It’s cold!!!

WINTER IS IN FULL FORCE HERE!

Are you enjoying it as much as I’m not? The cold, the snow, it can all go away now. One day of it is a day too much for my liking. February is more than half gone, and Valentine’s Day is past for the year. The wife & I saw Tesla a few weeks ago and got to hang out with the band for a bit. It was pretty cool. If you have me on FaceBook, you can see pictures from the show.
But I didn’t start this blog to share things like this with everyone. FaceBook does a sufficient job of that.

Let’s chat gaming. :)

The only writing progress I’ve had is doing a revision on a short adventure slated for publication in a month or two. After having a 3-4 hour chat with one of the KenzerCo staff a few weeks ago, I decided it needed some work. (More about the chat in a bit.) So, I modified some things, gave it a good reading, and sent it back in. Hopefully, it will be well received by the readers.

On January 30th, I drove up to Waukegan; and a my friend (Steve) and I visited Jolly & Barb Blackburn. We spent the evening just chilling out and discussing various topics including RPGs and HackMaster. Techniques for Hirst molds were discussed and almost anything you can think of for table top gaming from dice to miniatures to tequila to old systems to Maple Crown Royal to old business associates… You get the picture. I missed my normal bed time by several hours.
Saturday was HackMaster day. It was on! A few other Kenzer & Co people (Brian Jelke & Steve Johansson) arrived for a fun session of gaming. My new digital battle board (see below) made it’s debut at the gaming table that day. We had plenty of laughs and even discovered a rule that needed errata. At the end of the day, we had no deaths; but a few were close.

The main reason I made the trip was to get my TV-modified-into-a-digital-battle-board by my friend, Steve. The cover is completely removable and has a white board on the inside and a chessex battle mat on the outside. Using MapTool with the Fog of War feature, I can have a map on my laptop and reveal parts of it to the players as they explore with their miniatures. I still have things to learn about it, but I’m looking forward to that. I’m hoping to be ready to start using it by GaryCon at the end of March.

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After the game, I drove into the city and met Steve J at his place. As noted earlier, we had a long chat about HackMaster, adventure design, freelancing, and gaming in general. He gave me many things to think about.

The next morning I left Chicago with the snow coming in. Luckily, I was just ahead of the blizzard as it came down. I saw several vehicles in the ditches during my 4-1/2 – 5 hour drive home, but I made it safely in mid-afternoon.

In March, I’ll discuss what I’ve got going on with GaryCon and anything that comes up by then!

Hail & Peace!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Another year has come and gone. 2014 has had its ups and down.

One of the highlights is two more grandchildren were born about three weeks apart last spring. :) Each of my three daughters has had a child now.

On a lower note, 2014 passed without a single blog entry. I’ve decided to change that by setting a goal of posting a minimum of one blog / month in 2015. We’ll see how that goes.

Speaking of setting goals, I accomplished a short-term goal I had set at the beginning of 2014: I was published in the RPG industry. TWICE!

The first was in mid-June and published by Moebius Adventures. It was my first paid freelance project: One Spot #3: Dolothar’s Shrine.
It can be found here:
http://www.rpgnow.com/product/131161/One-Spot-3-Dolothars-Shrine?term=dolothar%5C%27s

Kenzer & Company released a HackMaster adventure I had submitted for a contest in 2013. It didn’t place in the contest, but they still felt is was good enough for publication. Legacy of the Elm King was released as a PDF at the beginning of GenCon. K&Co printed 15-20 copies to have on hand at their booth as well. I was happy to see it sell out there.
You can find it on pdf here:
http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.php?cPath=25_94_99&products_id=1146

I have two more products awaiting publication and a few in the beginning stages that I’ll be working on the next several months.

The process for the two already published items were completely different, so I’m going to use this first blog of 2015 to talk about those a bit.

