IT’S BUSINESS TIME. 50+ hours of D&D at DDXP.

DDXP- (also known as ‘The Dungeons and Dragon’s eXPerience”) takes place this year from january 27th to the 30th, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  By the time you read this, I should already be there.  I go to two major conventions a year (and a lot of local gamedays/small conventions in the MD/Pennsylvania/VA area). The two big shows are DDXP and GenCon. Some people do conventions to shop, or hang out, or to take part in demos.. I go to conventions to game.  DDXP is my favorite convention.

This will actually  be my 7th DDXP. Well, it used to be called Winter Fantasy when I started going, and it used to be a local show for me- right here in the DC area. I would take the metro down and just walk right into the convention center. Eventually I just started driving down, because it wasn’t too far. Now it’s in Ft Wayne, and that involves gearing up an arctic expedition- The last two years have been like an episode of Ice Road Truckers, except it’s been me and my friends in my Toyota Matrix, crossing the tundra. This year I’m flying.

So here’s what DDXP is: dawn-to-dusk D&D gaming for 3 days straight, plus you can get in a game on Sunday. And if you are slick and your constitution is higher than 12 or so (mine’s like a 9, sadly), you can even get in some games after midnight, and cram in a couple on the Wednesday before the show as well. This is literally 50+ hours of D&D. They EVEN have a couple of vendors set up as well- not too many. But it’s nothing like GenCon. You don’t go to shop, man. The other thing is- they have the new product release seminar, where they introduce what the plans are for the coming year. So last year, in January, I was sitting there in a breakout room with other DDXP attendees looking at D&D Essentials on a slide show about a month before almost anyone else did.

Gen Con –which I also love- is by comparison around 50+ hours of “experiencing a gaming convention” –and that includes shopping, sightseeing, watching costumed people, standing in lines, etc. . .I love GenCon, and I usually do the same DMing job there that I do at DDXP. But GenCon is more about the whole experience of a real game fair.  DDXP? DDXP is Business Time.

DDXP is business time.

DDXP from my POV is pretty much all gaming, all the time. I come to Ft Wayne to roll dice and chew gum, and I’m all out of gum. Oh, and here’s another kicker: If you DM 7 slots? They put you up in the hotel for free. Oh snap! The conference center/ballroom is not too loud, and there’s not too many lines. It’s even somewhat intimate in that– if you go to two of these you’ll realize you know half the people there, or at least recognize their faces.  I’ve even made lasting friendships from people I met at DDXP (like Dustin Snyder- my fellow Xendrik DM at Winter Fantasy 2006)  and people from my local area who I never would have encountered if I hadn’t exchanged email addresses after a game.  Every year it gets a little more exciting, and little more interesting. One year we got slammed by a blizzard on day one and we were snowed in- It didn’t matter. We gamed right through it.

If you’re like me, and you love to DM, DDXP is the absolute best thing going.

Once you arrive, you pick up your event tickets (or you got your event tickets ahead of time), your badge, and perhaps some free stuff. One year I got a D&D mug; I’ve also gotten free minis, folders.. lots of little things like that.  If you are DMing, you also  have to go pick up your Judge’s Shirt. A day at the convention is divided into three slots- each about 5 hours long. 8Am-1pm, 1pm-6pm, and 7Pm-Midnight.Usually you start by going to find some other DMs and see if you can get in a pickup game on Wednesday (before the show actually opens). Then there’s usually a big DM’s meeting that night.

Thursday morning the convention starts for real- if you are a DM you end up waiting to be assigned to a table. If you are a player you go through a process called “mustering” where they pick out a table of 6 players who more or less have compatible levels and party roles covered. My hometown gaming crew even goes as a team.

And then gaming, gaming, gaming. Rinse and repeat 10 times.

Added Bonus: King Gyro.

For meals, there’s this place down the street called King Gyro- they have something called “My Big Fat Greek Burger”- it’s like a giant diner-style hamburger layered with with gyro meat, gyro sauce, and feta cheese.  I get it with extra jalapenos. It’s the bomb.

This Will Rock Your Face Off.

I’ll be posting updates from the show. Stay tuned!

Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Nunya!

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