Whew. I’ve actually been, like, working on games the last couple days (not to mention real life work), so my desire to get this post written has ebbed. But if I don’t get it down tonite, I’ll probably forget so many things that it won’t be worth writing.
Now, where was I?
So, with a solid 3 hours and 15 minutes of sleep under my belt, I dragged my ass out of bed and wended my way down to the game room for my 9am session of carry. Surprisingly enough, I had four players; Don, one of many Matt’s, Jeff (who has played the game before and in fact ran a session of it at a NC Gameday event(!)), and Greg.
Don played Daniel “Locker” Jones, with a Burden of having persistant shell shock and continually seeking releif in drink, drugs and faith; Matt played Efram “Chameleon” Osgood, with a Burden revolving about being scared to go home to his pregnant girlfriend who doesn’t answer his letters; Jeff played a trigger-happy and authority-hating Anaconda; and Greg played my favorite iteration of Cowboy so far, who saw the war as his ticket out of the pig farm, but now he was lost and adrift in a country he hated.
Our story ended up revolving around one of the Fodder characters, Elmo “Saint” Smith, and how his general irresponsibility and drug pushing contributed to the devestation and capture of the squad by the NVA. We had a lot of really solid Burden-addressing scenes and conflicts, and the first Action scene of the game saw I think the largest amount of fallout I’ve had yet – 31 points for poor Don to spend killing his own squad.
We had a really solid sequence in a Vietnamese village that started with Cowboy impaling a VC assassin on his bayonet (but he was justified in the eyes of the others!), and ended with I think all of the characters addressing part of their Burden’s and leaving the village peacefully.
Anyway, another solid game, and I was pleased that we managed to hold it together that early in the morning.
I grabbed lunch with Adam and Jeff (of the Sons of Kryos), who I kind of forcibly introduced, but we had a nice lunch talking game design, geek culture and all the wierdness that is the SCA.
I took a double booth shift that afternoon, and ended up talking a bunch with Shreyas and Bill White (Mr. Ganakagok). Sold some games, too, though I wasn’t pushing too hard. Dreamation isn’t a big sales con (or so we thought….), and I didn’t really feel comfortable trying to pitch people on stuff unless they obviously wanted to know more about a particular game. There was definitly a sale pattern, where sales would peak right before and right after the scheduled game sessions, as people either decided to pick something up before they forgot, or had gotten out of an awesome game and decided to grab it right away. During the game time, it was much more relaxed.
Oh, and did I mention that the first printing of carry sold out after my morning game? Which was unfortunate, because some people (Dave!) wanted to get it, but weren’t around until the afternoon, and it was gone gone gone. It’s the worse kind of good, and I should have more soon – but hey, I sold out! Hooray!
Anyhow, it was ticking down to my 8 pm slot, which I had scheduled to run Timestream. But, what with the no sleep and the sitting down all afternoon and the having two intense sessions under my belt already, I was really not feeling the good vibes, especially for a scenario that I haven’t run before and wasn’t sure was going to be fun. But I was all “well, only Adam and Shreyas are signed up to play it anyway, so I’ll cancel and we can playtest one of their games instead!”
Then I went up to my paper on the big board upstairs, and uh-oh…..4 other signups! The hell? After some waffling, I decided that it was actually more pressure to try and make a 6-person game work, and I just wasn’t up to it. So I tracked down those I knew, and made sure to talk to the other people when they showed up, and it was fine. Except one woman seemed really angry, but it didn’t feel like it was because of the game being cancelled, it was more that the game was cancelled. If you get me.
Oh, and the IGE party was in there as well! I ate Kat Millers With Great Chili… and chatted and was generally satisfied.
So, I cancelled Timestream, and played Shreyas’s game Snow From Korea with Shreyas and Adam and Russell Collins instead. The game is really fun, and once Shreyas makes it less broken it will be even funner. I really liked how once all the cards are on the table, you can look down and you feel like you’re in a Shogunate playing silly one-up-manship games until someone freaks out and kills someone else. It’s grand.
And then after that I took a couple minutes to regroup, and then sat down with Shreyas and Kevin Allen Jr to mock pretend playtest the skimpy beginnings I had for The Imp of the Perverse. I had character sheets (well, the idea for ones, at least), what more do you need to play a game? I mean, seriously.
Anyway, it turned into a cool mechanics jam where we played around with the Conflict Matrix until it turned into something that worked, and it really helped in unjamming my head for working on the game in general. I’ve been thinking about it and writing on it and chatting about it pretty much non-stop since then, and when it’s done it is going to be unlike anything we’ve seen so far.
Kevin is the little demon in my head that breaks down my inhibitions and shows me that I can go for it a million percent. Shreyas is the little angel on my shoulder that tells me I can actually do it. And they both lead by example.
Man, Saturday was long!
After Imping, we settled in with a big ol crowd of people and chatted, and we all eventually ended up playing Jared A. Sorensen’s Action Castle! (an implementation of his Parsley rules). It was….uh….”fun”
And then I went to sleep.
Woke up, went out to breakfast with Mayuran and Kevin and Terry, who I had seen around but not really met, and it was nice to kinda talk to her a bit. Then I had to get stuff together, and track down Mr. Keith Senkowski and practically force money down his throat in order to buy a great print of one of the images on this page (4th from the right on the top).
And then a long string of goodbyes and promises to get down to NYC to see people in the not-so-distant future.
One 3-hour car ride with Ben Lehman later, I was dropping him off and picking up my girlfriend from the airport in Providence, and that was the end of my Dreamation.