GenCon is right around the corner and preregistration stuff for our local gaming convention Con of the North will start soonish as well. This has me thinking about games to run at conventions. GenCon stands a good chance of not happening for me this year for a myriad of reasons, but Con of the North will for sure be on my to do list come February 2012. So my big goal for any con this year is running games with no more than two books, and if possible only using a systems core rule book.
Every time I load up for my Shadowrun game it make me think about this. Do I always need 50 pounds of books to run a game? In an ongoing campaign I can see how it can be useful if you want that level of detail, but at a convention I think it tends to slow down play. Case in point Con of the North 2010 and Star Wars Saga Edition vs Cthulu Tech. The Star Wars game felt bogged down by a bag full of splat books to look for this rule or that, not to mention the minis, battle mat and such. Cthulu Tech on the other hand, I was running with the core rule book and the Vade Mechum source book, and it was fast and fun, and had a lot more role playing to be had by the players.
So that is my goal run two or maybe three games, and only have between 3 and 5 books leaning towards the lower number. To that end I think I will try and stick to rules systems that I only own the base rules to prevent going source book crazy. So any other GMs out there what are your thoughts/feelings on convention games and system bloat?