Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gamefest in Denver, April 21-23

I'm spending this weekend wrapping Lions & Tigers & Owlbears: 13th Age Bestiary 2 up for layout.

The weekend after, April 21-23, I'm joining around nine other gaming guests and many many other gamers at Gamefest in Denver, the gaming wing of the bigger Star-Fest convention.

My schedule looks something like this:
  • Saturday 10:30am-12pm - Game Designer Panel Q&A - Hosted by Boardgame Corner of Dice Tower (Panel Room)
  • Saturday 1pm-5pm - 13th Age (RPG Room)
  • Saturday 6pm-10pm - 13th Age Glorantha (RPG Room)
  • Sunday 10am-2pm - 13th Age Glorantha (RPG Room)

Convention games are fun for introducing people to experiences they've never been eaten by before. I'll be drafting some of those experiences from Bestiary 2, even for the 13th Age in Glorantha games, since Bestiary 2 includes an appendix about translating many of its monsters to Glorantha.

Thinking ahead and setting up my gaming travel kit, I'm finally retiring my original copy of 13th Age. Not from my desk, it still has some miles left for domestic duty, like a soccer player who is retiring from the national team but will keep on suiting up for the home league. Here's its current condition:


I've been  referring to this copy of 13th Age as 'the broken book' for years, ever since I was running an event at a Gamerati convention. Eric Fell and Derek Guder and some other fun people were in the game, but it was a 7 year-old boy walking by with his dad who nailed me. He looked at the game table and said, "Why is that book broken?"

"Because it's well-loved," I finally get to respond.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Saturday Night at MoPOP: Hall of Fame 20th anniversary party & panel

This Saturday, March 4th, a mile or so from the festivities at the Emerald City ComicCon, MoPOP, the museum formerly known as EMP, is  celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame with a short panel discussion, costumes, tabletop gaming on the second floor, a Star Trek discussion, and a dance party.

Dungeons & Dragons is one of the inductees this year, and I'll be on the 7:40 Q&A panel alongside Robyn Miller, one of the creators of MYST, and two other special guests. I'll have ample time to talk gaming after the panel, and admission to the event includes the ability to check out other exhibits, including the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit I helped design.

And if you haven't seen the new Star Trek exhibit, it's great! Even friends who don't particularly like Star Trek loved it. Saturday night there's an 8:30 event, Trek Talk: Exploring Star Trek's 50-year Impact on Pop Culture, Fandom, and Geekery  that sounds like a great intro to the new gallery and includes Wende Doohan, one of the other Q&A panelists, the wife of James Doohan, who played Scotty.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wearing the Cape: the book & the Kickstarter


My favorite superhero novels are in the Wearing the Cape series by Marion G. Harmon. The series is humane, well-written, and one of the rare superhero treatments of time travel and its consequences that builds (and foreshadows) an interesting story instead of stumbling over itself. The plots are worthwhile, the characterization is excellent, and though I sometimes disagree with the author's politics and politically-informed worldbuilding, those spots make for interesting thinking.

Harmon has always talked about his interest in roleplaying, and he's now in the last four days of a successful Kickstarter bringing his Wearing the Cape world to the FATE system. So far I haven't been a FATE player. I'm finally going to give the system a serious spin via Wearing the Cape.

One of my favorite things about the Wearing the Cape books is how well their fight scenes express the personalities of the characters. Jeff Grubb wrote about this in the Kobold Press book, The Kobold Guide to Combat. Jeff's essay is called "Why we Fight: Combat as Communication." When I read Jeff's essay, the first thing I thought of were the three books of the WtC series that had been released at that point. I'm happy to say that later books in the series have lived up to the early books' promise on this score. I suspect the RPG system can handle this well, so I'm looking forward to the release of the rulebook, which should happen via PDF a week or two after the Kickstarter ends. Yeah, this rulebook is finished.

Even if you're not interested in the Kickstarter, look for the Wearing the Cape books for great examples of combat scenes that communicate who the characters are, and why we should care.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dragonmeet & other Meetings

I'm in London for Dragonmeet alongside the Pelgrane crew!

Last year on the train into London from Heathrow, before Dragonmeet, I was reading Lavie Tidhar's The Violent Century, glancing out of the train at delapidated warehouses as the novel's superbeings negotiated the London fog.

Saturday afternoon at last year's Dragonmeet, the man wanting to talk about roleplaying games over the table at the Pelgrane booth turned out to be Lavie Tidhar! He said that RPGs weren't something he had really tried, though the friend beside him seemed to be more familiar with the genre. I gave Lavie a copy of 13th Age, and when Ken Hite came back to the booth Ken got him a copy of The Dracula Dossier.

This year, on the train ride into London, I was reading Catherynne M. Valente's Six-Gun Snow White, a beautiful strange little book. I'm pretty sure there's no chance of seeing Catherynne M. Valente at this convention, but perhaps something similarly magical will reveal itself.

Looking forward to seeing friends from this Eastern side of the pond in a few days.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Voting & Supporting Hillary


The stamp felt perfect for this ballot! 

On the way back from casting the ballot, I passed Neil Stephenson, out for a stroll in the neighborhood he works in. I'll take passing a socially progressive writer who appreciates good weaponry as a good omen. 

Earlier in the day, I appreciated this Rolling Stone summary of why voting for Trump is a terrible thing to do. Parts left out include the GOP's position as the major political party in the world that denies climate change and Trump not caring that Russia is mucking around in USA electoral politics because it has been in his favor. That would have been some sort of deal-breaker in previous Republican candidacies--but not this one. 

Earlier in the weekend, Jonathan Tweet, Mike Selinker and Gaby Weidling and I organized a game designers' support letter for Hillary Clinton. It's called #gamers4her and it's up to 327+ signatures and still growing, as seen here

I'm aware that Clinton isn't perfect. In politics as in creative work, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Clinton will be a good president, maybe even a great one. It's time to prove that a powerful woman can be President of the United States and make a way for great women leaders of the future. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Two snippets about Glorantha and The Gods War

Sandy Petersen's The Gods War kickstarter is ending in about twelve hours and I didn't get around to mentioning that I'd written a couple short bits about Glorantha involving that project. Even if you aren't in for the mythical battles, it's worth checking out Sandy's site for wonderful art.

Snippet #1 is something I wrote for Kickstarter and the Chaosium blog, statting up one of the miniatures from Sandy Petersen's The Gods War for 13th Age in Glorantha (you can never have too many broos).

Snippet #2 is something I wrote about growing up with Glorantha and having it become my favorite game world.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

PAX Schedule and beyond

We don't have an official booth at PAX this year, and by we I mean my company Fire Opal Media and the two other companies I work with most: Pelgrane and Chaosium. We will be at GeekGirl Con on October 8th and 9th in the same Seattle Convention Center.

I'll be around PAX a bit on at least Friday and Saturday, and definitely between noon and 2:00 on Friday at the table outside the Uncle's Games room, alongside Jonathan Tweet and Wade Rockett.

Here's the full schedule of of game designers who'll be at that table during the weekend. Vlaada Chvatil isn't scheduled to join us, but I'm glad his new version of Codenames is sharing the billing!