Sunday, 19 August 2012

Gen Con News

A couple of bits of news I found interesting from one of the biggest gaming conventions that's happening this weekend: Gen Con.

First of all, the ENnies have been awarded. Paizo cleaned up on most of the categories, but I'm glad to see Cthulhu by Gaslight won both a Silver and a Gold for Best Cover Art and Best Supplement respectively, and a number of other good games/publishers won as well like Cubicle 7 and Evil Hat Productions.

One of the Judge's Spotlight Awards was for a live action game of zombie horror called Shelter In Place, which I find particularly intriguing. To be honest I've never full-on LARP'd before (I've dressed up/cos-played in my steampunk garb many times, and got totally into character during the annual zombie walk), but I do have several friends who fantasy LARP with a huge group up island and occasionally suggest that I join them. I am at times close to accepting their offer, if it weren't primarily for the factors of time and money. Now, as far as money goes, I'm doing fine financially, but it seems that outfitting yourself for a LARP seems to take a considerable initial investment: I don't have a suitable fantasy/medieval period costume, I lack gear like weapons and such, etc. And as far as time, right now we're in the busy season at work so getting time off or swapping shifts can be difficult. Perhaps once the season slows down things may change.

Anyway, back to Shelter In Place. While it might not be considered a LARP in the traditional sense it appeals to me on a few levels:

  1. Everyone loves zombies. 'Nuff said.
  2. It's a live action game you could plan in a number of locations with large groups of people. (10-25)
  3. Unlike many LARPs, it probably doesn't require as much gear outside the book itself. All you really initially have for zombie apocalypse is the clothes on your back anyway (possibly less if you're a zombie).
  4. It might be a gateway drug into full LARPing (Gasp!)

Anyway, it's got me interested enough to grab the PDF for sure, and I'm disappointed I never heard about the kickstarter that got this thing made, as they we're some pretty nice investment tiers. I was hoping I'd get a chance to read it and show it with my gaming group today as we were planning on heading to the beach, but the weather's gone lousy.

Finally, the biggest piece of news from Gen Con that interests me is the announcement that Fantasy Flight (the publisher who took up the Star Wars license after WotC wrapped up Saga Edition.) is releasing a Beta of their RPG called Star Wars: Edge of the Empire. Instead of explaining what we currently know about the game, I'll link to this great article about it.

The general feeling that myself and many other SWRPG fans seem to share is: Cautiously Optimistic.


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