Dragonlance Nexus News Issue #41: 8/23/2004
WELCOME TO THE INN
Greetings, friends and fellow companions, and welcome back to another exciting issue of the Dragonlance News!
I'm back from GenCon, much to the relief of my family, and have some highlights to share with those who didn't make it. So grab your hoopaks, my friends. The portal to adventure awaits!
My friend Kenneth (aka Uncle Lockspringer) and I traveled from Kansas City to Indianapolis on Thursday. It was a good trip, filled with good times and good music. Luckily, there wasn't as much road construction this year, so the trip went fairly quickly, all things considered.
We arrived towards the end of the day on Thursday and met up at the Sovereign Press booth. We saw many old friends from Sovereign Press and the Whitestone Council, and had a wonderful reunion. I got my copies of War of the Lance and Towers of High Sorcery at that time. There's nothing like seeing a book in print. The remainder of the evening was spent catching up with the rest of the Whitestone Council at dinner.
The funny part was when we walked to the hall in the first place. A gentleman was on the street corner giving out free coupons to the barbeque place that he worked for. He told us that it was the best barbeque around. Kenneth and I looked at the gentleman and corrected him of the error of his ways by informing him that we were from Kansas City. I'm sure the food was good, but never tell someone from Kansas City that you have the best barbeque around!
THE CONVENTION HALL
Friday morning, we toured the convention hall. It was just amazing to see how large this convention had grown. We saw many of the big name publishers there, and caught up with other old friends as well.
I had one fantastic moment when I met Marc Singer, the Beastmaster himself. I have to say that he is a fantastic guy, and was very welcoming. It's always good to meet a celebrity who appreciates his fans. What I didn't tell him was that the Beastmaster was the basis for a Kagonesti elf I once played.
I have to commend the people in costume as well. There was a female stormtrooper, Gandalf the Grey, Jango Fett, and tons of other costumes as well.
MARGARET WEIS RECEPTION
Friday night was nothing short of a reception commemorating 20 years of the Mistress of Dragons herself, Margaret Weis. It was a grand occasion, where many of her colleagues from the last 20 years spoke about Margaret and what impact she has had on many peoples' lives. Tracy Hickman, Peter Archer, Larry Elmore, and Jamie Chambers (amongst others) spoke about her character and her talent, and just what a wonderful human being she is.
While I didn't speak there, I did want to share one of my own testimonies about Margaret. The Whitestone Council had been working on Dragonlance in 3rd edition for about a year, when one day I get an e-mail from Margaret asking what my phone number was so that she could tell me some wonderful news. Somehow, I already knew what the news would be, yet it didn't seem real until she told me that Sovereign Press had received the license to produce Dragonlance gaming products. As she talked to me, she told me that she wanted to keep the Whitestone Council involved.
To this day, the Whitestone Council is working with Sovereign Press on Dragonlance gaming products. My thanks go to Margaret for recognizing our efforts and keeping us all involved.
BESTIARY TAKES TWO SILVER ENNIES
One of the greatest bits of news came in the form of the Ennies. The Bestiary of Krynn was nominated for three Ennies total. While it didn't win for best licensed product, it did take the silver for best monster supplement and best interior art.
Congratulations go to everyone who worked on the book, and especially to Cam Banks and André La Roche. Cam and André are a big part of the Whitestone Council, and it makes me proud to see two guys who have worked hard rise through the ranks of fandom to achieve this point. Please join me in congratulating Cam and André, and please offer congratulations on the boards.
Tracy Hickman is a good portion of why I go to GenCon. He is so creative and entertaining.
Tracy is well known for his Killer Breakfast. This year's theme was Dragonlance: the Musical. There's no better way to start such an event than by killing Margaret Weis, Jamie Chambers, and the Whitestone Council!
We of course began Killer Breakfast in the Inn of the Last Home. Margaret tried to bribe Tracy by writing another Raistlin book with him, but to no avail! When Tracy came to me, I said that no inn is complete without its bard, and that I had come to sing a song. I wrote the following just the night before (with apologies to Chuck Berry).
Way down at GenCon in downtown Indy
Tracy was doing the "Chuck Berry Strut" with his double-bladed lightsaber as I did my own rendition of "Johnny B. Goode". I couldn't quite make it to the chorus, as I was laughing so hard, but the crowd seemed to like it.
It didn't save me. I died. Even a complete collection of the Legend of Huma comic book series didn't save me.
Tracy held several seminars as well. I made it to his Bronze Canticles seminar, which was awesome. Folks, this series is going to blow you away.
WEIS AND HICKMAN TRAVELING ROAD SHOW
When Dragonlance was first created, Margaret and Tracy used to put on these productions where actors would act out portions of Dragons of Autumn Twilight in order to drum up interest in Dragonlance.
Twenty years later, the Weis and Hickman Traveling Road Show was reborn. It's so hard to describe in words just how great this was. Goldmoon's song was fantastic, and she had the best costume. Janet Pack, the original Tasslehoff, reprised her role and was a hoot to see. She had the voice down quite well. Jamie Chambers played Tanis, and Sean Everette was a very striking Sturm. Laura Hickman was Bupu, and Chris Pierson played a number of roles, including Hederick. One of my favorites was Peter Archer, who made a very good Flint. Of course, the showstopper was Tracy Hickman as Fizban the Fabulous.
The night ended with a question and answer session, and a mock sword battle. Tracy also played some of the musical numbers from Killer Breakfast.
AMBER AND ASHES
One of the big releases at GenCon was Ashes and Amber, the first book in the Dark Disciple trilogy. It arrived a bit late, but when it got there, it left just as quickly. The book sold out in an hour.
The Lyceum is an adventure Tracy wrote years ago for Dragonlance that has never seen print – until now. The Lyceum is the sample adventure in the back of War of the Lance, updated to 3rd edition by Cam Banks. It also served as the demo game at GenCon.
I won't spoil the adventure for anyone, but I will say I had a blast running it. Two of my players were dubbed "original recipe and extra crispy". Read the adventure, and you'll find out why.
I wanted to thank everyone who played. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
FACES IN THE CROWD
There were many people I saw around the convention hall, including game designers and regulars online. I'll list as many as I can remember, and I'll apologize upfront if I missed anyone.
Authors, artists, and game designers include Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Jamie Chambers, Renae Chambers, Sean Everette, Richard Knaak, Chris Pierson, Tonya Cook, Paul Thompson, Peter Archer, Janet Pack, Larry Elmore, Jeff Easley, Clyde Caldwell, Cam Banks, André La Roche, Sean Macdonald, Joe Mashuga, and yours truly.
Some of the fans from the boards I met were Talinthas, Green Cloaked Sorcerer, Red Robed Wizard, Black Robed Archmage (see a theme?), and Reverend Jake.
I enjoyed speaking with everyone, and had a blast.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
I'm sure I missed some things here or there. There's just way too much going on at GenCon to report. Be sure to stop by Dragonlance.com's new forums at http://www.dragonlanceforums.com/forums/ and talk to some of the other people who attended. I'm sure they've all got many exciting experiences to share.
It's hard to believe that Dragonlance is 20 years old. There are times we thought it wouldn't quite make it, yet Dragonlance endures, and is stronger than ever. It is a good time to be a Dragonlance fan.
Here's to the next 20 years of Dragonlance.
Long Live the Lance!