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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:27 pm

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Yeah, The Publisher Guy

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:18 pm
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2015 Open House Part Four -- Saturday, May 16, 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.

Boy, was I dragging Saturday morning. Four or five hours of sleep were not enough. I was glad I set the alarm because I might not have gotten up in time to open up the warehouse for Jake and the Robotech® RPG Tactics Tournament players. Taking a shower helped revive me a bit, but I was still worn out.

Auction prep. Somehow I had forgotten to display the Auction items on Friday. So after I opened the place up, I pulled the items and wrote a brief description and estimated value for them. My pal, Doug Lamberson, swung by to lend me a hand around 8:00 AM and we chatted while I worked away. I got the most meaty and important items up and displayed for the auction and Paul Deckert brought by a half-dozen items from the Erick Wujcik estate.

My next three games

Games four and five were particularly dynamic, with a lot of excellent role-playing of characters and cleverness. The story had built to an exciting and anticipated climax. The gates to the two hells (Hades and Dyval) would soon be closed, the town saved from the advancing army of Lord Sebastian and an exciting grand finale loomed ahead. Then in game six . . . hmmm, let’s just say things took many interesting and unexpected twists. Bedlam reigned. More on the games themselves in a separate Murmur.

An unexpected departure

Jolly and Barbara Blackburn had a family emergency that forced them to leave the Open House Saturday afternoon. An ailing, close relative of Barbara’s had taken a sudden turn for the worse and they wanted to be at his bedside. I’m sorry to report he passed away the following Monday.

Of course I was very disappointed Jolly and Barb had to leave early. So were they. We said quick goodbyes, hugged and they were off. I never had a chance to snap up some KoDT items or one of Jolly’s handmade boats (I loved the one that was a broken down wreck with planks missing). Oh well, I’ll see them again at Gen Con in a couple of months.

The Robotech® RPG Tactics Tournament

Sadly, my schedule was so packed with me running games, panel talks and events, that I did not get to see very much of the tournament. However, from all accounts, it was awesome. Patrick “Jake” Jakubowski coordinated and ran the event, even without his voice. Yep, after two days of gaming, Jake had lost his voice. It was little more than a hoarse whisper, poor guy. But he powered through and ran a very fun tournament. Happily, Jake said, “The Open House was a great time. One of the best times I have had gaming.”

For the RRT tournament, players were focused, painted mecha were impressive, and a couple of ambitious Robotech® madmen brought in some homemade ships that left us breathless. Palladium’s own Brandon Aten was one of them. He brought in an ARMD Platform as terrain for the tournament. It was made out of plywood and looked great and Peter Pidrak wowed us with his Zentraedi ship and Oberth Class Destroyer! But it was the smaller scaled ARMD platform by Jeff Richards that blew everyone away. It was on par with a model you’d expect to see used in a movie. Wow. Fantastic. We gave him a special prize because we were so impressed, but all three of these gents blew our minds with their skill and love of Robotech®. They were all really something and created a lot of excitement at the Open House. I must have had 20 people ask me if I had seen these ships. Cool.

Tournament Winners:

1st place Painting Champion: Christopher Ings
2nd place Painting: Jeff Richards
3rd place Painting: Matt Buckley

1st place Battle Champion: Christopher Ings
2nd place Battle General: Bill Kim
3rd place Battle General: Rob Wardlaw

Tournament Champion: Christopher Ings, who placed first in both events.

The Spaceship Guys:
Small ARMD: Jeff Richards
Big ARMD: Brandon Aten
Zentraedi ship and Oberth Class Destroyer: Peter Pidrak

Our thanks and congratulations to everyone who played in the event as well as those who helped us set up and run the tournament. Special thanks to Patrick Jakubowski for running the tournament.

The Auction

The auction went very well and bidders seemed to have a good time. I had a record amount of Kevin Long and even some Kevin Siembieda art up for auction. There were a few excellent deals to be had and a few things that went for a few hundred dollars; most notably my iconic Glitter Boy illustration from the Rifts® RPG along with the original Kevin Long Glitter Boy concept drawing. I was hesitant to sell it, but the person who bought it was delighted and I know it is going to a good home where it will be enjoyed for years. I still need to mail out the certificate of authenticity for the Glitter Boy to the purchaser. I will try to do that today before I forget. As I noted earlier, Paul Deckert brought a half-dozen items from the Erick Wujcik estate, with proceeds going to his heirs. I also included a number of books autographed by Erick, and one copy of Mutants Down Under signed by all of us, Erick Wujcik and Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Ninja Turtles. Sweet.

