Category Archives: Conventions

Gen Con celebrates 20 years in Indianapolis by Breaking Attendance Records

Gen Con

The gamers are back post-pandemic as Gen Con, the largest and longest-running tabletop gaming convention in North America, hosted over 70,000 unique attendees at Gen Con Indy 2023. The event, held August 3-6 at the Indiana Convention Center (ICC) and Lucas Oil Stadium, features The Best Four Days in Gaming, providing fans with a complete gaming experience. Beyond breaking attendance records, Gen Con generated nearly $75 million in economic impact for restaurants, hotels, and other local businesses in Indianapolis in 2023.

Marking the 20th anniversary in Indianapolis, Gen Con is announcing it has officially extended its contract with the city through 2030.

Gen Con president David Hoppe said:

The Gen Con attendee experience is continually at the forefront of our decision-making. We are excited to announce that Gen Con will be extending its stay in Indianapolis through 2030. I am eager to see the continued growth and success that will come from our partnership with a city that has supported us over the last 20 years.

The scale of Gen Con is unmatched. This year the exhibit hall featured more than 570 game publishers and vendors, and attendees took part in over 20,000 ticketed events ranging from board games, card games, roleplaying games, comedy shows, live musical performances, seminars, the annual Costume Contest, Film Festival, and more. Concurrently with the in-person convention, over 700 virtual games and events were held through the convention’s Gen Con Online program.

Every year Gen Con partners with charities to raise funds and spotlight remarkable non-profit organizations. This year, attendees helped raise nearly $35,000 for Indy Reads and Game Pathways. Gen Con has raised over $425,000 for charity since 2003.

Gen Con will return to Indianapolis from August 1-4, 2024.

Gen Con 2023: Evil Genius Games Hosts “The Dark Gathering” – A Multi-Table RPG Event with the “Highlander Cinematic Adventure”

The Dark Gathering

Evil Genius Games pushed the boundaries of immersive modern role-playing experiences by hosting a multi-table RPG event, centered around their popular Highlander Cinematic Adventure – a pivotal piece of the Everyday Heroes System.

Answering an irresistible call, 60 enthusiastic players were drawn to Chicago, enticed by the tantalizing mystery: Is this the true Gathering of Immortals or a sinister ritual culminating in a climactic battle? As the story unfolded, participants grappled with the pivotal question, “Can you be the ONE to survive and claim the Prize?” By the end of the gripping event, only one Immortal remained, proudly wielding a coveted replica sword from Highlander as their prize. This honor went to Tommy Gatton. Evil Genius also gave a replica sword to one of our outstanding Game Masters, JoshTanski.

This exclusive Highlander adventure was meticulously written by the talented Michael Bramnik and underwent rigorous development at the hands of experts Sigfried Trent and Ivis Flanagan. The event’s rapid sell-out stands as a testament to the dedication and excitement of the Evil Genius gaming community and the growing popularity of the Everyday Heroes system.

Gen Con 2023: Angry Chickens invade

Para Bellum Games, publisher of fantasy Mass Combat Miniature Wargame Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings and Skirmish ruleset Conquest: First Blood, is bringing its pecking CON exclusive at Gen Con 2023… and it’s like nothing you’ve seen before. Fans visiting Para Bellum booth 565 at Gen Con will be able to purchase the ANGRY CHICKEN exclusive box. Already a smashing hit during previous conventions, the Angry Chicken could not be missing from this year’s Gen Con – and it won’t be! With two exclusive miniatures of a Giant Angry Chicken (because obviously one is not enough) and a thematic Special Scenario Pack for a deadly First Blood battle, the Angry Chicken Con Exclusive is the thing no one knew needed – but must have!

Through the greedy, vile Biomancy of the Spire of Chikh-Ehn, this humble flightless avian has evolved from an inside joke at Para Bellum, into a Discord community meme, an emote, a fan-favorite T-Shirt and an exclusive release, only to become a Con Exclusive and the ultimate First Blood scenario for two forces of 600-800 points. With terrifying abilities like “BAWK!!!” “BAAAAAAWK!!!” and “BA-GAWWWWWWKK!!!”, the two armies will need not only to defeat their opponents, but also to survive this unkillable, bloodthirsty poultry, which rampages through the field, killing without discrimination. Only a handful of generals have been able to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve victory. Will you join their hallowed ranks?

