August 04, 2011

Gen Con Day 0

Last night at the Diana Jones Awards party, the clawed hand of the shadowy cabal, ably spokespersoned by Matt Forbeck, pointed its index finger at Jason Morningstar’s Fiasco, deeming it the year’s exemplar of excellence in gaming. This earns Jason the honor of being the first repeat winner of the DJA. And rightfully so—Fiasco fulfills the promise of Grey Ranks. Its excellence can be seen in its impact on the RPG scene: in the number of people excitedly playing it, and participating in its scenario generation culture. As such it earns its award not only for design but for community-building.

Some quarters have quibbled that no surprises lurked among this year’s nominees. However, it’s hard to say that it was a weak slate. And when we look back over the list of winners from a future vantage point, it’s hard to argue that Fiasco should have been set aside in favor of some quirkier choice.

Speaking of vast vistas of time, a curious but delightful apparition manifested at the party. Steve Jackson is back at Gen Con, for the first time in something like a decade. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in more ebullient form.

Another devoutly wished-for arrival: the print gods have smiled on Pelgrane. Ashen Stars (my new GUMSHOE game of freelance troubleshooting in a gritty space opera universe) made it to the show in its thick and full-color glory. Other books hot off the presses: Dead Rock Seven, a collection of four ready-to-play scenarios for Ashen Stars, and Out of Time, a collection of non-1930s Trail of Cthulhu adventures appearing for the first time in paper format.

So I’m off to the new exhibit hall to hold Ashen Stars in my hands for the first time, and to warm up my signing hand for 400+ Stellar Nursery Edition signatures. If you’re here at the show, be sure to stop by.

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