gen Con this year, but it was about what they did before the games that mattered.

They announced before the con that the stockholders / board of the company had reviewed and decided to move forward with a change that they felt was important: to stop using race and to start using species. They’d change the rule books and other materials, website, marketing, etc. going forward. While I saw a few comments that were concerned over being too politically correct, most seemed to agree and applaud the company for this consideration. Why use words that you know hurt people after all, let alone the negative connotation and divisiveness such causes right now? Also, species does make sense considering the nature of the different dice: elves, undead, amazons, dragons…

dragon dice - green dragons

I went looking for their post and unfortunately they took it down due to the comment barrage they later saw. They couldn’t turn off comments so instead they reposted under their community with a new post, comments off, standing by their decision. Thanks to Dragon Dice and SFR INC for doing what they know to be right even when it is difficult! If you enjoy the clik clak of dice, are interested in their game, and want to support a strong company mission like the title of this section, then I encourage you to invest your time in Dragon Dice!

Pathfinder and Starfinder Hype

A lot of exciting Paizo news came out of Gen Con! I was dismayed not to have my hardcover Advanced Players Guide or Pathfinder Lost Omens: Legends books as the con began. I like to pick up new books, sit amongst friends, and chat as we read through in earnest. I did have my PDFs however! As I had a few games planned for Thursday, I made Friday a reading day as I watched seminars I missed and read up on news as well.

I’m thrilled to have the final rules for the Witch class for Ateran, my character over at Roll for Combat. More evil eye hexing (cantrip hexes!) and new spells to use as well. Blistering Invective was my favorite spell from first edition and now we’ve got it back! You can learn more as Randal is doing a read-through of the APG! The Legends book has been a thrill if only to see the tangled web of connections between the big movers and shakers of Golarion. I was especially happy to see contract details from her Infernal Majesty Abrogail Thrune II, latest activities of Queen Sorshen, as well as details for Geb, Nex, and even Razmir.

Ancestry Guide

The Ancestry Guide (picture above) comes out in February with details on various ancestries, including androids and kitsune. I’ve special interest in both of these so I’ll be picking that up ASAP. Oh and the Beginner Box in October seems like a great way to get people into Pathfinder 2E. I’ve some friends who use the 1E box with their children and I know they’ve been looking 2E’s way since the launch last year. Starfinder has some great news too like the Alien Archive 4 or the Fly Free or Die adventure path. My that sure sounds like it’d make for a great show provided no one mucked around with the scheduling! Completely unrelated we’ve got Nathan Fillion lending his voice to the Starfinder game through Amazon’s Alexa. Laura Bailey’s a gem and she’s involved too!

The big news though for me was that Secrets of Magic playtest starting next month! The book will come out at Gen Con next year – and I sure am eager to see everyone there – with two new classes we all love: the magus and the summoner! I’m imagining some nifty tricks for the magus that combine a strike and a spell, seems like the multiclass archetype would be very useful too. I hope the summoner will have some nifty summoning cantrip options, and certainly a way to have the summons take more actions. We got expanded familiar rules in the APG so I imagine the eidolon will run similarly. We shall see soon enough!

“We’re All Pretty Bizarre. Some Of Us Are Just Better At Hiding It”

I WAS A TEENAGE CREATURE

I said I’d play more I WAS A TEENAGE CREATURE and I did! I got into two games, one being with the amazing Kae, my fellow player of Monster Hearts 2 over at Gehenna Gaming. What she didn’t know is that my vampire was secretly her character’s uncle! I won’t reveal whom she played so I don’t spoil the surprise for anyone else, but let’s just say there was some rivalry going on and maybe even a little flirtation. Vampire Tom did not appreciate that let me tell you, especially when we were busy dealing with hunters invading the school! I loved the confused ghost who was eager to run off and haunt (I mean help) at a whim. Our kitsune was adorable and I couldn’t help but picture her reacting with glee at the blossoming love between two hunters. We also got to mix it up with a little violence, a little nonviolent take down, and converge atop the roof as we got students safely out of the school.

Saturday though I played in Detention Club with a clear homage to The Breakfast Club. Indeed we were all pretty bizarre, though a few mortals managed to find themselves in detention too. Turns out decades ago a coach was outed and ridiculed despite his talents and great teaching. He was later found dead, but the ring he wore was lost. Well a few weeks ago it was found in the boiler room by the new coach, who also ended up dead! The replacement was a jerk, could even see the ghost Frank, and gave us all detention. Why? Well he wanted help because it was the spectre of the long dead coach trying to prevent a cycle of a dark cult looking to make a sacrifice for their even more bizarre entity they served. We had to be careful sneaking out of detention – tentacled guards and spellcasters roaming. I was a snarky cat sith of the unseelie court and with shadowy claws I got the pounce on more than one enemy. I like to think we all understood each other a little better after detention, but that’s bound to happen when ripping apart deranged shapeshifting cultists. And, joyfully, the long dead Coach got to join his lover in the afterlife!

I met many charming and inspiring individuals during the con but I wanted to point you over to the Gluttonous Geek. Catherine played a very upbeat, fiery, and chaos-inspiring kitsune in our Detention Club. Before the game got going however I got to talk to her about her YouTube channel and adventurous culinary activities (see above)! Indulge your fandom indeed! The Drinking Quest beverages for Gen Con Online happy hour look amazing. I wonder if we can convince her to host a seminar at Gen Con next year? I sure hope so!

More Games, More Fun

call to adventure

I tried some new games as well including Call to Adventure! It’s a board game that starts with an origin and a motivation card as well as a secret destiny. Well you know your destiny and you can choose your origin and motivation accordingly. If you’re familiar with 7 Wonders the board game or Fable the video game, it felt like a combination of the two. How much an antihero will you, straying down the darker paths to use the night (and related runes) to your advantage? Indeed, you throw runes to see how many symbols you get to beat challenge or adversary cards to add to your story. You’re building your story as you adventure along, adding more runes and capabilities to your character. I loved it so much I bought a copy!

Camp Grizzly is a slasher horror board game based at a camp ground. It has a lot of 70’s and 80’s references, including a character named Chet (who looks a lot like Chet from Weird Science) getting killed off at the beginning. You and other counselors have to race around the board, avoiding Otis the killer who has a bear mask and skill with a machete. Each counselor has skills too like talent with two-handed weapons, the ability to easily use the nature trails and not get Lost in the Woods, or maybe ways of sneaking past the killer. You dash around picking up key items and then see what finale you can do. One finale had us choosing through a secret vote which counselor to burn in a giant bear effigy. Sorry Karen! Another had us racing out on a boat and trying to get the killer caught up in the prop blades. Unfortunately Tyrone was already bleeding out and got caught in them before Otis did. Ah well, at least the rest of us made it out!

Camp Grizzly

I also played some Urban Shadows from Magpie Games but come back for my next article to see a deeper dive into that game! In the meantime stay tuned for more post Gen Con news and be sure to check out the various recorded streams on Paizo’s Twitch or Gen Con’s Main Stage! The joy and enthusiasm of Gen Con and this tremendous gaming community will thrive and I’ll be sure to catch ya in person next year! Until then, keep investing in your health, happiness, and one another!

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, Gen Con

  1. Dragon Dice Logo, SFR INC.
  2. Green Dragon Dice Set, SFR INC.
  3. Pathfinder Lost Omens: Ancestry Guide, Paizo
  4. I WAS A TEENAGE CREATURE logo, Reidzilla of Shield of Faith Studios
  5. Call to Adventure, Brotherwise Games
  6. Camp Grizzly, Ameritrash Games

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.