It’s Tuesday morning after GenCon and … I’m not hyper-tired, hyper-wired, or hyper-anything, really. After years of being completely wasted by the 6-day journey, I’m glad that I’ve found a sweet spot where I fit comfortably. It wasn’t all comfort–it was actually a lot of work–just less work than in previous years and work to which I am better suited. Let’s take it from the top, though.
I had it all planned so that I could finish up and leave work on time, pick up the rental vehicle, pack it up between 7 and 9 and still get a decent bit of sleep before the big drive. Well, unforeseen events occurred and I ended up packing from 9:30 to midnight. With my foot as sore as ever.
Drive, drive, drive. It was a mostly cool, overcast day for a drive, and we arrived around 5pm. I then learned that in my too-late packing the night before, I lost Jared’s Memento Mori banners. I felt like crap! But there was not a thing I could do.
By the time we unloaded everything and headed to dinner, it was nearly 7pm. Kat and I ended up eating with Alexander Cherry, Don & Johanna Corcoran, and a few others I don’t recall. Although Kat and I had not planned on attending the Diana Jones Awards, everyone else in the group was. Thus, I suggested we eat at Jillians, so they could go right to the awards. Well, Kat and I were in a high booth with Mr. Cherry, finishing up our dinner, when Luke Crane vaults over the back of the booth to join us. Best memory of the day! By the time we finished catching up with Luke the Awards had started and it would have been rude to not say “hi” to everybody. Plus, Kat managed to smack Bill in the face! What a night!
Up in time for Kat and I to set up the Games On Demand area and be Table Custodians for the first shift. She got to run Tangled Fates. I played Shooting the Moon with TonyLB. It was space fantasy and I was a liberated mine slave and he was an aristocratic deposed despot, both vying for the hand of the princess of the galaxy. He and his bad boys ways won out in the end! The game feels like it should be a lot funner than it is! I feel like I should sit down and figure out how, because I really love the set up stuff.
Kat had a WGP game scheduled after her G.O.D. shift. I had nothing and had originally planned to shop during that time. But my foot was hurting so much I hobbled back to the hotel to rest it. I sat in on about an hour of Luke & Co.’s publishing panel–it was interesting to see how the different panelists than at Origins changed the tone and pace of the seminar.
After that, I hobbled my way over to the Crowne Plaza for my oddest event of the con: my By The Stars LARP. I admit that I was hoping it would fold for lack of players, but I ended up with 13 plaus Kat. One kid was a bit too young for the complexity, which brought us down to a complete complement of 12 players. I handed out characters and explained my rules and got a dozen LARPers looking back at me with expressions that said “I gave up $3 and 4 hours for this crud? This will never work!” But, gamers that they are, they soldiered on, and within 20 minutes or so of commencing actual play, they were laughing, shouting and having a great time. I sat, rested my foot, and did a bunch of nothing for about 2 and half hours. They applauded me when it was over. I’m not sure that I like the game, but they sure did! Judd says I’m like a 7th grader who refuses to believe that the girl I have a crush on likes me, too. He’s a perceptive one, that Karlman!
I had a WGP game from 10 to 2. I ran my “Mutant Academy” scenario and the players enjoyed it. I was supposed to run Serial at 3pm, but only one person had pre-registered and NO one showed up. I blame it on the odd time slot. I haven’t had a great deal of luck on Friday afternoons. With unexpected time on my hands, Kat and I got our Indie Passports stamped and did a little must-have shopping (I picked up Grey Ranks and got Mr. Morningstar to sign it! Yay!). An amusing note: We’re in the art show, looking for Keith Sen*owski. While much of the art is good, little of it really stood out to my non-artist eyes, until I see this wall of amazingly dramatic images. I even make a point of saying to Kat “That artist really understands how to illustrtate drama. Even when the figures are just standing there, the lighting is dramatic.” When I look down, I see that the artist is Vincent’s brother Drew, whose art I had never seen except for the cover of DitV. Wow.
Friday night we had dinner with my cousin Jason and his buddy Steve at Lowenmiller’s. I love the off-the-beaten path places! We had a good time catching up, and joking about the string of FVLMINATA adventures that Kat and I should write because of the success of “Weekend and Burnius.” There should be a whole string of ’80s movies-inspired adventures, like “Ferax Beuller’s Day Off,” “Shadebusters,” and “The Color of Sesterces.”
