Tuesday, August 28, 2007

GenCon report, and moving forward.

So, it's been a week since I've gotten home from GenCon, which probably makes this the latest report on the internet, but I honestly just kind of took the last week off. Not from work, mind you. I went to work the day I got back, and have been working since then to make up for the time I took off, but from games. With the exception of learning how to play the WoW card game I got as swag, I haven't opened a game book, taken a note, or typed a word on the campaigns I'm supposed to be working on. I basically took last week to decompress a bit and hang out with my wife and kids before school made our lives crazy again.

Anywho, I guess I had better start with talking a little bit about the awards. The ceremony was awesome, and best of all I got to spend a bit of time hanging out with all of the great people that I got to know on line over the last few months. There weren't a whole lot of surprises among the winners, though I sincerely wish that a few of the outstanding small press titles had gotten a bit more recognition. I really thought there would be at least a few more medals going out to them.

And then of course there were the announcements for the judge elections.

Since that night I''ve heard a huge number of people come out to tell me they were sorry that I didn't get elected, and how shocked they were. I appreciate that a lot, but it wasn't entirely unexpected. I was far more shocked that Jeff Ranger (who had been a judge in every previous year) didn't get elected. My election the first time was a fluke, and the result of a whole lot of hard campaigning, drawing from groups that most other judges simply didn't have access to. I hit local gatherings and nearly every gamer in central Texas looking for votes while the others campaigned among the people who could already be counted on to vote online. This meant that I got a nice little surge of votes, but it also meant that they went away as soon as I wasn't around to remind them to get online and vote for me. While everyone else was online, campaigning and answering questions like they should have been, I was on vacation with my family. I knew I was taking a chance with the election when I made the choice, and I don't really regret it.

This isn't, however, bad news. For the judging panel we got five qualified and excited people who came straight home with piles of books and got right to work. I think they're going to do a fantastic job, and I can't wait to sit back and see what they come up with. As far as what that will mean where this blog is concerned, well I have even better news. At least three of the judges told me that they are interested in blogging like I did, and together I know they'll do a far better job than I ever did alone. I have offered to give them this blog site, since it would be a bit disingenuous of me to keep using the enniejudge address, and hopefully they'll take me up on that. Even if they maintain separate blogs, a combined blog here might make for interesting reading. Liz also asked me to consider writing a guest column on occasion, which would be extremely cool, though I have no idea what I would talk about.

As for me, I accepted a staff position doing outreach for the Ennie Awards, and I'll be moving my private blog onto another feed just as soon as I figure out whether or not there is any way to transfer over all the stuff I've already written. I'll leave my entries here as well, but I wanted to archive them on my own site if possible. Beyond Ennies stuff, I'm thinking about starting a pet project. Dan Repperger told me that he believes that everything happens for a reason, and that he was able to speak far more for podcasting by presenting the award than he ever could have in a simple acceptance speech. That got me thinking, and though I personally feel the same way, I don't usually have many opportunities to apply that to gaming. Here perhaps I do. I have two RPGs that I have all but complete, that I never bothered to do anything with because I never had any desire to try and get them published. As a judge I never could have anyways.

Having met a lot of great publishers and writers at GenCon however, I begin to understand why people might want to put their stuff our there, even if they know it'll never make them a real living. So I think I may give it a shot as well. I'm going to take this year to try and get together at least an ashcan edition, and hope that the Ashcan Front has room for one more. I really loved what they were doing there, and it would be incredibly awesome to have the chance to be a part of that.

Anywho, enough of that. Let's talk about GenCon.

Maybe it's just been too long, or maybe I'm just older, but it sure seemed like GenCon was bigger and much more of a presence than it was in Milwaukee ten years ago. You couldn't swing a boffer weapon without smacking a gamer ("2 magic!"), and you couldn't walk down the street without meeting someone cool.

That's good, because I turns out that I am the worst GenCon planner ever. I went to the con signed up to run two unofficial games, and to play in one more. Beyond that, all I had to do was two shifts at the Ennies booth. That's it. Silly me, I thought I'd just find a few games when I got there.

I did, however, run Hollow Earth Expedition, and the players there made it the most fun I've ever had in a con game, and probably the best time I've had with any game in a really long time. I cannot express enough how much I love that game, and as glad as I am that it got a silver for Best Cover, I'm pretty saddened that it wasn't honored beyond that at the Ennies. It helps of course, that the people who make it are so completely awesome. Not only did they set aside a special copy of the limited edition Secrets of the Surface World supplement for me (number 10!), they gave me a copy of the GM screen for running the game at the con, even though mine wasn't an official game, and loaned me a ton of the extremely cool new style chips to use.

