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Friday, August 26th, 2005

    Time Event
    GenCon Reports
    As in "loud, sharp sounds," not as in "journalistic coverages."

    The closest thing I get to the latter is, as always, my new Out of the Box column, which gives the Big Official Skinny.

    But even that ample essay has been criticized, and rightly so, by freeport_pirate for skipping over the no-doubt-excellent new Thieves' World RPG supplements that were available at the Green Ronin booth. Shame on me. Perhaps if I'd gotten a review copy of either of them, I might have remembered. But given what a superb designer roninevil is, I'm sure you'll just buy them anyway sight unseen, review or no review.

    It turns out that I'm the only person who sings Darren Watts' name to the tune of "David Watts" by the Kinks. Go figure.

    Many kudos to Fiery Dragon for: a) keeping the "microgame" wargame model alive, b) including a number of alternate-history titles in their library, and c) giving me a copy of Freikorps just for being me. It looks like the most fun you can possibly have gaming Trotsky's invasion of Germany in 1920, and the Peter Bergting cover art is just terrific to boot. If I can talk kaynorr into playing it, I'll post a mini-review here.

    Talking to Paul Czege about Bacchanal and how to tweak it into the King in Yellow game was probably my best pure game-design conversation at the show. Talking to Lee Moyer about a project you will hopefully be hearing a lot more of was probably my best non-drunken conversation at the show. All conversations with robin_d_laws are pearls beyond price, drunken or non-.

    Should you, for whatever unearthly reason, want to actually hear me bang on about the show, check in with ptevis ' podcast of me doing just that. Mike Stackpole put me on one of his News From GenCon flashcasts but they're not labeled on the site, so caveat auditor.

    The villains at McFarland Books had a half-price table at the show, of all things, bringing their volumes down from "exorbitant" to "reasonably exorbitant." I was very good, and only bought five. One was this one.

    I said it at the show, and I'll say it here: Patrick Kapera is a fricking demigod. Spycraft 2.0 is whole-game d20 design taken to the rim. Back at Decipher, I learned that if you claim your game is about X, and there is no rule for X, then you are a liar. (Or, more charitably, lazy.) Patrick Kapera is not a liar. (Or lazy.)

    One caveat: I don't have review copies of Mike Mearls' Iron Heroes or Steve Kenson's Mutants & Masterminds 2nd yet. On the basis of past performance, either of them may well have equaled Kapera's design, so wait for those reviews, people.

    Should any or all of this have you fired up to attend a game convention, may I suggest ConQuest SF this Labor Day weekend in San Francisco, where I shall be joined in guestitude by the estimable James Ernest, the subtile Keith Baker, and the aforementioned freeport_pirate ? I sincerely hope I may.

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