I know I said in an earlier post that I will probably take the year off from Gencon, oops! Guess not! I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and I finally decided that I should just go anyways. I have the vacation time already approved, have enough time to spend and hopefully will have someone to split the cost of the room with (looking at you Fletch!).

My brother will also be going to Gencon for the first time so I wanted to go so I could show him around. I also want to get him hooked on D&D. He's shown interest in it before and he's said he always wanted to try it but he would back out at the last second whenever I invited him. Now since he's going to the RPG mecha, there will be no way he can say no!

Which gets to the last reason why I want to go, D&D 5th edition! It'll be out right before the Con and they have a decent amount of events going on that I want to partake in. I just wish I made up my mind sooner so I could have gotten one of those WoTC Con passes that get's you into all WoTC games, along with swag. I did however sign up for quite a few events, 11 total, and hopefully I can get into a 12th with generic tickets. So here's what I signed up for so far...

Hitting up the vendor hall, hopefully I'll find my fill of stuff to buy before 3pm when my first event starts.
I have D&D Ready, Set, Play which is a basic intro to 5th ed and they go over rolling up characters with you. Should hopefully be pretty in depth since it's 2 hours. I'm dragging my brother and his friends to this because that should be a good intro to get them sucked it.
Cost: Only $2!
After that I have Story Telling in the Reams which is kind of self explanatory. The kicker to this is Ed Greenwood (creator of the Forgotten Realms) and R A Salvatore (my favorite author of all time!) will be there for 2 hours talking about Realms Lore and what's to come. Kind of hard to pass this up, especially considering the Ready Set Play takes place in the same room and ends right before Story Telling beings.
Cost: Free

My day will start with the Tabletop Panel of Awesome. Cmon, it's Tabletop (Wil Wheaton's show) and it's in my hotel!
Cost: Free
I then have to walk over to the Crowne Plaza for Tyranny of Dragons with Wolfgang Bauer from Kobold Press (the guys writing the first adventure path for 5th ed). I'm really glad WoTC is letting other publishers make adventures for them again and this panel is supposed to shine some light on how Kobold got picked for this and what's to come in the future
Cost: Free
I then go back to the main Convention Center for Defiance in Phlan. This is 1 of the many D&D adventures that were written just for Gencon. I don't know if I can talk my brother and company into doing this with me because odds are we will be at a table with people we don't know, but I'll be willing to give it a shot. I've never done roleplaying at a Con before so hopefully my first time will be fun.
Cost $2
Later on in the night WoTC is throwing a Tyranny of Dragons launch party at that Georgia St area. It's like an outdoor festival area and there will be drinks there too! I've been to a launch party, but never a RPG launch party so this should be pretty fun. I'm sure all the big wigs and writers and designers will be there too.
Cost: Free

First I have Auntie Lisa's Story Hour. You might be thinking "WTF is that?" It's an hour sit down chat with Lisa Stevens, who is current CEO of Paizo and was in charge of D&D back in her WoTC days. As you can see, she's a pretty big deal so I jumped on the chance to sit and hear her story for an hour.
Cost: Free
I then have something called Play Better Games, Dammit! From what I've read it seems to be a panel discussion about making your gaming group and gaming sessions better. Problem solving, dealing with drama, etc which should help a n00b DM like myself. This might be one of the few events I would consider skipping if I'm too tired, hungry or still need to buy stuff
Cost: Free
I then get to see Mr Ed Greenwood again and this time he's bringing Erin Evans (another D&D author) with him and this is called Spin a Yarn. This goes over how to tell better stories. My goal as a DM is to weave awesome stories, not just facilitate combat and hand out loot and exp, so this is right up my alley. I also can't turn down another chance to listen to Mr Greenwood
Cost: Free
Now here is where I run from Crowne Plaza back to the main Convention Center to hopefully get into Corruption of Kryptgarden with generic tickets. This is a 3 hour mega rpg session with over 100 people total. This sold out pretty quick and was one of the main reasons to get the Con pass. From what I've heard, the mega sessions like this are pretty awesome and they are a must do. If I can't get in there's always next year I guess.
Cost: $18
Right after that WoTC is throwing some type of celebration thing. It's not listed on the events schedule but the Gencon forums mentioned something about this. I don't know what goes on at these, but hey, I'll swing by to check it out.
Cost: Free
Only thing I signed up for (pickings are slim) is Secrets of Golarion. Golarion is the world setting made by Paizo for Pathfinder. Granted, I'm all about D&D right now but I still like Pathfinder and learning more about the world it takes place in is always a plus.
Cost: Free

As for any tabletop gaming, I'm taking a pass this year. I had a blast playing Dreadball last year at Gencon but it took a lot out of me. Tournaments just drain me, and there's so much to do at Gencon I would hate to wear myself out again on something like a Tournament. There's only 1 40K event going on (Apoc) which is 1 more then last year, lol. There is a lot of Warmachine, Malifaux and almost any other system you can think of going on at Gencon.

So as you can see once you get past the cost for the 4 day pass, travel, lodging and food most events that you can do at Gencon are free. Most of the seminars you can just walk into and nobody minds at all. They just think the more the merrier. I can understand the costs for the RPG sessions but that probably covers materials they give you. And in all honesty the prices aren't that bad. $2 to have people from WoTC teach me how to roll a character where the materials are provided? Sure I'm fine with that, it's cheaper than a bottle of water down there! $18 for a 3 hour mega RPG session? Sure why not, $6 an hour where I'm sure I'll get handouts and maps and stuff of the adventure, that's definitely reasonable.

The $150 for the WoTC Con pass seems a bit high. It was $100 last year and there was 28 hours or so of gaming that it covered and you got swag as well. This year's pass only covers 18 hours of gaming but you still get swag. Hopefully the amount of swag is worth the extra money. I'll be keeping an eye out for that.

So yea, I'm pretty damn excited! I'm kind of shocked I went from going to 1 event last year to 11 this year but I'm going in with a different mentality. I want to learn as much as I can from the pros, play with people I've never played before and hopefully get my brother and friends hooked on RPGs. I'll still be with the Screaming Heretic crew down there, but after 3 years of going and only attending 1 event, I really wanted to broaden my horizons.

This will hopefully prevent me from spending too much money in the vendor hall, which is easier said then done!