Gen Con 50 was last week, and with it came a couple of announcements. One I should have covered here before the show, but had issues trying to use a mobile app to update the blog. I eventually just had to give up. The convention was fun. It was also sold out at 60,000 unique badges and over 200,000 visitors, however that is calculated. It felt more crowded at times, but not as overwhelming as it might have been. Part of that was expanding into Lucas Oil Stadium, I'm sure.
The show started off with a Star Wars bang, as Fantasy Flight Games announced on Wednesday something I and most everyone else saw something completely unexpected:
FFG is releasing the original WEG d6 The Star Wars Roleplaying Game and The Star Wars Sourcebook as a 30th anniversary edition later this year. I had no idea when we were planning the 30 Years of Star Wars RPGs panel that something was like this was in the works. I did get a last minute heads up while we assembled the powerpoint presentation. Turns out the rest of the panel was already aware of it. The new version is not a straight copy of the original, it is a recreation. This was due to necessity - the original was done in 1980s technology and mostly unavailable. They are trying to be as true to the original as possible. FFG worked with the late Stewart Wieck, who owned the current incarnation of WEG, and just recently passed away. Pablo Hidalgo discussed the product at FFG's Inflight Report.
For me, I ran Showdown on Raxis Prime three times for FFG, which was based on the last third or so of my Edge of the Empire Beyond the Rim adventure. I had new players at every table, and in one case, mostly new players, so that is always great to see for a game that came out 5 years ago now.
FFG released new Star Wars RPG play mats, which I found very useful during the game.
FFG announced Star Wars Legion, a traditional minis war game with plastic minis that require painting. The terrain at the demo tables was astoundingly good, though not for sale.
X-Wing Miniatures wave 12 was announced. I love it that the attack shuttle from the PC version of X-Wing / TIE Fighter is one of the ships.
The 30 Years of Star Wars RPG panel went very well. Bill Slavicsek, Pablo Hidalgo, Sam Stewart, and I covered all of the RPG lines, with some minis thrown in as well. We all learned something. It is incredible just how much basic Star Wars lore Bill Slavicsek was responsible for creating. Most of the main species in the classic trilogy beyond those named by Lucasfilm, for instance. Pablo covered how some of WEG's items are showing up in Rebels (like the S-thread tracker). Sam covered FFG's work, including a fair amount about the always incredible art. We had a few questions. To wrap it all up, FFG gave everyone attending a poster of the cover of The Star Wars RPG, which was very cool.
As for other events, I attended the wonderful They Might Be Giants concert with 5,500 attendees at Banker's Life Stadium. The band proclaimed they had never played for such a large audience, and also admitted that making Gen Con jokes or banter was difficult as they declared they were probably the least informed on what it actually was. Note that they actually played Gen Con back when it was in Milwaukee. It was a great time, though I'm reasonably certain I knew way more of the songs than the audience around us.
I attended the Diana Jones Award. Only host Matt Forbeck could find a bar with a completely different and hidden bar behind it for the actual award presentation. Bonus: the bar's decor was appropriate for any 90's era Vampire/White Wolf party. Gen Con won, which seemed to be a slam dunk given it's 50 year anniversary.
I made it through almost all of the dealer hall, which expanded again this year. I also visited the Gen Con museum, which featured a recreation of the Horticultural Hall entry, where the first Gen Con was held in the 1960s. The artifacts were very good - things like an original draft of D&D, original 1st edition art, and a timeline of the various Gen Con events and locations.
So, all in all, it was a good trip, and a good (if crowded) time.