Thursday, April 28, 2005

Games, Games, Games

First Slot, Thursday Evening, I ran Dust Devils (with just a hint of Amber flavouring)- Once Upon a Time in the West: The Quick and the Dead. So my players were Paul B, Sasha B, Jack G, David M and Andy R. Character creation went well, Sasha came up with the coolest Doc: Quick with a Saw; that had to be my favourite moment during character creation. Considering she had never seen a Western, she had an excellent character concept. Another funny thing about character creation was, we had no gunmen concepts, until Andy stepped up to the plate and decided to play one. I found it intriguing that in a western game, we only had one Gunman. I think it was the "But everyone will make Gun-Fighters syndrome" and therefore nobody did. Other characters were the Card Sharp who literally had sharp cards dipped in Gilla Monster poison, the Bull-Whacker with much brawn and guts, very little else, and the Smooth Talker, who could con you out of your money, your wife and your horse, not necessarily in that order.

The game itself went well, with only a few minor hiccups, everyone seemed to get into the shared narrative idea and the story went on it's own Merry way. They wound up killing both my Major Antagonists, Abel Cainan and Lucas Reynolds (Caine and Luke/Rinaldo). That was fine with me, we wound up with an interesting story. I will be running this again, a different scenario, but in the same vein.

Next up, Friday morning I played Son of a B---- Must Pay by Madeline F. I played the cold-blooded Son of Caine, Fallon who was totally screwing with Rinaldo, not only that, but I managed to kill him and get away with it. It was a good game, even though it was morning and too little sleep was had by me. I had a great time playing.

Friday afternoon I played in Amber Legion, run Michael K and Jeff T. I had fun playing Sergeant Rock, one of his Skills was Tough Bastard, I love it. The scenario was intriguing, a hold your ground and try to get a call out for help, the getting to call for help is the issue. It was definitely fun and I'd play it again.

That night, I played Edwin V's ShadowWorld Mainline game. I play Johann Barth, Circle born and trained Special Operations Soldier, FerroK, ESPer and Telepath. Somethings you should not say at the beginning of a ShadowWorld Game. "I've never almost died in ShadowWorld before." Is something you should never say. Now I can't say that anymore. Good thing we had an extremely effective Healer with us. Well, we foolishly took on Thor and Freya, two Life-Stealers of immense power. We killed Thor twice and Freya was taken out by our friendly neighbourhood Winter Queen who was protecting her boytoy. To say, we are in deep s**t is an understatement. It was a lot of fun as usual.

Saturday moring was Mars Ascending, the Firefly inspired game. I played Tex, the gun-toting Alcoholic who was damn loyal to the Capan. We were in the sh*t from the beginning and the passengers almost took us out, but we handled it well and wound up with the mystery artefact and our ship got away. We rocked and so did the game.

Saturday evening was No Higher Authority,
I played Darkness, who then became Justice (or Poetic Justice as some woul say.) This shared narrative game was extremely fun and we went worked in a Dark Faerie Tale style story that brought us to a nice transition point, it ended much like the Princess Bride, at the part after And they Lived Happily ever after.

Sunday Morning, I played in Battlestar Pegasus, I played Abel "Sidewinder" Starwind, hotshot pilot in the service of Commander Caine. We saved the Colonies, but I wound up living with a not too bright Living Cylon, on an abandoned outpost of theirs. One should avoid going into hyperspace blind.

Sunday Evening was ShadowWorld WWII. I play Markus A. Hauser, Jesuit Priest Healer. (Also the Wandering Jew, but we won't get into that.) We stopped a Nazi plot to extend summer, working as a team. But we had a problem. One of our team mates is partially possessed by an extremely powerful entity. When she attempts to use her powers, the entity threatens to take control. We wound up in an argument over wether to kill her or not. I believed that killing her might release the entity into the world, thus causing major pain and suffering for all. After much discussion and argument, we decided to keep her doped up on Morphine at a Jesuit Stronghold. Needless to say the game is extremely fun and layered. I am psyched to play again.

Gaming over, I talked with people til 3:30 AM. Then it was bedtime.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

At the Con: Ambercon US - Game On

I'm in the Hotel at the desk, checking in. When I see Simone and Guy checking in as well. Pleasantries are exchanged and we go about the business of getting checked in. In 5 minutes, I'm on my way to my room. In 10 minutes, I'm in the shower. After 20 minutes, I'm on my way to the Convention gathering area. (Smartly placed next to the restaurant and bar.) I step into the room and notice that the tables are perfect to run Dust Devils at, perfect poker tables. So I request the use of the back space from Kris and I'm on my way. I hang out, chat with people I haven't seen in a long while, some in months, others in years. It was like coming home again. I knew at that point, that I would come to next years Ambercon. So, I head over to the bar to get my free drink (a Screwdriver and am back to chatting. I tell some of my players where we are playing, chat with Jack for a bit and then head back up to my room to get my gaming stuff.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Born Again Vietnam Veteran Taxi Drivers: They Make for one Hell of a Ride - On the Road Again: Ambercon US (Cont.)

I get in the Taxi and here comes my impromptu tour of the Detroit suburbs.

Let's precis this with, I take a lot of Taxis at home. The buses don't run early enough for me to get to work on time and therefore I have to take taxis to work, (I am reimbursed in part for this.) So I try to be polite, courteous and kind with my Taxi driver. I converse with them as they drive me to where I am trying to get. So, I strike up a conversation with this guy and find out he's a Vietnam Veteran. We begin talking about the kinds of movies we like, he's a big fan of the Western. (Which is cool, since so am I.) I recommend some to him and we continue on in our conversation. We've been talking and driving for a while and eventually the subject turns to theology, being a bit of an amateur theologian myself, I am intrigued to hear his take on things. I had noticed the Bible on his dashboard as I got into the cab. So, we begin talking about the other religions he has explored, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and finally Christianity. I enjoyed the conversation, because the man had explored the various religions by reading their texts and finding whether it worked for him. I must say it was intriguing conversation that spanned faith and why certain religions prohibit certain foods. I became so engrossed in the conversation that I hadn't even noticed we had gotten lost. After a brief moment of indecision, I pulled out the written map of the way to the Embassy Suites and we made our way hence. We carried on our conversation and then finally arrived at the doors to the Hotel. I tipped the cabbie well for a thoroughly pleasant ride and he gave me his card for the trip home, he offered me a discount for the ride back. (Which I didn't end up using, but that comes later.)

On the Road Again: Ambercon US

I was down in Detroit (more acurately Livonia), Michigan for Ambercon US about three weeks ago. Left Ottawa at about 1 AM on Thursday, March 31st, (the bus left a half-hour late), arrived in Toronto at 5:45 AM (10 minutes before scheduled arrival, our bus drivers had the hammer down. They switched about half-way.) Waited until 8:30 AM and then boarded the bus to Detroit. Several stops and 6 hours later. I'm at the boarder and the US customs inspectors are searching through my bags. 15 minutes later, I'm back on the bus, ten minutes after that, I'm in Detroit at the bus station. I get off the bus, gather my things and flag down a taxi.