Author Topic: Gen Con August 17-20 2017  (Read 1012 times)

Offline DaveG

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Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« on: September 02, 2016, 04:41:03 am »
A couple of notes about Gen Con for next year.

1.  It's later in the year than normal, which kind of throws the con schedule off just a touch, but actually moves it further away from SDCC

2.  For anyone that's attended this recently, downtown hotels for Gen Con are getting about as hard to get as SDCC.  To that end they've instituted a lottery system last year and you must first have purchased a badge to the Con to even enter the lottery.  In other words, one badge = 1 lottery entry.

In what I hope doesn't become a trend this year Embassy Suites in Downtown Indy was a little slow blocking out the 2017 con dates from their reservation system and for almost 1/2 a day congoers astutely noted that room reservations were available.  Luckily, I heard about this in time to reserve a room for the con at their normal rate (a little below the con rate) and received my confirmation.  Nine days later citing fine print in their cancellation policy (referencing mistakes or errors) Embassy Suites has cancelled all the reservations made that morning.  I'm just mentioning this because I know people on this site scour the internet looking for these deals.  It's somewhat disappointing when that effort turns out for naught.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 11:37:19 am by Angology »

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2016, 07:29:22 am »
The later scheduling means that we cannot attend next year, as my kids will already have started school. However my husband might go solo. It's disappointing, but at least I know we'll be able to attend in 2018!

I got lucky and I was able to book a cancelable room (for next year) at Le Meridien for my husband through Orbitz. The price was about the same as an in-block CCI downtown hotel, so I'm just grateful to have it for him. Our usual go-to, the Westin, had rooms available, but unlike last year, they were prepaid, non-refundable only. The past 2 years we have been able to book there the previous August with a AAA cancelable rate. No more. Certainly GenCon is becoming more and more popular each year, so I expect the hotel situation to only get worse. In any case, we'll be trying for the hotel lottery.

While not everyone gets the rooms they want, I do like GenCon's hotel system. Everyone with a badge gets a shot, and you can only book 1 room for every 2 badges you get, and there is a cancellation fee ($50, IIRC?) if you back out. This prevents room hoarding, and makes sure that only attendees get the in-block rooms. I wish CCI would do something like this for SDCC, but they have steadfastly refused. Sigh. Also, they have live booking, so when you're there, you can see what's available, and choose from what remains, rather than being assigned something you don't like at all (as happens with SDCC).

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 12:51:19 pm »
GenCon has updated their website. Badge sales will be held starting January 29, and Event registration will be on May 28.

Offline Angology

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 10:09:01 am »
Looks like Badge Pre-reg for Gen Con is coming up tomorrow, Jan 29. Bumping this thread as a reminder!

Also-added in calendar links.
Ang

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 04:54:31 pm »
Anyone else going to GenCon this year besides myself and DaveG? I finally won the VIG lottery this year, and bought my VIG badge and reserved a hotel room this morning. I am so excited!

If you haven't bought a badge yet, do so now, so you will be eligible for the general hotel lottery next week!

Offline mllNY

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 05:00:43 am »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login I so wish it was in the cards for me, oh well
2017 Cons: Toy Fair; Star Wars Celebration; Five Points Festival; SDCC; HasCon; Mondo Con; NYCC; IX

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 08:49:37 am »
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You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login I so wish it was in the cards for me, oh well

I wish so too! Hopefully you will be able to come at some point. Sad about this year though, since it's GenCon 50...  :(

Offline mllNY

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 09:37:15 am »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login I agree but it is Star Wars 40!
2017 Cons: Toy Fair; Star Wars Celebration; Five Points Festival; SDCC; HasCon; Mondo Con; NYCC; IX

Offline AzT

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2017, 09:08:32 pm »
What's this convadium convention center area like from an attendee perspective?

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Quote
Gen Con has announced expanded exhibition and event space will be used at the Lucas Oil Stadium (LOS), including a special showcase recreating the first Gen Con, held in 1967 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on the football field’s 50-yard line.

