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Paul's ACUS 2006 Adventure

Where Paul gets a much needed vacation, some juicy FTF playing time, and FTF GMing time, and lots of FTF time with my friends from far away.

himmaggery picked me up at the airport in the early afternoon. As he alluded to in his own blog, the original plane I was to take to Detroit had gotten struck by lightning, and so a new plane was necessary to fly to Detroit. This delay was partially responsible for the near-miss that Jim alluded to.

After some meetings of peoples, in and around the hotel and the con suite (including making a deal for GURPS Ice Age with nuadha_prime and picking up the last Amberzine), Jim and I had dinner with tryslora,eternaleponine and mngstar. As always, Deb cooks well, and Jim and I were well fed by her risotto.

My first slot was my weakest as a player. While I had a great time as a player in Weirmonken, I had disadvantages that I as a player was unable to overcome to let my character have the same result. I don't blame anyone, particularly, I merely didn't assert myself well. With loud and boisterous players on the left, and strong and active players on the right, and with a PC who was shorn of the brains of his brother, Abdullah was sort of lost in the shuffle. This became more acute when the scenario never got to the level of sanguinary action that is Abdullah's one and only bright spot.

Oh well. It was funny to see HOC Chance/Martin and watch Chime jump ship for the better deal, and see other players shine.

Next up was my Cadmus, sorcerer, and potentially perpetual loser to Kenric's sparring.

The foci of the game revolved around, primarily, the effort to support Anna's quest to get Taggart, and the Martin/Gareth attempts to retrieve Brendon, with lesser notes of Kenric's revelation of her heritage (complete with Patternwalk) and Roarke's adventures in the land of the Pyre.

It was a long time in coming for Anna to get into the position to finish her tormentor and I am mostly proud of Cadmus' role in all this. I think I probably should have stepped back a little more at the end rather than participating, so as not to dilute Anna's triumph.

Still, I think a good time was had by all, and the group ACD shot is the only picture of me that I have at the entire con.

I had pretty low expectations going into the game. Mike Kucharski had, for reasons I could not possibly fathom at the time, asked me to come back. I didn't think that I had distinguished myself the last time, and had lost all the material I had done with Basil at ACUS 2005.

Still, I wanted a chance to play with egwenna, since I knew that I was skipping Texorami. So, with regret, I skipped Equalizer (and a chance to play alongside tryslora in order to play.

I had a great time. While a lot of the plot and focus was on Bridgette's Odette having a debutante ball in Chaos, my character got some good stuff, even in the midst of a lot of other things going on for everyone else. Basil wound up getting transported to Tir, walking its Pattern and getting to Chaos, convinced that Odette was in danger...

...and being right, but unable to do anything about it. Instead, the older, more established PCs took the forefront of protecting Odette. By turns, Michael had managed to get most of the PCs in Chaos by one way or another, not just mine. My trip was just the most mysterious. So, for next year, Basil has plans to study under Dworkin and get some useful skillz, and maybe probe at the mystery of who put Basil in Tir, since Dworkin, the likely culprit in Basil's eyes, denied knowledge of it.

My last PC was the Astromancer that, if I had played in Equalizer II, would have shown up the slot before. Instead, Aram led (loosely) bushi7, egwenna(yes, I didn't realize we had both gotten in) and notshakespearein an adventure to stop the death of suns across the golden circle. Bridgette is a dynamic and aggressive enough player that Aram didn't try to put too much of a rein on her or her character and was content to just point Catherina and let her ride and lead as necessary. We were down a player, but creative use of powers and abilities made up for the lack of punch, especially given the dangerous nature of the ultimate powers behind the problem.

And now my own games...

My first game of the con was the least stressful for me as a GM and possibly the most fun for me as a GM. Yet another in the Tales of the Regency Series, with a couple of returning characters, I set the characters into Arden to find the missing Warden pro tem, Carl. With elfshot, chessboard pieces, characters who followed the rules and characters who played by *their* rules, the Mayhem in my three games got off to a start here.

