i have the heart of a dragon (no, really, i do)

Home from GenCon.

Happily exhausted.

I killed a dragon with one hit.

Now, it's time to sleep for two days.

147 thoughts on “i have the heart of a dragon (no, really, i do)”

  1. It was a pleasure to see you at GenCon and I’m happy to hear that you’ll be back in the future. Finally, we had media guests relevant to gaming! My 12 year old son Taran says you’re awesome and thanks you for signing his leather book. –Misty

  2. I’m so glad you had a good time, Wil. GenCon is one of my favorite times of the year (I think this was my husband and my fifth or sixth con). It was such a happy coincidence that we ran into you on the exhibit hall floor on Thursday, especially since I didn’t know you were there, yet. Thanks so much for taking the quick few minutes to receive my blue and red d6 with the “D’Oh!” for the 1 and chat. I was the 8 month pregnant girl with the “Tweethulhu” shirt. I think your comment about me incubating my human behind Cthulhu was the best, and running into you made my day! Your talk on Friday was awesome and inspiring (especially for a gamer parent), and I really wish I could have stood in line to get my “Stand by Me” DVD signed, but I just couldn’t stand that long. Thanks for letting my friends bring it to you to get it signed. I slipped an event staff member a blue d3 (yes, it’s good for Paper, Rock, Scissors) into your mug as a token of my appreciation. Hope you’re able to come back next year and get your game on even more!

  3. It was very cool meeting you, Wil. My friend and I listened to your audiobook of Just A Geek on the 9 hour drive home and that just punctuated how truly great you are. I really wish I could game with you someday. That would be very very cool.

  4. It was wonderful meeting you, Wil! Thanks for taking the time to chat with everyone for a minute. It was so kind of you. I also really enjoyed your talk. And thanks for signing my Converse!

  5. Always a pleasure, Wil! Bit of a shame you didn’t get to Gen Con before being a huge star. I imagine it would probably be a welcome change to go under the radar for a bit.
    How was TerrorWerks, btw? I’ve heard it’s awesome.

  6. Sadly, we were all too tired for TerrorWerks, so we couldn't do it.
    But, honestly, what was going to top playing too much Dominion with you and Dammit Liz?

  7. You’ll love this.
    I went to go play the game I signed up for (RPG-Pathfinder) and they where not at the table the con assigned. There was a not that directed me to another table, where a 7th Sea Game was on going. So in confusion I called out into the room for my game, not luck.
    So I tramp up the three floors to the volunteer station to see if they know where my game is. We tramp down three floors (elevators way to slow to wait for) and the volunteer looks around in disgust, GM are not suppose to move games and she’d received no notice of cancellation. Turning to me she say I’ll check but we have to give them another 5 minutes. She then picks up the sign left on the original table and starts checking the room.
    She moves to table and start talking to the GM as I follow behind lugging my loot. She waves her hand at me and I think Ahhhhhh, she has found my game. I take and seat and pull my ticket out. After the volunteer leaves obviously not in a happy mood and not saying anything to me, I meekly apologize to the GM saying I’d tried to find him on my own and only went to the volunteer when I couldn’t find him. I then give him my ticket and settle in to play.
    I’m a bit surprised to learn we will actually be generating our own characters which the GM will save to his web site and we can personally access for future con play. I don’t remember this in the description but it sounds kind of cool, so ok. While he’s explaining a bit about generation and the web site they come by and collect tickets.
    Finally he passes out the character sheet, it says “STAR SHIP TROOPERS”!. I am in the wrong game and they have already run off with my ticket. Plus my own game appears to have failed to come off. So I decided to play it out, after the first 4 hours I’m hooked and turning in generic tickets and playing for a total of 12 hours STAR SHIP TROOPERS first day of the con Thursday.
    I have to say I’ve done pick up games before but never accidentally. But it was great fun :-)

