I recently attended the 2004 edition of Ambercon North, which was held September 23-26 in Toronto, and, despite the hotel problems that the con had, I had a good time again this year.
For Jenn and I, the annual trip to ACN is a vacation in Toronto during which there’s an Ambercon, and we go up early to enjoy the city for a couple of extra days before the con starts (plus it gives Jenn time to get in a business meeting). This year that meant we arrived on Tuesday, and were the first to deal with the problems at the Town Inn. I don’t want to dwell on the details of our hotel issues, but I’ll say that we managed to stay in three different rooms during our stay, and they ranged from utterly horrible (the cramped, shabby second floor suite right over the entrance) to rather nice (the recently renovated suite on the 19th floor). We still fared better than those attendees who were forced to hike from the tiny rooms over at the Isabella Hotel every day, after the Town Inn managed to bump them all from the rooms they’d reserved. My opinion of the Town Inn at the point is that, no matter what they might promise, they simply can’t be trusted to give the con the rooms or facilities agreed to, and so we’d be better off moving to another hotel.
Anyway, enough about the hotel. Since Jenn and I treat ACN as a vacation, I was only in a couple of games:
Slot 2: Nine Princes in High School
GM: Jack Gulick
This was TFOS meets Amber, and it was a lot of fun. I ended up with a TFOS version of Caine (thanks to Jack throwing together the character for me at the start of the slot), and I had a blast playing him. Caine was a pirate, and had a ship that sailed on the school’s swimming pool, crewed by people recruited from those sent to detention. He raided the halls in his longboat (carried by those hoping to join his crew), breaking into lockers to get at the treasures they contained. Yar! Once the adventure got rolling, he managed to steal a doughnut truck (brought by the workers who’d come to tear down Amber High) and hoist the Jolly Rodger over it. There was plenty of silliness and swashbuckling after that too, ending with Caine pulling a terribly timed betrayal at the very end of the slot. I highly recommend this one if Jack ends up running it at one of the other Ambercons.
Slot 6: Lean Times in Amber
GM: Chris Kindred
Lean Times is basically an IMiA session run at ACN with a somewhat different cast, so I ran my usual IMiA character, Captain Wesley Hobart, Privateer. We’ve been asked by the GM not to reveal the details of what went on, but there were some interesting new characters and some big changes for a couple of the older ones. Oh, and a lack of single-malt scotch, which made the whole exercise seem decidedly odd. I’ll have to remember to remedy that the next time there’s a Lean Times session.
There was also a lot of good food to be had during the week in Toronto, where we hit many of our favorite restaurants and tried one excellent new one, and some fine spirits as well, as Jenn and I made our way out to The Feathers and tried some of their 430+ single-malts (which I’m sure Jenn will post about soon). It was great to see some of the friends I only see at Ambercons, as well as those I’m lucky enough to see more often, and I’m already looking forward to ACUS in the spring.
EDIT: Jennifer has posted about our trip to The Feathers here.