2018 The Good, Bad, Ugly, and Beautiful
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Posted by gamingforever

Good


  • Smooth run con. Thanks staff!
  • Hotels were friendly.
  • So much gaming fun.
  • Yummy food trucks.
  • Friendly gamers.

Bad

  • Hotel lottery
  • So much walking is tiring, including extra distance to LOS.
  • No online refunds of electronic tickets.
  • Hotels locking public bathrooms overnight and running out of paper towels and water jugs running empty in some locations

Ugly

  • Controversial honored guest/bar fight/etc.
  • Will call line

Beautiful

I noticed a huge increase in racial, gender, and sexual orientation diversity this year and think it’s beautiful that more people are feeling welcome to the hobby.

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Posted by bithlord

Good:
Best Nascrag finish yet.
Great Nascrag adventure (Thanks Dana!).
Running into King Arthuer and Patsy, while I was Sir Robin (and my brother was the black knight).
Picking up UFS TCG, which is somehow still being made.
My wife winning professional category in the costume contest.

Bad:
Not having Sir Robin ready for the costume contest.
Leaving the good iron at home and having to use a hotel iron to iron costumes :(.
The deadpool / spiderman who tried to handle my wife's cosplay prop (I hear he got kicked out later for the same stuff, so at least it was dealt with).
Cheese Weezle players monopolizing vendor time when they have no interest in actually demoing or purchasing the game.*

Ugly:
Too much controversy this year.  I go on vacation to get away from that stuff.

*Specifically, the MetaX people at Panini games. The demoer was visibly frustrated that he kept having to do that when people who legitimately wanted to learn the game (my wife and I) were waiting to try and demo it.  Also, he was super happy to have us sit down and actually want to learn it.

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Posted by rutherfordr

The good:
BYOV LARPs were fantastic! They really know how to write engaging characters. Also, I ran a couple of Commands and Colors: Epic Napoleonics games on Thursday and Friday mornings, and the designer of the game stopped by to say hello on both days. That was a treat!

The bad:
The not-a-Starbucks coffee place on the first floor of the Westin hotel had a couple of brand-new employees whose first day at work was the first day of the convention. I asked one guy for a cup of tea, and he said, "I have no idea how to do that." Yes, it was really that bad. I never went back.

The ugly:
I hate the stink of the exhaust fumes when walking past all the food trucks.

The beautiful:
Wyrmwood game tables. Gemstone dice. I'm happy to see people paying attention to the aesthetics of our little pastime.

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Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent bithlord

bithlord wroteThe deadpool / spiderman who tried to handle my wife's cosplay prop (I hear he got kicked out later for the same stuff, so at least it was dealt with).
Was this a metaphor for something or was it an actual prop?  What was the guy doing?

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Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent

The good:

I bought all day access to the arcade room and got to finish up Silent Scope.  I tried this years ago but the last boss is freaking difficult.  A fast moving android is not a good target for a sniper.

I got some great deals on dice and some D&D 3rd edition books for my collections.  You can buy that stuff online, but it costs more.

The Who's Line is it Anyway event was fun, but I really need to get in on the not-family friendly version next year.  I don't routinely feel the need to work blue when I do comedy, but when the children participated in the improv games it really slowed it down.

The bad:

D20 Burlesque is utterly terrible in so many ways.  It is baffling how many people were enjoying it so much.  Half way through I said "Forget the 20 bucks I spent, this is unbearably awful."

Crazy lines for Will Call, but this cannot be helped.

Gaming events where the GM did not understand the game he was running.

The beautiful:

Some of the art projects were great.  I'm thinking of Cardhalla and those big balloon sculptures.

The ugly:

Purposely courting controversy by inviting divisive public figures as special guests.

There was one other thing I found ugly but I'm gonna keep it to myself because it'd cause one bigass fight and nobody wants that.
 

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Posted by bithlord lord thrifty the cromulent

mstabosz wrote:
bithlord wroteThe deadpool / spiderman who tried to handle my wife's cosplay prop (I hear he got kicked out later for the same stuff, so at least it was dealt with).
Was this a metaphor for something or was it an actual prop?  What was the guy doing?
Actual prop (shadowmourne).  He wanted them to trade, she said no.  He didn't like that.  Apparently he did it to others and got kicked out.

