The convention season begins…

Baycon went better than I’d anticipated. It took about 45 minutes for me to zip down to Hamilton and find the convention center. I got in just as it opened on Friday and found everything lickety-split. Pauline and Fred from White Wolf had come up for the show and it was a blast hanging out with them for the weekend.

Fred, Me, Pauline. Yes, the goatee is temporarily back.

I’m finding smaller shows like this have quite a bit of appeal. The large shows are amazing because everyone is there and the sheer amount of product and chaos is amazing. But the small cons are a lot more personal. Instead of being shuffled through line ups or pushing shoulder to shoulder, you can chat with people for as long as you want, demo games without feeling pressured and have more room to be goofy.

Fred uses Ether Goggles to see the unseen… or just look damn weird.

I keep forgetting how small the RPG industry can really be. Heading out for drinks and dinner on Friday night, there was lots of shop talk and camaraderie, far more so than any I’ve felt from the comic book industry. No matter what company or person was mentioned, somebody at the table knew them.

It rained all weekend, but the turn out on Saturday was actually a pretty decent. There were several dealers selling used RPG books for cheap, so the White Wolf booth didn’t move many books. Even still, the trip was a way for Fred to touch base with retailers and distributors as well as talk about the promotions for the new World of Darkness coming in August.

Pauline and I at a round table discussion with
Ed Greenwood, the creator of the Forgotten Realms.

Meeting new people is always a plus as well. Talking and spending time with Wil Hindmarch who works on the Feng Shui games and Jeremy Jarvis, a phenomenal watercolor painter, gave me some new insight into companies and projects. It’s amazing hearing how people get into this industry… everyone’s story is so strange and “right place, right time” oriented.

Got tipsy at the hotel lounge on Saturday night and sat around telling stories with the Wolfies and Fantasy Flight boys. Story time over alcohol always seems to consist of drunken tales, brutal injuries, getting sick or some combination of all three. By the time the lounge closed, we’d all been laughing to the point of tears.

I mentioned that I wondered how Gala was doing this weekend and as if on queue, the cel phone rang and I could hear Gala and Brian partying in Atlanta. Gal was obviously in tipsy spirits as well, and she yelled and giggled about the noise at the bar they were at. It was great hearing her happy, knowing that she was out having a good time. I was worried that she would get cold feet about socializing down there, but so far so good.

Helm’s Deep… miniature sized.

Sunday was nice, but a little sad too. For some reason, the con shutting down at the end of the day made me feel really lonely. Ever since I came back from Atlanta I’ve been run off my feet with work and appointments. I think it finally caught up to me that I was heading back to a totally empty apartment and that it would be that way all summer long.

Got in at 1:30am and didn’t head to bed until 4:00. I puttered around the apartment cleaning up the dishes and unpacking. Ended up lying in bed for quite a while before sleep finally overtook me.

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