Posted on August 9, 2010 by spikexan
They call it “The Best Four Days in Gaming,” but for me Gencon turned out to be one single day of hyper-kinetic goodness dotted by plenty of booth babes to punctuate my day. Going to Gencon in order to enjoy the event is quite different than being a man on a mission, well, missions. There were some fantastic new products this year, such as new releases in the Cthluhutech and Eclipse Phase lines. I picked up Smallville (and the Leverage Quickstart Job adventure) to see what twists they would bring to the Cortex system. I mean how could Clark Kent sport a D12 Strength when Jayne from Serenity does the same thing (Cam Banks’ answer to that question proves pretty interesting). White Wolf took a bold move by, well, not bringing a single book to read this year (though the booth, which looked like a Vampiric salon, was hopping with excited patrons looking to hear about upcoming products and get their drink on). Companies like Out of the Box had a fleet of new party and educational games while Wits and Wagers had both an expansion and family edition available (would have liked to see Say Anything release an expansion too, but oh well).
The first thing I did was have lunch with Matt McElroy, Monica Valentinelli, and Bill Bodden to discuss a bit about Flames Rising and just play a bit of catch up. I’m also fairly sure Matt was trying to sell me an iPad because he’s quite in love with his.
After that, I wandered around the con for a bit. I took the time to check out IPR’s offerings for the convention. The biggest release there probably was the Dresden Files, which is a discussion for a totally different article. All I’ll say here about Evil Hat’s newest release is that I see inspirations of it in some of the games I did buy (Smallville and Leverage). There is a shift in gaming that has been gaining strength in the last six years or so; however, the momentum now exists for gamers to really discuss a new way to play.
I didn’t have time for a game this year since the trip wasn’t finalized until Friday morning, but I did attend a seminar (and horribly failed at the trivia game there). The seminar, hosted by DriveThruRPG.com, was party history lesson, part business model, and part glimpse into their crystal ball. All in all, I enjoyed the heck out of it (even if I did horribly fail at the trivia. I’ll get over it).
The rest of my day allowed me to meet designers, eyeball games I might have otherwise missed (like the Eureka GM aid from Engine games), and see what the future might hold for the hobby (virtual tables were cool in Minority Report and they are even cooler in reality).
Two publishers that I enjoy – Pelgrane Press and White Wolf–offered a listing of new products from them. Pelgrane’s releases are print releases while White Wolf’s are digital (they have upcoming print releases too like New Age Requiem but I’m not going to discuss them here).
Pelgrane announced about five projects for 2010/2011. My favorite has to be either Night’s Black Agents (they call it Jason Bourne becomes a vampire hunter. Goodbye, Mister Cullen) or Bookhounds of London (kind of like the old Friday the 13th series, but with arcane texts. You hunt down books that don’t need to be accessible to everyone and deal with them . . .and the people who most likely don’t want to get rid of them). Pelgrane also has a sci-fi game (from Robin D Laws) in the works, which is called Ashen Stars. Pelgrane does have some digital goodness in the works through their One-Shot Adventures line. Expect all the major lines to get treatment through these releases.
White Wolf has a heavy release schedule for their digital products, starting this month. While some months see only one release, most months promise two or more releases. Over the next year, twenty-eight releases are scheduled (and this doesn’t count their print releases or awesome New Orleans party in September). The scheduled releases are:
August: Bloody Secrets (Vampire SAS) and Dreams of the First Age (Exalted)
September: Coyote Falls (Werewolf SAS)
October: Translation documents from Masquerade to Requiem (or vice-versa)
November: Infernal bonus material (Exalted) and Strangeness: Part 1 (Vampire novel)
December: Embrace (Vampire SAS) and Strangeness: Part 2
January: WoD: Mirrors science fiction material (WoD) and Strangeness: Part 3
February: Mage: Noir and Strangeness: Part 4
March: Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide Part 1 and Strangeness: the complete series
April: Vampire the Requiem SAS (untitled as of yet), Silent Knife: Part 1 (vampire novel), Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide Part 2
May: Exalted SAS (untitled as of yet), Compass of Celestial Directions Vol Six – Autochthonia Part 1 (Exalted), Silent Knife Part 2, Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide Part 3
June: Glimpses of the Unknown (WoD), Silent Knife Part 3, Compass of Celestial Directions Volume Six – Autochthonia Part 2 (Exalted), and Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide Part 4
July: Silent Knife Part 4, Compass of Celestial Directions Volume Six -Autochthonia Part 3, and Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide (complete series)
All in all, it looks like a great year coming from just these two lines. They aren’t alone in new releases. Green Ronin, for example, tempts me with their DC Universe releases. Ghosts of Albion from Eden Studios should be released in print sooner than later (the eBook is available now), as well as the Hack/Slash Card Game. Next year I should be attending Gencon for four days. Wish me luck!
Todd Cash, 2010