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Posted by raidkillsbugsded

For my better half and I it was a pretty good Gen Con experience (as they always tend to be):

The Good

--  Having a room we could walk to the ICC from 
--  Having all the games I ran run smoothly and be in rooms I could hear in (since I'm literally half deaf)
--  Finding an entire set of Graphic Novels I've been wanting to buy for only 10 bucks (retails for nearly 150 or more on Amazon)
--  Having badges mailed so we avoided Will Call entirely
--  Coming home with a suitcase full of old and new RPG materials to read through over the next few months (since I seem to get more enjoyment out of reading things than playing even sometimes)

The Bad

--  Although I get a GM not showing up to run a game and cancelling with the Gen Con staff an hour beforehand, it would have been nice for one of the hall captains to actually get up from the table and either put a sign at the room or come tell us at the start time of the game that it was cancelled rather than having 5 people sitting at a table for 20 minutes in case the GM was late.  (No, the headquarters table was not busy at the time to prevent them from doing this).

The Ugly

--  Dear Marriott, having your lobby smell a little like flowers is good.  Having your lobby smell like all of the flowers (yes, ALL of them) can be be a bit much.  

I'll agree that people have been a bit gripe-y about many, many things this year (even more so than usual, it seems), although at times, I have to admit, I find it a bit entertaining and often amusing (but then, the only army I ever choose to play in Warhammer Fantasy is greenskins, so...).  

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Posted by helenbb

The Good

- NASCRAG was awesome! And I was on Bithlord's team, which really seemed to do everything *right* this year!
- My first experience at True Grind/Pandemonium and Back was so much fun! I never knew that there was roleplaying in True Dungeon!
- The VIG Team and Mike Boozer. They go out of their way to make everything awesome and I don't think they get enough appreciation.
- The Army of Darkness RPG my husband and I attended was one of the best RPG storylines I have ever played.
- My daughter loved the Doctor Who LARP she was in.
- Gamers: Live was fantastic, as always. We also got to play Shadow's Dungeon, which was amazing!

The Bad

- The Westin concierge lounge is not worth the money, as it was often out of stock of basic items. It has been getting worse every year and we won't be upgrading to it again.
- No Killer Breakfast :(
- The Harry Potter RPG I played this year was nowhere near as good as the one I played last year... my bad for not remembering the company who put on the 2017 version and just assuming that it was the same group.
- I stayed up waaaay too late every night and got up early every morning. Sleep was lacking.
- Trade Day electronic tickets were a mess. I had booked various events, then all of the times were changed, but there was no notification until we got there and looked at the printed program schedule. Hence many of my events overlapped and I had to redo things on the fly, and attend events to which I did not have tickets. The scanning system was a joke and really only gave a vague idea of how many people were attending a panel. Fortunately, it seemed to work just fine at True Dungeon.

The Ugly

- After dragging myself out of bed for an 8 am Sunday game (after being out until 1 am at the NASCRAG awards ceremony) and over to the Hyatt, the GM didn't show. There were no table captains, no GenCon people of any kind around. The entire table of 6 gamers had to make our way en masse to Will Call and get our tickets refunded. I still have no idea what happened to the GM and if he was legit sick or something or if he just blew us off because he was too tired.
- Connor's Bar at the Marriott has the worst service I have ever encountered. 45 minutes after arriving (with a reservation) we still didn't have our drinks (sodas, so not complicated) delivered and the waitress was nowhere in sight. With a nearly-empty restaurant. When we left, the hostess didn't even apologize, just kind of shrugged. 

Also, what are you guys talking about? I didn't hear of or see any controversy. Maybe because I didn't hang out in a bar to see a bar fight? 
 

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Posted by dranthor

The Good
wonderful Game Masters who wanted to make sure everyone was happy
enjoyable board games.

The Bad
lack of food that  was easily accessable and non beef.  Would have loved to see some chicken burgers etc

The Ugly
posts on this forum ... 
lack of room down isles at the vender hall.  I use a scooter and some isles were impossible to get down

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Posted by funny-shaped dice helenbb

helenbb wrote:
The Ugly
- After dragging myself out of bed for an 8 am Sunday game (after being out until 1 am at the NASCRAG awards ceremony) and over to the Hyatt, the GM didn't show. There were no table captains, no GenCon people of any kind around. The entire table of 6 gamers had to make our way en masse to Will Call and get our tickets refunded. I still have no idea what happened to the GM and if he was legit sick or something or if he just blew us off because he was too tired.

