GenCon 2018

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hXcMike
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GenCon 2018

Badges for 2018 GenCon went on sale today! Who's excited for Oblivion and SCRPG events?

Paul
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I am!!!


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

Powerhound_2000
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I am!   This will be the first Gencon I go to.  


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
Samwise137
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Year three at the booth! Hotel's been booked since October. Trying to figure out if we're driving or flying out this year. All depends on my friend's employment status.

Blackfang108
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I probably wont' be at this one, but next year, if My Sister and BiL actually move to Indy, I just might go.

Rabit
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Definitely excited! laugh

Powerhound_2000 wrote:

I am!   This will be the first Gencon I go to.  

Yay, Powerhound! surprise One of us! One of us! angel

(Uh, and FYI: The live taping of The Letters Page only allows one question at a time... wink)


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Bolnerap has been trying to talk me into going to what would also be my first GenCon. The thought is tempting, though the logistics of trying to get from Middle of Nowhere, MA to Indianapolis while not having a driver's license are going to be interesting, to put it mildly. (May have to do a very weird week-long vacation that's half in Boston and half at GenCon.)


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Not always the best at social skills; I apologize in advance. I don't apologize for any corny and morbid jokes, though.

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bolnerap
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I've got my badge and I'll be back with Handelabra again as long as they need me. It'll be good to see some of you folks again (and you'll have to stop by and see us, Powerhound). 

Also, I live here, work downtown, and can pass along restaurant or other gathering point suggestions. If anyone is new to downtown Indianapolis or has any specific questions about what can be found downtown, feel free to drop me a PM.

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I'll be there this year, after missing last year. I'll be running Cold Steel Wardens as well as a few Dragon Age events, as part of the Cincinnati Gaming Arsenal. Definitely hoping to get some time free for Sentinels!

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Rabit wrote:
FYI: The live taping of The Letters Page only allows one question at a time... wink)

We will see about that.   


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
MindWanderer
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I'm waffling about going.  I've been to GenCon, back when it was in Wisconsin, but I don't like to travel.  My wife is trying to get me out of the house and discover some new games, though.  I was hoping to see the full event list before committing, but it looks like that comes out really late and I'm guessing all the hotels will be full up by then, if there are even con tickets left.


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Rabit
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MindWanderer wrote:

if there are even con tickets left.

I doubt it will sell out. Last year was special (50th!!!), and it had never sold out before. 


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Hotels, on the other hand, may well already be sold out. Are they doing the housing block this year?

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dpt wrote:

Hotels, on the other hand, may well already be sold out. Are they doing the housing block this year?

And this is why I'm waiting for my sister to move back to Indy.

 

(I'm also paying through the nose for a Wedding, ACEN hotels, and wherever the hell we go for our Honeymoon.  No, Gencon won't work as a Honeymoon, I checked with my Fiancee.)

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dpt wrote:

Hotels, on the other hand, may well already be sold out. Are they doing the housing block this year?

Yes, but that opens separately in February (I believe). They are also changing things so that whoever books a room can’t transfer it, only cancel to throw it back into the general pool.

Edit: yeah February 11. Policy here.

rjc917
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I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who might be going to GenCon for their first time.

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I am SO EXCITED to see all of you at Gen Con, and SO EXCITED that people who have never gone will be going! Gen Con is my absolute favorite; I've been going for over half of my life at this point, since well before I "had" to go for work :)


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Echoing Paul. It's the best con of the year far and away. It's like a hard reset to my brain before school starts up and I have to start teaching again.

rjc917
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Is GtG going to be at Origins?  I see last year you decided to show up last minute.  I'm considering easing in to cons with that rather than jumping straight into GenCon.

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I bought a 4 day pass and booked my hotel for Gen Con last night!  Do the downtown hotels really sell out within the first 12 hours of the housing portal opening, or does 13 miles away count as "downtown" for Indianapolis?

Also, an actual "housing portal" in the context of comics sounds like a much more convenient way to move.

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Housing is the worst part of Gen Con. Yes, the downtown hotels were sold out in the first TWO hours of the housing portal opening.

Here's the thing: it's the Gen Con blocks that are sold out, not the hotels. Gen Con just refuses to actually throw its weight around enough to get more rooms downtown, and I don't know why.

At any rate, if it's important to be downtown and you don't mind paying a little more, you might try calling the hotels directly and trying to get a room outside the Gen Con block. No guarantees, but it's worked for folks in the past.


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I'm assuming I can get an Uber in to town for less than what the hotel increase would be, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks Craig!

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rjc917 wrote:

I'm assuming I can get an Uber in to town for less than what the hotel increase would be, so it shouldn't be a problem.Thanks Craig!

 

Uber and Lyft are ALWAYS available and affordable around GenCon. We used them all week last year and never had more than a five minute wait. Drivers were exceptionally friendly too! We plan on doing the same this year even though we're driving ourselves to Indy.