I also played in a game of Traveller20 run by Psion from the ENWorld forums. There I made the unfortunate choice of playing the pilot, and I basically spent the entire game sitting on the ship hoping to make myself useful. I'm sure I was a ton of fun for the poor other players who kept trying to encourage me to leave the ship, but the paranoid GM in me was sure that the moment we left the ship unoccupied it was going to take off without us. Yeah, it's tough switch from GM to player. If you guys are reading this, sorry if I was a stick in the mud.

Finally I managed to worm my way into Chris Hussey's Skies of Glass demo (the game written by the guys over at Fear the Boot). The game itself is still in early stages of development, but it looks really cool, and that demo adventure is the best written con game I've ever seen. It's really tough to write a game for a bunch of strangers. Doubly so for a group different enough to touch on all the features of a game, and that game was perfect. Everyone at that table had something to do, and we were all engaged the entire time. I can't heap enough praise that direction. Even if my best friend did betray me to the law and get me executed...

That's really it for my gaming experiences. Like I said, I just didn't plan well at all. I was really hoping to do some stuff that I never get to at home, play some board games, demo a few story games, and play in a LARP. Ever since I read the excellent new version of the Cthulu LARPthat was entered in the Ennies I've been dying to give it a try. Anywho, I never really got the chance. That's not entirely true. I did get to do a cool demo of Breaking the Ice, which was a huge amount of fun, but I was desperate to try out Dogs in the Vineyard and Prime Time Adventures, and I'm bummed that I never made that happen. Especially after hearing the latest Sons of Kryos talk about the great Star Wars game they played with PTA.

In spite of my terrible planning I did get to meet some extremely cool people. Wednesday night the guys from Fear the Boot took me out for a great dinner, and not only gave me a Baron von Badass mug, but introduced me to a new beer to fill it with. I also got to hang out with Jeff and Judd from the Sons of Kryos, though I never did meet Storn; Paul Tevis, who also introduced me to Ken Hite (sorry, Kenneth Hite in print); Jeff, Melissa, and the Exile Crew; Lenny and Fred from Evil Hat; all three of the All Games Considered crew, Jared Sorenson; Luke Crane; all the ENnies folks (Denise, Russ, Rich, Liz, Kennon, Michael, Gertie, Jeff, Stuart, Kevin...); the list goes on and on, but now I'm just listing people, so I'm going to stop while I'm ahead. Sorry if I missed anyone. I had such a great time at GenCon, and it was all because of the people I met.

So, I guess that's really all I did. I missed the Judges' Party Thursday night, so I don't have all the great stories everyone else does. I skipped it at first to run my HEX game, intending to show up late, but then promptly forgot about the party by the time the game ended at midnight, and went up to my room to sleep after my 20 hour drive earlier in the day. Other than that I spent all of my time in the dealers' room. You'd think that I'd have managed, in all that time, to get everything that I wanted, but I didn't. I don't have my stuff with me, but let me see if I can remember the list:
  • Play Dirty, by John Wick (Dude, if you stumble across this, you're my hero. Just throwing that out there.)
  • The Blossoms are Falling, by Luke Crane
  • Jihad, by Luke Crane
  • Cold City Companion, by Malcolm Craig (Who also gave me a second, signed copy, to give away at my game day next month.)
  • Monte Cook's World of Darkness
  • Hollow Earth Expedition: Secrets of the Surface World
  • Hollow Earth Expedition: Player's Kit (A cool little bag with Ubiquity dice and Style Chips.)
  • Hollow Earth Expedition: Game Master's Screen
  • Aces and Eights
  • Classic Battletech TechManual
  • Classic Battletech Technical Readout 3050
  • Shadowrun: Augmentation
  • Dogs in the Vineyard
  • GURPS: Martial Arts
  • Blackmoor: Clock and Steam (Which was given to me for review by the guys at Zeitgeist.)
  • and the guys at Eden sold me Forsaken Rites, Cryptozoology, and Atlantis Rising for Conspiracy X for $5 a piece on Sunday :)
I know I'm forgetting some stuff, but I won't remember any more until after I publish this I'm sure, so I'm going to press on. I guess the combination of crunchy and narrative games that I bought may make me the most eclectic gamer ever, but I just love new games. So long as they fulfill their design goals I'm willing to give anything a shot.

