Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Con on the Cobb, day 3

5.11.06, 0845 (GMT-6)
Not hungry in the slightest , in fact a little hung over, I am done typing up things from some notes that I have been making. Peryton has decided to wake up without me kicking her backside. We are packing up our car by 1115am, only 15 minutes late this time, my significant other points out when I sigh heavily.

We spend most of time in the Dealer's room where we discover that an art auction has going on all week-end and that bidding ended ten minutes ago. I thought we started bidding at 1130am so there is some confusion, and though I am not making a fuss, someone recognizes that I am looking to buy a couple pieces, and the time is extended. I buy some pieces and get permission to republish the stuff for Peryton Publishing. And through this process we meet Meg Lyman, who is actually as excited as we are though Peryton and I are trying to look cool and professional. I so want Meg to illustrate my under-sea fantasy stuff. She has a nice knack for it, but it isn't her main motif.

1300
Been playing around as the timer for an artists "Quick Draw." Four artists draw pictures in a set time limit after a topic has been agreed upon. A bit of fun and we conversate more with the people we have been chatting up all week end. Finally just before 2pm my appetite returns and Peryton walk over to the mexican place.

After finishing up lunch-dinner, I convince Peryton to pose for a cheesy picture with Meg Lyman holding the illustration between the two of them. Sadly though Meg is long gone. It's almost 3pm and I have to work the up-coming evening at 7pm. We decide to slip out the side door and are all smiles as we head back to Cleveland.

Con on the Cobb, day 2

3.11.06, 0645 (GMT-6)
Awake for a bit too long already, I do not feel like writing. I make my way to the lounge, the restaurant bar area I mentioned earlier, as I remember reading something about the breakfast buffet being open from 6am until 9am or some such. I meet a guy named Duane from just south of Cleveland, who is an early riser. I am not sure if i can be called an early riser, more of a "night shifter" sort I end up explaining. And about 745am we notice the breakfast bar still has not opened. Neither of us are really that concerned, but a bit tired of conversing so we move into the lounge area to access the electrical outlets for our laptops.

From out of nowhere, a guy who had been drinking at the bar with me some six and half hours or swoops into the room and exasperatedly explains to us that he has just woken up, and that there is 300 of us and one of him. Basically he feels we are rushing him. So Duane and I decide to check out what's going on in the convention area. The 8am games, some two of them are setting up, but the organizers aren't around. Not a whole lot is going on.

Moving back to the couches just outside the lounge, I see two women getting lectured by the cook guy. They stand their ground and explain to him that they are staying right where they are and whatever he can bring out will make do with. I hear the phrase "There are 400 of you all, and only one of me."

I get to a table that is next to an outlet, and am able to grab a cup of coffee, in the waiters' anteroom in the kitchen area, in a styrofoam cup as the cook guy explains to me that the ceramic cups are expensive. And by 805am there is some bagels and bread for toast set up. I am highly amused by the situation, and when a large group of families, a total of eight individuals, show up complaining about the lack of anything to really eat, the cook guy says, "There are 500 of you, and one of me."

By 9am, I decide to stop surfing and catch up on the news. I fix myself a plate of fried potatoes and am surprised at how good they are. I grab a bagel for Peryton who I need to wake up for our day ahead and slip out. The dining area has almost 30 people breaking their fasts. As I leave the lounge I hear, "There are 900 of you and only 1 of me."

I know the cook's secret recipe, two hours of bitching for 47 minutes worth of work. For some reason H.P. Lovecraft's town of Innsmouth comes to mind. I really am enjoying myself.

Noon
After printing up a bunch of character sheets for my Spacer's scenario, no one has shown up for my event. I feel bad for ending my last game too early and discouraging anymore participation with LAG, I figure. But there is a guy running a CoC game, where only two people have shown up. Tony is his name, and I watched him in the last session as I was setting up for mine. He's a good GM. Peryton and I slip into his game.

