Harley’s Guide to Celebrity Stalking
or … Mr. Little meets Mr. Big

Pic of D. Arneson

Photo courtesy of Jeff LaSalla

GenCon Log: 4:30, Saturday afternoon.

I’m sitting at my booth like a good writing-monkey, happily making small talk with the folks passing by the Goodman Games booth. Like promised here, no lines.

Enter Dave “the Man” Arneson. Tired from a late night of live action gaming and from signing autographs on the floor, he was looking for a place to rest his feet, and the Blackmoor booth (home to Dave’s campaign setting, the longest running D&D campaign world) was as good as any other.

So, in an instant it changes from a quiet signing, to sitting with one of the pioneers of the genre. I had my old Blackmoor pamphlet book and the newer Blackmoor setting book in my bag, ready for signatures, just like any proper fanboy should. But in that split second I saw that Dave was literally exhausted, so – like any good Legend of the Five Rings geek – I made my decision in seven breaths.

I left my Blackmoor gaming material in the bag, and treated Dave with the respect due any other human being, albeit a very tired human being. Instead of hitting him with a thousand and one questions, we sat quietly and had a chat. Jaleigh Johnson stopped by, Alex Anderegg checked in, and we all had a cordial, very amusing conversation with the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons.

A signature versus a human relationship. Easy choice, really.

Before you start to worry about Harley turning in his fanboy club card, it should be noted that the minute my signing was finished and I was released from the table, I sprinted over to Jeff to see if he got a picture.

It’s good to keep everything in perspective. :)

By the way, if you are looking for the quintessential GenCon photo, go no further than Jeff’s splash page.


At 3:32 PM, Blogger ec said...

A game designer with empathy? Unselfish consideration from a fanboy? Harley, you may have done irreparable damage to time-honored stereotypes. I hope you can live with this knowledge.


At 3:39 PM, Blogger Jeff LaSala said...

I went to lunch on Saturday with Ed, and we shared the company with Rich Baker, Paul Kemp, Richard Lee Byers, and Thomas Reid...and aside from mostly sitting quietly and listening to guys who were more human than we tend to assume, I did the same as Harley and refrained from reverting into fanboy mode.

The only signings I came away from GenCon with were Harley Stroh's and Ed Gentry's. I could have had a dozen more...but somehow meeting these people and feeling at home among them was worth more than some Sharpie scribbling.

Okay, wait...I DID get a couple of Larry Elmore prints signed. Does that count? :)

I also met Ed Bolme, who's a really nice guy. I kept The Alabaster Staff unsigned in my backpack the whole time.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Jeff LaSala said...

Let me also add that I don't understand the e-signing on rasalvatore.com. I've met him several times, and had him sign many things, and each time my real appreciation comes from the pleasure of just meeting the man. Signatures are just a small testament to the event.

I went to Salvatore's Q&A panel at GenCon and loved it. The guy is great, and I come away with more respect each time I hear him.

So I say again...I STILL don't understand the e-signing thing. :)

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Erik Scott de Bie said...

That sounds more than awesome, Harley. I'm drafting a resolution, in typical founding fathers' style, that I shall attend GenCon next year.


At 5:22 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

" Harley, you may have done irreparable damage to time-honored stereotypes. I hope you can live with this knowledge."


It will be our little secret.

At 4:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee hee. Cool.


At 12:02 PM, Blogger Kameron said...

Hey, H, cool about your work showing up in the Cabal sourcebook. Whatever happened to the second serial you started?

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...


It is being included in an upcoming Peshwah sourcebook, but things being what they are, I don't see it being released until next year. (I'm not even aware of Zeitgeist releasing the Part II on their website yet. I think they might be moving away from free material to intentionally selling the material.)

How has the writing been? I've been looking forward to hearing from you....

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

Sounds like you had one hell of time.

By the way, we hope to see you all next year at Gen Con!

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Kameron said...

I've gotten some good writing in over the last two weeks, hectic schedule aside. I'm hoping to be done by or before the end of September. I'll shoot you an email before then.


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