Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dear Mandy We Won Some Ennies

Stokely and Stoya say hi

11:10 AM Fri Aug 6

Dear Mandy,

Before I say anything else, I promised James I'd say this:

Maze of the Blue Medusa Just Won 3 Ennies & Is At Booth 3002. They'll be gone before Christmas so get two, actually. Ok...

Anyway, except for the noise of this keyboard, it's very quiet in room 387. There is some very light snoring coming from the bed, I can't tell if it's Stoya or Stokely.

It's muggy in Indianapolis, a lot things are painted either beige or cream. Otherwise it could be anywhere.

I was at a party last night with the Playing At The World guy and of course he read that Robin Laws book about the history of the Gen Con. I asked him if anything had ever happened at the convention and he corkscrewed up his face thinking and then said "Well, Magic The Gathering was announced here".

I mention this for the following reason: I've seen men decide to spend their lives driving around the country freezing insects, I have seen men claim in all seriousness that a stick figure is ableist, I have seen them say the most stressful part of Dungeons & Dragons is picking a name,  I've seen the news basically ignore a mad throat-cutter in Japan taking out 19 people last week, I've seen a married, mentally ill, asexual mom get paid to write about sex for years. Some of these people are here. Some of them in an official capacity where they might have access to box cutters. So it doesn't seem completely out of the realm of 2016 America that I will be murdered at Gen Con. We are in the nerdiest place in the world (check attendance figures: maybe in history) and people care about very strange things, and there are no metal detectors. But it seems unlikely. Gen Con is not, as a rule, rich with incident--it would be wildly out of character. Plus the girls' cameraphones are--through some witchery I cannot as yet penetrate--always charged. So worry less. I'll probably survive, and after that eight days in the Balkans making some kind of pornography.

Everyone has been very kind. Within 15 minutes of appearing at my first con, 3 fans came up, one of whom said I got him his first girlfriend. I'd taken out the title page to his Maze and written "Glad I could get you laid, thanks for..." when he told me it unfortunately hadn't gotten that far yet. There are virgins here. It's kind of like AVN that way. He, at least, was very young. The only scary thing about cons is when you see in someone's face that this is all they have. I always think the best people who work in fantasy--the Jack Vances, the Dave Arnesons, the Jean-Luc Godards, the Scrap Princesses--they show how this can be an organic part of something else.

The only clear imperative in Indianapolis is to find a decent bar, preferably one with brass fittings and pickle chips and one of those bartenders who doesn't know anything about games but asks questions anyway. I don't really know what their specialty is in Indianapolis besides beef--I'm unconsciously imagining it's apples because of the name but that's stupid. It's nice once in a while though to go into a situation not really wanting anything.

Whenever I leave town, Anne starts to get maternal -- she's already checked that I had enough toilet paper for the two days I'll be back before I head out to Croatia, and made sure that I had condoms. She spent the last hour of the trip sewing up holes in these jeans. You will be pleased to know  downtown Los Angeles has become yet more Blade Runner in your absence--Spring street now has a wonderful blue neon sign: just numbers. Hannah is playing a chameleon woman Paladin--her third character in four sessions, Morgan has a witch with one hit point per level forever at least until her Constitution goes up.

Connie played a sea elf wizard and took off just before I did, leaving behind the Visible Woman and a copy of the Canticle for Liebowitz. Stacy is doing the lord's work at Contessa, had to get up fuck-all early. She was nominated for the Diana Jones and, like Vornheim, didn't get it--a guy at dinner said "Hey, I lost the Diana Jones to Wil Wheaton".

We've had some interesting Lyft drivers--the first one was a championship bicycle racer who'd been chased by a fox. I think the other three were religious, I forgot walking around Indiana with an upside-down cross on your shirt is kind of a thing. Stokes is good at distracting people, though--she's been an invaluable asset. It's funny seeing her next to people dressed as Harley Quinn. Stoya's shy with strangers but super into obscure RPG trivia.

The Ennies round up: Feng Shui and Kenneth Hite won almost everything that we didn't. Nobody shitty won anything. Overwhelmingly glasses guys, Shanna Germain and like 3-4 other women won stuff, Mark Diaz Truman was the only not-white person, so far as I know. Stoya got bored with the lack of diversity and told Stokes to fingerbang her, but Stokes just played with her nipples.

I thanked Anton, Patrick, and Satan. If I'd had more time up there I would've thanked you--a lot of this stuff is just about keeping you entertained. Please get well soon.

But anyway no assassins, and it's been 16 hours and still no Internet lynchmobs. It's probably not completely over (we'll see around the announcement of The Big Thing this fall) but the goblins seem demoralized even if they'll never give up attacking us completely. The facts are on our side but you never talk and I make a terrible victim.

Hunter S Thompson said "You'll be flogged for being right and flogged for being wrong and it hurts both ways but it doesn't hurt as much when you're right"--so they'll always hurt more than we do. They'll always be good at performing pain because theirs will always be accompanied by the creeping suspicion that they're just being idiots.

In the end the basic rule serves better than most more detailed instructions: whatever they tell you to do, don't do it.

I love you. We won. Again.



Jomo Rising said...

Well done.

Adamantyr said...


As usual, the haters talk big on the Internet but come up short in real life.

Timothy S. Brannan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Timothy S. Brannan said...

Congrats! Thanks again for signing my Maze of the Blue Medusa. My 16 year old son was impressed that knew someone that knew Stoya. So you scored me some "Cool Dad" points.

Mick said...


Jesse R Davis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jesse R Davis said...

That's Awesome! Congratulations.

Brett Slocum said...

I really glad. Congrats.

Rusty said...

Congratulations to you and Patrick!

Unknown said...

Nerds and geeks! Just gentle people who tell each other stories and dream through the mythic heroes journey. And your love is pure like rock salt chewing up ice.

I wrote for Dave Arneson. He carried wonder with him his whole life. Thanks for your game. It's outstanding.

Unknown said...

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Kyorou said...

Congratulations, Zak. You earned those awards.

Ramón Nogueras said...

Congratulations. And my best wishes for Mandy :)

Lupis42 said...


It was a pleasure to meet you, Charlotte and Stoya. Glad to hear you're having a good con, and best wishes to Mandy.

GameDaddy said...

Well Done! Always good to see recognition and success combined for making good new adventures & supplements! Best wishes for more awesome years ahead!

Vandel Arden said...

Congratulations to Patrick and you. Its a great book.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on your wins! Thank you for creating something that makes me want to play RPGs.

Stokely was a formidable distraction (pretty sure there were several collisions in the traffic around LotFP booth during your stay there).

Thank you for being you (not sure if I imagined you being different or not) and taking the time to come out and do signings. Enjoy your time in Croatia.

Unknown said...

Wow I merited a mention as the person emblematic of the nerdiness and virginity of the attendees of gen-con I'm am unsure whether to be amazed or offended
(Slight clarification me and the girl in question were together for just shy of a month which may or may not make it better)

aaronparr said...

Sold. Great post.

I broke down and got this book tonight. Told you I wouldn't because I have so many books already, but this is too damn good to miss.

Congrats, and good luck to you and yours.

coderodent said...

I didn't know you could channel Hunter S. Thompson, and then you quoted him so we knew it was no accident. Good luck not getting assassinated.

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