Penny Arcade’s newest addition to their list of conventions is coming to Philadelphia in November. PAX Unplugged will focus exclusively on tabletop games.
Tabletop conventions have been around for a long time. Gen Con and Origins Game Fair have been going strong since the sixties and seventies respectively. Both feature traditional pen-and-paper, board, and card games, including role-playing games, miniatures wargames, live action role-playing games, collectible card games, and strategy games. There is a small computer game presence as well.
What will PAX Unplugged be bringing to the tabletop gaming world? For starters, it’s going to be schedule-friendly to the the gaming convention audience for at least the near future. Gen Con takes place every August. Origins is typically a spring to early summer event (March 2018). A November date for PAX Unplugged makes attending all three in a year viable.
It’s safe to say the online TTRPG community will have a big presence at PAX Unplugged. Online tabletop gaming is HOT right now. Live stream games on Twitch and Mixer are common today. Geek and Sundry’s Critical Role live stream voice actors Matt Mercer, Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey are recognized for their faces as much as their voices.
Penny Arcade’s Long History with TTRPGs
Since 2007, Penny Arcade founders Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik have been collaborating with Wizards of the Coast to play Dungeons & Dragons. Acquisitions Incorporated is the brand name of their adventuring group. Holkins, Krahulik and webcomic artist Scott Kurtz (creator of PVP) teamed up with D&D’s designer/editor/dungeon master extraordinaire Chris Perkins for a D&D podcast. The podcast was part of Dungeons and Dragons’ 4th edition advertising campaign. It was then that Acquisitions Incorporated was born. Shortly thereafter they took the show on the road to PAX events. It draws thousands of viewers, filling event auditoriums at every PAX event.
Will Acquisitions Inc. Be Present?
There’s no guarantee that Acquisitions Inc. will make an appearance at PAX Unplugged. Says Hartman in a quote, “We were able to get Acquisitions Inc. to come to South…It’s not just as easy as saying, ‘Hey, we want to do it! Add a show, and let’s do it!’ There’s a lot of moving pieces and cat herding with it…I would love to be able to do it at Unplugged, and I’m sincerely hoping.” When you consider the history of Acquisitions Incorporated and Holkins’ brand new weekly streaming tabletop game Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team, you can bet we are going to get a show of some sort. It will surprise me if Acquisitions Incorporated’s “A” team doesn’t make an appearance at PAX’s inaugural tabletop convention.
Pax Unplugged takes place November 17-19, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Badges are on sale now. There is a list of hotels on the PAX Unplugged site. Make sure you sign up for email updates.
Will you be attending PAX Unplugged? Let me know. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Gravykingpin