I left my heart @ Fabricated Realities

edited June 2011 in Actual Play
I've come to the conclusion that you really can't compare cons. I mean, how do you compare Go Play NW with GenCon or NemoCon? They've all got their own style and feel.

But then... damn, FabReal. I mean, damn. So much gaming, so much love, packed into one weekend.

We should have all gone out and gotten tattoos. I vote for the space bear.


(pictures, actual play reports, love... pile them here)


  • Oooh, pictures of the glory. I didn't get too many (too busy gaming) but here they are:

  • edited June 2011
    Oh, man! I missed Sunday, so maybe things went horribly downhill after I left, but Friday and Saturday were one-hundred-percent, uninterrupted, across-the-board fun. The games were great, of course, and the space itself was fantastic, but it was the mix of people that really made it for me: friends from other places, folks that I'd met before but finally had a chance to really spend time with, brand new folks that turned out to be amazing, people who knew story games backwards and forwards, other people who'd never played any kind of RPG at all before. I'll probably post about specific stuff later today, but it was really special. Many thanks to Grace, Jackson, Ross, and all of the volunteers that made it possible.

    Also, did a quote board ever get put up? I saw folks jotting things down during games, but don't know if they were ever collected anywhere. If not, I'll start:

    "You guys built A CHURCH before you built A SHOVEL!" -Joe McDaldno, incredulous at the misplaced priorities of our post-apocalyptic village of feral children in The Quiet Year.
  • edited June 2011
    Yeah, consistent awesome.

    This guy stood over us as we played Seid:


    The Princess (Amnesiack) promises the King (John Powell) "If the Earl asks me to marry him, I will say yes" and then goes about studying the magic to still the Earl's tongue. But her spell backfires and she's the one who can't speak.

    We played Jedi Blackbird on the junkyard planet of Cordu in the Apocalypse HQ:


    We rode rust worms into their nest where they mistook us for their young - and it turned out our mission leader (Greypawn) was in love with the Kurtz-like rogue Jedi target of our mission the whole time, and joined him in his evil (but well-meaning) scheme at the end.

    Monsterhearts by candlelight (didn't get a picture of that one) - the Infernal has a Need power where when you really, really want something your demon Power can make it happen. Good thing, because I was being blamed for murder and I really, really wanted the victim to be alive...

    And Carl also ran Lacuna in the jungle safari room the next morning:


    Oh MAN. I wish I could have my memories of Lacuna removed so I could play it again for the first time. That's all I'll say - if you haven't played Lacuna, find someone to run it for you. And if anyone tries to explain it to you first plug your ears and sing "I'm not listening to you mary had a little lamb little lamb little lamb"

    Finally, Planet Algol by Johnstone in the outer space theater. (Home of the space bear.) I think that is the first time I've loved a game for its setting. Usually I'm all "*I* want to participate in the setting creation, screw your pre-made setting" but this time I was like, "Yeah, this place is awesome." It was also fun to use the "Autarch's Hand" spell to seize a blade-demons glowing heart by force ... and inadvertently take it into my own body. Can just imagine the countdown clock on that one.

    So yeah, thanks Ross, Jackson and crowd!
  • I don't get jealous often.
    I am now jealous.
  • It was an amazing convention. The wonderful organizers took all the awesomeness of the Go Play NW model, removed the pre-scheduled games, and then tossed us into beautiful and inspiring art installations. Lesley and I were there all day Friday and for the first two sessions on Saturday, but then we had to leave early, much to our sadness. Still, I got in six games, all of which were great: Microscope, Perfect Unrevised, Fiasco, Love In The Time of Seid, 7 Wonders, and Monsterhearts. This is now definitely the other "must attend" yearly convention for me alongside GPNW.

    I took a bunch of pictures that I will hopefully post once I've gotten them all off my phone. If you can see a handful in my Twitter stream that I posted as the con was ongoing.
  • I want to know many, many things, but one thing I really want to know is how being surrounded by that art impacted game play. let's start there before we move on to the rhino.
  • I second Jason.
  • I played Apocalypse World twice, and Monster Hearts and Microscope once.

    I went from wanting to run Apocalypse World this summer to needing to run it, it was utterly fantastic and amazing. Microscope was an interesting game that I still don't all the way know how I feel about, although it's really extremely clever.

    And my favorite story that happened was the Monster Hearts game that ended with my Infernal dying by the hand of the Mortal who's soul he sold to the evil spirits of the woods, and how she then killed the closest thing to a good guy in the bunch, and went off with the evil Witch who kept stealing her hair all game to cast black magic who became immortal.

