A Letter from Gigi
By Gigi D'Arn
Adventure gaming news and gossip from the nosiest gamer-reporter in the world.
WOW! You're publishing again. Good luck.
So how do you make a million dollars in gaming? Start with two!
Once a gamer, always a gamer, I guess.
I too have been out of gaming for 17 years. It renewed my interest when one of my latest beau's kids told me he played Dungeons & Dragons and started telling me about it. I too thought the hobby was dead. I guess d20 revived the industry.
Not that a whole lot of people are making a living out of it. Yes, I have noticed, cheap computerized publishing has generated a mountain of crap that has hurt the whole market. But then, they were saying that back when Gutenberg invented movable type.
Too bad GDW is no longer around. I hear MARC MILLER's Traveller is now published by Steve Jackson Games as GURPS supplements at the rate of six per year.
And GREG STAFFORD is teaching English in Mexico with his wife. Imagine that!
It's very nice of you to publish the d20 version of ROB KUNTZ's Maze of Zayene Part 4: Eight Kings. At least some people at Necromancer Games, who published the first three books, are glad that it's finally out. You should get credit for letting them off the hook.
Rob's "Maure Castle" appeared in Dungeon #112 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. The issue did so well that it broke all sales records for the magazine. ERIK MONA, editor-in-chief, is signing up Rob to do six more installments in the next year.
M.A.R. BARKER will have his fabulous Tekumel world published with yet another role-playing system, this time with Guardians of Order. I hear it is supposed to be out December 2004. You can find his latest fiction at Zottola Publishing, www.zotpub.com.
There's been a big shake-up at GAMA this past year, but it's so ho-hum, I won't bother you with the details.
Don't worry about me writing columns for other publications. As long as you have those compromising photos of me, I won't consider it.
ORIGINS 2004 REPORT
I wasn't there, but I heard a lot of good things about this year's Origins. It took place in late June at Columbus, Ohio. Official attendance was 13,980.
Did you hear? DAVE ARNESON was at the WotC booth at Origins and one of their minions asked him "Would you like to learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons?"
MIKE STACKPOLE also reported the above story in his column in the Comics & Games Retailer, along with the following two items:
The Origins Awards on Friday night were attended by Hall of Famers CHARLES ROBERTS, JOHN HILL, JAMES DUNNIGAN, REDMOND SIMONSEN, RICK LOOMIS, GREG STAFFORD, SANDY PETERSEN, and the aforementioned DAVE ARNESON. A night to remember, for sure!
Kenzer & Company lost their cash box containing over $600 at Origins. Some gamers found it and, naturally, they returned it intact with all the money. Trust gamers, they are your friends.
GENCON INDY 2004 REPORT
The local TV news actually reported that the NY Jets, who were playing a pre-season football game with the Colts in Indianapolis that weekend, had a hard time finding hotel rooms because of all the gamers in town.
Who was it that called you to tell you that Different Worlds could not get an exclusive at GenCon because it was not listed in Games Quarterly? This effectively means that GenCon does not give exclusives to new publishers. How inane!
Did anyone recognize me in my new turtle-shell prescription sunglasses at GenCon Indy? I was in the Indianapolis area attending my niece's wedding on Saturday so I was able to drop by on Sunday for a few hours.
The first thing I noticed as I entered the exhibit hall were all the big corporate booths. Role-playing hasn't died, it's been taken over by big businesses pushing collectible cards and plastic miniatures.
It was great to see all those gamers playing in the huge gaming halls, though. I even noticed a few munchkins playing role-playing games.
Funny, the Chaosium folks did not stick around Thursday night for the ENnies Awards because they taught they weren't nominated for anything. As it turns out they were, and they won for Cthulhu Dark Ages! Imagine their surprise when they were handed the award the next day.
What do you mean LOU ZOCCHI is still alive? I thought he passed away years ago. I didn't notice him at the Gamescience booth.
Rumour's back! But then, he never really went away. He says WotC is working to release D&D 4th edition at GenCon Indy 2006. And will they pull the d20 license at that time? What is that I smell?
Thank you for letting me report that when DAVE ARNESON first saw you at GenCon, the first thing he said to you was "I miss California." Dave lives in Florida and the eye of Hurricane Charley reportedly went over where he lived. It's a wonder that he made it to GenCon at all! But then, he probably couldn't wait to get away from all the devastation.
MIKE STACKPOLE is looking fit. Your photo shows that he has lost weight since we last saw him. He is unattached and available, ladies.
Dundjinni looks great! The game mapping software was sold-out by the time I got to their booth. Check it out at www.dundjinni.com.
By the time I got to GameStation's booth for a free t-shirt they were out. Bad vibes.
But the nice person at Rackham was still handling out Confrontation t-shirts. Since they only had XXLs left, he also game me a GenCon special edition miniature. Kudos to the good guys!
Can anyone tell me why Games Workshop did not exhibit at GenCon Indy this year? Gigi is salivating to know.
Another no-show: Gary Gygax.
Politicking at GenCon Indy:
EN World should put the designer's name on their awards, not just the publisher's. I really feel they deserve the credit also. But then, do I see Mongoose and Green Ronin stacking the deck for next year's nominations?
Now that we have collectable card games and collectable miniatures, is it time for collectable board games? GREG COSTIKYAN thinks so.
Congratulations to WALTER H. HUNT on his third Dark Wing novel from Tor Science Fiction. Walter is co-author of several Thieves' Guild and Haven modules from the early 1980s. He has his own website, check out www.walterhunt.com.
The GenCon folks are really pushing GenCon SoCal in early December this year. Attendance was poor at the first one last year, to say the least, probably because it was too close to Christmas. Now that I reside in Colorado, don't look for my attendance.
Gigi's "My Life & Role Playing" article, "Life as a Non-Player Character," appears in issue 31 of Different Worlds.
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