  8. I had a great time at GenCon as well. You and The Guild events were thought provoking talks about the relationships between fans and our beloved amusements. That’s why I was so hurt by seeing the last panel I attended – WOTC’s D&D and MTG 2010 talk. It didn’t look like a trade event on the online catalog, but that’s obviously what it was. Sitting there listening to how they had determined that MY demographic was their target to re-hook on to D&D by trying to sell me another red box by manipulating my nostalgia was insulting, but when they went on at length about how they were pushing to sell the “Essentials” line of books and accessories to wring every last nickle out of my wallet I left before the MTG portion. It was like being on a date where the guy sitting across the table was explaining his plan for every last molestation to come, and the appetizer hadn’t even arrived. I’m not comfortable being the girl in this scenario.
    I guess I’m writing because you were talking about how important the experiences of gaming are in our lives and Felicia talked about how important fans are to creating vibrant exciting works of creativity, yet WOTC didn’t mention the value they provided for fans (unlike Fantasy Flight’s panel on Friday) or the feelings of the fans already invested in their properties; they were solely interested in breaking up the content and ratcheting up power levels to maximize purchases. Seriously, you can’t even make a cleric out of the red box – they make you buy a separate book now. I was too scared by what I could have heard about their intended manipulation of me regarding my favorite game, MTG, so I ran away. For years I’ve defended my cardboard crack habit to other gamers by saying what a great game it was, but hearing them talk about how power-creep would make more money would just make me feel too foolish.
    They said you were doing some promo for them at PAX and I’m not saying you shouldn’t. But I am second guessing my relationship with companies whose focus isn’t a fair exchange of goods for money – it’s an emotional ploy to manipulate as much money out of my account as possible with no regard for the long term health of their games.
    Thanks again for your talk, as it re-opened my eyes to what’s important in gaming because I vote with my dollars and I’m only voting for companies who respect me in the morning.

  9. Wil, your GenCon panel was so moving! I don’t even have kids, but your touching stories about gaming with your kids teared me up a little. :)
    Thanks for coming to GenCon and talking about how great gaming is.

  10. I’m so glad you finally got to experience GenCon! It’s amazing, isn’t it? :)
    And thank you for being so nice to me when I almost cried when I met you and then babbled for way too long about how TNG led me to gaming – I still feel like a big dork for saying that to you!!
    Next year, more gaming for you! I suggest Warhammer ;) D&D is good and all, but Warhammer is Grim and Perilous – it says so right on the front of the book! ;)

  11. I thought of that. We made several trips by, just to see how you were holding up. Ok, maybe it was more cause of the crush my fiance has on you :) You definitely need to spend at least one day just gaming your heart out. Your fans will understand.

  12. Wil,
    It was amazing getting to talk to you, and we had great seats for your panel. We had a blast talking to you, and the guy behind us got a ton of great pictures for us. It was an honor to buy you a beer, even if it had to be delivered in an unusual way. Hope you enjoyed it.
    We’re glad you enjoyed the convention. It was a great honeymoon. :) Jamie had a blast, and meeting you and sitting in on Chris Perkins’s celebrity D&D were the highlights for us both.

  13. Wil, you made my birthday weekend awesome when you stopped by and picked out one of my dragon chow dice bags – that photo is going on my sewing room wall, and the moment I got that twitter DM was so cool. It must be special to be someone so close to the gaming community, who can bring a smile to geeks all over the place. I wasn’t even at GenCon, I was in Canada. And you made my GenCon weekend awesome. One year I will make it down there!

  14. I was at GenCon – went to your panel, bought Chapbook #128 and had a book signed for my friend – but I think the best part for me was giving you that dice at the end.

  15. Wil! I really loved your GenCon event! I was born in ’73, so I totally relate to growing up geek in that era (my folks still have Dark Tower!) Beyond that, my husband and I have recently decided to begin having children, so your talks about parenting really touched us. Unfortunately we were short on some cash for the autograph – maybe next time! And I wouldn’t want to curse you with my crap dice anyway (worst. roller. ever.) Hope you enjoyed yourself & look forward to seeing you another year!

