Dragon Con 2018

I’m doing my best to stay busy. In addition to releasing the Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron, I’ve recently posted articles about The Aurum and The City of Silver and Bone, and contributed to the Sharn adventure Curtain Call. But wait, there’s more! This weekend I’m going to be at Dragon Con 2018 in Atlanta, talking about a diverse range of topics. If you see me around, feel free to say hello! I always love meeting people and I love to talk about the things I create, so please don’t be shy.

I’m participating in a total of six panels this year. Here’s the list.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31

Board Game Design (11:30 AM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

How does one design a board game? Our experts talk about designing a board game from start to finish. Find out how a designer goes from creating the game on paper to getting it on the shelf! (Keith Baker, Bill Fawcett, Thomas Michael Gofton)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Advanced Game Mastery (2:30 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

Here we talk next-level tips & tricks for gamemasters. We talk about enhancing roleplay, speeding up combat, and enhancing the experience overall. A great panel for both beginners and veterans! (Keith Baker, Brianne Marie, Jason Massey)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

Kill, Stab, Squash! Character Death in the Campaign! (1 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

We talk about character death in the campaign. How do different people handle it? How often should it be present in a campaign? Is there such a thing as a game that’s too lethal—or not lethal enough? (Keith Baker, Jason Buhlman, Kenneth Hite)

Ultimate Game Mastery (4 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

Here we talk about the great games we have played and how to bring that epic-ness to your own table. (Keith Baker)

The Investigative Game (5:30 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

How do you set up a mystery? How do you create clues for players to follow? What about investigative characters? Can investigative games exist in a magical universe like D&D? Find out! (Keith Baker, Kenneth Hite)

Eberron Returns! (7:00 PM, Westin Augusta 1-2)

Join the originator of the famed Eberron setting to talk about its return to the world of Dungeons & Dragons. (Keith Baker)

If you’re going to Dragon Con, I hope to see you at some of these! If you have any questions, post them below.

What’s Keith Up To?

I’ve been traveling ever since the release of the Wayfinders Guide to Eberron and I’m only just getting caught up on things. Here’s of a few of the things I’m doing…
Beyond that, of course, I’m dealing with all the challenges of everyday life (the pipes burst in my kitchen sink!) and playing in and running a few Eberron games (I’m hoping my envoy didn’t cause the Mourning by killing someone on the dance floor in Metrol, but I won’t know for certain until the next adventure).
All this has slowed down my production speed on the website. I’m working on an article about common magic, as requested by the Inner Circle patrons. But that’s a big thing and it’s going to take a while to really get it right. In the meantime, I want to publish more SHORT posts on the site. Rather than doing two long posts each month, I’d like to be posting a few short posts each week.
So, what is it you’d like to see? I’m looking at topics that can be covered in no more than four paragraphs and don’t require a lot of cross referencing. So I could answer a single interesting question, or a might post a table like Why Do You Need 200 GP or Falling in Sharn.
If you’ve got some short-answer questions or hook requests, post them below! And if you’ll be at DragonCon, Rose City Comic Con, or Level Eater, make sure to say hello!

GenCon 2018

I’m getting ready for GenCon, and I hope I’ll see some of you there. Here’s what I’m up to.

ILLIMAT AND TWOGETHER STUDIOS

I’ll be at Booth 2667 for much of the convention. This is where my company, Twogether Studios, will be demonstrating our game Illimat. This is a neo-classic card game we created in conjunction with the band The Decemberists; it’s familiar and mysterious at the same time. And if you’re an Eberron player, you can check out this article about using Illimat in Eberron! We’ll be doing demos all weekend, but we also have a special promotion. Each day, the first 25 people to purchase an Illimat product receive a copy of the limited edition Rusalka Luminary, pictured above! This is ONLY at Booth 2667. We’ll also be demoing my game Action Cats at Booth 1552, and you can buy either game at either location, but you can only get the Rusalka at Booth 2667.

EBERRON EVENTS

There’s two Eberron events on the GenCon Schedule.

Exploring Eberron with Keith Baker (Friday, 11 AM – Noon; Lucas Oil Mtg Rm 4)

The D&D setting of Eberron is a world of magic, pulp adventure, and noir intrigue. It’s been fifteen years since the Fantasy Setting Search that produced Eberron: join setting creator Keith Baker for a discussion of how Eberron came to be and how the world has evolved over the years! 

