Dragon Con 2021 – Review Part 2

After taking Saturday to go hang with family (and watch the Georgia Tech Football game that I’m still not sure how they lost… or actually, I know exactly where they lost, I just still can’t believe it), we ventured back down to Dragon Con on Sunday for what would be our last day.

Actually, before I go into Sunday, I wanted to say that this year’s Dragon Con felt like being in a time machine about 10 years earlier. With a self-imposed attendance cap (and what ended up at an estimated 42,000 people), I just looked on Wiki and it has 2011’s attendance at 46,000, so the 10 years feel was right on. Regardless, in this last decade, the convention has expanded to other hotels and America’s Mart because, well, it had to. And this will sound both stupid and obvious, but the difference of having 85,000 people and 42,000 people spread over the same area meant that this year you could breathe (ironic as we were all wearing masks). The Dealer’s room wasn’t so full that it was bursting at the seams. You could actually take a minute and look around and not worry about being in the way. The lines for the panels we chose were of normal length and didn’t have any problems getting seats.

I really hope that they don’t try to jump back to that 85,000 number next year. I know the money is better that way, but the experience was so much better this way.

In addition, all the other guests really stuck to wearing their masks in the hotels. I think I only saw 2 people not wearing them (the old “chin-diaper” look). I know it helped put us at ease that this wasn’t going to end up as some super-spreader event.

Anyway, we managed to get into the Zachary Levi panel. We’d done it in 2019 before we’d even seen Shazam (since we knew him from Chuck mostly) and were blown away by his frankness in dealing with mental issues, his frankness about his roles, and just how personable he’d come off. This time was no different as he still managed to mix in some cool anecdotes and made us laugh while still not shying away from the harder questions about his upbringing.

After that, we went to see Harvey Guillen (Guillermo) from What We Do In the Shadows. While I only know him from the aforementioned TV Show, there were plenty of questions about some of his other roles. Probably the biggest takeaway for me was just this idea of something always happens for a reason (or if you’re meant to do something, the universe will find a way). He had a couple of roles that seemed to work out just perfectly… apparently, even his audition for Shadows was one where he only got the shot because he showed up to a friend’s party and met someone whose boyfriend (husband?) worked for the show. The actual role of Guillermo was supposed to be a 40-something-year-old man (Harvey isn’t 40), but they humored him and gave him the shot. Then he said he’d blacked out in the process of doing it… just had no memory of it at all. Time went on and he’d heard nothing, so he figured that was it. And at the last minute, he received the call that not only did he get the job but it was starting that next week.

Finally, we decided the Smallville panel had been a ton of fun, but we were bummed we hadn’t seen Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor). However, all four of them were there for this panel… and we got to see Michael in action. He was all over the room, answering questions (even those not meant for him), getting everyone to sing along with the theme song, and just generally someone who I could tell from this panel and the previous one would have been hilarious to have on set with you (the never a dull moment type of guy).

When it was done we had another panel on the list and some years we will do the Masquerade, but the previous two days had begun to wear on Courtney (and me as well) and AEW was having their Pay Per View at 8 that evening, so we opted to head out.

***

With so much trepidation in the weeks leading up to this event due to the Delta Variant, I am so happy we decided to go. Here’s to another one in the books and looking forward to next year!

***

John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Click here to join John’s mailing list and receive preview chapters of upcoming novels, behind the scenes looks at new comics, and free short stories.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, Tales from Vigilante City, Beyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

Dragon Con 2021 – Review

It was, as they say, a game-time decision. After the cancelation last year, our 2020 passes were rolled over to 2021. There was definitely a large part of me who kinda hoped they might do the same again, but we live in Georgia, and Georgia is going to Georgia to be sure. With the numbers from the Delta at the top of mind, my wife and I weren’t exactly sure whether we were going to go or not this past weekend. Given that we are both vaxed, I was less concerned, but still, when you are going to be hanging out with 40,000 of your friends in a relatively small area for the weekend… well…

So we made the decision to go, at least on Friday. I figured that if it was half the s-show that I thought it might be, we could always bolt. If things were alright then we would end up coming back on Sunday (Saturday the in-laws were in town).

The doubts began creeping in when a few of my friends went down on Thursday night to pick up their badges and reported waiting in line for nearly two hours. As many years as I have been going, the ticket line has been the most hit-or-miss thing with the whole con. I remember some years where 2 hours was considered a short wait time. Then a handful of years ago something changed and the process seemed like it had sped up. To hear about the back-slide was disturbing to say the least.

I would like to say, after having been to Gen Con, I really wish Dragon Con would step up and mail you your badge. Gen Con charges an extra $10 for the process and it is the best money I’ve ever spent.

FRIDAY

We tried to give ourselves about 75 minutes to get through the line and still make our first panel at 11:30. I dropped Courtney off at the Sheraton and then went to park the car…

And found out she’d already gone through the line. 5 minutes. No problems. It was the same with me. I’m not sure if everyone came on Thursday or maybe they didn’t have the volunteers or what changed in the preceding 12 hours, but I was overjoyed!

Our first panel was with the Smallville cast. Courtney and I watched Smallville through about season 4 or 5 when I believe we fell behind in our viewing and the DVR ate the intervening episodes (and I kind of, sort of, but really didn’t, write an episode for the show). It’s always been one of those shows I would have liked to go back and finish out (and after this panel Courtney mentioned possibly doing that after we finish our Chuck rewatch). Still, it was great to see Tom Welling (Clark Kent), Laura Vandervoot (Supergirl), and Sam Witwer (Doomsday) talk about the show with such a fondness. I hadn’t realized it had been 20 years since the show debuted.

They talked about stunts gone awry (Laura passing out in the harness which they use to have them fly). Sam having appendicitis in the midst of a shoot and no one realizing it until late in the evening. And the fact that Tom had it in his contract that he wasn’t going to put on the suit. I’d always thought it was an executive decision for that not to have happened before the very end of the show, but Tom talked about how very early on (Season 2) they started talking about it. He put an end to that as he wanted the show to be about Clark’s journey prior to him being Superman. And once he’s in the suit, that’s really the end of the show.

It was such a good panel, the only bad thing was that Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) wasn’t going to be there until Saturday… which meant we might need to check it out later in the weekend to see what wackiness he might bring.

At this point we decided to hop over to the Exhibit Hall for the 4 floors of artists, dealers, cosplaying, clothing, comics, and just about anything else you can think of. We made our way through. Learning from 2019, we resolved to go through the entire thing on Friday as we knew it would be our only real chance to do so. Courtney bought some jewelry, a trio of shirts from the folks that make the Unstable Unicorns game. I ended up browsing through hundreds of $5 graphic novels only to end up with a pair of them. And even though I rarely get to play live other than conventions, I bought a new Flash dice bag for the impending Origins Convention. Finally, we bought a nice piece of artwork, a bit of a cutout of Buttercup and Westley from The Princess Bride surrounded by “As You Wish”.

Of course, by the time we’d gone through all of that, it was dinner time and we’d missed the two or three panels in the early afternoon. After dinner, Courtney and I split up… she went off to a Lucifer panel and I went to a pair of writing panels (one on Indy Writer secrets and the other on controversies in writing). The first was interesting, though the biggest thing for me coming out of it was more about using these types of panels as motivation. One of the panelists said something that really stuck out (James A Hunter): your best marketing is your next book. He’d written 35 books in the last 6-7 years with the thought that if you are prolific enough (and are writing decent enough stories) the odds of something hitting are only going to be increased. You take 35 shots and surely something is going to go in.

Now, I doubt with the day job being a necessary thing to put food on the table and a roof over my head I’d ever be able to have that much product in such a short amount of time. But, I also realize that putting out a book every 4 years isn’t going to get me where I want to go either. Sometimes it is hard to see where the road might be on this writing journey. These panels are like little check-ins for my psyche. I know I need to be a bit more diligent with all of it.

We ended our day with a comedy show. We’d done it once before and both really liked dipping our toes into some of the later nightlife which is the biggest part of the con to elude us. A bunch of laughs later, and it was time to head home so that we could go spend the day with family before returning on Sunday.

***

Next week find out what happens when you see the “same” panel twice but with a new panelist.

***

John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Click here to join John’s mailing list and receive preview chapters of upcoming novels, behind the scenes looks at new comics, and free short stories.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, Tales from Vigilante City, Beyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Bracketology

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Little teams facing off against Goliaths. The blue bloods going against the mid-levels. The unknowns hitting their last-second shot. The upsets.

That’s exactly what indy comics feels like.

It feels like you are the unknown quantity and you know that you just need one chance in order to prove that you belong. But the thing is, during the regular season those big dogs never want anything to do with you. They don’t want to schedule games against you. Heck, they wouldn’t know where to go if they did. So you have to struggle and scratch and claw alongside others of your ilk. You’ve got to put in the work the same as if you were playing in the big arenas across the country.

You’ve got to create for yourself because no one else in the big leagues is going to be of much help to you.

Those dark hours you spend in front of the computer, all those loose scraps of paper with little bits of genius on them, the whiteboard where you’ve mapped 60 issues of your storyline out, and everything else you do to keep those ideas alive. Trying your best to wrap your head around the plots and put them in a coherent format so that an artist can bring your vision to life. The Fear has to take a back seat during those moments when you are creating.

 

But in the tournament it’s different. You finally get your chance to show off your skills and your stories to an even bigger audience. They can’t ignore you completely anymore. They can’t outright dismiss you, even if they would like to.

