theron: My Dice Are Probably Older Than You (Default)
theron ([personal profile] theron) wrote2010-08-09 09:09 am

Conspicuous Consumption

Two months ago, I hadn't planned on doing much shopping at Gen Con this time around. I hadn't been able to save up for it like I did last year, but I'd come to term with that. Also, a number of things I might have been waiting to purchase there (like The Dresden Files) were available earlier this year via pre-order, so I already either had them or had them on order. Then, at the end of June, my boss took me aside and informed me I was getting an enormous bonus for work I did back at the first of the year. It amounted to an entire paycheck's worth of wages. At this point, shopping was most definitely ON.

Even so, I used SOME discretion. But it meant I could pick up a few things that won't be in stores for a month or so and put the money directly in the pockets of those who produce the products. Since a lot of those folks are friends of mine, I consider this a good policy. If it means I buy some things from HERO Games because I like the HERO guys, even if I'm pretty well burned out on their game system, so be it. It also gave me the freedom to grab things I hadn't heard about before the con that caught my eye.

Here's the entire list of my purchases, with a few notes:

DC Adventures:  I've already pre-ordered it and have the PDF, but this way I got a signed copy.  It's lovely. I love it.  The hero and villain books will contain over 600 characters.  Awesome!

Champions Universe and Champions Powers: Neither of these is immediately applicable to my gaming. But the UNTIL Superpowers Database was one of the best supplements for 5th Edition and CP is the new version of that for 6th. I bought CU because I like Steve and Darren and I enjoy reading campaign backgrounds.

Basic Action Superheroes! Ultimate Edition: I already own this in PDF, but I wanted a print copy. BASH! is looking to become one of my go-to superhero systems, so having an extra copy to loan out is a Good Thing.

Legends of Anglerre: I'm still more sold on the FATE system in theory than in practice. But there's something to be said for a big and meaty (400 page) done-in-one fantasy game book, especially one flavored with that particularly mad and wonkers style of fantasy particular to the British in the late 70s and early 80s. Also, I love Cubicle 7 (the publishers) to death. Maybe it's their posh English accents. Or maybe it's because they've gone from nowhere to become "The Good Mongoose." Or maybe it's because they publish ICONS, which gives me a tenuous connection to them. Whatever it is, I like them and it's a cool book.

A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Pocket Edition and A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide: I love George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. I already had the SIFRP book, but the Pocket Edition is more portable and has all the errata incorporated. Just in case, you know, I actually ever somehow manage to convince someone to play it with me. Hope springs eternal, even if winter is coming.

Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Dark Sun Creature Catalog, and Tomb of Horrors: My requisite WoTC purchases. Because I'm enough of a D&Der that I feel honor-bound to buy something from them every year. I did notice a couple of sort of disturbing things though: First, Wizards was only selling these three books (and t-shirts) at Gen Con; if you wanted something else, they had a list of retailers in the Exhibitors' Hall who were selling them. Also, the Dark Sun stuff was limited to 100 copies of each per day. I had no trouble getting mine and only had to wait about five minutes to do so. Given some other rumors that were floating around about relative sales of Pathfinder vs 4e products, and I wonder if the great 4th Edition experiment is ever going to pay off.

I also bought two of the t-shirts, one for me and one for my son. Because we're dorky like that.

The Smallville RPG: The buzz on this one really took off in the weeks before Gen Con. It's a very different sort of RPG, one aimed at handling stories where interpersonal relationships are the most important factors. So, instead of being rated for Strength or Brains or whatever, characters have stats like Truth, Justice, Love, etc. It's a fascinating idea, one that I think would work extremely well for a play by post game. I also got a copy of the Leverage Quick Start for picking it up. It uses the same system, but with more conventional stats and a clever plot editing mechanism to reflect the "Caper" style of the series. Between the two, they show some remarkable innovation coming from a publisher I'd previously dismissed as just grinding out potentially lucrative licensed games.

Progenitor: This is another one of Greg Stolze's amazing settings for Wild Talents, a game that seems built specifically to handle the maddest of the mad, beautiful ideas of superhero gaming. It's massive (400 pages) and just the little bits I've read are incredible. It's one of those things I don't necessarily want to play, but I want to devour so I can absorb its knowledge and become a better gamer/writer for it.

All for One, Regime Diabolique: Another reason I love Cubicle 7 so damned much. The elevator pitch version of this is "Musketeers vs the Devil." Either that sells you or it doesn't, but it sold me in a big way. So much so that I simply picked it up without even opening the cover. It was only after I started looking through it at the hotel that I realized it uses the Ubiquity System (the same as Hollow Earth Expedition), so I already basically know how to play it. I knew nothing of the game before the show, so it counts as my big surprise of the convention.  If I don't end up running it at Owlcon next year, I'll be surprised.

PS-238 #42:  My comic store never orders enough copies of this comic and I was missing the issue.  Aaron Williams autographed it for me.

Knights of the Dinner Table:  If my comic store never orders enough PS-238, I'm convinced they order no copies at all of KoDT.  I caught up on six months worth of missing issues, the new "Bag Wars" collection, and went ahead and subscribed for the next six months.

Wil Wheaton, Games Matter - A Sampler of Writing About Games, For Gen Con Indy 2010: Just what it says on the label, a chapbook of game anecdotes and stories from the Ur-Geek's blog.  Good stuff, and it was a pleasure meeting him.

So, that's it.  I seriously considered picking up Fantasy Flight's Battles of Westeros set for Battlelore (along with the House Lannister expansion), but that would have made packing to go home virtually impossible.  Also, no one will play it with me and it would just become another expensive unplayed board game on my shelf.

(Anonymous) 2010-08-10 04:00 am (UTC)(link)
It sounds like you had an awesome time and scored some excellent loot! I agree with you regarding 4e. Strange things are afoot...

Peace,
Christian