Friday, August 16, 2013

GenCon 2013, day 2

So, day 2 of GenCon. Friday. I feel I should preface this a bit, though.

Houston, where I live, is not a terribly walkable city. It is, for most of the year, more or less a boiling toilet.. hot, humid, and with a funk in the air. So, when I come to something like GenCon, and have to walk 3-4 blocks several times a day, my feet are KILLING me. Blistered, with ankles screaming in agony. Thus, I tend to wake up, take some acetaminophen, and be ok until about lunch... then I sleep away the afternoon, and maybe do something in the evening. This means I'm missing a lot of the Con, but am having a fan-freakin-tastic vacation. So, yeah.

I made a point, today, to head to Catalyst Game Labs, because I have an ongoing affection for Shadowrun. I've been playing since 1st edition, and it's got such a wonderful world, though the mechanics have been somewhat lackluster... always a bit too busy to be as easily playable as one would like. But, I went to Catalyst and got in line. Or tried to. Because there was a knot of people just talking near where the line seemed to have ended, and I asked, I thought politely, "Hey, are you in line?" And one loudmouth, whose name I did not catch, decided to take offense at this. "Sure, just bypass the freelancers. Get in line instead of talking to the people who create the game!"

I kept my tongue, but, well, listen asshole: Fuck you. I don't know you from Adam Jury. You are just someone who's standing around, talking with your friends, like every other asshole in the way at GenCon. If it had just been me who got this treatment, I would've thought it was something you briefly thought was funny, but you proceeded to be a dick to everyone who asked you "Are you in line?" While you hung around the end of the line. Because they didn't recognize your greatness, from all the author photographs that traditionally grace RPGs. In short? Stop being a dick.

So, yeah. That pissed me off. But the new Shadowrun looks cool, and I hope the new mechanics work as well as they think they will. I also got to meet the infamous Bull, who I've known online for about a decade. He is no longer the Best Ork Decker I've Never Met.

I also stopped by Third Eye Games to say hi to Eloy. Now, I've written a bit for 3EG, including a story in the API Anthology and part of a Burners supplement that, unfortunately, got back-burnered (pun fully intended), but I also ran into something I frequently encounter... when talking to game designers or people I admire, I don't have much to say. Saw Randy Milholland of SomethingPositive yesterday. Admired his work for a decade. Nothing to say. Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary? Nada. Jeph Jacques (of Questionable Content)? Zip. Even Jolly at Kenzerco... I can't find anything to say beyond "Hi, I've enjoyed your work for years, thank you for continuing to make it." Which I know they appreciate, but it usually leaves me feeling like there was more I should've said. Bah.

I spent a bit of today shopping, as well. I picked up a kilt from Kommando Kilts that's pretty awesome; I will post pictures later, but it has pockets. A skirt with actual, usuable, pockets very much impressed a female friend of mine. I would love to get a few more. In fact, I am pausing to get my kilt on. Maybe take some bathroom mirror selfies.

These are not fantastic photos... taken quickly with a cell phone cam, in a mirror... but they show that it's a rather nice knee-length kilt with usable pockets. The buckles on the front are a bit thin for my taste; I may look into replacing them, and the velcro waist attachment can be a little sloppy... but it's so NICE to have a kilt on. And, for those who want to say it, yes, a kilt is a skirt, especially this variety. But if you can't rock a skirt in a manly fashion, then you've got bigger problems than if your legs are in denim sausages.

I did have a bit of a talk with one of the designers for Ars Magica from Atlas Games. I love Ars Magica, though the online games of it I've played in sort of disintegrated due to life stuff. But he had some exciting projects he was working on, including a galley of the Hibernia Tribunal book, and an upcoming book about changing Mythic Europe. As it stands, Mythic Europe (Ars Magica's default setting) assumes that, if you take a step back, Mythic Europe of the year X looks exactly like Real Europe of X. But if you take a step IN, there's real magic and wizards and faeries and the power of the Divine and Infernal and all that. The book he was talking about, however, was "What if our Magi make a big change?" What if we stop a Crusade before it starts? What if we throw ourselves into politics and kill a king before the Quaesitors stop us? What if the magi become the Fourth Estate, or establish a colony in the Americas, or if technology is magic? Big changes to Mythic Europe, but with some guidance as to how these might work. I have a lot of respect for both the scholarship and creativity of the Ars Magica crew, and wish I had more time and money to devote to it.

But that was the bulk of my day. I went to lunch at Tavern on South, which was very good food, though a bit more than I like to pay for lunch. I had a prime rib sandwich and creme brulee, but managed to escape for under $25. By that time, though, my legs were killing me, so I came back and napped through my afternoon. My roommate and some friends came by and we talked about Lords of Waterdeep and the Skullport expansion, with the Corruption mechanics where, as I understand it, the more total corruption there is among the Lords, the more points each bit of corruption costs everyone. I also said hi to Margaret Weis and took a glance at the new Firefly game. It looks nice, and I'm a bit of a browncoat, but... really, I've got other systems that can do this.

It was a terribly busy-feeling morning, and I topped it with a good bit of rest and a nice dinner out with some twitter friends. I've done no gaming while I'm here, though... I haven't picked up a die at all. I need to rectify that tomorrow and Sunday, because it would be a sad things to come to GenCon and do no gaming. I've had fun, but tell me what I should go see tomorrow.