  16. I was talking with a group of friends and Eberron fans and I mentioned that I’d given you one of the Dragonmark dice and one of the guys there almost had a panic attack. “That’s one of the rarest dice in the world and it’s just going to go in a barrel of dice!” he cried.
    But to me… they’re all rare. Just look at the stories above, and it doesn’t matter whether the physical die itself is unique. One of the points of my whole DMing-for-food-around-the-world thing is to hear people’s stories and find out what they love about gaming. One of my Scottish hosts said that it was a personal mythology for him and his friends, and that really rung true for me. Myths define a culture and draw people together. When we game, we are creating stories that bind friends together – moments we’ll still remember decades down the road. And our dice are the tools of those stories… as important as Thor’s hammer or Excalibur. In my piece in The Bones I mention trading another one of those Dragonmark dice for my Bulgarian host’s first d20. His die may only have been a transparent blue-gray d20, with no distinguishing marks at all. But it has a story. It’s part of his myth cycle. And for me, that makes it cooler than my dragonmark dice.
    Hmm. I need sleep.
    I enjoyed talking to you, however briefly. Thanks for, well, not being a dick! I’m sad I didn’t get my copy of The Happiest Days Of Our Lives signed, but I wanted to get my copy of The Bones filled up, and between that, talking about Gloom, and explaining the die, I felt I was already taking up way too much of your time. If you like Gloom let me know and I’d be happy to send you an expansion. And I’d still love to run an Eberron game for you sometime, pretty much anywhere or any time. I’m based in Portland (OR), but running games on the road is kind of my thing!

  17. Wil, it was so great to meet you at Gen Con this year. I’ve never been called sweet by a celebrity before. I’m glad you got to enjoy the con but was very sorry to hear you got sick. Thanks so much for staying so to meet your fans even though you did not feel well. I hope you feel better soon. I would love to be a fly on the wall hearing your stories of the trip. I know I have quite a few to tell myself. By the way, I was the really sheepish one with the letter from a friend hoping for an interview . Your just reading it when you get the chance will thrill her to no end. Take care of yourself.
    B

  18. Thanks to Wil and Kommodo for the delicious airport pizza! I’m still LOLing at the fact that I sat down at a table RIGHT NEXT to Wil without realizing it. That’s how tired I was from my awesome GenCon experience. :-)

  19. You totally posed with Tentacle Rat! I named my awesome hand dragon Fawkes in your honor! A GenCon me, Ash, Weaver, and the rest of our crew will never forget. Be awesome and come again next year. Then I’ll just have to go again cause I couldn’t miss that. I’m off tomorrow to buy a frame to put my autograph up on the wall with the other awesome folks who I’ve had the pleasure to meet at GenCon. I slept part of the 10 hour car ride home and then was out for another 8, that’s how you know it was great.

  20. Playing too much TerrorWerks with Dammit Liz and me? Next con that has it, we must! I hear it’s awesome. Like Aliens! But with AirSoft guns! (I totally get to be one of the Paul Reiser dudes, btw.)

  21. This was my first-ever Gen Con, just like you (so we’re bonded for life, now, right?). I was blown away by it all, and you were the highlight. (You managed to beat out that awesome beholder statue by the Hyatt skywalk to qualify for “highlight” status. go, you!)
    When I came up to meet you, I was a little dismayed to find myself having an anxiety reaction – I guess your awesomeness was overpowering. :) My hands were shaking really badly when I tried to get my Star Trek collector’s card out of the sleeve, so you did it for me – I felt really embarrassed, but you downplayed it. Thanks for being “just this guy, you know?” about it. :)
    I’m so happy to read that you had a good time at the event. Thanks for the time, energy, focus, and sincerity that you gave to all of us!!
    -Eva

  22. Congrats on the one-shot kill! This was only my second Gen Con, but it was far superior to last year. Having a chance to meet and give you my Really Old Die was just icing on the cake.