Legacy of the Elm King was, as I said, a contest entry in 2013. There wasn’t much to that. I made this one to be a simple dungeon crawl for my regular HackMaster group. When the contest was announced, I scanned my maps and wrote the adventure based on the contest guidelines. I had to change the background a bit to fit those guidelines, but the meat of the product was as I ran it for my group.
I sent it in and eagerly awaited. The top two entries were to appear in Knights of the Dinner Table #199 & #200. Alas, it was not picked. I was a bit bummed, but it was the first time I’d ever actually written something for publication. I let it go and went on with my gaming life as usual.
At GaryCon in 2014, I was talking with one of the staff from K&Co. He told me the background was being reworked, and it would be released later in the year! W00T!
And I heard nothing more about it.
In June, I received an email with the subject line “SURPRISE” from him. He had attached the adventure ready for release but wanted me to proofread it and give feedback. SWEET! I scoured through it that night and sent my notes back the following morning.
And I heard nothing more about it.
Late July/early August, I sent him an email asking about it and was told it was debuting at GenCon. SWEET! My first adventure was to be a GenCon release! I was stoked. When GenCon arrived, I saw it sitting there in the rack at the K&Co booth.
So that product was a simple process of writing it and proofreading the modified product. There wasn’t any communication about making changes or adjusting this or that. Wrote it. Sent it. Proofread it. They released it.

One Spot #3: Dolothar’s Shrine was a different experience altogether.
I started talking with Brian Fitzpatrick (the man behind Moebius) 7 or 8 years ago. We talked several times about writing and such. Back around this time last year, we did a video chat do discuss my doing a freelance project for him. He left it pretty open as long as they fit within one of his current product lines and asked me to send him an idea when I got one.
Mid-February, I sent him the initial idea for ‘Geo’s Shrine for the Unwell’. As I didn’t have any ideas for a good name, yet, I gave it that as a placeholder. He liked it and set me loose.
The first draft , map included, was finished up and sent off in early March. He replied a few days later with several questions whose answers seemed obvious to me as I had written it. I’ll admit I was a bit irked at first; but as I read through it all again, it hit me that I was mentally filling in items. The critiques and questions were there to make me think more on it to make a better product. People that buy it won’t know the answers that I mentally fill in, so I set about adding more text and clarifying some things.
I worked on the revision and sent it off to him in early April. At this time, it had been renamed ‘Shrine of Dolothar’. Over the course of April, we made some tweaks to the text and map. About 20 or so emails were sent back in forth during this process. He kept asking for more details on the NPCs and added some text and tables of his own to it. By the end of the month, we had the writing and map parts ready to go. And I received payment. My first paid freelance job was finished on my end.
Early May saw the title changed to ‘One Spot #3: Dolothar’s Shrine’ which it would remain. Nothing else happened on my end during May as Brian awaited the artwork.
Finally, I got an email on Friday, June 13th (yes, Friday the 13th!) that is was complete and would go live on Tuesday, June 17th! Once Tuesday rolled around, I advertised its release all over Facebook. I’m not sure how much it helped, though. As of the end of 2014, Brian told me that 25 copies have been sold.

You can read a 4-star review of it on RPGNow here:
http://www.rpgnow.com/product_reviews_info.php?&reviews_id=112993&products_id=131161

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Kenzer & Company: http://www.kenzerco.com/

Moebius Adventures: http://blog2.moebiusadventures.com/

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Halloween is here!

Has it been two months? I can tell writing blogs is something not coming natural to me.

Much has happened since my last blog- mostly on a personal level. I’ve become a Grandpa! My first grandchild was born August 30th. Mama and son are doing well. Daughter #2 is expecting in May 2014. There must be something in the water.
On less happy notes, my nine-year-old son was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. I made an emergency trip to Birmingham, AL to see him and get a crash course in diabetes.

As far as gaming goes, I’ve got a character creation session this Saturday for a brand new group & monthly campaign. My bi-monthly campaign has been dragging a bit due to scheduling conflicts, gaming cons, and unexpected trips; but that’s the way things go. We’ve got two guys missing the next session, but some guests will be joining us for a one-shot game.

Other RPG goodies:
Moebius Adventures has two new little pdfs that can help spark some ideas. The ‘Little Spaces’ line can fill in the gap with little details left behind when creating scenarios.

If you like Dungeon Crawl Classics and Ravenloft, Transylvania Adventures by Land of Phantoms should be right up your alley. It’s a 300-page horror setting designed specifically for DCC. The pdf is only $13, and I believe a dead tree version will be available soon. A 50-page adventure (The Winter Home: $4) is available as well at RPGNow.

