gencon swag
Here's what I bought at Gen Con

I didn’t buy a whole lot at Gen Con. Three games.  That’s it.

This is really weird for me.

Sure, I only picked up a few things at Fear the Con, but that was an awfully small convention with only one dealer.  Even so, I bought almost as much there as I did at Gen Con!  When I go to a larger affair, such as Wizard World, I pick up a ton of stuff!

So why only three games at Gen Con?

It wasn’t the economy.  I was prepared to drop as much change shopping in Indy as I do at any con I’ve attended the last few years.  And it surely wasn’t selection (for the most part).  I mean, Gen Con is sick with selection.

So what was it then?


ipr boothThere were very few deals to be had at the con.  I paid full retail on each of the purchases I made.  I always feel like a chump when I pay full price.

Usually at a con, you find tons of bargains with discounts on new and used books, deals for larger purchases, hand jobs for every $20 spent, you name it!

diceSure there was the one vendor offering three gaming books for $30.  Of course, they had tons of crap.  And I mean that.  Crap.  The best book they had was Terra Primate – a game I’m interested in – but it uses the Unisystem, which is rather meh, in my opinion.  TP’s cover price is $30, so getting that plus three other books for thirty bucks is great… but there was not one other game in all the many choices the dealer offered in which I was interested.

pinnacle boothAnother guy was offering 50% off some older books – and I do love some RPGs from the days of yore – but he didn’t have anything I was interested in.

None of the publishers present offered anything other than cover price.  I understand not wanting to compete with your brick and mortar distribution.  I’d like to point out, though, that not all of us live in the midwest where game shops are a dime-a-dozen.  No, I live in Texas where the best I can hope for is a comic shop that sells dice, DnD, and Warhammer.

I would have been happy with cover price plus something cool.  A game aid, a Gen Con exclusive, a Luke Crane reach-a-round.  Something!

There was no incentive provided to me at Gen Con to make an impulse purchase.   I was provided no motivation to buy there versus buying online from the publisher or finding a better deal on ebay.  So, I pretty much kept my money to my self.

I went to Gen Con seeking four specific games:

  • The Day After Ragnarok – I’ve been in love with this setting since checking out the preview material prior to release.  I have the PDF already, but I sure do prefer a print book with which to work.  I’m gonna be running a lot of this game, so book was needed.  I picked it up directly from Atomic Overmind’s el Heffe himself, Hal Mangold.
  • Zombies!!! – I played this boardgame at Fear The Con 2 and have wanted to own it ever since.  None of the local shops sell it and I’ve been too lazy to order it online.  I can’t wait to play it with my wife and friends.
  • Jihad – A supplement for The Burning Wheel, Jihad is very much a setting in the vein of Frank Herbert’s Dune.  And by that, I mean that it is Frank Herbert’s Dune. I love Burning Wheel.  I love Dune.  This one’s a no-brainer.
  • Dogs in the Vineyard – Fail.  DITV was nowhere to be found at Gen Con.  I am sad beyond my capacity to express.  I’ll probably buy this one online.  The only thing keeping me from doing so now is that the word at the con was that a new version is about to be offered.  Gotta dig into that.
  • InSpectres – I think this is an awfully nifty game (I’ll be writing more on this later), but at $20 for such a slim book?  I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I am very pleased with my purchases at Gen Con.  I just wish I had discovered some new games that I liked enough at the right price to bring home with me.