But here’s where the analogy fails. You see, while those little schools are all competing for the handful of slots just to get on the big stage, it doesn’t have to be like that for the independents. We don’t have to be competition for each other. Instead, we can be another ship in the fleet, raising the sails of anyone and everyone we can.

Hopefully, as the world begins to return to something that might resemble “normal” (though that word feels like it will always have an asterisk beside it, much like we say pre-911, I see us saying pre-Covid19), we’re going to start venturing out to the comic book conventions. You’re going to walk down those aisles where the big creators are, and that’s great. I love doing that as well, but I would say that maybe, just maybe, you take a venture down to where the indy creators are. Take your time down there. Those guys and gals have poured their free time into those books. Each one might not appeal to you, but I’m willing to bet that there are a few in there which will feel like they were made just for you.

This might be the closest thing to the Big Dance many of us are ever going to get to (and that’s ok). Not everyone is trying to work at Marvel or DC. Many creators just want to be able to put their vision of the world out there in some form or fashion. They are hoping that a handful (well, maybe more than a handful) of people are going to give them a chance. That they are going to stop and look. Pick up a comic and flip through it. To have those conversations where you can hear the excitement in their voice while they pitch you their stories.

It’s not always about the big splashy moments. Sometimes it can be about the little ones. A reader and a creator connecting with their mutual love of the form.

***

John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Click here to join John’s mailing list and receive preview chapters of upcoming novels, behind the scenes looks at new comics, and free short stories.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, Tales from Vigilante City, Beyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

Press Release: Announcing the Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Convention

Announcing the Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Convention
Join a completely digital tabletop gaming convention from Onyx Path Publishing, taking place June 12-14, 2020.
June 1, 2020 – Onyx Path Publishing is holding its very first convention over the course of three days to provide fans and players of tabletop roleplaying games with a uniquely online convention experience. Onyx Path Gaming Con will be completely digital and accessible to anyone with a laptop, computer, or cellphone, allowing fans and players of Onyx Path games to connect with one another over their favorite game.
The convention will feature actual play streams of Onyx Path game lines, workshop sessions for gamemasters and game developers, panels with tabletop RPG industry professionals. Along with behind the scenes updates and developments of upcoming Onyx Path titles. This online content will be accessible across Twitch and YouTube channels owned by Onyx Path Publishing, Gehenna Gaming, and other partners.
A major focus of Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Con will allow attendees to play in virtual tabletop sessions run by professional gamemasters. The goal of this event is to provide Onyx Path customers a uniquely focused gaming convention experience based on the games they enjoy playing and introduce new games to fall in love with. These games include Scarred Lands, Legendlore, They Came from Beneath the Sea!, Scion, and Trinity Continuum. Along with Exalted and many World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness games, such as Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension, Hunter: The Vigil, and many more.
Some of the proceeds from the Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Con will go to both Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) as well as The Bodhana Group.
“TMCF distributes 98% of its awards exclusively to HBCUs and PBIs, which is more than any other organization that supports the Black College Community.” Read more about Thurgood Marshall College Fund here: https://www.tmcf.org.
The Bodhana Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for “tabletop gaming as a directed therapeutic and clinical practice that can benefit personal growth as well as enhance social and educational services to individuals and families.”
Read more about the Bodhana Group here: https://www.thebodhanagroup.org.
In order to make this convention possible Onyx Path Publishing has partnered up with Gehenna Gaming, a New England-based horror gaming experience company, in an effort to assist in the organization of the event. Gehenna Gaming successfully launched VirtualHorror Con this past April, which was host to over 18K viewers and attendees. This partnership will ensure a successful con enjoyed by Onyx Path Publishing customers and players of tabletop roleplaying games from around the world.
Come walk the Onyx Path with us.
About Onyx Path Publishing:
Founded in 2012, Onyx Path Publishing is a Pennsylvania-based company dedicated to the development of exemplary, immersive worlds. Working with a group of amazingly talented creators, we explore print, electronic and other forms of media distribution to produce games and fiction based on the Scarred Lands, Pugmire, Scion, Trinity, Exalted, World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness properties. With over 20 years of publishing experience from which to draw, we are industry professionals who love the art of the game and plan to continue making meaningful, innovative contributions in the years to come.
Twitter:@theonyxpath
About Gehenna Gaming:
Gehenna Gaming is a New England-based company dedicated to providing unique gaming experiences to fans and players of horror-themed tabletop and live-action roleplaying games. Our distinct perspective gives insight into what players are looking for and how to best run traditional horror RPGs. We partner with game designers, distributors, content creators, and industry influencers in order to entertain players, empower brands, and educate fans. While bolstering a positive, supportive, and inclusive environment.
Twitter: @GehennaGaming

PRESS RELEASE: Origins Game Fair Postponed to October; Origins Online Scheduled for June


Origins Game Fair Postponed to October;
Origins Online Scheduled for June

COLUMBUS, OH – April 9, 2020 – The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the non-profit organization serving the hobby games industry, today announced that it will postpone the 46th Annual Origins Game Fair, originally scheduled for June 17-21, 2020 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, to October 7-11, 2020.  The tabletop convention attracts more than 20,000 attendees from around the world to central Ohio to play thousands of board games, collectible card games, miniatures and role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Catan, and hundreds of other titles.

The decision to postpone the convention follows extensive discussions with its membership, the city of Columbus, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, hotel partners, and exhibitors. “The decision to postpone the convention was not one we made lightly,” said GAMA Executive Director, John Stacy. “The safety and well-being of the Origins community is our number one priority. Given the current health situation, we believe that it is best to move the convention to October.”

With the postponement, GAMA also announced that they would be hosting an online gaming convention during the original show weekend, June 19-21, 2020.

Origins Online 2020 will be a fully virtual convention for tabletop gaming fans to enjoy from their devices and will feature an Exhibit Hall where attendees can demo and buy games and merchandise. In addition, the virtual convention will offer streaming workshops and educational seminars with guest authors, artists and game designers, plus hundreds of games online that attendees can sign up to participating in.

“We are all in this together. The postponement of the in-person event and introduction of Origins Online is an opportunity for the hobby games industry and broader gaming community to get excited together and come back stronger on the other side of this pandemic,” Stacy continued.

Details regarding the postponement of Origins Game Fair and Origins Online will be shared soon on the event website.

 

PRESS RELEASE: FLGS Locator & Programs: Support your local game stores!


FLGS Locator

GAMA has created a Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) locator to help people find stores nearby.

During these changing times, stores have begun offering alternate shopping experiences such as curbside pick-up or local delivery for purchased items. Some stores are also offering gift cards as another outlet for customer support.

This locator, with more than 800 stores, highlights these alternative services and connects you with those closest to your home. Search for your nearby store(s) and support the gaming community!

Visit flgslocator.org to support stores!

Retailer Support Programs

Many publishers have also developed initiatives to show support for their retail partners. Several of these initiatives trigger with consumer action.

Click the link below to view all of the retailer support programs currently announced (more added constantly). This resource is designed to help you support your local stores, your favorite publishers, and the gaming community in general!

View retailer support programs!

Join the Origins Facebook Group to connect with other attendees and talk about games!

Join the Facebook group!

PRESS RELEASE: Origins Discounted Early Bird pricing ends SUNDAY!

Discounted Early Bird pricing ends THIS SUNDAY!

Buy your badge this week to save more money for the Exhibit Hall and events!

Register your badge now!

Volunteer Shifts Still Available!

We’re always looking for friendly-faces to help around the show. Sign up to…

  • Earn free badges!
  • Expand your friend group!
  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at the gaming industry!

Minimum four hours required, but perks increase as you support the show! By signing up for more shifts, you can earn food vouchers, hotel rooms, parking passes, extra badges, and even generic tickets! Don’t forget about the Volunteer Appreciation Party where we hand out Origins loot, swag, and games to our hard-working volunteer team!

Sign up to volunteer here!
Join the Official Discussion Facebook group to stay connected!
Early Bird badge pricing ends March 1! Buy your badge today!
See you at #Origins2020, June 17-21!
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PRESS RELEASE: Housing Registration Opens Sunday

Gen Con Logo

Housing Registration Opens this Sunday, February 9

If you want to make a housing reservation this Sunday:
  • By Friday Evening: Buy a badge (It doesn’t matter when you buy your badge, as long as it’s before Friday evening).
  • Saturday Morning: We’ll send you an email with your portal access time.
  • Sunday: Log in to the My Housing section of your account about five minutes before your access time and wait for the countdown to complete.
  • When your time comes: Click to access the housing portal. It’s OK to refresh your page if the link doesn’t appear right away, just don’t mash refresh.
  • Once you’re in the housing portal: Select a reservation from the available inventory, and make sure to complete checkout within ten minutes of adding your reservation to your cart.
This Friday at 2 pm (PT), join Kristen and Mike live on Twitch for a special Housing Registration edition of Gen Con News!

They’ll walk through the housing process on screen and answer questions from chat. Can’t watch the stream live? Check back after it ends to watch it on demand on Twitch.

For more details and information about using our housing portal, check out these resources:

Gen Con Returns to Indianapolis
July 30 – August 2, 2020!

Badges Available at gencon.com
Hotel Registration: February 9
Event Registration: May 17

PRESS RELEASE: Volunteer at Origins and get a free badge!

Volunteer at Origins and get a free badge!

