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GMSarli
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Wil, I had two particularly profound moments at this year's Gen Con: One revolves around you, the other revolves around all of us. :) Moment #1: I met you on Saturday not long before you left for the day -- I ended up getting book #151 from you. (Yay!) I gave you a shirt whose concept was dreamed up by my fiancee (the "Coexist" shirt, using geek icons instead of religious ones), and your reaction ("NICE! That is INSPIRED!") was immediately conveyed to her via text message -- it TOTALLY made her day. I was bouncing off the walls with a mixture of joy and pride, and I knew it would help soothe her disappointment at not being able to make it to this year's Gen Con. The next day, my business partner (dressed as Data) gave you the shirt I had designed ("Redshirts Local #1701"), and they reported your reaction was just as enthusiastic ("AWESOME!") -- they even got a nice pic of you holding the shirt up for the camera. I was really happy to hear that you liked it, but no where near as excited as I was for your reaction to my fiancee's Coexist shirt. And that's when it hit me: I was more excited about her shirt because of how much I love her. After being together for 11 years, I thought I knew our relationship backward and forward, that nothing could really surprise me anymore. I was completely caught off guard to find this absolutely new dimension of love -- "nerdgasm by proxy" -- and it just warmed me up inside and made me want to get back home to hold her right away. So, for indirectly bringing me to an understanding of even that tiny new sliver of what love is ... thank you. :) Moment #2: I was manning my GMSarli Games booth on the first day of the convention, and a fan came up and wanted me to autograph his copy of the Star Wars RPG Saga Edition rulebook. As I did so, he thanked me profusely for helping to make the game and for writing the "Jedi Counseling" column for all those years, and he said that he and his unit absolutely loved the game and they played it as often as they could in their off-duty hours. His unit. As in, overseas. As in, that's what these guys did back at the base, when they weren't being shot at. As if to illustrate the point, this fan also played in my "Evolved Delve" game for the e20 System I'm working on currently. The premise of the delve was that the PCs were members of a commando unit that was conducting a lightning raid to rescue a captive during a prisoner transfer. Players called dibs on four characters (sniper, heavy weapons specialist, combat engineer, and platoon sergeant) pretty quickly, and he looked at the last two, a combat medic and the platoon's lieutenant. "Well, I get to play a combat medic in real life, so I'll try the lieutenant." Yeah. Let that sink in. Here I am writing games about heroes ... and this guy actually is one. He wanted MY autograph, he wanted to thank ME for the work I do, and I realized that I should be asking the same of him. Nothing, ever, has made me feel simultaneously so important and yet so humbled. I'm sure that a lot of other writers and game designers have had a similar experience, and I hope we never forget how lucky we are to be able to be a part of the lives of heroes ... no matter how small that part might be. Gary M. Sarli http://gmsarligames.com
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Aug 10, 2010