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Unread postPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 8:09 pm

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Yeah, The Publisher Guy

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2015 Open House Report - Part Two

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – V.I.P. Thursday

Disclaimer: I can really only present the 2015 Open House from my own perspective and personal experience. I know I missed a lot of it. I’m sure EVERYBODY who attended the POH had their own unique experiences and highlights. I invite you to post them on the Palladium website and Facebook page. Tell us what was your favorite game events or moments.

I was back at the office by 7:30 AM, as usual. I had helped Kathy with a few things before heading to the warehouse. I unloaded some supplies for VIP Night and dived into working on ideas and updating character sheets for my Lord De Silca Aftermath game (Palladium Fantasy). The day would be a constant flurry of activity, with helpers arriving in numbers around 11:00 AM.

Victor Peterson was one of those to arrive Thursday morning. He is one of Palladium’s four coordinators of the Megaversal Ambassadors, so he and I had spoken many times on the phone and via Skype, but this was the first time we would meet face to face. I was looking forward to it and the man did not disappoint. Victor would be an invaluable asset and wrangler all weekend. Another amazing human being among many.

I should point out that Joe Bergmans is our go-to guy to pick up people flying in and out of Detroit Metro Airport. The funny thing about that is Joe is from California. He doesn’t really know the area, but he likes to drive and has visited often enough that he has become the official airport transport guy of the POH. This is a huge help to us, so thanks, Joe. He also helps man the cash registers and does whatever else he can to help.

Lisa Hall arrived and dived into pricing and helping on all fronts. Lisa has a sweet, bubbly personality and always a welcomed helper. She helped on the registers, and did anything asked of her. A real trooper.

James and Diane Brown were a huge help as well. James is another long-time Megaversal Ambassador and always runs several games as well as pitches in to help wherever he can. Diane, as always, is a focused dynamo who helped us set up, organize and bag many T-shirts.

Marc Moore, my printing rep from McNaughton & Gunn, personally delivered the "Raw" Manuscript preview editions of Robotech® Expeditionary Force Marines and Rifts® Coalition Briefing - Covert Ops, along with a few other short-run titles. Marc knew we would be too busy to send anyone out to the printer to pick the books up, so he drove them in himself! How cool is that?! I tried to give him a brief tour of the office and chat, but I kept getting interrupted with questions and by new people arriving.

By 2:00 PM we probably had 30 gamers in the building, all of them offering to help.

A couple days before, I had told Kathy and Shawn that this was the least prepared I had ever been for an Open House with a lot of last minute things to do. This was deliberate, because I knew we would have a lot of helpers Wednesday and Thursday, but it made me nervous. With all the help we had available to us – Jessica and Doug chalking off parking spaces, people arranging tables and chairs, loading shelves, cleaning, etc., by the time Kathy started to set up the cashiers area, the place looked like a million bucks. She, Shawn, the Browns and others all commented on how good and prepared the place looked. I think Federico’s efforts and our many volunteer helpers had a great deal to do with that. Thanks. Whew.

As the day went on, I had Shawn Hall hooking up and taping down extension cords and fans in case the weather turned hot (which it did on Saturday and Sunday), while other helpers folded T-Shirts, priced product, set up, cleaned and took care of other things. At some point, a bunch of us (thanks, Mark, Matt, John, etc.) went out to place the signs pointing the way to the Palladium Open House and our additional parking areas. Our wonderful neighbors were very kind and accommodating to let us use parts of their parking lots throughout the week and weekend. I still worried about parking, but I heard no complaints. Mark Oberle was another big help.

Patrick “Jake” Jakubowski arrived later that afternoon to set up the rest of our Robotech® RPG Tactics tournament area. He brought enough with him to build out the remaining tables of terrain and was another dynamo all weekend. I now Victor and others lent Jake a hand, but I was so busy with everything else, I don’t know who that was. Sorry. I will say it was nice having areas of the POH event that I could just place in the hands of others and not worry about. Kathy Simmons and dinner was one. So was the running of the cash registers with Kathy, Wayne, Joe, Lisa, and the next couple of days, Chris Guertin. Jake with the tournament was another, as was manning the door and passing out name badges thanks to Stacy Leigh. (Note: There were a lot of people helping out, so please do not be disappointed if I don’t mention you by name or don’t give you all the credit you may feel you deserve. You are all very appreciated and helped make this POH run more smoothly.)

Most of the rest of that day is a blur. I hate to say it, but I was pretty worn out before the Open House “officially” started. The previous 10 days had been a string of very long days. But as the place started to fill up with people, so did my energy level.