Sign up for shifts here!
Origins wouldn’t exist without our team of volunteers – we want you to join that team! The available shifts for Origins 2020 have just been published and are ready for you to schedule your time.
Why should I volunteer?
Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, learn more about the show, and get a few extra perks to make your trip to Columbus easier.What are these perks you speak of?
For each 4-hour shift you volunteer for, you bump up one perk level. See the full chart below for an overview of all the possibilities.
What is a Volunteer Lead and how do I become one?
Leads are volunteers that have worked with us in the past and have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills. They are in charge of specific areas at the show, including fielding attendee questions and managing their volunteer teams. If you are an Origins volunteer fitting this criteria and are interested in becoming a Lead, please email Jim Godin (Meetings Manager) at jim.godin@gama.org.
What happens at the Volunteer Appreciation Party?
To celebrate all the hard work our volunteers have put in to make the show a success, we host a party with food and cash bar, recognize outstanding volunteers, and distribute games provided by sponsoring companies.How do I sign up for a shift?
Simply go to originsgamefair.com/volunteer, click on a location you’re interested in, and create an account to reserve your spot. If an area is fully staffed, you can sign up for the Waitlist to be notified if/when a shift opens up.

ORIGINS FACEBOOK GROUP

Origins Volunteer Group – for anyone currently or interested in volunteering at the show! Join here »

See you at #Origins2020, June 17-21!
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Copyright © 2019 GAMA, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are interested in learning more about Origins Game Fair in Columbus, OH.Our mailing address is:

GAMA

240 N 5th St Ste 340

ColumbusOH 43215-2611

Press Release: Free League Launching the Official ALIEN RPG at PAX Unplugged and Dragonmeet

Free League Publishing

Free League Launching the Official ALIEN RPG at PAX Unplugged and Dragonmeet

Free League Publishing – Nov 27, 2019 13:00 GMT

In Philadelphia, no one can hear you scream. On December 6–8, Free League Publishing will be at PAX Unplugged to launch the official ALIEN tabletop roleplaying game. There will also be a limited pre-release at Dragonmeet in London om November 30.

At the Free League booth #3312 at PAX Unplugged, visitors can meet setting writer and sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska and game director and rules designer Tomas Härenstam, have them sign their book and ask them anything they want. Just watch out for the xenomorph lurking in the corner…

A week earlier, at Dragonmeet in London on November 30, a limited number of the massive 392-page core rulebook and a host of supplements will be available at the Free League booth in Trade Hall 2. Visitors can also try the game out in the “Grindbone 2183” tournament.

The ALIEN RPG, officially launching on December 10, is a beautifully illustrated full-color hardcover book, both presenting the world of ALIEN in the year 2183 and a fast and effective ruleset designed specifically to enhance the ALIEN experience.

In addition, the full range of Free League’s award-winning tabletop role-playing games – such as retro-fantasy survival Forbidden Lands, the alternate ’80s Tales From the Loop, the space opera adventure Coriolis The Third Horizon, dark fantasy Symbaroum and the post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero – will all be available at the booth at discounted prices at both PAX Unplugged.

Free League Publishing is a Swedish publisher dedicated to speculative fiction. We have published a range of award-winning tabletop role-playing games and critically acclaimed art books set in strange and wondrous worlds.

Our game range include the alternate ’80s Tales from the Loop (winner of five ENnie Awards 2017, including Best Game), sandbox retro fantasy Forbidden Lands (winner of four ENnie Awards 2019), postapocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero (Silver ENnie for Best Rules 2015), space opera Coriolis – The Third Horizon (Judge’s Spotlight Award 2017), dark fantasy Symbaroum, and the official ALIEN RPG.

We have also published the art books Tales from the Loop and Things from the Flood  by visual artist Simon Stålenhag, as well as the illustrated edition of the Lovecraft classic The Call of Cthulhu by French artist François Baranger.

Website: www.freeleaguepublishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FriaLigan
Instagram: http://instagram.com/frialigan/
Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/FrialiganSe
Twitter: http://twitter.com/FriaLigan

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Dragon Con 2019 – Review Part 2

Part one can be found here.

***

When last we left our hero (me), he was suffering from an unknown allergic reaction to Aleve.

Sunday

After a full day of not doing much more than applying cold compresses to my eyes and staying firmly on the couch, I awoke on Sunday nearly 100% back to normal. Which really meant a morning full of deja-vu as we headed downtown to the convention via MARTA again, had to go purchase a Sunday day pass (luckily there was virtually no line again) (though, not sure why we couldn’t go ahead and get a Sunday pass on Friday and save ourselves a trip), and then attempted to get into one of the 10 AM panels. However, unlike Friday and David Tennent’s panel, we were able to make it into the Lucifer panel.

Lucifer is one of those shows that I love the concept. I knew it was a comic, but aside from his appearances in Sandman, I’ve not read any of the issues. Still the idea that the Devil takes a vacation just checks off so many boxes. And the idea of sewing that onto a police procedural with the weekly crimes works fairly well. The panel had D.B. Woodside and Aimee Garcia and the two of them had excellent chemistry up on stage. You always wonder if the cast members actually like each other, but with the two of them, there was no doubt. They had plenty of stories to tell and (since I’m a little behind on the show) only one real spoiler that I caught.

Next up was Zachary Levi’s panel. We managed to snipe that one without needing to wait in an insanely long line (always a risk). Inside the room, I noticed that there was no table or mics set up for him and a moderator. There was really no need as he stood and took questions one after the other. He was funny and had great stories, but also had an underlining message of mental health. He talked about it for himself and then elaborated on it with regard to his mother.

The whole hour might be the best hour I’ve ever seen at Dragon Con, he was that good. Heck, he was good enough that I kinda want to see Shazam (and I am not a fan of that character).

An excursion to the Art Show and Tessera Guild’s own Amanda Makepeace was in booth number 1! If you haven’t checked out her work before or it’s just been a while, go here and let your eyes get a good look at what an extremely talented artist (and better person) can do.

And after the convention was over, I found out she won Best SciFi in the DragonCon 2019 art show for “Saturn’s Twilight.” (her 3rd year in a row!)

Saturn’s Twilight by Amanda Makepeace

With every Dragon Con comes the big panel… the one I crawled out of bed for: the Venture Bros Panel!

Given that we are in-between seasons. And given that seasons take 2 years to come out, I wasn’t sure what this one would bring. I knew the two creators wouldn’t be there, but I also knew the voice actors can be extremely amusing. And that was definitely the case as they answered question after question from the fans. Then, with about 20 minutes left, they got Doc Hammer on Skype, and he had a puppet of Dr. Mrs. The Monarch on his arm. While the connection was spotty for most of it, it was a real treat to have him there virtually. Hopefully, they can all come out next year and really show out.

With all the fun and games mostly done, it was time to journey back to the Dealers’ Room again. On Friday we’d seen 3 of the 4 floors, so it was a moral imperative to venture up to the last floor )(comics and pop-culture). Yet, that pesky line was an issue again, save this time it wrapped around part of the America’s Mart Building 1 and then 3/4 of Building 2. The whole process was about 25 minutes (faster than I would have thought). Considering those early Dragon Cons I went to had a strong presence, it’s just good to see the comics being embraced again after so many years of not being cared about.

After hurrying through that last piece, we had one last panel on Webcomics to go and watch. Robert Jeffrey (Route 3 and many things on this site) and Tony Cade (Editor-in-Chief of Terminus Media) were both on the panel, so I figured it was a good idea to be supportive! After listening to the questions by the audience, I think that the biggest take-away from that panel or really any writing/art panel is that you just have to sit down and start doing your thing. And then, at some point, you need to finish that thing and put it out there for people to see and read. So many people have these half done or barely started projects (me included) that really just need to get completed.

Dinner with Robert followed as we talked about comics and the convention. Normally, that ride/drive back home is a bit more melancholy as I reflect upon another year in the books. This ride home was more of a celebration of the con, the projects Robert and I have worked on (and are currently working on). It made the ride pass far too quickly.

Just like the convention itself.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Dragon Con 2019 – Review Part 1

This was a slightly different Dragon Con Experience. Normally we have a 4-day pass (although, Thursday is now a hopping place and people are really getting things going on Wednesday. Soon it will just be a whole week of debauchery!). This year we didn’t have the 4-day and made the executive decision to buy a Friday and a Sunday pass (and go ahead and pre-purchase the 4-day for 2020). This means we are going to need to cram 4 days into 2 days.

As it turned out, this was probably the best decision we could have made… but more on that below.

FRIDAY

One of the nice things about doing the day passes was that there was nearly no line on either Friday morning (around 9 AM) or Sunday (9 AM as well). Maybe it got busier as the day progressed, but it did seem off that the day-of line would be so little, but the pre-purchased might have a longer line (or at least it did on Thursday for some people).

I normally go through the schedule and pick about 3 to 4 panels to go to every hour. This way if something has too long of a line or they cut the line off we have a back-up plan (and sometimes a back-up to that back-up). It also comes in handy on Sunday when your legs don’t want to do much more walking and the next panel is 4 hotels away:

“Hmmm… what’s happening in THIS hotel?”

I’d went through the schedule and found a handful of things on both days. There wasn’t so much Courtney “centric” things that she saw, but since we both watch most of the same things, it works out. First thing, we tried for the David Tennent line. Now, while I have watched Doctor Who, I have not really seen his Doctor (yes, I understand this is blasphemy… hey, Netflix removed them just as I was starting to watch). We were in line about 30+ minutes and was told the room was full.

Great way to start the day off!

