Others on the Paizo website have detailed the confirmed changes and crunchy bits revealed at the PFRPG preview banquet. Frankly, I was having so much fun, I didn't take enough notes to do a better job, so I'm not going to try.
Most everyone at the con packed into the hotel ballroom -- plates of juicy food goodness, deserts and drinks in hand -- and grabbed a table. Every table had at least one spot for a special guest and a Paizo employee, which was a great idea. My table had only me for special guest, but we got Wes Schneider (who rocks) so all was good. In fact, there really was no way every table wouldn't rock with the reserved seating laid out that way. Of course, my brother, the Eagle from Beast Master, was with us. Five other great-spirited, Paizoans joined us. I suck, because I can't remember their names.
Lisa Stevens opened the event with a delightful and welcoming speech, focusing on the fans and the unexpected success that is Paizo. Hearing her sincere enthusiasm for the game, for Paizo, for Paizoans -- marvelous. She sees the PFRPG as her chance to witness yet another seminal evolution in the history of the game (little things like TSR, WotC, Magic the Gathering, and Vampire being others), and I for one, agree.
The room darkened and Jason B. then reviewed the PFRPG section by section on the big screen. He hit us with highlights, confirmed changes, and touched on the final resolution of matters oft debated on the boards. I distinctly overheard a senior Paizo employee (who shall remain nameless because I want to write for them more) say, "Uh oh. He's [Jason] drinking beer. I hope he doesn't reveal more than he should..." Hilarious. Jason's presentation was spot on and no, he didn't reveal too much, but he did foster a growing excitement in my belly. The PFRPG book is gorgeous, all 578 pages of it, and I can't wait to get it into my hands.
Erik closed with another inspiring, warm speech and a few product announcements: yes to a PFRPG subscription, yes to a heavy card-stock-designed-to-survive GM screen, and he announced the PFRPG Gamemastery Guide, confirming Paizo's dedication to putting adventure tools in our hands as opposed to fixing their permanent imprint onto the game. Awesome!
Finally, Josh announced the evening's final festivities: a ballroom-wide Golarion quiz game. Every table became a team. Categories included Society, Combat, etc. etc. Questions included: what was the name of the Andoran revolution? What country outlawed religion? and the like. The prize was a $50 gift certificate per person at the winning table. Perfect.
Again, more attentive note-taking folks on the Paizo boards have done a better job of recounting the exact questions, answers, and contest results. Eventually it came down to a three-way tie, broken by two final-death questions: "Name the most continents on Golarion..." and "Name the most planets in the solar system shared by Golarion..."
The purpose of having an employee and a special guest at each table, other than spreading the love, became clear. Unfortunately, I proved woefully inadequate. Tables with the likes of Kortes and Vaughan (yeah - both at one table, practically cheating if you ask me!) or Liz Courts rocked out. Josh Frost and Erik Mona read the best answers aloud and generally ranked on all of us.
Lacking sufficient Golarion knowledge to compete I had not choice but to make it fun. Lets just say one of our sheets contained "Damn you Eric Mona!" for all five answers. Erik promptly ranked us for spelling his name wrong: "All the product I send you and you still can't spell my name right? What's wrong with you?" We mixed it up a bit with "Bite me Josh Frost!" and answers like "Dumf*ckistan", "The Dread Elric Mona" and the ever popular "Frosty McDelicious". Hysterical to hear Josh read the latter aloud, claim it for his rap name, then point me out. "Oh, of course. Lou Agresta's table. I'm watching you, Agresta!"
And we weren't the only humorists in the bunch. Name of the Andoran revolution? Dance, dance. Who is the Whispering Tyrant? Hard to say. Hard to hear him.
Great, great fun. Well done Josh, EriC, and Paizo at large. Go Bristlesticks!
We rounded Saturday night out with a 12 or so person game of Werewolf. Cosmo joined us. Liz Courts, Jason Nelson, and tons others. Again -- much, much fun. I'll try and post a video Miss Em took of an entire round. Not sure if I'll succeed, as the vid is big, so I'll make that a later post.
Finally we popped over to the infamous Room 247, more of Ted's outrageous home brew and food, a late night showing of Blade Runner, and great conversation to the wee hours all around.
And that was Saturday at Paizocon. Sunday to follow.