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Unread postPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 6:18 pm

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Yeah, The Publisher Guy

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2015 Open House Report - Part Three

Friday, May 15, 2015

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.

On Friday, I got in a solid six hours sleep but woke up feeling weary and like I could use another three hours (or three days) of sleep. Still, I was back at the warehouse by 7:30 AM. I was pleased to see our helpers had left the place in good order and trash had already been emptied. (We would completely fill our dumpster by the end of the Open House. I don’t even want to imagine how much trash something like Gen Con Indy or the San Diego Comic Con produces.) That meant I could go about my business without delay, and I needed to do a bit more last minute prep work for my six games.

Of course, we had technical difficulties that caused a bit of commotion and delay, but Wayne Smith took care of it and we were soon back in action.

I did what I could to prep for my game. Printed out the pre-generated character sheets for all three of my games, pulled my dice out (though I was missing my favorite D20) and readied myself for the first game. I often avoid running games at conventions because I feel obligated to be in top form and give the players a worthwhile, fun experience. I worried because I felt tuckered out and not as sharp as I felt I should be.

My game started about a half an hour late, but it went pretty well. I made the comment afterward to one of the players that I felt a bit off, especially at the start of the game. I was pleased by his response, “Are you kidding me? That was great. I think your “off-game” is better than most people’s good games.” I appreciated his kind words and was glad the game was good, but I know I was off. The second and third games went much better. I was on fire by the third game. My next three games would be Saturday and they would get wild.

I’m often surprised and delighted by the high caliber of gamers at the Open House, and conventions in general. This POH was no different. I know people look forward to gaming with me, but I truly enjoy gaming with you. I love the interaction of players, the ideas and the characterizations. And boy, did I have some awesome players in my games. Thanks ladies and gents, I loved it.

Meet the Palladium Staff Panel Talk.

In between game two and three, was the Meet the Palladium Staff panel talk. It was two hours long and, as usual, opened up to questions and answers. As many of you know. I’m a storyteller, which means I like to talk. I love sharing stories and can talk for hours on a wide range of subjects, so rather than just blither on, I like to take questions and address the subjects my audience wants to hear. That worked out very well and people seemed to enjoy the panel talk.

What was covered? All kinds of things, but here are some of the highlights I think you’ll find most interesting. I have also mentioned some of this in the May 28, 2015 Weekly Update.

Palladium has been quietly working on a number of projects and aspirations behind the scenes. As announced at the Palladium Open House, Rex Barkdoll, the gent who designed the Palladium website, has been developing a Rifts® character generator and was showing the Alpha test version around at the POH. Rex is also helping Palladium to explore avenues to release our core titles (to start) in various electronic mediums like e-books.

More PDF titles. Alex Marciniszyn has been put in charge of scanning the entire Palladium library of books for future release in PDF form. To insure high quality, Alex is scanning book pages from the original “paste-up” pages/keylines and digitally cleaning them. It’s a time consuming process, but the pages are flawless. This means a much wider range of PDFs will be made available in the months ahead from Palladium Books and Will Palladium offer PDFs of new releases when they release print titles? We haven’t decided yet, but we’re considering it. And have a few ideas on related matters. For instance, I’m writing two titles that I want to see released in PDF form first or perhaps only(?), certainly before being released as a printed book. One is material for Dead Reign® and one for Rifts®. I’m toying with possibly releasing them in chapters in PDF form and then as a compiled, complete PDF and printed book – or perhaps just leave it as a PDF title only. It is a work in progress and the designs and method of release remain in motion; things may change. Fan suggestions are welcomed.

Palladium has been researching, planning and working on all these things (and more) for some time now. However, we didn’t want to reveal every detail of all our plans nor release an estimated start date too soon. For one, there are some people who become angry and complain when a project is delayed, rescheduled or suspended. Other times we may not want our competition to know what we’re up to. But since I mentioned these plans in one or two panel talks at the POH, I figured I should let you know here so that incorrect rumors don’t crop up. I hope you are pleased by the news. Do not forget, Palladium has more than 100 PDF titles on right now! And there is a lot more coming! Check it out.

We also talked a bit about Robotech® RPG Tactics™. This game line is a passion of ours and we have big plans for it, starting with expanding the game world and playing options to include EVERYTHING you know about Robotech®. If you see it in the anime, you’ll have it in the game. I declined to discuss details because I want to make our plans known to our Kickstarter Backers first. That’s coming very soon.

The next books coming out: Chaos Earth® Resurrection, Robotech® Expeditionary Force Marines, and The Rifter® #71 , followed by Rifts® Coaltion States: Heroes of Humanity and The Disavowed. Oh, and though I make no promises, I would personally like to see the two long awaited Beyond the Supernatural™ titles out by the end of the year. I also have plans for Palladium Fantasy® Land of the Damned 3 and the Old Kingdom. The BTS and Fantasy news really got people excited.

My panel talk with Jolly Blackburn

I’m so glad that Victor Peterson and Wayne Smith rescheduled the panel talk with Jolly Blackburn. It was a personal highlight of the POH for me and Jolly, as well as a really good one for the fans.