This actually threw off our plans since we were going to do that and then head over to be one of the first for the Dealer’s room, but this meant we had an extra hour to kill. So kill it dead, we did by hanging out in the gaming room, grabbing food, and then having to walk around America’s Mart in order to get into the Dealer’s area.

Image by Emilie Farris from Pixabay

They were on 4 floors this year (2 years ago they were on 3). They had the comics/pop art on the 4th floor and I’ll give them credit when you actually support the funny books, you can get a nice turn-out. Roy Thomas, Marv Wolfman, Demattis were there (to name a few). The only companies were Aftershock and Scout (I think that’s right), but I was impressed considering it wasn’t so long ago they were in the closet.

It took us about 45 minutes per floor. They had the usual stuff. Not much in the board games, which I’ve seen CMON there in the past and I don’t think they had a booth. A couple of 1/2 trades places. A couple of older comic book dealers, and then some guy who had “grab bags” of comics. Look, I don’t understand the Mystery Box thing, but do your thing, right? So Court saw the booth and asked if I wanted to take a look and I said, it’s grab bags, I’m good. And the owner is right there and does the whole “No, they’re great. Guaranteed a variant cover, blah, blah, blah.”

Yeah, I’m good. I don’t need random variant cover for a funny book I didn’t want in the first place. I’m sure it’s great. It’s just not for me.

Courtney managed to find a bunch of decals related to Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, and Firefly that she got for her car. I didn’t buy anything… nothing grabbed me hard enough. Plus, I was counting on some additional time on Sunday (mistake!) to potentially find some comics.

We had a panel at 4 or 4:30 on Indy comics. You know, one of those panels where I’m hoping to glean some additional knowledge from the panelists on steps to take or just some general tips. And while there were some good ones, it was a little disheartening to hear from more than one of them that the best way to get an Indy book is to work for Marvel and DC first.

Blink… blink…

That’s not all they said, but it was kind of funny that a couple of them agreed that’s how they got into the correct position to do an Indy comic.

Then we went to an Arrow/Legends panel where only Paul Blackthorne was there (even though 2 others were on the list). They never made any mention of it. I liked him in Arrow. I really liked him in Dresden Files. But it was just odd that it was only him.

However, this is when the strangeness happened:

I learned something un-Con related this year: I’m suddenly allergic to Aleve. During the Indy comic panel, I took some and within an hour my face looked like Sloth from Goonies.

Aleve is something that I started taking for aches and pains and headaches for about 10 years now. When we were playing a ton of softball maybe 5 years ago, I was taking it every other day some weeks. Never had a problem. About 2 or 3 months ago, I had my lip swell up. This is something that I sometimes get over the years (Courtney does not believe this even after I’ve explained that it was only enough swelling that I noticed, no one else really would). The swelling would happen, and in a couple of hours, it would go back down. Mostly, I never thought anything of it. Occasionally, I would think “I wonder if I ate something I’m allergic to” but then forget about it. Anyway, I had an episode where the swelling was enough for Court to see. So I recorded everything I ate that day (I didn’t think about the Aleve). Maybe a month later, it happened again, but none of the same foods, and I didn’t think about the Aleve. During Gen Con I actually took Aleve at least once, but I don’t remember having a swollen lip.

Anyway, about 3 weeks ago, I had a reaction where my eye swelled up and it was in the back of my mind suddenly. Then I took some at DCon, on an empty stomach… and yeah, my Friday night and Saturday was pretty much me on the couch with a cold compress on my eyes, waiting for the swelling to go down. I talked with my mom (a nurse) because I wasn’t sure if this was something I needed to go to an Urgent Care or whatever, but she said that as long as I saw it getting better over the course of Saturday, I was good.

This happened about 6:30 and we got some Benadryl from one of the hotel stores and then headed home. Fun stuff. Being allergic to Aleve means I’m pretty much allergic to Asprin and Ibuprophen products, so it is Tylenol for me only now.

Just weird how it has occurred over the last couple of months, during a time when I haven’t been taken pain killers all that often.

***

Next week we can find out if the swelling did go back down, or if I just embraced my new “swollen” look!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

Dragon Con – Everything Pop Culture

My wife heard an advertisement on the radio today about Dragon Con which said that its focus is “Everything Pop Culture”.

I guess that is true. Or maybe, that’s become true.

There are a few ways to look at it. I immediately jumped to the idea that Dragon Con has grown (for better or worse) into this Convention Behemoth. In my previous Dragon Con reviews, I’ve mentioned that I’ve been going for probably 25 years at this point. I’ve watched it twist and change and contort itself over that amount of time. And really, it doesn’t share those old focuses anymore. Whether it is the idea of not supporting comic books for the better part of a decade (at least) to the point that the amount of “artist alley” folks could fit into what really was a glorified closet… or whether it is pushing some of the roleplaying related things out as well (tons of companies used to be there). Those things were traded over time to focus on other things. Things that were still very much “nerd culture”, just in the form of cartoons and tv shows (think Xena and Battlestar Galactica) and movies that only those of us there had ever really heard of (Firefly, Dresden Files). Even embracing the costuming/cosplay people with open arms, giving them a place to fly their own geek flags.

It’s all been about changing from what it was way back then.

And don’t miss the mark- this isn’t one of those things where the old man goes off on how things were “better in my day”. Do I miss some of that stuff? Yeah, sure, but I don’t dislike what it has become either. The fact that it is now showcasing things which are considered “Pop Culture” and it isn’t said in a derogatory fashion. It’s crazy.

Courtney, upon hearing this, took it to mean exactly that. Being able to go and see the actors from your favorite shows/movies, but still having the ability to showcase some of the “other” stuff in there as well. She would have never enjoyed that mid-90s version of Dragon Con. She likes the stars and the panels where they talk to us about their current projects and what might be coming down the line.

And that’s great.

I also love that authors are beyond welcome at Dragon Con. That many of them make it a specific point to venture down to Atlanta for the show. I can’t count the number of panels with novelists and RPG creators I’ve sat in on trying to glean some pieces of insight. That’s not an opportunity every convention can offer.

Or what about that lost decade for comic books and related panels? With the Marvel movies setting records over and over, the comic books have been let back into play with everyone else. They now have a whole floor at the Apparel Mart where the artists can show their wares.

Really, what it gets back to is this idea that everything doesn’t have to be for you (me in this case) to enjoy it. But to have things you do enjoy being embraced by this convention in any fashion only will create more possibilities in the future. One of my co-workers sees the convention entirely differently than I do. He and his girlfriend don’t really get going until the late afternoon. They are there for the concerts and the late-night festivities. I wouldn’t know what any of that even is.

And that’s the beauty of Dragon Con.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Gen Con 2019 Recap – Part Two

To read Part One, click here.

***

When we last heard from our heroes, they’d gone from the highest highs to back to back not-so-much-fun games. We had a couple of hours to kill after the last game, which of course meant another visit to the Dealer’s Room… which really meant trying to remember where we’d left off the day before so that we could ensure seeing all that we could. Personally, I wasn’t really looking for anything, in particular, this year. The last two times I’d ended up buying a game the last day we were there (and haven’t played either), so while there were a ton of games I might have liked to scoop up, I managed a bit of self-discipline (at least for now). After dinner and a stop by the room, we ventured into the realms of Space and Horror.

Alien

Alien was the best game I played at the convention. Hands down. It is still in the final stages of the playtest, and the adventure was a part of that (I’m pretty sure that’s right). When we showed up, the two Game Masters ended up taking 5 players each and running the session for us. In an odd twist, Egg and Lee played under one GM and I played under another… which, I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out since part of the reason we go to these things is the “shared” experience. Still, we pressed on.

One of the cool things is this is another of the games from Free League Publishing and uses the Year Zero Engine (a d6 system). Having played Tales from the Loop at my first Gen Con as well as playing in a few sessions of Mutant Year Zero, it was pretty comfortable. This was supposed to go from 10 to midnight, though the GM warned us it could go a little over. It went until about 1:30 (the other GM finished up maybe 10 minutes before my group).

The slow burn of the game was very apparent. The players knew that they were in for it, but our characters were clueless. One interesting thing we had on our character sheets were “secret” motivations. It could be that you are really a Synth or you are a spy or you are out for revenge. Mine was to ensure that word of what was happening on the planet (you know, with the aliens running around killing all the humans they can) never get out. After a long adventure, I was forced to leave my commander behind and escaped the planet as the only survivor.

After the game, we stayed up waaaay too late and talked about the Alien movies and Lee started laying out his idea for an actual campaign (which I’m very much looking forward to playing).

Day 3

Geist 2E

Last year we signed up for a Geist game, got confused, and then ended up playing a 2-hour demo rather than the actual full session. Not falling for that again, we made it to our real session at 10 AM. If Alien was my favorite game, Geist has me as my favorite setting from the convention. Playing someone who nearly died, you end up making a deal to fuse with a Ghost. This provides you with some supernatural abilities, a way to observe the Underworld, and a voice in your head from time to time. Now your job is to help those ghosts who cannot move on.

The setting reminds me of Angel, Dresden Files, and The Frighteners (especially the Frighteners). As we were playing the session (where an acquaintance of our characters had been falsely executed for a series of murders he did not commit), I couldn’t help but write down ideas for a potential game. Later that night, I pulled out my notebook and filled 3 pages with various bits and pieces and questions for myself. I’d love to build a campaign for the world (heck, I’d love to write books in the world!).