    And the Sea Dracula game with live band and audience participation was one of the greatest things I've ever witnessed.

    Thanks to Ross, Jackson, Joel, and Carl for facilitating those amazing games. And Ross, Jackson, and all of the artists for making it possible!
  • And to answer Jason, Apocalypse World was made even cooler by hanging out in the Apocalypse Cafe, and it was awesome double crossing people and making deals with the dark and evil forest in Monster Hearts in...the dark and evil forest.
  • 3rded^. What an awesome environment.
  • In re: art and game play: yes namely the Apocalypse Cafe, the Floating Castle, and the Dark Forrest I think not so much influenced how the game played out, but really, really got you into the ideal head space for entering into/creating fiction- I played The Dreaming Crucible and Monster Hearts in the Dark Forest, and it was far easier to suspend disbelief and slip into the realm of the game, to pick up cues from the art and add that into the scenery of the story. Also, I got to game with two of the artists in each of the spaces they'd created- the Human Organ and the Dark Forest, which was really interesting.

    Two important thing I feel the art installations (and the organizers) did as a whole:
    -Create an overall atmosphere of (for lack of a better word) wonder, that, for me, was pervasive throughout the weekend.
    -Instantly and creatively created these cozy and unique little gaming areas inside this super large space- so even with a lot of games running at once, I never felt crowded, or that it was too loud- each game felt insulated and intimate, which was rad.

    Moving on to further gushing:
    Met a ton of really amazing people, the majority of which I only knew from the interweird. I feel like I might have a whole new second gaming group in Seattle now!

    Played (mostly) games I've never played before: Inspecters, The Quiet Year, The Dreaming Crucible, Kategematsu, Fiasco, Capes, Monster Hearts.

    Had lots of great food and gaming conversation with folks throughout the weekend (so much that my voice is near gone today). And I won Shock in the raffle!!

    A big thanks to all the folks who facilitated and GM'd. I (who rarely run games) walked away from this weekend feeling like I learned so much about really good facilitation that now I MUST run games.

    Sea Dracula to live music was fantastic, and I am working on getting the video uploaded soon.

    And some quotes:

    Fiasco (in which, of course, the meth lab in the volcano in Antarctica explodes)- the love-struck burn victim tries to propose to his very uninterested boss: "You can take that ring back to the morgue: on your finger!"
    The Quiet Year (Lord of the Flies gone very, very wrong- and you thought that it couldn't get any worse): "The head of a Beaver, the body of a Bear, the Soul of a Preacher"
    (actually, the Quiet Year game was full of choice quotes that I hope Joe throws up here at some point. This was my favorite session of the whole con)

    Finally, overall quote: "Story Games: It's like Pornography"
  • Favorite quote: "[Insert any pitch for a story game run at the con] It's an exploration of the human condition." Which is more of an in-joke, than a quote I suppose.
  • How were games organized? How were they scheduled? I'm really envious and amazed and want to figure out what happened.
  • I'm very sad that I had to miss Friday and most of Sunday--particularly Sea Dracula. I've got quite a few pictures of the incredible space, which I'll try to get posted soon.

    To answer your first question, Jason, it's hard for me to separate the physical environment from the emotional one. The fact that people had put so much effort and creativity into creating a gaming space was visually amazing, but it also lent a distinct current of welcome and support that ran under everything we played. At other cons, even intimate house cons, there's always a feeling that you're borrowing the place to do something that really doesn't belong there. Obviously that was true of the Procession of the Species studio too, but it didn't feel that way: it felt like it was meant, at least for this weekend, just for gaming with these new and old friends.

    As for organization, there were slots set out in advance but nothing actually scheduled. (I think the forum could potentially have been used for that, but I don't think it saw much activity--that may change next time!) It was just the standard gather-and-pitch session, with Ross or Jackson calling everyone over from atop a giant mushroom forest. Facilitators pitched their games, players gravitated to them, and the Mushroom King made sure no one was left behind.
  • Basically, at the beginning of each session (3-4 sessions per day:, 10 am, 2 pm, 7 pm, and sometimes 11 or midnight) we would all gather round the "mushroom throne".

    Jackson or Ross would ask facilitators to step forward and pitch the games they were willing to run, after which, all the players just migrated towards the game they were interested in.

    It was really casual and friendly. It was usually 10- (I am guessing?) 30 people, depending on the time of day. I think if it had been a little bigger, this system might not have worked so well, but who knows?

