Gencon 2013 Recap

The vast majority of my time was dominated by talking with publishers or attending seminars on game design and pressing. I’m not going to name drop because frankly, I think I pushed the boundaries of politeness as it was.

I will mention that I have enough work to keep me fed and Stephanie happy for no less than three months (if not six).


I FINALLY got to play a Black Crusade game (rather than run it) and had an enormous amount of fun. While I’m a talented ‘face’ in real life, I remain constrained by morals and ethics; the looks I received from the players who did not know me were extremely satisfying. Kudos to Fantasy Flight Games for Binding Contracts – it was a wonderful little module.

DeadpoolsAll of the Paizo seminars receive my full recommendations; Wes Schneider is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met (I know I said I wouldn’t name drop but indulge me briefly – he’s a fellow Megaman fan) and Ryan Macklin blew my freaking brain apart. Not only does he rock the ‘Punk Kevin Smith’-look like a boss, his insights were instant and extremely valuable. Should either of you chance across this, thanks again for taking time out of your weekends to speak with me.

Owen K.C. Stephens is the last name that gets a pop here and that’s because of this quote that I want to make sure he gets credited for: “There are more astronauts than professional game designers.” Thanks for laying out the battlefield for me, sir.

I met with some of the crew, which just made my anticipation for the remainder of the Rise of the Drow material even stronger, if such a thing can be believed. After three solid years, I’ve finally got another employee t-shirt that I’m not just happy to have but proud to wear.

Badass Zombie Killers has become my new favorite go-to card game and it should be yours as well (it’s from Reality Cheque and Skortched Urf’ Studios). Any game where your character is ‘Jackson L. Samuels’ and the goal is to make the most powerful weapon (like a gas-powered electric pink double barreled nailgun) is just good hat. That’s all there is to it.

LolthIf you’re a fellow game designer that gets steeped in making Pathfinder NPCs, please pick up the NPC Codex from Paizo. Every single core class (including prestige classes and NPC classes) has an entry in here for every level. That little $43 investment is going to earn itself back in no time at all.

There’s an interview about me (and therefore, and Rise of the Drow) in the live 2013 Ennies broadcast – skip to minute 29:00 to listen to me misquote the page count (it’s only 550-ish, not 750-ish), drop a really funny line about Stephen Yeardley’s compulsion to write and a bet on whether or not you’ll find Todd Gamble’s name in a 3.5 book ($50 says you will).

Moreover, this wonderful weekend filled me with an exuberant belief that I can succeed; this makes me feel far better about vowing to my fiancee that I will become a professional game designer.

I’ve got a bajillion things I’d like to say about it but ultimately I need to get back to work – somebody very important is expecting an e-mail with Pathfinder content from me in the next two days and the work demands my attention.


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