Today's the first day the Exhibit Hall is open. I meant to hit up a seminar called Wizards R&D At Your Service, but the bastards scheduled it to coincide directly with the opening of the Hall, which is sort of like saying "We really hope NO ONE shows up for this thing." Given the way the Wizards seminar was handled yesterday, I'm not at all surprised that they're aiming for smaller turnouts at some of these things. What do you want to see out of Wizards of the Coast R&D? More 3rd Edition, of course...
Anyway, I didn't manage to make it to any seminars that morning, however much I would have liked to. I stood in line at will-call with my girlfriend Natalie for just over an hour and half after checking out the Exhibit Hall on my advance ticket. In the fifteen minutes I was in the hall that first go around, I spent over one hundred dollars; I already own a copy of Burning Wheel Gold, and I picked up two sets of dice and a dice cup from Q-Workshop, who I have a bitch of a time ordering things from, so that was awesome. I waited in the ridiculous line at Will Call mostly for morale support. The people in that line fucking needed it.
Every time I go to GenCon from now on, I will be getting the Trade Day package. Not for the awesome early admission to the hall, not for the Trade Day benefits itself. For my badge, I waited some ten minutes, then I was GenConning to my heart's content. So, if you're even remotely associated with the industry, I highly suggest picking one of these things up.
I bought a shirt for my fiancee Holly that is in all ways amazing (Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie giving one another a Bro Hoof with "Bronies before Honies" emblazoned across the top). I picked up a 16mm set of bone dice that were quite expensive, but also a GenCon exclusive (which makes them even MORE awesome!). Larry Elmore signed my Dungeons & Dragons Red Box shirt, and then hit on Natalie a lot. I picked up a copy of Designers & Dragons, which is a comprehensive history of role-playing games and the good people who make them, from Gary and Dave sitting in their basement hand-typesetting the original brown-backed folios to stuff that happened just a few months ago. Every role-playing game should have a cover like this history, as well. It's gorgeous. I'll probably be bringing a few copies into the store for you to buy them.
Because my coworker and brother-at-arms Ian Lauder wanted to know what was going on with White Wolf, we hit the White Wolf 2.0 seminar. There was a lot of interesting stuff going on, here. They're releasing a new version of Vampire: The Masquerade for their 20th Anniversary, and they'll be releasing new OLD World of Darkness books over the course of the year. New World of Darkness will be seeing a new game (Mummy the Somethingorother) and all of this will be available online... Or by print-on-demand... When I asked them when I would be seeing any of this new material in my store, they let me know, in no uncertain terms, "Well, never..." Starting this year, White Wolf will no longer be publishing books for sale in Friendly Local Game Stores. If I want to carry their product, I will need to buy the same print-on-demand material you have access to from Drive-Thru RPG. Which is basically White Wolf telling me, to my face, that my store no longer matters, that distributors with whom I have really solid working relationship no longer matter, and that you, the end consumer, don't really matter either. People without credit cards? Why would we want to sell product to THEM?
So, we won't be carrying White Wolf product at Warp One anymore. Which is a damned shame, because I was really happy about a lot of the stuff they were talking about publishing this year.
We hit the Exhibit Hall one more time and Natalie picked up a wand and a wand holster for her wrist. Also, a new corset. She now owns one more piece of Geek Chic product than I do (the wand). I got to take a look at some of their tables, and they're fucking GORGEOUS. I want two. I want them to make a round table. And then mail it to me for testing or something.
Then there was an awesome Game Design seminar that was awesome mostly because Greg Stolze and Matt Forbeck were two of the people running it. Also, the guy who invented Killer Bunnies is fucking hilarious. After that wrapped up, I got a quick massage from the spa downstairs and, since the Hall was closed and I had no more seminars to go to, it was time to grab something to eat and head home. I developed something of a nasty headache from a mixture of the neon lights at the convention hall and the ridiculous, wet heat that is blanketing Indianapolis right now. It doesn't look like the weather is going to lighten up at all over the next couple of days, either...