What's really notable is what I didn't get, mostly because I'm an idiot. In retrospect I'm angry with myself for skipping the new Battletech boxed set. I was already so far over budget I couldn't justify buying a starter set since I already had all of the regular books, but man I wish I had a copy. A similar thing happened with GURPS Supers, where I got money concious and started thinking about the likelihood that I would be playing a Supers game any time soon. Somehow I also missed three of the games that I specifically went into the dealer's hall to buy. Reign, Prime Time Adventures, and Dread were right at the very top of my too buy list, and I have no idea how I missed them. I went to the Forge booth to pick them up, got distracted when my inner fanboi took over and I went around getting my books signed, and managed to walk away without thinking about it. I didn't notice that I managed to leave without them until I packed up my suitcase Sunday night.

All in all however it was certainly the best four days in gaming. I can't begin to describe what a great time I had and how much fun it was meeting everyone. Next year I'll plan better, and I'll do all of my shopping Thursday in case I miss anything. Other than that, I have no regrets.

Thanks to everyone who made GenCon, and this blog, such a blast. Especially to all of those who voted for me or vouched for me when I was running for judge. I got a lot of love this year, and win or lose it meant the world to me.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Okay, I know I haven't logged on, but wireless coverage in Indianapolis is spottier than I expected.

I also promised to live-blog the awards, but due to limited internet access that didn't happen either.

So, here at least are the winners, congrats all, and thank you for your support of the ENnies and myself in particular.

Best Fan Site, presented by Russell Morrissey:
Silver: Planewalker
Gold: Dragonlance Nexus

Best PodCast, presented by Dan Repperger of Fear the Boot:
Silver: Yog Radio
Gold: Have Games, Will Travel

Best Cover Art, presented by Kevin Kulp:
Silver: Hollow Earth Expedition, by Exile Games Studio
Gold: Five Fingers, Port of Deceit, by Privateer Press

Best Interior Art:
Silver: Qin, by 7th Circle
Gold: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power by Green Ronin Publishing

Best Cartography:
Silver: WFRP GM Toolkit, by Black Industries
Gold: Ptolus, City by the Spire, by Malhavoc Press

Best Production Values:
Silver: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power, by Green Ronin Publishing
Gold: Ptolus, City by the Spire, by Malhavoc Press

Best Writing:
Silver: WFRP Children of the Horned Rat, by Black Industries
Gold: Five Fingers, Port of Deceit, by Privateer Press

Best Rules:
Silver: Spirit of the Century, by Evil Hat
Gold: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power, by Green Ronin

Best Adventure:
Silver: Mutants and Masterminds, Time of Vengeance, by Green Ronin Publishing
Gold: WFRP: Lure of the Liche Lord, by Black Industries

Best Setting, presented by Kieth Baker:
Silver: Five Fingers, Port of Deceit, by Privateer Press
Gold: Ptolus, City by the Spire, by Malhavoc Press

Best Supplement, presented by Kevin Kulp:
Silver: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power, by Green Ronin Publishing
Gold: WFRP Companion, by Black Industries

2008 ENnies Judge Election, announced by Richard Miller:
Kathryn -Gertie- Barden (Xath)
Elizabeth Bauman (Queen_Dopplepopolis)
Chris Gath (Crothian)
Zachary Houghton (Zachary The First)
Kevin Kulp (Piratecat)

Best Aid or Accessory, presented by Kevin Kulp:
Silver: GameMastery Combat Pad, by Open Mind Games/Paizo Publishing
Gold: Deck of Many Things, by Green Ronin Publishing

Best Miniature Product:
Silver: EZ Dungeons, by Fat Dragon Games
Gold: Game Mastery: Flip-mat Tavern, by Paizo Publishing

Best Regalia:
Silver: Liber Chaotica, by Black Industries
Gold: Order of the Stick, No Cure for the Paladin Blues, by Giant in the Playground

Best Free Product:
Silver: Classic Battletech Free Package, by Catalyst Games
Gold: Savage Tide Player's Guide, by Paizo Publishing

Best Electronic Book:
Silver: Magical Medieval Society: European Warfare, by Expeditious Retreat Press
Gold: Classic Battletech Free Package, by Catalyst Games

Best d20/OGL Product, presented by Rodney Thompson of Wizards of the Coast:
Silver: Five Fingers, Port of Deceit, by Privateer Press
Gold: Mutants and Masterminds, Ultimate Power, by Green Ronin Publishing

Best Game, presented by Rob Boyle of Catalyst Games:
Silver: Qin, by 7th Circle
Gold: Scion, Hero, by White Wolf

Product of the Year, presented by Peter Adkinson:
Silver: WFRP, Children of the Horned Rat, by Black Industries
Gold: Ptolus, City by the Spire, by Malhavoc Press

Fan's Choice, Best Publisher:
Silver: Green Ronin
Gold: Wizards of the Coast

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Next time, on a very special episode of In My Judgment:

I thought I'd go ahead and make a quick post about what's going on from my end. Since I'm leaving for GenCon Tuesday tomorrow's blog will be my last until Friday, when I will live-blog the awards ceremony, complete with pictures and winners as they are announced.