Inkwell Society Live! (Friday, 9 PM – 11 PM; Westin Grand Blrm I & II)

Within the seedy underbelly of Eberron metropolis, Sharn, the Inkwell Society follows the path of broken, beleaguered level zeroes who would kill for a little class, but when their rise collides with the Dream Lily cartels, they find the streets they roam are anything but home. Don’t miss DM Ruty Rutenberg unfold the next installment of the Inkwell Society LIVE at Gen Con 2018!

Both of these events have limited space, so if you’re interested, get your tickets now!

SIGNING

I’ll be doing a single signing session: Thursday from 3 PM4 PM at Booth 2667. 

WRITER’S SYMPOSIUM

I’m participating in the GenCon Writer’s Symposium this year. It’s a great program, and I’m doing four different session.

  • Convincing Aliens (Thursday, 11 AM – Noon; Marriott – Atlanta Room)
  • Finding Inspiration (Thursday, 4 PM – 5 PM; Marriott – Ballroom 1)
  • Dealing With Imposter Syndrome (Friday, 10 AM – 11 AM; Marriott – Atlanta Room)
  • When Fantasy Jumps The Shark (Friday, 3 PM – 4 PM; Marritott – Austin Room)

Most of these are already sold out, but there’s always the chance that there will be empty seats!

Whether we play a hand of Illimat or talk about Eberron, I hope to see you at GenCon!

Upcoming Events

The Illimat Road Tour continues!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30th: WELL PLAYED in ASHEVILLE, NC

Well Played is a fantastic game cafe in Asheville, North Carolina. Jenn and I will be there from 7 PM to 10 PM teaching Illimat, and we’ll have Action Cats and Scott Pilgrim there as well. Plus, they make a surprisingly good grilled mac’n’cheese sandwich!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 31st: THE ROOK & PAWN in ATHENS, GA

On Thursday, the Illimat tour continues at The Rook & Pawn. We’ll be there from 6 PM – 9 PM! I haven’t been to The Rook & Pawn yet so I can’t give food recommendations, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

SEPTEMBER 1st – SEPTEMBER 3rd: DRAGONCON, ATLANTA, GA

Friday through Sunday I’m a guest at DragonCon in Atlanta. You can find me at the following events, and if you’re going to DragonCon you can get more details about them in the DragonCon app!

  • RAISING THE STAKES, Friday 5:30 PM. 
  • ALL ABOUT DRAGONS, Friday 7 PM
  • KEITH BAKER: WORLDS & GAMES, Saturday 11:30 AM
  • WORLD BUILDING 101, Saturday 2:30 PM
  • MONSTER ECOLOGY, Sunday 2:30 PM
  • MAD SCIENTIST GAME MASTERY, Sunday 4:00 PM
  • GAMING LIKE ROCKSTARS, Sunday 7 PM
  • THE GAMING CAFE, Sunday 8:30 PM

SEPTEMBER 7th: MYSTERY BREWING PUBLIC HOUSE in HILLSBOROUGH, NC

Join Jenn and I for beer and Illimat at the awesome Mystery Brewing!

I’ll post more events next week! If you have questions, post them below.

GenCon 2017 & Cassette Tape Challenge!

I’m currently in an ’84 Vanagon heading across North Dakota on my way to GenCon! I’ll be on the road for the next six weeks, visiting conventions and game cafes and demoing my latest games! I’m posting my Gen Con schedule below and I’ll let you know about my upcoming stops soon, but I do have a challenge for anyone going to GenCon. This old van I’m in has one way to play music: an old tape player. But as I live in the twenty-first century, I have no cassette tapes. If you’re coming to GenCon, have a cassette tape you can live without, and want to make the next six weeks more interesting for Jenn and I, give me a tape at one of my events!

Anyhow: Here’s where I’ll be at GenCon!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 17

Due to slow travel and poor weather, I’ll be arriving to GenCon Thursday afternoon, and will only be at one event… but it’s a good one!

5 pm – 8 pm: LEVEL UP – Art Inspired By Gaming Reception

Thursday night Twogether Studios is teaming up with the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art as part of a month-long exhibition of art inspired by and from games of all sorts. Come to Cathead Press to learn to play Illimat and to enjoy some fantastic art! I’ll be there the whole time, but feel free to drop in any time over the course of the event.