And the main reason for this blog: my projects.
I’ve started working on my first adventure in hopes of having it ready the first part of 2014. I don’t have a title for it as of yet; but if it does well, I might work on a line of them along the same vein, calling in the ‘Legacy’ series. This first one is a re-imagining of B1: In Search of the Unknown. I’m not going to give out any details at this time, as all I have are some scribbling and the beginning of the map. The adventure will be a little more down to earth than the original. There won’t be any magical rocks that have magical effects when you place a chip of it in your mouth. Teleportation rooms won’t be found in these halls, nor will a room of pools or a hallway with a magical gust of wind that extinguishes all torches. This will be more like a normal underground stronghold where people once lived out their daily lives without these constant oddities. This will be different enough that I don’t foresee any ‘cease and desist’ from the current IP holder, but one never knows. ;)
If it does well, I’ll consider doing other classics as well.
One thing I have not decided upon is whether or not to use this as a springboard to start a new setting. I have plenty of material on a published setting that I enjoy immensely and plan to use it to locate this adventure for my personal games. Perhaps I can contact the IP holder of this setting to get permission to reference it.

That’s it for now. Feel free to leave any feedback on my adventure idea, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Links:
Moebius Adventures ‘Little Spaces’: http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?cPath=4317_19461
Transylvania Adventures by Land of Phantoms: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/121110/Transylvanian-Adventures

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Gen Con 2013

GEN CON 2013!

I attended my 4th consecutive GenCon this past weekend. As always, I had a good time.

I didn’t arrive until late Friday night, so I was only able to attend on Saturday and Sunday.
After grabbing breakfast with my friend, Steve, I picked up my badge and waited for the vendor hall to open. I snapped pictures of costumes and chatted with a few people during this time.

Once the vendor hall opened, I maneuvered through the traffic and booths, checking out any that looked interesting to me. After about 30 minutes, I arrived at my destination: the Kenzer & Company booth.

At the Kenzer booth:
I hung out here when I wasn’t wondering around. I ran a few HackMaster demos in their arena and sat in on a short demo as a player that John the intern was running. I chatted with the various members of K&Co from time to time: Jolly & Barb Blackburn, Steve Johansson, Dave Kenzer, and Andy Miller (not part of the crew but he was helping run the booth)
Unfortunately for me, they had sold out of KoDT #200 before I got there. K
I chatted with various friends from the boards – some for the first time meeting face to face – and met the wives of a few of them that I’d not met before.

Wandering the vendor hall:
I had a specific booth I was trying to find so that I could pick up the new AD&D1e adventure, Night of the Black Swords by Allen Hammack and published by Die Cast Games. It was being sold at the Pacesetter Games & Simulations booth by Bill Barsh. While there, I picked up a copy of Gygax Magazine #2 and saw many AD&D1e adventures that PG&S was selling. Bill was nice enough to sell me one at a discount to check it out, so I told him I would come back and buy a few more which I did the following day. I picked up six more. Frank Mentzer was there as well, so we talked briefly.
I ran into Jamie Chambers of Signal Fire Studios and chatted with him a bit. We’ve talked on facebook for about a year, but we’d never met before.
My friend, Joel Sparks of Faster monkey Games and designer of the Call of Catthulhu game, was there. I ran into him a few times. He led me to the Indie Game Developer Network booth where he introduced me to Marissa Kelly. She told me about the group and its goals and explained the game ‘Our Last Best Hope’ to me. I will have to make contact with IGDN in the future.
Another friend of mine, Derek White the Geekpreacher, was manning one of the Christian Gamer booths. I stopped to visit with him for a bit and bought a few old AD&D adventures from him while I was there.
Just a few booths away was Inkwell Ideas, maker of Hexographer mapping software and several other little goodies. I bought a deck of encounter cards to check out.

Saturday night, I ran an RPG event using the Mesa Mundi Multitouch overlay. Basically, it turns any type of screen into a touch screen with its interactive software ran from a laptop or other computer and using the ‘touch screen’ as a second monitor. Using Fog of War, areas of the map could be darkened so that they are not seen by the players and tokens are set up so that they can be moved my ‘touch’. If a token is moved into a FoW area, that area is revealed on the touch screen. It was quite interesting.

I started off Sunday morning attending Geekpreacher’s worship service. I always enjoy listening to his GenCon sermons.
The rest of the day was spent in the vendor hall and hanging out at the Kenzer booth. I had a nice conversation about some HackMaster projects in the works with Dave Kenzer, Steve Johansson, and my friend, Steve Lawrence.
I picked up some last minute items (adventures and some wookie miniatures) before heading out for my drive home.

I will have to make plans to arrive a day or two early next year and attend all four days.