Jolly and I laughed and teared up, made bad jokes, hugged and enjoyed ourselves. Jolly recounted how he and I first met through his publishing of Shadis Magazine. The short version is, Jolly sent me issue number one with a letter asking for advertising. I sent him back a 3 page letter (or longer) offering constructive criticism. Or as Jolly said, “tearing Shadis apart.” Then he gets to the end of the letter in which I write something like, “I hope you don’t mind my suggestions. I think issue number one is pretty good and your magazine has a lot of potential. Enclosed is a check for an ad. Good luck.”

What I didn’t know until this panel talk is that in addition to Jolly keeping that letter and making many of the suggested changes which improved the magazine, he only did issue Number Two because I sent him that check for an ad and he didn’t want to disappoint me, "the famous Kevin Siembieda." How funny is that!? Each issue of Shadis got bigger and better. Jolly would hone his writing skill with Shadis, and the magazine would go on to become a major gaming publication for many, many years, published by AEG.

It’s wild how you seldom realize how your words and actions may impact another human being. That’s funny. And very cool. I was especially touched when Jolly related how I seem to have this magic power of calling him when he needs a friend most and knowing the right thing to say to make things better. I suspect the first part is Jolly’s own good karma, and the second part is just dumb luck on my part, but I’m glad I have been there to help. We both started to tear up during this part of the panel. All I can say is, Jolly is a dear friend. I love that guy and love hanging with him.

The rest of the panel talk covered the KoDT movie – being released at Gen Con Indy on DVD. Three or four episodes are filmed and if the DVD sells well there could be many more to follow. Jolly regaled us with some background stories about the movie and other stuff. It was a good time for all.

My panel with Matthew Balent

I don’t remember if this panel talk followed the one after Jolly on Friday night (I believe so) or was actually Thursday night. That’s what a whirlwind and a bit of a blur the Palladium Open House was for me. Whenever it was, it was pretty awesome. Another fun trip down Memory Lane with more laughs and good times.

Matthew Balent and I go waaaaay back to the days of the Detroit Gaming Center (DGC). Matthew and I, along with Erick Wujcik, Rene Vega, Robin Corona and others, helped found and run the DGC. He was also one of the very first contributors to the early game product releases from Palladium Books, most notably the Palladium Weapon Series, Valley of the Pharoahs, as well as a major contributing to Monsters and Animals and Palladium’s early operations in general. Matt and I shared many adventures during the early days of Palladium Books. He was my travel companion to my first few Gen Cons and Origins, as well as a couple of trade shows, and we discovered Mad Max: Road Warrior together at a movie theater in Racine, Wisconsin, during a Gen Con; making the release of the new Mad Max movie the weekend of the Open House seem all the more nostalgic and fateful.

Matt and I had a bunch of stories to tell. He spoke about how and why he created Weapons and Armor and other things about Palladium and our convention travels. It was great. Afterward, Matt remembered many other tales and suggested he and I squeeze in another panel talk. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible. I was thrilled that the people in attendance welcomed Matt and had him sign books and chat. He had so much fun that Matt said “when” we hold the next Open House, tell him and he will come to it, guaranteed. Matt, like many people at the POH, refused to accept this was the last Open House.

Btw, both Matt and Jolly were blown away by the Open House and how awesome Palladium fans are. Both kept saying things like, “Kevin, I didn’t know what to expect. This is cool. Really cool. Wow.”

Zombie Cards!

The good folks at DoubleTake sent us a give-away that was a postcard sized set of their first five comic book covers. Everyone who attended the POH received one of these unexpected sets of cards. An item that may become a collector’s item.

DoubleTake is a new comic book company with big plans. Starting this August, they are launching their comic book company with a line with 10 comic books based on George Romero’s iconic movie, Night of the Living Dead. DoubleTake has all kinds of innovative ideas and I think it is fun to be on the ground floor of this new endeavor. As both a comic book reader and fan of George Romero, I’m happy to help promote this new company. In fact, we’ll be dropping sets of the cards we have left in select mail orders to spread the word. People seemed pleasantly surprised and pleased with this item. For more information about these comic books, go to and/or scope out their Kickstarter.


Kickstarter: ... iving-dead

Everyone in attendance got a pack of the cards at the door when they received their name badge. I also had free copies of Rifts® Machinations of Doom for all who wanted one. This was done in anticipation of the arrival of Ramon K. Perez, but as it turned out, Ramon couldn’t make the event. What follows is an excerpt from a recent email from Ramon, I thought you might enjoy: "The wedding was small, but awesome. Lot of friends there I hadn't seen in quite some time. Good food, drinks, and dancing -- was also a welcome break from the chaos of what is my schedule of late. I'm really glad to hear the Palladium Open House went well. Was just at a show in Denver this past weekend, and a TON of Rifts fans stopped by with copies of books to sign, and one commission character request as well!"

A few other things worth mentioning

This was our first “official” day of the Open House (second day counting VIP night) and there were a lot of familiar faces, but a lot of first-timers too. Both were nice to see.

Games were running all the time and people had a great time. Meanwhile, Jake spent a good amount of time setting up the terrain tables for the Robotech® RPG Tactics Tournament starting on Saturday. I left for home sometime around 11:30 PM. I should have slipped away earlier considering I needed to be at the warehouse at 7:00 AM on Saturday for the Robotech® tournament, but I was having too much fun chatting and signing books for people.

More POH details in my next Murmur.

Kevin Siembieda
Publisher, Writer and Game Designer

© Copyright May 28, 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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