Tales From the Gazebo – KantCon: Table Talk with Chris Perrin

KantCon: Table Talk with Chris Perrin
By Cape Rust

In my last episode, I mentioned my fortuitous meeting with Chris Perrin as I entered KantCon. Chris and I have traded quips on facebook for several years and this face to face meeting was an example of why being an active part of the gaming community is so important. We tend to forget that, like many organizations, we share a common interest and common experiences. We bond at tables festooned with half empty cans of Mountain Dew, hexagonal grids, miniatures, and reams and reams of soda stained character sheets that carry the eraser scars of hit points lost and gained. In the real world we might be mortal enemies, but at the table, your hatred of me is expressed in your cleric healing my warrior for 1D8+4 HP.

I had no nasty baggage with Chris so this random encounter (I rolled a 69% on the encounter table) didn’t require any in-game bonding.  We finished the real world introductions, then, like all good gamers, we started talking shop. Within a few seconds we were chatting like life-long friends. Ah, the power of the RPG! Chris was headed to lunch at the cafe located next to the main hall where most of the gaming tables were located. Because it was a Friday afternoon, not many of the open gaming tables were occupied. Now before we go any further, I owe it to you to explain exactly who Chris Perrin is and why, other than being such a great guy, he is so important to the gaming and food worlds.

Because I am a fat guy, I’ll start with Chris’s food aspects. With the rising popularity of food shows and the title “foodie” being ingested into the cultural vernacular, the need for intelligent and interesting people to write about food has never been greater. Chris views the kitchen as a classroom, a therapeutic retreat, a science lab (cue Dr. Horrible theme), and most importantly, a place where he can connect with his son and his wife. Chris has a blog called BlogWellDone and his work can be found in Biao Magazine and the Dabbling Mum to name a few. Chris knows food!

As far as Chris’ gamer cred goes, he is best known for writing the Mecha Role Playing Game, published by Heroic Journey Publishing. For most people, writing an RPG and being a Foodie celebrity would be enough, but not for Chris. In addition to these feats of food and fantasy, Chris hosts the Cannon Puncture Show podcast (2008 Diana Jones Award nominee) and has been the host of Echoes From the Rifts. What does this all really mean when it comes to KantCon? It means that Chris is a wonderful guy to jaw-jack about RPGs with over a plate of crepes and a salad covered in a mango dressing concoction.

As Chris and I discussed the people and games we know and love, it dawned on me just how amazing and unique this experience actually was. Here I was talking to a guy who has done things that most gamers only dream about. This is a guy who is out there making great games. These days it is guys like Chris who are making the industry accessible to the rest of us. The games that form our love and passion can be produced by small companies instead of a few large and sometimes soulless game companies. Chris and I spoke of many things including the recently released Mermaid Adventures and how important it is to get children involved in games.

After lunch, we chatted for a few more minutes until it was time for Chris to run a Mecha game for the second slot (2-6P.M.) As we arrived at his table, I felt pangs of jealousy knowing that the players at Chris’s table were going to be treated to a great game run by an even better person. His game was full so I set off to find an empty chair at a table where I could get a measure of just what the folks at KantCon were really like.

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