Links:
Die Cast Games: http://diecastgames.com/
Faster Monkey Games: http://fastermonkeygames.com/ ; https://www.facebook.com/callofcatthulhu
Geekpreacher: https://www.facebook.com/TheGeekpreacher
Gygax Magazine: http://gygaxmagazine.com/
Indie Game Developer Network: http://www.igdnonline.com/
Inkwell Ideas: http://inkwellideas.com/
Kenzer & Company: http://www.kenzerco.com/
Mesa Mundi Inc: http://mesamundi.com/
Pacesetter Games & Simulations: http://pacesettergames.com/
Signal Fire Studios: https://www.signalfirestudios.com/

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Writing: past, present, and future

            Admit it: as a gamer you’d love nothing more than to be a writer of RPGs. That would just be the coolest thing ever! We’ve all been there at one point in time or another. For some, the dream passes; and they move on with their career of choice. Others, though, keep that dream close and hope that ‘someday’ it will happen. Fewer still make that dream a reality.

            For more years than I care to tell, I’ve been part of the second group. I recall back in 1991 that I was going to start submitting articles to Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine. I was going to write and submit enough that I would be able to quit my job to do so because I would make enough money to support myself.

            That never happened.

            In 2000, the OGL and SRD were introduced. Awesome! I could write and publish my own material with this! I could create the campaign setting I had bouncing around in my head and sell it! I could write adventures and supplements for it. I was going to write and publish enough that I would be able to quit my job to do so because I would make enough money to support myself.

            That never happened, either.

            A few years after that, WotC put out an open call for entries for a world-designing contest. I could enter the setting that was still bouncing around my head. I would submit a few others as well to increase my chances. None of my entries made it past the first round.

            Also around that same time frame, I signed up and was accepted as a play tester for the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting being published by Kenzer & Co. for D&D3.x. To be honest, I only did so to get early access to Kalamar material. I had done a small bit of play testing for WotC: D&D3e Monster Manual II and D&D3e The Book of Vile Darkness both have my name among the play tester credit, but my involvement with those weren’t anything more than a few online game sessions fighting some of the creatures contained in them. My feedback on them was minimal, and I’m not sure I really deserved to have my name in them.

            This new gig was completely different, though. I had access to the complete text files of the projects in process. I read through them and gave (what I considered) valuable feedback on them. I got my name in a few more books, but that wasn’t all of it.

            Some of the projects weren’t new. Some of them were previously published D&D3.0 material needing updated to D&D3.5. Although I worked on a few of them, not all of them went on to be updated and republished. These were the ones I enjoyed most. I wasn’t just reading and giving feedback. I was revising an existing product. It was the closest thing I’d ever done to writing, but actual writing never happened.

            Shortly thereafter is when I switched game systems to HackMaster Basic and now the full HackMaster system. My desire to write grew as I learned more of the game. I was accepted as an editor for HackJournal; but once again, I failed to write anything for it. For the time, I was content proofreading articles submitted by others and getting credit as an editor.

            I’ve met several ‘self-publishers’ the past few years (John Adams of Brave Halfling Publishing and the Sparks brothers of Faster Monkey Games to name a few) and had discussions with them about the process. I’ve also had discussions online with a few others I’ve never met face to face; Brian Fitzpatrick of Moebius Adventures/Game Knight Reviews being one. All have been more than happy to share their experiences with me and discuss some of their hurdles. Many of my gaming friends have asked me on several occasions why I’ve never written anything. I have plenty of support in this. Most importantly, my wife, Linda, supports me in this and believes in me.

            The time has come to break out of the second group I mentioned in the opening paragraph and join the ranks of group three.

            At the time of this blog, I am still unpublished; but I have submitted two short adventures and have a few other projects in the works that I hope to complete in the coming months.

            I have plans to freelance more items as well as publish a few things on my own under ‘GeoCentric Designs’. Some of the things I plan to publish are a setting with various regional and racial sourcebooks as well as adventures within this world.

            The core setting material will likely be systemless with guidebooks for various systems. Adventures would likely be released under different systems as well. I’m still sort of tossing all of this around in my head, and nothing concrete has been decided at this point. Some of the systems I’d like to support are some (not all!) of the following: Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, d20 OGL or PathFinder, HackMaster, Castles & Crusades, and HERO System or GURPS. This list will definitely be trimmed down to just a few. I’m familiar with most of these, but a few of them will require some reading and research.

 

            What sort of items would you like to see? Drop in a comment and let me know!

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A brief look at my gaming history

OK, it’s been over a year since my last post. Instead of making excuses or giving reasons, I’m just going to move onward and hope to be a bit more active in the future.