And what a great game it is. Before long, the players have turned into a group of college students who share a house and are drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a popular professor. And though we are rolling horribly, we are role-playing wonderfully. And through our own ineptness, willingness to commit felony breaking and entering, forgetting about the internet, we solve the mystery and actually survive. Only three cops and six civilians were shot while doing so. Our PC's have not learned a thing about the Cthulhu Mythos but we as a whole, if a bit on the lam, are breathing. Tony is impressed at our collective incompetence, and we have a beer after the game, his suggestion not mine by the way.

1600
The T&T game I was to run was scheduled at 8am, though it says 1600 in the printed schedule. As no one has actually signed up for it, and I hear from the room coordinators no one was looking for me in the Am, I let the subject drop. No one is at the table where I have set up my stuff, so Peryton order a delvery dinner in the lounge and agree that a nap is order.

The room is warm, almost uncomfortably so. We decide to leave the door cracked as opposed to shutting off the heater. We fall asleep quickly.

2130
I drag Peryton out of the room. The bands are playing again, and I want her to enjoy the after 9pm crowd. And by 0430 Sunday morning, Peryton has been giggling while playing a "Who is the Werewolf?" game, I have pissed off one of the creators of the Savage World RPG system, and we have been discussing Celtic languages in the lobby with a group of people. We wash up and slip into bed. Once again I am hoping to sleep in.



Con on the Cobb, day 1

Just after Halloween, November 2nd through the 5th, Andy Hopp's Con on the Cobb convention took place. Peryton and myself were able to make it Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. Here's my write-up.


Friday, 2.11.06, 1515 (GMT-6)
"The room's a dump" I say aloud after 5 seconds in the door of our motel room.

Outside the sky is bleak and the wind is one degree above freezing, with just a touch of wetness. We are looking out onto the Quality Inn's courtyard, which consist of a drained pool and pool-side bar also no longer in use. Peryton smiles meekly, but wants to give the room a chance, so she turns on the heat, and cold air rushes out. It's been a long morning pr preparation and about a 90 minute drive for us, but we're in high spirits.

'You're loving this, aren't you?" Peryton asks, plopping her bags on the king-sized bed.

"I feel like I am in Colchester." I answer. "Come on let's check out the convention and Mexican food place next door.

The convention is in the motel's main set of conference rooms, which are on the other side of a bar and very open restaurant area. Except for the conventioneers, not a whole lot of people are there. All I need is airplanes screeching overhead to help me feel like I am having a soccer week-end outside of Amsterdam. The people in the convention are smiling and somewhat friendly when we talk to them, as we are both from elsewhere, as well as Out-of-Towners, where ever we go, we don't expect broad smiles and warm embraces. We bump into Andy Hopp after checking out the activity rooms and the Dealers' room, he remembers us after a moment, and we slip out to the restaurant.

The motel is off of a State route, and is surrounded by hotels and other motels. I check to see that the two gas stations on the way to the restaurant are 24 hours, never know when you need beer after all. The restaurant itself turns out to be quite the surprise of a "good eats" joint, and the Dos Equis came in a large ass mug to top it off.

"I love the off-season." I smile at Peryton as the food arrives.

1730-
"The bar is scary." I say coming back to the gaming table where two people, Rob and Kali, have been so kind as to help me play test my Ruin Quest rules this evening. Peryton, who is also playing, laughs and comments that the bar must be rough for me to notice anything but the beer signs.

"Remind you of Russia or Germany?" She continues, playing off of my glowing wide-eyed wonder at the motel.

"Actually more like West Virginia," I answer then slip in, just before she kicks me under the table, "The Moth Man town we went to."

The game resumes after our little side performance for the audience. We play on for about an hour, I discover a major rule flaw, scoring a hit is way too damaging as the equation is set up. The character Types, or classes, are working very nicely though. A wave of weariness hits me suddenly and after a mass combat scene, I ask if we can wrap things up. Kali and Rob graciously agree but assure me that the time we have been gaming has been fun.

When we walk into the room, which has become much warmer if still a bit chilly considering the chill outside. Peryton is as weary as I am, but while I nap she reads and works on her hand-held before falling asleep.

