JP On Gaming

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Gencon 2017 AAR: What I learned from Gencon 50

Here are Part 1 and Part 2

This post is the third and final installment of my look back at Gencon 50. Here, I will focus on the lessons learned and what if anything I plan on doing going forward.

I am using a simplified format based on the retrospective of a sprint in Agile development. This makes the result more interesting to read.

What I learned:
- I have great friends It is always great to realize how many people I know and highly value, and how many of them I meet at Gencon. I got to spend a little time with my friend Florent and meet his girlfriend, he came to visit us before the con but this was great to see them both. I chanced upon both guys from Gamers Haven in CO, Rob and Troy, and got to spend a couple of minutes chatting with them. I also met a kid who I ran a game two years ago and he was really excited to speak with me. I said hello to the PCI/Arcanis folk but did not want to take too much of their time as they were busy selling books.
- I enjoyed running 5e more than Pathfinder Although I personally prefer to play Pathfinder, I find that the table of 5e have been more enjoyable to run and less filled with details and minutiae. Rather, the plot and the story flowed more naturally. I am thinking that my personal style of writing and GMing lends itself better to 5e.
- I need to bring more GMs For the past two years, I have been selling out games consistently. There is demand for what I offer. For next year, I want to become one of the Premiere Groups and get better locations to run my stuff. This means I will need another GM to run more events.
- I get little repeat business At Gencon, I run a lot of different people, with different faces at every slot. People either go to play one thing (such as PFS or Adventure League) OR go about playing a variety of systems and settings. Until they discover the awesomeness of FOE, I will draw mostly from the latter group.
- Gencon is HUGE If you haven't gone, it is. It defies reason. It is also part of its draw. This leads to me being forced to not being able to meet everyone I want to see. For example, this year I missed Chad-N and Jen-M who I wanted to meet.

What I will do:
- FOE is going back to Gencon in 2018
- Offer one adventure and perhaps a special This year, I rushed to complete three adventures when I could have just as easily ran just one. I like the idea of a special and Gencon is the perfect place to run this.
- I will ask for one or two other GMs Next year, FOE will offer multiple tables run with another GM or two. Perhaps have one set of adventures set in Tyrants of Saggakar and one set Rhym? That's something I still need to decide. I still have a few months to decide.
- I must look at my phones during the day Meeting Florent almost did not happen. He had free time when we could've met but I did not look at the phone until MUCH later.
- Focus on one system I think I will focus on 5e at public events going forward. I had more success running games of 5e than Pathfinder (but that is for a completely different post).

What YOU can do
- Let me know if you want to GM for FOE at Gencon. I have no idea of perks yet.
- Let me know if you have an idea. Whether for an adventure or anything else.

This is it. Gencon is in the books.


  1. I would love to help GM, but not 5e! YUCK!

  2. I find running the same adventure multiple times at a convention starts to feel like work. It's very easy to start phoning it in; it's often better for one's own sanity to run different adventures even if some are repeats from earlier conventions (remember, for most people whatever you're giving them is new to them).

  3. I do not despair that perhaps, one day, i shall attend to GenCON and meet you IRL, and many others...