David F. Chapman, but I played along at home. In my head. I also never wrote a recap post about the amazing slice of amazingness that was Gen Con 2014. So, in true Crawljammer spirit, I have decided that the only correct and just way to continue is to mash both things into one post. It's called the magic of the creative mind, folks, so hold off on battling your laser cobras with your halberd cannon and learn a little bit about life at Gen Con:
First Game Played [at GenCon]
Escape from Catastrophe Island at the Embassy Suites, coordinated by the genius Doug Kovacs and the co-geniuses Wayne Snyder and Adam Muszkiewicz. Adam was the judge in my section of the bar. My character, a slave master of dubious morality, never even made it to the island, what with the fire eel biting and the acid blood rain falling. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
First Game Gamemastered [at GenCon]
Since I finally made up my mind to go to Gen Con exactly 4 days before it was scheduled to begin, I didn't have a whole lot of time for planning or registering for games or...anything, really. But I called upon the powers of Google Plus and announced that I would be running a Crawljammer game on Saturday afternoon at the Embassy Suites bar. And players showed up. Eight of them! And they were fantastic, and we had the best time! And they didn't even die! (Though one of them lost a hand, which was nice.)
First RPG Purchased [at GenCon]
The first RPG books I bought were the new releases from Goodman Games, including their first two 5E adventures. But the first system purchased? I think it was Trail of Cthulhu. That's not new, I know. I wish my answer here were much cooler, like...I found some guy selling a bootleg Thundarr/Adventure Time/Land of the Lost RPG out of his trunk. Pretend that happened. Or MAKE that happen for next year.
Most Recent RPG Purchase [around the time of GenCon]
I guess that copy of the 5E Player's Handbook that was waiting for me when I got home from GenCon. Does that count? Ugh, another lame answer. Okay, come on people! That Thundarr/Adventure Time/Land of the Lost game is not going to happen by itself!
Most Old-School RPG [Purchased at GenCon]
I had a copy of Boot Hill in my hand and passed on it, only to swing by that booth later to find it long gone. I did pick up some Judges Guild Journals. The one that is all just wandering monster tables is pretty crazy and useful, if you like rolling d1000000s. (Which I do.) But, I also bought that proto-modern masterpiece that is Road Hogs, for the TMNT game by Palladium. That is my kind of sauce.
Favorite RPG You Never Got to Play [at GenCon]
D6 Star Wars. Or Gamma World. Or Marvel Super Heroes. All of the above. They should be one game anyway. But I did not play in that game. (I did run Crawljammer, though, which can't escape their influence.)
This question doesn't make any sense -- who wrote these things and applied them to Gen Con experiences anyway? What a dumb idea! Plus, the answer is obviously Road Hogs, as usual.
So, instead, I'll mention that the most intellectual conversation I had was with Dr. Edgar Johnson. He of the Metal Gods. And dropping RPG science on your head. And one of the co-conspirators of the Purple Planet. I don't remember the conversation exactly, but it involved Catastrophe Island and a thong and slave revolt and flying laser fish and it was deep, man. It changed us all.
Favorite Character [at GenCon]
Favorite character? What am I, a child? Oh, Bo Duke is my favorite Duke boy! Come on! Grow up!
(Sniff. My favorite character was Sir Rey of Light, who survived several encounters in the Seven Pits of Sezrekan. I weep for his soul.)
Favorite Die / Dice Set [at GenCon]
Hugh and Shanna both have weird dice in tubes. I love them both. I cannot even pretend otherwise.
Favorite tie in Novel / Game Fiction [at GenCon]
The Chronicles of Catastrophe Island have yet to be written, but when they are, they will be written in the acid blood of the sky and they will be inscribed directly on your brain and you, too, will weep for the soul of Sir Rey of Light who lost the psychic duel of the laser fish wizards on that fateful Thursday eve.
Weirdest RPG Owned [at GenCon]
Another poorly worded question, gods of the Googlesphere! So I mock thee and shout, "Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad #2!" and brace myself of the kickassapocalypse.
Old RPG You Still Play / Read [at GenCon]
What does this even mean? D&D, obviously. It is carved into the faces of all who attend. Except for everyone playing RPGs in the Wizards of the Coast hall-of-seriousness. They had the intensity of purpose that can only be found on players who must win at all costs.
Most Memorable Character Death [at GenCon]
SIR REY OF LIGHT DIED IN THE SEVEN PITS, WAS REBORN LATER THAT NIGHT ON CATASTROPHE ISLAND AND DIED AGAIN REINCARNATED AS A LASER WIZARD FISH TRYING TO PSYCHICALLY DUEL THE GHOST OF A FORMER SLAVE MASTER.
No, I am not "over" it. I don't even know who you are anymore.
Best Convention Purchase [at GenCon]
DeathFear is pretty handsome. The DCC RPG t-shirt looks great and makes me feel like a hero. Battle of Five Armies is a giant game. Jurgen Mayer's Shinobi Clans is super-fun. But Road Hogs is forever.
Favorite Convention Game [at GenCon]
They were all great! I had zero bad experiences in a game at Gen Con. And I didn't sign up for any in advance. Take that, thoughtful-planners of your existence! The lords of chaos are powerful.
Game You Wish You Owned [at GenCon]
I don't know if you know this, but I am the PUBLISHER of Moon Dice Games and Crawljammer. If I wanted a game, I would just buy it with all of my profits. (Unless that game costs more than $10. In that case, I would need a loan.)