2300-

I am wide awake. Been awake for an hour, and typed over two pages of notes up on Ruin Q from the session. Peryton is comfortable and too sleepy to get up with me. I get permission to rove around, and I tell her what time I should get back. The room is just about comfortable

I get into the lounge area and grab a beer, a Corona, because the place is Bud joint, and that is best that they are going to have. Over in the convention area, quite a bit of activity. Games in the games room are still going on with quite a bit of laughing and energy; a "band" is playing in another room; and groups of people are mving to and fro in the hallway. I slip in to the music area, and listen to a guy with his synthesizer, who is called Nerd Punk. It's "mock music" but there is talent there, and the guy is genuinely warm and open with the audience. He's had a couple, but it seems to enhance his performance.

When the performance is over, I slip into the bar and prepare for sit down session with the bar-tender, who has taken a shine to my company and I have to admit I think he's good guy from the joking we have been doing since 4pm, and his kith. Alas, I am only on a single beer and in a discussion with a couple from New Jersey when Andy Hopps appears beside me and drafts us all into a midnight game of "Extreme Duck, Duck, Goose." I grab another beer and head to the XDDG gathering place.

The game is some fun, though I have to admit, I have never played "Duck, Duck, Goose" and am a bit tipsy. Still I have met and gabbed with a couple of brothers from Washington DC, and a whole batch of people from Minnesota. Right before 1am, I bid adieu, announcing to a few very pretty women, "Oops, it's my curfew."

The room is comfortable for me. Probably still chilly to Peryton, but one thing about the motel, the blankets are fresh and thick. I slip into bed after a wash up, and hope to sleep late.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Re-Writing, it's not just meat and potatoes.


Revising notes, re-writing pieces on scrap paper, and sometimes re-envisioning a lot of material can be pretty daunting. I am really working hard at getting Athebes ready on time after loosing a lot of material. I am reminded of writing short stories and plays back in the mid-80's, when the write out started on paper, scratching out this or that part and adding some improved phrasing or sequencing, got typed up on a manual typewriter where some more re-writing took place, to complete a first draft. And the writing mag's at the time suggested only sending off a story for consideration after three or four drafts. Luckily that never stopped me from sending out seriously improperly prepared works for consideration, otherwise I never would have any plays produced, nor the few articles or stories published, after my first three weeks of "writing." Then again as any of my "editors" will tell you, I am a horrible "writer", that just happens to be an interesting enough "story-teller" to sully their reputation by allowing me to get past them.

Athebes though is, if only by accident, benefiting from the re-writing process though.
I am averaging about a page and a half per day, jumping back and forth between the various sections of the work to keep myself from getting bored. Luckily I have four sections of very different tones and setting details to keep me from feeling like the project is work. And then Cream Trumpet and Dandelion or another artist will come along with a great drawing for it and amaze with me with their interpretation of an aspect of the Primal Land. Will it be on time, well it's probably going to be around 75 pages and I am getting out 1 to 2 pages a day, at about 37 as I type this, and I have a couple other works that must get done before November, one for Shippy's Hobbit Hole and a new adventure for the Ruin Quest play-tester at Con on the Cob,so it's kind of dicey. But it's fun trying.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Schedules...publishing, death, and sex


While working on Athebes about a month ago at work, the squad received a call, and I had to shut down my lap-top right away. I thought I had saved the work and everything was okay. But what actually happened is that I closed the lap-top computer, which put it on "sleep" or some-such mode, and Windows Nth degree saved the work as a "back-up" file. So for another two weeks, I kept hitting the shortcut on the Windows pop-up menu to get to the work to add more and more work. I printed out all sorts of stuff and posted bits and pieces on line. Then I started working on other projects...

After five or six different documents were pulled up, the back-up Athebes was removed from the short cut list. I went to pull up Athebes to start doing the final polishing, mostly cutting and pasting bits in a better, more presentable order, and discovered the document named "Athebes" was very outdated. And then I discovered that Windows does not really have a default back-up file system in place for easy retrieval after the initial back-up incident. Not even Flavia could find the damn thing. So somewhere in middle of BillGatesLand is some twenty-five pages of Athebes. I suspect it is right next to the crocodile that swallowed a clock and the "Terms of Service" agreement that I clicked when I started up this damn computer for the first time.