Tomorrow's blog will be a look back at my impressions of the products that were entered last year as a whole. It will likely be very long, and I've already started working on it a little bit.

After that, and the blog from the ceremony of course, what happens will largely depend on the outcome of the judge elections. When I get back from GenCon next Tuesday I will be starting my spotlight series, where I will go through products a couple at a time giving brief impressions. Whether or not those products are the ones I got this year or a sneak peak at what I'll be judging next year will have to wait and see if I get elected again.

If I'm not a judge I'll likely wrap up this blog once I finish highlighting my favorite products. If I am elected I'll shift my focus to the awards for next year. With any luck I'll bring a few entries home with me to start reviewing right away.

48 hours

Well, it's almost here. In just about 48 hours I'm headed to GenCon for the first time in a decade, and being the procrastinator that I am, I have yet to even begin packing.

I can't even begin to describe how excited I am. This year is going to be fantastic, and I'm really looking to meeting everyone.

Over at ENnies HQ things are in full swing. They just got the table layout a couple days ago, so the event organizers are finally able to get to work on seating arrangements and the like, not to mention packing up the booth stuff and all the other work that goes into throwing an event for hundreds of people.

Meanwhile, I of course am sitting on my hands. I feel pretty useless right now since my job at this point is mostly to show up and look pretty, and those who know me realized I'm going to fail at least half of that. Meanwhile I sit back and watch everyone else put a ton of time and effort into putting the presentation together and making sure that everything is done and ready to go.

Personally I can't wait. The location, the Indiana Roof Ballroom is amazing , and just around the corner from the convention center, which is very nice, especially since I won't have access to a cap in Indiana.

Anywho, I guess that's about it for now. Judge voting ends today, so if you haven't, please get out and vote. If you have, wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I am humbled

So, I'll admit that I have a Google alert looking for stuff about me and my blog. Yeah, it's vain, but I like to see what kind of job I'm doing, and I refuse to believe everyone is as positive as the guys are around here to my face.

Apparently I'm wrong. There has been an absolutely fantastic amount of support out there , and I don't even begin to know what to say. Thanks to everyone who took a moment to pass some good vibes my way. It really means a lot to me. I've gotten about a dozen hate e-mails and a couple of nasty IMs over the last couple days from people who are a bit upset about one of the decisions that was made (I'd really rather not go into it here if you don't mind), but every site that came up on my alert was not just supportive, but completely flattering.

I really appreciate it. I'm not sure if everyone came up on the alert yet, but let me at least thank Zachary (who commented here and on a number of message boards); Kevin Kulp, who gave me an amazing endorsement on his blog; Fred Hicks, who endorsed me on his blog and over at RPGnet, Christopher Richeson, who has been awesome on his blog and far more message boars than I myself frequent; Justin Jacobson, who took the time to drop me a complement over at Story Games; and everyone over on the Exile Games site.

You guys made my day.

I'm sure I missed some, and if I did, I'm sorry. You have my sincerest thanks.

Edit: I really need to add the guys at Fear the Boot to this. Despite great adversity they have been far better to me than I deserve.

Best d20/OGL commentary

In some ways judging the d20 products was very easy for me, even though it required a lot of work. The reason is simple of course, I'm already extremely familiar with the underlying mechanics. It's certainly a lot easier to judge a game when you can tell at a glance how it all fits together.

It's a lot of work, however, because a huge percentage of what we received was d20 based. I don't have my notes or anything, but I'd guess something like 2/3 to 3/4 of the entries used d20-ish mechanics I say "ish" because I'm lumping in things like True20, Passages, and Mutants & Masterminds.

Here is one area where I definitely can't complain about the outcome. I don't usually share my votes for fear of betraying how other judges voted, but on this one it seems safe, since every vote I cast ended up on the list. Here at least you can see exactly how my tastes line up.

