DINO-PIRATES and the Importance of Being Ignorant

Been sick for a few days and coming off that, I'm feeling rambly. Realised I never posted a GenCon report -- so here you go, point form:

  • Wireless Connectivity at GenCon sucks like something that sucks a lot.

  • Hurray for Paul coming all the way from AFGHANISTAN just to help me demo a very cool game that I'll be talking a lot more about Real Soon Now.

  • REFORM SCHOOL NINJA GIRLS was actually MORE fun than it sounds like. I know you're skeptical, but I was there, and you weren't, so I know. MORE fun. Where else can you have ninja chicks cutting boats in half, dressing up like geishas, and building giant transforming Godzilla robots? Only in DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND, I'm telling you.

  • I'm not as good at improvising adventure stories at three o'clock in the morning as I wish I were.

  • I am, however, a phenomenal impersonator of Scooby-Doo. I may have found my life's calling.

  • It's important to know you can't recreate improvisational greatness. Trying to do it again, once it's been done, is a fool's game.

  • I missed JD.

  • It's entirely possible to spend almost nothing at GenCon on anything game-related and still have a great time. Assuming you spend a sufficient quantity on alcohol. Or, even better, your roommates do.
I'm sure that answers all your questions. The good news is that all four DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND games went like stink, largely due to the fantastic players at every session.

I also picked up a comic book for Steph that has turned out to beat expectations: Artesia. I met the creator and seemed like a nice enough guy, and the art was very compelling, so I picked up a hardcover compiled and brought it home and I've just now read it and I have to say, I'm planning on collecting the rest. Mark Smylie has really done his research and produced a fantastic story that feels deeply rooted in a world that operates on different assumptions than ours.

Too often fantasy authors produce cultures that operate according to the assumptions that drive our modern world, with ideas on justice or morals or social structure that don't reflect the trappings of the world they're supposed to be a part of. I'm no historian (Hi Stuart!) but even a little bit of research can make most modern fantasy writers pretty much unreadable.

So DON'T LEARN ANYTHING, for crying out loud! It only leads to trouble.

Unless you're Mark Smylie. You keep reading, Mark. Anyway, Artesia was a welcome acquisition and marks a new story for us to obssess over. Hurrah.

In other news, the game we demoed that I'll soon be telling you all about received a solid going-over and some basic usability issues were uncovered that determined craftsmen are even now working hard to eliminate. Determined. Hard. Honest.

And finally, the rules for DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND have finally begun to stabilize. The stunt mechanic is solid now, as is the damage system (thanks, Baduin), and I'm working now with the clever crew over at the True20 forums to normalize the powers and the Fatigue mechanic. Once we're reasonably sure we have something that works, the full rules will become available online, and then ANYONE can play this game. Oh, yeah. DINO-PIRATES for everyone.

Also a quick shout-out to the Boston gang for some fantastic games and good times. Especially K and J, who were kind enough to put me up for a couple of nights. They did, however miss the comical moment where I was walking around downtown Boston and suddenly said, "Hey! This is the same Boston the Bruins play in!" Carl was amused.

So there you have it. GenCon 08. Nothing but good.