Really the set back is okay though. Dandelion, Creamtrumpet, Zach, and now another artist are all working on art work for the project and these pictures could really inspire me into avenues that I have not explored yet. And I won't have to rewrite as much as before, if this turns out to be the case, as when I had everything all-but finished. And frankly the ideas are flowing smoothly as I rewrite what I was patching together from before.

Still, I went to bed the other night with heart-burn. And now that I am 40 years old, I can't just shrug off this sort of thing. So while laying in bed, I wondered if the night was going to be the night I headed off of this world and rejoined the Cosmos. And I was sad because my fantasy world of "Elder" was still a bunch of meandering notes, paragraphs to pages to pantheons worth of them, and not published for kids 90 years from now to compare me to Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, and JRR Tolkien. Delusions of grandeur never hurt anyone not in front of a video camera, by the way. So I got up and took an aspirin, which only increased my heart burn, but at least reassured me that I was not having a heart attack as it would've helped if so-- just one of those weird Witch Doctor medicine moments in time that, as a Paramedic, I will "practice" on myself but do not recommend for anybody else.

The next morning, err afternoon, I awoke anew, and despite having to work the next night, started getting my schedule re-organized to complete the write-up for Athebes. Started nagging at Flavia for this or that format or inter-net favor I had to get done. Not only that I started looking at Flavia's own Peryton PRG game and what work I needed to do there to get things moving along her little creek. Oh the Wisdom Goddess has started raining upon our household again.

Now I promised to mention something about sex, but that's really just my business. Go have your own. Athebes is about as primal as we need to get here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Making engineers sexy.

Been working on Spacers a bit. Sometimes I get really discouraged, because I think of all the great S-F RPG's that have been published and have really gone no where. From Traveler to Gamma World to to Fringeworthy to Alternity to whatever...what RPG game gets the people playing it so loyal that they continue playing it after more than a handful of sessions? Then it occurs to me to look for what is missing in these games.

Okay but all this is bunk. Really it is.

These games are great, as I have said already. These games are great and it is the GM's interest in them that keeps any game, let alone the whole paper RPG hobby. alive. His players, steady or infrequent respond to his, or her, passion long enough to turn off the boob-tube and be the stars in their own mini-series. Good stories sell and tabletop role-playing is a social event.


That actually is what LAG is about. Coming up with a system that I like and selling decent episodes, err scenarios; that's my angle. The GM is the director and his core players act as the heroes in the on-going story. Cameo appearance characters can be NPC's or infrequent visitors. The story and the novelty of the approach is what I am counting on. Truth be told I am modeling Spacers scenarios heavily on TV serials and series like Buck Rogers and Enterprise. To me they represent the right mixture of high drama and atmosphere which might not lead to twelve plus years of dinner and game sessions, err ten seasons on TV, but the participants, err viewers will remember the experience, err show.

In play-testing the scenarios to date, I am not finding a lot wrong with the game mechanics. So while I should be happy, I am noticing that my engineers are having a hard time time staying involved in the game play after the first hour ninety minutes. So while I have got the ship-to-ship combat having everyone involved, I need to make the techno-babble an actual aspect of the game. If only I could wrap spandex around a bunch of equations that equal 34-2xD and paste a cyborg part over her, err its left eye.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On dealing with Arteests!




Ever since I first saw Jim Shipman’s small T&T magazine the Hobbit Hole, with its articles and integrated with black and white illustrations, I have been fascinated with bringing together words and pictures. So when Flavia and I started working on Peryton Publishing as a mutually supportive catalyst to finally get our butts writing the stuff we have been making notes on for years, I decided that the artwork would be an important part of everything we would produce. Little did I know the task that I had set myself up for.