Poor Quince is now in Faerie for a hundred years subjective time (366 days Amber time), and Carl has to stay out of Arden for that period, too. If I run any more TOTR games, I will have to take these rather unexpected consequences into account.

My failure at the cave, err, the con. While the players professed to having fun, basing a game so heavily on the movie meant that when you had several players intimately familiar with the movie and its conventions, the plot was gotten through in record time. In a near-first, I not only didn't have too much plot, I plain ran out of plot. In retrospect, I can think of a couple of things I could have done, but I didn't think on my feet fast enough to implement them.

My bad.

I was anxious, nervous, excited, and a lot of other bundled emotions about doing a con offshoot of Strange Bedfellows. I should have designed the game entry a little better and described things so that more of the actual SB players could have attended without difficulty. And then there was the player who bailed with her character...

Aside from that, there were some very SB moments in this game. Cyllene on a space ship. Carl scaring the living daylights out of poor Valerian. Basilisks, Mind FlayersYithonghu, Dream Repair, and even a Pattern Sword. Who could ask for more? Well, I could of course, but my penchant for perfectionism is well known.

Will I run Strange Bedfellows:The Ruins of Intrigue next year? We shall see.

And now...

Aside from taking too many pictures at the HOC Gathering, I had a lot of fun listening and chatting, when I did of course. I consciously avoided trying to take too much of the spotlight, remaining relatively quiet even when the conversation turned to SB and ACD. I can be too much of a blabbermouth as it is to overdo it with my friends. It provided a relaxing way to end the con and a chance to say goodbye to most of my friends.

I miss you all already



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 5th, 2006 09:38 am (UTC)
Funny enough, neither of the two games I've so far submitted to Michael and Jenn for TBR are TOTR-based
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 5th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
I can't run the same games every time, even if it seems the TOTR games have lost none of their popularity. :)

So this time, two Chaos games, and maybe a third Amber game if Curry and Jackson ask me nicely and need the help.
Apr. 6th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
Since you're still the only GM to actually submit games, if you've got some game ideas churning around in your head I suggest you jot them down somewhere. And I will ask nicely if I need to, but I'd prefer not to have any GM running more than two games if I can help it.
Apr. 6th, 2006 01:10 am (UTC)
Oh, I have them jotted down.

I guess you don't want any GM's doing a Kit and GMing every slot, or nearly every, eh? :)

Apr. 6th, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
[Edited for spelling]

Yep. I think we'd prefer that none of our GMs suffer any near death experiences.

At least not by accident.
Apr. 5th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)
Don't be too hard on yourself about Patricia (Tina's player) bailing, there were a number of contributing factors:

1) She's still pretty new to roleplaying, and has pretty much only played in her husband Mike's (Malachi's player) Amber campaign. She wasn't sure what to do, or what she could do, and was a bit nervous. (It didn't help that the players in her previous slot had sort of turned on her.)

2) You had a lot of players, many of which were more outgoing than she is. It was reasonable of her to conclude that she wasn't going to get to do much if she stayed.

3) She mostly came to the con to be with Mike. She needed to spend most of the weekend doing schoolwork, and she went back to our room and did that when she left your game.

_I_ had a good time. Carl's not the type of character I'd normally play (it was quite difficult for me to play someone so taciturn) but I couldn't avoid the name confluence. And hunting down the Yithongu was fun, as was terrifying Valerian and nearly getting killed by Alais.
Apr. 5th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
You worked your way into my thoughts this weekend. While driving around PA Dutch country, I was surprised to come across a Cadmus Road. I'll have to be watching and take a picture if we're in that area again.
Apr. 5th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
Heh. Now if you had seen a Decuma or Merivel road, that would have been even more apropos for you :)
Apr. 6th, 2006 06:56 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'm so far behind on WinterChills reading that I didn't even recognize the name Merivel. *ducks head* I'm more up to date on Cadmus.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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