Convention Question

Looking ahead to my 2013 convention schedule, it looks like I might– just might– be able to hit a non-local convention this year, in addition to Dreamation, NJcon, Dexcon, and Metatopia (and possibly NEPACon, too). The question is, which one?

GenCon: The big, obvious choice. But I’m not sure how much there would be for someone like me who doesn’t play 4E or Pathfinder. I know there’s the OSR Booth in the dealers’ room (anyone know how to get hold of those guys), but is there anything else for me?

North Texas RPG Con: Lots of OSR goodness to be found here, but I wonder if it’s a little too small to warrant schlepping halfway across the country for?

GaryCon: Another obvious choice, but also another small one. It’s also coming up quickly, so I’d need to commit soon.

Any advice on choosing from folks who’ve been at one or more of these cons recently, or other conventions I’ve missed? I didn’t include Origins purposefully; I’m a little more focused on RPGs at the moment than wargames (for obvious reasons). Thanks in advance!

Of course, I could just go to Shore Leave this year. Haven’t been there in years, and it would do my old Trekker’s heart good to see it again, and that’s something the family would want to come for, too.

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

7 thoughts on “Convention Question

  1. The great thing about Gencon is there is always some unofficial gaming going on. So don't just look at the official program. I try to run a game off-radar every year, and I played in Tavis' last time.

  2. Going as a dealer? I'd still say to get the broadest exposure, it's got to be Gencon. Not a ton of official OSR on the schedule, but there's so much going on you can't beat it.

    The OSR booth was organized this past year by Bill Barsh of Pacesetter Games. I met Frank Mentzer and Tim Kask there and got them to sign my books. W00T!

  3. Gary Con has my vote without a doubt.
    A Con in Lake Geneva that's run and attended by the folks who started this whole mess? Wanna play a game with Frank M., Tim K., and Jim W. all in the same day? This is the one.

  4. I'm going to pimp NTRPG con mostly because I'm co-founder. The minuses are it is small (this year we expect close to 200), almost exclusively RPGS (and old school at that), and it's in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (right outside DFW airport), which is a bit out of the wheelhouse of many people from the west coast or north/northeast.

    The plusses? Tons of special guests, all accessible, and nearly all of them running or playing in games: Tim Kask, Frank Mentzer, Jim Ward, Steve Winter, Zeb Cook, Jennell Jaquays, Erol Otus, Dennis Sustare, Rob Kuntz, Jeff Dee, and many more. You can easily find yourself having a late dinner with Frank and Tim, or a drink at the bar with Steve Winter and Zeb Cook, as the guests have plenty of time to schmooze, we only let them run two games apiece so as to give them plenty of time to just hang out. There are no card games or time-wasters, we require nearly all games scheduled to be old school RPGs, but anything you want can be played at the open tables. It's low key and laid back and since we only have about 200 attendees it's really possible to have a lot of one-on-one time with some of the guests. A lot of our special guest are exclusive to NTRPG con….Dennis Sustare, Jennell Jaquays, Erol Otus and a few others rarely appear elsewhere. I've gotten pretty much everything Rob Kuntz, Jennell Jaquays, Dennis Sustare and Jim Ward ever wrote signed, time to work on the Erol Otus and Jeff Dee collection!

    And, we have become a place where guys like Harley Stroh can run playtests of the DCC game (as he did for two years) or Tavis Allison can have sessions of ACK, so it's not just old school games but old school simulacrums that we cater to. On top of that we have silent auctions, a auction of rares, raffle with some real goodies, and dealer's room. Yep I'm biased.

  5. I've attended NTX every year to date as well as GaryCon all but GC1, and GenCon a number of times in the past.

    I think which you want to attend, Joe, will really depend on your goals for the con: are you looking as a player, DM, publisher, or a bit of all three?


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