I have always been something of a cartoonist, even in the professional work place I often used cartoons to catch people’s eye when reading rather dull stuff like rough drafts for protocols and standard operating procedures. But I have more of a background in theater and radio scripting. While a person working in comic books might find this to be a benefit, it didn’t help me out as a soon-to-be publisher.

My friend, No.1 Tony, often complained how his wife, J. , was needing something to keep her “mind busy” since she had their child and was a nanny for others. J. is a professional artist by training at a very prestigious school here in Cleveland, but just couldn’t find the energy and motivation to do any work. I ventured that I had some work that needed illustrating, and he was aglow with hope.
For months I pestered J. and she seemed receptive. I was under the strict theatrical director’s rule “Do Not Feed The Line.” Which was telling me not to directly impose my interpretation onto the contributing creative force, in short “don’t draw what you the other person to draw for you.” So as I said before we discussed two illustrations often for hours on end for months, and nothing was appearing on paper.

Finally I asked, “Would you like to see a sketch?”


The answer was a yes. So over the next week, I committed myself to crafting up some pencil drawings, in fairly crude terms but with enough detail to highlight things that would clarify the image to the general gaming/fantasy reading community. And I produced a decent what could be called a “Bug-Bear” stealing a pig from a little farm, along with some other pictures. I happened to get tired of drawing the pig so I saved the detail and just put “x’s” in place of eyes to indicate
that it was dead– along with a long sentence explaining all of what I have just said.

When I dropped off the sketch’s J.’s eyes lit up when she saw the Bug-Bear. I had hope that an illustration of some sort or another would be coming quickly.


Five months later, I dared to ask how progress was coming along. J. then proceeded to produce her sketch pad and I was treated to a six page study of a cartoon pig with “x’s” for eyes. And then there was a squirrel, also with “x’s” for eyes. And lest I forget, a bunny with “x’s” for eyes. Sort of like a child’s book that you never wanted to show your child. I pointed to the original sketches which happened to be showing the bug-bear and another with a sword-wielding barbarian,

“What do you think about...” I was about say, ‘Doing the rest of the drawings?’ But didn’t have a chance.

“Perfectly average.” J. said without a moment’s hesitation. “Pretty typical of those gaming books.”


I decided to let this lead drop. Just to let you know, she is now doing erotic paintings for very swank group of art gallery owners. She gave us some of her latest work for our library wall as a gift.

Figuring that perhaps artists with more familiarity with the genre might be a better prospect. I posted a flyer at the local coffee shop where role-players, tattoo artists, and Magic card players frequented. Got about a dozen nibbles and had some success, if you count four quarter-page illustrations completed over a year’s worth of dinners. Of
course I had to provide the document protectors upon purchase. Usually after about three meetings, the artists informed me that my schedule was too demanding as moving in girl-friends and car repairs were becoming more pressing. A couple of them asked for sketches once again, but when I provided them, both muttered something about “dwarves don’t come from Egypt” and decided they too were busy.

One of these artists, Sabriel, though was absolutely what the doctor ordered, she would find me when she needed some cash and show me her works for sale. Unfortunately, she got a lead on some street theater in Los Angeles and skipped town– though I have heard rumors of a warrant being involved.

So lately I have been going with the professionals that I meet in fantasy communities on-line as well as at conventions, but even then I run into problems.
I asked Dandelion, a very funny and what I consider a good friend, even if we haven’t met in person yet, to draw up a couple illustrations involving “apes” for my Athebes setting. I offered to throw up my sketches. Upon her positive response, I posted a sketch that I had lying around a place.

Three weeks later, Dandy, was posting to me asking me whether I wanted her to do ape drawings or not. When I pointed out that the sketch was posted, she replied,

“Oh I didn’t know tha
t there was an ape in that picture.”


All this being said, while I realize that a sketch may help someone see what you had you in mind, considering my own luck to date, perhaps I should sit back and let the professionals handle it.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Gen Con 2006- the write up.

As for my details on GenCon, I guess I better get to it now before I get busy with writing some other stuff and getting ready for Con on the Cob.

