Saturday, August 19, 2006

Despite the fatigue...

... I am nevertheless continuing to make steady progress. I brought my work laptop to GenCon, so I managed to get some writing done on the plane both ways—even with the guys in front of me reclining their seats onto my lap. *sigh* I grow to hate flying more and more, because of the whole sardines factor.

Here's where I am:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33,544 / 120,000

GenCon: the Year of the Accessory

I'm back from GenCon. Despite the terror scare, I had no travel difficulties, unless you count arriving at the airport for my return trip 3-1/2 hours early and getting to the gate 20 minutes later a "difficulty." I don't. 

I was struck by a proliferation of new accessories at GenCon this year. Three different initiative trackers: one from Open Mind Games that seems to have won the popularity contest, one from Ready and Waiting that gets marks for thoroughness, and a third one that failed to impress me enough to find it again. There were magic item cards from Tokkens (of the collectible, tin variety) and from Paizo (of the paper kind). There were cool disks you could use to represent a mount on a battlemat, complete with art and game statistics, from a new company called Conflict Chips.

There was Dreamblade, our new minis game, which made a big hit at the show. I probably never mentioned here that I led the world-design team for that game, though lots more world design happened after my time on that project ended. It was really cool getting to work with people I don't usually come into much contact with: Brady Dommermuth, Ryan Miller, and Jonathan Tweet. It's an awesome game and some really cool minis.

There was the D&D Delve, which this year featured our D&D Icons miniatures: the available-now Gargantuan black dragon and the coming-this-fall Colossal red. It turns out that if you give D&D players a chance to pick up a 20th-level character and fight a really big dragon, they're pretty happy. 

Speaking of D&D, I played a bit of it. Friday night I grabbed Chris Sims, Logan Bonner (two of our newest editors), David Noonan, and Mike Mearls and played a random dungeon using our new Dungeon Tiles. I like the DMless random dungeon format, because it lets me put a game together and also play a character. This time, I played a dwarf crusader (from Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords) named RakhĂ»l the Hammer. If you ask why he's swinging a waraxe when he's called the hammer, he'll tell you: "This is my chisel. I'm the hammer." Fun and hilarity until wee hours.

On Saturday night, Charles Ryan managed to reunite many of the now-scattered former players in his d20 Apocalypse game for a six-hour session. Charles (who is moving to England any day now to start a job with Esdevium) ran, with me, Chris Perkins, Stan! (now at Upper Deck), Jeff Simpson (now living in NYC), and Stan's friend Hyrum Savage (who was not in the original campaign) fought our way through the post-apocalypic landscape, killing lots of nasty demon-dogs.

I did novel signings, both in the Wizards booth and in Author's Avenue. That was pretty cool. I'm pretty sure it drove quite a number of sales of my novel—so thanks to all of you reading this who bought it, either at the show or elsewhere. Actually, when I got back, emboldened by my success at the show, I went to my local Borders and Barnes & Noble and signed copies on the shelves, which now bear "Autographed Copy" stickers. That's also pretty cool.

I led two seminars: Expedition to Castle Ravenloft and Other Adventures, which was pretty small because of a mixup in scheduling with Bob Salvatore, and Getting Your Kids Into D&D, which was a lot of fun. I also sat on the panel for the Secrets of Eberron seminar, which was great. It was really cool to see a strong, active, excited Eberron community there, and a couple of guys who were in that seminar caught me after my Apocalypse game ended (at 4 A.M.) and talked with me some more.

So yeah, I didn't get a lot of sleep. The result was a bit of convention crud and a lingering fatigue that's making it hard for me to get up early and work on the novel. 

Favorite T-shirt of the show:
Gay-mers United
+5 Fabulousness

And that about wraps up my convention report, don't you think?

Monday, August 7, 2006

My GenCon schedule!

I'm heading for GenCon on Wednesday, and I figured I'd better get my schedule up here in case any loyal readers want to find me. Not that it's really that hard to find me at GenCon...

11:00-11:30 am Book Signing (with Matt Forbeck) in the WotC booth
2:00-3:00 pm D&D Miniatures area
3:00-4:00 pm Book Signing (with Keith Baker, Ed Bolme, Matt Forbeck, and Tim Waggoner) in Author's Avenue
5:00-6:00 pm D&D Miniatures area

10:00 am-noon Expedition to Castle Ravenloft and other adventures seminar
2:00-4:00 pm Eberron seminar

1:00-2:00 pm D&D Miniatures area
3:00-4:00 pm Getting Your Kids Into D&D seminar
4:00-5:00 pm Book Signing (with Keith Baker, Ed Bolme, Matt Forbeck, and Tim Waggoner) in Author's Avenue

11:00 am-noon D&D Miniatures area
1:00-2:00 pm D&D Delve
2:00-4:00 pm D&D Miniatures area

So that's that... One last thing:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
28,952 / 120,000

Apparently I forgot to click Publish the last time I did that. Huh.