Monday, August 3, 2015

GenCon Greyhawk Recap

Hello friends! It's been a fun and exhausting week, so let's see what all transpired with the Greyhawk community at GenCon 2015.

First the obvious, there was no new forthcoming news on Greyhawk, and as a matter of fact Mike Mearls has stated for future reference they will only make big announcements at other cons and leave GenCon for gaming. This year, though they dominated the Ennie Awards, they barely even had a booth presence. Fair enough.

Now on to the fun stuff. Greyhawk Reborn was a highlight of the last several years for me. To see the spiritual heir of Living Greyhawk back at GenCon was a boost. Dave Guerrieri and his staff of writers and DMs was amazingly fun to chat and sit in on games each time I stopped by their room. It was great to see that the bulk of the GHR crew is younger and relatively new to Greyhawk, but very invested in the lore and geography (their games are set in the Sheldomar valley and Hold of the Sea Princes).

I especially enjoyed my long sit down with their mentor Dave, to discuss our gaming origins, the Greyhawk community overall, convention and home gaming, the state and usefulness of my parent site Canonfire and the possibilities of future Greyhawk publication in the event of a new OGL. Dave's con experience is extensive and goes back to Living Greyhawk where he was in the triad that ran the very popular Sheldomar Valley region. With his knowledge, connections and ambition I can hardly think of anyone else right now that I'd want more behind a Greyhawk organized-play resurgence.

How well did Greyhawk Reborn do? For only starting with a handful of tables and limited staff to work with their events sold out on registration day within the hour then when they added more those sold out too. Furthermore, on Saturday I learned that so many people lined up with generic tickets also wanting to play that Dave took it upon himself to run for many of them. Indeed just standing in the hall outside their room it was fun seeing people on their way to other games, stop to look at the map of Flanaess with a sense of wonder and nostalgia again. I hope Greyhawk Reborn can build upon this first GenCon and get more people to volunteer and expand their reach at this convention.

On Thursday I got in the exhibition hall early (Press credentials rock) and I stopped by artists row to meet Tony DiTerlizzi whose distinctive work you might remember from the Planescape campaign (my favorite is his Modrons and Tieflings). I definitely got to spend more time with him than I would've any other day of the con. Then I spent a good time speaking to Mike Schley who is probably Wizards' best cartographer. We talked alot about freelancing and the pros and cons of different map styles. It was wonderful and while I was there I got a print of his map of Hochoch from Dungeon Magazine a couple years ago

Last but not least, on Friday evening the regulars from Canonfire; Skip, Mark, Anna and me, had our annual Greyhawk Meet & Greet.  For what's usually a small gathering this one doubled with the welcome presence of the Greyhawk Reborn crew. Anna regaled the newcomers with stories of her cartographic research and we all mused about our favorite Flanaess regions (for the record mine is yes, Ull) and of course old campaign stories. So much was talked about over those few hours in fact (including sports) that my mind can't recall it all! Oh yes, and I want one of those Greyhawk Reborn t-shirts! To those who wanted to be there, sorry you missed out. Maybe next year...



Mystic Scholar said...

Hold of the Sea Princes? Doesn't that make this a biased report?


Samantha McMullen said...

Thank you for spending your precious time with is this weekend. We're glad you like what we're doing! We definitely enjoyed bringing Greyhawk Reborn to the Best Four Days in Gaming. It's hard to believe just how many people came to see us! The numbers blew us out of the water! In fact, a number of people have already contacted us to get involved!

We couldn't be more excited!

And a special thank you Mike for inviting us to the Greyhawk Meet & Greet. It was the highlight event of my weekend!

Greyhawk Reborn
Hold of the Sea Princes Co-Lead
Primary Editor

SirXaris said...

I sure had a wonderful time chatting with everyone at the Canonfire! Meet & Greet. Sharing my passion for the Flanaess with fellow enthusiasts is such a pleasure.

Though other responsibilities prevented me from participating in Greyhawk Reborn this year, next year I'll be sure to schedule some time to romp through a portion of the World of Greyhawk at GenCon. :)


Michael R said...

I would love to have a print of that city map, it's just the best!

grodog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grodog said...

Sounds like a great time, Mike.

So, when you coming to GaryCon? =)


Mike Bridges said...

Not sure about GaryCon yet Allan, but my friends are pushing for GameWholeCon(?) later this year.

Mike Bridges said...

Thanks for the response Samantha! I look forward to another year with Greyhawk Reborn.

Skip. I hear ya about gaming Greyhawk together. We work hard enough to just do the meet-up that I've hardly considered also making time to play.

Armenfrast said...

A "Greyhawk Reborn" T-Shirt I want one !