Gen Con has been maxing out the limits of available space in the Indianapolis Convention Center for a while (see "Gen Con Nearing Limits of Indianapolis"), and added 20% more exhibit space by expanding into Lucas Oil Stadium space and reconfiguring use of the space in the convention center last year (see "Gen Con Attendance Flat Vs. Last Year").  This year, Gen Con has entered into a new space agreement with the stadium, which will see Gen Con’s games library and Pick-up Play space relocated to the LOS field.  As part of the historic Gen Con 50 convention, an area on the 50-yard line will host a homage exhibit recreating Gen Con 1, which took place in the Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  The space will include gaming artifacts and tributes to early Gen Con events. Guided tours of the museum experience will be offered, as well as a chance for fans to take a picture of themselves in the tribute façade of Horticultural Hall.  Gen Con will be offering new "weekend pass" event ticket options for this area.

Other LOS field activities will include activities hosted by Mayfair Games, Twilight Creations, and Wizkids Games.  A free-to-play Kids’ event space will be located on the field as well.  True Dungeon and Anime & Animation events, which were held in the LOS convention and meeting spaces last year, will return to the space as well.

Gen Con recently announced David Hoppe would take over as President of the organization in May (see "Gen Con Gets New President").
"[He] was to tell that story once, to one person only, and much later in his life." - Fred Saberhagen

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 06:24:28 am »
It's not bad. It's a lot nicer than the Javitz Center in New York, where there is NOTHING outside the convention center itself. Similar to the Gaslamp, the Indianapolis convention center is located in a 'fun' part of downtown, filled with bars, hotels, restaurants and even a shopping mall. Even without the con it's a touristy area and near the state capitol building. While there isn't much in the way of offsites (although this year they are hosting an offsite They Might Be Giants concert) there is definitely a 'vibe' in the downtown area and the local merchants get in on it. A couple of blocks are closed off and filled with food trucks to supplement the eating options and that area definitely has a 'street party' atmosphere.

The Lucas Oil Stadium mentioned in the article is actually connected to the convention center, so it's a bit of walking but not difficult to get there. They are separate buildings, so you have to walk through an underground 'tunnel'. Last year they were actually using 'convention space' rooms in the stadium, but this year in addition to that they will be out on the field itself. I'm going to be participating in a roleplaying tournament there, so I am looking forward to seeing it.

GenCon also takes up convention space in some of the close hotels, all of which are connected to the convention center.

Offline matthew

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 07:55:08 pm »
cant hotels just let price meet demand?



sigh.

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 02:02:37 pm »
They just announced that the events catalog will go live on Sunday, May 14 at noon Eastern/9 am Pacific. I'm looking forward to spending my sunday going through the catalog with a fine toothcomb and setting up my wish list!

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 05:45:39 am »
Rpg.net posted a great article on the history of NASCRAG. NASCRAG stands for 'NAtional ASsociation of CRAzed Gamers'. I have played NASCRAG every year I've been to GenCon and always had a blast! The article (and link) are below.


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50 years is a long time. Half a century. 50 years ago phone booths were still common. Doctor Who had just regenerated for the first time, changing from William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton. Dungeons and Dragons wouldn't even be released for another 7 years. It's longer than most of the people reading this article have probably been alive.
Gen Con is celebrating its 50th anniversary this August. A thundering herd of gamers, geeks, cosplayers, and board gamers will storm Indianapolis, 65,000 strong. My people. Our people. Nerds; and wearing that name like the +5 Field Plate it is in the age of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

It's a different convention than it once was. This year it will sprawl out of the Indiana Convention Center and onto the playing surface of the Lucas Oil Arena, home of the Colts. Consuming the heart of Indianapolis for four days. A far cry from Lake Geneva and its tiny Horticultural Hall; site of the original Gen Con in 1968. In fact, a full-scale replica of Horticultural Hall is going to be built right on the field.

A few yards down the field, barely a first-down away, will be the tables holding the 38th annual Nascrag tournament. Not a replica, not a faded Kodachrome photo, but a living, breathing, thriving survivor of the early days of Gen Con.

Nascrag was born back in 1980. Spawned from the disappointment of hundreds of people turned away from the AD&D Open. A group of friends, led by Len Bland and James Robert, decided that if the Open didn't have room for them then they would put on their own tournament and do it their own way.

