Winter Fantasy

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Winter Fantasy is an annual gaming convention that takes place in the USA every January or February.


The convention was held as early as 1977[1] under the name Winter Fantasy. In 2007 the convention was renamed to D&D Experience (often abbreviated as DDXP or D&DXP).[2] In 2012 Wizards of the Coast announced it would now use the title D&D Experience for the events it held at the Gen Con convention.[3] Baldman Games, the company currently operating this and other conventions for Wizards of the Coast, decided to continue the tradition and brought back the name Winter Fantasy for the 2013 convention.[4]

The convention has been closely tied to the RPGA, and was sponsored by the RPGA from 1989 until TSR went bankrupt.[5] The entire design team of Marc Miller's Traveller met only once before they began writing – at Winter Fantasy, held February 9-11, 1996 in Milwaukee.[6]

Winter Fantasy has played host to a wide variety of tournament and organized play games. These include popular living campaign programs such as Living City, Living Greyhawk, and Living Forgotten Realms. The 2013 convention included Pathfinder Society games run by Paizo Publishing in addition to Wizards of the Coast organized play events.

Winter Fantasy has often featured special events either not available elsewhere or with a limited release. 2013 included a special Pathfinder scenario and multi-table battle interactive events for the Living Forgotten Realms and Ashes of Athas campaigns. Ashes of Athas is a Dark Sun campaign, which started at Winter Fantasy 2011 and concluded at Winter Fantasy 2013.

The location of the convention has moved over the years. It is currently held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a site it has held since 2009[7] and also several times in the past. The first Winter Fantasy was organized by Rob Kuntz and held January 8 to 9, 1977, at American Legion Hall in Lake Geneva, WI.[8][9] Other locations have included Milwaukee (1992),[10] Chicago, New Jersey (2004),[11] and Washington, DC (2005-2008).[12][13]


Event Date Location Notes
"Winter Fantasy 1" January 8–9, 1977[14] American Legion Hall
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Organized and chaired by Rob Kuntz
"Winter Fantasy 3" January 6–7, 1979 Lake Geneva, WI First Official Invitations AD&D Masters Tournament held. J. Eric Holmes was one of 45 invited to the event. 18 actual participants.[15]
"Winter Fantasy 4" January 5–6, 1980 Lake Geneva, WI Held at American Legion Hall.[16]
"Winter Fantasy 6" 1982  ? TSR either sponsoring or co-sponsoring Winter Fantasy at this time[17]
"Winter Fantasy 16" January 3–5, 1992 Milwaukee, WI Events included Living City, Paranoia, Marvel Super Heroes, Torg, and Star Wars. Registration through the RPGA.[18] First two-round Living City tournament, "Eye of the Leviathan". RPGA's first interactive event, "Terrors of Terre Haute".[19]
"Winter Fantasy 17" January 8–10, 1993 Milwaukee, WI First year in MECCA site. Preregistration is $16, $10 for RPGA members. Events included electing a player as Lord Mayor in the Living City campaign, Living City, D&D, Gamma World, Star Wars, Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu, and Dawn Patrol.[20]
"Winter Fantasy 18" January 7–9, 1994 Milwaukee, WI Guests of honor Bruce Nesmith, Bill Slavicsek, James Lowder.[21]
"Winter Fantasy 19" February 10-12, 1995 Milwaukee, WI Guests of honor Wolfgang Baur (TSR), Chuck Crain (Ral Partha). Events included Living City tournaments, Ravens Bluff interactive, Axis & Allies tourney, writer's workshops, seminars, premiere of Living Jungle.[22]
"Winter Fantasy 21" 1997 (Did not take place) (none) Convention was canceled the year TSR went out of business.[23]
"Winter Fantasy 22" February 26-March 1, 1998 Chicago, IL Introduced Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game[24][25]
"Winter Fantasy 23" February 25-28, 1999 Chicago, IL
"Winter Fantasy 24" January 13–16, 2000 Fort Wayne, IN TSR staff and some of future Triads and Circle members on hand to speak about upcoming Living Greyhawk campaign (launched at Gen Con 2000).[26]
"Winter Fantasy 25" January 25–28, 2001 Fort Wayne, IN Preregistration exceeds 2000 attendance. Living Force campaign launched. Celebrated 20th year of RPGA on Saturday.[27] First 3rd edition Living City scenarios. Guests of honor Monte Cook and Andy Collins run Moathouse portion of Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil for Living Greyhawk.[28]
"Winter Fantasy 27" 2003 Fort Wayne, IN Included Assault on the Vault special for Living Greyhawk.
"Winter Fantasy 28" 2004 East Rutherford, New Jersey Only year in New Jersey.
"Winter Fantasy 29" 2005 Crystal City, VA (Washington, DC) First year in DC area.
"Winter Fantasy 31" 2007 Crystal City, VA (Washington, DC) Last year of the Living Death organized play campaign.[29]
"Winter Fantasy 32" 2008 Crystal City, VA (Washington, DC) Last year in DC area and last year for Living Greyhawk events. Two adventures previewed upcoming 4th Edition.
"Winter Fantasy 33" Jan 29 - Feb 1, 2009 Fort Wayne, IN Returned to Fort Wayne, first year of Living Forgotten Realms 4E campaign.
"Winter Fantasy 33" Jan 28-31, 2010 Fort Wayne, IN Featured 4E "Death in the Arena" Dark Sun setting preview.
"Winter Fantasy 35" 2011 Fort Wayne, IN Premiere of Ashes of Athas campaign.
"Winter Fantasy 36" January 26–29, 2012 Fort Wayne, IN First ever public playtest of D&D Next. Last year event used DDXP name.
"Winter Fantasy 37" Jan 23-27, 2013 Fort Wayne, IN Return of name Winter Fantasy. First year with Paizo events. Conclusion of Ashes of Athas campaign.
"Winter Fantasy 38" Feb 5-9, 2014 Fort Wayne, IN Final adventures for the Living Forgotten Realms campaign and conclusion of Epic series. Paradigm joins the show with Witch Hunter and Living Arcanis adventures. Classic Living Greyhawk special adventures Isle of Woe and Castle Greyhawk run, converted to D&D Next. Paizo does not return to the show.
"Winter Fantasy 39" Feb 4-8, 2015 Fort Wayne, IN First year providing adventures for the D&D Adventurers League program as part of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline. Previewed the Shadow of the Demon Lord and Red Aegis RPGs. Living Arcanis, Witch Hunter, and NeoExodus Legacies were also present at the show.
"Winter Fantasy 40" Feb 3-7, 2016 Fort Wayne, IN Adventurers League concludes the Rage of Demons storyline and offers an All-Access premium pass of adventures written and run by WotC or campaign admins. Paizo returns after a 2-year absence. Paradigm returns with Living Arcanis. Schwalb Entertainment offers linked adventures for Shadow of the Demon Lord.[30]

