Although I was most excited about playing Torg this last GenCon, I was able to play a lot of other games at GenCon 2016 as well. Many of the games I played were Cypher system, both at the request of my friend Joshua as well as a desire to play No Thank You, Evil! with my kids. All three of the Cypher System games I played (combined with the home game of the Strange I played in a few months back), I feel like I’ve seen a lot of different ways to play this robust game system. To me, the Cypher System is a lot like Savage Worlds and Fate: a fairly simple engine that is well-supported and easily useable across multiple genres or game types, but a bit too narratively loose for my liking (that is, contingent upon a level of narrative cooperation between the players that I don’t usually see in Pathfinder games).

I also got to play a demo of the Apocrypha card game, which I Kickstarted the day I heard about it. The “language” of the game consists of several symbols that weren’t immediately intuitive to pick up; I see a steeper learning curve with this game than with the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. However, it looks able to reflect a greater variety in adventure types. So my enthusiasm for this game is now a bit tempered, but I’m still very much looking forward to breaking it out at my game table at home. I played a demo of a simple but flavorful RPG called CAT-aclysm where the players are all intelligent cats in a post-human world. It seems to be entering a crowded market with the likes of Mouse Guard and Pugmire, but perhaps it’s target toward newer gamers will distinguish it from other animal games.

I also played a couple of enjoyable but not stellar games of D&D 5th edition, a too-quick round of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild, a fairly disappointing game of Low-Life, and a super fun game of playing super-powered grade schoolers, and a few fun games with my young kids. GenCon is certainly becoming more kid-friendly, with more kid-focused events, presentations, and games—something I appreciate as a parent. And all of my kids had a ton of fun and are really looking forward to coming back next year. 

In all, a great GenCon. As far as what I missed out on, I found myself wishing I’d taken a few slots to run a game (particularly after the couple of sessions I had where the gamemaster wasn’t doing a very good job), and perhaps I’ll do so for next year!