The choices I made here fell into place pretty easily. Like other categories I find myself wishing that there was room for a few more outstanding products, especially taking into consideration how many d20 products we received, but when it comes down to it the products that were selected were nothing short of amazing.

The Warlords of the Accordlands series was likely the most pleasant surprise of the entrants this year. I hadn't heard much about it going in, and most of what I did hear wasn't very flattering. I don't know anything about the CCG it's based on and of course I didn't have to put up with the delays that I know tend to frustrate fans, which left me a bit more open to enjoying the game for what it was, rather than what it wasn't. What it was is an incredibly good read, providing everything that a GM might need to run a campaign in a very compelling world. It offers some neat, new mechanical tricks, provides large amounts of world information, offers great cartography and art, and includes an interesting mega-campaign to take characters from first level all the way to 20. We combined all four of these books into one product for the purposes of the award, but any one of those books would make a great addition to this list.

Etherscope- Upload: Etherpunk is another one that I was only peripherally aware of before the awards, yet hits on every cylinder. It shouldn't be any surprise really, since Goodman Games is continuously churning out good products, but the Etherscope line in total has proven to be exceptional at every turn. I wish I had it with me so I could go into a bit more detail, but it takes the d20 Modern ruleset and tunes it in some very interesting ways. Even leaving off the great mechanics, you still find a fascinating world that cries out to be played in, compelling adventures, and strong reenforcement of its themes at every turn. No one should think of Goodman as just a company that has managed to bottle up the "old school" vibe and sell it. These products prove they have a lot more to offer.

Mutants and Masterminds: Ultimate Power has been nominated over and over again, so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that it made it here as well. Everyone who knows d20 knows that Green Ronin consistently puts out some of the best products that the industry has to offer, and yet even in this year of very strong entries from their camp, Ultimate Power shines through. This book takes the already incredible Mutants and Masterminds second edition rules and really opens them up to the players. It makes power creation easy, quick, and comprehensive. I'd challenge anyone to find something it doesn't allow you to do.

Five Fingers: Port of Deceit got my vote first and foremost because it was quite possibly the single best book I read. Sure there are some books that do certain things better, but this one really grabbed me across the board. It's extremely well written, entertaining, visually appealing, and though it contains few rules, those that are there are short, easy to understand, and could pop right into any d20 game. I absolutely loved it.

I saved Helios Rising for last because I was asked to go into a bit more detail on why I liked it so much. Let me start by saying that this book is huge, and it's packed from beginning to end with gaming goodness. It doesn't waste any time jumping right in either. From the time you open it up you're getting advice on how to use it and what kind of campaigns to run. What really makes this book work for me though is the way it's laid out. Besides the fact that it's a good read to start with, or the fact that it provides excellent rules for playing everything that it presents, it's just so darn easy to find exactly what you need for the setting you're playing in. Each chapter is like a mini sourcebook with the history, geography, rules, and hooks you need to slip it right into your game. In short, the book takes everything that's great about the already fantastic Dawning Star setting, expands it, and makes it better. Any chapter in this book would make an excellent purchase, and as a whole it's phenomenal. Even if you don't use the Dawning Star setting, or don't even play d20 Modern, I'd say this would be a good buy. There is enough information and adventure ideas here to easily find inspiration for any number of sci-fi games.

I guess in retrospect that's not huge amount of extra detail, but I suppose that if anyone is interested I'll make a bit more effort when I get to work on the next series of blogs I'll be doing.

So, what didn't make the list, and why? The why part is easy really, and I already touched on it above. The things that were nominated were absolutely amazing. Even though some of the products that didn't make the list were amazing as well, the quality of the competition here can't be stressed enough.

Still, there are a few things that I can think of right away that need to be mentioned. First and foremost is the Honorable Mention, Ptolus. The vast majority of complaints that I heard this year revolved around how few nominations Ptolus received, particularly in this category. First I suppose I should point out that Ptolus did actually do very well for itself in every category where its strengths were really allowed to shine. It received nominations in Production Values, Setting, Cartography, and even Product of the Year, though it didn't fair quite as well in this category. Part of the reason for that is that Ptolus is really a setting book, and though it does present its setting very well, it already got a nomination for that. It's huge, and it's pretty, but it got a nomination for that as well. It's full of densely packed information, and among the best products released this year, but it got the nod for that as well. Hopefully everyone can see that it wasn't overlooked, it's just that, in the d20 category, we were looking for different criteria, and at it's heart Ptolus was built to tie existing d20 material together into a cohesive whole, not expand it in any meaningful way. It's a great book, and it deserves the place it got on this list every bit as much as it deserves the actual nominations that it received, but it just couldn't quite make the final list.

