Friday, I showed up for aaronjv's game of Itras By, scenario by hagdirt.
It was a phantasmagoria. A blow-by-blow would be more unedifying than even the usual after-the-fact war stories. IB is a communal story telling exercise, and you can't lose with the right crowd, and I think we had a good one. It may not have lived up to the sheer butt-raping insanity of some OctaNe sessions with Jazon_brez, but still good stuff. K gave us enough of a line to hang our chaos on. And A finessed it and made sure everyone had some input.
No doubt it was the absinthe A plied us with, but I was most satisfied with literally belting out the Alabama Song when I was in a bar setting. That wasn't my only contribution, but it may have been the least Mike-like. Which is worth something.
[PS if you only know the song via The Doors, shoot yourself in the head. If you don't know who The Doors are, just hold your breath for a few seconds so your brain dies.]
I had a large gap, and strangely my plan for introvert sociability worked perfectly. I went to get some food, and sat all by my lonesome self in the hotel restaurant. I will say that their short rib sandwich with horseradish mayo is pretty awesome, but it does have slightly too much meat on it. In any event. Aaron showed up and joined me. And then Fei. And then... oh shit, I've forgotten her name, but the nice kiwi lady. And then John. This all happened one person at a time, and I was glad to be the starting nucleus.
But I had to be off to change for the Masquerade Ball. This was an interstitial adventure for the Messina campaign, so I kinda knew I wouldn't be a star, but it was definitely still fun to wander about as an ancient Thomas Alva Edison and interact with the other people there.
I think there was a plotline there that I wasn't actually, well, informed about. But I tried to roll with it as best I could, but it ultimately devolved into gunfire and swordplay. Not Tom's thing at all. That poor Duchess whatever-her-name-was (my hearing has always been bad) took a bullet to the head, and crumpled practically in my arms.
Zipped home and back. Well, not entirely. As I left Saturday, somehow I forgot my flip chart thingy. So I turned back. Having seen how terrible the 405N was, I cleverly (?) went further south to hit the 110 N to the 105W, so I could swoop through the Manchester/La Cienega Offramp to get home. Alas, the reason that the 405N was rotten was that the two-lane nearly a freeway Manchester/La Cienega Offramp was closed. Entirely. Which meant additionally, that all the people who wanted to get off on those two major arteries were trying to get off at La Tijera (as was I, but I settled for zooming out and back in to get off at Sepulveda/Slauson.) In any event, I spent 15 minutes heading toward Wyrd Con, and 45 minutes coming back. So there went my extra time for lunch and beer. I picked up the dingus and headed back down.
Now I rushed my ass and got to the room for Exodus 22:18 with a half hour to spare, and... there was nobody there. I rearranged some tables and chairs, and still nobody. Augh. Fortunately thing picked up rapidly right at game time.
I was flustered a bit, but found my center fairly quickly.
The game went fairly well. Problems with pacing was probably the biggest problem. The conceit is that the players are townsfolk attempting to determine which among them are witches.
It pains me to say it, but I was slightly shocked when a couple players seemed to make it their mission to paint giant targets on their backs.
At the same time, they were portraying a more skeptical, modern view of the witchcraft hysteria. Sadly, though I agree with it through and through, that is the quick path to getting yourself burnt, and so it proved. Or so it would have been, if they had not extemporized a method of self slaughter.
In any event, while they made for good scenes, it also led to a fast, easy resolution, and with many of the townsfolk wondering, "Are we done? We rooted out the obvious witches."
Some flurries of drama and accusations happened thereafter, though leavened with boredom. A number of other good scenes here and there.
At the end, there was some good feedback and criticism all around. Some I agree with, some I disagree with, and some that would probably be very good for a game that was not the game that I wanted to run.
Sleep is finally catching up to me. Not me at my best, not me at my worst. I was satisfied. I think, on the whole, it was certainly not a failure. Well, no, that's too litotes-ish. It was good. But not perfect. But these things never are.