R.A. Salvatore's presentation

Talk title: “How to Make a Universe Worthy of Devotion.”

Very entertaining talk. Big guy, New England blue-collar accent, telling stories about getting killed in Everquest– but it felt more like bar fight stories: “The last thing on my screen was the bottom of the guy’s sandal. Then I had to walk the whole stupid road again and kill all that crap all over. Took 8 hours. Because I hit ‘a’ instead of ‘s’.”

Basically, it boils down to logical self-consistency and backstory. (Well, why did the “Star Wars” franchise just implode? George got too lazy to keep his own made-up facts straight.) When RAS makes a new world, his standard of backstory excellence is 10,000 years of world history– most of which will never be published, except as telling little details.

1000 people in that room, hanging on every word. “‘Just keep running.’ What are those, giants? Cool! ‘Just keep running.’ Then I was in a forest. They said, ‘Go faster, it’s almost 7:00. I said, ‘What? Why does that matter?” “Bad things happen at 7. Quit typing. Just keep running.'”