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From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

Last post 04-23-2012 4:48 PM by CrzyCanuck. 179 replies.
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  • 02-29-2012 3:30 AM

    • Nelly
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    From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Hi All :)

    I'm sure posts like this have been posted up lots before, but I'm new to the forum and would like to introduce myself. I'm Nelly and myself and a friend are going to be travelling from Dublin, Ireland to GenCon 2012 AND WE ARE SUPER EXCITED!! We are two 25 year old females and cannot wait, however planning the whole thing is a little bit scary and neither of us have been to a convention before. Since Ireland is a little pathetic in this country. The only other similar thing I have attended was Tokyo Game Show in Japan. Which was cool, but frantic.

    We just registered for our 4 days passes and would like to got accommodation sorted ASAP, however after emailing GenCon housing it seems that all the closest places are all booked up. :( They did say that they could put us on the waiting list.

    Can anyone tell us how likely we are to get a room close to the convention if we are on the waiting list, as we really don't want to end up with nowhere to stay?

    How much will it be to get a room close to the convention?

    What hotels should we be looking at?

    Also we are trying to make travel arrangements and when we booked our tickets it said that we need to collect them on the 15th of August. We really have no idea of what to expect, so any info would be awesome :D

    Is there any other way to get the badges other than collecting them on the 15th? We dont want to arrive late and end up having to wait for hours.

    Will there be long queues at the collection? How long should this take?

    What's if one of us isn't able to collect the badge until the 18th? Or does a person who has the 4 day pass have to be there from Day 1?

    On the 16th when should be arrive at the convention? How long will it take to get in?

    Since we know very little about GenCon we have no idea of what to expect, any other hints and tips people can recommend to us? We might even go for a bit of Cosplay, as I can see from the videos this is a big thing. We both love DnD, my frind is into Magic the Gathering, but Im more interested in the RPG end of things.

    Also if people could let us know things 'Not To Miss at Gen Con', such as events or booths please let me know. Even the little irrelevant things will be helpful!

    Thanks you so much for reading all this, I know there are alot of questions but please help, comment and make me feel more at ease. I look forward to seeing ya'll at GenCon :)

    Nelly :D

    i know lots of questions please help

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  • 02-29-2012 4:57 AM In reply to

    • nmhall
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    First off, welcome to the forums Nelly! You're going to have a great time at the con, it's good to be proactive but don't get too anxious about it, after all, you're doing this to have fun! [:))

    Hotel wait list: yes, do this. They will find you a room because there will be cancellations from now all the way up to the con. Last year was my first con and I considered staying at a hotel further afield. I'm glad that I didn't because my experience would have been totally different, less immersive.

    From what I've read from our other international friends, the only way to collect tickets and badges if you live outside the US is via will call. If you're going to be here on the 15th, then collect them on that day. Last year I got in on Thursday and ended up waiting over 2 hours to collect my stuff. I was told that was an unusual situation, nevertheless, I'm coming in on Wednesday to get them. And yes, you can pick up your 4-day badges on any day.

    Hope you and your friend have a great time!

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  • 02-29-2012 5:08 AM In reply to

    • Rbree
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Hi Nelly, If you haven't already; start here: http://community.gencon.com/forums/t/22221.aspx that should help with a lot of questions. As for the room... definetely get on the waiting list rooms should stat opening up as we get closer to the con. Prices can be found somewhere in the housing forums but a downtown hotel will run in the 130 to 200$ a night range. Fo international travelers will call is the only option but you can get you passes anytime during the con as long as will call is open hous ae posted on the main page somewhere. That's a stat i'll ty to get back with events when I have time.
  • 02-29-2012 5:36 AM In reply to

    • Tom
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Awesome, welcome to the forums, and an early welcome to Gen Con. I love enthusiasum :D


    Can anyone tell us how likely we are to get a room close to the convention if we are on the waiting list, as we really don't want to end up with nowhere to stay?
    I'd say pretty likely. You can also post on the Travel and Housing forum with a "Need Room" thread. Just yesterday, my crew had a cancelation of two people who had their own room, and I put them in touch with another family I know who didn't have one yet. So I'd say there's a good shot. You might also be able to find roommates in a large room instead, if that works.

