September 22, 2001 found me, once again, deep the in the outback of the American Heartland (this is not in and of itself surprising (it being where my home, wife, child, and dog are found), however it still astonishes me on some mornings when I first awaken).
I attended a game convention - FlatCon II. If you are not familiar with the concept, a game convention is simply an event wherein game players congegrate to share their favorite games (board games, role-playing games, miniature games, etc.), learn new ones, and generally have fun. I tried a couple of new games, notably Fairy Meat (what a great idea) and Starmada (excellent, simple system).
The highlight of the day, however, was certainly meeting Gary Gygax. No scratch that. The highlight of the day was role-playing with Gary as the game master. I played with Gary Gygax!. It was his new game Lejendary Journeys, which seemed a bit heavy on die rolling but regardless. Much fun. That evening my wife became decidely sick of hearing about it (not being a gamer herself), but she humored me, understanding that Gary is one of my early heros. The amount of time I spent playing his games once upon a time.....
Gary seemed younger than I expected for some reason. Quite laid back, friendly, and conversational. He reminded me of a village elder, come out to share his wisdom. He was quick to spin a story - sharing how he came with the humanoid gnolls for inclusion in D&D, who the images on the original Player's Handbook were fashioned after, etc.... He signed the character sheet I used in his game, and encouraged me to bring back any old books I had for him to sign the next day (I did).
A good day. We all need one of those, from time to time.