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Samwise137 wrote:

 

rjc917 wrote:
I'm assuming I can get an Uber in to town for less than what the hotel increase would be, so it shouldn't be a problem.Thanks Craig!

 

 Uber and Lyft are ALWAYS available and affordable around GenCon. We used them all week last year and never had more than a five minute wait. Drivers were exceptionally friendly too! We plan on doing the same this year even though we're driving ourselves to Indy.

That's great to hear!

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Plus, depending on where you are, the Blue Indy cars are really convenient!


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Rabit wrote:

Plus, depending on where you are, the Blue Indy cars are really convenient!

What are the Blue Indy cars? I think that over Easter weekend I'm going to be trying to double-dip on both WYC and ICC.

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Blue Indy is a set of stations throughout the city that have electric cars you can use on hourly rentals. There are stations for the cars spread around major roads, almost entirely inside 465, and mostly centered on downtown. But they go as far east as 21st and Shadeland, as far west as the airport, as far north as Broad Ripple, and as far south as UIndy.

 

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Hm. Do you know off-hand whether a pair of one-way rentals would work for a trip from the WYC hotel to the convention center and back, at a price comparable to or cheaper than paying for parking near the convention center?

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Here's the site with all the Blue Indy details, including pricing. There are four plans, so you can go daily, weekly, or monthly (but probably not yearly wink), depending on what makes the most sense cost-wise. 


"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

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jffdougan wrote:

Hm. Do you know off-hand whether a pair of one-way rentals would work for a trip from the WYC hotel to the convention center and back, at a price comparable to or cheaper than paying for parking near the convention center?

I seriously doubt the WYC hotel is near a Blue Indy station.


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Rabit
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arenson9 wrote:

I seriously doubt the WYC hotel is near a Blue Indy station.

Looking at the Blue Indy map, you're right -- the closest is the airport, and that's not very close. 


"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

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speedyolrac
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I want to go, offered to work with GTG in exchange for a badge, now I just need to find someone to share a hotel room with. Anyone here wanna help me with that. I know I don't have enough to book a hotel by myself.


"A stranger is a friend you haven't met yet." - Star

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Gen Con is here! I can't believe no one else has posted about it lately. Who else is going to the masquerade tonight? My girlfriend and I will be there as Unity and Biomancer. I'd love to meet some of you!

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Just got done with an SCRPG session at 1. I'll be back in room 140 on Sunday to play OblivAeon.

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Day -2 (Monday) -- At least some of the GtG staff were in town. I couldn't join them for drinks and games, because I was at a friend's bday party.

Day -1 (Tuesday) -- Presumably there was much setting up going on. I was at work, and that evening at a run-through for a 12 player Cthulhu game for which I'm an NPC. 

Day 0 (Wednesday) -- As I hear it many hands made light work. Craig mentioned that there are about sixty volunteers, if I remember correctly. GtGs is up to fifteen employees and I think they're all here, plus others -- people who work part time in the warehouse, Dave Chalker from the SCRPG, at least three people from Handelabra. I am not a volunteer for GtG at this event, but dropped by the side room to say hello to folks. I find the days leading up to GenCon quite lovely -- possibly more enjoyable than GenCon itself. People are looking forward to the event, but not yet overloaded and overwhelmed. 

I got my first look at the Collectors Case and a production version of OblivAeon. I was drawn to the comic, but was too distracted by other things to read it. The case looks and feels pretty good. Still not sure how I'll move it when it's full.

The Will Call line is ridiculous. I took the day off work and went down about thirty minutes before Will Call opened, and the line was already ~30 minutes long. I decided to play some games with friends near the line and keep an eye on it to see when it died down. Bad idea. It didn't. Just kept getting longer and longer. When I went back to check much later, near 11pm, the line was all the way past Halls D, C, B, and A and out the convention door -- more than 90 minutes long. I got lucky and some friends who'd been in the line that long took pity on me and let me slip in. I'm pretty lawful and felt bad about it, but ... I guess not that lawful.

Day 1 (Thursday) -- I was at my Cthulhu event from 10am to a little after 1, and then had about 45 minutes to take care of some errands (like picking up my 2018 Gencon die) and cruise past the booth and sideroom to see how things were going. I was just at each one for a few minutes. They both looked busy but not packed. I heard that sales were pretty brisk, but didn't see any lines. One person noted that he'd been surprised by how much the core game was selling. The booth was what now seems to me like a fairly standard configuration -- enclosed storage on one end, register and shelves in the middle, stand up tables at the other end. Two tables had Spirit Island. The others were: SCRPG, SotM, Fate, and Lazer Ryders. 

