Archive for June, 2004

June 30, 2004: 9:01 pm: Cons

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.

June 28, 2004: 8:12 pm: Cons

The Black Road was this past weekend, and it was another successful con, despite the fact that the committee (by which I mean Jenn, Deb and I) wasn’t exactly at full strength. Deb had broken her foot last Wednesday, and Jenn started in on a cold the same day, which got much worse as the con went along (and was diagnosed as a nasty URI/bronchitis combo today). Still, the show (or, in this case, the con) must go on, so both of them made the best of a bad situation, while I did what I could as the official lackey. In the end, I think things ended up working out pretty well, and most of the attendees seemed to have a great time, but I’m sure both Jenn and Deb would have enjoyed the con more without their respective medical issues.

As for my own TBR experience, I had a pretty good time, even if there was more work involved than there was last con. It was great to meet some new attendees that I only knew from online (like Bryant, Ginger & Michael, and Kris Kunkel), to spend time with some people I pretty much only see at Ambercons (including Liz T., Matt, and Jenn W.), and to get in more gaming with those friends I am fortunate enough to see on a more regular basis. I enjoyed both of the games I played in, and the three games I ran seemed to be a lot of fun for those who played in them. I’ll save the details on all of that for another post….

June 23, 2004: 10:15 pm: Miscellaneous

Well, TBR is this weekend, and I’m more or less prepared for the games I’m running. I just realized though that I’ve managed to not post here since the beginning of the month, despite my best intentions, so this is just to let you all know that I am indeed still alive.

Hopefully this will still be true after TBR, as I intend to post about the con and a few other things next week.

June 6, 2004: 8:55 pm: Cons

A reminder about the important dates for ACN 2004 was sent out today:

Thursday, September 23 – Sunday, September 26, 2004
at the Town Inn Suites in Toronto, Ontario

Major Dates:

June 30
Deadline for Early Bird Registration
Deadline for Event Submission

July 26
Event catalogue released

August 8
Deadline for Standard Registration
Deadline for hotel reservations

August 20
Deadline for Event Selection

September 1
Deadline for cancelation refund requests

September 23-26
AmberCon North!

I think that maybe having game submission close almost three months before the actual con, and at a point where some people aren’t even sure yet whether or not they’ll be able to attend, is a mistake, as it’s got to cut down on the number of games that get submitted. Still, I’ll be there whether there are a lot of games or not!

June 3, 2004: 9:23 am: Cons

Here’s my schedule for this year’s The Black Road:

Slot 1, Friday 1pm-5pm
Le Cygne: The Lost Swan of Amber
GMs: Ginger Stampley and Michael Croft

I’m looking forward to actually gaming with the famous Ginger and Michael.

Slot 2, Friday 7pm-Midnight
GM (with Jennifer Jackson) — If You Can’t Take the Heat
Deb Atwood
Kevin Allen
Burr Rutledge
Julia Frizzell
Lou Evans
Matt Andrews
Bryant Durrell

We ran it with 8 players at ACUS, and it was a blast, so hopefully it’ll go just as well this time around.

Slot 3, Saturday 10am-4pm
GM — Nine Losers in Akron
Jack Gulick
Kevin Allen
Lou Evans
Jeff Trumitch
Bryant Durrell
Kris Kunkel

I’m glad there were six people sick enough to want to play this game. *grin*

Slot 4, Saturday 7pm-Midnight
My Life with Corwin
GM: Jack Gulick

My Life With Master run by Jack, and so probably the game I’m most looking forward to this con.

Slot 5, Sunday 10am-2pm
GM — The Jewel of Zhong Kui
Lou Evans
Jennifer Jackson
Jack Gulick
Kevin Allen

I expect this will be a fun time for all involved, especially since I already know I’m likely to have players for both Jackie and Jade.