Chatty Shorts (and not Chatty’s Shorts, you pervs): Gen Con 2011

I’m so flooded in deliverables and projects that I can’t blog.  I promised I would post once a week and I will try my best to hold on to that promise.

So here’s a hyper condensed version of my Gen Con highlights.

Booze and Bars

Our annual Drunken D&D game (a mix of college drinking game with an actual, tailor-made D&D adventure)  was a huge success. We had a private area in our hotel’s sports bar (the J.W. Marriott’s High Velocity). The pre-party was full of friends and fans. It was hectic and awesome. I was drunk on Gin and Tonic way before I started rolling my 1st die. The game was very fun, the players had huge smiles and we laughed a lot. We ended up jettisoning big chunks of the adventure but that’s on par with the drunken experience.

We have crazy ideas about next year and a few improvement to make everything run smoother (we are improvement freaks).


Ennies: You may have heard about it, but Critical-Hits won the gold Ennies for best blog. We were stunned and happy. We’ve worked so hard on this site. especially Dave who’s devoted his heart and soul to the endeavor for so many years. It’s so great to see those efforts rewarded by our fans and peers. And we were complete classy guys on scene… all rumors about me streaking the Ennies scene are pure fabulations.

The Marvel Super Heros RPG: I can finally say it! I was hired to be part of the original design team for this upcoming Cortex-Plus based RPG planned for Feb 2012. It will be published by Margaret Weis Productions. I have the honour to be paired with such a slew of awesome people its humbling:

Core Design team: Will Hindmarch, Matt Forbeck, Jesse Scobles, Rob Donhoghue, Cam Banks, Amanda Valentine and myself.

Writing and Development of the first book (Basic game):  Cam Banks, Dave the Game and myself.

I can’t wait to tell you more about it!

I Knew Him Before he was a Celebrity…

This line above became a running joke at Gen Con as I got a lot of high fives from friends, fans and people I look up to from the industry.

Where the story gets really cool is that I got to meet some of the industry’s top designers and got to actually interact with them before we recognized who we were. That’s how I ended up chatting for a good 25 minutes with Rob Heinsoo before we both got that look of “oh you’re THAT guy I know from the Internet/games you designed”. Something similar happened when my friend Logan introduced me to Keith Baker (Creator and designer of Eberron and Gloom) and we ended up brainstorming for his steampunk adventure while munching on street pizza. This was as fun as playing a game.

In 2008 I left Gen Con feeling like a Rockstar…  In 2011, I can say, beyond my inner demons and gnawing doubts, that I am close to becoming  one.

Provided I don’t fuck up the Marvel licence…

Phil: Gee insecurity, thanks for the vote of confidence.

Insecurity: Hey dude, that’s why you keep me around, I keep it real!

Phil: Oh go suck on AD&D second edition won’t you.

Insecurity: I’m hurt, you were a nice guy before you became a celebrity…

I also got to celebrate with the nicest people I met on Twitter. You know who you are as I can’t even attempt to namedrop you guys without making a mess of the whole thing.   From the WotC Community crew and fans to the people I gamed, ate, caroused and walked around with, you all made my Gen Con a great experience.

A special mention goes to artist and freelance writer Claudio Posas:

As some may know, my Sunday trip home was canceled due to catastrophic failure of the plane’s brake AFTER an emergency stop on the runways. I therefore spent all of Monday at the airport with my new Brazilian friend, shooting the breeze, playing games and sharing our  philosophies about life, family, women and gaming!

(I went back home on Tuesday morning).

I’ll try to catch up with you next week as, hopefully, my schedule clears up.

Now I’m diving back into Marvel pre-design work.

Thanks for sticking around, more awesome stuff coming up.


  1. How did you get a tan? You live in Montreal. Canada.