The side room is huge: It's both room 140 and 141. There's an area in one back corner walled off for storage, then most of the back half is given over to round tables for playing SCRPG. There's a set of fancy gaming tables in another corner and a bunch of other demo tables. There's a fair-sized register area. I saw the new Homebrewers game, Sleepy Hollow, OblivAeon, Spirit Island, and Fate of the Elder Gods for sure. There might have been others. There's a lot of tables in there! And it's roomy, too. Lots of these siderooms are super crowded with tables and you can barely make your way around, but GtG's space is comfortable. Man, when I think back to Origins 2012 -- three people in the booth running SotM on two tables. 

I went back by the sideroom around 7ish, to point out how to play to some friends of mine who own Fate of the Elder Gods, but haven't played it. After finishing that, I learned that the volunteers were short a person, so I ended up teaching a table how to play Spirit Island. Later I was wandering through Hall D and in the envoy section I stumbled across a table where one person was trying to simultaneously teach Spirit Island to three groups of people, so I lingered and helped.

I like Spirit Island pretty well, and I'm comfortable teaching it, but I sure wish it was as quick to teach as SotM!

Have already seen some lovely cosplay. Looking forward to the Letters Page Live and the costume contest!


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

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rjc917 wrote:

Gen Con is here! I can't believe no one else has posted about it lately. Who else is going to the masquerade tonight? My girlfriend and I will be there as Unity and Biomancer. I'd love to meet some of you!

I was at the ball briefly.  Was hot and uncomfortable so my friend and I left shortly after 10.  I did see those outfits and they were well done.  A bit scary thinking about what those two torgether could do.  


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
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You guys all have fun.

 

I think Next Year, I'll actually be there.  This year had far too many expenses.

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Day 2 (Friday) Wasn't able to make the State of GtG panel. Anyone else able to share what was mentioned there? Letters Page Live was great. Jean-Marc played music live -- after being invited to do so only last Wed when Anthony Badell had to cancel. There were some things mentioned about Prime War that I guess weren't public knowledge? I'm not quite sure what info I know is or isn't public knowledge, so I'm hesitant to say much, but they mentioned the concept of prime aspects, for instance. Most of Letters Page Live was questions taken from the audience, and it was often really a lot of fun -- a great, community vibe. This was helped, no doubt, by sitting in the front row so I could see and hear everything really easily. Not sure how it was in the back, like 20-30 rows deep. I was originally in the back row, but couldn't see well, so moved up to an unclaimed seat in the front. Jeremy from Handelabra came as Guise and was awesome, as usual. The Cult of Gloom had a fun showing. There was mention of what's coming for the next year. I don't remember specifics, but it was a series of different releases related to SCRPG, including the Kickstarter in ... Jan, maybe?

I had a chance to sit in on a small introduction to Prime War. Liked what I saw of the mechanics. The side room continued to be very busy, from what I saw. Didn't get by the booth. I saw some folks getting ready to play Galactic Strikeforce later in the evening. Don't know if Paul showed up with the promised copies of GSF to hand out.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

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Day 3 (Saturday)

I had a few hours in the late afternoon free and used it to wander the dealer hall, including going by the booth twice. I was quite frustrated to have missed the GtG costume contest -- a misunderstanding on my part about times -- but got to enjoy the wonderful Fanatic costume of a person working in the GtG booth. Apparently her SO had worn an Absolute Zero suit and she got some sort of honorary mention for having made two costumes. I think it may have been the same costume as previous years, but when the costume is that good, PLEASE keep wearing it!

The GtG booth was always busy. Not only were all the tables full, but there was a line for purchasing. No one was manning the SCRPG table, so for a while I hung around answering questions, and occassionally putting in my two cents to people who were looking at merch trying to decide what to buy or not buy. I talked a couple of guys into buying Branch & Claw, for instance. While at the booth I took advantage of the opportunity to try out One Deck Dungeon and Sentinels of Freedom. One Deck Dungeon looks pretty good. I'm not sure I need another game for my phone -- and it's not on phone form factors yet anyway -- but maybe someday. Sentinels of Freedom also looks good. I have almost no experience with modern video games, much less this sort of tactical video game, but it is very much more my speed (NOT REAL TIME) than most games I see. I backed the Kickstarter and am looking forward to it.

I went by the sideroom a couple of times as well. Again, almost all of the tables were busy. I heard about one OblivAeon game that went well for the players -- only two incaps, total. That game took 3.5 hours. I heard sales were going well in the sideroom, too, though I didn't see much of a line. I did see at least a few people assiduously gathering punches on their card, so they could get all the pins, lanyards, art prints, etc. The only product that has sold out, I believe, is, quite surprisingly, Mr. Chomps! That may have more to do with not stocking a lot of them, but I also was given the opinion that a lot of people playing Unity in SCRPG got the idea to get a Mr. Chomps.

I sat in on the SCRPG livestream and it was loads of fun. Not only could Twitch viewers give bonuses to the players or the GM, but attendees at GenCon could use generic tickets to do so. Sadly, I had to leave before the end.

