Monday, June 29, 2009

Origins 2009

Well the special T&T event was called off by the Origin's staffers around noon. I appreciated the effort but really wasn't too keen on running three sessions back to back. No chance to grab dinner and beer(s). Mel6 was not going to be able to pop his head in until late, late later in the festivities.
Peryton had five players for her "Something About Werewolves," three of them new. Great jokes were heard throughout the night from that session. I had two players for "Song of the Songhai" of course both were new, as there have been now 22 play-testers to date for the system. I had a ball and Jeff and Mike, the players helped out with expressing the XP system and got my mind into the "Ritual Magicks" for WHAP Delux.

I let the WHAP game run long, the feedback and rules discussion was just too helpful and the guys too much fun. Rick Loomis called me wondering where the special game was supposed to be. Hee, gotta love those Origins' special event guys... great ideas, not a lot of experience I suppose. Had dinner at a ritzy Italian restaurant with us "regulars" and Rick from Boston, let's call him. There was not a line for a seat like at the more casual joints around the convention.

The regular T&T game, which I had heard was sold out, turned out to be just us regulars (Aarra', Steppenwulf, Pery, and I). Still being around just them had me feeling comfortable enough to get a bit tipsy while running my tunnel hack (dungeon crawl) "the Loop," a scenario detailing the Temple of Loopo of the History of Trollworld fame. By 11pm I had to send Pery home, she was biting at fingers and knocking dice on the floor amazed at gravity.

Mel6 finally showed up at 1:45am to have a beer and pizza while we caught up. Before then I hung with Rook, two nice kids from south Indiana (Steve and Ryan), Andy Hopp, and Michael Mirth while I waited.

The next day, we ran into Miffed Kitty and her Marquis (Megan and her husband from the RPGBomb) for ten seconds before heading over to see Rick and Laura Loomis at the FBI booth. We also said "hey" to Jerry and Renee Grayson of the Godsend Agenda fame, while I mentioned maybe running that game at GenCon or Origins in 2010. We missed Aara and Steppenwulf, whom we were supposed to have dinner at their house, as we left the convention earlier than them. Well, we'll have GenCon to get Steppenwulf's books to him then.

A little side drama at the convention was with the Hackmaster crowds sharing the same room with me for WHAP and T&T.

In the afternoon, I showed up about ten minutes early to get my WHAP set up organized. While there was a crowd of red-shirted hacking masters, the room was by far not over-filled. Four out of twelve tables were being used, and those four were pushed together to form two play areas. My assigned table and another made a total of six tables with anyone there. There was maybe twenty-five people in a large conference room set up for about one hundred and twenty.

Not thinking much as I cleaned off a bunch of old fast food containers and flipped over the tablecloth with its stains, I set up my little WHAP booklet to be visible to any players from the door, laid out the game material, and grabbed four chairs for the table. I went to throw away the garbage I had cleaned off and when I walked back, a couple of these hackers had moved their half-finished Chinese food containers from a table at the far side of the room onto my assigned table. Another was placing a box of game material onto one of the chairs at my table from the chair that he had been using. Not being one to go gently into anyone's good night, I politely pointed out that I needed the table according to the Origins' program and apologized for getting into their way.

No further incident occurred as my WHAP players and I got under way. Later, in between games, I got to know one of the Hackmaster GM's and shared books (T&T and Hackmaster) for a few minutes before our players for the evening games arrived. Before the other fellow got busy with his players milling in one by one, I even encouraged my already-arrived T&T players to check out the new Hackmaster Basic book.

Then after the T&T game was under way, another group of red-shirted hackers had a table next to us, which all four of us were too busy to notice. At least until one of the three Hackmasters(?) from the neighboring table, where four players sat, came over to the table and notified us that at 10pm a horde of HackMaster players and officianados were going to fill the room to capacity and make things overly loud for our table. He stated that we "might want to be elsewhere." As it was 9pm, we agreed among ourselves that we appreciated the heads up, and continued with our game. Unexpectedly the table next to us picked up and left at 9:30pm. I figured that the group had some prepping to do before the Hackmaster world premier wrestling match, beauty pageant, or whatever was to take place. Really I was a little to busy to pay attention.

Finally at 9:45 pm, I decided a commercial break was due, I wanted a beer and it was getting close to the time that we had been asked to leave by. We found a free table in the hallway, one of two in the stretch of hall between the bagel shop and the passage to the food court in that part of the Hyatt hotel. The other table had about four players apparently also breaking. At 10pm, I passed the conference room that the Hackmasters had requested that requested I leave an hour earlier than I was slotted to and noticed only one table with five assorted dorks were running a Munchkin card game, not a red-shirted hacker in sight. Back at my new table we got under way, at about 10:30 the table next to us resumed there own game. And behold there was the red-shirted Hackmaster that had required the conference all for himself. He and apparently another two GM's half-heartedly ran their continued game to all of eight weary players. When my group wrapped up at 11pm, I think the hackers were down to two red-shirts and three players, the GM I spoke with earlier winced when he saw me counting. I walked past the supposedly booked-solid conference room, and the Munchkin game had been joined by another group at a far table playing with cards as well.

(Reposted from the defunct forum by Christina Lea, but originally written by Tom) 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

BASHCon 2009

Day One: Well the convention is well under way. Took two hours longer than it should've to get things rolling, and a legal pad would have helped avoid some of the bugs in the "paperless" administration of the event.

We ran the T&T game, but it started too late for the WHAP! or Peryton games. I dunno if we should try to run something tomorrow or just go with friends' games.

Quotes of the Con so far,

"Me: ( for the 114th time of the game) Write your XP down.

Jerry: (smiling patiently) So you like want me to write my XP after every successful roll then?..."


" Peryton locks the door with that special brass thingy latch on every hotel door these days.

Peryton: Gotta keep those damned ninjas out. You know how bad they get.

Me: At least they're quiet about things. Not like those damned Vikings and barbarians cavorting about all the time.

Peryton: Yeah, they are pretty quiet..."

Second day of BASHCOn went well. Despite a snow storm, Peryton and I made it to a GammaWorld game with time enough for grabbing some coffee and sweets before the start of festivities. The GM turned on the "old-school" energy from get go. He talked about how Gamma' has no alignments, and pulled out a two foot tall, wooden GM screen with at least 55 charts on the inside. In-color hydrogen explosion photos adorned the outside along with 1950's adds for home fall-out shelters. I was a bit worried as I thought he was going to let the charts and his own massive Skills List run the game, but when he saw the players get warmed up he basically sat back and just guided us with a nudge every now and then. His 20 y/o daughter was there, which made me jealous as my own 17 y/o has been poisoned by her mother against anything weirder than Smallsville.

Later I spoke with a the guy who ran "Cthulhu Over Sesame Street" last June at Origins about possibly being his Assistant-GM in an "Iron GM competition," this year. Picked up 1985's Oriental Adventures for some research for T&T's 7plus Specialist Types, and bought my second 100-sided die ever-- Pery played with it like a cat for an hour. Wrapped things up by 7pm and did pizza, writing, and the Sci-Fi Channel movie back at the hotel. Already thought of an excuse to swing by later today for a quick look around before heading home, and then to work... oh the dreadful horror.

Quote of the day:

"Peryton: ... I shut off the computer so get off my case!

Me: You still have your super-dooper cell phone!

Peryton: Yes I do. And there's nothing you and your ninjas can do anything about it..."

(Reposted from the defunct forum by Christina Lea, but originally written by Tom)