First day Wednesday-
Pacing around all night at work waiting to get off and get rolling. Afterwards finally dragged Flavia out of house by her hair to on the road only 30 mnutes late. Picked up Caed, who made some sandwiches for the road. We caught a great radio station about a mile from the Indiana border and our collective jokes brightened the ride up. Saw a pick-up truck with "GenCon or bust" soaped in the window and trailed him so Flavia could try and get a picture. Finally after the fifth mile of the car chase we gave up and veered off of his tail, Steve McQueen would have been proud of my driving though.

We showed up at nearly the expected time at the Ram, so Caed could get into her Serenity RPG. Talked with her friend Jareth(sp?), who gave me two great 6-sided dice erasers though I wasn't playing. Then checked into the Stone Soup, where we started hanging with our friend Jordan who wanted us to come see his new house, but had to decline as we were meeting Caed and Yoggy for dinner.

Showing up for the Stink's, a GenCon forum group, celebration where Caed and Yoggy were, Flavia and I realized that no food or alcohol were present so we slipped out--Flavia was coaxing small children closer and hiding a fork. So after buying her a sandwich, Flavia then went to back to our cottage and I stayed on catch up with Caed and Yoggy.

Caed, Yoggy, and I sat down for a quiet brew after the Stinkiwink, or whatever it was called. Had some good laughs catching up with Yoggy. Showed up fashionably late at the Ram, where the Stink's swanky party turned out pretty much like I expected it. Hot, sweaty, and overcrowded because all the people who "organized" the party let all the people they really liked in and didn't pay attention to who had reserved seats that they had insisted on for months before.

We headed elsewhere while I chided Caed about how I just knew what to expect. After I got us some champagne, with fresh strawberries, at the Alcatraz, Caed cooled down, and told me finally to shut up and enjoy the air conditioning. Had a decent dinner, and I realized that the packed Ram, luckily had let me slip out of yet another Serenity RPG session.

Caed, Yoggy, and I parted ways and I walked back to the B&B, where Flavia was doing laundry and wrapping up her notes for the Peryton RPG session.

Thursday-
First day of the convention. Flavia and I walked around the dealer hall, and noticed how many more of the stalls were smaller dealers. And noticed a few interesting works that we'd have to wait to buy, as we never buy anything the first day.

The first Peryton RPG session didn't go off, only Caed and I were there, but we schmoozed a bit with one Eden games long-term GM's who expressed an interest. And we watched the D&D for cash tournament GM's set up. we'd get to a friendly nodding acquaintance by the end of the Con with them, though we'd never talk.

Lunchtime, or dinner as it was late afternoon. And some serious lounging in the Marriot's lobby. As I got ready for the T&T session later.

The T&T session went well. Five out of the six players showed up, despite an angry D&D head demanding my table because he was too afraid to ask the people squatting at the table he was assigned to wrap up their game. I let him throw his bags on the table and go get a "hall captain" in a huff, Flavia whispered to me that she knew I was having fun as I had a chance to be in a fight. The bucky came back with a sheepishly smiling "hall captain" who rolled her eyes when I showed her the room's table assignment and pointed out where the guy should be throwing his tiff. Bucky never realized what an ass he had just made of his self, but my players tossed his book bag onto the floor next to his table without a pause. A person from the T&T on-line club, Trollhalla, swung in to say hi, introduce her and her husband, and wish me luck as she had another sit-down session elsewhere.

As said before, the game went well. Four new comers and one old schooler. Everyone got into the spirit and we had some serious laughs, as well little side discussions on the rules and whatnot. I gave away plenty of swag thanx to Andy Holmes of the UK and James Shipman of Chicago and their respective publishing companies.

Seeing that the T&T game was running smoothly, Flavia and Caed slipped out to go find Yoggy finishing up his daily seminar schedule. They set up a Peryton RPG session in the hall tables over at the Hyatt and I hear got seven people playing.

About 10pm, we had a late supper and night cap then said good-night.