    What hotels should we be looking at?
    The ones that end up with open rooms :P

    Also we are trying to make travel arrangements and when we booked our tickets it said that we need to collect them on the 15th of August. We really have no idea of what to expect, so any info would be awesome :D
    Typically, picking up your tix on Wed hasn't been a big deal, although last year the line was long for some reason. The earlier you get there the better Wed.

    Is there any other way to get the badges other than collecting them on the 15th? We dont want to arrive late and end up having to wait for hours.
    I know for groups, you can specify certain people who can pick up all the group's badges. I'm not sure if individuals can do that. Any help from anyone?

    What's if one of us isn't able to collect the badge until the 18th? Or does a person who has the 4 day pass have to be there from Day 1?
    They actually lock the doors at 8am on Thursday, and anyone who's not in the convention by then is SOL. :D No, kidding, you'll be able to pick things up whenever you arrive.

    On the 16th when should be arrive at the convention? How long will it take to get in?
    If you've got your tickets on Wed, then Thursday is just a matter of walking in the doors. When you should be there will depend on what you want to do and when it starts. There are events running 24 hours and even events on Wed (ticketed but no cost). The exhibit hall will open at 10am Thurs.

    Since we know very little about GenCon we have no idea of what to expect, any other hints and tips people can recommend to us? We might even go for a bit of Cosplay, as I can see from the videos this is a big thing. We both love DnD, my frind is into Magic the Gathering, but Im more interested in the RPG end of things.
    BIG question there. The event list will come out in April, and that will tell us most everything. I'd recommend trying new things too, particularly games/events that you can't easily do back home.

    Also if people could let us know things 'Not To Miss at Gen Con', such as events or booths please let me know. Even the little irrelevant things will be helpful!
    Well, the Gamers for Humanity booth is an awesome place to visit ;) And BYOV's live-action games and tabletop RPGs are excellent as well ;);) Let's see...NASCRAG, True Dungeon, Artist's Alley...

     

    There's a lot to be found out on these forums too. Welcome!




  • 02-29-2012 5:50 AM In reply to

    • atstepchild
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Nelly:

    Can anyone tell us how likely we are to get a room close to the convention if we are on the waiting list, as we really don't want to end up with nowhere to stay?

    As already stated, get on the waiting list. I think you can even just request 'any connected / close hotel'. Also watch the forums for people wanting to trade off rooms. You could get one transferred to you from them.

    How much will it be to get a room close to the convention?

    Watch the forums for people trading, or you could even split a room if you would be comfortable with that. The close hotels are in the 130-220 range, I believe... more if you are looking at some of the higher end hotels or larger rooms. I think you can check PassKey to see what the rates are, even if you can not get the rooms. Keep in mind that cancelling reservations has a fee associated, which is also part of why many people try to trade off their rooms.

    What hotels should we be looking at?

    There are many threads on this, and everyone has their own opinion. Considerations for you to decide for yourself: how much walking are you willing / able to do? What is your budget? What events will you look for (RPGs are mostly consolidated in Northern hotels, Dealer Hall, miniatures, CCGs, etc) because the will be mostly grouped together.

    Also we are trying to make travel arrangements and when we booked our tickets it said that we need to collect them on the 15th of August. We really have no idea of what to expect, so any info would be awesome :D

    As NM and RB said, you will need to pick up your tickets at Will Call. If you can get in on Wed, by all means do so and get it out of the way. You can pick them up any day you want from Wednesday on.

    Is there any other way to get the badges other than collecting them on the 15th? We dont want to arrive late and end up having to wait for hours.

    Will there be long queues at the collection? How long should this take?

    The line for Will Call and how long it will take is yet to be determined. There are also many threads with guesses on this. We won't know until the con gets here.