A first for Conquest, Para Bellum is participating in the Gen Con Pin Bazaar with their exclusive Angry Chickens Pins! Available at booth 565, you can win one on the prize wheel, or get one free with a $99 purchase!

The Angry Chicken box will be at Gen Con (booth 565), at an SRP of $25.00 USD. If you are not at Gen Con, see Para Bellum next at the NOVA Open in DC!

Para Bellum Gen Con

Gen Con 2023: Deep Water Games is now Friendly Skeleton and announces Trash Talk

Deep Water Games, known for titles like MonsDRAWsity, Fantastic Factories, and 7 Summits, has announce its rebranding as Friendly Skeleton. This strategic move reflects the company’s commitment to bring a fresh, inviting, and fun approach to gaming experiences for players of all ages. Alongside the rebranding, Friendly Skeleton is excited to unveil its latest game, Trash Talk.

Trash Talk is a captivating party game that challenges players to communicate across species using trash as their medium. In this innovative and hilarious game, raccoons and possums come together to have a blast. Players must use prized treasures pulled from dumpsters, gutters, and maybe even a few “borrowed” from humans to master the art of cross-species communication and ensure everyone wins!

Trash Talk

Gen Con 2023: The Op Games Debuts Two New Strategy Games

The Perfect Wave

Usaopoly (The Op) is debuting two new strategy games, The Perfect Wave and Express Route, at Gen Con Indy 2023, the largest and longest-running gaming convention in North America taking place from August 3-6. During the convention, the more than 50,000 gamers and attendees will be among the first to preview, demo, and purchase limited copies of the newest games within The Op’s Booth #135.

Standing as the theme for The Op’s booth this year is the brand’s latest light strategy board game, The Perfect Wave. In the game, players work to “catch the perfect wave” as they collect Wave cards to construct a sequence, earning points for runs and sets of numbers, and play Trick cards to show off and score bonuses. Designed for 2-4 players, ages 8 and up, paddle out, plan the best combo of moves, and create the ultimate surfing memory! 

Express Route

Joining The Perfect Wave is The Op’s newest cooperative strategy game, Express Route, which allows players to be a part of the mail order revolution where ultramodern shipping technology is in their hands. Those playing the game will have to work together to stay ahead of incoming shipments, plan routes, upgrade equipment, and use specialist abilities to complete deliveries to eager home shoppers before demand spirals out of control. Designed for 1-4 players, ages 10 and up, the game is complete with 20 increasingly difficult scenarios to put players’ planning skills to the test.  

In addition to this year’s new titles, Gen Con 2023 will also mark the final stop on the eight-month run of The Op’s “Road to Gen Con” Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances Championship and crown its “Most Powerful Battle Arena Summoner.” Inspired by the popular mobile game, Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances lets players build teams from Disney and Pixar heroes and villains to compete in an expandable, learn-as-you-go battle arena game. To honor last year’s game launch, The Op kicked off the first of 12 regional tour stops across the nation in January where board game aficionados from near and far came together to battle it out and claim the number one spot. Semi-finalists will now meet again one last time at Gen Con for the “Final Faceoff” and a shot to walk away with $10,000.

Gen Con 2023: Must Do’s from AAW Games

AAW Games

Award winning game publisher AAW Games (Booth 575) has something for everyone at Gen Con 2023 in Indianapolis, IN.

AAW Games will be at Gen Con 2023: booth #575 / Games Room Lucas Oil Stadium 3-4/5-6,

Floor is Spiders by Claire Stricklin (run by the creator!)

Mini-Dungeon adventure for 4-5 characters of level 5
The demon Yx’larak is bound to the will of long-dead drow matrons.
The foul creature maintains its end of the bargain: grant the blessings of the Spider Queen to any that somehow prove themselves worthy.
However, Yx’larak won’t accept that it’s his fault nobody has survived the challenge. But the demon is patient. 

Specially equipped with a Gen Con exclusive Dynamic Dungeons moving battle map and pawns from our Rise of the Drow pawn set. A custom made soundtrack from Italian powerhouse Sonor Village.

Slumbering Titan by Bill Buchalter 

Mini-Dungeon adventure for 4-6 characters of level 8

In ancient times the gods placed titans to live among men and guard their kingdoms from primordial demonic hordes. As the demons were driven from the Material Plane, the titans stood guard over the rift locations to insure they did not return.

