WotC's 2017 Convention Schedule Includes New Hascon, No Gen Con
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  • WotC's 2017 Convention Schedule Includes New Hascon, No GenCon


    This year WotC will be attending Pax South, Winter Fantasy, Pax East, Gary's con, Origins, Pax A West, the new a Hasbro convention, Hascon, and Gamehole Con. Like last year, the company is skipping Gen Con in Indianapolis.




    Here are all the convention details:

    PAX SOUTH

    January 27-29
    Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
    900 E Market St.
    San Antonio, TX
    Chris Perkins and Trevor Kidd will be at PAX South at the end of this month. Chris will have the honor of delivering the key note Story Time with Chris Perkins on Friday morning, as well as stepping onto the main stage to serve as Dungeon Master for Acquisitions Incorporated, live for the first time from sunny San Antonio. Many Dungeons & Dragons games will be playable in the open gaming spaces scheduled through the D&D Adventurers League. We definitely won’t be playing in the basement of the Alamo, thankfully.

    WINTER FANTASY

    February 1-5
    Grand Wayne Convention Center
    120 West Jefferson Blvd
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Chris Lindsay will be returning to Fort Wayne for Winter Fantasy and will be available to speak about the D&D Adventurers League and Dungeon Masters Guild. We will debut a brand-new D&D Adventurers League EPIC by Will Doyle here, giving attendees the first chance to overcome new challenges and collect loot. Chris will be running unique D&D Adventurers League sessions with loot and magic items you can’t get anywhere else.

    PAX EAST

    March 10 -12
    Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
    415 Summer Street
    Boston, MA
    Chris Perkins and Trevor Kidd will be in Boston at PAX East again this year. Chris will serve as Dungeon Master for another Acquisitions Incorporated live show with Mike, Jerry, Scott, and Pat. There will be many opportunities to play Dungeons & Dragons in the open gaming spaces of PAX scheduled through the D&D Adventurers League.

    GARY CON

    March 23-26
    Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
    7036 Grand Geneva Way
    Lake Geneva, WI
    We’re heading back to Gary Con in Lake Geneva again this year! Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, and Chris Lindsay will be panelists in a discussion of D&D Across the Editions. Mike Mearls will be DMing a celebrity game using his Greyhawk house rules for 5e in one of the deadliest dungeons he’s run in his personal campaign: the dreaded Path of Blades. Mearls will also run a home brew horror RPG based on the Avalon Hill board game Betrayal at House on the Hill. Chris Lindsay will head up a host of Dungeon Masters as we present the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan and the Tomb of Horrors as competitive events for the first time in decades. Also, don’t miss the EPIC designed by Chris Lindsay, featuring the Keep on the Borderlands.

    ORIGINS

    June 14-18
    Greater Columbus Convention Center
    400 N High Street
    Columbus, OH
    Mike Mearls, Chris Lindsay, Chris Perkins, Trevor Kidd, and Jeremy Crawford will be returning to Origins for the D&D tabletop gaming event of the year: The D&D Open. Bring your favorite Adventurers League character and risk life and limb to bring glory upon your adventuring party. We’ll also have D&D board game tournaments, exclusive DMs Guild panels, exclusive Origins swag, and even more!

    PAX WEST

    September 1-4
    Washington State Convention Center
    800 Convention Place
    Seattle, WA
    Chris Perkins, Trevor Kidd, and many more folks from the Dungeons & Dragons team will be at PAX West. Chris will be on panels and serving as Dungeon Master for the live Acquisitions Incorporated game with Jerry, Mike, Scott, and Pat. Many of us will be around in the Dungeons & Dragons area and there will be tons of opportunities to play D&D in the open gaming area scheduled through the D&D Adventurers League.

    HASCON

    September 9-10
    Rhode Island Convention Center & Dunkin Donuts Center
    1 La Salle Square & 1 Sabin St
    Providence, RI
    Join us in Providence for the debut of HASCON, a new convention event in September focusing on all of Hasbro’s brands including Transformers, My Little Pony, Magic the Gathering and, of course, Dungeons & Dragons! You will get to peek behind the curtain of our characters and stories through interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, panels and much more.

