Is it really only 2 days until GenCon? Yes. Yes it is.

On Wednesday, I'm heading to GenCon in Indianapolis. I had a great time when I was there before, and I'm looking forward to attending this year.

Here's what you need to know, from GenCon:

Wil will be signing autographs in the Autograph Area of the Exhibit Hall, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning. Check local signage for exact times.

I hope that I'll have some time to do a True Dungeon run (since I killed a dragon the last time I was there), and I also hope that I'll return with lots of new games to consider for Tabletop. If you feel like tipping me off to something new and awesome, feel free to do it in the comments.

If you are coming to meet me, and want to give me some dice to add to my growing collection (it's for science!), I'd love to receive them.

Finally, this is an important thing I have to restate at least once a year:

I got the Swine Flu at PAX Prime, and it was the worst two weeks of my life. When we went to PAX East, all of us (Jerry, Mike, Kurtz, Straub, Paul and Storm, The Professor and Mary Ann) all agreed that we wouldn't shake hands, give hugs, or engage in human contact with people, to limit the introduction of infection vectors. Most people understood, and we gave each other the old Iron Guard Salute (not the fascist thing, the gaming thing that looks like like "love" in ASL). The result: a few people were cheesed off, but none of us were too upset about that, because none of us got sick. It was the first con I've gone to in my whole life where I didn't get some form of Con Crud, and I'd like to repeat that until we turn out the lights on Planet Earth. So, tl;dr: I'm not going to touch people at the con. I know it seems weird, but I hope you understand why. I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm trying not to get sick. 

 A non-zero number of readers seem to have a real problem with this, and people on the rest of the Internets are already giving me a hard time about it in very unkind terms. This makes me really sad; I hoped for a little more empathy and understanding. Not that it should matter, but I have Epstein-Barr, so my immune system isn't as robust as a normal person's; it is very easy for me to catch viruses and other nasty things. I'm not going to apologize for not wanting to get sick, especially after two weeks of Swine Flu. If you can't understand that, it's your problem, not mine.

Back to happier things: I'm going to bring some Tabletop posters, and a few of those silly 3 Wheaton Moon posters. I'll also have the usual collection of 8x10s. 

The best part of GenCon last time I attended — other than slaying the dragon, of course — was the time I spent talking with people and geeking out about the games we love. That's actually what I love about nerd cons in general, that we can let our geek flags fly without feeling even a little self conscious about it. I'm really looking forward to doing that again.

In addition to True Dungeon, I hope to have a Fiasco with some friends, find a Parsley RPG to play (or at least watch), get a new Utilikilt, and — of course — come home with lots and lots of dice.



111 thoughts on “Is it really only 2 days until GenCon? Yes. Yes it is.”

  1. Bah, don’t bother with the idiots Wil; everyone should respect your space, you coming to GenCon is a fantastic thing for your fans and were are glad to have you in Indy. I’ll bring you a spritzer of StarSan to spray down those errant die!

  2. I will be at GenCon, but running the D&D Championship for most slots. (Come see us in the Mariott this year, True Dungeon got our old spot in Sagamore)/ I hope you got tickets!
    Suggestions for TableTop:
    Lunch Money
    Any variety of Flux
    Three Dragon Ante
    Angry Birds (?) – the live action version
    Screaming Eagles (Cheesy board game about F-14’s fighting each other. I have a copy in storage here.)

  3. Why? because even among gamers there are MEAN DICKS.
    I’m not sure why they feel that way, bit don’t let them get you down.
    I’d rather buy you a beer than give you an infected die.
    Roll well,

  4. Living in the rainy state of Oregon I’m a bit too far away for Gencon…but I do promise as an inductee of the Great Order of Guys Who Aren’t Dicks that if I ever do get the chance to meet you at some future con event I will remember what you shared here.
    I too, was born with a wonky immune system so I understand…although I think in my case it is mostly dietary…a little too much dairy (and as I found out this weekend, coconut milk of all things…sniff) = critical hit to my HP.
    Ah well. Plenty of other good things to eat in our world. 😉

  5. On a related note, I have a cold. In the past three years at Dragon*Con, I’ve gotten con crud twice. The year I didn’t? I was sick just before the con. Hoping for a repeat of that this time. If I have to have a cold in August, might as well make it have some positives, right?
    Don’t let the haters get you down, man. Not touching is perfectly legit, and, um, also your personal prerogative. I’m not keen on strangers touching me. Why would I expect that in others? Silly internet. Have fun, Wil, and enjoy the new dice!

  6. Hey Wil,
    If you want to check out some ancient Roleplaying stuff, stop by the battletech pods just outside the main hall and ask for Sham.