    There were also a few games pre-planned (between folks online I think, or the night before or over lunch, etc), and some that started before 10 am. But even the pre-planned games usually had room for one or two additional people, and would say so.
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarHow were games organized? How were they scheduled? I'm really envious and amazed and want to figure out what happened.
    They scheduled slots similar to Go Play NW. Every day had the following:

    Slot 1: 10am-1pm
    Slot 2: 2pm-6pm
    Slot 3: 7pm-10pm
    Slot 4: 10pm-2am

    The last two slots tended to be a little fuzzier in practice, with people often playing a game that started at 7 and went a little long, etc.

    Games were organized at the beginning of each session by Ross or Jackson sitting up on the toadstool platform and calling for GMs/facilitators. The volunteers would then give 30 second game pitches and whoever was interested in playing with them would walk over and stand next to them. Once everyone was sorted into a game, groups broke off and found a space to play. Rinse and repeat. Occasionally, a group would organize something in advance, and then just jump right in once the slot rolled around.
  • I think Tori and Brendan covered the influence of the installations pretty well. There was definitely a strong sense of "This is a place for telling cool stories in a variety of mediums" that permeated the entire con, and the art was a big part of that. The art areas also served a very practical purpose as physical dividers that helped groups separate from one another and diminished the noise factor. Whether or not the art informed the games themselves really depended on the game and installation combo. For instance, the amazingly cool Multi-Dimensional Chamber Of Light was fun to play in, but it didn't really have any thematic effect on our Fiasco game that I could perceive. However, the Dark Woods definitely influenced the picture I had in my head of our surroundings as I played Love In The Time of Seid.
  • Triple cross-post and your stories match! Sweet!

    For the record, my take agrees completely with Tori, Lukas and Brendan. We also adopted the "No Gamer Left Behind" motto of Go Play NW and moved boulders to make sure anyone who came back a little late from lunch or dinner got in some game.
  • Man, I wish I could have made this as planned. It looks and sounds like it was wonderful! Glad that Seið was still present.

    Resolved: To end all my pitches for retro and retro clone adventure and dungeon-crawling games with "It's an exploration of the human condition."

    And only those. Also, Danger Patrol.
  • Posted By: Brendan...and the Mushroom King made sure no one was left behind.
    This puts a smile on my face. :)
  • edited June 2011
    A fantastic con (packed between two frustrating car trips) that I lack the energy to properly expound upon, but will "summarize" in any case:

    Polaris, Friday night: Ben Robbins is mean, clobbering Johnzo's knight over the head with But Ifs and cursing my poor valiant protagonist with the most wilfully wussy sister ever.

    I respond by leaving her behind in the wastes while I go off to have an avalanche-causing swordfight with my (I thought) demonic ex-mentor, but before I can get him to explain himself I have to kill him and it turns out he was innocent after all (thanks Xander! You were mean too!) and I lose my character-defining sense of snow. Then again that fucker hit my pregnant sister, so screw him.

    Johnzo responds by confronting a murderous military coup of inexperienced knights with their own gullibility, watching them murder each other while trying to decide what to do, then disinterring his ex-lover in order to wear his face as a mask while walking through the city, raising the previously-murdered ruling class from the dead.

    Kagematsu, Saturday afternoon.
    A village struggling to survive on the tourist trade surrounding a holy shrine is beset by sinister shadow creatures, who seem intent on the shrine and have a rather deletirious effect on the local economy. Kagematsu, a fabled "shadow boxer" and samurai, has come to the village to read a lot of scrolls -- and I do mean a lot of scrolls -- and is our only hope, both for saving the village and love/lovin'. Kagematsu is really tall, has intense grey eyes, rarely speaks, and has long black hair. He is in his 50s, and is played by Grace, who also constructed the giant human heart in which we are playing the game.

    I play "Moonlight", the innocent daughter of the innkeeper who loves listening to visitors' stories, covets her mother's beautiful wedding dress, and really wants to get out of this goddamn town. I am fascinated by the shadows and manage to impress Kagematsu with my unsurpassed physical beauty, bountiful curiousity, and ability to quote apposite classical haiku -- and also that part where I rescued a crying child from the well, after a shadow's kidnapping attempt interrupted my attempt to introduce myself.. But even though I scolded and begged and threatened Kagematsu -- and even secured a tearful, romantic declaration of love! -- I could not convince him to save the town, and it turned out he didn't even love me best!