    GAMEHOLE CON

    November 2-5
    Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall
    1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
    Madison, WI
    Mike Mearls and Chris Lindsay will return to the Midwest in November for Gamehole Con in Madison. Mike and Chris will be attending panels, serving as Dungeon Masters in unique Adventurers League scenarios, and hanging out and answering any questions you might have.
    Comments 64 Comments
    1. eiglos's Avatar
      eiglos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tyranthraxus View Post
      What about UK/Europe? Have WOTC in any Official capacity ever visited a Convention in UK/Europe?
      Yes, the GenCons held here in the UK in the past.
    1. Tyranthraxus's Avatar
      Tyranthraxus -
      Well thats more than Australia has ever got.
    1. wedgeski's Avatar
      wedgeski -
      Quote Originally Posted by eiglos View Post
      Yes, the GenCons held here in the UK in the past.
      Yup, Bruce Cordell and (I think) Rodney Thompson came to Reading in 2007. There hasn't been a GenCon UK since 2008.
    1. Gorath99's Avatar
      Gorath99 -
      Quote Originally Posted by eiglos View Post
      Yes, the GenCons held here in the UK in the past.
      Wizards had a nice presence at GenCon Benelux in 2000. I strongly suspect they also attended some of the GenCon's in Barcelona.
    1. Mecheon's Avatar
      Mecheon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vyvyan Basterd View Post
      Rhode Island!? Yeah, most of us will see you there Hasbro <\sarcasm>
      I mean their head office is there, plus one of the better Botcons was there...

      Oh who am I kidding, I just hope Hascon can live up to the legacy of Botcon. Because us Transformers fans are ravenous
    1. Lord_Blacksteel's Avatar
      Lord_Blacksteel -
      Add me to the chorus who think it's weird that the biggest company in RPG's seems determined to distance from the biggest con in gaming, the one most strongly tied to RPGs. I wonder what the business reasoning behind that decision could be. Typically you see that it's "not cost effective" but that's also typically coming from much smaller companies.

      It's still strange.
    1. Warmaster Horus's Avatar
      Warmaster Horus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tyranthraxus View Post
      THe problem you have is that little cons can become big cons and that pushes against the people who only attend because its a small con. Some people dont want the big con issues with lines and ticket issues and accomodation issues. We seem to live in some strange culture where big = better.
      Gary Con's system of Platinum/Gold/... badges and 'currency' to secure game table slots dissuades me from wanting to play or DM there.
    1. Jer's Avatar
      Jer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
      As this is the 50th GenCon and thus will likely be playing up its history and the parallel history of RPGing - as it should, really - and as WotC are now custodians of much of the early part of that history via their purchase of TSR never mind being themselves responsible for much of its recent history via rebooting D&D with the 3e release, their non-attendance this year can be summed up in one word:

      Disgraceful.

      Lanefan
      Meh. GenCon is huge and expensive to go to. Last year Wizards decided to go to a number of smaller cons instead of putting all of their eggs in the Gen*Con basket and it seems like it worked for them. (I don't claim to know the backstory behind this but as a business decision the idea to go to a lot of conventions around the country instead of one convention in the middle of the country seems sound).

      Frankly to me their attendance at GaryCon probably more than makes up for not going to GenCon from an "RPG History" perspective. GaryCon is a very appropriate place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Lake Geneva Wargames Convention. After all, it is the one actually being held in Lake Geneva this year.

      Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Blacksteel View Post
      Add me to the chorus who think it's weird that the biggest company in RPG's seems determined to distance from the biggest con in gaming, the one most strongly tied to RPGs. I wonder what the business reasoning behind that decision could be. Typically you see that it's "not cost effective" but that's also typically coming from much smaller companies.