Also, what are you guys talking about? I didn't hear of or see any controversy. Maybe because I didn't hang out in a bar to see a bar fight? 


Hey Helenbb,

My wife Amee and our friend Chris were part of your Sunday 8am game at the Hyatt.  Amee says Hi...and, yeah, that sucked. She sent in a complaint to the email address on the card customer service gave you all.

Feel particularly bad for the poor guy who paid extra for an early taxi only to have a no-show GM.

The controversy was likely a speaker mentioned elsewhere on this forum

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Posted by kidlidar

The Good:
Everyone in the family got to do events this year! (Kids are finally old enough)
Both of my LARPS mostly ran smoothly.*
Able to buy the RPG's that I've been looking for 

The Bad:
Food prices (Myself, Wife and 2 kids)
Having to walk between LOS and one of the hotels with almost no layover time in order to make events

The Ugly:
sticking our event in an area that our players couldn't find (lost 3 players that way)
crowds, controversy, people bringing politics into gaming.
Getting $100.00 of gaming books stolen when I had to turn away for a few moments.

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Posted by helenbb funny-shaped dice

funny-shaped dice wrote:Hey Helenbb,My wife Amee and our friend Chris were part of your Sunday 8am game at the Hyatt.  Amee says Hi...and, yeah, that sucked. She sent in a complaint to the email address on the card customer service gave you all.
Feel particularly bad for the poor guy who paid extra for an early taxi only to have a no-show GM.

Yeah, I wish we had had a chance to game! It seemed like a good group. I already emailed GenCon customer service about this guy, hoping to get an answer as to why he didn't show. Fortunately, I had so many fun experiences at GenCon this year that this is small in the grand scheme of things. ;) 

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Posted by traveller

For those that don't know, make sure to always report when a GM is a no-show.  They get on a LIST and have to explain themselves as to why they didn't show up.  Too many times and you are no longer allowed to be a GM.

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Posted by maerada bithlord

bithlord wrote:
mstabosz wrote:
bithlord wroteThe deadpool / spiderman who tried to handle my wife's cosplay prop (I hear he got kicked out later for the same stuff, so at least it was dealt with).
Was this a metaphor for something or was it an actual prop?  What was the guy doing?
Actual prop (shadowmourne).  He wanted them to trade, she said no.  He didn't like that.  Apparently he did it to others and got kicked out.
It was random guy who had a katana not a Deadpool/Spiderman.  I heard from another cosplayer that he had stole the katana from someone.  He wanted to trade it for cosplayer's props. He asked me several times to trade. I said no each time. Then he started asking if he could touch it. I continued to say no and started backing up because I was concerned this guy was going to break my expensive and time consuming prop.  He reached out and quickly touched it, said 'Well, I have already touched it' and when to other cosplayers and traded stuff with them.  I moved to the otherside of the cosplay photography area to wait for Bithlord since that was our meet up spot and the reception is spotty at best.  

The deadpool/Spiderman were just being obnoxious and I did not appreciate their antics. 

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Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent maerada

maerada wrote:
bithlord wrote:
mstabosz wrote:
bithlord wroteThe deadpool / spiderman who tried to handle my wife's cosplay prop (I hear he got kicked out later for the same stuff, so at least it was dealt with).
Was this a metaphor for something or was it an actual prop?  What was the guy doing?
Actual prop (shadowmourne).  He wanted them to trade, she said no.  He didn't like that.  Apparently he did it to others and got kicked out.
It was random guy who had a katana not a Deadpool/Spiderman.  I heard from another cosplayer that he had stole the katana from someone.  He wanted to trade it for cosplayer's props. He asked me several times to trade. I said no each time. Then he started asking if he could touch it. I continued to say no and started backing up because I was concerned this guy was going to break my expensive and time consuming prop.  He reached out and quickly touched it, said 'Well, I have already touched it' and when to other cosplayers and traded stuff with them.  I moved to the otherside of the cosplay photography area to wait for Bithlord since that was our meet up spot and the reception is spotty at best.  The deadpool/Spiderman were just being obnoxious and I did not appreciate their antics. 

