August 28, 2009
9. Raid your stepfather's library to learn new spells.
8. It's good to have a companion that growls and throws people around.
Fun trivia: Ookla got his name because the struggling writer passed by a UCLA sign.
7. Horses can safely land, with a rider, from any height.
6. Wounded old men you meet on the road can be counted on to impart information.
5. Bad guys tend to sneer the word "barbarian."
4. If you really need to get something done, a scream of "HaARRR-yee!" doesn't hurt.
3. Brute force beats out magic or technology!
2. Never trust a wizard ... they can be two-faced.
1. Barbarians kick ass!
August 21, 2009
My decision was made rather last minute, based on a whole lot going on in my private life, but I got out to Gen Con 2009—huzzah! This year's con was a good one.
My wow-this-looks-rather-small plane touched down Friday afternoon—shockingly on time—and soon I found myself walking down the Indy sidewalk and glancing over at the Ram as if I had never been gone. It felt good to be back. I scooped up my badge, stopped to say “hi” to some fellow editors/writers, and then headed off to the Rock Bottom for some beer, buffalo wings, and ribs.
Later that night I (gasp!) got in some gaming, playing Xcrawl with the gang. Brendan LaSalle, the game’s creator, was our GM and he runs an exciting, rousing game. You haven’t lived until you’ve swung a sword from the front seat of a bumper car in a spike-filled arena! Many thanks Brendan for an awesome time.
Saturday afternoon much of my time was spent in the dealer hall, working the Goodman Games booth and flitting around the show floor in my spare moments.
Paizo released their Pathfinder rulebook. Not alpha, not beta, but the real deal. It’s a hefty book, costs $50, and was up to their usual productions standards. If you hated 3.5e, you can pass that sucker right by, but if you prefer 3.5e “fixed up a bit” with house-rules (grappling, I’m looking at you!) this combo player/DM book might well be up your alley.
Business at the GG booth was brisk, and I got the chance to talk with a lot of our fans, which was awesome. Our real popular draws this year seemed to be the excellent hero's Handbook series (especially the brand new Hero's Handbook: Tieflings and Hero's Handbook: Eladrin), our 4e Dungeon Crawl Classics (especially our $2 module and, surprisingly, the Warbringer's Son tourney module), and Level Up magazine (the new issue was sold out Friday I believe). The new Age of Cthulhu line (which is close to my wicked little heart) also attracted a lot of interest, especially from many folks that hadn't pulled out their Cthulhu books in a while.
We had a steady flow of customers, and recession or no, even Sunday morning was shockingly busy. My favorite moment was when a very popular but not-to-be-named RPG author stopped by the booth to chat and rattled off details from an adventure I had published in Dungeon magazine some 12 years ago! It turns out he's run the adventure for friends in the past. I love stuff like that, it very much made my day.
Saturday night Goodman Games held our yearly “How to Write Adventures That Don’t Suck” seminar. The seminar saw a lot of really good questions this time around, and some of the attendees stayed afterward for more questions and discussion. After the seminar I retreated to the Embassy Suites for a competitive game of Carcassonne with the Goodman folks (tip: never play Carcassonne with Joe Goodman, he’s cut-throat!) after which Ken Hart twisted my arm (heh) into a second dinner (for me at least) in which I attempted to eat a pulled pork mega-sandwich (see photo) at the Ram.
Rick's purchases (man, I went light this year!):
- About $12 of figures I totally don't need. Well except the aboleth. And the owlbear.
- Mysteries of Mesoamerica (Pagan Publishing)
- Bastards of Erebus (Paizo)*
- Cthulhu dice (Q-Workshop)
- A plush Cthulhu for my son Kai
*Featuring some very cool monsters by the talented Mr. Ferguson.
Was that really it? Blimey, I should have run through the dealer hall one last time.
Before I knew it, it was Sunday. I did a last cruise of the dealer hall, did a quick final shift at the booth, and soon I was racing for the airport to catch my 2:30 flight home. It was wonderful to get some gaming in and to really talk with a lot of folks this year.
Here's hoping I can attend Gen Con 2010 (or else 2011)!