I'm back from GenCon. I'm also very tired. While I've slept since getting home from GenCon, I find the fatigue from going for the 4 days is lingering. The two long days driving probably don't help, nor does just getting older. :P
GenCon was a lot of fun. It was my first time GMing, and I ended up running 4 sessions of 7th Sea 2nd Edition for John Wick Presents. The experience of GMing was awesome, and I can't give Monte Lim enough praise for organizing the JWP GM's to make for a great con. One of the most amazing things about GMing for them was getting to see the other tables and hear all the whoops, cheers, and bursts of laughters coming from all the other tables.
Aside from the 16 hours of GMing for JWP, I also got to play in a session for Fantasy Flight Games' new Legend of Five Rings RPG - more on that later - and I finally got to play in a game of MASKS: A New Generation.
That said, let's get into some of the big take aways from the Con.
You Should Try GMing At A Con
For the last two years I've hemmed and hawed about whether or not to GM for a company at GenCon. On the one hand, you tend to get free stuff or compensation in one way or another. On the other, it is making a large commitment to not only be at the con, but be at a specific spot at a specific time and prepared to run. I honestly wasn't going to do it, until a friend told me that JWP was hurting for GMs.
Leaving the con though I'm glad I did it. GMing at a con will expose you to all sorts of different players and playstyles that you may not see at home. It's different than playing with those people too, because you have to make the adventure work for them. It also lets you see different ways of tackling problems than maybe you are used to seeing.
Your mileage may vary on all that, and obviously to truly see variety you need to run multiple sessions - and that might not be something you want to do.
If You Do GM, Bring Throat Lozenges
I was lucky. JWP provided 3 throat lozenges for every GM for every session. I rationed those out across every session I played so that I had one going for the beginning, middle, and end of each session. Consequently, despite GMing for 16 hours, I managed to leave GenCon with my voice intact. Other GMs I met or saw? not so lucky. Convention Center air is dry. People are coming from all around the world. The bugs and germs are there, so take care of your throat. Otherwise, you'll suffer the consequences.
Accept You Won't Like Everyone's Style
This is true if you are a player or a GM, but at cons you're going to run across people who play differently from you and your local gang. And when coming across different styles, it makes sense that you won't like all of them. Thing is, try to keep open minded. Don't try to correct someone for playing wrong just because they're playing different from you, and try to keep open minded to what they are trying to do. You're likely only going to be with that person for 4 hours, and odds are someone chafes with how you play too, so keep it civil.
Remember, RPGs are big games.What draws you in may not draw other people in. It doesn't mean it's wrong. It just means it's different.
That's it for today. On Friday I want to talk about my first impressions with the new L5R. I know a lot of people are curious, and I know there are a couple people who started coming here because I spoke about running L5R. The preview is: overall I liked what I saw. I'll go more into detail on Friday.