Following on from Monday's post, I thought I would mention some aspects of this year's Gen Con that I am thinking about the most. Unlike some previous years, there isn't a must-have item for me that is being released for the show. Shadow, Sword and Spell was the big one for me last year. Even so, I am looking forward to:
The OSR booth -- Although there was an small Old School presence among the items at the Tabletop Adventures booth last year, this is the first time we will see an entire booth of OSR publishing at Gen Con. I welcome the chance to browse through some of the items that I wouldn't normally see in the local shops, like OSRIC and some of the modules. I hope someone at the show will have copies of OpenQuest.
Indie/Story Games -- Whatever term you want to use, I would like to (eventually) pick some of the games that I've missed out on so far -- Fiasco, My Life with Master, Microscope, Spirit of the Century, The Shab-al-Hiri Roach, just to name a few. I didn't see IPR on the exhibitor list this year, however.
Chaosium -- This venerable publisher is back at Gen Con after some years. I'd like to take a peek at the 30th Anniversary Edition of Call of Cthulhu, check out any generic BRP books and, with luck, they will have their scratch-and-dent Mythos fiction sale.
Demo games -- I generally do not sign up for games in advance, preferring to keep my schedule open for pick-up games. It also gives me time to check out demonstrations from publishers. One in particular that I'm eager to try is the new Star Trek deck-building card game from Bandai... even if it isn't the Original Series.
Getting books signed -- I enjoy having the chance to talk to some of my favorite game creators and have my books signed. I still need to check the lists of artists and other special guests.
Finding some out-of-print treasures -- You never know what you might find in a dusty, forgotten bin at one of the booths.
Sales on older overstock/warehouse deals -- I'll miss Titan's "Buy One, Get Three Free" sale, but Chimera Hobby Shop always has some great hidden treasures.
Late night gaming in the hotel bar -- Last year we found a booth to play Descent, it was Munchkin the year before... this year we're thinking Castle Ravenloft.
Whatever it is that you enjoy about Gen Con, make the most of it, and have fun!