Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tabletop Tuesday! Tabletop Games at SDCC

Hello! Welcome back to Tabletop Tuesday, my weekly series on tabletop gaming. Today's post is about where to find tabletop gaming at San Diego Comic Con - because this time tomorrow we will be on a plane, flying across the country to attend SDCC!

SDCC is a great place for tabletop gaming. There are demos, exhibits, vendors, and freebies littered around the con, making it easy to find and learn about new games if that's what you're interested in. This post is about what we saw at SDCC last year and where tabletop games can be found, for any SDCC attendees who might be interested in checking out their tabletop gaming options at the con.

Last year at SDCC we saw a Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures demo in the Exhibit Hall. We played Dungeons & Dragons in the SDCC Gaming Hall at the Marriott. We even received free copies of games at Geek & Sundry. Games were available to pick up and play at Geek & Sundry and in the SDCC Gaming Hall at the Marriott, for anyone needing a break.

Point is: there is so much to do at SDCC, and tabletop gaming is just one of the many activities and hobbies represented at the convention. It's easy to stumble across the tabletop offerings, but if you know where to look, you'll up your chances of having enough time to play a game or get a freebie. You might even meet a celebrity or game creator!

D&D 5e starter set game, played at SDCC 2014

Three locations to find tabletop games at SDCC are: 

SDCC Exhibit Hall, located in the Convention Center 
Access requires a badge. There are demos and vendors scattered throughout the hall, discounts on copies of games, and freebies. The demos here are less interactive, meant to be watched by people wandering the con floor.

Geek & Sundry's off-site event, this year at Petco Park
Access is free and doesn't require a badge! Wil Wheaton and other Geek & Sundry favorites sometimes play games here. Last year this event was located at Jolt'n Joe's and there were tables set up with stacks of different games available for attendees to relax and play, exhibit tables in the main room displayed a couple of new games. We also received free copies of Pieces of Eight, Love Letter, and Magic the Gathering cards for completing a scavenger hunt, too!

This year Geek & Sundry is sharing space with Nerdist and Amy Poehler's Smart Girls. In a recent Geek & Sundry post some planned activities are listed, and there is a specific mention of a Gaming Nook with some giveaways planned! On the Nerdist site it says the event is open 11-5 Thursday through Sunday, so I imagine it will be extra busy because of the limited hours.

SDCC Gaming Rooms, Manchester Grand Hyatt, near the Convention Center
Access requires a badge. Last year, the gaming room was in the Marriott. This year it's been moved to the Hyatt and there are multiple rooms devoted to different games. There is a variety of games available to play, including interactive demos of new games and expansions. Last year's list included the tabletop RPGs Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons. Some of the playable demos, like the ones run by a DM, start at specific times and players will need to commit to the hour or two to the game, but it is a great introduction to tabletop RPGs or to test out a new game with someone who knows how it's played.

This list is not exhaustive, but it's a great place to start!

Part of Thursday's schedule - so many games!

The schedule for the SDCC Gaming Hall can be found on the main SDCC schedule under Games (also in the SDCC app). Games being played this year include: Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering, Munchkin, Catan, Pokemon, Gloom... there are just too many to list them all here! Some of the events are even tournaments with prizes!

Our Plans
D&D debuts Adventurers League expansions at conventions throughout the year, and SDCC is premiering Boltsmelter's Book, an adventure for characters level 1-4. Since our D&D characters are getting ready to level out of that range, we might give it a try if we have time! There is also an adventure for characters level 5-9, though players must bring their own characters to play that level of the game. And, of course, we'll visit Geek & Sundry and spend plenty of time wandering the Exhibit Hall.

If you're going to SDCC, do you have any plans that involve tabletop gaming? Have you ever tried a tabletop RPG demo at a convention?

Next week's post will be a recap of what we played at SDCC! 
Until then, GAME ON!

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