Okay thanks for the update.  I thought he groped you and "prop" was nickname for one of your body parts.  There are a lot of nicknames and it is tough to keep current on them all.

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Posted by aitruss bithlord

bithlord wrote:Cheese Weezle players monopolizing vendor time when they have no interest in actually demoing or purchasing the game.*

*Specifically, the MetaX people at Panini games. The demoer was visibly frustrated that he kept having to do that when people who legitimately wanted to learn the game (my wife and I) were waiting to try and demo it.  Also, he was super happy to have us sit down and actually want to learn it.

Don't blame the Cheese Weasel participants of this, the vendors set the requirements for the punch/scan. If Panini games did not want the Cheese Weasels taking up demo time, then they could have just punched their cards and let them be on their way or just had them listen to a five minute spiel. 

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Posted by nikki

Okay, who had politics actually impact their time at Gen Con?  I don't mean talking about it beforehand or afterwards, but actually having something political that you didn't want to happen causing you an issue at the actual con?  Because I didn't see anything and I walked all over every day.  And I was keeping an eye out because so many people were saying that politics were going to ruin their con.  So, if that did happen, I'd love to hear how and where as this was something I was really interested in seeing the actual affects of it.

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Posted by random_axcess

Good

Meeting friends from Dungeon Crate and gaming with them!
The Con overall was pretty smooth
The guys at the pathfinder tables running games at all hours
The Critical Role live show and panels
Getting the badge mailed instead of will call pick up

Bad

The downtown hotels are either getting overwhelmed or are having staffing issues. The overall service has nosedived.
Missing GM's (I luckily avoided this but my SO was missing a GM on Saturday)
Roller bags (luggage) in the dealer hall, I still believe they should not be allowed

Ugly

How GenCon continues to handle what happened on Wednesday night in total.  The old adage of the more you try to silence and hide something the more it pushes it up front.
Will Call lines the entire convention (luckily I skipped this)


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Posted by bstripp

Good
* Cardhalla and the generosity of convention goers.
* Exhibition hall, it gets bigger and more impressive every time
* Costume parade.  I am NOT a cosplayer, but I really appreciated the time and effort that all the people who did put into their outfits.  Kudos!
* Social games.  Thank you for having so many Werewolf/Two rooms/etc. games running at night to keep everyone entertained late at night.
* Food Trucks.  Love the diversity.  Also most of them seemed to bring items they could get out in a reasonable time this year.
* Will Call Lines.  Friday morning was a 10 minute wait for a huge line.  Yeah, I know some people had issues with it, but I was impressed.
* Convention Center.  The expansion into Lucas Oil Stadium is great and it's cool just walking in there.

Bad
* Need more events.  I'm part of the problem.  After having kids, I have not GMed as much as I used to 
* Crowds.  It's part of the event, but it is tiring trying to get around
* Hotel lottery.  We've given up on trying to get hotels through the Con

Ugly
* The replacement of casual mini events in lieu of tournaments.  I like competitive play, but it would be nice to have some fun events for a lot of the game systems too.  As a kid I learned to love mini's that way.  I didn't have the money to buy forces for all the games I wanted to play and that was my outlet.

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Posted by garhkal kidlidar

rutherfordr wrote:The not-a-Starbucks coffee place on the first floor of the Westin hotel had a couple of brand-new employees whose first day at work was the first day of the convention. I asked one guy for a cup of tea, and he said, "I have no idea how to do that." Yes, it was really that bad. I never went back.

IIRC 4 years back, the same happened in one of the Sub-way foot joints..  The manager was training up 3 new staff, on the first day of the con proper.  MAN did that make for a long wait to get your food..  In the past, i've wrote to stores, asking "if you have new-trainees do NOT train them up during the convention time frame, it makes the gamer customer crowd rather antsy.."

Perhaps you should write a similar letter to that coffee shop.

kidlidar wrote:
Getting $100.00 of gaming books stolen when I had to turn away for a few moments.

Yeouch.. I've rarely heard of thefts at gencon, but it sucks anytime it happens..

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