then I want to talk to you. I’m easy, and mostly friendly.
Does this look like a gam designer to you?
I want to make things easy for anyone to contact me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know me, or want to know me, go ahead and send me a letter. We can talk about life, love, and gaming. Or maybe about food, fitness, and fun in general. But if you’re just sending out spam, don’t waste your time or mine. I’m not buying, not gullible, and I will trash and block all spammers or scammers.
I will be at GenCon this year. If you’re going to be there too, stop by the Flying Buffalo booth and talk to me. Ask me for a demo of my new game: Dwarves and Dragon.
I design games. It’s what I do. And not just role-playing games and scenarios. I can make any kind of game, out of virtually any kind of material. Before the end, I would like to show the world some of my other game designs.
Another TrollCon is coming up at the end of July. 20 or 30 people will get together in Scottsdale to play Tunnels and Trolls and other games and just have a good time. I’ll be there. This year I wanted to do something a little special for the people who come from other parts of the country to game with me. So, I created this game. I’ll give it to you if you come to the con. Otherwise, I’ll sell it to you.
It’s a simple game. Steal the dragon’s gold!
This one isn’t a complicated roleplaying game. It’s snatch and grab. Cunning versus Power. Would you like to try it out? Are you clever enough, swift enough, to steal gold from a dragon?
The game will be available in pdf at the beginning of August. In the meantime, if you’d like to have a hardcopy, send me an email. The price will be $8 in the U.S.A, or $12 in any other country, and I’ll cover the postage and have it autographed by the artist and me. Need a birthday present, or a Christmas gift for a gamer friend? This could be a good option for you.
I’ll demo the game at GenCon, and we (meaning Flying Buffalo) will sell it there. In the meantime, if you’d like a copy hot off the presses, send me an email: email@example.com. Or just paypal some money to me at that address.
If you’ve ever tried to steal gold from a dragon, or if you think stealing is wrong, why not leave a comment?
Two days later, and I’m back from the post office. I’ve just sent off some 42 copies of Dwarves and Dragons to the first people who were kind enough to order it. Those who are close to me should get their copies tomorrow, further away by Saturday, and the rest of the world before the end of next week.
If this game came in a box from Z-man or some other good-sized game producer, I might have included some extra components. The game needs 1D6 in order to play. I didn’t put it in. Who out there doesn’t already own dice? Now that production is done, and I have a chance to think about it, it could be fun to make a couple of custom D6s for it. I could have a Dwarf Die with a pair of eyes on it where the one should be indicating invisibility for the Dwarf when he rolls a 1. I could have a Dragon Die with a Dragon head on it instead of a six to indicate when the dragon is breathing fire. You don’t need special dice for this, but it would be nice.
There’s another component I expect the players to provide on their own: coins. Three or more pennies can serve as the dragon’s hoard. Everybody can produce a handful of copper or silver to use as treasure pieces. Or I could have designed some cardboard gold coins. It’s another non-essential that would have driven production costs up. If the game becomes very popular, which I am not counting on, it would be fun to design some fantasy coins for it.
Miniature lovers, Dwarves and Dragons is the perfect opportunity to use your minis in play. If you have dwarf minis, you should use them; if you have a dragon mini of about the right size, you should use it. You could also use the transparent stones/counters used in Magic and other card games for the boulders in the cave instead of the cardstock counters that I provided. By taking the game out of the realm of cardboard and cardstock, and pushing it into the realm of realia, players could get even more fun out of it.
It’s sort of like using a fancy chess set versus using a plain chess set. The game is the same, no matter which set you use to play it. The fancy set is kind of distractiong at first, and you might not play your best game when admiring your crystal queens and rooks and things. I’d like to see it fancy, but I’m happy to see the game as it is. It’s a start!
My 50 signed and autographed copies are almost gone. Don’t let that stop you from buying one from me. If I need more copies of the game, I will get more. And I’ll sign and number them for you. However, this first release is special, and I’m making the price as low as I can to encourage people to get one, and to reward those who support me at the beginning, When the first 50 are all gone, the price will go up to what it really ought to be. So, it’s a case of EARLY BIRD GETTING WORM, or early buyer getting a deal.
I spent most of the last week at GenCon in Indianapolis. I flew in on Tuesday August 14 and went home late Monday afternoon on August 20. There were three in our party–Richard Loomis, CEO and Chief Factotum of Flying Buffalo, Inc., me–Ken St. Andre, writer and game designer, and my son James, gamer and actor. We were there to promote Flying Buffalo products and sell some games. If we should happen to enjoy ourselves and play some other games on the journey, that was all just a bonus. Personally, I had a great time, and so, I thought I would make my customary report here on Atroll’s Entertainment, which will have the usual form of photographs that I, or people near me, took, and brief comments on each one. I counted 55 photos, which is a bit much to cram into one blog–my plan is to do the blog in 4 sections.