    What's if one of us isn't able to collect the badge until the 18th? Or does a person who has the 4 day pass have to be there from Day 1?

    If someone can't get there until the 18th, that's fine. They will have to pick up their own badges. Even if you used the friend feature to buy them, I don't think you can pick them up for your friend.

    On the 16th when should be arrive at the convention? How long will it take to get in?

    There will be unnoficial events starting on Tuesday, so there will be something to do from Tuesday on.

    Since we know very little about GenCon we have no idea of what to expect, any other hints and tips people can recommend to us? We might even go for a bit of Cosplay, as I can see from the videos this is a big thing. We both love DnD, my frind is into Magic the Gathering, but Im more interested in the RPG end of things.

    Browse the forums to see what there is to do. Also, you can look at last year's events to get an idea. You can use HighProgrammer's site as a reference (http://gencon.highprogrammer.com/gencon-indy-2011.cgi).

    Also if people could let us know things 'Not To Miss at Gen Con', such as events or booths please let me know. Even the little irrelevant things will be helpful!

    Again, there are many, many threads on this. I would look around for them since everyone has their own opinions on what you should not miss.

    Thanks you so much for reading all this, I know there are alot of questions but please help, comment and make me feel more at ease. I look forward to seeing ya'll at GenCon :)

    Nelly :D

    i know lots of questions please help

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  • 02-29-2012 6:18 AM In reply to

    • Nelly
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Hi Guys/Gals,

    Thank you so much for all the advice, its all super helpfull. And thanx for being so welcoming.

    Email written and ready to be sent to housing and will post in 'Need Room' thread later too. Its put alot of my confusion at rest, its all the little things that were getting me confused.

    Cant wait until we get info about all the events that will be on, no doubt there will be plenty of things that I have never tried before :) Do the events generally fill up pretty quickly or can you take your time to register for the events?

     The only thing that sucks is that it is still 6 months away. :( I cant wait!! :D :D :D

    Nelly

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  • 02-29-2012 6:28 AM In reply to

    • Generichick
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Might want to check out the Gen Con UN group as well - we have members from all over the world, and we usually do things each year like a luncheon, dinner, pub crawl, etc. I think the GCUN is also working on a game this year as well. Go check out the GCUN thread if you haven't already. Lots of awesome people there ! (Since the other questions have been answered, I won't repeat information)
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  • 02-29-2012 6:46 AM In reply to

    • Khaisai
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Hi fellow European!

    First of all - deep breath.

    Now. People have already answered most of your questions, so I won't bother.

    Basic things to know - GenCon is fun! Events vary widely but there will always be way too much to do in one con. The Housing Bureau is awesome and will help as much as possible. People on this forum are awesome and will help as much as possible.

    Important things to know - there are some great places to get a beer in Indy. And the best people to get them with are the GenCon UN. Join today! :D

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  • 02-29-2012 6:58 AM In reply to

    • ladyimmortal
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    I just wanted to say 'welcome to the Forum, Nellie' - I'm not going to rehash answers - you've gotten good ones already.

    There are so many fun things to do at Gencon you might get a little overloaded - I did my first couple of years.  Always try something totally new that you've never done before - that's how I got into LARPing.  And now I play all kinds of Board Games :D.  BYOV is great for LARPING!  (And they've already posted the list of the LARPS they offer this year - looks fun).

     

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  • 02-29-2012 7:04 AM In reply to

    • Rbree
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Nelly, as far as how fast an event fills up it depends on the event.   Certain games like call of Cthulhu or  Paranoia trek will fill up very quickly.   Other events like NASCRAG ( avery fun D&D tournament) will generally have slots available because they have lots of slots available.   If you have certain events you just have to have I would reccomend joining the throng of people(me included) who hit the boards the minute event registration opens.   As a first time I would reccomend trying to stick to just acouple of games a day and leave lots of room for seeing the dealer's hall, checking out the art show, marching in the zombie walk, seeing some movies in the anime rooms and just generally hanging out and getting a feel for  the the event.     If you get in early I would strongly suggest coming the KFG unofficial gaming on Wednesday to meet people and get your con started early... 