Dragon Age

I’m a big fan of the video games, and while we’d played one session with the rules, I was interested in seeing how things played out when you were with others who really knew the system. This was a session with level 16 characters (I believe that is correct), which was cool since I don’t normally play in campaigns that last until those power levels (normally the story is over around level 10ish). The one hiccup is that when you have the more powerful folk, it means you have more options… so there is a little bit of a learning curve.

Regardless, the GM was full of energy (even if she did occasionally lose her train of thought – then again, it was Saturday evening at Gen Con, we were all losing our trains of thought). She ran a great session, did a great job of laying out the scenes. And was obviously a big fan of the video games (and the written material of the world). To top it off, the other player running around with us was a writer for the “Faces of Thedas” supplement – Jamie Wood.

 

We had another gaming session scheduled for 8 to midnight, but we made an executive decision to bail on the game. It isn’t something we like doing, but we were completely worn out from the late-night sessions going over… and we had the handy excuse that Dedren Snead (who is a comic book writer/creator of Sorghum and Spear as well as about 50 other projects – he makes me feel very lazy) had found us and was experiencing his first GenCon, so we grabbed dinner and walked around for a bit, soaking up that last night.

Day 4

A final trip to the Dealer’s Room had us run into Danny O’Neill (of Hammerdog Games). Danny had run a Call of Cthulu game for us at my first Gen Con and we’d been friends ever since. He was on a mission to secure artists for his next project, so we followed him around for a bit, gleaning what we could, and seeing the world through his eyes for a bit.

The last trip through the room is always a bit sad. You know it is only a small amount of time before you’ll be back on the road and then back to your normal lives. And so, in keeping with tradition, I did end up buying a game on Sunday: Shipwreck Arcana. It is a cooperative logic and math-based card game that I bought mostly on a whim after watching about 2 minutes of a demo. The artwork is very cool, and, in the days since the convention, I can actually say I’ve played about 5 or 6 games with Courtney and we really like the game!

***

Another year of way too much laughter and fun (well, you can never have too much). I’m still glad that Egg and Lee convinced me to start going to this convention. Makes me wonder what possibilities we missed all those other years!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Gen Con 2019 Recap – Part One

For a third year, I managed to make the pilgrimage up north to the great state of Indiana and another installment of how many hours of sleep does a person truly need.

Also known as Gen Con 2019!

This year we stayed at the Westin, which was amazing as we were directly across the street from the Convention Center. It meant we could sleep in another 10 minutes or so, and when it came time to walk back to the hotel, it wasn’t a 15-minute walk, but more like a 5 minute one.

Day 1

Heroic Dark

Thursday began with a 10 AM game of Heroic Dark, which was developed by the same guy who did the Sythicide game (of which I ran a short campaign of around 10 to 12 sessions last year). Heroic Dark comes with an interesting premise in that the group gathered to play end up coming up with the setting and genre that they are going to play. The Creator mentioned that he’d game mastered a previous game where it ended up being Sailor Moon style girls fighting the big bad. Basically, each person has the opportunity to add something to the game based on some categories laid out before you: Monsters, Magic, Races, etc. So you could end up with anything from a Fantasy world to a world where, due to the development of some wickedly awful technology, humanity is now using demon parts in order to build their mechs. And the Angels have had enough, vowing to terraform the planet in order to start over.

We’d laid out a bunch of thoughts: Demons, zombies, mechs, terraforming, angels, and so on, and that’s where we ended up. Then, the GM had about 10 minutes to come up with some kind of story to run us through. Talk about putting yourself under some pressure. But he managed to bring together an adventure where the spare demon parts were disappearing, and it was up to us to figure out what was happening to them (turns out the Angels were purifying them and then using the now holy parts to fuel their own war machines).

The game is currently available in playtest form, with a Kickstarter likely due next year. You can find the game here!

Mutants and Masterminds

Normally when it comes time to pick the games, I leave it mostly to Egg, as he is the game guru. However, since the very first year, I’d wanted to find a way into a Mutants and Masterminds game. I’d read and heard, over the years, that if you wanted to play a superhero roleplaying game, it was the one to go to. This session ended up being a jaunt back in time to the Golden Age of comic books. A time when the Flash was not Barry Allen or Wally West, but a man named Jay Garick. A time where Superman leaped over buildings rather than fly.

Running as the Justice Society, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl (yours truly) attempted to save a woman wrongly convicted of murdering her husband… but we only had a handful of hours before she would be sent to the electric chair. Mobsters were rattled, giant robots were battled, a train was stopped from going over the edge of a ravine, and the mastermind foiled!

Using a pre-generated character was interesting, but it also meant there were TONS of stats to navigate through. All three of us liked the game but wondered how easy it would be to pick up if you were starting a new character using the system.

 

It was finally time to sneak over to the Dealers Room, which was just as enormous as it had been in previous years. It always seems like the first time in that room you are just trying to get a foothold on where some things are located. Throughout the weekend, Lee and I managed to make it through the whole thing probably twice, which is our best run at it so far.

After dinner, we ventured over to Lucas Oil Stadium to play on the field.

Amber

I kid Egg about diceless games, saying that they are Communist. Mostly I prefer games with dice… then again, I don’t have the horrible luck he does (seriously, it is odds defying). Amber is one of those diceless games that’s been around for decades, but none of us had ever played. Based on a series of novels I learned a few things about the game.

First, the people who are into Amber, are REALLY into Amber. Think of your favorite series of books (probably Game of Thrones or Dark Tower for me) and then multiply that love you feel for them by a hundred… and you’d still be short. They know everything about the world… everything…

Which can make it a little bit to penetrate such a thick history. The story seemed to trump everything throughout this session, which I’m not sure if that is how most Amber games go, or just more of a GM preference. I must admit that this one didn’t work for me. In addition, it ran over by 2 1/2 hours, so we didn’t get done until 2:30 in the morning, which threw off our schedules a bit for the remainder of the weekend (that lack of sleep starts here).

 

Day 2

Song of Ice and Fire

Sleeping as late as we could, our next game was to see the Song of Ice and Fire game system. However, when we arrived we realized that this game wasn’t exactly what we thought it would be when we selected it. Using the roleplaying game’s rules as a base, it was really a LARP (Live Action Roleplaying) which meant that you moved around the room and interacted with other players while a Jousting tournament was going on.

I just wasn’t in the right mindset for this one. Maybe it was the experience from the night before or just not getting locked in with my character, but I wasn’t feeling it. The session was interesting enough though, and some of the moves people did during the game turned out to be very interesting. The final recap at the very end opened my eyes to some of the possibilities I might have been able to explore had I been a little more engaged.

***

That’s the end of Part 1, next week I’ll finish up Day 2 and reveal the best game I played all weekend (by the same company as a Best game of Gen Con from a couple of years ago!).

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

On the Road Again

This weekend is one of the largest gaming conventions, Gen Con, takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana. Along with Egg Embry and Leland Beauchamp, it will be my 3rd year of playing way too many games, walking all over downtown Indy, and trying our best to get a couple of winks of sleep in there as well.

I never know what is going to happen. I have a couple of predictions though:

If Lil’ Egg Embry has to miss a gaming session, it will either be the “Best Game of the Weekend” or at least feature “Some Cool Mechanic that we need in our games!”.

We will be cramming our faces with food because we don’t know how to schedule a true “break”.

We’ll all be very sad and tired on Sunday to leave…

Since I’m in the process of packing tonight, one of the things that this blog has provided is to help remind me of the moments that might get lost in the maze of my mind:

Gen Con 2017 Reviews – Part 1 and 2

The Best Game I Played at Gen Con – Tales from the Loop

Gen Con 2018 Reviews – Part 1 and 2

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

PRESS RELEASE: Crafty Games: Gen Con 2019 Special Edition

Gen Con 2019 Special Edition

We interrupt our usual broadcasts to bring you news of the Best Four Days in Gaming!

Crafty Games will once again be making the annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis, and this time we’re bringing so much great stuff with us! There’s a lot to cover for this show. Here are the highlights…

New Booth Location

We are no longer in the Studio 2 block. This is our first year in Gen Pop. You can find us in Booth 2439, near the Family Fun Pavilion.

Mistborn Metal Dice

We are so excited to finally announce our next big Mistborn product…

This luxurious set includes 20 all-metal dice, each featuring a different Allomantic symbol on the 6 face PLUS a unique metal plating and finish hand-picked to represent a magic metal from the Mistborn universe. 

Down to the smallest detail, these dice are designed to be the crown jewels of your collection. We’ve worked for months with the master metal workers over at Die Hard Dice to ensure they absolutely dazzle on your gaming table.

Come by our booth and see the dice for yourself! Near-final production proofs of all 20 dice will be on display all weekend, along with a custom Mistborn dice tray we’ll be offering in the upcoming Kickstarter campaign!

Storm Hollow

Just as exciting for us: we have acquired the rights to the wildly popular roleplaying game…

Created by Escapade Games and originally Kickstarted in 2012, Storm Hollow isn’t just ENnie-nominated. It isn’t just one of the finest coming of age roleplaying games we’ve ever seen. It’s one of the finest all ages family RPGs we’ve ever seen, full stop. We can’t be happier to bring it into the Crafty Games family alongside our best-selling kids’ title, Little Wizards.

Our acquisition of Storm Hollow came with a very limited supply of the existing edition of the game – a title that’s been out of print and unavailable for some time. We’re bringing a very small quantity of the game with us to Gen Con, and the rest of this short supply is available through our webstore right now. 