Back in the spring of 1980, my best friend, Galen, and I were walking home from school. He asked if I wanted to go over to Chad’s house with him and play Dungeons and Dragons. I’d never heard of it, but I said ‘OK’.

We stopped at his house where he pulled out a book and told me I needed to make up a character. Throughout the process, I had no idea what I was doing. He told me I would need a crossbow. At that time, I didn’t have a clue what a crossbow is. After some time, I had a sheet of paper with stats and an equipment list.
We headed over to Chad’s house, and I was still clueless. Galen told me about how to play, but it didn’t sound anything like any board or card games I’d ever played in the past.
When we arrived at Chad’s, he and Thad (who later became my brother-in-law) were waiting for us. We sat at the kitchen table, and Chad pulled out another book: The Keep on the Borderlands. I asked if I could look at it and got a snappy “NO!” in reply. Only the DM got to look at it.
The only thing I can really remember about the session itself is that Thad talked some Keep official into leaving the keep to check out some ‘suspicious people’ he had seen outside the keep. He killed this NPC and took his magic sword. (Hey, we were only 10!)
I wasn’t really impressed with the game and gave it no more thought until later that summer.
I was staying with my sister and her husband one weekend, and Thad was over there introducing my brother-in-law and a few others to the game. Having nothing else to do, I joined in.
That weekend, the hook was set, and my life was forever changed.

By the end of that year, I had two box sets and introduced some other friends to the game. Starting out, I had no clue what I was doing as a DM; but I had a few adventures and the sample in the books to help me out.
Sure, the games were Monty Haul back in the day, but we had fun playing and didn’t worry too much about logistics (How in the hell did that 50’ dragon fit in this 20’ square room?).
So, I had two separate groups of friends; and both groups were playing D&D. This continued on for a bit over a year if I recall correctly.
About that time, Galen introduced me to a new book: The AD&D Player’s Handbook. This thing was a hardcover!
So, the group with Galen switched over to playing A&D while the other group with the Stegman brothers and their cousin stuck with Basic D&D using the updated Mentzer boxes.
Both groups saw people come and go over the next several years. The AD&D group would meet up to four or five times per week after school. We’d be hanging out in Galen’s garage, and someone would mention they had something to run. We’d all scatter home to get our characters and meet back. Eventually, I just kept my folder of characters in my school backpack. Some of them gave RoleMaster a try, but I wasn’t among them.
The Basic D&D group would usually play on weekends over at the Stegman’s house. We tried a few sessions of Star Frontiers, but the lack of magic fell short for us.
This all continued through to graduation in 1987.
Once I started attending the local Jr College, the AD&D1e games pretty much came to a halt for me. The basic game stalled about a year later.

In 1989, a new edition was on the shelves! I snagged it up and began devouring it immediately. I fell in love with this edition. Specialty priests allowed use of different weapons and having different spells! That’s unheard of in D&D!
Within a few years, my now brother-in-law, Thad, and I had gotten some guys together for the longest running group I’ve ever been part of. From 1991 until 1998 or so, we had the same core group with a few people coming and going.
As wives and children entered our lives, gaming slowed to a mere once per week; but we had several campaigns during that time with a few of them getting into the mid teens for levels. We had a few end with the dreaded TPK.
Throughout all of the years and editions, we explored caves near the keep, the tomb of the demilich, caverns with a vampire daughter of a demi-god and sorceress, and even a crashed spaceship. I ran a few different groups through an evil temple near Hommlet; only once did a group complete it successfully.
We had many adventures in far off lands and battled many foes.

At the turn of the century, third edition was released. Within a few weeks, I had gathered several players from different groups I’d had the past several years; and we began anew. By the time v3.5 was out, I had met and started gaming with more different people. We had several short-lived campaigns come and go for the next few years.