  7. If you’re worried about the die you receive, collect them in an awesome bag. Then when you get home, dump it into a water/javex bath for a few minutes. Will kill any spittle germs! Unfortunately I can totally believe there are jerks out there who would try to get you sick. I’m with you on the no touching, I especially cringe when people touch my baby in public

  8. Regarding 40K, I tried this with a friend who had MUCH more money than any of the rest of us and, hence, he had a decent army – fully painted. ‘Turns out that the which ever game shop we went to pretty much charged an arm and a leg for it.
    Gorkmorka, on the other hand, was kind of fun for me because Car Wars was kinda big with the guys with whom we played. (Battletech too – Loved creating ‘mechs)
    Fly safe, be well, play hard and continue not being a dick. :)

  9. The “no touching” rule makes me a little sad, BUT: I’ve only ever been to Blizzcon, and don’t expect to have another con opportunity until my kids are grown; AND, I have a TERRIBLE cold right now, so I’m very sympathetic… I never want to touch people again!
    Also, I have a few games I LOVE, but not sure if they’re Tabletop worthy. “Zombies!!!” is a lot of fun, as are the expansion packs. “Robo Rally” is hilarious, but complicated.
    What would be a lot of fun would be a “Retro Gaming” episode of table top… you could do “Hero Quest”!

  10. Please check out the game ‘Formula D’
    I think this would translate VERY well to Table Top!
    You are a race car driver and you race wheel to wheel with other drivers on a winding race course. You have to manage tire-wear, brakes acceleration and clutch wear as you prepare to enter and exit corners. Passing and collisions elements to consider as well and if you choose to run a longer race, making a pit stop might take you out of contention as your opponents whiz past.
    It also offers a lot of on-camera-tastic smack-talking moments should your friend spin out of a corner he went into ‘too hot’ or if someone burns out their tires/clutch on the last turn before the finish line.
    Game play lasts 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how fast or slow your opponents think. Oh, did I mention there are 15 expansion packs, (w00t! more tracks!)
    I think that this just might be ideal for the show.

  11. ‘just had an idea for the dice-giving. have a container of handi wipes that they can place the dice into! Wipe-free all the threatening ickiness while enjoying the scent of clean dice…as clean as a baby’s bottom!
    Or you can just say “It’s okay, I put Windex!”
    …see what I did there?…yeah…no?
    I’ll just be over there behind the door….

  12. The point is the power rush you feel for doing something other can’t do anything about, subverting that person’s intentions. As distasteful as it is, the intended germs probably won’t survive or stay on much in the post-lick handling.

  13. I actually love the not-touch policy, not because I’m averse to touching but the salute thing is proper in the fun atmoshpere of a con for the simple fact of making something up that you wouldn’t do in real life. Why shake hands? You can do that all the time in your normal life. It’s a con, do something different, no other reasons necessary.

  14. Can’t you make a sign that says something like “In a perfect world, I’d love to spend some up close and personal time with my fans. Unfortunately, if I do I won’t be able to make it to the NEXT Con as I will be out sick. Please help me keep myself available to ALL my fans by choosing a healthy perimeter (think moat!). The people with tickets to the next Con thank you. :)” or something equally as instructional as you ARE the king of witty repartee. I’ve never been to a Con and I just found your blog so I would never have known this was a problem for you. Then I would have felt horrible for assuming it was ok. I have CFS, so I feel ya. I shop at the WalMart at 3:00AM just so I can get around with the fewest amount of people around as possible. :)

  15. It’s totally irrelevant if you have Epstein-Barr or have caught nasty con crud in the past or whatever, it’s much simpler than that. It’s your body, you are in charge of who is allowed to touch it. Period, end of story.
    Whether you are male or female, or it is a simple handshake or creepy clinging (like the recent Readercon incident) – no one is ENTITLED to touch you. If people still give you grief over something like that, then they are jerks. I hope people are better about it now (that was a quote from a while back), but just in case, I had to mini-rant.

  16. Game Recommend: Lords of Waterdeep might be great for Tabletop, very fun and flavorful D&D board game.
    Podcast Recommend: (I’m a fan, not a beneficiary) Critical Hit podcast is an ongoing D&D actual play podcast, light but super entertaining campaign and characters. Great for newbies to learn game or for pros when travelling or doing mindless work to get some D&D enjoyment. They are fans of yours as well.
    See you at Gencon.

  17. Wil, it’s been mentioned a few times above already, but I seriously recommend Sentinels of the Multiverse for an episode of Tabletop. And they’re gonna be -at- GenCon, so you can pick up a copy of the new edition there.

  18. First of all, I’m super excited you’ll be back at Gen Con this year. It’s a blast for sure.
    Second of all, I’m taking your “not touching people” tactic. I get sick at Gen Con every year and with classes starting on Monday I just can’t deal with it this year.
    Third, if you haven’t played “We Didn’t Playtest This at All,” you’re missing out. It’s a card game, not a board game, but it gets more fun the larger the group you have.

