Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Road to Gencon 2010: New Stuff

Last year we pretty much started The Hopeless Gamer with our Gencon coverage. It consisted solely of me taking lots of pictures on my phone and posting them directly to the blog from the floor of the show. It was unorganized, unplanned, and a lot of fun. This year I'm trying something a little different - making a plan! I'm contacting as many industry folk as possible before the show happens to that, with trusty digital voice recorder in hand, I can get as much news and input as possible to pass directly onto the customer - I mean audience.

Of course with planning comes expectations and with expectations comes soul-crushing, self-imposed pressure to deliver the goods. I'm not really that concerned, but planning Gencon coverage on top of a 40 hour work week means I don't have a ridiculous amount of time to blow off steam (or, ironically, write up blog posts). So to take my mind off of the planning and scheduling I've decided to make a post that is pure fun. It's also a welcome break from the heady discussion (see two posts down) on John Wick's Dirty Play (John Wick actually replied - he's a real person! :)

Keep reading to get the most important preview of all my coverage.

Gencon 2009

First things first: you have to realize that Gencon is like Christmas for me. Every year I come home with a giant stack of swag that I will then spend the next 5 or 6 months obsessing about. Seriously, check this post out from last year. I spent a TON of time reviewing Geist: The Sin-Eaters as it was my first purchase on the first day. It's still one of my favorite books. We've talked about Rusted Heroes quite a bit - it's a great skirmish game we would have only discovered at the show. I don't even want to get started on how frakkin' awesome 3:16: Carnage Amongst the Stars is.

Gencon 2010: The Sequel

I'm going to preface this by saying that this is only a "on my radar" list of games. I'd love to own all of them, but I may have to scale back in case I discover something new and awesome like the aforementioned Rusted Heroes. Anyway, on with the goods!

DC Adventures Hero's Handbook

We love Steve Kenson, and we love Icons. Also we love comic books. Just look at our labels sidebar here, you'll find numerous posts for all of them. I don't know if I'll ever have the chance to play DC Adventures, but the book looks gorgeous, and wereas most core books weigh in at $60.00 nowadays, the Hero's Handbook is a paltry $40.00. Now there will only be 300 copies, so I'm making this a priority purchase, but even if I don't catch it, it'll be bought, it'll be so bought. Oh, also, from the get-go it looks like it'll be a four book line and then completed. I love self-contained game lines almost as much as I love box sets. It's the reason I want to finish out Star Wars Saga Edition and Hunter: The Vigil instead of D&D 4th Edition and Vampire: The Reqiuem.

Monsters & Other Childish Things (Pocket Edition)

I want to play Calvin & Hobbes, so I'm going to buy this. It's a simple, if non-traditional type of horror game where every plays the kid and their monster characters and hijinks ensue. I've been wanting to play this for a long time now but couldn't justify the cover price of the gorgeous hardcover edition. I was thrilled to find out that Cubicle 7 will be releasing this smaller, cheaper version of the game. These things make great entries into an entire game system. Also there's an expansion for the game that lets your child's monsters be Godzilla-sized instead of Hobbes-sized. Yes please!

Remember Tomorrow

Remember above when I was talking about how awesome and fun 3:16: Carnage Amongst the Stars is? Gregor Hutton appears to be doing it again with his twenty-minutes-in-the-future GM-less cyberpunk game. Oh, and it costs $10.00. I really shouldn't need to justify this anymore and everyone should be pre-ordering it with the pdf. Alright, I'll give you a little more. Gregor is the nicest, most excited guy about gaming I've ever met. I had a chance to talk to him last year at Gencon and he easily sold me on Empires of Dust - a tiny box set indie game that blew me away. Gregor loves games and he loves them quirky and easy-to-run. I'm gonna be a sad puppy if I don't get my copy of Remember Tomorrow at Gencon (how can you not love that name?)

Dread House and Swords Without Masters

A gm-less board game based on Dread, my first and favoritist horror RPG of all time? There's no images that this hopeless gamer could find online, but it doesn't matter - I'd order it sight unseen and eagerly await the day it came in the mail. I know even less about Swords Without Masters other than that it's a fantasy game form the designer of Dread and Dread House. Sold again! Yea, I got lots of fantasy games, but not too many little indie ones. Starting with Remember Tomorrow, now these, and the rest of the post you're going to notice a theme. I love picking up small, cheap gems of indie games at Gencon.

Lacuna and InSpectres

I loved Inception. The Gamer Wife and I, along with some friends, saw it at an Imax this past Sunday. At first I thought it would be unplayable, but after reading a thread about brainstorming an Inception RPG on, everyone suggested Lacuna, and I can't be surprised at this point that I have to get my own copy. I'm not sure it'll be at Gencon (I'd be surprised if it wasn't), but it's an indie gem I gotta grab. While I'm at it, why not pick up InSpectres? The game has ton of street cred as part ghost busters/part ghost hunters and a ton of fun. Might as well grab both of Jared Sorenson games.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are other things I'm really looking forward to seeing in action such as Blowblack and Free Market. I KNOW I'll be finding some good new stuff out there that blows me away. Ultimately this is why I love Gencon so much. I love the games, I love the seminars, I love the auction, but the new stuff (and not-so new in the case of Lacuna and InSpectres, but whatev :) is what really get me going.


  1. Honestly, I'd probably buy the DC book just for the cover, but why is it so inexpensive? Is the production quality any good?

  2. I have to assume it's pretty good. It's full color, I believe lots of original art, and like you said, it has the Alex Ross cover. I'll make sure to post a photo of it with a quick comment on the production quality if I am able to pick it up on Thursday of the Con!

  3. I have the PDF of the DC Heroes book. I don;t think the art is original, but it is gorgeous. It's about the same size as the M&M 2e book.

    They are running a deal where if you pick up the book at the con or pre-order, you get the pdf for 5 bucks more.

    I'm not able to go, but the Gen Con release I'm most looking forward to is the Smallville RPG. It's a supers game that concentrates on the relationships rather than how many tons you can lift.


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