  • 02-29-2012 7:22 AM In reply to

    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Nelly as far as the room goes you want to be with in a mile of the convention center. Right downtown is very safe in Indy. I am originally from Chicago, live in Indy, and feel safe downtown. Something not mentioned is checking for room mates in the hotels on the forum. I have known people every year who have gotten on the wait list and always get a room. If you get in a serious pinch for a room I live in a big house 10 minutes from downtown and have a guest room. Are you going to travel before or after the Con? Hope you have a great trip. People in Indy are very friendly so, let us know what you need and we will try to assist you.
  • 02-29-2012 7:54 AM In reply to

    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

     I would also suggest the following for don't miss. True Dungeon is always fun. Also try new games there are a ton. If you like RPG's I suggest doing a dread game. Also make sure to plan some time for the dealer hall you could spend days in there as well.

  • 02-29-2012 7:54 AM In reply to

    • Nelly
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Wow, more awesome advice. Which prompts me to ask more questions.

    Generichick - Thanks for the advice, it would be great to get chatting to some other gamers going to GenCon around the world. They are probably going through the same experience as me.

    The more I think and plan my trip the more I feel that this is going to become an annual pilgrimage to GenCon and not just a one off as planned...

    Khaisai - A Londoner! :D Nice to meet you. I think my plan for the Con is to take it easy on the events, just a few a day and to just experience it! Maybe you can tell me where I can get a nice pint near/at the Convention. Is it ok to drink there? Or are there groups of people that meet elsewhere to drink?

    Ladyimmortal - Nice to make your acquaintance! :D That's my exact plan, I have never had much of an interest in LARP, probably because there isnt too much here in Ireland, but I am curious and would love to give it a go. I plan to register for some events that I would usually not go for.

    Rbree - Awesome Advice, on both posts :D We are going to try our best to get there early on the 15th, we are flying in from JFK that morning so well try and pick up the badges ASAP and then head to pre events and the KFG thinggy you mentioned.

    Do you guys think that it will be easy to meet other people and make friends at the Con? Me and my friend are looking forward to mingle with other gamers and hang out with some new people. Considering that we've been in the one gaming group with 5 people for the last 5 years, it'll be nice to chat to new peeps.

    Blone_one95 - Wow  awesome, thank you so much, I owe you a drink when I get there! Is there a way that people from the forum can meet at GenCon? Im sure we'll get something, I hope so. The closer the better really. Everyone here is SO SO nice, I hope this is what people at the Con will be like too and I know I will have the best time if they are! We are travelling from Ireland to NYC on the 10th of August and hanging out in NYC, then heading to Indy on the 15th and then on the 20th,21st or 22nd heading to Dundee, NY to meet a friend. The dates after the Con are flexible as I dont need to be in Dundee until the 23rd. Then we are leaving from JFK back to Ireland on the 28th.

     I guess the most complicated thing I am trying to get organised right now is how to get from Indy to Dundee NY after the Con, and then from there to JFK. I have looked at options from renting a car and driving, to catching a bus and flying.  However all these are very complicated. So any advice on this is welcome. However I understand it is not GenCon related so I dont expect peoople to post.

    Last question, I promise, in this post at least. I have never done cosplay or costumes and might give it a go at GenCon.

    Is there a thread already relating to this?

    If not, do people dress up for the whole duration of the con and just go from event to event or is it just certain days or times?

    Do people just wear one costume or different things on different days?

     

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  • 02-29-2012 7:58 AM In reply to

    • Nelly
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Im totally going to check out True Dungeon, I've already heard of this one. However never heard of Dread so 100% going to check that out! My secret mission is to meet Wil Wheaton :) I never really watched TNG, Im more of a DS9 girl, however, I love him in The Big Bang Theory and in the Penny Arcade DnD game. I secretly have a red panda teddy named Wil Wheaton.