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 18

10 am – Noon: SPPLCG DEMOS (Renegade Games Booth)

You can find me at the Renegade Games booth, giving demos of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game and talking about the game!

Noon – 1 PM: SIGNING AT THE ONI BOOTH

At noon, I’ll head over to the Oni Press booth. They will have twenty copies of the convention-exclusive Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game that they’re planning to sell at this event (It’s going to be in very short supply). So if you want a copy and want me to sign it, show up early!

In the afternoon I’ll be playing games at a charity event organized by Worldbuilders. My table is already sold out, but there may be other tables still open!

4 PM – 5 PM: TABLETOP DESIGN – Make Fancy  Dumb Stuff!

Are you thinking about making a game that uses weird & unique materials but there is a voice in your head telling you to do something easier & simpler? Or even real people saying its way too complex or impractical? Stick with paper and plastic? Come hear from industry professionals who followed different paths and how those choices affected their games and sanity. Panelists include Jon Ritter of Lay Waste Games, WETA Workshop, and Jennifer Ellis of Twogether Studios!

 

SATURDAY, August 19th

NOON – 3 PM: SPPLCG DEMOS (Renegade Games Booth)

You can find me at the Renegade Games booth, giving demos of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game and talking about the game!

3 PM – 4 PM: ILLIMAT – SOCIETY OF LUMINARIES SECRET MEETING

Are a Society of Luminaries member or considering membership? Do you like card games & secret societies? Lively discussion about the game Illimat as well as special surprises for members & friends!

5 PM – 6:00 PM: KEITH’S TRADITIONAL HOTEL HANGOUT

Every year at Gen Con I spend an hour in the lobby of the Hyatt, talking with everyone who stops by about whatever people want to talk about. Do you have questions about Eberron? Illimat? Gloom? The exciting life of a game designer? Then drop by and chat! This is entirely informal: show up whenever you like and stay for as long as you want. Maybe I’ll stay past six. Maybe I won’t. You never know.

That’s all for now, but watch this space – I may add more events on the fly!

Phoenix, Twogether and PAX!

EPSON MFP imageAugust has been a busy month, but expect to see more content here next week. When I get back from PAX I’ll be posting the first in a series of Imperial Dispatches: articles expanding the world and setting of Phoenix: Dawn Command. I’ll also have news about general plans for expansion and support of Phoenix. 

In the meantime, you can find Phoenix at PAX: West! We’ll be exhibiting with Blackbox in the ACT Theater. This is attached to the convention center, but you don’t need a PAX badge to get in! Phoenix will be available for sale in the ACT theater throughout PAX, and co-designer Dan Garrison will be demoing the game from 10 AM – 2 PM each day. If you have questions or just want to pick up the game, this is your opportunity!

In addition, Twogether Studios will be demoing our next game in the same space. It’s a traditional card game that takes about 20 minutes to play, and we’ll be revealing more information about it over the next few days!

If you’re attending PAX Dev or PAX West, I’m participating in the following events:

PAX Dev: Thursday 2:15 – 3:15, Grand III

HEROIC SACRIFICE AND UNEXPECTED TRAGEDY

Heroic sacrifice and unexpected tragedy create some of the most memorable moments in fiction. But how can you work these into a game if death means the end of the story? When designing a game, how do you balance risk and consequence with the format of an RPG, CRPG or MMORPG? Join Keith Baker (Eberron, Gloom), Chris Avellone (Planescape: Torment, Divinity: OS 2), and Dan Garrison (Phoenix: DC) for a discussion about how death, defeat, and sacrifice can be part of a compelling game experience.

PAX West: Friday 6:30 – 7:30, Sasquatch Theatre

PHOENIX: DAWN COMMAND

You’re the last hope of a world besieged by nightmares. You may not survive the battle… but you’re a Phoenix, and death makes you stronger. Phoenix: Dawn Command is a roleplaying game from the creator of Gloom and Eberron, combining card-driven mechanics with collaborative storytelling and a unique approach to sacrifice and character growth. Join creators Keith Baker, Daniel Garrison and Jennifer Ellis for a discussion of the setting, system, and the three-year journey to create this game.