Simply click on any of these images to go straight to the product page!

This isn’t the end of the story, either. We’re currently working with Escapade Games and members of their original creative team to bring an all-new edition of the game to game stores everywhere! Once again, watch this space for news as we approach this exciting relaunch of one of the most deserving games out there.

The Siege of Luthadel

We’ve been busy with the continuation of Mistborn: House War as well! Just this week we released a backer-only print and play version of the expansion, The Siege of Luthadel, and we will have full, gorgeous demo copies of it with us at Gen Con!

Yup. Vin and the Koloss are joining the party, too! Hope you can make it.

Mistborn: House War Promo Card

What’s that now? Free stuff? Yes indeed. Swing by the booth for a demo of anything and get a copy of this upstart miscreant to spice up your copy of Mistborn: House War!

Visit the Crafty Games Lab

Want a glimpse even further ahead for Crafty Games? Stop by our Lab where Alex Flagg will be testing new games we have in development. This is your chance to get directly involved in the development process. Pick the brain of one of gaming’s greatest luminaries! Lord it over your friends that you got to play their favorite game months or years early! Or just hang out with us and talk shop over a diamond in the rough for half an hour. We not picky about your motives, so long as we’re all having fun. 😃

Complete Your Collection!

Crafty Games will have its full current catalog for sale in the exhibit hall as well. Stop by for special show discounts on nearly everything, from Little Wizards Second Printing to the Mistborn Adventure Game to Mistborn: House War and more! We’ll even have the Mistborn novels there, one of which is signed by Brandon Sanderson!

Where to Find Us

Anytime you need a Crafty fix, you can find us at…

…and at retail stores worldwide!

How to Reach Us

Have a question? Missing a game component? Need a digital high-five? We got your back…

Thanks for subscribing, and for reading! We hope we’ll see you at the Best Four Days in Gaming!

Stay Crafty!


Alex, Ed, & Pat
Crafty Games

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[UPDATED] 2019 ENnie Awards Dream Date Guide 

UPDATED 2019-07-22:

After most of the first round of auctions closed, two were re-listed for a second shot at them!

 

Alligator Alley #1 – 2019 ENnie Dream Date!

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 28th July, 2019 at 1:30 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the team at Alligator Alley Entertainment  
  • Some amazing swag from Alligator Alley Entertainment 

 

Petersen Games – Dream Date with Sandy #2 at the 2019 ENnie Awards

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 28th July, 2019 at 2:17 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Petersen Games team   
  • Some Petersen Games swag! 

 

NOT A RE-LIST BUT ENDS THIS WEEK:

Dwarven Forge. – 2019 ENnie Awards Dream Date

AUCTION ENDS: Wednesday, 24th July, 2019 at 3:32 PM EST 

REWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Dwarven Forge team
  • “A painted Starter Dungeon set! The set includes 19 pieces in pure Dwarvenite to start off (or top off) your dungeon. This set comes fully hand painted”

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

Want to step up your RPG freelancing game? RPG publisher looking to shake up the industry? Are you a fan of award-winning RPGs? Going to the ENnie Awards at Gen Con 2019? Chaosium, Cubicle 7, Magpie Games, Pelgrane Press, Petersen Games, and more will be there and they want to hang out with you! The ENnie Awards (the Oscars of tabletop RPGs) are auctioning off seats with these publishers as well as swag. On eBay, they’re offering you the chance to get some one-on-one time with some of the best creators in the industry!  

Each year, I write an “ENnie Awards Dream Date Guide” to share these fantastic opportunities for fans, freelancers, and publishers. Curious what the prior options? Check them out here: 2017 and 2018. 

In 2017, I won a “date” with Cubicle 7 and could not have been happier with the experience then and since. We sat at a table right in front of the stage, they shared industry tales, introduced me to other creators, and hooked me up with Adventures in Middle-earth books and maps (print and PDF). The cherry on that night was when they won an award while I was there. I went from random fan to someone that C7 talks with every time I see them. The experience boosted me as an RPG fan, journalist, and creator, and I would recommend it to anyone that’s interested in RPGs whether a fan, a freelancer, or a publisher. To that end, let’s review these dates! 

Cubicle 7 and Egg (shorts) at the ENnie Awards 2017. [Egg is going for a record for re-using this image.]

But, before we do, here’s a few notes: 

The 2019 ENnie Awards are held August 2nd, 2019 at 8pm at Gen Con! Don’t forget to vote for the ENnie Awards here. [Auction] winners must have a valid Gen Con badge [not provided] to attend the ENnie Awards and [the winners are] responsible for any associated expenses with attending Gen Con in Indianapolis, IN. All proceeds from the Dream Date auction are used to fund the production of the ENnie Awards each year. Egg Embry is not a part of the ENnie Awards. He writes these dream date guides for fun.  

See all of the auctions here. 

Cubicle 7 – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Saturday, 20th July, 2019 at 3:30 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Cubicle 7 creative team 
  • A signed copy of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core Rulebook - Up for two ENnies this year! 

Cubicle 7 is the creative team behind many ENnie nominated and winning products! These include 2019 nominated Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition, The One Ring Roleplaying Game, Adventures in Middle-earth, Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game, The Doctor Who Card Game, Doctor Who Roleplaying Game, and many, many more. 

EGG’S THOUGHTSI’ve met C7 on multiple occasions and they’re nice, nice, nice. You’ll have a good time, they’ll keep you entertained, and, if you’re interested in one of their properties (Lord of the Rings, Warhammer, Doctor Who), they will share more insight into their worlds than you can handle.  

But one of the hottest options for this night is the swag. If C7’s Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core Rulebook picks up either, or both, of the ENnies it’s up for, your signed copy will become something of a gaming artifact: The signed ENnie Awards Dream Date Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core Rulebookfrom the night it won ENnies.  

Pelgrane Press – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Saturday, 20th July, 2019 at 1:45 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Pelgrane Press team including CathrionaCat” Tobin, Ken Hite and Robin Laws 
  • Hideous Creatures t-shirt  
  • Hideous Creatures – Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos book  
  • A GM ribbon  
  • Pelgrane Press button 

Pelgrane Press Ltd is a British role-playing game publishing company behind many ENnieAward winning products! This year is no exception, as they are up for multiple 2019 ENnies! Pelgrane Press currently produces Fall of Delta Green, Trail of Cthulhu, Night’s Black Agents, 13th Age, the Diana Jones award-winning Hillfolk RPG, the Dying Earth Roleplaying Game, and other related products. 

EGG’S THOUGHTS: Hideous Creatures – Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos is up for an ENnie Award this year and is a part of the swag the winner of this auction gets. As I mentioned with C7’s swag above, if this book wins then your copy defaults to a piece of gaming history, the ENnie Awards Dream Date Hideous Creatures – Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos.

2019 JUDGES ENnie Awards Dream Date 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 12:30 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with 2019 ENnie Awards judges, Brian Nowak, Ben Adelman and Chris Gath  
  • The winner will also receive some amazing swag custom tailored to your gaming interests. Value of the prize pack will be at least $50 over that final auction bid!
    At end of the auction, winner will receive an email asking for your tastes in genre (Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, board games, etc…) We will do our best to match it with a selection of items that have been submitted to the ENnies and award them to you the night of the awards 

EGG’S THOUGHTSIf you’re a gamer, this will probably be the best swag deal of the convention as they’ll provide you with a lot of games (the judges get plenty throughout the year).

If you’re a publisher, it might open doors to talk with the judges to learn more about judging criteria, which could lead to improved products through your studio.  

 

Magpie Games – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2019 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 1:00 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with Magpie Games team  
  • One of Magpie’s main product lines:  
    • Masks pack - a copy of the core book, supplement, one deck and a set of dice  

 Or  

    • Zombie World pack - a copy of the core book, both supplements, and a set of Kickstarter Exclusive Cards 

Magpie Games is a multi-ENnie Award nominated and winning game development and production company devoted to creating interesting, innovative, boundary-pushing, and most of all high-quality games across a wide variety of genres and styles. The majority of Magpie’s productions are tabletop roleplaying games, ranging from games designed to recreate disaster movies, to games designed to tell the stories of baby dragons on adventures, to gritty games about supernatural criminals and power brokers. Since its inception, Magpie Games has released many games, including Urban Shadows, Epyllion: A Dragon Epic, Masks: A New GenerationandBluebeard’s Bride. 

Petersen Games – Dream Date with Sandy #1 at the 2019 ENnie Awards 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 1:15 PM EST 

Petersen Games – Dream Date with Sandy #2 at the 2019 ENnie Awards 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 2:15 PM EST 

Petersen Games – Dream Date with Sandy #3 at the 2019 ENnie Awards 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 3:15 PM EST 

NOTEThere are three dream dates being hosted by the Petersen Games team 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Petersen Games team   
  • Some Petersen Games swag! 

Petersen Games was founded to make games with top-grade components, amazing art, and great depth of gameplay. Their games include the immensely popular Cthulhu Wars, All Orcs Must Die! and Theomachy. In addition, Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5E is up for an ENnie this year! 

Game Designer,Sandy Petersenfirst conceived of the idea of doing a roleplaying game based on H. P. Lovecraft’s stories. That original idea, the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, is still in print today. Since that time, Sandy has worked on many tabletop products, including helping develop the original Arkham Horror board game. He also spent almost 20 years in the computer gaming industry, as a designer on the teams that produced Civilization, Doom, Quake, the Age of Empire series, and Halo Wars. He returned to the world of tabletop gaming with the famed Cthulhu Wars strategy game, and now he is Chief Creative Officer of his own company. 