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  • 02-29-2012 9:40 AM In reply to

    • Tom
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)


    Khaisai - A Londoner! :D Nice to meet you. I think my plan for the Con is to take it easy on the events, just a few a day and to just experience it! Maybe you can tell me where I can get a nice pint near/at the Convention. Is it ok to drink there? Or are there groups of people that meet elsewhere to drink?
    The Ram and Scotty's are general consensus staples for tipping one back at the Con. The Rock Bottom, just another block or so away, is also good. There's a place called Claddagh--we suspect it's Klingon food from the name, although they serve things like 'Bangers' and 'champ', and apparently a pie made out of shepherds. They also serve something called Guinness.

    Ladyimmortal - Nice to make your acquaintance! :D That's my exact plan, I have never had much of an interest in LARP, probably because there isnt too much here in Ireland, but I am curious and would love to give it a go. I plan to register for some events that I would usually not go for.
    LadyI mentioned our BYOV games too, so I'll just explain briefly that they are essentially the 'role-playing' part of and RPG, without the 'roll-playing' part. You get a character, the setting, goals, and you're off.

    Rbree - Awesome Advice, on both posts :D We are going to try our best to get there early on the 15th, we are flying in from JFK that morning so well try and pick up the badges ASAP and then head to pre events and the KFG thinggy you mentioned.
    Let me add to Robin's advice regarding events. He already pointed out that events fill very differently. Popular events can go faster than you'd imagine. We've had Harry Potter larps sell out in less than 30 seconds, no joke. Other times and other events, there are still tickets available when the Con rolls around. With only two people, finding TD tickets will be easier for you. Anything 'Paranoia' sells out fast, and Cthtuhtlhuhlhu events go quickly as well.

    BUT: never hesitate to email GMs for games you are interested in, if they sell out. A lot of GMs plan to be able to accomodate one or two more players than the ticket limit. I've never heard of anyone not being able to play NASCRAG, and we BYOVers try not to turn anyone away either.

    Do you guys think that it will be easy to meet other people and make friends at the Con? Me and my friend are looking forward to mingle with other gamers and hang out with some new people. Considering that we've been in the one gaming group with 5 people for the last 5 years, it'll be nice to chat to new peeps.
    Often that depends on personalities, of course. But a lot of meet-ups are planned here on the forums. Having a drink here, dinner there, going to the Farmer's Market on Wed, the Stink, etc. There's less formal Wednesday gaming too, which helps because you can meet people right away.

    Blone_one95 - Wow  awesome, thank you so much, I owe you a drink when I get there! Is there a way that people from the forum can meet at GenCon?
    The Stink is a meetup/party on Wednesday night. It was originally a forum member only thing. People signed up for it here, showed up, met in person. etc. It's become a ticketed event these days, and a lot of people who never come to the forums buy tickets and show up. I haven't been to it since that started, so I can't say anything positive or negative. But there will be forumites there, and people often plan to meet there. There's also KFG Wed gaming, which is very popular.


    Last question, I promise, in this post at least. I have never done cosplay or costumes and might give it a go at GenCon.

    Is there a thread already relating to this?

    If not, do people dress up for the whole duration of the con and just go from event to event or is it just certain days or times?

    Do people just wear one costume or different things on different days?
    A little of column A, a little of column B. There are some people who will wear one costume most of the time, others who have different costumes for different days, some who bring a costume only to wear for a day, others who make and bring costumes for particular events. It's pretty much open to you how you want to do it.

     





  • 02-29-2012 9:53 AM In reply to

    • LordKnyght
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Hey Nelly - Welcome to the forums!

    Let me begin by telling you that you are about to meet the closest 30,000 friends you'll ever have.  Gen Con (GC) is a weekend of nothing but pure enjoyment, no matter what your hobbies are.  I'm sure you will find more than enough to keep you busy the entire time!