In the course of composing this blog, I am bound to leave some things out. If you were there, and would like to add your own comments, it would increase the utility of this report.
This is what the Flying Buffalo booth looks like before we get it set up. I am here on Wednesday, before the show started, waiting for Rick Loomis to arrive–he had to go park the car. I”m wearing an old Conan t-shirt that I acquired at GenCon several years ago, and the Trollgod’s hat. It goes on all my adventures with me.
Most exhibitors set up on the day before the convention actually starts. It is a big job–hard enough for a small company like Flying Buffalo, but larger companies like Paizo bring in multiple employees, lay down their own flooring, set up gigantic displays–some of which I will show you before I finish talking about GenCon, and generally go all out to promote product and sell tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of games. I can only wish that Tunnels and Trolls had that kind of size and market penetration–if it did, I would be a wealthy man, but it doesn’t, and I’m not.
Robin Loney (aka Christina Lea) had her own booth at GenCon for the first time this year. She is the brains, and much of the writing talent behind Peryton Press. She has created her own rpg system (Qalidar), and she also helps support my game–Tunnels and Trolls. Peryton Press has more emphasis on fantastic fiction than on gaming, but both aspects of the fantastic are well represented.
Peryton Press is part of a small press retro pulp fiction movement happening today among fans and gamers. Now that self-publishing is within the grasp of any determined author or artist, the people are taking back the creative arts from the large corporations that have controlled them for most of the 20th century. I heartily approve, and if you were to look through my book and gaming collection you would find that small press publications have Pride of Place over large company productions. Not always higher quality, but always more heart and soul in the amateur productions.
James pretends to board the train at the Victoria Station hotel. We are on our way Wednesday evening to a Shadowfist demonstration. Shadowfist is one of our favorite collectible card games. This train station adds a lot of color and interest to the Indianapolis convention center.
Here we are at the Shadowfist demo. The banner shows Zu-Mei, one of the Seven Masters from the latest faction to join the Shadowfist war. James and I are better than average Shadowfist players already–we didn’t need to learn the game, but attended in hopes of getting a free demo deck (going to conventons is all about acquiring new game stuff–for free if possible!). The demo was surprisingly successful with more noobs than expected, so, we didn’t get any freebies here. They needed them go give to beginners.
Daniel Griego, one of the owners of Inner Kingdom Games, is current publisher and owner of the Shadowfist game. I don’t know him well, but he seems like a great guy.
James and I did other things on Thursday night. When the Shadowfist demo was over we walked a mile and joined Rick Loomis who was demoing Nuclear War at the DW Mariott hotel. I got demos of three games: Tsuro of the Seas, Dragon Dice, and Snake Oil. Tsuro is the most elegant, Snake Oil the most fun, and Dragon Dice has some way-cool dice in it. No pictures of any of those.
On the following day, the Convention officially began.
Tom and Robin Loney are doing good business at Peryton Press Thursday morning. Because they are my friends, I went by their booth every once in a while to see how they were doing.
I should have taken more pictures on Thursday, but most of the time the camera wasn’t with me, and I just didn’t feel like it.
The Con is going. I have switched to my traditional black outfits. Christian Lindke, a member of Trollhalla, has stopped by the Flying Buffalo Booth to see me. On Saturday, Christian gamed with me in the Seven Challenges adventure I wrote especially for GenCon.
Here we are on Friday morning already. These brave souls adventured in Dwarf World with me.
This is the adventure I ran on Friday morning. Our combats were not quite this epic, but we did manage a Dwarf vs. Goblin confrontation.
Playing Tunnels and Trolls with Ken St. Andre. I’m the goofy-looking one with the battered fedora. The players are trying to survive in Dwarf World.
When the T & T was over, I wandered the hall and found the authors corner of it toward the end of the day. Jeremy Jaynes was giving away free t-shirts to promote his books. Here I made a charisma saving roll, and talked them out of a t-shirt along with getting my picture taken with his pretty wife. The shirts look like the one she’s wearing. Jeremy seems to be a bit of a cyberpunk kind of guy, but the books are well done and fascinating reading. I support authors who not only write their dreams, but get out into the big world to promote them. Best of luck, Jeremy, and thanks for the shirt!
This brings me to a natural stopping spot for today’s blog. I admit that I didn’t do that good a job of capturing the full excitement of the con on camera for the first 2 days, but come back tomorrow. I get better and take more interesting photos.
If you were at GenCon, or wish you had been, go ahead and comment.