      It's still strange.
      Let's remember that the RPG group in Wizards is basically as small as a tiny company as far as staff size goes. And as far as the money they bring in from RPGs (not incidental licensing, but the games themselves) they're probably doing allright but not in the moneymaking area they were in, say, 2001. It makes some sense that their budget for travel to cons would be limited and that there would be a higher perceived benefit in going to a lot of smaller cons instead of one giant one.
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      “Exclusive Origins swag.” I really hate to kvetch about free stuff, but hopefully the swag is better this year – the tote bag was the best part, not the pieces of cardboard within. Wouldn’t have cared as much if I hadn’t had to wait in line so long for it.
    1. tangleknot's Avatar
      tangleknot -
      Fort Wayne, IN
      Lake Geneva, WI
      Madison, WI
      Columbus, OH

      Half of these cons are in the north Midwest... within driving distance of each other, and 2 of them are only an hour apart.
    1. Plaguescarred's Avatar
      Plaguescarred -
      I'm surprised WoTC decided to not be there for GENCON 50


      Yan
      D&D Playtester
    1. Vampyr3's Avatar
      Vampyr3 -
      I'm SHOCKED they are not going to Gen Con 50... WOW...

      I figured at least they have some sort of presence there for the 50th...

      Will be interesting to see if Pathfinder has a big presence this year, as they did last at Gen Con
    1. R P Davis -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
      Meh. GenCon is huge and expensive to go to. Last year Wizards decided to go to a number of smaller cons instead of putting all of their eggs in the Gen*Con basket and it seems like it worked for them. (I don't claim to know the backstory behind this but as a business decision the idea to go to a lot of conventions around the country instead of one convention in the middle of the country seems sound).

      Let's remember that the RPG group in Wizards is basically as small as a tiny company as far as staff size goes. And as far as the money they bring in from RPGs (not incidental licensing, but the games themselves) they're probably doing allright but not in the moneymaking area they were in, say, 2001. It makes some sense that their budget for travel to cons would be limited and that there would be a higher perceived benefit in going to a lot of smaller cons instead of one giant one.
      While that's true in terms of budgeting and hard numbers, there are intangibles surrounding attendance at events which cannot be easily quantified. My wife and I have a small business which used to do events. We never made any money at them. Ever. We spent a TON on inventory, getting to and from, and staying at, and at best broke even. And we caught a lot of flak from people on the Left Coast because we didn't go farther west than Chicago.

      The good will from attending these events was phenomenal. The chance to connect with people was invaluable. There is a certain amount of celebrity involved with this sort of thing, and cult of personality equals sales. So it's perfectly understandable why the D&D team are diversifying their event attendance.

      What I don't understand is why they'd not do the biggest gaming con on the planet. As noted, I recognize more than most the financial reasons not to do an event like Gen*Con. But the negative feedback - the intangible - is going to bite them in the ass. I'm with others in this thread who have posted their head-scratching at the decision. WizKids bought TSR, which started the whole godd*mn thing. If it wasn't for D&D, Gen*Con wouldn't exist.

      Makes me wonder if there's something else at play about which we know nothing. 'Cause I'd be working that angle with the con committee - "Your con is massively expensive to attend. We're still the world's most popular roleplaying game, after establishing the industry which made your con possible in the first place. If you give us X, Y, and Z, we'll attend." Maybe the con said "No."

      I mean, it's not like Gen*Con is dependent on D&D to exist. It's waaaaaay beyond that now. But it's stupid to pretend that D&D has no impact on attendance.

      Of course, the brand is pretty heavily aligned with PAX now, isn't it? Hm. That must be deliberate. Hmmmmmm. Wheels within wheels.
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Well, D&D *will* be at GenCon, because Baldman Games will be running Adventurer's League games all weekend as usual. The thing they won't have are any D&D-specific panels from D&D employees, because the D&D employees won't be there (at least not on the company's dime.)

      So the question then becomes... what does having D&D panels at GenCon get you (as a company)? Goodwill? Sure. We can all buy that. The word out on D&D? That I'm not so sure. At least, no more so than having the large Baldman gaming space available for people to play. I mean... if you have 100,000 people attending this convention and you get like what... 200 people attending a panel (IF you were lucky, seeing as how every slot has like what, six to 10 panels happening simultaneously)... are those 200 people really getting any word out? Or are those people already in and just want to hear the people they look up to talk?