Now, a new rift has opened and a vanguard of lesser demons is spreading terror and suffering throughout the land.

Hand painted miniatures by Jonathan G. Nelson. Model scenery. Dynamic Dungeons moving battle map made special for Gen Con. Soundtrack custom made by Sonor Village from Italy.

Rise of the Drow: Darkness Arrives by Stephen Yeardley

You gather with your companions in the village of Rybalka for the ceremony of the Moonshard on the longest night of the year, but from the darkness an unknown foe attacks and threatens the ceremony.

One table (at random) gets a special experience with the digital display (map on flat TV). Using pawns from Rise of the Drow pawn collection. 

Rultmoork: Quagmire in the Great Clepsydra (Gen Con Exclusive!) by Thilo Graf

The players take on the roles of cultists in the Church of Still Waters as they explore the Great Clepsydra of Rultmoork and spread the heresy of stagnation. A prelude to our new Rultmoork adventure available now at the AAW Games booth

AAW games is offering exclusive deals, limited Gen Con exclusive merchandise and sneak peaks. Fans can get a $10 coupon off purchases at the AAW Games booth by texting “Join” to 833-407-6489 and joining the AAW Games Fan Club.

When joining the AAW Fan Club you are also automatically entered into the DAILY drawings that occur at 2pm at the show. Winners MUST be at the AAW Games booth to win! 

Daily prizes!

Day 1 = Rultmoork LE signed
Day 2 = Rise of the Drow signed
Day 3 = Survivalist Guide to Spelunking signed
Day 4 Mini-Dungeon Tome signed

Gen Con 2023: Paizo announces Starfinder Second Edition


 As part of the company keynote presentation for Gen Con 2023, Paizo Inc. announced Starfinder Second Edition. The new edition will be published under the ORC License and implements the three-action economy, making it fully compatible with Pathfinder Second Edition and the Remaster Project.

The announcement featured a short panel with the Starfinder team – Thurston Hillman, Jenny Jarzabski, Dustin Knight, and Jessica Catalan. The roundtable discussion highlighted some key elements of the upcoming Starfinder Playtest and the new edition:

  • This is the most open playtest Paizo has ever launched, with deeper looks into the development process.
  • Pathfinder Second Edition and Starfinder Second Edition rulesets will be completely cross-compatible, allowing for cross-system porting of classes, creatures, and more — provided your GM allows it.
  • The first four classes announced for the Starfinder Playtest are:o   Mystic, represented by the iconic shirren mystic Chk Chk – son of the previous iconic mystic, Keskodai.o   Soldier, represented by the returning iconic vesk soldier Obozaya.o   Envoy, represented by the returning iconic human envoy Navasi.o   Solarion, represented by a new iconic pahtra solarian — also opening up the feline pahtra as a core ancestry for Starfinder Second Edition.
  • As part of the ‘open playtest’ model, the Starfinder team will be keeping players updated and involved with “Field Tests” — the first of which released today alongside the announcement at starfinderplaytest.como   Content for this first Field Test includes the Soldier Class (Levels 1-5), new equipment, and new creatures (the Computer Glitch Gremlin and Laser Wolf).

The Starfinder Playtest Rulebook will be available in summer 2024 as a softcover rulebook. As Starfinder Second Edition will be using the Pathfinder Second Edition ruleset, base system rules will not be a part of the playtest. Rather, the playtest will focus on the core elements of gameplay, including new classes, a scaling equipment system, new skills, and more.

Gen Con 2023: Ghost In the Shell Arise – Roleplaying Game, coming to Kickstarter in 2024

Ghost In the Shell Arise - Roleplaying Game

Mana Project Studio and Don’t Panic Games, licensed by Kodansha Ltd., are proud to introduce you Ghost in the Shell Arise – Role-Playing Game: an official tabletop role-playing game of one of the most beloved anime of all times! 


The World Wars spurred rapid advancements in cyberbrain and cybernetic body (also called prosthetic) technology. Now, the year is 2027: the war is over, reconstruction well underway. Against the backdrop of a burgeoning military-industrial complex, a new organization is needed to fight new kinds of crime.

