I’m in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the GenCon game convention, so updates are a little slow these days. The show is going well for Pagan Publishing. We’re selling plenty of stuff and having fun. Weirdly enough, we have something like eight people at our booth this year–friends from Catalyst Studios and Hawthorn Hobgoblynn who are sharing some of our table space. The result is that I’m spending very little time in the booth–when I go there, the place is packed with people and merchandise. So I just wander off again. Pretty sweet! Much of my days seems to be spent connecting with friends and planning the evening’s events. And of course today I slept until 1pm after two late nights of carousing.

Our booth is directly across from a card game called Ninja Wars. I can’t stop laughing about this. Ninja Wars! Well, they do own the night. They also sell rubber throwing stars and big ninja sticks to beat people up with. Beginning on the second day they started offering free candy and pop to gamers who agreed to play a demo. You know, if it puts butts in seats I guess you might as well do it.

But really. Ninja Wars! Oh man.

There’s not much here I have any interest in. The new games on the market don’t do anything for me. They’re probably fine, but there’s nothing at the show I’m excited about. WotC’s new miniatures game Chainmail is curious–its core style of play uses a mechanic whose design is probably more sophisticated than its players are likely to understand. On the surface, it seems restrictive and manipulative; but the rationale is pretty sound. The question is whether players will realize that this apparent loss of control has interesting and thoughtful reasons behind it–and whether this style actually results in more fun for the players. I think they’re walking something of a fine line and it’ll be interesting to see where the game falls.

Beyond that design issue…well, my eyes just glaze over as I walk the aisles filled with lackluster product after lackluster product. GenCon’s charms have really paled for me. What I like is being at our booth, talking to the people who play my games, and spending time with my friends in the business whom I don’t get to see very often. The rest of it just takes up space.

In two weeks I’ll be at Necronomicon in Providence, Rhode Island. That should be fun. I’m looking forward to it–a nice small convention with friends and fun. Aaron Vanek’s film The Yellow Sign, which I scripted, is supposed to play there in a not-quite-finished-but-almost-there version. I’m eager to see it.

Well, that’s enough of this. Soon I’m going to a birthday party for Matt Forbeck, an awfully nice guy. Should be fun.