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My First Gen Con: Jeff Grubb

Jeff Grubb, Devourer Of WorldsJeff Grubb sets the Wayback Machine to the golden age of RPGs with his contribution to our “My First Gen Con” series of guest posts.

My first Gen Con was in 1978, at the University of Parkside campus, Kenosha. I regret that I missed the Playboy club the year before, but the idea of capturing an entire (small) campus for a convention, for a GAMING convention was at that time, insane.

I ended up at Parkside as a result of a number of things coming together at once, that strange serendipity that runs through all D&D stories. At the time, I was attending Purdue University, which was a) only two states away, and b) had classes that started the week AFTER the convention. In addition, the family of one of our D&D group’s members owned a house ON Lake Geneva itself. And finally, many of our group had been helping run local convention tournaments, and transformed that into working on the D&D Open for the legendary Bob Blake. AND I had a car (a powder blue Cutlass Supreme, why do you ask?) With all that going for it, how could I—and my motley band from the Friday Night Dungeon at Purdue—not attend? …

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My First Gen Con: Erik Mona

Erik MonaThanks to all of you who shared your Gen Con stories—we’re reviewing the entries now and will announce the contest winner on July 30th!

Now, Erik Mona shares his memories of meeting the Gods of Gen Con…


In May of 1995, a year from graduating college and back home in Minnesota for summer, I was desperate for a game. Most of my old D&D buddies had moved on or moved away, and I decided that the only way I would ever game that summer involved getting more use out of my RPGA membership than simply reading Polyhedron Newszine. I decided to go to a convention. My very first convention: Twin Con, in Bloomington, Minnesota. There I met up with a rag-tag band of scoundrels involved in the RPGA’s Living City campaign, and realized that convention gaming—while not quite as exciting as “real” gaming at home—held an awful lot of promise.

I left the show with a Gen Con preregistration form…

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My First Gen Con: Luke Crane

Luke CraneIn this latest in our series of “My First Gen Con” guest posts, indie game designer Luke Crane shares his Gen Con memories.

Thanks to all of you who shared your Gen Con stories—we’re reviewing the entries now and will announce the contest winner on June 30th!


In March of 2003, I found a thread on the indie-rpgs.com website entitled, “Organizing for Gen Con” or something similar. I had never posted to this site before. And I had never been to Gen Con. I posted a reply, “Hey, I made a game. Can I share your booth?” These kind, trusting souls responded in the affirmative. “Sure. No problem. Here’s how you pay.” I was curious and skeptical. They seemed a little too inviting…

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My First Gen Con: Jonathan Tweet

Lion RampantThe first time I went to Gen Con was in 1987 when Mark Rein•Hagen and I had just launched our new game-publishing company, Lion Rampant. Our plan had been to sell copies of our  new RPG, but the game was behind schedule, and the only thing we had to sell were $3 packs of “Whimsy Cards.” It’s hard to make your booth rental back when you’re selling a $3 product, but it was still a good start for us. We met people we’d only known through correspondence, such as Greg Stafford. And we got a good look at our industry, from the fans to the professional publishers. It was the first of a long line of happy Gen Cons for me.

Jonathan Tweet is a mammalian game designer who has been involved in the development of the role-playing games Ars Magica, Everway, Over the Edge, Talislanta and the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons, as well as the Collectible Miniatures Game Dreamblade. Visit his Facebook page.

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My First Gen Con: Monte Cook

Monte CookMy first Gen Con was particularly exciting because I “had” to go. Fresh out of college, I’d been an intern at the offices of Iron Crown Enterprises in the summer of 1990. In early August I was offered a full-time position as an editor starting in October, but my manager, Coleman Charlton, said that I also had to go work for the company at Gen Con as well. Hardly an arduous task! I’d dreamed of Gen Con since I was 10 years old but had never been able to go, and now I was going as a professional. It was probably one of the happiest and most exciting periods of my life, because it was filled with games, fun, thousands of fellow gamers, and the promise of a future just about to start.

Monte Cook has worked on over 100 game titles in his career, including Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, The Book of Eldritch Might series, the d20 Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game, The Book of Vile Darkness, Monte Cook’s Arcana Evolved, Ptolus, Monte Cook’s World of Darkness, and Dungeonaday.com. He was a longtime author of the Dungeoncraft column in Dungeon magazine. You can find all things Monte at MonteCook.com

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