This is my third year doing NecronomiCon as a dealer/publisher. It was the very first con i ever went to in any official sense and was the place where I sat on my first panel. Ah, those were the days. So, suffice it to say, I am always happy to go and support my local gaming con.
However, it didn’t seem like it was all together this year. Attendance was noticeably down from previous years and the con’s theme, Monsters on Mars, was all but completely ignored (a small blurb about it in the program and that’s about it). From what I was able to figure out, Necro fell on an unfortunate weekend of awesome concerts, other cons and street fairs. It’s always been a small con, but this year it just felt empty.
I was on 5 panels this year, many more than I’ve done in the past. However, the lowered attendance made the panels slightly less gratifying. The GMing 101 panel devolved in “I’ll tell you about my home game” instead of providing comprehensive info on how to run game effectively. The “Using Social Media” panel was pretty good, but suffered the most for attendance of any of the panels, with only a handful of people. My “Writing Dialogue” was definitely the most enjoyable of them. A lively audience and just great conversations. My fourth panel, “Game Design” devolved into giving GMing Tips and Tricks.
I just fell silent over most of the panels. No one could keep on topic and I think the panels very much suffered from that. No matter how good the guest was, and there were some good ones, nothing is gained from too many tangents. I don’t think I had that much of an issue with it last year or even the one before it, but this year (coming off of holding my own 3EG panel at GenCon and sitting on several of the greats like Monte Cooke and Jason Morningstar) it just seem unprofessional to not deliver the best information that we can. We’re supposed to be the ones that know what we’re talking about. Just saying.
Games I Ran
On the other hand, the gamers at Necro are some of the best. I ran three games – one for each of my current game lines – and they went quite swimmingly. Since this was my third year, I decided to switch up the usual adventures that i’m “used” to running. So, both my Wu Xing and API games were brand new adventures (that I hope to put out soon as free downloads) and Part-Time Gods is new enough that I have no problem pretending that the adventure I ran at both GenCon and DragonCon was completely “new”. lol.
All three games were full of fun, creativity and new uses of the pregens that I made months or years ago. So, I can’t way enough about my players. If you’re reading this, you guys made the con worth it.
I’ve said that the panels weren’t that great and the attendance was down. On the other hand, Third Eye Games sold 25 books. Now that might not seem like a lot, but if you take into account that we sold 100 books at GenCon, a con that is 100 times as large – that’s pretty darn good. There were a few players from the games I ran that bought multiple books, so the small number of attendees didn’t really matter, because the ones that were there were able to make it count. So, no complaints there certainly.
I’d also like to thank my friends Chris and Kat for helping out with the booth on Saturday and Syrra for not letting me die of boredom on Sunday.
So, the con had its up and downs, but I’ll be going back again next year in the end. Necro cannot continue to grow if we, as local gamers and publishers, jump ship at the first sign of shrinkage. I’m even going to see what I can do to help out more with the con and maybe assist in organization and promotion to hopefully have an even better year next year.
Until next time.