Game Convention Blurbs

On his blog, Ryan Macklin — game writer, podcaster, and producer — has some very good thoughts about how to write a good game “blurb”  for advertising at a convention and, I would add, for weekly games too.

I’m not going to repeat his ideas here, I’d rather you read it from him, but I also want to point quickly to some thoughts I jotted down here some time ago on running a con game, including writing game blurbs.

Having recently prepared the convention for Dragonflight for the fourth year in a row, I can tell you that most GMs don’t put enough effort into their game pitch.  It’s often unclear, too long and verbose, or merely grabbed from an online review (like those from RPG Geek and Board Game Geek).  When you scroll through the list of games, it doesn’t make your eye and brain stop on the description.

Despite what Ryan describes, I get most of my convention players from people who liked the game description (and friends, of course.)  I always make sure my game blurb doesn’t look like “second verse, same as the first!”


Game On!

Happy New Year and new decade, gamers!  It’s 2011 and once again I ask: Where the heck is my jetpack? my Moon Base? my time machine?  Until they materialize (ha-ha), I will have to continue gaming, I guess.

What did you play this past year?  What do you plan on playing in the coming one?  In 2010 my own game time and access were much reduced, but I got t try a few new system and continue with other games including:

  • Green Ronin’s Dragon Age
  • Pelgrane Press’ Skulduggery
  • Evil Hat Productions’ Dresden Files
  • Triple Ace Games’ Sundered Skies for Savage Worlds
  • Contested Ground Studio’s Hot War
  • Ronin Arts’ vs. Outlaws
  • Black Library’s Dark Heresy setting, in Pinnacle Entertainment Games’  Savage Worlds system
  • Moon Design’s Heroquest 2, in the Holistic Press’ Fading Suns setting

2011 started with a new episode of Dresden Files yesterday and it looks like more Savage Heresy, more Dragon Age, and a mini-series of Shadowrun 4 will cover the next few weeks, at least.

What about you?

VCON 34 – Oct 2-4, 2009

The following post is an announcement received from Jenni Merrifield at VCON in Vancouver, BC. The convention sounds like a lot of fun!


My name is Jenni Merrifield and I have recently taken over the role of Games Coordinator for VCON 34. I am sending out this message to gamers and gaming groups primarily in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest as a call to action – by promoting the VCON games room and filling you in on some of the incentives available for gamers in general and anyone interested in hosting game events during the convention I hope to encourage you and all your friends to come out to our event!

Quick Summary for the “TLDR” crowd

  • VCON is Western Canada’s longest running science fiction, fantasy and gaming fan convention, held in the Vancouver, BC, Canada metropolitan area every October. VCON 34 is Oct 2-4, 2009. Details at
  • VCON 34’s games room is open 24 hours and has scheduled game events, drop in games, and free-play tables available.
  • There is a reduced price pass for those who are primarily interested in gaming scene and do not intend to attend other scheduled programming.
  • More hosts are needed to run scheduled game events during core programming hours – any host who commits to at least 4 hours of game events is eligible for a discounted membership rate.
  • The VCON 34 Games Coordinator is looking to connect with individuals with almost any significant connection to the table top or video gaming industries who would be interested in attending the con as a programming guest and participating in game related programming.

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Roleplaying as art – a collaborative project

I have been thinking a lot about art lately – doing photography, participating in an online art group, reading books on the subject, doodling – all that sort of thing.  I suppose that it was inevitable that sooner or later I would start thinking about the relevance of creativity and expression in the art form of roleplaying.

An interesting sort of project I have tried with other art forms is the collaboration, a work created by several individuals who all contribute to the completion of the project.  As gamers, we are all familiar with this sort of creative work in the form of campaigns that are created collaboratively, or via round-robin GMing.

I thought it might be interesting to tackle the design of a long-term campaign as a collaboration, but to do it in a slightly different light – as an art project, a n exercise in creativity, rather than as something that was being designed to throw in front of players at some point as “my new campaign!  Wanna play?  Pleeease?”

So I wrote up my ideas, made a few creative decisions, and set up a web page for it here on the ECG website.  As the project progresses (and I hope it will) I will be posting here with updates.

I would like to get as much input as possible on all steps of the process.  Mostly I am going to be setting up polls at important branching points for the project, but I would also welcome inputs in the form of comments, recommendations, suggestions, etc.

I have set up the webpage for the collaborative project here. Please check it out and follow the links to the first poll!

I look forward to seeing how this pans out!

– Edmund

What do you think of this monkey?

Here’s a preview of the art for this year’s Emerald City Gamefest (click on the image to see larger version).

At the last Gamefest planning meeting, we decided to go with “frugal monkey” as the theme for our November 2009 game day. We figured that in these crappy economic times, a free game day was pretty good!

I’ve been asked to draw our flying monkey mascot accordingly, and I just came up with a draft (with my apologies to Norman Rockwell.)

All comments, critiques, suggestions, etc. are welcomed!

East End RPG Meetup group

Meetup Reminder
The Eastside RPG Meetup Group
Your group has a Meetup tomorrow!
You still need to RSVP.

Gamers gathering

Saturday, July 18, 2009 12:00 PM


Wizards Toy Box Game Club
16213 NE 18th St. Belleuve
Bellevue WA 98008

For more information, to subscribe, or to RSVP, go to the East End RPG Meetup group website.

Dragonflight pre-convention program

CoverThe pre-convention program for the 2009 edition of the Dragonflight convention is now posted.  It offers a snapshot of the games scheduled to date.  It’s sure to change quite a bit by the time of the convention but hopefully it will whet your appetite!

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