Ghost In the Shell Arise – Roleplaying Game is set in the earliest Ghost In the Shell timeline, before Section 9 was formed. You will play a group of mercenaries involved in investigative and military operations on behalf of private or government organizations.

The game will reach Kickstarter in 2024 and plan to hit shelves the following year. Its initial launch will feature English, French, and Italian languages.

Come and meet us at Gen Con 2023, at booth 2761.

Gen Con 2023: FanRoll Dice Celebrates its Brand Evolution


It’s been a busy year at FanRoll as the brand has quickly become the industry’s go-to brand within the tabletop gaming space. Announced in 2022, FanRoll entered the tabletop scene intending to partner with the best brands and explore ways to make tabletop gaming more interesting and exciting.

Heading into Gen Con 2023, FanRoll has announced a retail partnership with Paizo’s Pathfinder to launch a line of dice and accessories into retail this fall. The brand has also partnered with Catalyst Games to produce all of the dice for their record-setting BattleTech Kickstarter. Additionally, FanRoll has partnered with Kobold Press to support their Tome of Magic 2 Kickstarter and their upcoming Tales of the Valiant release.

While FanRoll is excited about external properties, the brand is also focused on delivering innovation to the marketplace. In the coming months, the brand will launch its new Shadow Light Black Light line and an LGBTQ+-focused line of products. The brand has announced that a portion of all proceeds from their LGBTQ+ products will go to the nonprofit group Tabletop Gaymers.

To commemorate Gen Con 2023, FanRoll created three exclusive offerings including a sharp-edge Genevieve Dragon inclusion set and a rainbow set of liquid core Elixir Dice. As a special promotion, the brand is giving away limited edition mini dice that spell out G-E-N-C-O-N with any Gen Con exclusive purchase. In addition to these exclusives, FanRoll will showcase its complete product portfolio, including the launch of a new line created to support the LGBTQ+ community. 

FanRoll will be at booth numbers 843, 2328, and 2600 at Gen Con, August 3-6 at the Indianapolis Convention Center. 

Dungeons & Dragons is Back in a Big Way at Gen Con 2023!

D&D Live: A Giant-Size Adventure

Dungeons & Dragons roars into Indianapolis with a host of play opportunities and activities planned at Gen Con from August 3 to 6! If you’re attending, get your adventuring gear polished up and delve into the fun with us!

Check out everything D&D has planned below –  from a star-studded live game DMed by Brennan Lee Mulligan to food trucks, movie showings, cosplay, panels, and more!

D&D Live: A Giant-Size Adventure

  • Saturday, August 5
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Doors at 5:30 PM)
    Indiana Roof Ballroom
    Also streaming live on

Dungeon Master Brennan Lee Mulligan will spin a grand tale alongside players Erika Ishii, Gabe Hicks, Dael Kingsmill, Luis Carazo, and D&D’s own Jeremy Crawford as they take on an adventure of humungous proportions! Watch out for giant feet stomping down previewing content from the forthcoming D&D book Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants.

Tickets for this evening live play show are sold out, but you can watch at home if the internet pipeline spells we’re casting work from the Indiana Roof Ballroom.

Beadle & Grimm’s Faster, Purple Worm! Kill! Kill! Live Show

  • Thursday, 12:00 PM EDT
    Westin : Grand V

Four intrepid 1st-level characters go up against an epic Dungeons & Dragons monster on an unpredictable journey to meet their heroic demise. The show’s Host and live musician add to the fun of this soon-to-be-TV show. Come and witness the first-ever Gen Con and Wizards of the Coast live show of “Faster, Purple Worm! Kill! Kill!” —and leave your notions of “the heroes always win” at the door. Q&A with cast to follow!


  • Dates/Times: Thursday through Sunday, 8:00 PM (Doors at 7:30 PM) – 10:15 PM
    Location: Regal UA Circle Centre

Whether you want to relive the magic or want to see it for the first time, join us for a special complimentary showing! Free popcorn & drinks, special guests, and an evening of fun awaits!

D&D Store by Baldman Games

  • All weekend long (exhibit hall hours)
    Exhibit Hall, Booth 2801
    Indiana Convention Center

Baldman Games has a D&D store with tons of great products, and two special offers! Early sales of Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants will be allocated daily–get the physical book here first! In addition, if you show proof during the show date (Aug. 3-6) that you preordered a future book title on D&D Beyond, you’ll receive free set of dice as a bonus gift! (Offer available once per account. While supplies last.

