Inq. of the Week: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Last Week’s Poll

Last week, we asked about what non-RPG content you’d like to see here. A strong pluarality of you want to see more about board games, which is fine with me, since I go off and play board games every week (and occasionally design them). Video games were second, which thanks to MDoggie, we have been trying to get more of here. Overall, you wanted more games, which makes sense, except there was no love for poker, so consider it gone! The mysterious “Other” option somehow managed to secure -123% of the vote, meaning we should have more other? Or less other? I don’t know how to process negative percentages, and if I were a computer, my head would explode.

I didn’t get much of a chance to weigh in and respond to comments left on that particular post, but please be assured that I read and took to heart every single one. For the time being especially, RPGs will remain our primary content, but there’s often an urge for us to look at other stuff we find cool, and we cannot resist that urge. (Also, sometimes people give us free stuff that’s not an RPG, and we want to talk about that too). For those who want only RPG content, I will make the friendly reminder that we do have an RPG-only feed that can pop into your RSS dowhacky if you partake of such things.


This Week’s Poll

For this week, I am going to subject you all to another question about what you’d like to see here, but focused on our immediate future:

[poll id=”136″]

…since those answers will help us to determine where we should spend our time and energy at GenCon. While we already have a packed schedule (much of which I will lay out below), the effort we spend on write-ups of particular subjects will depend on what you, the audience want to see. Scrolling through the new GenCon iPhone app I’m reminded of just how much we won’t be able to see until we gain duplication powers by being bitten by a radioactive Xerox machine.

GenCon Schedule

  • Wednesday Night: DD&D, run by the indomitable ChattyDM. I’m playing a Fighter/Barbarian Hybrid Warforged who is morbidly obese and likes to eat everything. This means I will be on the front lines and the most likely to drink a lot, so hopefully I won’t get to spend the rest of GenCon wearing sunglasses and asking everyone to talk quieter.
  • Thursday Morning: EXHIBIT HALL!!!! followed by a chat with some of the D&D developers, and then a more focused interview with two of the designers.
  • Thursday, 4 PM: RPG Bloggers Network panel, where us board members will sit up front and tell network members where we’d like to go with the RPG Bloggers Network, trials and tribulations of the past year, and so on. Then hopefully afterward, I’ll get to hang out with network members who I’ve never met in person.
  • Thursday Night: As a team-building exercise (not really), the RPG Bloggers Network board plus significant others are going to one of the mini-True Dungeon games, where I’ll make them do all the puzzles for me, and subject them to my singing.
  • Friday Afternoon: The 4e Extravaganza is where I expect the 2010 setting (or settings!) to be announced for 4e, so we’re going to try to be there at noon, then sneak back in time for “The Women of RPG Blogging” panel at 1 P. Then at 4, we’ve got another press game with a WotC staff DM, which was one of the highlights of last year for me (even if just to hear ChattyDM have to be a player for once).
  • Friday Evening: The Ennies! Come see us lose to Obsidian Portal. Oh, and there’s some other categories too. I will not be twittering the winners this year, as the official Ennies twitter account promised me it would. After the ceremony… drinking either to celebrate or commiserate.
  • Saturday, 9 AM: Running the “So You Want To Be An RPG Blogger” panel, where the biggest piece of advice from Bartoneus and I is “if we can do it, anyone can.” (Oops, just gave away the whole seminar). Right after that, we might try to sneak into the Killer Breakfast run by Tracy Hickman… we’re hoping to use the “we’re bloggers” excuse to get killed first.
  • Saturday Afternoon: Here there’s about 4 different events fighting for our time. We’re going to check out the new way to play Magic called “Planechase”, but then after that, there’s WotC panels, 4e Bloggers Workshop panel, and a D&D game where everybody’s a bard. Possibly all happening at the same time.
  • Saturday Night: Media Meet & Greet, where we’ll be hobnobbing with industry folks, podcasters, and fellow bloggers, over a few drinks (sensing a theme here with our evenings?) I think this is an open invite, so check your schedules if you want to be there too.
  • Sunday 9AM: Out of the Box Roleplaying. The folks at Stupid Ranger once again challenge us to be entertaining while playing D&D on stage in front of a live studio audience. Last year, Bartoneus stole the show with his stubborn Dwarven Wizard who refused to do wizardly things (and once wielded a prophet as a bagpipe) but I ended up “winning” the module by recovering a magic ring. This year, I’ll be taking the role of Henry Ne’Er’Do’Well, a One-Eyed Oddball Rogue, while Bartoneus is planning on a Bad Pick-Up Artist Bard (who, knowing him, is going to involve a lot of “that’s what she said” jokes).
  • Sunday afternoon: Interview with Keith Baker about Eberron, and about traveling the world while gaming.

Of course, with the possible exception of our panels and the Ennies, all that is subject to change based on the fickle Gods of Gaming Cons.

Other Notes About GenCon

  • We’ve leveled up in Tweeting since last year, so we’ll be making more use of that to push small bits of news. I’m also planning on trying some “Tweetcasting” using Twittelator Pro to send short audio blurbs to Twitter around the show. If you’re a twitter user, be sure you’re following us, and even if you’re not a twitaddict, you can check out the twitter page or keep an eye on our “this just in” sidebar.
  • Also, I’m going to try and sneak onto some podcasts, possibly Canon Puncture and This Just In From GenCon.
  • WotC is selling the PHB for $5 when purchased alongside any D&D book. They’ll also have the Adventurer’s Vault 2 (which we already have a copy of, mwahahaha) and the Dragon Annual for sale. For everyone, whether at GenCon or not, you can try out the Compendium free for the entirety of GenCon.
  • We’ll be seeking clarification in person about the WotC Fansite Toolkit and about Fansite policies in general.
  • Pathfinder has already sold out of its preorders, and there will only be a limited amount available at GenCon each day, so if you want one, I recommend not waiting.
  • We’ll of course be looking for other cool stuff to do and other cool stuff to buy constantly during the con, and letting you know about it. If you have something you want to show us, drop me a message using the info in byline below.

Looking forward to seeing some of you there, and if you’re not going… ha ha suckers.

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, their three dogs, and two cats.


  1. Dave, come chat it up with Brian R. James and myself. We may only be dirty Freelancers but we can provide you with plenty of credits as to our WotC/4e work πŸ™‚
    .-= Matt James´s last blog ..Inq. of the Week: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year =-.

  2. Yea that just reminds me that even though we haven’t really planned all that much for GenCon, our schedule is still ridiculously busy!

  3. Update: If you don’t have a badge to GenCon but are planning on going, enter the Stupid Ranger contest right away!

  4. Matt: Will do! Are you going to be in the dirty Freelancer booth? πŸ™‚

  5. Can’t wait to finally meet you and the others in person, Dave. I don’t have quite the schedule of industry insider stuff, but I’m hoping to nail down “three DM tips” from as many of the Wizards folks as I can annoy. Other than that, I plan on gaming my ass off and meeting folks.

    I can’t wait.

    Now I just have to figure out how to crash the Drunken D&D game – not to play, or to drink, but just to say hi.

    .-= Mike Shea´s last blog ..Four Principles for House Rules =-.

  6. Mike: Totally! Plus I’ll be making money just by meeting you. πŸ™‚


  1. […] he apparently contracted strep throat as his own special brand of “con-crud”.Β  Our poll from two weeks ago was a great way for us to figure out what we should spend most of our time at GenCon 2009 […]