  23. I forgot to invite you to the D&D Open Championship when I stopped by. You could have fought Orcus! If you made it through to Sunday morning. You should try to get in next year. It’ll be fun (and maybe I’ll be your DM!)

  24. It was a pleasure to meet you and have you sign my GenCon commemorative dice tin. I hope my mean, ugly, takes-forever-to-roll d20 will add something to your collection. I enjoyed reading the chapbook today. Your presentation and getting to meet you were the highlights of my first GenCon. Thanks for the Grey Warden salute, I happily took that last moment to return it.
    I said it there and I will say it here and now, you are an inspiration to me as a gamer, as a writer, and hopefully someday as a gamer parent. Thank you for everything.
    PS – You should totally play TerrorWerks next time you’re at Origins or GenCon. I volunteer with them and would love to get shot by you with an airsoft gun while I try to protect myself with a nerf gun. ;D

  25. First off, that was a great talk. Even with the threat of imminent coughing fit collapse (For which we were all to remain calm about, as it would pass) you gave us some good stuff. Wish I could have swung buying the chapbook, but until my great parking scam on Sunday (I’ll have details in my blog before the end of the night, along with the rest of GenCon memories) I did not have the money, but having a signed copy of “Memories of the Future” will more than make up for it. Will probably ship the others to be signed in a SASB when they’re out.
    And, I found the d6 that was missing from the set I gave you. It made it’s Stealth check and hid behind my sunglasses. Instead of feeling bad I didn’t give you a full set, I now have another cool reminder of a fun weekend of gaming and meeting cool people.

  26. Hey Wil,
    It was really great meeting you at GenCon (I’m the chick who wore the I [Galactus] Planets shirt who chatted with you about our mutual friend rstevens).
    Thanks for coming all the way out to the best gaming convention in the US. Hope to see you next year!

  27. Was great talking to you about the future of Shellfish core. I’m sure your new album will be off the hook(awesome pun ftw.) Keep the movement strong.
    -Josh AKA MC Prawnprawn

  28. I’m so glad you had a good first trip to GenCon. You were an awesome guest – meeting you was one of the highlights of the weekend for me (and many of my friends. So many of them have changed their facebook profile picture to the picture they had taken with you that I feel like you’re one of my facebook friends now!)
    I’ve let the Barfleet Commodore know that you can now be reached by com badge ;).
    If you ever want to come out for a little fan-run Star Trek convention with a Barfleet party, we’d love to have you at Starbase Indy. (Ask W. Morgan Sheppard or Jeff Rector-they said last year’s SBI Barfleet party was like nothing they’d ever seen at a convention. In a good way.)
    Thanks for being so awesome, and I hope you get to play more games the next time you come to GenCon.
    H

  29. I’d also like to say thanks to you Wil and Kommodo, the pizza was quite good! Like Geeksdreamgirl said, we received a bit of shock when we realized we’d sat down without noticing you right beside us!
    Glad that you enjoyed GenCon Wil, and I look forward to seeing you there in the future!

  30. I really wish I’d gotten to meet you at GenCon. It was my first time as well. I first started playing D&D in 1980, and wanted so badly to attend GenCon as a child. About 10 years ago I stopped playing pen and paper games and traded them in for MMO’s when all my gaming friends moved away. Since I now work 2 blocks from the convention center, and I saw you and The Guild’s cast would be there, I bought a Friday pass, and set aside 4 hours. Due to a little crisis, I arrived during your signing and only had an hour. I decided it would be best spent canvasing the hall.
    Honestly, from my first step in the con center, I felt an odd sense like I was back home. The vibe was amazing. When I actually made it into the exhibitor’s hall, and picked my jaw back up off the floor, it finally hit me: A childhood dream I’d completely forgotten had just come true. In this life, precious few dreams become reality. Since we both probably started gaming at about the same time, I hope getting to GenCon was similar for you, and I hope to see you next year (where I too plan to attend for 4 days, and to actually play some games). I live in Indy…why did it take me this long?
    Stay cool and geektastic.

