Wednesday, April 06, 2011

In Which The Warlock Posts on Three Cons...

As the weather heats up, so does the convention season.  And, lo and behold, it's finally broken 70 degrees out here in Flatland, which means that dice-slinging is on the horizon.

Alas, poor Den Con...I'll make it next year...
After a quality start to the con-season at WittCon, I was excited to have Den Con 2011 on the horizon.  The WittGuild's been trying to build relationships with area universities and gaming organizations, and Denison's group has been really busy, building a game library and gamer culture in Granville.  With them so close to Columbus (and The Big O), it's good to have some friends and neighbors up yonder...

...that is, it would be.  Unfortunately for me, the PlatinumChick came down with a nasty stomach virus Friday night, after my Laundry one-shot at Witt.  At 2 am, she was begging me to stay home with her, and I gave in.

I immediately felt horrible about it--not about the fact that my wife needed me; I have no regrets in that regard--but rather in a realization.  I've been running convention one-shots of various games (primarily WEGS) for almost 8 years now.  This was the first time, in all those years, that I've had to cancel.

I e-mailed Mr. Mike, the head of Den Con 2011, immediately, but still haven't heard back.  I'm hoping they're willing to have me back next year.  The WEGS train has to roll on!  Granville needs to hear the Cold Roll Gospel sooner than later!

Dayton's own Comic Book Extravaganza
But, with that cancellation, the PlatinumChick and I were able to sleep in and, on Sunday, meet L-Train, EEE, and NuJosh for a trip to Dayton's Gem City ComicCon, held at Wright State University.  I don't typically get to do much trolling for floppies at Champion City ComicCon, as I'm usually helping to run the game room, so it was nice to be able to peruse the vendors from all over the Miami Valley and beyond. 

I have come to a conclusion, though, regarding comics vs. gaming conventions, stemming back to our trip to C2E2 last year.  Overall, I tend to be much less a fan of comics conventions, simply because there's less to do.

At a typical gaming convention, I can always find something that piques my interest.  I might spend some time trolling around the dealer hall, then drift over to a Paint-and-Take event, then play a one shot or borrow something from the board-game library to play.  If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll go to a panel, or visit some of the small-press places, to find out what's on the docket for the coming release schedule.  Sometimes, I'll even try to do a little schmoozing with some of the muckitty-mucks at various gaming companies, trying to get my name out there.  Fundamentally, there's a variety of events, so that if I get bored at one, I can move on to something different with little difficulty.

At the comics conventions I've been at, the inverse is true.  While there might be some panels or artist/writer booths that I'd visit, the prime attraction is only the dealer hall.  And, truth be told, there just isn't enough variety in what they're selling to really appeal.  When you've trolled through case after case of Ultimate Spider-Man trade paperbacks, all priced relatively closely, things tend to get a little repetitive.  There just isn't enough variety in stock or items to keep my attention.

Dealer hall from GenCon Indy 2010

But you might say, "What about the gaming dealer hall?  Isn't it all the same stuff there?"  Well, yes and no.  While there are some similar games that get sold everywhere--d20 supplements, current edition D&D items--most of the vendors are more specialized.  Either they'll sell for a specific company--the SJGames booth comes immediately to mind--or they'll focus on a specific aspect of gaming.  There are booths specifically that sell minis, booths that sell dice or battlemats, booths that sell chits and other knick-knacks that are gaming-related.  There's enough variety that one can avoid just seeing the same items in box after box, on shelf after shelf.

What shocked me most at Gem City, though, was not something I found in the longboxes.  Rather, it was something from their program that blew me away:  Glory Con.  Yes, Wright State's apparently back, having a gaming convention once more. 

The last time we went to Glory Con, it was something of a disappointment.  While the creators had ample room and a quality vendor, in Bell Book and Comic, there was no real schedule, and EEE's and my classic WEGS module, "Return to Castle VonYumenstein, Part VI:  The Revengening! (a Prequel)" was one of the few actual games being run.  I'm hoping to see some more information on Glory Con in the near future.  I would have provided a link, like the conventions above, but there's no website or Facebook page to be found...

Time shall tell, I suppose.  Besides, what else am I going to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, than chuck some dice?!

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