Another neat product was Passages, also brought to us by the same company that produced Helios Rising. This one is almost unique among d20 derived games in that it completely deconstructs the ruleset and rebuilds it until it's almost unrecognizable. Believe me when I say that I mean that in a very good way. The authors didn't bother with preserving the sacred cows, instead they took the clay it was built from and molded it into the form that fit their creation. Passages takes chances, it goes out on a limb, and throws out all of the old d20 stereotypes. It gives you the unexpected at every turn, and almost challenges you to call it "just another d20 game". Based on some of the finest literary works that the world has to offer, this book makes you a passenger in some of the greatest stories ever told. Any element of this book, its rules, setting, or writing, would make an excellent purchase. As a whole it is nothing short of extraordinary.

There are a lot more products that really deserve some spotlight time here, but I've been at this for two hours already, and I have work that needs to get done. Instead I'm just going to mention the next series that I'm going to do on this blog. I have one or two commentaries left in me, but beyond that I think I'm going to move on to a simple spotlight format. Breaking down each individual category always leaves me wishing I had taken the time to mention just a few more things, and the actual reviews I used to do were a bit too time consuming. Instead I think that I'll start putting out a post whenever I have the time with the highlights of a few products that I think deserve a second look. It won't be much, just a paragraph or two, but hopefully it'll allow me to share my thoughts in a less structured way. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see me start with.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Judge voting is open

So, in case you are unaware, voting for the 2008 ENnies judges is now open. I'd really appreciate any votes I get, but even if you don't put me as your number 1 please take a second to vote. These are the people who choose the final nominees and a good selection is absolutely vital to the process.
If you feel strongly about any of the candidates I'd also like to ask that you take a moment to voice your support on any of the forums or blogs that you frequent. The process has been very quiet this year since it came so close on the heals of voting for the awards themselves, and that's not good for anyone.

Preparing for GenCon

I know I let it get slow again, sorry. One of the downsides to owning a small business is that every time you're not around to do something it simply doesn't get done. It just sits there waiting for you when you get back. After my last vacation I had a ton to do, and when that was done I decided to take some preemptive measures for my trip to GenCon. Toss that together with preparing to end the Shadowrun game that I've been running for around a year now, and writing three more games to start after GenCon, I just haven't had the mental space to blog.

Hopefully that's past me now, since the eminent threat of GenCon has me all excited again.

This year will mark my first GenCon in a decade, and the first time that I really go knowing people or excited about the people I'm going to meet. Always before it was strictly about the gaming, and there will be plenty of that this year as well, but it'll be nice to put faces to some of the people that I've been chatting with. Right now I have a dinner tentatively scheduled for the night before the con in St. Louis, which should be awesome, a possible podcast interview, and a whole lot of drinks I need to buy. If any vendors wonder why I have no money for the exhibitioner's hall, blame that.

Other than that I have no idea what I'm going to do. There's the podcast party and the ENnies of course, and I have two pick-up games that I'm scheduled to run, but beyond those I'll just play it by ear. Right now I don't even think I'm bringing any game books with me outside of my copy of Hollow Earth Expedition. If I'm elected as a judge this year I'm going to concentrate my energy on seeking out games that might be entered for the awards this year. What better way to get a jump start on seeing exactly what the game was intended to do? I have no idea what all is coming out or what to expect, but I know that if I don't get to thumb through Monte Cook's World of Darkness, Aces and Eights, Blossoms are Falling, Witch Hunter, Secrets of the Surface World, and the Cold City Companion I'm going to cry. I'm not sure if there is any chance they'll be at the con, but I definitely need some ConX supplements and the new BRP as well.

Sigh. There's no way I can afford all of those right now, so my only hope is that enough of them get delayed that I won't have to try and figure out which are immediate "must haves" and which can wait.

While I'm at it, I desperately need to find someone willing to teach me to play Prime Time Adventures, Dogs in the Vineyard, and Dread. The more podcasts I listen to the more it becomes a physical need to try my hand at them.

Anywho, I guess that's enough off-topic ramblings for now. If anyone has good advice on GenCon activities let me know. Also, voting for GenCon judges should start today, and I'd really appreciate any support I can get. I'm Jeramy Ware in case anyone was wondering. With my vacation and extra work lately I've done a terrible job of campaigning, so I could use all the help I can get.