That was a helluva year. In my old livejournal account, I felt more free to write about personal stuff but this blog feels more narrow of purpose, a blog about my gaming and geekery. But I can’t look back on the gaming without putting it into context, so here it is…
Dreamation was a fun con, as always. 1st Quest worked like a charm and there were some fun sessions, including some epiphanies on two of the game’s settings that are going to make them really sing. It was nice to see the Dreamation regulars.
Jiffycon was really my favorite con of the year. I went to the con with my lady-friend, Janaki and my good friend, Pete and his daughter, Kalista. This was my first con with Janaki and it was neat to go to be seeing to the Shock: game I had agreed to facilitate and glance up across the game room to see her laughing and having fun at her own game.
We showed up just as the first sessions began and I had to kinda walk in, slap on a name badge and go. Shock: makes that pretty damned easy and my table was filled with ringers, stone-cold gaming ringers. It was a damned fun game.
At that same con I got to see how far Misspent Youth has come and its a really nifty game. I love how you GM that game. As the Authority, you just put your boot on the players neck until someone get’s pissed off enough to pick up the dice and enact some kind of awesome rebellion. It is a nifty technique and nice to see that latest stage since its first awkward steps. It is great to see an old friend, the guy who introduced me to my first RPG, the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG, bust his ass and make a cool game.
Kalista is a special needs kid and it was great to see her out of her element; Jiffy Con’s childcare allowed that and allowed Pete to attend the con without having to find weekend-long coverage for her. She is non-verbal, so there’s no way for me to really know what she thought of the whole thing, other than that, on the ride home, she rocked out to Tom Waits.
For the first time in a few years I missed Gen Con. I was aching with jealousy but it passed. The next year promises to be hectic and I cannot make any promises that I will be there but perhaps in 2011. Honestly, what I missed most was our Star Wars Episode LXV Primetime Adventures game (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). I want to see that damned thing finished.
Playing 4e was a study in stutter starts, mixed up schedules and play that never quite worked. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the system in the books and sometimes it did.
My favorite Dungeons & Dragons moment of the year was killing a dragon. Jim threw in a dragon to a fairly staid orc encounter and it could have been a really difficult encounter or just a menacing role-playing thing. Charlotte’s elven archer fired a shot and it was on. My Rogue/Warlock, Melech the Red, rocked out, hitting true with all of his Encounters and his mighty Dailies. By the time Melech was done with him, the dragon was blind and unable to move far without falling over because of a fine flurry of shiruken and daggers. It was glorious as Aaron’s bad-ass shifter Barbarian closed in for the kill.
There’s something about a D&D dragon fight. There just is.
I miss getting together once a week or so with Jeff and Storn to record the show and another night to game. When the video show didn’t pan out, we all just kind of drifted into our busy schedules and once that time wasn’t set aside anymore for Kryos, it became tough to make time happen for one another.
I miss those guys but as I have said in other places, I am glad they are following their dreams and passions with such gusto.
There are several shows’ worth of material on my external hard drive. It won’t be the 40 minute shows that we had the in past but eventually, a shorter, sleeker (and honestly less well edited without Jeff) show will come out. No promises on a date but it is on my plate.
BW: 13 Cities
Storn and I tried to set up several games with several different groups of people, many of whom we had never gamed with before and it just was not working out. Family emergencies and all kinds of shit were getting in the way. It was out of this frustration that the 13 Cities were born.
When Storn and I get on the same page, we collaborate at the gaming table really well. We surprise each other while still staying true to the foundations we laid together; that can be a rough line to toe.
I wish I could point to one 13 Cities moment but honestly, it was just the constant depth the setting showed us as we traded spots as GM and player for a few rounds (Me – GM, him-player / him-GM, me-player/ finishing it up with me-GM, him-player). It ended up being about the fall of the Yelteth Wall and the beating back of the hordes of steppe nomads who came to destroy the gods and goddesses who made the cities so great. The setting was proved deep but its depth was found through these amazing characters. The Horselord Prince, the Summoner and the Sheriff of Baal…dammit, I just like writing their titles out and seeing the words on the screen.
When my friend, Pete, came back to Ithaca, I was really thrilled to have a friend that excellent back in town. Suddenly, seeing him was as simple as stopping by after picking up something at the grocery store. When he looked across the table at me and said, “I’d really like to try Burning Wheel out for a longer term game,” I could not deny him. Through a Friday night game, I got to introduce him to my buddy, Aaron and get our game on.
The game was solid, though it was meant for three chapters and we haven’t gotten to finish it up yet because of really rough schedules all around. Still, they have become good friends and that is nice to see. There is a special joy in introducing two people you adore and seeing them adore one another.
This game’s intense. When we are done, we have nothing left and yet we go home and cannot sleep. It is a game with that kind of vibe, a kind of fantasy noir flashfire violence, a simmering pot of almost boiling revenge. In our last session, Rifkin had just gotten the members of his crew that he could assemble back together and I cannot wait to push on him and see what he does next. Fuckin’ Rifkin, man.
There have been several Fridays where Janaki was in town and the Friday night game wasn’t on, so me, Pete and her got together and played us some Shock:. Shock: is my go-to game when I want to play something with people whom I enjoy just making shit up. It isn’t immersive for me and that is okay for this one. The characters are just cells in the organism that is the world.
We also got to game with her sister and brother-in-law out west when we visited.
It is intensely satisfying to have little pieces of paper with odd science-fiction tidbits on a world strewn around a table. Little pieces of paper with things written on them like:
- Hood: collar that kills all sensory input
- Ritual Ingestion of Pharma Pre-Battle, like communion
- Orbital Culture
- Elevator Wars: 10 years ago, Zero-G drones vs. Rocket Men
Is there any better way to spend your Friday nights with friends? Damn.
I listed all of the mad ideas, stories, games, and dingus-things that are brooding around in my brain today. It was 14 things that I would like to see complete. Next is to prioritize, figure out what needs doing and how much work each will be, peck off the low hanging fruit and then begin prioritizing.
My dad had a heart attack and was fine after getting a stent put in. Man, that fear, I can’t even put to words what that fear was like. I haven’t ever gamed with him. We made up a character for Dictionary of Mu and I saw enough to know that he will really enjoy gaming when we give it a go. But man, I need to get aggressive on that, get us seated at a table. I’d like to play the Sorcerer sci-fi setting I made, a kind of love letter to his love of military sci-fi or maybe the samurai setting for Dust Devils.
That is my gaming goal in 2010, to game with my dad.
How was your year? Any thought to the year ahead?