Geek Week.

While it’s been a long time in coming, I believe it’s now the proper moment to offer hearty congratulations to my old chums at Paragon Games, who, after over a decade of hard work and unparalleled imagination, have finally seen their maverick dream come to fruition in the guise of the most intelligent (or second most, at worst) role-playing game ever conceived. Coming from me and in consideration of what I do for a living, this is wholesome praise, indeed.


Whether you knew I was such a geek or not, it’s out of the bag now. My occupation involves pushing highly addictive substances upon the local youth of our illustrious city, all the while under the ruse of ‘building community’ and ‘promoting cerebral leisure’. Some people call it dastardly; I call it retribution for high school. This is the half of my life that takes up the whole of my current existence. And devoted though I am, enthralled with both process and industry alike, I’ve never had the geek genes evolved enough to publish my own ideas – but Paragon has. Last month saw an assiduous string of delightful release events throughout the Bay Area, which has always been a hotbed of gaming excellence. To see my boys do so well was the real creamy filling inside the pie of approbation, but as their unofficial retail representative, of course I had to accompany the gang to each and every function – to keep it real from the trenches, so to speak. We have power, we local gaming stores – the forum from which your candied, dribbling addiction emanates.


And these fancy, poncey gents are proud of their accomplishment, as they surely should be…

After a delightful and well-welcomed soirée at Amber (co-owned by one of the Paragonites), we shuttled on down to South San Francisco to kick-off the invitational Kublacon gala banquet. Many unidentifiable meat parcels were handed out and slapping of backs commenced and continued through the night, interrupted by intermittent swills from martinis and other less appetizing alcoholic concoctions.


Though rarely seen in public and out of costume, Paragon’s President managed to identify the girls from the cheese-fest that is Dungeon Majesty and do a little bit of smarmy networking before the heroines lost interest and hit the cold cut tray with reckless abandon. We never did catch their eyes…perhaps we should have worn our Magic Cloaks of Washed-up Internet Actor Attracting +3. That would have been kewl.


Much celebration ensued as epic games of Zir’An were slyly purveyed throughout the following weekend. The response was encouraging, as the fickle gamer congregation quickly realized they were in the presence of something earth-shattering – there was even one deafening moment of eerie synergy as the sound rang out of eight thousand 20-sided dice being dropped in unison. At his booth in the Dealer’s Room, Don Rents of Chessex slapped his forehead and quickly organized the d10s.

We planned an event the following week at my store that would showcase the new product and the dirty, little minds that conjured such an intellectual confection. You see, at Gamescape, we believe in pushing the bounds of the traditional avocation of a brick and mortar game store. We support the creation of a strong community and represent the social, cerebral minority in a frighteningly digitized world of MTV and Game Boy Advance. We believe in promoting collaborative and competitive interaction through organized events and a casual, club-house atmosphere.


Okay, really, we just get paid for sitting around and diddling with our little, colored pawns all day, inhaling shimmering clouds of pewter dust as we while away the hours by filing away at endless mould lines caused by low-budget casting. This is my life, and welcome to it. But THIS event was different. We fed the gamers! We also set up a meet-n-greet with the Paragon guys, which gave the adoring public a chance to ask questions about the new game before purchase – and also an opportunity to understand a little of the inside scoop about how a game company gets started, and how a quartet of lovely geeks can make their dreams come to print. We had a nice, full house and sold a small stack of books, to boot – proof that if you make it relevant, they will come.


But it’s not the numbers that count – it’s the saturation. Everyone knows that the RPG industry doesn’t provide an astounding capital of loot and ladies. Gamers are generally picky and fairly elitist, and have strong preconceived notions of what they’ll subject themselves to – as do we all with the things that interest us. But everyone’s always on the lookout for the Next Big Thing, and if done well with plenty of room for feedback and improvement, a geek’s dream may be realized, and they might see their labor of love on the shelves, to be added to the historic corpus of work that shines out upon the snickering, snorting masses of Gamerdom.


Us, we’re just proud of the guys for sticking it out and making it happen, whatever the cost. The Secret of Zir’An is not really a secret anymore. It’s got style. It’s got depth. It’s got pretty pictures. You can purchase it at a fine gaming establishment near you. But if that place in particular isn’t my place, we’ll hunt you down and roll dice on your exposed belly until you scream out in agony. That’s my way. I’m a geek, after all.


11 Responses to “Geek Week.”

  1. frootbetty Says:
    July 12th, 2005 at 12:25 pm

    Congrats to your friends!
    You look very dashing in your suit and tie.

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 13th, 2005 at 11:48 pm

    Yes, this is a good thing for them, and in turn, for us.
    Thank you very much for your kind compliment. 🙂

  3. bratty_princess Says:
    July 12th, 2005 at 12:29 pm

    That was great! Thanks for sharing. I'm so proud of those boys, and I LOVED the photo of them all together, so cute.

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 13th, 2005 at 11:49 pm

    The CUTEST. Wanna pinch all their cheeks. All sixteen of 'em, in fact.

  5. thistlelurid Says:
    July 12th, 2005 at 3:02 pm

    <small>"the real creamy filling inside the pie of approbation" is that what
    theyre calling it now days? ha! Bravo to your friends..and lookaattchoo all dapper..the red
    suits you so very well and you wield a vest, hands down, more handsomely than anyone I know!
    Voila, the new dragon ear-wear too yes? Maybe you could just TELL us the 'secret'?</small>

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 13th, 2005 at 11:51 pm

    You're a dear for these very kind words.
    Hell, I don't even know the Secret. But if I did – and I told you – I'd surely have to kill you.

  7. ex_delve955 Says:
    July 12th, 2005 at 4:56 pm

    That game is so good, that someone is called the Hoff. This game, therefore, will be big in Germany.

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 13th, 2005 at 11:52 pm

    And don't you ever forget it. And with Teutonic vigor, they have spoken – and it is so.
    The Hoff, indeed.
    But it is a *really* fucking good game.

  9. sincitybrant Says:
    July 13th, 2005 at 9:37 am

    Go Bears!
    Saw your icon in the mini painters and wanted to see if you had a gallery posted somewhere. Where is your game store? What years were you at Berkeley? I was there '97-99, majoring in English and Latin. Mostly doing classics classes and not attending a lot. Did you live in one of the units? I lived in Unit 3, in Spens-Black.

  10. FunkyPlaid Says:
    July 14th, 2005 at 12:08 am

    Re: Go Bears!
    Hi there. I don't have a gallery because I don't have the time to create one just now. I'd like to photograph more of my stuff in the near future; it just doesn't have priority right at this time. Here's another snippet for tease, anyway:
    <img src="; border="1" alt="">
    The store is in San Rafael, right across the Richmond Bridge. We were certainly attending Cal at the same time, as I graduated from there in 2000, but I never stayed on campus. Used to do the commute back over the Bay, and worked all the while. Did you hear recently that Alan Dundes passed away?
    Pleasure to meet you.

  11. nite_secrets Says:
    July 14th, 2005 at 6:25 am

    Just so you know, Ghettopoly will be played tonight…for blood!

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