  19. Wil, I am actually kind of surprised nobody suggested you check this out:
    Star Trek: Catan™ previews at Gen Con, Indianapolis in August 2012 ( and sold exclusively through U.S.A. based Target® stores beginning in September.
    You may want to check it out and finally you can be the captain 😀

  20. It’s my first GenCon and I am SOOOO excited. And then I found out that you and Brandon Sanderson will be there and I got EVEN MORE excited. Spontaneous combustion may commence.
    I second the recommendation for Lords of Waterdeep. Hive, Jaipur and Battleline are simple, two player games that I adore. I’m also psyched to check out two player Agricula.

  21. A couple of people have recommended Betrayal at House on the Hill, and I would third that. I don’t know if the game’s flow would be easily editable for a half-hour show. But I’ve seen a couple of people who normally won’t play anything more complicated than Monopoly go nuts over Betrayal.
    Also, have you ever played Ghost Stories? I’d love to see that on TableTop because it’s a great game that should have more players, and because you kind of need an instructional video to learn it. But once you learn it, you can’t stop playing. And it’s also a rare cooperative game: either you strategize together to defeat the evil Wu Feng, or you all lose.

  22. Not shaking hands is a difficult social habit to break. Three years ago I was diagnosed with CVID, my body does not make immuneglobin, which accounts for most disease resistance, so I can definitely appreciate that. I went from full-time to part-time employment because of the number of people who come to work sick, I just couldn’t afford both the time and the risk of the additional exposure.
    Have a great time, Wil, I wish I could be there.

  23. Hey Wil, I hope to see you at Gencon for a signing but wondering if you ever played NERO Larp. I just started NPC’ing last month but a bunch of my friends are building a dungeon in one of the halls. You should stop by if you have any time in your busy schedule.

  24. Wil, it’s your body, you are the only one who gets decide if anyone gets to touch you. Anyone who has a problem with that is Being A Dick.
    Have fun! I am envious.

  25. Maybe its just me but I find wanting to be hugged by strangers (especially celebrities) to be weird. it adds to that whole “I’ve seen you on tv and read about your life and know everything about you and you tweeted me once so now we’re friends so hug me!!” mentality that personally creeps me out. So much so that I’m designing my graduate project around it because I really don’t understand people like that…
    Aaand enough of that…
    as for a game, I highly recommend Stone Age. it’s tons of fun and its one of those games where you don’t really know who wins till the very end. great fun!

  26. Alien Frontiers and Kingdom Builder the two most popular games my group picked up at Origins and I highly recommend them. We have played Kingdom Builder almost every weekend since Origins as every game is different.

  27. There are people who feel an entitlement to touch you? That’s a tiny bit scary, not just the germs thing. If they want to reach out, there are a lot of politicians lurking around right now. Probably not at the con, though. But maybe.
    I guess it’s flattering in a creepy way “Must touch … Wheaton …” rofl

  28. Wil, If you’re looking for something to do that is non-con, there’s a home brew supply store in Fountain Square (about 5 minutes southeast of downtown Indy) that may pique your interest. Info on the location etc can be found at I live in this area of Indy, and every time I walk past the sign for the store, I think that it would be a place you’d enjoy visiting.

  29. A few games that my friends and I have enjoyed (and discovered at Gen Con) are:
    The Resistance
    Nuns on the Run
    Red Dragon Inn
    Others that we’ve enjoyed are Fluxx, Dominion, Alhambra, Drakon, Agricola, Battlestar Galactiva (with expansion) and Zombies: Last night on Earth.
    One game I have always wanted to see Tabletop cover since its beginnings is Descent. Version 2.0 was recently released and I’m very pleased with the game changes/enhancements/deletions.
    Hope to catch ya at Gen Con! My bus leaves in 30 minutes….

  30. Maybe this should be obvious, but are going to be part of the Inside TableTop event/seminar with the other producers? The Gen Con page isn’t very specific about it.

  31. That no-touch thing is completely incompatible with you being in (well, basically being the only person comprising) my “Five”. *snaps in gosh-darn style disappointment*

  32. It doesn't look like it. I think the con scheduled me to be signing at that time. I'm incredibly disappointed that I won't be on a panel about my own show.

  33. Yeah, I know the feeling of the avoidance of ConCrud (EBV and undergoing treatment for Thyroid cancer, yay lack of energy) and I can’t begin to say how many naps I took at PAX East the past two years. I feel like as nerds we need to develop pleasantly-scented nerd-themed hand sanitizers to sell at these events.

  34. It’s not a bad idea. I almost want to start a kickstarter to raise funds for the most epic and nerdy con sanitizing solution for Wil. Imagine, a small container that dispenses hand sanitizer, cleans his dice collection, and pimps out the geek cred.

  35. You could always do something over-the-top with extra precautions and make Wil laugh. Like, bring along some sort of handshake rig with two fake hands connected in a firm grip and two easy to clean handles. Then, all you would need is a small travel size can of Lysol spray. Let’s face it, he may be concerned about his health, but he’s a connoisseur of humor.

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