RPGaDay – Day 14: Best Convention Purchase
Short Answer: Hollow Earth Expedition, Exile Game Studio.
Long Answer: Even though this question doesn’t specifically state ‘RPG purchase’ that’s what I’ve picked. I’ve bought a lot of things at cons over the years. A lot. The one that’s had the biggest impact on my life is the first Hollow Earth Expedition book, purchased at GenCon in 2006.
I purchased it for a few reasons: it was a good price, the rules sounded simple enough, it was a pulp setting, and there were dinosaurs on the cover. Honestly, the game was (and still is) the complete package; not too long, not too abstract, and a well-defined (and detailed) setting. Sure, I didn’t get around to actually reading the book until some months after I’d returned home, but that’s fairly normal. It’s easy to get a little burned out after four solid days of high geekery, and some things end up being set aside until the batteries have fully recharged.
As for the impact, I’ve volunteered for EGS at GenCon a few times running introductory and standard adventures for other attendees. I’ve also made good friends with people all over the States (and the world). The EGS ‘family’ isn’t huge, and this is actually a good thing. It’s easy to just become another face in the crowd with larger companies, but I have never found this with EGS. It’s this personal touch that’s made volunteering for them such fun, even if running games for people you’ve never met and who might have trouble understanding you is a little terrifying.