GenCon 2010–People I Met   6 comments


For my final GenCon report, I’d like to just acknowledge a lot of the people that I saw at the show.  My number one reason for going to conventions is to see people and talk to them. Seeing all the games is really cool, but that’s not why I go. Playing T & T or Lost Worlds or some of the other games I played is always fun, but that’s not why I go.  Selling my games and trying to promote Tunnels and Trolls is an excuse to be there, but that’s not why I go.  Just seeing and talking to friends that I don’t see in my daily life—that is why I go to conventions.

Here are some of the people that I got to talk to at GenCon this year.


Joe was a good T & T player, a fascinating guy to talk to when he explained what’s been happening with NASA the last few years, and a good father. His son, who you can half see in this picture, looked like  a happy kid to me.


Christian Lindke is a very sharp fellow. He was very quiet. We never really got a chance to talk, but I got the impression that I really had to be on my game to impress him.  I don’t know if I quite measured up to his standards for what a trollgod should be.  He is Dupin in Trollhalla.


W. Scott Grant was the friendliest guy at the convention.  He shared water with me, and kept me from dying of thirst. He knew the Tunnels and Trolls rules better than I did, and was enthusiastic about teaching them to new players.  He bought supper for Rick and me on Thursday night. Scott has written a monumental  solo adventure for T & T called FINAL EXAM which is about graduating from Wizards School.  I have played it a couple of times now, and run a version of it on Trollhalla, and, as a dungeon crawl it works very well. There’s a lot to it, and you need to dedicate hours of your time to play it. I tried to run through it quickly, and it couldn’t be done.  Scott’s dungeon is available here at



I talked about my chat with Jolly Blackburn in an earlier blog.  The man is everything a gamer should be: smart, funny, gracious, talented and generous. 



Matthew Stang is the main man at Mongoose Publishing. His British company is keeping some of the old games alive—games like the original Runequest and Stormbringer and Paranoia. I got to talk with him a lot in Las Vegas a couple of years ago—not so much this time at GenCon, but it was good to see him again.



The redhead with the biggest grin in the middle of the picture is Tom Loney. I’m sorry but I don’t remember the names of the others in the picture—that is their real names.  Tom is a game designer, enthusiastic game master, publisher, and all around pleasant fellow. (Watch out, though—he can also be sarcastic and a bit abrasive—he has a hard time dealing with stupidity.)  This pic comes from a Saturday morning Tunnels & Trolls session at the Hyatt that I managed to crash. I had to leave before the grand finale, but I heard that the bad guys were no match for our stalwart band of watch members. Tom also contributed a great deal toward my nutrition during the Con. Thank you, Tom. Come back to Phoenix and I’ll buy lunch for you and Robin.  Tom, I know you’ll read this. How about identifying the other people in this picture with a comment?



Paul Haynie  and his wife made a long journey from Wisconsin to show up Sunday at GenCon. Paul is wearing both a T & T shirt and hat created by my friend Jeff Freels. (Jeff is known as Grumlahk on Trollhalla, and is a fantastic artist—Trollhalla attracts some really good people.) Paul is one of the most intelligent members of Trollhalla where he is known as G’noll, and he writes some of the best poetry that I’ve ever read. Alas, I was off gaming on Sunday when he arrived and I only got to shake hands with him, and talk very briefly. I regret that I did not take a picture of his totem animal sock puppet.



Here’s a shot of me with Paul. I’m grinning on the inside, but I have found that showing too many teeth in photos tends to make me look dopey (or is that dopier?). A few pictures of me were taken at the Con, but this is the only one that I have.  The Hat looks good, don’t you think? From a distance you can’t tell that it is possibly the most battered fedora currently in use in America.



A publisher never has a moment to himself. This is Mark Reed of Heroic Journey taking a phone call. I don’t  know how he could hear anything.  The noise level was a dull roar at all times inside the Exhibit Hall at GenCon.  He is Mahrrkk in Trollhalla, and he really ought to login more often.



Chris Carter, the big guy in red, is one of my editors at Heroic Journey publishing.  No, I don’t  give all my writings to Rick Loomis at Flying Buffalo. Chris is getting my novel, ROSE OF STORMGAARD, ready for publication, and I hope to see it released before the end of the year. Chris, don’t add any adverbs to the text please!  (It would probably be best if an author never saw what an editor has to do to make a manuscript ready for publication. We work so hard getting it just right, and they come along and cut it to shreds. Whimper. Grin.  Do your job, Chris!)



I don’t know the young lady playing Magic on the big screen here, but this is what the convention is all about–learning new games, selling them, buying them, playing them!  Just being there!

GenCon is a gigantic party for gamers. People come from around the world to be there.  I talked to a man from France who sat down at a gaming table with me. His English was not so good. My French astounded him—apparently I can say “Como taillez vous?” very well. Alas, I only know about 20 words in French, so that conversation didn’t  last too long. I also saw some Japanese journalists going around taking pictures of everything. I know the type. They speak English very well, but go around with an interpreter anyway—just in case. Matthew Stang and his lady friend were flying the British flag.  These were the ones that I recognized from other countries, but I know there were many, many more.  It is also a great party for us in the USA. I’m glad I was able to go one more time.



P.S. This city of cards is one of the Wonders of GenCon that I didn’t find a place to talk about elsewhere.  No people are visible, but it is very much a People thing.  Uncountable numbers of trading cards—most of them Magic, but anything will do are available at this booth in the external hall of the Convention Center, and anyone can sit down here and build a house of cards.  Look at the fantastic and elaborate structures that gamers made!  Not only is this something to keep the kids busy for a while, or to satisfy the budding architect in all of us, but it’s also done for a worthy cause. On Friday night people come and knock it all down by throwing coins at it—that money is collected and given to charity. This is what being human is all about in my opinion—building  your house of cards, knocking it down again, and doing it all for a greater good. I take my battered old hat off in tribute to the people who build the GenCon City of Cards.

Posted August 15, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

6 responses to “GenCon 2010–People I Met

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention GenCon 2010–People I Met « Atroll's Entertainment --

  2. It is good to see pictures of our fellow trolls.

  3. excellent end to the blog Trollgod. I have looked a several blogs about gencon. This one is my favorite. Maybe i’ll be able to go next year to Gencon, its a much shorter drive for me than Trollcon would be. Being the Northern Kentucky troll that i am.

    Arrdhann Trrelish
  4. great pictures, great comments and I agree with Naharaht, it is good to see pictures of Trollhallans. Thank you Trollgod.

  5. To my left was David, playing the living statue “David” as in Michelangelo’s. The young fellow next to me on my right played a human named Kos, sadly I cannot remember his name and do not have it my notes. The fellow in the corner of the picture is Jim, who makes it to at least one T&T game each GenCon, his character is the elf Samel.

  6. Pingback: 2010 in review « Atroll's Entertainment

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