That evening in the Embassy Suites, there were a bunch of people chatting about wanting to play something, but NOT actually playing anything. I leapt up and started listing games I could run RIGHT NOW, and as soon as “My Life with Master” escaped my lips, I had folks begging to be mastered. So, I ran it for Tim, Willow, Trevis Martin, Kat, and Chris Weeks. They created a bishop who wanted to become Pope by being the pre-eminent exorcist in Europe. He’d have one of his minions possess people with demons and another minion drive them out. Willow’s minion ended up killing him in the courtyard of the church. Chris Weeks’ minion was the only survivor. Kat’s minion committed suicide by comfessing everything to the Inquisition, knowing full well that they would burn her at the stake. A decent game, but not a great one.
Saturday started with a WGP game from 8am to noon. I only had 4 players, but one of them was a guy who had played before that really got the game this time, I think. One of the others was a guy in a superhero costume with a big d20 on the chest called The Green Gamer. Kat will have to upload pictures later.
I ate lunch at Steak & Shake with Ralph and
Lxndr Rob Bohl. Lots of good talk about Robots & Rapiers and other things. From 2pm to 6, I had my next BTS game. This only had 8 players, one of whom had never been in a LARP before. She was a good sport, though. It ended about an hour early, and everyone had a fairly good time, I thought. No applause, but also no walking out in disgust.
Kat and I dined with Paul, Danielle, Ralph, Julie, Lxndr, and Ron at a tasty, out-of-the-way pizza joint that we’ll have to visit again. As is my idiom, I didn’t say much, but soaked up a lot of good gaming talk. Afterwards, Ron had asked if we could do With Great Power… Knowing his passion for supervillians, I suggested that he could GM while I refereed. That worked out well. We ended up with a big, cosmic level comic. My character was the Scion of Seven Suns, driven by the guilt of having destroyed the 8th sun, and browbeaten by the Council of the Broken Constellation. Paul played Creche, an ancient android with the eggs of a dead alien race in its body and a duty to make a new world for the race. Ralph played the Star Hunter, who hunted supervillains as his favorite quarry. His interstellar hunting lodge was Arcadia, and was inhabited by Kat’s character–Lady Olivia–the new queen of the Faeries after Titiania had died getting them off Earth. Ron’s villain was DARK OMEN, wielder of the power of Negation, holder of the 8th chair, and wearer of the Armor of Faces. The game ran to close to 1am, but was well worth it. I would have gladly played another issue.
Kat ran WGP at 10am on Sunday, and I had scheduled that as my shopping time. I bought more than I probably should have, but not as much as I have in years past, so I’m happy about that! Between Kat and I, we came home with six (!) ashcans: Galactic, 44, Acts of Evil, Giants, Know Thyself, and Poisn’d. Just testing out half of them will make for a busy autumn. At noon, I was supposed to run Serial, but again no one came. I was disappointed about that–I really like that game and wanted to play. Instead, I played Mechaton with Nat (woodelf) and Guy (thunder_god), and was thoroughly trounced! Guy won with a single white die left.
Much of the late afternoon was spent in the car, waiting to load up the shelves. I managed to read Keith’s CoS comic (quite good, with loads of potential), most of Poison’d and the first part of 44. Thus, the wait in the staging parking lot wasn’t so bad. That night, Kat and I had our annual quiet dinner with Paul and Danielle at a place called Champions. It’s a sports bar I’d avoid next year, but the conversation more than made up for it. Back at the Embassy, Paul, Danielle, Mayuran, Matt Snyder and I took 44 through its paces. I had an inspiration. Since 44 is set in the mid-50s, I’d play George Bailey from It’s a
Wonderful Life ten years later! His son Peter had become something of a trouble maker, but had spent a night in prison and came out squeaky clean. Mayuran crafted a down-on-his-luck private dick that could have been played by Bogart. He knew his old flame was an android because she returned his calls! Paul made a James Dean-inspired teenage rebel whose brother came back from Korea “different.” Danielle made a well-to-do 11-year-old girl that could have been Shirley Temple. She knew her best friend wasn’t right when he actually stood up to her. The story stuff was meaty, but moved slowly. And the game’s economy was out of balance, so none of us ever stood a chance. But the game will be better for it!
Drive, drive, drive. Lots of rain, but lots of talk about the most enjoyable GenCon I’ve had in years … possibly ever!