Now for the games themselves, the descriptions of which can be found in the TBR 2004 gamebook. My thanks to all of my GMs and players for helping to make it a fun con.
Slot 1: Le Cygne: The Lost Swan of Amber
GMs: Ginger Stampley and Michael Croft
There was a slow period for me during the first half of the game, which is hardly a rarity for me in con games (especially with unfamiliar GMs), but things picked up considerably during the second half, and Peet was able to get in plenty of swordplay and swashbuckling before he met his untimely end. Apparently, poison, an unskilled medic and leeches just don’t mix well. I was glad to get a chance to play using the Amberway/HoC system, and Ginger & Michael did a fine job with the GMing.
Slot 2: If You Can’t Take the Heat
co-GMing (with Jennifer Jackson)
This was the second time Jenn and I had run this game, so we thought we were well-prepared….and we probably were, until Frederic van Coppernolle unexpectedly stabbed NPC Tyler Florence (who recently replaced him on How to Boil Water) to death about 15 minutes into the slot. In an attempt to get him back into the main plot after he was thrown in the dungeon, I sent Fred off on a Bourne Identity style plot of his own, which I’d hoped would get him back into things by the end. It didn’t exactly work out that way, and I think it distracted me from helping out with the rest of the game as much as I should have. There were a lot of fun moments in this game, and everyone seemed to have a good time, but I don’t think it ended up going as well as the ACUS version did.
Slot 3: Nine Losers in Akron
Okay, I knew going in that this was going to be wrong (after all, it’s a kill puppies for satan game), but I hadn’t reckoned with it being as wrong as it was. Everyone got into the spirit of things pretty quickly, and the first half of the game was a lot of sick, twisted fun, with plenty of grotesque violence, both against small, furry animals and between the PCs. I played things pretty fast and loose with the rules, which seemed to work just fine.
Things didn’t go as well after the lunch break, as I’d let one of the characters (Brand, played by Jeff Trumitch) accumulate a heaping pile of evil, which he used to short-circuit the plot. He had a good idea, and it worked within the game as I’d set it up, so I let it happen and then tried to wing things from there. It didn’t go terribly, but, in retrospect, I should have jettisoned what remained of the plot, since clinging to the burning wreckage probably dragged the game down. Plus, having the plot remnant driving them along meant the PCs spent less time just randomly being sick losers.
Overall though, the players seemed to have a damned good time, which is the important thing, and there were calls for a sequel to be run next year, tentatively titled “Nine Losers in Tijuana” (as that’s where Oberon and Eric were headed on their stolen fire engine at game’s end). I’ll likely give this first scenario another shot at ACUS, where I’ve been threatened with having all female players (rather than the all male crowd I had this time). This scares me.
Slot 4: My Life with Corwin
GM: Jack Gulick
Despite Jack later admitting to having been less prepared for this game than he’d have liked, I thought this was a fine introduction to My Life with Master. Corwin, in his role as the Sorcerer-King of Avalon, made a perfect master, and everyone managed to come up with creepy and tragic minions. It was also a really good group of players, all of whom were able to do some great RP when their turn came around. So, despite the fact that we weren’t able to start the endgame before we were all ready for sleep, I’d still call this game a success.
Slot 5: The Jewel of Zhong Kui
This was the game I was least prepared for, and that, combined with me being pretty darned tired by this point in the con, resulted in a game that ended up being over far too quickly. I also didn’t make very good use of Kirt “Loki” Dankmyer’s Success system, which I had decided to use at the last minute and which I still think it was a good fit for a Jackie Chan Adventures game.
On the plus side, everyone seemed to have a good time, so I suppose that’s the most important thing. I’m definitely going to try and go a better job of preparation in the future though, especially at cons where I’m running more than one game.