That’s it! I hope to see you at PAX!

 

Phoenix and GenCon 2016!

EPSON MFP image

First of all, PHOENIX IS IN THE WILD! If you’re on Twitter, let me know (@Hellcowkeith) when you get your copy! For those of you who didn’t back the Kickstarter, we’ll be bringing Phoenix to Gen Con 2016! If you want to find Phoenix at Gen Con, here’s a few opportunities.

  • Blackbox will be selling Phoenix in the Kickstarter Room (Room 143, near the Exhibit Hall). Supplies are limited!
  • You can play a two-hour demo of Phoenix. This is a short scenario using pregenerated characters, but it’s a chance to dive in and give it a try.
  • You can create a character. This is a one-hour event that takes you through the process of developing a character and a wing. Character creation is one of my favorite parts of the system, and you get a Phoenix notebook as a takeaway!
  • We’re holding a seminar about Phoenix on Friday. We’ll be talking about the system, the setting, and the three-year journey to get it out!
  • And finally, I’ll be talking about Phoenix at the Q&A with Keith! This is a casual conversation, so I’ll also be talking about Eberron, Gloom, and what’s in development!

I hope to see you there!

My GenCon Schedule

 

EPSON MFP imageWe’re closing in on the finish line for Phoenix: Dawn Command development, and artists Rich Ellis and Grace Allison surprised me with a portrait of my own for my birthday… which seems like an appropriate image as I prepared to set out for GenCon.

As Phoenix is still half a year away from release, we’re not doing extensive Phoenix demos at GenCon… Ace marshal Jeremiah Shepersky is running six sessions of Phoenix at GenCon, but they filled up very quickly. However, if you have questions about Phoenix or would like to see the prototype, come to my hangout on Saturday!

So, without further ado, here’s all the places you can find me at GenCon!

THURSDAY, JULY 30th

8 PM – 9 PM: THIS DORKINGTON LIFE

Hosted by the Damsels of Dorkington, “The Damsels & Friends tell their most epic, hilarious, & butt warming tales from their nerdy lives.” I will be telling a story and hanging out.

FRIDAY, JULY 31st

NOON – 1 PM: BUILDING GAMES IN THE GARAGE

“You’ve got a great idea for a game but how do you put together a prototype to find out if it works? First-hand advice on ways to make a game a reality.” Other panelists include James Ernest, Paul Peterson, Matt Forbeck and JT Smith. They know stuff.

1 PM – 2 PM: CREATIVE CHARACTER DESIGN

“Every game has a story. Every story has characters. Heroes are defined by their villains. How do you create compelling, thought provoking characters? Learn how with this panel of experts.” I’ll be discussing this topic with Andrew Peregrin, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and Bryan Tillman.

3 PM – 4 PM: TITANSGRAVE Q&A WITH WIL!

“Join a lively discussion with Wil Wheaton, Ryan Wheaton, Chris Pramas, & others, discussing the creation of Titansgrave RPG for the RPG Show!” This year I had the opportunity to help create Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. I’ll be talking about it with Wil Wheaton, who’s just this guy.

4 PM – 5 PM: THE DOWN LOW ON THE DOWNLOAD

The creator of Fluxx & the creator of Gloom discuss the ins & outs of hosting their new podcast, The Download.” Andy and I will actually be recording an episode live, and talking with one another and with anyone who shows up about whatever topics arise!

5 PM – 6 PM: THE VERY GLOOMIEST AFTERNOON TEA PARTY

“Join the anti-festivities as we mix Gloom, Cthulhu Gloom, Fairytale Gloom, and Munchkin Gloom for maximum despair. Depressing promos for all. BYOT to compete for the coveted Gloomiest Teacup Trophy.” The event starts at 4 PM, but due to the Download I won’t show up until five.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1ST

3 PM – 4 PM: ATLAS GAMES TELLS YOU HOW TO MAKE AWESOME RPGS

We like roleplaying games. Join us & fellow travelers including Keith Baker, Cam Banks, Robin D. Laws, John Nephew, & Jeff Tidball to talk about making great RPGs.”

4:30 PM – 6:30 PM: HANG OUT IN THE HYATT!

