Books!, Conventions, Readathon, Signal Boost, Tabletop Games, Writing

Gen Con – Day Two

Hey all, Dani (and Damian) here.

Typically when it comes to a convention, Saturday is the longest and busiest day. For us at Gen Con this has not been our experience. No, for us Friday is the longest day, thanks to a certain Dungeons & Dragon’s show we are huge fans of. Yes, Day Two of Gen Con brought the Critical Role live episode, which was so much fun, but also made for a super long and tiring day.

First off, our cosplays. Today we both dressed up as characters from Critical Role’s second campaign: Beauregard or Beau, a badass monk for me, and Caleb, a sort of hobo wizard for Damian.

Okay, my first panel of the day was “Being Your Own Boss: Trials and Tribulations of Self-Publishing.” This was held by Bryan Young, Phillippa Ballantine, and Elizabeth Vaughan. And even though the title talks of self-publishing, they also spoke a little about small indie prints as well as the big NY publishers. Also, based on how they spoke about the cost of self-publishing, I guess I did it all wrong. I did all the cover design and layout and all of that myself. But they are spending $3,500-12,000 per book to do all the design, layout, and editing.

Then I went to “The Cost of Magic: Making the Unbelievable Believable,” which was hosted by Robyn Bennis, Erin M. Evans, and Joseph Carriker Jr. It was an interesting look at how to use magic, specifically the rules, the wonder, and the limitations and cost of magic to expand the scope of the world and make it feel more whole and real.

After that I wandered the show floor for a couple hours, bought several more sets of dice, a new reference book filled with all sorts of interesting beasties for our D&D 5th edition campaigns, and then I picked up the new Core Rulebook for Pathfinder 2.0 to give it a look and see if we want to stick with the classic or upgrade.

Then we met up with our FLGS (friendly local game store) owners again and did a delicious meal of half-off appetizers at a bar. It is something we did last year and we were looking forward to it, so that was a fun time.

My final panel of the day was the one I was most looking forward to: “Resistance is Futile: Dealing with Writer’s Block and Resistance” with Anton Strout and Melanie R Meadors. It was not as helpful as I would have liked it to be, mostly because neither panelist believes that writer’s block exists. They think it is just something we say when the smallest little speed bump or hurdle comes our way. It’s our way of having an excuse or a reason for why we aren’t working. But also, they think that you are always working on your project. That could mean thinking about the plot or the characters, or research cover designers or editors or agents, or it could be creating a mood board on Pinterest. It’s apparently all helping further the progress of the story, even if it isn’t measured in words.


After that I met back up with my friends and it was time to head to the theater for Critical Role Live. I wanted to start reading Wicked Saints again as my first book for Dewey’s 24 Hour Reverse Summer Readathon, but where we were seated was a bit too dark and I wasn’t going to hold my phone up as a flashlight to read. Instead I just talked to pretty much everyone seated around us, which is still a really fun time.

It was so nice to be in the room with everyone, even if we were three rows from the very back of the balcony area in the theater. And, of course, my favorite purchase of the day was the live show merchandise: a metal dice set, an oversized D20, and a really cute chibi Jester pin.

Damian here. Still fighting off a cold, and my voice continues to pop in and out, but I’m pushing through it and trying to have the best time I can. My only panel/workshop on day two was another crafting one, this time focused on making foam weapons, like the ones you would use in a LARP. That was pretty fun. Then it was wandering the show floor, demo’ing a few games, and buying stuff. It was a long day, but pretty cool.

All right, I do believe that is all from us for today–well aside from Dani’s standard review post that will be up later in her normally scheduled blog time. We’ll check back in tomorrow for our Day Three wrap up.

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