PAX Unplugged Recap
December 7, 2017

Pax Unplugged Marissa Kelly 2017

Marissa and Brendan both attended the first ever PAX Unplugged on November 17-19, and came away with an awesome experience and great hopes for future PAX Unpluggeds! (PAXes Unplugged? PAXi Unplugged? PAX Unpluggedus?)


Magpie Games was firmly ensconced in a corner booth at PAX Unplugged, featuring purple carpet, purple table cloths, and limned with purple lights. (It was only later that we would realize that purple was the official color of the convention, and revel in our luck!) We set up the booth on Thursday with help from Matt Aaron, and ran it for all three days with Howard Katz helping us trade shifts. We met countless gamers, plenty of whom had never seen our books before, and helped introduce them to worlds of superheroic teenagers and young dragons and political urban fantasy!

Our featured product at the convention was Bluebeard’s Bride, which we had for the first time in print, and it looked gorgeous as the centerpiece of our booth! Plenty of people came by just to sneak a peek at the book and its contents—they were unable to resist the siren call of the cover by Rebecca Yanovskaya!

Additionally, we had hard copies of two new ashcans, Pasión de las Pasiones by Brandon Leon-Gambetta, and The Ward by Kevin Petker. Both are fantastic short books, giving you everything you need to play a basic version of these new games, and we were proud to feature them at our booth.

Pax Unplugged Marissa Kelly 2017


Marissa’s Panel

Marissa had a chance to do a talk at the Kickstarter booth with Luke Crane! Kickstarter’s booth had a neat set up with couches and comfy chairs, so that they could host people for interesting one-hour discussions and con-goers could sit down and chat. Marissa was there to answer questions all about gamemastering (sort of as a follow-up to her panel with the Gauntlet), and she found it to be an awesome experience. Between great questions, interested listeners, and that great set-up, she had a great time and she would gladly host one again! To any con-goers, we deeply recommend checking it out if the Kickstarter booth ever has any similar set-up.

Kickstarter Dinner

Marissa and Brendan both went to a dinner hosted by Kickstarter where they had the opportunity to chat with some awesome people! They spent a bunch of time in discussion with Meguey Baker and D. Vincent Baker of Lumpley Games, Luke Crane of Kickstarter and Burning Wheel, George Buckenham of Sensible Object (who created Beasts of Balance), and others about the nature of rituals and how they interact with game design, all while nibbling on delectable dishes. And then, thanks to the dinner’s policy of switching up conversation partners for dessert, Marissa and Brendan got to meet Sukie Punjasthitkul (who worked on the game VISITOR in Blackwood Grove) and Mac Walters (who worked on the game Secret Hitler), among others! All in all, an awesome opportunity to meet other great minds in game design! Thanks to Kickstarter and Luke Crane!

Pax Unplugged Marissa Kelly 2017


The Coolness of the Con

In addition to all of that, Marissa and Brendan got to take in the whole of the con! PAX Unplugged had tons of great games and areas to behold. They gawked at dice made from precious stones; got to play a demo of the upcoming Stuffed Fables game from Plaid Hat Games; ooed and ahed over custom wooden components for board game boxes; and bounced between countless great booths. And next year only promises to be better!

After this successful con, Magpie Games will be sure to come back to PAX Unplugged next year. Hope to see you there!