  31. I bow to your awesome gamer fu for defeating Smoak with the +2 Long Spear of Dragonslaying. That board was very slick and the spot you had to hit was very small.
    I had the same weapon but the one time I tried I was way off (then was dragon toast), my other dragon run I went with 2 Call Lightnings and was pleased that one actually hit and I did 9 points of damage (was the only one in my party to do damage to the dragon before we were dragon toast).
    Glad you had fun at GenCon, hope you get to play more next year.

  32. Wil, I was the bard in your group and you guys were freakin’ awesome to hang out with while plying TD. I do hope you will come back and play TD again. The dragonslaying story was told over and over and over.
    Thanks for the fun run.

  33. My brain went fuzzy when I got to meet you on Sunday and I forgot to mention how wonderful I thought your talk was. I teared up when were talking about Ryan and the adoption. I’m a new parent, and that gave alot of your talk about families, and children, and gaming really special meaning to me. Thank you so much.

  34. Wil I hope you had a great time at Gencon I know I did. My highlight was waiting to cross an intersection and you standing no more then a foot away. It was really cool to see you wondering around and enjoying yourself. Hope you enjoyed Indiana and I look forward to next year. I challenge you to Dominion lol .

  35. It was great to meet you at my own first Gen Con! I hope you enjoy the Cthulhu dice and the iron-on Kobold unit patch. (If you put it on a bag or jacket, let us know @KoboldQuarterly? We’d love to see a pic!)

  36. Congrats on slaying the dragon, Wil! I would’ve loved to have witnessed that!
    My husband and I really enjoyed your talk on Friday morning. Several of your stories about gaming with your family were touching. We’re thinking about having kids soon, and we’ve joked about how we only want to have kids so that we can add permanent members to our D&D group. :) Thank you for your Scrabble story as well–I may be able use it to coerce my husband to play with me more often.
    And thank you for your chapbook! I was so worried that they’d be sold out before you came back from your break on Friday…anyone who chose not to get one missed out on something special! (I didn’t mind the long wait in line, btw. The reason the wait was so long was because you were awesome enough to have a real conversation with people while you were signing, and then some!)
    I hope you come back to Gen Con in years to come and get to play more (or run some D&D games!). It would rock SO much to play Munchkin with you.
    Take it easy, and I hope you’re feeling better!
    – Danielle

  37. I really enjoyed your stories at the panel you gave at Gen Con. So many things you talked about in your stories remind me of how I feel sometimes and things I am experiences today. I also have a “nerd adjacent” wife (thank you for the term, btw), a little girl that I am going to try and teach D&D to soon, and I have also felt the dice monkey on occasion. I wish I could have gotten a copy of your chapbook, but I never had time to wait in the long lines of people waiting to meet you (I had to leave early Friday and I had the little girl Sat and Sun). I did notice that you were talking to each person and I thought that was really cool. I would love to be able to get a copy of the chapbook, did you have any left or is there another way for me to get a copy?

  38. Hey, Wil! We’re glad you liked both the dice cup and the crystal die that my husband gave you on Saturday (I was the red-faced chick standing waaayyy back from the proceedings).
    This was our first GenCon, too, and we were only there for the day. I think some of our friends may put us to work there next year. Perhaps we’ll see you again? ;-)

  39. I’m really looking forward to seeing all those dice, Wil. :)
    It’s possible I may have given you the oldest one (my first d20), but I’d like to see the variety of them, and hear some of the stories you were told. I always enjoy hearing the stories of fellow gamers, and stories involving dice always seem to be the most entertaining. :)

  40. It was really a pleasure meeting you. Despite my not getting to your signing until Sunday morning ( when you must have been exhausted and sick and tired of smiling at people), you were very warm and gracious and welcoming. I hope you enjoy the “WWWWD” die!

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