Thursday. Worked in the AM. Got the last preparation done for "A Happening". Got the last preparation done for the Seekers Unlimited benefit. And then to WyrdCon for the benefit itself, which was themed as a 1920s Casino Night, with raffle prizes.
For the casino night, I was dealing some Tarot Card poker, a feeble shadow of the REAL tarot poker game "Fool's Errand" that went on at the first Wyrd Con in Casino Arcana. In short, it was Texas Hold'em with the Minor Arcana. Prime and Bino had some previous experience with Fool's Errand, so they were naturals for the game. Other guests were initially almost-humorously skeptical of the idea of poker with tarot cards, but after watching a few hands, some of them joined the table, including a few with some clear serious poker skills.
At this late remove, the only hand I remember well is a somewhat sad story. IIRC, it was Bino going up against someone who was a seriously good poker player, but... alas for him, had misread his Knight as a King. He played the hand correctly, except that it wasn't the hand that he had.
Afterwards, chips turned into raffle tickets, and the raffle was held. We had lots of nice prizes, but as I was helping to dole things out, the one thing that caught my eye was (among our huge pile of Sanrio swag (thank you Sanrio & Renee)) the Badtz Maru PJ's or whatever they were. I... didn't want to give them away. I mean, next to Mr. Gruff, Badtz Maru is my spirit animal. But it went to Ajit, which apart from breaking my heart, is a good thing.
I had a nice chat with a couple from Madison. Rob was an eager poker player, and I guess mostly he plays online, so it was a treat for him to play against real opponents. And Laura was really supportive (well both of them were) of the goals of Seekers. It was great that they won our little signed booklet pile, of the Eldritch Quintuplets, Exodus 22:18, and Aaron's Secret Ante. So it was a pleasure to personalize them for them.
Oh, I forgot to mention. Thursday was also the day that our house officially went on the market.
Having stayed up late, naturally I went to work in the morning.
In the afternoon, I picked up the rented audio equipment for my game, the rented tux for my game, and a pair of horns for Limbo!
The best thing about the audio equipment was that for a one day rental, I got to pick them up Friday and return them (hopefully) Tuesday. So I was able to also help out hagdirt with Limbo! For reference, Limbo! is best enjoyed when it occurs at your house, so that booze is allowed, and you don't have to go home. But we made do with the tighter restrictions of the con. This time, I played Asmodeus. I was not the most effectual at actually achieving goals, but I got plenty of good role-play in, so that's a win for me.
I enjoyed myself, but there was a small contretemps (not involving me, but people who have read this far get the juicy gossip). A couple players got in a physical confrontation. I was two feet away and to me it read as role-play, but seconds later I was in a fight of my own and unconscious on the ground, until 'Bob' revived me. But I guess for one player, the physicality had not been welcome. He needed some time out, so we went to the bar together and talked it over a bit. I feel like a hypocrite, because I literally said it would be best to talk it over with K later, rather than now. But when I felt he was approaching normality, I headed back to the game and got into a conversation with Lilith. I guess my face was an open book when I talked about Jazz needing some time off, so then she and I talked a bit OOC, and she persuaded me that K needed to know, and so I tattled. K appreciated my input, and went off to handle the matter.
In the grand scheme of things, this contretemps didn't mean much to the overall game, but it's another reminder about the real problems that can arise from different expectations from different players, with different histories and different experiences.
I think my favorite moments were just some stupid role-playing where I was trying to sell condos in hell to newcomers to the afterlife. 'Oh no... it's not like that at all anymore. The giant lake of feculent pus has been drained and filled in and covered in astroturf. The new stuff is really good... almost like real grass."
Oh, and just cuz I'm getting weepy-eyed and nostalgic, here's how I made Soul last time at Limbo!
Saturday we were going to have our first showing of the house, so I spent my morning helping Veratrine clean the house from top to bottom. That's what most GMs do before running a larp, right?
I managed a bit of a nap in the afternoon, and then a meal while the showing was going on. Back home for a bit, and then on to the game. I set up my audio equipment and went into panic mode. I couldn't get anything from the left speaker. Fortunately, Riz showed up and found a kludge that was much more than good enough. It may not have been a big deal, but it removed a huge weight from my shoulders heading into the game.
I confess that I bitched to a lot of people about the raw deal I felt I had received from Wyrd Con. Can I have audio equipment? Nope [which is why I rented some on my own dime]. Well, then can I reschedule or move the event so I won't be next door to the mega-cyber-rave-larp? mmmmm... not really. Unwittingly or uncaringly, I bitched to some staff, and from there the word got kicked up the chain. I give Ira and Mitch a great deal of sincere credit for showing up in person before my game to apologize to me. It didn't change the situation, but they had sacked/ovaried up (okay, just sacked) to come face me with no BS and apologize.
I was still psyched because I *did* have my audio set-up, and I had a huge pile of prereg'ed people. But... the second great disappointment is that there were a number of no-shows. I had convinced myself that this was going to be huge, and I wrote a bunch more characters to try to keep pace with the pre-reg numbers to have room for walk-ons. And then I was let down at game time.
But I was not let down by those who showed up. It wasn't a block party, but it was a party. And a bunch of people brought their A game from soup to nuts. To take one example, I did not learn until just today that 'Andy Warhol' had gone to some trouble and discomfort to produce scars to add some verisimilitude, since Warhol had been seriously shot about a year before the chronology of the game. I was also unaware that Richard Avedon took a remarkable photo of Warhol's torso, until it was mentioned by the player afterwards.
As usual, I have only the faintest idea what went on, but my photos (and a couple videos of Jim) can be examined here. Since I don't know what people were actually talking about (for the most part) you can take the captions with a grain of salt & and dram of artistic license.
I apparently called game about half-a-conversation too soon, but pretty close to right, I think. I tried to keep a formal wrap to a minimum, because (frustrated DJ that I am) I had more music to play. And this was not very heavy larp that required a great deal of analysis and introspection. Or so one would think. I was really touched by one player who was almost embarrassingly inspired by the game. He had been playing a character from an unfinished novel of his, and the game allowed him to explore that character and make him more real.
Played music and chatted until 3 or so. Shoved the equipment back in the car (again thanks to a few player sherpas). But of course, the next showing of the house was at noon. So up and at'em with cleaning and such, and then out of the house, and back to Wyrd Con for Cantina Far Far Away. I was essentially NPCing as, again, a poker -- ahem pohKAR -- dealer at the Hutt's Palace. Lots of fun just dealing poker, but I also had some secret spy activity with the Rebellion. Most notably, I had some information on a data thingy to pass to someone. I talked with the GM beforehand and asked, "Y'know, I could work really hard to make this undetectable, or I could pass the information somewhat sloppily giving people a chance to see it. What works for the story you're trying to tell?"
She wanted it sloppy. Um, so to speak. As it turned out, I may still have been too subtle, although mostly because other distracting events were occurring exactly when the handoff happened. I had stowed the data inside an empty card deck box, and my contact was sitting at the opposite side of the card table from me. I slid the thing across the entire table to her, but there was only one other person sitting at the table, and other people in the room were distracted, so I don't know if anyone noticed my egregiously obvious information drop. My contact played it off well, extracting the contents, returning the box to me and commenting about the high quality of the cards in the deck.
It was also great just being a professional (as much as I can be) poker dealer in the Hutt's palace. At one point a huge gun battle erupted not far from the table, and I just kept shouting at people to either call or fold, as they tried to crouch under the table.
After the Cantina, I was starting to feel the weekend crash down, and I spent a bit of time recuperating alone in the bar, and then joined into the semi-official social meet&greet time there.
And then to the Dresden Files game. I didn't enjoy it as much as the one last year by the same troupe. Part of the problem was just bad luck of the draw on my character, who was even more tangential to the plot; also, the two named PCs in my background were not in game. The game had more people in it, and much of the BIG STUFF GOING ON required a lot of GM time, which spread them thin. The game does bring in good role-players, and I had a number of great conversations. But it would get overshadowed because people would start shouting when BIG STUFF WAS GOING ON.
The crowd was enthusiastic, and I didn't want to harsh their mellow by going 'meh' at the wrap, so I slipped out early and headed home.
Today, I played hooky from Wyrd Con, and devoted my efforts to grilling up a sirloin to split with Dr. Pookie, washing it down with a grenache/mourvedre blend from Zaca Mesa. You're right to be jealous. And not long after that, we got word that an offer has been made on the house.
Looking forward to future larps... one must look to the past. I've mentioned this to Dr. Pookie and Prime, but now I'll make a broader allusion.
A Happening was set in 1969 for a reason.
Curiously (not curiously) my very first live game -- Groovy 60's Cthulhu -- was also set in 1969. Bonus fact: the game included drugs represented by Gummi bears. As did A Happening.
23 years after 1969, in September 1992, I ran a live game called 23 Skidoo, set in 1923.
It is possible that 23 years after 1992, in September 2015, I will run a live game called 23 Skidoo X2, set in 1946.
If you miss it, you'll have to wait until 2038.