RPG Fridays: Top 5 GenCon Basics
So you're heading to your first GenCon and wondering what's in store for you. Here are a few tips to give you a leg up:
1. Sleep: Get all the sleep you can before GenCon. Each day is approximately 25 hours, and the best games are those random pickups at 1 am or hanging at the bar discussing game theory. Sleep is entirely overrated at a Con. You'll sleep when you're dead.
2. The Crud: Just submit to it. It's gonna happen. If you are the fighting type, stock up on your immune system booster of choice (I'm a Zicam believer).
3. Stay at the Con: This may be too late for this year, and I know it's more expensive to stay in the hotels around the Con, but it's worth it on every level. You don't miss any of the action, and have a quick drop spot for all that sweet swag you pick up. It also lets you power nap (not to be confused with actual sleep -- see #1 above!) in safety. Nothing scarier than waking up to a Borg over you looking through your swag bag! Assimilate this!
4. Shower: It sounds crazy but sometimes the game frenzy overtakes you and you totally forget about this basic rite of hygiene. (I hang my head in shame, remembering college gaming sessions that lasted 16 hours...) It makes you feel better and, well, people are more likely to hang around you.
5. Don't Give Up: Most of my first GenCon was hellish and lonely as a GM of color and a newbie to the Con (future post pending). Toward the end of my initial trip, and while I was deciding that GenCon was not for me, I met my now-counterpart Bob. That one interaction made all the difference, and changed my entire experience at GenCon for years to come.
Stop by and see us on the 2nd floor of the Omni. The folks of You Too Can Cthulhu and Darker Hue Studios will always be glad to talk a little gaming or grab a drink between games.
Pro Tip: Join GenCon's Very Important Gamers (VIG) if you can. It costs a bit but has a lot of perks that will make you feel (or look to your friends) like a superstar! I have not been lucky enough yet but hold onto hope that next year will be my year. Oh yes, it will be mine!