Official Guide To Stalking Vanir At Gen Con, 2012 Edition


It’s finally here! The week we let our geek freak meek greek creak bleak boutique. I’M SO EXCITED I’M APHASICALLY RHYMING.

In years past, I’ve tried to schedule something for every second of my convention. This year, I’m playing things a bit looser. I’m trying less scheduled games and more trying to reunite with old friends — even rejoining gaming groups I used to play in years ago! Naturally, none of that has actually coalesced into a viable plan, but this is Gen Con. That’s to be expected, and it’s not like I can’t find something mind-bogglingly rad to pass the time in between mind-bogglingly rad things to do on my schedule.

Speaking of schedules, here’s mine:


3pm – Leave For Indianapolis

6pm – Arrive in Indianapolis



8pm – Let There Be Games!

  • Pretty much I’m gonna get all freaky on hard cider and (hopefully) Canadian candy, play boardgames, and say regrettable things that will wind up on Twitter.


1:38pm – TRUE DUNGEON (Dracolich Undone)

  • I don’t remember if it’s puzzle or combat version and I don’t much care because TRUE DUNGEON.
  • I love having a timeslot that isn’t in a normal sounding 5 minute increment. It makes me feel like a secret agent.
7pm – D&D Keynote Address
  • WotC’s gonna drop some awesome on us. I heard it’s gonna be an old favorite classic fantasy setting. My money’s on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
  • I’m gonna try super hard to livetweet/blog/smokesignals this one. I had some trouble at DDXP finding the best way with my current set of mobile devices. Expect a few tweets like “Mike Pearls announces forlorn reels seating applesauce October 30”.
  • I’m calling it now. D&D Next is gonna get a real name at the keynote. I just hope it’s not something like “D&D Vista” or “D&D CS5”.


10am – D&D Next: Monsters, Magic Items, and DM Mischief

  • Really looking forward to this one. I like the “monsters are classic and scary / magic items are mysterious” thing they’ve got going on with D&D Next. This, more than anything else, washes away all the numbers crunching and brings back the feelings of D&D from my youth.
  • I dunno what “DM Mischief” means but all I know is I’m a DM now and that = toys to torture my players with inspiration for exciting adventures.
8pm – The Ennies!!!
  • I missed last year’s Ennie Awards when Critical Hits won Best Blog. Even though we didn’t enter this year, I’m sure my colleagues will understand when I rush the stage to claim the award anyway. Don’t worry, I’m not stealing this year’s. I’m just picking up last year’s that for some reason has “2012” printed on it.
  • It’s worth noting at this point that I don’t have con crud. I have rabies. SO BACK OFF. IT’S MINE. Looking at you, Gnome Stew.


5pm – D&D Improv: Whose Roll Is It Anyway

  • I love improv comedy almost as much as I love D&D. It stands to reason that I may explode during this.



The Other Stuff

I’ve left myself lots of room in my schedule to go adventuring, so I’m going to do just that. I’m trying to schedule some games and good times with some old friends, so I’m sure that’s going to fill up some nights. A goodly percentage of my time is likely going to get spent at Games On Demand, playing things I’ve never played before with people I’ve never played with before. I hope to see some of you there. Perhaps we can game our faces off together. (If mine falls off, you can’t have it.)

Make-A-Geas Results

Response to the Make-A-Geas program was, well, small. But I did receive a few requests that I plan to honor, including:

  • Bartoneus – to play the WoW CCG with someone in my stead.  (HELL YES. I’ll be heading to Cryptozoic many times during the con to do this very thing.)
  • cakemage – get info/try out/review the new Iron Kingdoms RPG by privateer press.
  • Steve L. – find highest ranking WotC person I can find, try to convince them to put out good digital products (Planning on it anyway. We’ve been trying all year!)

If any of you not going have any special requests, I’ll still be listening throughout the con.

Begin Final Preparations

Now it’s time to pack. Must remember to bring enough clothes, games, personal hygiene supplies, dice, personal electronic devices, and the True Dungeon tokens I’ve forgotten to bring since 2007. Must also remember my max encumbrance value so that I am not rendered immobile in the parking deck.

Something new I’m trying this year: one of the few sucky things about going to a convention is missing my family, and it gets worse the older my son gets. I’ll be writing my little boy a letter on Facebook each day about my adventures. He’s at an age now where he loves robots and superheroes and Adventure Time, so hopefully he’ll think that’s pretty neat. I’m also planning to video chat with him and his mama a few times while I’m there (assuming I can get my Android and my wife’s iPhone to play nice).

You guys. It’s here. It’s finally here.

Everybody have a safe trip, and I’ll see you all at the best four days EVER of gaming NO I ACTUALLY MEAN EVER.


  1. (kanye) Yo Vanir, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but DragonCon is the best four days of all time. OF ALL TIME! (/Kanye) 😀

  2. Yesssss … yesssssssss

    Reuniting with old friends: This is the most random possible venue to respond to that in. We have still never successfully convinced Ogre to go, and Rich’s children have acquired Sufficient Age to demand to go, and are actually already in Indianapolis with he and his wife (this could be your near future!).

    But I … oh, I will find you.