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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gen Con IX report by Ian Livingstone

GEN CON IX report by Ian Livingstone (Click on pic for a larger view)

In the summer of 1976, Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson of Games Workshop traveled to the US to attend the ninth Gen Con. This was the last year that the event was held it is original location, the Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva. Ian Livingstone later wrote about their trip in a con report for Owl & Weasel #18, September 1976, the predecessor of White Dwarf magazine.

The scan quality is not great, since I grabbed this image from an Ebay auction, but it is readable if you click on the picture above.

Some choice quotes:

"The Con kicked off with an auction at 10am with a great pile of games and figures being skillfully sold off by this-is-cheap-at-twice-the-price Tim Kask"

"...naturally Fantasy was featured strongly, with games of D&D, Lankhmar (see review), War of Wizards and Petal Throne being played everywhere"

 "Before lunch, Fritz Leiber gave a seminar on sword and sorcery and also on the development of his game Lankhmar. During the afternoon there were even more games but perhaps the most interesting part was an Empire of the Petal Throne adventure guided by the inventor Professor Barker and made famous by the enormous model of the Jakala Palace he'd built together with his red-shirted entourage"

"The ubiquitous insomniac D&D brigade carried on through the night whilst lesser mortals slept"

"Steve and I spent [Saturday] checking out new games with a view to importing some of them and obviously spent a lot of time with all the members of TSR to whom go our thanks for putting themselves out for use despite the time constraints of the Con. Special thanks go to Gary Gygax and Rob Kuntz for the guided tours and introduction to the Next Door Pub!"

Here is a picture of Leiber, Gygax, Barker, Jackson, Livingstone and Kuntz from this con, published in 40 Years of Gen Con by Robin Laws. I grabbed a scan of it from here.

A Rogues Gallery of Game Designers

This relationship bore fruit - Jackson and Livingstone obtained the rights to distribution TSR products in the UK, and by late 1977 Games Workshop was printing UK versions of TSR products, including the Basic Set.


  1. Wow. That picture is epic. Thanks!

  2. On RPG Geek, I posted photos of M. A. R. Barker, his "red-shirted entourage" and their model from Gen Con IX. It isn't the Jakala Palace, as Livingstone reports; it is the Temple of Vimuhla. The photos were originally published in The Dragon #4.