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Convention History

PentaCon is sponsored by the Northeastern Indiana Gaming Association (NIGA). In 1985, five members of the NIGA, acting on their own, hosted the first PentaCon. It was a one day affair attended by approximately 250 gamers. These same five individuals (hence the "PENTA" in PentaCon) continued to host the next three conventions. In 1989, the NIGA as a group took sponsorship of PentaCon V. PentaCon has since grown to offer a wide variety of game types to meet most gaming interests. PentaCon X, in 1994, was attended by about 700 gamers and included over 100 individual games, tournaments, and other events.
The continuing success of PentaCon prompted the NIGA to expand PentaCon XI to three days. PentaCon XV was the largest convention to date, with over 1100 gamers participating in 300 events, and PentaCon XVI broke the event barrier, presenting over 400 events to its attendees. PentaCon XVII, for the first time ever, turned game masters away from their preferred slots to their alternate slots in order to avoid exceeding the space available.

PentaCon's Founders
Butch Vonderau Henri Biancardi Mike Durant Don Rapp Dean Rapp

Past Conventions
PentaCon I 1985   The first PentaCon.
PentaCon II 1986    
PentaCon III 1987   The first flea market was held.
PentaCon IV 1988    
PentaCon V 1989   The NIGA begins sponsoring PentaCon.
PentaCon VI 1990   Special Guest: John Wheeler.
PentaCon VII 1991   The first two day convention, and the convention had grown large enough to move from the upstairs ballroom of the Grand Wayne Center into part of the main exhibition room.
PentaCon VIII 1992    
PentaCon IX 1993   The convention grew to require the entire area of the main exhibition hall in the Grand Wayne Center.
PentaCon X 1994   More than one hundred games and events were offered to over 700 gamers. The founders were brought back to be honored at this tenth convention. This was the first year the convention specifically brought in game related personalities as Special Guests.
* Sorcerers' Guild released Darkus Thel, 2nd Edition at the convention.
* Special Guests: Clyde Caldwell, Pamela and Don Shanteau, Jon Pickens.
PentaCon XI 1995   The first three day convention. The new day, Friday, had two long sessions, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.
* First charity raffle conducted.
* Special Guests: Jean and Bruce Rabe, Jeff Easley, Tony Szczudlo.
PentaCon XII 1996   Attendance exceeded 800, with over 30 dealers.
* Klingons begin their charity Jail-N-Bail.
* Special Guests: Robin Wood and Mike Short, Robert A. Kraus, Jean and Bruce Rabe.
PentaCon XIII 1997   The greatest number of events to date, over 160, were available to the gamers.
* Black Dragon Press, publishers of Dragon Storm, officially released the Dragon Storm Kanchaka Valley, Adventure Book 3, The Haskalad Empire at PentaCon XIII. Mark Harmon was also kind enough to put a review of PentaCon XIII on the Dragon Storm web site.
* Special Guests: Larry Elmore, Susan Van Camp and Mark Harmon, John T. Snyder, Evan Davis.
February 1998   PentaCon was presented the Hanna Award by the Grand Wayne Center in recognition of the convention's contributions to tourism and the economic life of the city of Fort Wayne.
PentaCon XIV 1998   In three days, over two hundred and fifty games and events were run. The convention expanded into one of the Pike Rooms within the Grand Wayne Center to accommodate the greatly increased number of events.
* Special Guests: Ed Greenwood, Matt McWhirt, and Jolly Blackburn.
* Ed Greenwood set a new record for size and length of a seminar at PentaCon. Almost fifty people attended his talk, and what was supposed to be a one hour event, ended five hours later, only because Jolly Blackburn's seminar started.
* Jolly's seminar came in as the third best attended seminar to date at PentaCon.
PentaCon XV 1999   Three hundred and fifty games and events were presented, including the Shared Universe's only officially sanctioned Carnivale. The convention set a major record with over 1,100 attendees.
* Special Guests: Gary Gygax and Diana Harlan Stein.
* Gary Gygax ran two charity events, including an "Old Fashioned D&D" game.
PentaCon XVI 2000   This year over three hundred and ninety events were offered. The convention also expanded physically, adding three Pike Rooms to give almost four thousand more square feet of floor space.
* Special Guests: Ed Greenwood and Larry Elmore.
* Elminster, The Mage of Shadowdale, attended the convention. He presented a seminar and judged the two costume contests.
PentaCon XVII 2001   This convention presented over four hundred and twenty games and events. The convention used all of the space available on the first floor of the Grand Wayne Center, and added the Indiana Hotel Lobby for the Saturday evening Vampire LARP.
* Special Guests: Susan Van Camp and Carl Taliaferro.
* The Fort Wayne Gamers Group (FWGG) provided a network for a variety of computer games.
PentaCon XVIII 2002   This convention presented over four hundred twenty-five games and events.  The convention, for the first time ever, presented the Electronic Entertainment Exposition.
* Special Guests: Ed Greenwood and Jolly Blackburn
* Ed Greenwood ran two 2nd Edition AD&D games, "Elminster's Little Problem", seats to which were auctioned and the proceeds donated to charity.
PentaCon XIX 2003  

Special guests were Col. Lou Zocchi, Ed Greenwood, Elminster the Sage, and Bob Bledsaw.

PentaCon XX 2004   Special guests were Jean Rabe and Elaine Cunningham. This was the year that we had to make the move to the Scout Park Conference Center due to the Grand Wayne Center renovation and expansion.
PentaCon XXI 2005  

PentaCon returns to the now renovated and expanded Grand Wayne Center. Special guests included Todd Johnson McCaffrey, Jody Lynn Nye, and Bill Fawcett.

PentaCon XXII 2006   Special guests included Jolly Blackburn and Jason Holmgren. Jason provided cover art for the PentaCon XXII pre-registration book. Science Fiction artist Carl Lundgren made an appearance in the dealers room.
PentaCon XXIII 2007   Special guest Ed Greenwood and his alter ego, Elminster.
PentaCon XXIV 2008    
PentaCon XXV 2009    
PentaCon XXVI 2010   Special guest Calye Lacefield, aka Chainmail Girl.
PentaCon XXVII 2011   Special guest Jolly Blackburn of Knight's of the Dinner Table fame.
PentaCon XXVIII 2012    
PentaCon XXIX 2013    
PentaCon XXX 2014    
PentaCon XXXI 2015    

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