Scheduled future events[edit]

Event Scheduled date Location Notes
"Winter Fantasy 41" Feb 1-5, 2017[31] Fort Wayne, IN


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Notes from HQ in Polyhedron Volume 12, Number 4, Issue 70, April 1992
  6. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 331. ISBN 978-1-907702- 58-7. 
  7. ^ DDXP 2009
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Advertisement in Polyhedron Volume 11, Number 6, Issue 62, August 1991
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^,_where_will_dnd_experience_go?pg=3
  14. ^
  15. ^ Dragon #22 (February 1979), pg 31.
  16. ^ Dragon #31 (November 1979), pg 22.
  17. ^ Gary Gygax, Guest Editorial, Dragon 65 (September 1982), pg 5.
  18. ^ Advertisement in Polyhedron Volume 11, Number 6, Issue 62, August 1991
  19. ^ Notes from HQ in Polyhedron Volume 12, Number 4, Issue 70, April 1992
  20. ^ Notes from HQ and Advertisement in Polyhedron Volume 12, Number 8, Issue 75, September 1992
  21. ^ Advertisement in Polyhedron Volume 15, Number 7, Issue 87, July 1993
  22. ^ Advertisement in Dungeon Volume IX, Number 2, Issue 50, November-December 1994
  23. ^ Dragon 362 article Part 2: Success and Decline in the Living City, by Chris Tulach; February 6, 2008;
  24. ^ Polyhedron, Issue 131
  25. ^ Event advertised in Polyhedron Volume 17, Number 2, Issue 127, December 1997
  26. ^
  27. ^ Polyhedron Volume 20, Number 6, Issue 145, Dec 2000 / January 2001
  28. ^ Polyhedron Volume 21, Number 1, Issue 146, March 2001
  29. ^ Dragon 363 article Part 3: Living Fever, by Chris Tulach; April 25, 2008;
  30. ^ Winter Fantasty 2016 Event Schedule;
  31. ^ Baldman Games Twitter Account, Feb 22, 2016,

External links[edit]