Posted by Nathan P. on January 29, 2007
I wish I had a cord I could plug into my brain and just download my experiences into this magig box, because to adequetely capture the weekend will take a whole lotta typing.
First of all, pay attention to Judd’s Dreamation 07 link collection. Ok, good.
As per usual with these recap posts, I am simultaneously overwhelmed with how much I could say, and finding it difficult to actually write about anything. The weekend blends together so much, what with all the no sleeping and the seeing great people and the paying attention to stuff we’re making up together. But I’ll try to hit the most significant events.
The drive was uneventful, and I arrived with plenty of time to hang out and say hi to those who were already there (pretty much just Ben when I got there, but over the next hour or so some of my “con friends” (Jeffery, Rob, Matt, and so on) starting trickling in). I had a game of 1001 Nights at 8, and it went swimmingly. 6 players showed up, well split between “I have this game and haven’t had a chance to play it” and “I have no idea what this is but it sounds cool.”
Because we had so many people, I determined that each courtier should take only 2 Envies, instead of all 6 (in the rules, you take one for each other courtier). This had the potential for suck, but we ended up creating two intersecting webs of envy, and the game played out just fine. A fine fellow by the name of Dan brought an audio recording device, so there should be audio of our stories made available at some point. Which is so awesome I can’t really even express it.
Hung out afterwards with people until about 3 am, then went to bed. It was really funny – because nobody took point on getting the complimentary con suite organized, everybody assumed it was full and got their own rooms. So it turned out that, of the two full rooms made available to us, I got a full room to myself for pretty much the whole convention. Hilarious! I volunteered to spearhead the room-filling effort for next time – if the Dexposure people are kind enough to provide it, the least we can do is fill it.
I got up early enough to hit the morning slot in case something opened up, but all the games were full and Brennan was just setting up te IPR booth, so I helped him with that and generally hung out. People really started rolling in throughout the morning, and it was really funny to watch the ebb and flow of people lining the railing opposite the booth. It’s like an indie gamer geek gauntlet of fun. Bret Gillan took a bunch of pictures, by the by, and you should check them out on Flickr.
This is the part where I say that I met a bunch of cool people (which I did!), but I don’t remember any given meeting in particular, because there was such a mob of rock that I can’t pick out details. But, if any of you happen to read this, link me to your blogs and LJs and stuff! People are fun.
Moving on – I played Ganakagok at 2 with Bret, Emily, and Jeremiah until the wise eye of Mel White. I really, really, REALLY like this game, and I would have bought a copy on Sunday except that Bill took them all away on Saturday night. Damn you Bill! We created a fabulous story, wherein my ivory-carving craftsman found love with Bret’s reluctant maiden, only to have her die in my arms at the hands of her jilted suitor. At which point I set him on fire (the suitor, not Bret), and then watched the end of the world frozen in ice at the top of a mountain peak. This was all while Emily and Jeremiah’s characters led the people to the southern continent and joined with the southern people, only for their descendents to lose all memory of their origin – a fate worse than if they had died with Ganakagok’s melting.
Tragic and cold and beautiful. Great game, and on my must-play list.
Then we made a crazy dash to get Vietnamese for dinner, and despite the best efforts of New Jersey urban planning and construction managed to make it. Good food, GREAT dessert, and the always wonderful company of a whole pack o’ cool people. We made it back just barely in time for my 8.00 game of carry.
So I ran carry for Adam Dray, Dave Cleaver and Joshua Newman. We moved downstairs to a free table in the atrium because the roleplaying room was so freaking crowded (woo!), and we ended up by a TV tuned a news show. I was sitting with my back to it, and about 2/3 of the way through the game Adam goes “wow, this is so surreal – they’re showing pictures of dead soldiers behind you.” It was a total moment.
The game went well, everyone was engaged and Joshua, in particular, was very affected by the events of play. His Burden revolved around a Vietnamese woman who he had raped and was now pregnant (though with his best friends baby, a fact that underlay a lot of their interaction but was never made explicit, even after the baby was born). Adam’s Burden was a conflicted mess about racism (he wanted to be accepted, but he hated the “white devil”), and he played Big White, who hasn’t ever been played in my games before. He ended up pretty much taking over the squad and drowning it in blood. Dave’s Burden was about his cowardice and how he wanted to live up to his father’s standard. He took Shirley “Temple” Jenkins, the newest guy to the squad, and he had a really great character arc wherein he dealt with his cowardice and decided that it was his responsibility to take care of the rest of the squad.
Despite the mechanical shakyness of the 3-character game, the session went very well, and everyone seemed to be very pleased.
Then I stayed up all night shooting the shit and talking about publishing with Luke, Judd, Joshua, Kevin Allen Jr, Rob, and assorted other folks. Another 4am bedtime.
Next up; the next two days, and I think I have some pictures…