One more day left. This GenCon hasn't been _about_ any one or two things to me, so even as I'm attending, it's quickly slipping out of my consciousness. Even as I walk around the dealer hall, I sometimes momentarily get confused about where things are -- thinking of where they were during past years. I've attended about 15 times, so it can all sort of blur together for me. GenCon is long enough that it starts to seem like the real world. It almost seems impossible that by the end of tomorrow it will all be packed up and gone. And yet, it lives in my memory strongly, so to some extent, it's like it's never gone, just quiescent.

And GenCon is huge. There are groups that travel to meet up here, never get badges, and just game in various hotel rooms. I learned tonight that Steve Jackson games has been taking over a local bar to make it their evening tavern, and have been doing this for about six years. I'd never even heard about it, but for many people it's a huge part of GenCon. I saw one of my very favorite bands tonight, Kittens Slay Dragons, in a small, Westin ballroom, with maybe fifty other fans. It's a really important event for me, and 99+% of GenCon has never even heard of it. I had a few minutes to kill so aimlessly walked to the far end of the Lucas Oil stadium and happened upon the second most beautiful board for a boardgame I'd ever seen. The MOST beautiful board I've ever seen was a very limited edition Tak board with inlaid enamel made by Wymrwood, costing about $4,000. This second most beautiful one was a wooden Diplomacy board, with the various spaces all made out of different wood, the board raised up a couple of inches off the table by a frame, and plaques around the board with the names of the countries players can play. I happened along as the Diplomacy finals for the world championship were just beginning -- perhaps three full years (six moves) in. Austria was eliminated while I watched. They were using 12 minute Diplomacy sessions and one of the players predicted that the game would go until at least 2am -- another seven hours or so -- about another 14 years/28 moves.

But I digress. GenCon: Huge. Andy: Tired.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

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Day 4 (Sunday)

Last day. Steady business at the booth and in the sideroom, tailing off, as one would expect in the final hours. SCRPG sold out. No major surprises on sales. Maybe a little less Spirit Island sold then expected, more SotM Core sold then expected. I missed the shipping and freight panel but hear that they got into lots of really good detail. Looking forward to catching that and the state of GtG panel. 

There were, per normal, lots of business meetings going on -- games being pitched, relationships built with other companies, etc. On the off-chance someone reading this doesn't realize it, GenCon is as much or more about business and networking as it is selling to customers. I saw a few different booths set up in the dealer room that were entirely business related -- companies ready to help you print, distribute, design, etc. It's a small percentage of the booths, but telling, I think, about the power of GenCon to bring people in this industry together.

I have no idea how much effort or time it takes to break down the booth and the sideroom these days -- I had somewhere to be at 4:30, so was gone before the teardown in the sideroom even began. I know GtG uses a rented truck with Jodie driving. I'm not quite sure how excited she was to have that driving ahead of her ...

Another GenCon gone! But that's OK, OblivAeon awaits ...


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

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Hey to all those I meet. I remember the Unity and Biomancer, HI!

To much to do at Gen Con to be posting here. Ran the RPG 10 times, lost of fun but very tiring. Mayia, a fellow Citizen, gave me some cough drops and I was able to get through the week. I also to play Spirit Island and Oblivaeon with Forum people.

The dealer Hall is huge and so much to see, didn't get around to see much else. There was an anime wing I never check out nor rooms and rooms of RPGs. I bearly peeked in with GTG's neighbors Asmonde Games. I bought UnderToe (Too Many Bones) because they have a gnome bard. Also some Dice (I swear I am done buying dice), got Phil Fogilo to sign a thing, meet with one of the Co-Creators of Lazer Ryderz and talk about the next expansion for a bit. Missed out on check out Combat Ready could find it in that big room. (Also explained all the RWBY cosplayers)

I try to watch as many GTG pannels as I could, The Shipping Pannel as my Favorite, that topic is so interesting. And saw Sentinels RPG Live. Christopher turned one of its monsters into a Speedy one. Much Love. Glad to see we broke Dave's game with all the boost we were giving.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/414246955326242816/475463693161988106/20180804_204116.jpg


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did GTG give any ideas when the RPG or Spirit Island expansion kickstarter/preorder would take place during any of the panels?


My wife thinks Sentinels is ruining our marriage. I think she doesnt know what shes talking about because she wont sit down to play it

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I recall hearing that the SCRPG Kickstarter was tentatively scheduled for January.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

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Thanks for the summary posts, Andy!

We have three fairly firm Kickstarters scheduled:

1) Mid-September for Homebrewers (most likely the 18th) - we were running demos of Homebrewers all show in our demo room!

2) Mid-October for Spirit Island expansion (most likely the 16th).

3) Mid-January for the SC RPG (most likely the 8th).


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi