Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Toledo For the Tacos, Part 3: "Sunday, Some Day"

Sunday AM, Pery and I ran into G'noll in the Red Roof Inn's parking lot as we checked out. He was headed home and we were headed back for the last dregs of activity at BASHCon. He bid adieu and was on his way with his Kwai Chang cane in hand-- don't worry he had to explain it to me on Friday night.

JerryTel's D&D 1st-2nd edition game is evolving somewhat. Peryton got to play a sorceress, so she got to sport her two favorite fashion accessories, her nerd glasses and the 1st Edition Player's handbook. Sadly, I forgot to get a picture. Curly and I spent the second act of the game in-fighting as to which one of us actually killed the giant ice worm that we had just faced. You see, he did more damage but I hit the thing last. There were no kids around so we worked things out in the oldest D&D tradition that I know of. Some pesky frost giant got in the way of the arguing and whapping each other and before I knew it the adventure was finished. Best one of these games yet in my book.

Gary, one of the yearly D&D game players, and JerryTel and Curly's longtime friend treated everyone to lunch at a Mexican restaurant called El Vaquero. This happened to be the best restaurant that we've found in Toledo yet. Here we met Gary's friend from his writing group. We spoke writing and explained FRPG concepts to her as we dined. Gary is planning a Celtic-Norse 2nd Edition mini-campaign, which sounds interesting.

On the way home Robin kept snapping pictures of farmland for some reason, I suppose one can never get enough of that when traveling between Cleveland and Toledo. We didn't bother with the radio as our conversation about the convention flitted the miles away.

Toledo For the Tacos, Part 2: "The Incredible Loosening"

As nobody, except Curly and me, was up for a late night meal so Pery and I did our Del Taco run a night early. This joyous event usually occurs on late Saturday night. The wife perked up enough to eat tacos and re-pack, two favorite activities of hers as far as I can tell, and ended up asleep sometime after me. Upon the morn, we were actually not late for my 9am game, a pre-release Glow play-test called "Toxic Island." What happened is that I drove past a certain road and had to find a new place to park. And with that inclusion of two boring tidbits, my second day at BASHCon, began at 9:36am. I noticed JerryTel's table was already full though his T&T Stay Alive scenario "Gaslight" would start at 10am. Still being late was helpful, I had three players, including G'noll, whom had shown up before myself and was breathing easy, upon my arrival.

Glow's "Toxic Island" never got to the island mentioned in the title. We were having a bit too much fun running through the Character Creation rules. I think my approach to both mutation and androids were a strong point with the audience. Then when I started in with some of the milieu of my personal campaign, the players started running with it all by themselves. I sat back and actually started working on some notes for the weapon tables with only the occasional head pop up to do a GM thing here and there. Thanks to this session, and LinZ the editor, I have a task list of things to have done before the very close official release of this game. I also am hopefully convincing young, compared to me, TimS into becoming a GM for the game at GenCon and elsewhere thanks to this session.

My next game, Wobble's "The Eye Of the Needle" had only one player show up, A.J. . Apparently A.J. is a man to be reckoned with because I met somebody the day before that claimed to be him and the dude offering to show me his driver's license was not that guy. As it was only him and me at the table well past the start time, I refunded his ticket for the game but waxed poetic about what Wobble was and what it wasn't. I gave him the scoop on the scenario's plot, and we talked about who we were as persons. later he'd introduce me to his significant other. I want to do a "Wobble Weekend" out in his neck of the woods this year, between Detroit and Toledo, to get these scenarios worked out, and he is definitely a good prospect for a Wobbler.

I was still able able to show up for lunch with JerryTel, Pery, and Curly, once again at the Phoenicia, where two of JerryTel's friends, where competing at alluding to the most obscure tank and/or artillery battle ever, I hear that there is an award in Cincinnati for this feat. Neither did too well, as I was able to jump in and keep up nicely. I even steered the conversation towards wintertime biathlons.

Well thanks to the Wobble game washing up, I was able to jump in on Robin's, err Peryton's Qalidar Resistance scenario, "Liberation of Katum." When it comes to her game, I've been trying to learn the game system by jumping around from Class to Class and trying them out. This time I chose to play a "Tinkerer" as opposed to the "Mystic" that I tried last time. As for my player's performance in this scenario, I get the notion that I am going about things backwards. Pery described her game's Mystic as "Essentially a Jedi." Well last time I played a Mystic, and knew too little for my scope of play, and this time I was focusing on the minutia while understanding a bit more about the universe around me than possibly the other players around me. In any case, in both scenarios, I never ask the right questions. First off, I did not know the title of the adventure that I had signed up for, missing clues from there was not hard. In short, Katum was not liberated, but we did Greenpeace proud because not one of the Characters is stuck in a Russian prison.