Friday-
While we made it on time for our HEx game, the table was a little too crowded for Flavia and my tastes, so we traded our tickets with two people who had generic tickets and slipped off. we already bought copies of the game and have played it already. It was nice to see the rush of people interested in Jeff Combos of Exile games work.

We caught a small lunch, and started laying down some serious bucks in the dealer hall. And we started hob-nob with a couple artists talking about up-coming Peryton Publishing works.

At dinner we caught up with Caed, then Yoggy showed up. I had to get my cell phone replaced as I found out that washing machines and phones don't mix, so we found an Italian place at the mall.

Afterwards, Flavia and I went to a pagan gamers get-together which basically boiled down to a "seminar" with peppy bottled-red heads taking notes about "serious" pagan authors, but never having heard of the obscure poet W.B. Yates who happens to have been a contemporary of Aleister Crowley. When the idiots at the microphone offered to read aloud the list of authors that they had compiled, I grabbed Flavia and went to grab a beer.

The rest of the evening was spent back with Caed and Yoggy looking for what would turn out to be a mythical Cthulhu get together. At about 10 PM we wrapped things up.

Saturday-

Up too early, 'cause my night-time job sleeping habits kicked in, 10am couldn't come quickly enough to get my final game "Rocket Men versus the Saucers." I had breakfasted with a couple artist from California and the guy who has created the card-game 'Treasure and Traps." Amazingly Flavia was running on schedule, so there was no delay.

On our arrival at the convention center, we discovered that we had been parking in a US Post Office parking lot, which would explain why we had parked for free the day before. oppsy. Robin re-parked the car as I got the session up and running. Once again five out of six players showed up. And the guy who ended up playing the android for the session, looked and sounded like a blond Brent Spiner. He had everyone laughing. The session had plenty of Red Dwarf s-f moments but we somehow got through the whole game, with ten minutes to spare.

Picked up the new RQ rules just before we sat down to play it. And really enjoyed the session. I almost got giddy remembering how much fun RQ was with all of its details but an amazing combat system that helped you feel the sand in your sandals so to speak. Flavia even smiled in public without Ed Greenwood around.

After the game, Flavia and I bought a couple more things and decided going to get some more sleep would be a good thing to do.

Our friend Jordan woke us up at 7pm, and we went to dinner at Indianapolis's Washington St.'s "Arts District." He was excited to hear about the release of RQ again, as he played it in college. And we found some serious bean curd cakes in Mole' sauce. I expounded on how yuppie ambiance would always destroy good old fashioned Gemuglikeit, after we tried out the local Beer Garden, for some reason Flavia and Jordan were rolling their eyes and laughing at something I had said.

Caught up again with Caed at around 11pm, she was attending a midnight Zombie RPG. After seeing her Jordan and we walked around the convention center and was surprised by how much activity was going on even at that late hour. Got back to cottage at midnight, and actually slept a full six hours straight for the first time all week-end.

Sunday

Flavia and I took Jordan's son with us to the convention so his dad could finish cleaning up b-fast to catch up with us later. We showed up a little too late to catch HEx again, but that was alright. Said hi to Jeff Combos and talked about his company's new forum.

We wandered around the dealer's room, taking the kid to stalls where figures were being sold, as that is his dad's and his thing. Jordan caught up with us, and we left him and the kid to do their shopping. I went on to catch more artists' business cards, Caed and Flavia disappeared before I noticed.

I decided that catching a beer back across the street at the Mariot was a sound strategy, and everyone finally came together again. Jordan's wife started calling him for more chores, so he and kid slipped off, while the rest of us caught lunch. Oh yeah, I saw Jamie Bamber, of BsG fame, grabbing a coffee at Starbucks he didn't look too thrilled at being a celebrity.

After lunch, Caed watched our bags, as Yoggy, Flavia and I walked the dealer's Hall once again. I found a wooden gladius, and indulged in yet another Phase World book, a guilty pleasure. Afterwards we woke Caed up, as she was napping hard, I would too after a night of zombie hunting.

We drove Yoggy to the airport, and headed out of the Circle City, to await once again until "next year."

Thursday, August 17, 2006