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?
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!
Sure 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.
Another 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.