EGG’S THOUGHTSI’m hoping the “Petersen Games swag” includes a copy of Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5E since it is up for an ENnie this year. Obviously, it’s not mentioned in the swag (that’s ambiguous), but if the game wins, having a copy gotten at the awards ceremony will be a special memento of gaming.  

Alligator Alley #1 – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 1:30 PM EST 

Alligator Alley #2 – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 2:30 PM EST 

NOTE: There are two dream dates being hosted by Alligator Alley Entertainment 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the team at Alligator Alley Entertainment  
  • Some amazing swag from Alligator Alley Entertainment 

Alligator Alley Entertainment is the publisher of adventure games including Witch Hunter: the Invisible World,Esper Genesis, andDemonbane Chronicles 

EGG’S THOUGHTS: Alligator Alley is the company behind Esper Genesis (sci-fi D&D 5e), which I reviewed for Knights of the Dinner Table #262. When I see them at cons, they’re always ready to talk and share lots of good information about being a small publisher that is making it. Plus, freelancer tales and more. Well worth checking out.  

Executive Creative Director of Games at Andrews McMeel Universal, Daniel D. Fox. HONEST! Would I lie?!

Andrews McMeel Universal and Grim & Perilous Studios – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 2:00 PM EST 

Andrews McMeel Universal and Grim & Perilous Studios #2- 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 3:00 PM EST 

NOTE: There are two dream dates for the Andrews McMeel Universal and Grim & Perilous Studios table 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the team at Andrews McMeel Universal and Grim & Perilous Studios, the team behind the twice GoldENnie winner from 2018! 
  • Zweihänder(pdf and print) 
  • Main Gauche (pdf and print) 
  • Character Folio(pdf and print) 
  • GM screen (pdf and print) 
  • Monster Cards (pdf+print) 
  • Injury & Mishap Cards (pdf and print) 
  • One voucher of Zweihander Player’s Handbook(pdf and print) as it releases in December 
  • Drinks at the ENnies (must be over 21) 

Andrews McMeel Universal (AMU) is an American media corporation based in Kansas City, Missouri. It was founded in 1970 by Jim Andrews and John McMeel. AMU is passionate about discovering authors and creators who have a distinct point of view. They nurture humorous and inspirational voices that they believe have the potential to be both profound and popular. They respect the creator’s vision as the primary source of inspiration at every stage, offering an individualized, flexible approach to publishing success. 

Daniel D. Fox is the founder of Grim & Perilous Studios, an independent publisher of over 30 titles since its inception. Dan is an author and game designer, having won the gold ENnie for Best Game and Product of the Year at Gen Con 2018 for ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG. His break-out success withZWEIHÄNDER was featured on Forbes.com, and recognized by Kickstarter as one of their Projects We Love. ZWEIHÄNDER is ranked one of the best-selling tabletop games of all time at DriveThruRPG, with over 90,000 copies sold worldwide. Daniel is the Executive Creative Director of Games at Andrews McMeel Universal. 

EGG’S THOUGHTS: First, the winning bid gets hundreds of dollars worth of great gaming!

Second, I interviewed Daniel D. Fox (Zweihänder) at Origins Game Fair and can say he’s a fun guy to hang out with. Creators and publishers, part of Daniel’s job at Andrews McMeel Universal is finding the next hit RPG and bringing it to AMU. AMU has lent muscle to ZWEIHÄNDER as they’re stocked at Barnes & Nobles next to D&D, Pathfinder, Starfinder, and Star Wars. I am *NOT* saying Daniel will take your pitch or product, but I am saying that AMU is going to be a growing player in the world of RPG and it’d be good to talk to their ECD of Games.  

Chaosium Inc. – 2019 ENnie Awards Dream Date 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 4:00 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Chaosium team  
  • Miskatonic University the Restricted Collection Boardgame 
  • Chaosium Clandestine Game case Poker Chip set (special item from Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter) 
  • Chaosium “tuxedo”black t-shirt 
  • One of these three premium game sets: 
    • RuneQuest:Roleplaying in Glorantha slipcase Set + PDF 

 OR  

    • Call of Cthulhu slipcase set + PDF 

 OR  

    • Masks of Nyarlathotep slipcase set + PDF 

Chaosium was founded by visionary game designer Greg Stafford in 1975. For more than forty years, Chaosium has captivated gamers, readers and mythic adventurers worldwide. Its award-winning roleplaying games, boardgames and fiction have been acclaimed as some of the most engaging and innovative of all time. 

EGG’S THOUGHTS: Picking your swag will be a challenge as your choices include more than one product that is up for an ENnie this year. This is a good problem for the winner to have because they know they’re choosing between strength and strength. 

Dwarven Forge. – 2019 ENnie Awards Dream Date

AUCTION ENDS: Wednesday, 24th July, 2019 at 3:32 PM EST 

REWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Dwarven Forge team
  • “A painted Starter Dungeon set! The set includes 19 pieces in pure Dwarvenite to start off (or top off) your dungeon. This set comes fully hand painted”

Dwarven Forge was founded in 1996 by artist Stefan Pokorny, a medieval fantasy devotee and an avid Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast. After many months of painstaking design, sculpting and painting, he introduced the world’s finest pre-painted miniature terrain in 1996. Since then, Dwarven Forge has released many new sets, each fully compatible with the others, and each a new step forward in terrain design, yet maintaining a dedication to fine craft and excellent durability. These sets are built to last, and many collectors are now sharing them with their children and grandchildren.”

Again, don’t forget to vote for the ENnie Awards here then see all of the eBay auctions hereAuctions end between Saturday, 20th July, 2019 at 1:45 PM EST and Wednesday, 24th July, 2019 at 3:32 PM EST.

Press Release: Nerdburger Games Convention Season and More!

Hello NerdBurgerlings!
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on in NerdBurgerLand.

CAPERS Noir

CAPERS Noir is done and in the wild. You can check it out HERE. 68 pages of cops, criminals, mystery, and monster, for just $9.99.

The Convention Season

I’ll be at GenCon with Team NerdBurger and we’ll be running a ton of my games. Most events are full up, but you’ll be able to play CAPERS and Die Laughing at Games on Demand for large chunks of the convention. I’ve kept my evenings open for dinner and schmoozing. If you’re going to be at the convention, keep an eye on my Twitter for an update on where I am and feel free to swing by and hang out.

I’ll be at Cleveland Geekster in Cleveland, TN on Saturday, September 21. If you’re local, swing on by!

I’ll be hitting up Conapalooza with a friend on October 11-13. We’ll have a booth in the dealer hall and and we’ll both be running some of my games in the RPG area. Evenings are reserved for hanging out.

[NOTE: Egg will attend Conapalooza with Craig.]

And I’ll be at MultiverseCon in Atlanta on October 18-20. I’ll be manning a booth in the dealer hall with CAPERS graphic designer Owen. And maybe doing some other stuff. Specifics TBD.

Wanna Playtest?

I’ll be looking for playtesters for CAPERS Offworld (early 20th century retro-future sci-fi cops and rubbers with super-powers) a bit later this year. The best place to get involved with that is to get on the NerdBurger Games Discord.

CAPERS on Roll20

CAPERS is available for Roll20!
Rules. Setting. GM info. Cards. Maps. Tokens. It’s all there.

That’ll do it for now. Thanks for supporting NerdBurger Games.

Press Release: Shadowrun, Sixth World – Are you ready to risk everything?

Are you ready to risk everything?

The Sixth World. One of the most enduring RPG settings ever created, with shadows growing deeper and darker in its latest edition. Dominated by enormous, world-striding megacorporations strangling metahumanity in their clutches, by 2080 most of the planet has surrendered to these corporate overlords.

But from the darkest shadows, defiance flickers in people known as shadowrunners. They risk everything—wrestling magical energies, channeling them into power; putting their minds against the electronic void of the Matrix; trading flesh and blood for chrome and steel.

Stand up, join them, and dare to risk it all!

Shadowrun, Sixth World builds on Shadowrun’s amazingly successful legacy, becoming easier to learn and play while still providing role-playing depth. Dive into the Sixth World Beginner Box to check out all that’s coming!

LAUNCHING AT ORIGINS 2019!

Follow all of our amazing sponsors on Twitter and keep up-to-date on all the cool things they have planned for #Origins2019!
Follow our sponsors!
See you June 12-16 in Columbus, OH!

Books, Tattoos, & More Books

Hey you.

Like sci-fi, dystopian books, tipsy memoirs, or books illustrated by eight-year old kids?

I knew it.

Watch this.

 

Then go HERE. 

Free Comic Book Day 2019 – Report

This past Saturday was Free Comic Book Day. Hopefully, you were able to get out of the house and snag a handful of the freebies your local comic stores were giving away.

A few things I realized for those people who aren’t aware of Free Comic Book Day – many people didn’t realize it was a nationwide event. More than one person responded over social media that they were bummed because they weren’t in the Atlanta area. After letting them know that their local comic store was probably participating, I’m hopeful some of them managed to get into a shop.

The other thing that I don’t think plenty of people realize is that just because Saturday is the day of the event, it doesn’t mean that it is the only day to potentially go and pick up free funny books. Plenty of shops order extra copies of some of the bigger books (the Marvel and DC probably leading the pack, but plenty of the more kid-focused ones as well). So even now that it is Wednesday (New Comic Book Day!), there is a decent chance they still have some of the Free books left over from the weekend. No reason that you can’t check it out (even a couple of days late).