I did not realize until a few days AFTER the POH that there was an entire box of items I had put aside that I forgot to include in the auction. I was just so busy and tired they slipped my mind. Sheesh. I will bring some of them and the leftover artwork with me to Gen Con Indy, and post some of them in the Kevin Siembieda Ebay Store over the next week or two.

Despite my being so tired by then and a bit slap-happy, the auction was fun. I kept forgetting what the last auction bid was on items, and was a little silly at times. Thankfully, the audience helped out by telling me the last bid and the bidders were honest. One of my goals with releasing so much artwork and a few rare books was to let other people enjoy some of the artworks we’ve created over the years. Art is one of those rare items that you can hang on the wall and enjoy for decades.

I grabbed a quick hotdog and a pizza slice to eat after the auction in the minutes before the next event: the announcing of the winners of the 2015 Robotech® RPT Tactics tournament. See the details on the winners in the tournament section above. A little after 8:00 PM gaming recommenced and the sounds of battle and laughter echoed through the warehouse.

Panel on licensing

Around 8:10 PM, I plopped down in a chair for my next panel talk. This one was about the world of licensing. Palladium has been on both sides of this subject. We have been the Licensee acquiring licenses like TMNT®, Robotech®, and Justice Machine®, and adapting them to role-playing, as well as licensor, in which we license our I.P. (Intellectual Property) to another company.

Licensing is more complicated and nuanced than one might imagine, and this talk covered some of those details, rationales, and personal experiences. We talked about the Rifts® movie option, dealing with Hollywood, how Hollywood and big companies think and why they’ll make a movie based on the Battleship board game but not Rifts®. We also talked about Palladium’s license to Pinnacle Entertainment Group to adapt Rifts® to the Savage World game system, and other things. I had caught a bit of a second-wind, but was very glad Mark Dudley joined the panel and was able to contribute to the topic.

Artist and concept guy, Mark Dudley, has had some experience in this area, and is currently developing a Nightbane® concept being pitched as an animated TV series. He has garnered some interest and he and his team are currently working on the final details needed to successfully pitch this project. Fingers crossed. Mark had a great deal of first-hand experience to offer and the panel was lively and informative. Folks also got to hear about the ill-fated Rifts® MMOG from 2008, and some stories about the Ninja Turtles®, Robotech® and other licenses we’ve done over the years. Some tales of Hollywood too.

Videotaping the panel talks

Wayne and I had planned to videotape the panel talks, the RRT tournament and other events, and we did. We even purchased a brand new camera to do the job. Thing is, we blew it by getting a camera that didn’t really do the job. Doug Lamberson came through by letting us borrow and use his video camera, but there were some issues with it too, as well as lighting and audio problems. Long story short, there may be some 2015 Palladium Open House video hitting the Internet in the weeks ahead, but not as much as we had hoped. And the quality may be a bit less than desired. Still, whatever gets posted should be fun. I hope I don’t look and sound too wiped out. I’m usually a pretty energetic guy, but I’ve had the exwife and a few other people comment that I look exhausted in some of the photographs being posted. I hope not, but I was running on adrenaline half the time. That said, I had a blast and I know people in attendance did as well.

Snuck out early on Saturday Night

The panel ended at 10:00 PM, but I hung out chatting with fans and signing books for a good while after the panel. At 10:30 PM I suddenly found myself not surrounded by people and decided I would sneak out a half an hour early on Saturday night. I was so tired and had nothing left in my tank. My head hit the pillow by 11:20 PM and I was out like a light. Slept till 7:00 Sunday morning. That sleep was welcomed and I felt the most vibrant I had felt in the past week. Amazing what 7-8 hours of sleep and the adrenaline of the last day can do for a body.

Sunday wrap-up to follow.

Kevin Siembieda
Publisher, Writer and Game Designer

© Copyright June 1, 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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