Monday, August 31, 2009

Fan Expo 2009

Fan Expo used to be the con that we did because it was in downtown Toronto. It wasn't really a con you did because it offered anything in particular that was useful. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit. The first year I went it was great and then for the next 3 it was progressively worse and worse. It wasn't a case of if something would go horribly wrong but when it would go horribly wrong.

This year was different. This year there was stuff that went wrong but it wasn't that big a deal actually. It allowed me to relax and have a good time and this year it was possible to have a good time with games at Fan Expo. I've written about last year here and that wasn't pretty, but that was last year. Let me tell you about this year.

First of all there was a lot more organization when it came to the games that were being played. There were actual slots and actual events that were being run on time and full of people. That was a first, usually you just sat down because no one had an idea of what the hell was going. It wasn't a good thing no matter what anyone told you. You couldn't plan anything because you had to keep checking the room to see if something was being played. If you're in Toronto, I most heartily suggest joining TAG because they're an awesome group of people who can get things organized and done. They've got lots of people playing games with lots of meet ups so that you can get to know people and hang out. Seriously good times.

Secondly the big SNAFU that happened this year was that only the LARP I submitted got listed. Really I thought that was a good thing becaues I had made the conscious choice taht I wasn't going to do much at the con. This just reinforced it. I didn't get angry, I just saw it as a chance to unwind and it was an opportunity I couldn't afford to squander. It meant that I got to hang out more with Jess, Malcolm and Pieter. I did some panels, which I'll get into later, and I actually got to play some Battletech. This never, ever happens to me and it was fun. Infantry for the win.

Third, the panels were pretty fun. The first one on Friday had too many people, it was me, Jess, Malcolm, Pieter, Jason and ... and ... one of the guys from Polymancer. I'd like to remember their names but I tend to lump them all together for some reason in my head. I think it was Andrew, but I'm not 100% sure of that. Anyway, it was an okay panel but there certainly were too many people. Especially for a writing panel because writing is just one of those things that we all can talk about and have talked about at length. Since all of us could talk about it at length we did and it ended up being a lot of talking over each other.

The second panel I ended up doing was the "How to publish your own RPG" panel. It was supposed to be Malcolm, Polymancer and I doing the panel but there was a schedule bug which said that the panel was at 12:00 but also at 4:00. We did it at 4:00 because that's when the room was available. Malcolm was expecting it to be at 12:00 so he checked in with his family to make sure that he could go, and if he couldn't he just wouldn't show. He said goodbye and didn't show. Which was fine because there was at least me and someone else. Then there was the fact that Polymancer packed up and left by 3:00 pm. That meant the panel was just me.


It was though, strangely enough. We started out on the right foot where I was pretty sure no one had a clue who I was and that was fine and I think we had a good time. There were no videogame questions. I got to throw in a couple of references to gender and race issues which was nice. Someone recorded it and asked if it was okay to throw it up on Youtube. I didn't see why not so we'll see if and when that gets up there.

Anyway, good con all around. Small things could have been better but those are little things that are going to be in any show.

Good con, good times and now let's get back to work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mile High Dragon is a go!

Hey everyone!

Mile High Dragon is good to go! It's currently available at and!

It's only 10.00$, it's fully searchable, has an index and has enough bookmarks to let you hop freely between sections. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thoughts on Gen Con

I think I need to re-evalutate my opinion of Gen Con. I used to hate it with a passion because it seemed that they would do some pretty stupid stuff. One year they were so paranoid that there were people who were inside the convention centre, not the hall or a game, that in order to walk around they were checking badges at chokepoints every like 15 metres. I got so annoyed because you had to line up every so often as a security guard who give you a dirty look and then squint at your badge.

Bad customer experience right there.

Then there's the time when everything was somewhere else. I don't know why, but apparently there was a push to expand things into more hotels and so unless you had your own room nothing was where it said it was in the guide. Seriously, nothing. I missed so many games because I was at one place, the HQ was closed and my game was at another place. They needed to make up for it by having longer hours to make up for the fact that if you didn't have the mysterious piece of papers that told you where things were or an HQ open when you went to the Hotel chances are you were in the wrong spot. What was frustrating was that it wasn't as if the rooms they moved you from were being used. I was moved from an empty room once, completely empty.

Bad volunteer experience right there.

This year was different. Surprisingly different. First of all the GM badge getting was phenominally awesome. It was smooth, well organized and quick. Seriously, there was a line up and the line up was continuously moving because they had planned for people being part of groups picking up their badges and moved those to a special line to get them out of the way of us stand alone folk. Serious hats off to them all for that.

As per normal my stuff went off on Thursday and then the rest of the con people were busy playing actual games. That doesn't really bother me that much anymore. It used it, it used to hurt a lot actually because I always wondered why people wouldn't show up. I'm a little older, a little wiser and I get why they don't show up.

That's getting a head though. Wednesday was when I helped out at the Red Dragon Inn. That's right, there was a whole restaurant inside the Mariott that had turned into the Red Dragon Inn. It was pretty sweet and there are lots of pictures of the place. It was lots of fun hanging out there.

Friday there was more helping out at the Smirk and Dagger booth, because I can only get by with a little help from my friends, and much of the same thing on Saturday.

The good news from the con is that I got a project almost accepted. Not that it didn't make it, it's just not finalized so I'm not going to talk about it just yet. I'm excited about it and can't wait to actually get to work on it.

I know I'm not going into as much detail as other people, but you know what it's been a while and I'm pretty boring at Gen Con. I didn't do crazy things but there was a lot of personal stuff that went on and a lot of good times were had but isn't really that what a convention is all about?

CyberGeneration Webcomic

Hey everyone, there's a group of awesome people who have waded through the hazards of the RPG industry and have gotten the rights to do a CyberGeneration Webcomic.

I though I'd help them out with some editing and they've got the first page up and going.

Go check it out now! Now! I command it!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


There are two things that I think need to post here because they need to be widely disseminated.

The first is the Back Up - The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project and of course, the Gentlemen's Auxiliary. Basically, it can be boiled down into the following pledge:

f your situation looks dangerous enough I can't help on my own, I will call over friends or, if it's a situation in which I think the cops would be on your side, I will call the cops. If you're being harassed by a guy, you can say so to me, even if you don't know me. I pledge I will distract him so you can get away, or I will tell him that he needs to leave, or whatever I can do to the best of my ability. I pledge that yes, actually, because you are a woman I will give you the benefit of the doubt. If you tell me that a guy just did something shitty to you I will not refuse to look at any evidence and tell you that I know him and he's a great guy and you must have been imagining things. I have great loyalty to my male friends but I will not allow that to blind me to the fact that none of us are saints and even my best friends can screw up and may need to be called on it. I pledge that I will walk you to your car if you don't feel safe walking alone at night, and then you can drive me to mine. Yes, even at Wiscon. I pledge that even if I don't know you, if there is a creepy guy following you around, you can say so, and I will not say to you go hide in your room; I will say to him go find another party, or if necessary, go home. I will come with you if you need to talk to the con organizers. I will not make you feel like your right to control over your own body is not a big deal.

The second one is the Con Anti-Harassment Project which I have yet to follow up on but probably will tonight during the wilds of my work. Conventions should be fun for everyone, not just the creep dude getting off on trying to "get with the ladies."

So keep this stuff in mind when you head out for Gen Con soon. I know I'm going to try my best to do what I can for the auxillary!

Firestorm Ink's Fan Box