    Since others have addresssed most of your questions already I'm going to focus on one or two specific ones.  Everyone has thier "to do" list and you're going to see more events than you know what to do with.  My suggestion on this?  Set time aside for the dealers room including time to try games new to you, read everything you can about what you're going to face (thousands of events) and find something you will enjoy.  I have two suggestions:  Killer Breakfast by Tracy Hickman and Star Wars D6 by Sparks - a campaign set to the old Westend Games system.  Both are reasons I keep going back.  But there are so many more.....

    If theres anything I can do to help, please feel free to contact me directly.  And I hope you enjoy your time with us!

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  • 02-29-2012 10:46 AM In reply to

    • Noffham
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Nelly! Welcome to the Forums and Gen Con! Feel free to contact me (or any of the moderators) directly with any questions or concerns, we are here to help.

    You've gotten a ton of good advice so far and I'm sure the forumites will take good care of you and your friend; we are gamers after all and gamers are the best! Meeting people is as easy as saying "Hi". KFG Weds. gaming is held at the Ram and Scotty's Brewhouse and I know we will be happy to welcome you with open arms.

    Re: events- Great advice given so far. I'd even say that if you are interested in trying out a specific game, post a thread asking if anyone plans to run a session or two. You may even get a volunteer to run something for you. It doesn't even have to be currently in print, the Dead Games Society can cover you! The sooner you request, the better as event submission closes in March. (And don't be shy about requesting something at the Weds. gaming; it's all free!)

    You mentioned 4th Ed D&D, the RPGA will be holding their events in the Indianapolis Marriot Downtown this year. Most other RPG's will be in the newer JW Marriot. Board and Card games will mostly be in the Convention Center. True Dungeon will also be in the Convention Center. The Westin Hotel typically holds the Anime and Film events. As Andy suggested above, check out the Highprogrammer site to see the range of events and locations.

    And don't forget all the seminars and workshops on writing, painting miniatures, game design, etc. Or all the SPA events like crafting, dancing and so on. There is simply more to do than you can possibly fit in one trip!

    Noffham
    Gen Con Forums Senior Moderator

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  • 02-29-2012 11:51 AM In reply to

    • Qyis
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Nelly:
    Do you guys think that it will be easy to meet other people and make friends at the Con? Me and my friend are looking forward to mingle with other gamers and hang out with some new people. Considering that we've been in the one gaming group with 5 people for the last 5 years, it'll be nice to chat to new peeps.
     

    Welcome to the forums Nelly! Meet people? lol Without a doubt! A great many number of people to meet! I suggest a few things that can break the ice, KFG gaming on Wednesday, either found at the RAM or Scotty's. There is the tuesday night gathering with movies, gaming, and a sing-along (rumored) usually at the one of those two places. Or, the Stink on Wednesday is a fantastic oportunity especially playing "are you a werewolf?" Don't miss that!

     Also, there usually a forumite dinner where a gaggle of us invade a restaurant like Fogo de Chao or something fancy. (This is one of my favorites)

    Ask all the questions you'd like to! We don't charge THAT much! ;-)


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  • 02-29-2012 12:07 PM In reply to

    • Rbree
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    And Nelly in reguards to meeting people... You're 25, female, and have, what is to most of us,  an exotic and pleasing accent.   You're problem is going to be keeping people away.  ;)

  • 02-29-2012 1:05 PM In reply to

    • Eric
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    Re: From Ireland to GenCon! Help :)

    Nelly:

    Do you guys think that it will be easy to meet other people and make friends at the Con? Me and my friend are looking forward to mingle with other gamers and hang out with some new people. Considering that we've been in the one gaming group with 5 people for the last 5 years, it'll be nice to chat to new peeps.

    I had exactly the same concern when I went last year. I was coming from Australia and didn't know anyone that was going to be there.

    But I met heaps of great people who made me feel very welcome and I still chat with today. (Despite being on the other side of the world)

    GCUN - Ambassador for Sydney, Australia

    KFG - Heated Rabbit

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