During this time, I started expanding my RPG experience beyond the scope of D&D. I tried Vampire: the Masquerade, Exalted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (had a great campaign lasting a year or so!), and a few d20 variants. With the exception of Buffy, none of them took hold.
Then WotC announced 4th edition was coming. I kept track of the initial writings about it and liked what I was reading. As things progressed, though, it started losing me. In fact, the things I’d read and liked were being dropped.
So, when D&D4e was released, I ignored it and stuck with D&D3.5; but even that began to wear thin on me for a few reasons.
In 2005, I signed up to play test D&D material for the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting published by Kenzer & Co. As I read through the material that was to be released, I started looking at it from a different point of view. Before I would take everything as is and go with it. Now everything suddenly needed to make sense within the genre for me. Looking back at what I’d been playing for several years, I noticed much of it suddenly didn’t appeal to me with this new point of view. Things I once thought were great lost its luster to me.
Also, the GM I had in the late 2000’s didn’t help. In the three years he ran games, each of the three campaigns I was in started out great. Within a few levels, they all went to hell. Monty Hall would have been ashamed of these campaigns. In one of them, I had books for all six ability scored to go up five points. I hadn’t even hit level three at that time. In the next, my human expert/warrior/fighter has a strength score of 21 by level four. Later, his STR & CON were both 30+. In the final one, the group had a few hundred thousand gold by level four. The games became very dull.
Even that wasn’t the final nail. In that last game, my cleric hit level six: time for a new feat! I looked through a dozen books for over three hours and could not decide upon one.
My love for the d20 system died that day. I was ready to give up gaming.

Luckily, that worse than death fate did not come to pass. About that same time, there was a new thread starting up on the home of the Kalamar forums that discussed a new, soon to be released Fantasy RPG: HackMaster Basic.
The designers were dropping spoilers about the game into this thread. I liked everything I read about it, enough so that I pre-ordered the book and waited patiently for its release. And much to my delight, Kalamar was to be the default setting for this game.
The book arrived in June, and I started devouring the content. This game appeared to be the fix I needed to keep gaming. In fact, it hooked me even more than D&D hooked me as a young lad of 10 years.
I had a few people roll up some characters, and we ran through the free adventure from the website. Admittedly, things didn’t flow as easily as I expected but I had no experience with these new rules and was still learning them.
I didn’t get a campaign going until January of 2010. By chance, I ran into two of my old gaming buddies from AD&D2e (they are brothers at that!) within a few days of each other. That weekend, the married couple from that old 2e group posted that they were moving back to town. This was the sign I needed. We got together and started playing HackMaster.
I’m on my second group using these rules and my third campaign. The current campaign is about a year old with all of the characters at levels 4 and 5.

Next time, I’ll discuss some of my future plans for writing.

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GaryCon IV

Gary Con IV

Gary Con IV was last weekend: March 22nd – 25th. Last year’s con was the most fun I’ve ever had at a gaming convention. I ran several events and made many new friends – some of which I saw there again this year. This year did not disappoint.

I ran six events this year: two each on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. All of them filled except for one: it had one opening that was filled at the con.

I met several of the old-school designers – some from last year and some for the first time:
Frank Mentzer, Harold Johnson, Mike Carr, and Allen Hammack

Luke Gygax was there again; and I met his siblings, Ernie & Heidi, this year.

I saw several friends I made last year including John Adams of Brave Halfling Publishing and Jeff Sparks of Faster Monkey Games (and his wife, Erika).

Few vendors were there: Kenzer & Co, Black Blade Publishing, Brave Halfling Publishing, Troll Lord Games, and a few others I can’t recall at the moment.

All of them were huddled into a small room except for Kenzer & Co. They had a booth on the ‘virtual porch’ and a table next to it for running HackMaster all weekend. I didn’t sit in on any of them. I’ll have to do so next year.
Speaking of K&Co, that have a great deal going on right now. You can buy 5 copies of HackMaster Basic for $25. It’s a perfect way for the entire group to give it a look without spending too much cash.

I got some swag from Brave Halfling. John Adams gave me one of each of the ‘gamer boxes’ he’s selling. These things are quite durable and great for storing gaming books to take on the run.

Tucked back in the corner of the vendor’s room was ‘Stephanie’s Little Painting Place’. She and one of her ‘minions’ (Nichlas) were painting miniatures for $10 each. I had them paint my official GaryCon IV miniature, and it was fantastic. I had them paint another one of the miniatures I had with me as well.

I saw several games with kids ages 12 and under as well. A few of them actually run by kids and a few being run by adults for them. It gave me a huge smile to see them having so much fun with the same hobby I grew up enjoying.

My personal highlight, though, was scoring a set of the first printing of the Kingdoms of Kalamar books by Kenzer & Co. Their first print had gray covers that was replaced with less expensive covers in all future printings. I was talking with Brian Jelke, and those books were mentioned in passing. He introduced me to Tim Anton (one of the founding Kenzer & Co guys) that had them with him in the hopes of selling them. Needless to say, he succeeded. He even passed them around the gaming table where most of the K&Co crew was playing HackMaster and had everyone involved with the original Kalamar sign the books.

I had a GREAT time and look forward to attending again next year.

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