There’s all sorts of panels happening with our D&D staff! You can view the panel list here.


Join the D&D team as they give an update on the 2024 rules revision playtest, answer some commonly asked questions, and discuss what’s around the corner!

Date/Time: Friday, 11:00 AM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, Room 145
Panelists: Jeremy Crawford (lead), Chris Perkins, Amy Dallen (moderator)
Notes: Player’s Handbook rules discussion, mailbag-style Q&A


Get a sneak peek at the upcoming title, to be released in 2023.

Date/Time: Friday, 2:00 PM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, Room 245
Panelists: Jason Tondro (lead), James Wyatt, Makenzie De Armas, LaTia Jacquise (moderator)
Notes: Heavy on visuals, poster giveaway


D&D is for everyone, and more families are playing the game than ever before! Learn from experts in kid-focused D&D play on how to make your experiences with kids exciting and memorable!

Date/Time: Friday, 4:00 PM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, Room 245
Panelists: LaTia Jacquise (moderator/lead), Chris Lindsay, Gabe Hicks (external), Gwen Marshall (external)
Notes: Small number of slides, educator program/curriculum CTA


Get a sneak peek at the upcoming title, to be released in 2023.

Date/Time: Saturday, 2:00 PM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, Room 245
Panelists: Wes Schneider (lead), Justice Arman, Jeremy Crawford, LaTia Jacquise (moderator)
Notes: Heavy on visuals, poster giveaway


Learn some best practices from Dungeon Masters at Wizards of the Coast! Also great for new DMs – learn where to start, resources available, and best beginner D&D adventures!

Date/Time: Saturday, 4:00 PM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, Room 245
Panelists: Chris Perkins (lead), James Wyatt, Makenzie De Armas
Notes: Derived from Perkins’s DM panel from SDCC, includes discussion of the 2024 DMG

If Magic: The Gathering is more your thing, check out these panels as well!


What was the inspiration for Battle Cards? Will Fiblthp ever be totally found? Questions like these will be answered by Magic: The Gathering’s Principal Game Designer, Gavin Verhey!

Date/Time: Thursday, 3:00 PM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, Room 245
Panelists: Gavin Verhey (lead)
Notes: Gavin to take live questions from the audience


The world’s best trading card game is officially 30! Join your favorite Wizards as we reveal the future of Magic, including new worlds, partnerships, and innovations to drive the next 30 years.

Date/Time: Saturday, 3:00 PM
Location: Indiana Convention Center, Room 245
Panelists: Jess Lanzillo, Mark Rosewater, Ian Adams, Athena Froelich
Notes: Previews for upcoming releases into 2024

Wizards of the Cones Food Truck

  • Thursday – Saturday, 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Sunday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Gen Con Block Party, South Street

Enjoy cool icy treats on hot Indianapolis days at our first-ever food truck! You’ll find ice cream recipes inspired by D&D and Magic: The Gathering characters, with proceeds from sales benefitting The Trevor Project! Look for a coupon in the Gen Con coupon book as well!

Gen Con Costume Contest Sponsor

  • Saturday, August 5
    4:00 PM
    Indiana Convention Center, 500 Ballroom

Wizards of the Coast is proud to sponsor the iconic 37th Annual Gen Con Costume Contest this year! There will be a special category and awards for Wizards-branded characters and monsters. While tickets to the contest are sold out, you may still be able to attend. Alternatively, watch (or join in) the Costume Parade happening throughout the show. More details here.

D&D Play by Baldman Games

  • All weekend long (Thursday – Sunday)
    JW Marriott, Griffin Hall (most D&D play)
    Indiana Convention Center, Hall C (demo D&D)

Many D&D events are on offer all weekend long from our organizer partner! Most games are 2-4 hours and include the latest Adventurers League adventures as well as a special first-look play of Giants of the Star Forge, an adventure using material from Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants! Adventures for all skill levels are available, including a short learn-to-play demo in Hall C.

In addition, check out the play area in the JW Marriott to see the list of D&D staff signing books during the weekend!

Can’t play in person at Gen Con? No sweat! There are D&D games you can play as part of Gen Con Online. Sign up here.

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