Their way was notably different than much of what was going on in the D&D world at the time. The tournaments that Nascrag ran were more about thinking your way through encounters than fighting your way through. That doesn't sound like a big thing now, but remember, phone booths!

At first, Nascrag drew nearly as many players as the Open. The judges even juggled multiple tables at the same time, starting one off on a puzzle then switching back and forth, leaving the players to work out the challenge by themselves while they attended to the second team. (Note: that did not work particularly well). But the Open had the resources of TSR and the RPGA behind it and it continued to grow.

Nascrag found its niche in being a little different, a little strange. They focused on the roleplaying and the story and let other groups run the epic battles involving piles of dice and battle-mats. A Nascrag adventure could take place on a crashed spaceship, or the Addams Family mansion, or a dungeon complex populated only by clowns. They found their groove and it was a weird one.

Part of their longevity can be attributed to the folks at the top. Len Bland ran it for 24 years, before stepping down for his wife Carole who runs it to this day. Len and Carole met through gaming and made it part of their lives. Their son Gary just graduated Northwestern and is headed to MSU to get his masters in Game Design; he's been a Nascrag judge for years now.

That's the other secret to their longevity, the way they constantly replenish their staff. They have two methods: One, as alluded to above, is the breeding program. Nascrag has fielded eight second generation judges over the years. Kids whose annual vacation has always been in Milwaukee or Indianapolis. The other is cannibalism. The rest of the judging staff at Nascrag has been poached from the winning teams over the years. If you were on a team that kept being at the top of the heap, there was a good chance you'd eventually get an offer to come over to the dark side. Feeding on those top performing teams had the side benefit of giving newcomers a chance at the big pile of prizes.

And it is quite a pile. A dragon's hoard of games, supplements, hard-cover books, miniatures and t-shirts. When you've been around for 38 years, you make a lot of friends. Friends like (deep breath) Paizo Publishing, Dwarven Forge, Fat Dragon Games, Gaming Paper, Green Ronin, Iron Wind Metals, Campaign Coins, Atlas Games, Evil Hat, Gamer Concepts, and Greater Than Games (exhale). It's good to have friends.

Another thing that's a little different about Nascrag is that every tournament comes with a couple of dozen pieces of original art. Your character isn't just some words on paper and maybe a picture swiped from DeviantArt. Each piece is custom drawn by Nascrag's Art Director (and resident Robert E. Howard expert), Bill Cavalier. Indy, as he likes to be called, has been drawing for Nascrag since their third year - 1982. He draws all the PCs and the major encounters so you can see the crazy stuff that's going on in the game. He's got a loopy, cartoonish style that has come to define the essence of Nascrag.

To be perfectly clear, Bill Cavalier the artist, is not the same as Bill Cavalier, the Dungeon Bastard. The Dungeon Bastard is Tom Lommel, Nascrag's genial host. When Tom came up with the iconic Bastard for his web-series, he borrowed the Cavalier name to make him sound cooler. Tom's an actor and improv artist who's been hosting for Nascrag for about a decade now. If Nascrag was the A-Team, Tom would be Faceman.

Gen Con 50 is going to be huge. A mix of nostalgia and new. A timber-framed Horticultural Hall inside a 21st century domed sports arena. So, if you're looking for something that kind of bridges the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, and especially if you're looking for something a little weird, check out Nascrag. Don't go looking for the D&D Open; it threw in the towel back in 2013. Nascrag is the oldest, continually run RPG tournament in existence.

And, if you don't have time for the two-round Pathfinder tournament, you could always just do the one-round charity event. All the proceeds from that go towards the official Gen Con Charitable Partner, Child Advocates. Do some good while you have some fun.

Offline mllNY

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2017, 04:42:29 pm »
Are gen con events tomorrow You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
2017 Cons: Toy Fair; Star Wars Celebration; Five Points Festival; SDCC; HasCon; Mondo Con; NYCC; IX

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Gen Con August 17-20 2017
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2017, 06:10:00 pm »
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Are gen con events tomorrow You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Yes, the event lottery is tomorrow. We'll be up and ready, trying to get in! Fortunately, we have a range of events. Some are smaller and in higher demand, others are large enough that we shouldn't have trouble getting into them.