With The Shotgun Diaries and Houses of the Blooded both sold out, you would think I’d be less busy at the booth. That would not be the case. People kept dropping by, asking me questions, looking for books, telling me about their campaign.

Now, I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Write a roleplaying game and people will tell you about their character. Write a game master advice column, and people tell you about their campaign. It’s a mixed blessing. I love hearing people how people enjoy my work and how it helped them entertain their players. And some of the stories are so powerful, I carry them with me after the show. But then, some folks have never heard The Bard talk about the soul of wit.

I kid because I love.

1:00 PM
I arrive with  and 

 for the Robin’s Laws vs Play Dirty Steel Cage Deathmatch. As I anticipated, our styles compliment each other very well. Robin and I give fifty minutes of advice that can really be boiled down to "LISTEN TO YOUR FRIGGIN’ PLAYERS!" Robin talks a lot about narrative structure and trying capture what makes stories work in a game. I tell them to stomp their characters’ faces in. It’s a grand day.

Unfortunately, neither Robin or I have the ability to record it. Someone was video taping the event, but I don’t know who he was. Maybe we’ll be able to get hold of that video/audio someday.

 and I spend a couple hours with a group of really nice guys who buy us whiskey. Actually, they bought us whiskey the night before. We caught up with them again at one of the many Irish pubs in Indianapolis and hang out for a couple of hours. We talk about games, wrestling, politics and a whole bunch of other stuff. Here’s one of them.

See that look on his face? What a fanboy. 

Honestly, if I had more fanboys like him, I’d be living next door to The Lucas. Don’t let anyone tell you any different: the best reward in this business is people who take the time to tell you they love your work. I’ve been on both ends of this industry: making Big Time collectible card game end and the paying for books out of your own pocket end. The reward for both ends is the same: folks playing your game. And there just ain’t any way of paying them back. 

Yeah, paying them back. They could be playing World of Warcraft. Or Magic. But they aren’t. They’re playing your game. They spend the time and the money to play your game. They’re the reason I get to do what I love: design games. Not write novels or script films. Make games.

So, thank you to all my fanboys. A lot of folks use that term in a very derogative way. Not me. I love every one of them.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  and I left the Irish pub for the White Wolf party. I was told that last year suffered for want of air conditioning. Not so this year. In fact, this was the first WW party I’ve been to that I really enjoyed myself. Kudos to the organizers. You guys did a great job.

Except for playing the ’80’s hair metal. What was up with that?

I got to spend a lot of time with a few people.  and I talked a lot about my unreleased game about magic. We talked a lot about it because I really don’t have any idea how to do it yet. I’ve gone through about ten different iterations, but all of them feel so mundane. So, we talked a lot. It’s so deep inside my head, it’s like trying to pry it out. I’ve never had any luck with a game that I got to that way. Games like Houses of the Blooded and Wilderness of Mirrors and even The Shotgun Diaries flowed from my head so easily. One day, it’ll come. Just not yet.

This lovely lady is Jennifer Brozek. You must always greet her with, "Oh My God, You’re Jennifer Brozek!" It’s a rule. And I’ll give you a Style Point if I catch you doing it.

More of the lovely folks I got to spend time with at the White Wolf Party. There’s Dominic (from Cubicle 7) and Melissa (from Exile Game Studio) and in the back there, there’s Jared trying to maintain his Awesome in the midst of mediocrity. And yes, I’m holding a cup within a cup. I don’t remember why.

I should also note that while I spent my time in the company of beautiful and intelligent women,  spent the entire evening dancing with gorgeous British boys. I was surprised she didn’t ask if we could bring one home. She’s such an Anglophile. She’s also a magnificent wingman. Should be only a couple of years until we cement our reputations as the Fitzgeralds of the Game Industry. In fact, the next day, the questions I was getting about our behavior at the WW party indicates to me that we’re already on our way.

2:00 AM
On our way back to the hotel, I stopped for a hotdog and a Coke. The vendor was dressed in what looked to be two loin cloths wrapped around her chest and waist and she was getting a lot of attention from the drunken revelers making their own ways back to their beds.

I was polite and made no comments. She looked very tired and a little distraught. I said "please" and "thank you" but it didn’t seem to ease her at all. But the hotdog was good and the Coke was very cold.

I don’t know why I remember her so well. Even now, I can picture her as if she’s right in front of me. A striking, but frustrated woman, quietly asking, "What the fuck am I doing here?"

She was in my thoughts as I fell asleep that night. My last thoughts of the day.

Gen Con Wrap Up, Part 4
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