      At this point, I think there probably is a "Big fish in a smaller pond" aspect to it, as to their reasons for going to other conventions. If they're going to be one of thousands of fish in the GenCon pond all fighting for attention all weekend... it probably doesn't make as much financial sense as going to something like GaryCon where they definitely WOULD be the Big Fish in the small pond.

      Is it disheartening to a certain extent? Sure. But in the long run does it matter? I don't really think so. The number of people who would be missing some panels at GenCon is infinitesimally small compared to the number of people across the globe who are playing the game.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
      Well, D&D *will* be at GenCon, because Baldman Games will be running Adventurer's League games all weekend as usual. .
      It doesn't say "D&D", it says "WotC".



      Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      It doesn't say "D&D", it says "WotC".
      Well, the page on their website is that it's the "D&D Team" at Wizards of the Coast, so my point is essentially correct. It doesn't say WotC on the whole wouldn't be there (at least not in the article on the website talking about the cons they were going to.) Does it say on the Magic: The Gathering side of the website that WotC won't be there for that either?
    1. Brodie's Avatar
      Brodie -
      Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
      At this point, I think there probably is a "Big fish in a smaller pond" aspect to it, as to their reasons for going to other conventions. If they're going to be one of thousands of fish in the GenCon pond all fighting for attention all weekend... it probably doesn't make as much financial sense as going to something like GaryCon where they definitely WOULD be the Big Fish in the small pond.
      More like the only shark in the pond. That sounds harsh, but what I mean is that they - as well as every other game company is looking for customers. With Paizo being such a powerhouse now (and a big shark of their own), WotC is swimming to smaller ponds.

      Do I like it? Hell no. I'm with those that think WotC should be putting in an official presence (doesn't have to be big and flashy with lots of props) for the simple fact this is the 50th GenCon. Fifty years is a huge milestone for anything. The least they could do is be there and recognize the milestone of a convention they helped make popular.
    1. Mad_Jack's Avatar
      Mad_Jack -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vyvyan Basterd View Post
      Rhode Island!? Yeah, most of us will see you there Hasbro <\sarcasm>
      Actually... Providence, RI is the biggest "event" city between Boston and New York, and punches well above it's weight class as far as culture, arts, music and conventions of all kinds go.
      The RI Convention Center is regularly booked for huge national-level events - the RI ComicCon has gotten to be just as much of a monster as the others. Outside of the Convention Center, Providence is also home to the yearly NecronomiCon for H.P. Lovecraft fans (Lovecraft lived there) and has twice hosted the national Rocky Horror Picture Show convention.

      It's a wise financial move to hold HasCon there since it's the hometown of Hasbro itself. (Hasbro has major mojo with the city - the Hasbro Children's Hospital is internationally known.) Since it's going to be drawing fans from not just D&D but also all the other Hasbro properties - most of which are much bigger than D&D, it's quite likely it'll draw people from all over the upper eastern quadrant of the US and maybe some eastern Canadians as well.
      Since you live in the Midwest, one thing you might not realize is that the Interstate Highway system connects basically every major city all up and down the east coast from Canada to Florida, and city-to-city flights out here are relatively cheap - even somewhat long-distance travel is fairly fast, easy and inexpensive, and most folks don't have much of a problem traveling out-of-state since a three or four hour drive might well bring you through three different states.

      I fully expect them to underestimate the number of people showing up, and as usual when there's something big going on in Providence, parking anywhere in the city will be a nightmare.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
      Well, the page on their website is that it's the "D&D Team" at Wizards of the Coast, so my point is essentially correct. It doesn't say WotC on the whole wouldn't be there (at least not in the article on the website talking about the cons they were going to.) Does it say on the Magic: The Gathering side of the website that WotC won't be there for that either?
      I'm not sure I understand your post then. You replied "Well, D&D *will* be at GenCon", as though I'd said it wouldn't be.

      Ah well. Never mind. Nothing to see here!
    1. Rhineglade's Avatar
      Rhineglade -
      Well that is just really too bad. The "granddaddy" of all RPGs (namely D&D) will not be represented at GenCon which in my mind has always been synonymous with the game since its inception. That is just idiotic.
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