Our Adventures at Pacificon
We are back from Pacificon Game Expo and boy do we have stories to share!
Pacificon Game Expo was a multiple day affair, but unfortunately for us, we were only able to make Sunday. That was okay with us though, because one of the main things we really wanted to see was actually on Sunday morning: The RPG Design Workshop. It was an amazing list of designers in the room. Nole Lindroos and Chris Pramas from Green Ronin Publishing , Stephen Radney Macfarland from Paizo , the wonderful Sean Patrick Fannon from Evil Beagle Games and the amazing John Wick, among others.
The panel itself was wonderful and especially interesting, given that the creators and designers on it ran the gamut from those who worked at a major company to those who were doing it themselves, punk-rock style. Really awesome. But the best part for us happened after the panel was done.
First, we got to talk to Sean Patrick Fannon, who was pretty much the reason we had decided to come to the event. Sean and I had been talking via facebook for a while, since I became a fan of his after hearing him as a guest on the Gamer’s Tavern podcast . In person, I have to say that Sean is one of the nicest, most out-going guys you will ever meet. He greeted us, and made sure we were still coming to the special game session of Savage Rifts he had invited us to. More on that awesomeness later.
Then, we managed to corner John Wick. You see, years ago, John worked on a little game called Legend of the Five Rings for Alderac Entertainment Group. It is a fantasy version of feudal Japan mixed with a clan system that is like the houses of Game of Thrones, (though L5R came first). Joe and I have both been long-time admirers of Wick’s and, as I said I would on Friday, I had my copy of The Way of the Scorpion on me and asked Wick to sign it. Not only did he sign it, but he pulled from his backpack a copy of Blood and Honor a spiritual successor to L5R. Beautiful book. Amazing writing. But when I went to hand the book back to Wick, he pushed it back into my hands and told us it was for us. Needless to say, we were pretty touched.
Then, John asked if we wanted to go get lunch.
To make a long story short, we spent most of yesterday hanging with John Wick. I will tell you this. Wick is brilliant, creative, and funny as hell. That man has some really damn good Vampire stories in him. The most amazing thing for me is that Wick talks exactly how he writes. Sharp, insightful, brilliantly mad or madly brilliant. But always passionate. So here’s a huge thank you to John Wick for kicking it with us at Pacificon. You’ve been a big influence on Gelineau and King for years, and needless to say, you still are.
As the afternoon turned into evening, we said goodbye to Wick and sat and talked for a little bit, but we still had more greatness ahead of us. At 7pm, Sean Patrick Fannon came down to the lobby to collect us and brought us back to a room with a great round table for our session of Savage Rifts.
Sean introduced Joe and I to the rest of the table. Randy Mosiondz, a game designer who had worked on the original Savage Worlds rules and his wife Amy, and Jesse Heinig, a long-time game designer. All three were incredibly warm and welcoming to the two newbies at the table, helping Sean explain both the Savage Worlds ruleset to us and the specifics of the Rifts setting.
Sean put forward the characters that were available for the session. Amy chose a Wilderness Scout, who she named Calamity Jen. Randy selected the Ley-line walker, a spell slinging force of nature, who he called Aelfred Alharazad. Jesse chose the Mind Melter who he called Enoch Apocalypto. When it came for Joe to choose, he selected what is maybe the most iconic character type from Rifts: The Glitterboy. The Glitterboy is basically a giant Japanese anime style robot suit, like Robotech or Mobile Suit Gundam, armed with a gun so big that it requires him to lock himself into the ground before firing. He named his Glitterboy Sunshine. I chose the Cyber-Knight, a psychic warrior who is protected from technology and can manifest a psychic sword. His name was Animaeus Nox.
I won’t go into the specifics of the actual adventure, in case Sean is going to use the scenario at other cons, but it was fast, action-packed, and above all fun. The thing that struck me the most is that with the way the characters are designed, they all can do some amazing things. Every single turn, I would watch one of the players do something crazy cool with their character and be blown away. Until it was my turn, and I did something even cooler. And then the person after me did something even crazier.
It was mad and crazy and the whole thing was dialed up to “11” like a Spinal Tap amplifier. And it was a blast. So a huge shout out and thank to you to Sean Patrick Fannon for the invite and for running a kick ass session. Joe and I had a blast, and Savage Rifts is shaping up to be insane fun. And also a thank you to my fellow heroes of Castle Refuge, Joe, Amy, Randy, and Jesse. We kicked a lot of ass.
Pacifcon was awesome for us, made even better, like so many conventions are, by the incredibly cool people we met and got to hang out with. Can’t wait till we can do something like this again.