Getting Con’d

When I was a kid, I saw ads for GenCon in Dragon magazine and wished I could go. I never understood why my parents wouldn’t let me go by myself to Wisconsin for a convention. But now that I’m adult, I should, in theory be able to go a gaming convention. Unfortunately travel and vacation is not free, and most of the conventions that I’ve heard of happen in the midwest: Gencon, Origins, Fear the Con, D&D Experience, etc.  Until I started getting involved with RPG blogs and podcast last year I thought there weren’t any in New England. But I guess it’s con season here now.

I missed TempleCon and Unity Games last weekend, and I don’t think I can afford Boskone this weekend, but I hope to make it to TempleCon next weekend and I already have tickets for Pax East. As a con newbie, I’m looking for advice from the crowd. What should I look forward to? Am I better off looking for a d&d game or pickup games of Magic and board games? What should I avoid? Have people run games at a Con? I think it might be fun to try someday, especially with one the many game systems I own books for but are unlikely to play with my regular group.

And if anyone is the New England area, what other cons should I be looking forward to, and is anyone going to them?

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4 thoughts on “Getting Con’d

  1. What you need is to find a training class that happens to be in the same town and time as a Con so you can get work to buy you plane tickets.

  2. Been a while since I did the con thing… but I had terrific, memorable experiences GM’ing RPG events for DexCon and Dreamation (in the NY/NJ area). You’ll meet all types of people… some more wonderful than others. You just have to be prepared. Almost everyone tells everyone else “if you’re having fun, then you’re doing it right.” but, once you get to a con, you have a few thousand preconceived expectations. You’ll have players in your games that expect something quite unlike what you expect… and vice versa. As a player, you might have expectations that differ from your GM’s.

    Best advice I can give is to see it all from as open minded a perspective as you can manage. Someone may end up not being a person that you’d normally play with but they’re just there to have fun.

    Some of the best rpg’s I’ve ever played at a con were indie games run by the game’s creator. Its hard to get into a sandbox at a con but the creator of a game feels so confident in his creation that he’s absolutely prepared for anything… usually. The Paranoia RPG seems to take on its TRUE nature when the players really don’t know each other, too… Best Paranoia GM ever had a small bowl of M&Ms..aka Happy Pills. As you were promoted by The Computer, you got access to more colors! WOOHOO!

  3. Also, don’t forget the 3-2-1 rule: Get at least 3 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower ever day.

    The ‘3’ and ‘2’ help keep you healthy. When at a con, you will often be going at full speed just to see and do as much as you can. Couple that with being in contact with a bunch of people from all over the place, and it becomes a breeding ground for trading illnesses. Give your immune system a chance to recover.

    The ‘1’ might seem obvious, but there are plenty of gamers that forgo this for more play time. If you are at any sizeable con, you *will* meet these people. Don’t be the stinky guy at the table.

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