I was thrilled to see Jolly and Barbara Blackburn arrive and start setting up their table. I love these two delightful people and we never seem to find the time to just hang out much. It was an honor to have the creator of the Knights of the Dinner Table present at the POH and I was proud to taught my dear friend’s accomplishments.

I was equally pleased to see Matthew Balent, my long-time pal, compatriot from the days of the Detroit Gaming Center and contributor from the early days of Palladium Books. Matt is the guy behind the Palladium Weapon Series (the company’s first quiet mega-hit), Valley of the Pharoah’s (Palladium’s first boxed game and flop), as well as contributing to Monsters and Animals and the early days of Palladium Books. Both Matt and Jolly were blown away by the Open House and how freakin’ awesome Palladium fans are. Both kept saying things like, “Kevin, I didn’t know what to expect. This is cool. Really cool. Wow.”

Ramon Perez tried, but could not make it to the Open House. The reason was that one of his dear friends and studio-mates unexpectedly announced his wedding the same weekend as the Open House at the beginning of the year. Ramon thought he might be able to participate in both, but he put up a number of people for the wedding at his home, and just could not get away. You were missed Ramon, but we understand. By the way, he “claims” he’ll do his best to be at the next one. If there is a next one, that is. This is supposed to be the last POH.

By 4:00 PM, most of the artists and writers had arrived and set up their tables, and the warehouse was packed with VIP gamers. It is always a joy for me to see the smiles and hear the laughter of so many people. The beginning of a four day festival of fun, games and memories in the making. Throughout the weekend, people remarked about how special the Open House is to Palladium fans. To me too.

I was tending to last minute details, signing autographs and chatting with people as the warehouse roared to life. People seemed to enjoy themselves, very much. They snatched up product to purchase, greeted friends and chatted with artists and writers. That meant the staff and volunteers were on their toes too. Julius Rosenstein, in particular, was everywhere. When he wasn’t chatting with people or running a game, he was checking on product, filling shelves and helping out. We debuted four new T-shirts (including a Palladium Fantasy shirt), six new art prints, three mouse pads, two dog tags, and I had a bunch of artwork from my personal archives all making their first appearance at the Open House. Of course, all these items have since been placed in our online store and are available for sale to everyone. Um, expect the artwork. I'll be saving some of it for Gen Con Indy and put some of it in my online store.

The catered VIP Dinner was served on schedule starting at 5:30 and lasting to 6:30 PM. It was prepared and catered by Palladium’s very own, incredibly talented Kathy Simmons. She got compliments about her food all weekend long. Nice.

I gave my hour long opening spiel around 7 PM. I felt a little off and think I got off to a slow start, but overall, it went well and by a little after 8:00 PM, gaming was in full swing.

I had a panel talk scheduled with Jolly Blackburn, but he forgot and went to the hotel. That was fine as 95% of those in attendance were playing games or hanging with the artists and writers. You’ve seen the list of the 30+ Palladium creators, so there were plenty of people to talk with. (I’m not even going to start to list everyone who attended.) Victor had our panel talk rescheduled for Friday night and I’m so glad he did as it would become one of my personal highlights of the POH. More on it later.

I had my other panel talk around 10:00 PM and managed to go home a little after 11:00 PM. It’s my understanding Wayne and Julius ushered the last gamers out of the warehouse close to 1:00 AM. Of course, gaming continued at the hotel. It was a great opening night.

Photos: ... 665&type=1

More to come in the next Murmur from the Megaverse®.

Kevin Siembieda
Publisher, Writer and Game Designer

© Copyright May 27, 2015 Palladium Books Inc. All rights reserved.

Rifts®, The Rifter®, RECON®, Splicers®, Palladium Books®, The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game®, Phase World®, Powers Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Megaverse®, The Mechanoids®, The Mechanoid Invasion®, Dead Reign®, Chaos Earth®, Coalition Wars® and After the Bomb® are Registered Trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. RPG Tactics™, Beyond the Supernatural, Coalition States, Heroes Unlimited, Ninjas & Superspies, Minion War, Mysteries of Magic, SAMAS, Thundercloud Galaxy, Three Galaxies, Vampire Kingdoms, and other published book titles, names, slogans and likenesses are trademarks of Palladium Books Inc., and Kevin Siembieda.

Robotech® and Robotech® The Shadow Chronicles® are Registered Trademarks of Harmony Gold USA, Inc.

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