This one isn’t a GenCon Event – it’s an entirely informal thing I like to do. From 4:30 to 6:30 I’ll be hanging out in the lobby of the Hyatt. I plan to talk about Phoenix: Dawn Command, Eberron, Gloom and anything else people want to discuss. It’s completely informal – stop by any time and stay as long as you want!

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2ND

11 AM – NOON: WORLD DESIGN

“What’s the first step in creating a new world for fiction or gaming? We’ll look at the questions you need to answer & the different approaches you can take.” I’ll be tackling this topic with Brannon Boren, Lynne Hardy and Elsa Sjunneson Henry.

 

Phoenix & Gloom at Emerald City Comicon

I’m going to be at Emerald City Comicon this weekend demoing Gloom and Phoenix: Dawn Command. If you’d like to be in a Phoenix playtest, follow this link to find the available times! Otherwise, you can find me at the following times and places.

SATURDAY, March 28th

11 AM – 2 PM: Gloom, More Gloom and Phoenix. I’ll be in the Board Game demo area in the level 2 corral. Come try the prototypes of Fairy Tale Gloom or Munchkin Gloom, or see what Phoenix is all about.

7 PM – 9 PM: Q&A With Keith Baker. Join me for an informal discussion of Gloom, Eberron and Phoenix: Dawn Command. Bring questions! Or cookies! This is a casual Q&A – you can show up at any point and stay for as long as you want. This event will take place in the Level 3 A/B Lobby (near the back escalators on the third floor).

SUNDAY, March 29

2 PM: Prototyping Tabletop Games. Do you have an idea for a card or board game, but you don’t know how to make it? This workshop will discuss prototyping tools and techniques.

I hope I’ll see you there!

Upcoming Appearances: Gamestorm & ECCC

Here’s a quick head’s-up as to where I’ll be in the next few weeks and what I’ll be doing there.

From March 20-21st I will be at GAMESTORM in Vancouver, WA. Here’s my schedule of events:

FRIDAY, March 20

11 AM: Fear Of The Unknown. I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on invoking horror in RPGs, along with Jess Hartley, Anthony Pryor, Gwendolyn Kestrel and Scott Woodard.

12 PM: Game Mastering Tips. A panel with me, Rhiannon Louve and Andy Collins. Just what it says on the tin.

SATURDAY, March 21

9 AM: Let Your Players Do The Work. A panel on collaborative gaming, with myself, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Andy Collins and Rhiannon Louve.

11 AM: Phoenix: Dawn Command Q&A. Co-creator Dan Garrison and I will answer any and all questions about our card-based RPG. This is an unofficial event, so I’ll be announcing the location on Twitter (@Hellcowkeith) and Facebook Saturday morning.

12 PM: Building Your Own RPG World. Where do you start? How deep is too deep? What’s the value of drawing on our world vs unique and alien ideas? Andy Collins, Anthony Pryor and I will cover these topics and more in a two hour workshop.

2:30: Phoenix: Dawn Command. I’ll be running a three-hour demo of Phoenix. This is a four-person event and you’ll have to sign up in advance, but people are welcome to come take a look even if the table is full.

In addition to this, Phoenix co-creator Dan Garrison will be running sessions of Phoenix: Dawn Command at 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM. These are also four-person sessions, and you have to sign up in advance.

From March 27th-29th I will be at EMERALD CITY COMIC CON. My schedule there is more fluid, and I will be running Phoenix: Dawn Command demos throughout the weekend. We’ll be setting up advanced signups using the Phoenix: Dawn Command mailing list, so join that if you’d like to be informed about demo slots.

In addition to that, I have a few concrete events:

SATURDAY, March 28th

11 AM – 2 PM: Gloom, More Gloom and Phoenix. I’ll be in the Board Game demo area in the level 2 corral. Come try the prototypes of Fairy Tale Gloom or Munchkin Gloom, or get an overview of Phoenix!

7 PM – 9 PM: Q&A With Keith Baker. Join me for an informal discussion of Gloom, Eberron and my new RPG Phoenix: Dawn Command. Bring questions! Or cookies! Or both! This event will take place in the Level 3 3A/B Lobby (near the escalators on the third floor).

SUNDAY, March 29

2 PM: Prototyping Tabletop Games. Do you have an idea for a card or board game, but you don’t know how to make it? This workshop will discuss prototyping tools and techniques.

That’s it! Post below if you have questions about any of these events.