I wish I owned all of the Call of Cthulhu and Age of Cthulhu books. I really do.
Funniest Game You've Played [at GenCon]
The great Sarah Richardson ran a Dungeon World game on Saturday night that I really wanted to get into. But it was Games on Demand, and the games demanded that I not get a seat. So I was "stuck" with Lowell Francis's Fate game, which I couldn't believe, because I would consider myself a Lowell Francis fan (I have read his comics, his blog, and listened to his podcast...a lot), and I knew he would be running a great game. It was. But what I didn't expect was how funny it would be. The other players were great, but Lowell undermined D&D tropes the whole way and role-played some fantastically amusing NPCs. It was brilliant. I ended up missing the finale of Catastrophe Island because of it, and, yet, I'm okay with that. Lowell's game was that much fun.
Dungeon Crawl Classics. It is the BEST. You know that.
Favorite Published Adventure [at GenCon]
Peril on the Purple Planet. I may be adding more stuff to that world, but Harley Stroh is the master of the Purple Planet and that adventure will likely become the foundation of my after-school group's campaign for the whole next year.
Game You'll Still Play in 20 Years' Time [at GenCon]
If I go to Gen Con when I'm in my 60s, and I hope I do, I will spend 90% of my time sitting on those chairs in the auction room and spending my space credits bidding on mint condition copies of After the Bomb and Mutants Down Under. But the game I hope to be playing is Dungeon Crawl Classics. Or maybe "Dungeon Crawl Classics, the 20th Anniversary Annual."
Favorite Licensed Game [at GenCon]
Marvel Super Heroes was my favorite licensed game that I saw played at the convention. I was happening right behind the Cthulhu Invictus game I was in. Here's the thing I noticed: by my scientifically-inclined data-gathering methods, I know that 85% of all Marvel Super Heroes games bring DC heroes into the mix for some super-Crisis of double-corporate catastrophe. Folks just want to play Batman and Booster Gold vs. Doctor Doom, I guess. But the truth is that all Marvel/DC comic book crossovers in the history of the medium have been either terrible or boring or both. Except for one: SPIDER-BOY TEAM-UP.
SPIDER-BOY TEAM-UP is one of the best single issues of the past 20 years. I am not joking. Read it. Make a game out of that, America! Or Europe! Or Venus!
Best Secondhand RPG Purchase [at GenCon]
Coolest Looking RPG Product [at GenCon]
Anything involving the work of Doug Kovacs. I almost bought a huge lot of forgotten Dreamblade miniatures just because he designed some of them (I was outbid by another like-minded connoisseur). Just look at the Goodman Games releases NOT painted or drawn by Doug Kovacs and then compare them to the things Doug has worked on. One set looks nice and fine. The other set looks like it will haunt your dreams and nightmares with joyous psychedelic tendrils from the gods beyond.
Most Complicated RPG Owned [at GenCon]
I ain't got time for that, Palladium.
Favourite RPG no one else wants to play... [at GenCon]
I didn't ask, but if I cracked open my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game book, I suspect folks would have been excited to play. Then, after 2 hours of making characters and selecting skills and reminding ourselves how this system is supposed to work, we all would have wandered off to stare at Golem Arcana and pretend it looked like fun.
Coolest Character Sheet [at GenCon]
The fatalities from the Seven Pits of Sezrekan. Yellow. Stamped. Brutal. In our hearts forever.
Game You'd Most Like to See A New / Improved Version Of...[at GenCon]
Top Secret S.I. -- I don't even want a new, improved version, really. I just remember how much I want to play it. Maybe at Gen Con 2015!
Road Hogs needs an unofficial Crawljammer conversion. Will Palladium sue if I release "Biker Boars from Dimension Gamma"?
Scariest RPG Played [at GenCon]
Catastrope Island, powered by DCC (sort of). I didn't know if we would be bombarded by acid blood rain or fried by laser wizard fish or trapped in a tunnel with revolting slaves or joining a centaur rugby match or betrayed by our closest friends. Catastrophe Island, like Herman Melville's Moby Dick, is a microcosm of the human experience. Only, sometimes, these fish wear hats.
Most Memorable Encounter [at GenCon]
I liked harassing a monster menagerie owner in Lowell's game, but man those laser wizard fish from Catastrope Island? Those will live on in literary history like the Bhagavad Gita's Gilgamesh.
Rarest RPG Owned [at GenCon]
I am now the owner of the cover sketch and cover painting for this sucker: BLADES AGAINST DEATH.
I have the only copies of those things in existence. Pretty rare. Rarer than that woodgrain box you're hoarding in your temperature controlled basement. Weirdly, not as rare as players who enjoy actually playing the Palladium TMNT system.
Favorite RPG of all time [at GenCon]
Ah, we all know this is a trick question. The best thing about Gen Con is the PEOPLE. Not the ones stepping on you or talking way too loudly about L5R on the shuttle bus. Those people should stay home and comment on YouTube videos. But everyone else is wonderful! Particularly the friends you make (or meet in person for the first time). Those are the best!
So, let me end this ridiculous post with some sincerity: If I hung out with you for even a minute at Gen Con 2014, I consider you a friend. You were fun to talk to and I enjoyed playing with you or near you or in your general vicinity. I really didn't have a bad moment at Gen Con when you were around. I hope we meet up again next year! In the meantime, come out to the east cost and join us at some conventions out here. It's just Michael Curtis and I out this way, holding the chaos at bay. Come help us set it free.