At dinner, Curly announced that I was his favorite uncle. As far as I know, he's my only nephew, fake (nee) adopted or otherwise. I chose this opportunity to start lecturing him about my pet peeves, which, as everyone knows, one should start to get this out and in the open quickly-- I was sitting next to him at a dinner table and he was doing a muppet's rendition of how a human being eats. And I learned this doesn't work with teens. Anyway, I frankly have liked being the weird uncle, I have been that guy since I was nine years-old to my nieces.

My evening game, had only Curly and Gnoll, who was once again late and out of breath (I felt much better), so I changed the venue. Instead of 70s-Disco-Meets-IFC studios horror ("Party Nights"), I went with Hammer Horror. More fun, for me, to have ever had, I reincarnated the cheesiest NPC I ever developed (for T&T in the early Naughts) Count Vulgarr the Vampyr. Oh my goodness, never before have I been so rejuvenated by the familiar before me. Curly, does about the best Liverpool-based accent that I ever heard, and Gnoll was channeling Jeremy Iron and Boris Karloff. Wait until you see the next Crawlspace scenario.

In case anyone has never noticed, I am all about the dialect. Before I could take no more, I got to put American sub-titles under the Late English language into (current) American for the (indolent) Toledo-speaking audience. It was fun, and I am not being carcastic. Okay all the clues were ignored and I kept having to be a railroad man to keep the movie err story going, but overall it was a great time. I actually remembered why I loved Hammer Horror films so much. Mind everyone, I think that my plot twist was three steps above any ever provided by Hammer Studios and my cast was awesome despite the lack of an central European hottie willing to show some boob.

Energized by having such great players, I was overjoyed to hear that JerryTel was up to a late dinner. Curly behaved himself at the dinner table, conversation flowed. I learned that G'noll was a vampire literature addict, on top of having the best voice ever. And we met the folks that is always making him show up at my late, out of breath, and too busy to participate. They're really nice.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Toledo For the Tacos, Part 1: "Hacking Goblins"

I often say, if I don't get a road trip every ninety days or so I go a little crazy. And considering that my last road trip, farther than Parma that is, was sometime in September, I've been going crazy. And those close to me, like poor Peryton or JerryTel, have been suffering for it, because as one might garner from my writing, I am not a stranger to mad foolishness in the best of times. This last weekend though was BASHCon in Toledo, so a chance to get out and about. Pery couldn't even complain about anything because she doesn't even have to take anytime off of work to come along. Though she did endeavor to make us as late as possible, which I somehow foiled her machinations this time around by sticking to the "getting ready" schedule I have worked out in my head weeks before any convention. I can't even complain about getting into the joint this year. We arrived around 5pm and before Pery could buy coffee and muffins from the Starbucks downstairs, I was registered and paid up for the weekend.I think her registration time was over five minutes but less than six.

It was wonderful having a nice leisurely dinner at the Phoenicia restaurant in the Student Center of the University of Toledo. JerryTel and Curly, JT's stepson and a long-term gaming group member of the TOL-CLE corridor showed up at 7pm. They could only complain about having an idiot at the registration desk, not the length of time they had to wait. Met Dan Hembree, fellow Trollhallan, when he arrived promptly at 7:55pm at my Friday night T&T session, "Goblin Hack: the Bloodying." G'noll showed, as he frequently does, late, breathless, and too busy to jump in. Andy, of various sessions over previous years, swung by and decided to watch the game.

A brief aside about Prof. Dannherrrm, I am told that he is an actual professor of Geology as well as T&Tology, is that he is one of the bigger movers and shakers of our little tempest in the T&T teapot. He runs The Lone Delver Games shop. He is also the author of multiple scenarios, such as "One Of those Nights" and "House On the Hill," both of which are on my Troll-shelf. He also has been the managing editor, well THE Editor, of Trollzine for the last two, maybe three, years, which is not an easy task. If there is someone as committed to the cause as me, frankly this man makes me look lazy.

Now about my "Goblin Hack: the Bloodying" turned out to be the sort of gaming session that I live for. I had the story typed up about two weeks ago. The matrix for T&T being what it is, I wrote down four Monster Ratings (MRs) and had an algebraic equation for a battle scene, about a week ago. At the table, four very good role-players, that also were familiar the rules, who had their own pencils and dice. At the table I rolled a d6 to determine the SRs, Saving Rolls, because this was a "play-test" for publication later, which gave the session an edge of surprise for both the players and me. The flow of things went swimmingly, though the player-characters would disagree. And I had fun doing my interpretation of the Goblin King and illustrating what the cavern-fortress of the goblins was like. And then I got to dig into my very own creations once things got really low. The one flaw was forgetting to give Dannherrrm's Character 2dxd6 more points for his 2nd Level Character in this 4-6th level scenario. Of course, I cannot have perfect gaming and game-mastering come together at once-- I bet my head would explode right there. Still it was quite a lot of fun.