Monday, August 17, 2015

Revelations of Jeff

For the last seven years I've been attending GenCon almost exclusively to play in and buy stuff made by Exile Game Studio. Everybody's got a favorite small publisher or obscure game they can only seem to play at GenCon: Call of Cthulhu, Paranoia, LARP, you name it. My GenCon go-to is HOLLOW EARTH EXPEDITION (HEX), by Exile Game Studio. Once I stumbled upon their booth back in GenCon 2008 and picked up the HEX hardback I was hooked. Its a beautifully written and produced RPG about 1930's Pulp Adventure!  Lost Civilizations! Man-Eating Dinosaurs! and Nazis! Everything a growing gamer needs.



Then the following year at GenCon they released SECRETS OF THE SURFACE WORLD, which was an expansion for HEX that gave great rules for Strange Magics! Weird Science! and Nefarious Secret Societies! of the HEX campaign world. The next year they then outdid themselves with MYSTERIES OF THE HOLLOW EARTH, that gave us Mole Men! Amazons! and even more detailed locations within the Hollow Earth!

Every year at GenCon I would rush into the dealer hall as soon as it opened on Thursday morning, make a beeline for the Exile Games Studio booth, and buy the newest book they were releasing. It was a euphoric time for me. And when I picked up MYSTERIES in 2009, they told me they were working on a new setting:

MARS!!!

I couldn't believe it, I absolutely adored all things Edgar Rice Burroughs, and therefore was a devout John Carter of Mars fan besides being a Pellucidar/Hollow Earth fan. So I rolled into GenCon 2010 with a twinkle in my eye, a handful of dollars, and strolled up to the Exile booth to pickup the new HEX Mars book. But it was no where to be found! "Probably next year," I was told by the friendly booth attendee. I consoled my disappointment by buying some Style Chips with Ape Men on them, and continued on with my GenCon.

The year 2011 came, to the Exile booth I went, and sadly, no Mars book. They had hit a snag, they said. Production of the Mars book was stalled. Maybe next year?

Then 2012 and 2013. Still no Mars book. By 2014 the Revelations of Mars Kickstarter had been released, so I knew Mars was in process, at least, and had donated to the cause. In 2014 they assured me it would be released at GenCon 2015. I couldn't wait to pick it up at GenCon 2015. I was going to party so hard that year after picking it up at GenCon that Phobos and Deimos would hear me.

Mars is ...hot. Also, the people are green. What?
But then I couldn't go to GenCon the following year (this one). Due to circumstances far beyond the control of man nor beast, I had to be far away from Indianapolis, IN during the Best Four Days in Gaming! The sheer gamer fanboy-agony I felt at not being able to finally pick up the fresh, new copy of Revelations of Mars HEX RPG rulebook I thought could not be topped. Not be topped, that is, until one of the Vorpal Chainsword Correspondents covering GenCon this year sent me this video of Jeff Combos (the President of Exile Games!) telling me the Mars book isn't ready yet (while holding the VERY BOOK I WANTED SO BAD in his goddamn hands!):


Auuuuuugh! The mocking... the mocking! Life is pain! #FirstWorldProblems

But there is a silver lining to this tragic story. Today, in the terrestrial mail, I received a parcel from the Red Planet. This package contained not only the book, but and all the maps from the Lost City of Exile Games, and they are glorious!

Its beginning to look a lot like Kickstartermas!

Oh yes, I got both the paper print and giant canvas versions of all the maps: Surface World, Hollow Earth, and Mars. I have a thing for maps. Especially hanging maps on walls. Because a man does not need a reason to frame a Map. All maps are the epitome of masculine art. Akin to paintings of sailboats or of wild horses, framed Maps make a room into a Den. Finally, its time to sit in my den and read Revelations of Mars!

The Revelations of Mars map, in all its glory.

Game on to Adventure ...and Beyond!
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