As I posted last week, I was participating directly as one of the guests at Galactic Quest’s Buford, Georgia location.

It was a great time. When I arrived to set up around 8:30 AM, there was a line probably 30 people deep waiting to get into the shop when it opened at 9:00 AM. Once the clock rolled over, there was a steady progression of people coming into the building for the next 30 minutes (no let up from the line until that point). Medieval Times had a couple in costume who gave out free passes to those first five people in the line. While there were a handful of comic creators (yours truly included), Galactic Quest also has a gaming area where they had people ready to teach customers about the Final Fantasy Card Game. Next door, there was a live band playing.

The best part of the day is seeing the people who cosplay. I saw a Scarlet Witch and Winter Soldier. A mom and daughter dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big (well, small) Bad Wolf. A little boy in a Miles Morales Spiderman costume along with his friend who was dressed in a Captain Marvel outfit.

For me, the day was a good one, although I must admit that I made a small(ish) mistake. Silly me thought that given it was Free Comic Book Day, that I should have plenty Gilded Age Graphic Novels ready to go. And while I did sell a few, what actually got the most looks were my two novels (The Dark That Follows and Hollow Empire). I only brought 2 copies of The Dark That Follows and they were gone by noon, while I had 5 copies of Hollow Empire to start (and ended with 1 copy left). I actually had to text Courtney to say “hey, if you are still coming by the shop, make sure to grab some copies of both books!” I probably only missed one potential sale by not having more copies with me (my fault, I thought there were more in my bag and didn’t verify).

There I am!

A good problem to have.

The other item I currently have on the table is the Gilded Age Coloring Book. It was one of the stretch goals from the Kickstarter and normally gets the response of “Wow, what a cool idea.” from people who notice it (not that they all buy it or anything, but it is a way to continue the conversation some times). I’m actually down to about two dozen copies and am now wondering if maybe I should invest in some new images for a Volume II…

Anyway, it was a great time and a great Saturday. And I even managed to snag a few comics for myself! Thanks again Galatic Quest!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

PRESS RELEASE: New Sensory-Friendly Gaming Room at Origins 2019!

Important Dates

April 28 – True Dungeon tickets live
May 4 – Event Registration live
June 3 – Early Bird pricing ends
June 12-16 – Origins Game Fair!

Origins and Path of Play founding new Sensory-Friendly Gaming Room!

We are excited to announce a partnership with charity organization Path of Play to found the Sensory-Friendly Gaming Room at #Origins2019. This initiative is aimed towards creating an inclusive space for families living with autism and foster awareness for gamers not impacted by special needs.

Attendees will be able to find this room in A115 of the convention center. It will keep the same times as the Exhibit Hall.

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2Iitmsd

Costume Contest on Sunday!

Cosplay is great a way to celebrate your favorite fandom, so each year we host a Costume Contest for our attendees to showcase their creations on stage while competing for prizes

Attendees will be able to register for this event at 1pm on Sunday. The contest will begin at 2pm. Compete on stage or cheer for your favs from the audience!

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2De1Gk3
Music & Dance

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to enjoy musical entertainment provided by Apryl Knight, Rhiannon’s Lark, Dan the Bard, and Tom Smith! Search for these performers in the Event Grid and stop by their many concerts during the show!

Anime Programming

We are so excited to partner once again with Wasabi Anime to showcase these amazing studios in the Anime Area at #Origins2019! The full schedule will be published soon, but in the meantime, get ready to share excitement for your favorite shows with fellow fans!

Early Bird Pricing Ends June 3

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Want to save a few bucks?
Register your badge today and get Early Bird Pricing!
IMPORTANT – This special pricing ends June 3, so don’t dilly-dally!
Register your badge today!
See you June 12-16 in Columbus, OH!
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Copyright © 2019 GAMA, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are interested in learning more about Origins Game Fair in Columbus, OH.

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RPG NEWS – Gamers in the WA State Senate

From Gen Con’s March 29th, 2019 newsletter (Gen Con at Indianapolis August 1-4, 2019):

 

Gamers in the WA State Senate

This week, Gen Con President David Hoppe joined a select group of industry professionals invited to present at the Washington State Senate’s first-ever work session focused on the tabletop gaming industry.

The work session was designed to inform Senate members about tabletop gaming’s impact on the Washington state economy and included representatives from Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Loan Shark Games, and Green Ronin Publishing. The committee, which included Washington Senators Mark Mullet and Steve Hobbs, heard about each company’s experience in starting and developing their business during a series of panels Tuesday morning on the Capitol’s campus.

The information and experience shared were invaluable in educating the state legislature on the tabletop gaming industry and community in Washington.

Gen Con at Indianapolis August 1-4, 2019

The Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo – A Review

As I wrote last week, I had a table at the 5th annual ASFE this past weekend.

Most conventions have some kind of fee to gain access to the creators and products within. I remember many years ago discovering that these smaller conventions even existed (this is pre-internet, where it felt like to find anything out about anything took rumour and innuendo and all sorts of luck). And while that one wasn’t all that big and could be walked through in less than an hour, it was cool to be able to interact a little bit with the creators.

I’ve always thought that the ASFE was a little like that except it was completely free.

Obviously, given its location in a mall in the northeast Atlanta metro area, the hope is that people who are going to see the latest Marvel movie decide to swing by the Expo and see what all the commotion is about. What this really means is that you get an interesting cross-section of people who wander through the area. There are obviously the people who know about the Expo and have come to check it out or they know one of the independent creators are going to be there with their wares. You have some people who like to support the local artists. Then you have the people who are completely unaware an event might be going on, but then are almost forced to walk through the area and hopefully, something catches their eye.

Having been there for the first one and pretty much all the other ones in between, it’s been an interesting process to watch. While there certainly has been table growth since the early days, it is more about the other stuff surrounding it where I see the greatest growth. The number of panels over the two days has increased probably ten-fold.

One of the products decorating my table space.

As to the actual interactions with the public, obviously, I am there to get my products in people’s hands. I came with copies of The Gilded Age Graphic Novel, The Gilded Age COloring Book, The Dark That Follows and Hollow Empire novels. And like any convention, you have an uphill battle in trying to convince them to purchase your wares. Of course, with some people, those who want to support the local artists, it really becomes a matter of making sure they don’t walk away empty handed.

Personally, I think I have a decent enough pitch for my stuff, but I’m sure, like everything else, it could use some refinement as well!

And, no convention would be a good one without the ability to see old friends. So many people over the last decade-plus that I’ve gotten to know through the old Terminus meetings or at these smaller conventions or those friends who always come out to support me. It is appreciated beyond what you know!

So that closes out another year of the Expo. See you next time!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

March 9-10 – The Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo

 

This weekend I will be manning a table at the annual Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo.

Here’s the thing that makes this event so cool – it’s FREE to attend. Located inside North Dekalb Mall, you can wander in, walk through the tables and check out the various wares people are selling. Tons of creative types from artists to writers to cosplayers to comic creators and a bunch of other things I’m certainly forgetting about.

I’ll have copies of the Gilded Age Graphic Novel (something that hadn’t come back from the printers in time for last year’s Expo) as well as copies of my novels.

I’m also doing a panel with Robert Jeffrey II on the tv show Sliders at 4 PM on Saturday. So if you were a fan of the show come check us out.

Check out the website to see what other activities they have going on!

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John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Con Life: On the Road Again

February has come and nearly gone! Almost every day this month has been filled with convention preparation and art making. That’s typical for February. Besides ChattaCon in January, March is when the convention season really begins to ramp up all over the country. Unlike last year, I have two conventions coming up, back to back! I’m currently prepping canvas prints and originals in my actual studio. In my extended studio, I’m working on the display for behind my table, bagging and boarding prints, and boxing up playmats, books and other merch.

My display and inventory has tripled in size over the last three years. That means I’m bringing more to each show, but it also means I’m less worried about not having enough inventory. I will have a dealer table at my next three events. It’s going to be a busy spring!

Vendor Tips

Here are a few of my vending tips for artists.

  1. Have a bottle of water handy – When you’re talking to attendees all day long your throat will get dry. It’s not uncommon for artists to lose their voice after a long a weekend.
  2. Bring a backup battery – For your phone or tablet. Chances are you’ll be using one of these to run credit cards sales.
  3. Be prepared for anything – That might be easier said than done, but do it. Example: You’re vending at a smaller event. You might be thinking, I don’t need to bring as much inventory to this convention, do I? I don’t really need to bring my big display, do I? I say, whatever the size of the event, you should always be at your best and you never know–that small event could be your best show of the month.
  4. Bring pens for signing stuff – Sometimes it’s the little things that are the easiest to forget!
  5. Stock your own kitchen – I usually bring food for breakfast, snacks if I don’t have time for lunch, extra coffee for the room, etc. You save a money this way if you’re only going out to eat once a day.

Convention Schedule

March

March 9th and 10th – Atlanta SciFi & Fantasy Expo – Decatur, GA

March 15th-17th – MidSouthCon 37 – Memphis, TN

April

April 26th – 28th – JordanCon – Atlanta, GA

Convention Updates

LibertyCon ran into a serious issue with their hotel. They’ve had to not only change hotels for this year’s convention, but also change dates. The con will now be held June 28-30th at the Marriott and Chattanooga Convention Center.

I’ll return with an update in late March!