Tag Archives: Games

Gen Con 2016: Where to Find Me

22 Jul

GenCon2016It’s convention season again, and Gen Con Indy is right around the corner. If you see me, say hi! If you’re with the media, I’ll gladly put my PR hat on and help you wrangle interviews with folks from Pelgrane Press and Kobold Press.

This year is especially exciting for me, because the 13th Age Game Master’s Screen & Resource Book, which I co-wrote with Cal Moore, is nominated for an ENnie award. It would be very cool to win, but I’m proud just to be on the slate of nominees.

Here’s where you can find me at the con, when I’m not at Pelgrane Press booth #419:

Wade_GM13th Age Games I’m Running

  • Burning Love—Thursday at 8:00 a.m., ICC : 245 : 2
  • Burning Love—Friday at 8:00 a.m., ICC : 245 : 2
  • Swords Against the Dead—Saturday at 9:00 a.m., ICC : 245 : 6 (but we’re looking for an alternate GM so I can join the 13th Age Monster Workshop)

Seminars I’m On

13th Age Adventure Design Workshop on Thursday at 11 a.m., Crowne Plaza: Grand Central Ballroom A

13th Age GM Roundtable on Friday at 11 a.m., Crowne Plaza: Grand Central Ballroom B

13th Age Monster Workshop on Saturday at noon, Crowne Plaza: Grand Central Ballroom B (If a GM takes over my Swords Against the Dead game)

Swords, Spies & Shoggoths: The Pelgrane Press Panel on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., Crowne Plaza: Grand Central Ballroom B

Hillfolk: sneak peek at the art for Secret of Warlock Mountain

28 Jan

ImageRobin D. Laws posted a status update on his Hillfolk tabletop roleplaying game today. Exciting enough, but I was thrilled to see that he included an image that I described to him in an email weeks (months?) ago: the illustration for my Series Pitch “Secret of Warlock Mountain”.

See, in Hillfolk you and your group play characters in an ongoing dramatic series, such as The Sopranos, or Carnivale. The default setting is an Iron Age drama of tribal conflict, but as part of Robin’s recent Kickstarter for the game, he invited people to write “series pitches” for other dramas that gaming groups could choose to play out. For my pitch I imagined a 1960s televisions series that would be a prequel to one of my favorite movies as a kid. (It’s about an orphaned brother and sister with mysterious psychic powers and a map in a metal case. You know the one.)

I don’t want to give away too much about the pitch, so I’ll stop there. Suffice to say that “Secret of Warlock Mountain” got accepted into the game’s companion book Blood On The Snow, and I responded to Robin’s request for an art brief with a detailed description of the image in my head. I even included a link to a reference photo I found showing “ordinary Joe” type young men circa 1965.

And look! Here it is, in living color by Jonathan Wyke. Very neat.

On Beholders, and personal and communal responsibility

18 Aug

Back in 1981, I played a game of Dungeons and Dragons where a member of our party was bewitched by a Beholder.

The monster had bobbed out from behind a large rock while we were trekking across the countryside. Shortly after we approached it, the Dungeon Master rolled some dice, then leaned over and whispered into a player’s ear. Suddenly that player’s character announced that the Beholder was his best friend, and that he was going to leave the party and go off with it.

What we obviously should have done was attack the Beholder and free our companion from its evil spell. What we actually did was ask our friend whether this was really his choice. Because who were we to judge? Sure, maybe we thought that going off with an evil monster who can control minds was foolhardy and dangerous; but you can’t make life decisions for other people, right?

Our companion said that yes, he was sure he wanted to go off with the Beholder. He even became prickly over the matter and insulted us. Fine, we said. Go off with the monster. See if we care.

Our companion followed the Beholder to the other side of the large rock. A few seconds later we heard him scream. When we ran to help him we found him on the ground, near death, with a Beholder-size bite taken out of his side.

We sheepishly healed him, and resumed our journey.

The incident still troubles me. Why, even in a fantasy game, did we lack the courage to stand up for what we knew was right and help a friend who was in trouble?

Were there times when I could have helped someone avoid certain trouble, but didn’t because I was afraid to rock the boat?

I don’t know. Anyway, once, about 30 years ago, I and a bunch of other guys let someone go off with a Beholder; and we felt pretty stupid about it.

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