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And then there was Gen Con…

One does not simply return from Gen Con.

You don’t simply immerse yourself in the best 4 (or more) days of gaming, and then walk back into normal life unscathed. The dive into the deep ocean of tabletop gaming nirvana brings you to magical places, but the decompression sickness can break you as you surface.

This Gen Con was much different for me. I am usually running 20 – 40 hours worth of games, and this time I helped oversee or participate in several hours of seminars for the Herald’s Guild of DMs and the Misdirected Mark Podcast. My lack of DMing/GMing this Gen Con made me feel more than a little removed from the action, as one of the greatest joys for me is sitting at a table to tell stories with others. On the other hand, I finally got to take the time to talk to people that I generally wouldn’t be able to talk to. The vehicle for storytelling was different, but the stories equally entertaining.

Two highlights I have to mention. I very much enjoyed the one game that I bought a ticket for: a Greyhawk Reborn 5e D&D adventure. This campaign, run by a group of hardy folk led by Dave Guerrieri, was built from the ashes of the old Living Greyhawk campaign. It very much had the Living Greyhawk feel, and it definitely scratched my playing itch. I laughed much and enjoyed the company of other intrepid adventurers in our trek into Keoland.

The second was the Adventurer’s League content run through Baldman Games. The stress of running thousands of people through games in conditions that are far from ideal would take its toll on anyone, and the folks involved in the Adventurer’s League and Baldman Games deserve recognition. They are good people who put up with a lot for very little reward save for the joy of gaming and the camaraderie of a good story. I tip my hat to both. I don’t particularly like to think of the state of D&D at Gen Con without them there to carry the load.

I can always tell if it is a good or a bad convention for me based on how excited I am to write more on the return trip. Let’s just say I’ve done a lot of writing already. Only 363 days until Gen Con 2016!

Shawn Merwin

Shawn's professional design and editing work in the roleplaying game industry has spanned 20 years and over 4 million words of content. His Dungeons & Dragons work has ranged from 3rd to 5th edition, showing up in sourcebooks, adventures, articles, and Organized Play administration. He has been a driving force in several Organized Play programs, and has written material for Wizards of the Coast (Dungeon Delve, Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress, Halls of Undermountain), Pelgrane Press (Dracula Dossier), Modiphius Entertainment (Star Trek Adventures), Baldman Games (as Content Manager), Kobold Press (Creature Codex, Book of Lairs), and countless others. Find his adventures here:

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