    Tori plays my mother, "Lady Sparrow (?)", a widow of convenience who can only manage to love one of her daughters -- my stupid sister, who can sing prettily but can't be bothered to do any chores -- and uses the rest as slave labour in the tavern, refusing to even buy them nice dresses! She foolishly believes that her experience, charm, and proximity to Kagematsu's age will somehow allow her to win his heart, instead of just interfering with her eldest daughter's one chance for love -- but even flashing Kagematsu on the stairs is not enough to get him to touch her. She does however manage to save the town in the end, by chasing him out of the tavern and towards the final confrontation with a kitchen knife. She still never gave me that dress.

    Joel plays a woman so disgraced that I won't even bother telling you her name* -- she works with us at the inn. She got pregnant by a visiting stranger and then lost the baby, but that's probably for the best because it would have had a tail anyways -- at least that's what my mother said! The whole town is ashamed of her, but that only seems to make her prouder. Which is really frustrating, because she keeps distracting Kagematsu and trying to talk about her feelings (summary: she's upset) -- but even though he keeps putting up with her, sharing moments and smiling and saying nice things, it turns out Kagematsu really doesn't care about feelings (like mine, for example!) and just wants to get back to reading scrolls.

    (* Actually I forgot her name. Sorry Joel!)

    Harry plays "Lady Cherry Blossom," the village laundress. She is such a goody two-shoes, but also kind of pretty and desperate and sad. But who wouldn't be sad when Kagematsu keeps snubbing them, barely managing to offer a compliment even when she offers to cook him meals. Not only that, she snuck into the inn -- my home territory! -- and got into his room just long enough to mop his weary brow and take all her clothes off. I guess Kagematsu was interested in those scrolls because it turned out in the end that he loved Lady Cherry Blossom most of all -- something which he probably should have considered telling her, like when she begged him to save the village? Maybe then she wouldn't have killed herself during the shadow attack! Honestly, at first I thought that whole "doesn't talk much" thing was kind of mysterious, but maybe in the end it's not really the way to go!

    Kagematsu did save the village though (just, just barely), it turned out the shadows were feeding on the water from the spring thaw, and so we drained all the hot springs and he did like fifteen hours of tai chi in a row and banished the shadow.

    In the end I went off to become a shadow boxer myself (and hopefully find a sexy, considerate, younger Kagematsu look-alike who will be more interested in complimenting me and less interested in reading scrolls.) My mother took my insufferable sisters off to another town, and the Disgraced Lady took over our inn. Hopefully that'll work out for her.

    A quote, after some particularly steamy scene-frame involving Kagematsu and the hot springs:

    "Don't worry, Joel, we can ogle him in our minds..."
    [Dreamily] "Yeah, it's our shared imagined space..."
    [Not-so-dreamily] "... and it's getting HOT in there."

    Fuck Youth, Sunday morning. When Jackson pitched this game I misheard it as "Fuck You" -- which persisted all the way until the end of the game. Fuck You would be a fine title regardless. This game was amazing, my highlight of the con, which I lack the energy to even summarize right now. Two of the four players had never played a story game before and so naturally their contributions, characters, and dialogue were the best, with me and Jackson struggling to keep up -- and forced to resort to the old standby, the Incredibly Awkward Teenage Seduction scene. The makeouts were brief but impactful.

    Ribbon Drive, Sunday afternoon. After some premeditation to secure McDaldno and Jacksno, I managed to ensure that I could play my favourite game at least once, and use up some of my mix backlog in the process. Alex and Angeline(?) joined us in the apocalypse cafe and after considerable deliberation (Alex ended up selecting my 'advanced Ribbon Drive' mix, which was then drawn -- it's pretty weird) we told the story of an ad-hoc family of blood relatives, girlfriends and neighbours escaping the big city to try and start their lives over on an inherited farm.

    The trip was enlivened by the endless fantasies of the world's most delusionally horny 12 year old (who had the Future: "I will lose my virginity to [my older brother's girlfriend, another PC, aged 22]"), squabbling between the perky, Internet-addicted optimistic and my third-world-problems-obsessed pre-med, and Holly (the girlfriend mentioned -- the brother in question was not on the trip) performing her amateur magic tricks. Things kind of went sideways, however, when two women at a rest stop recognized the 12-year old from a 'Missing' poster they had seen at a nearby restaurant, and it was subsequently revealed that his brother was not his legal guardian at all, and we were basically all engaged in a protracted form of child kidnapping. Mr. Kirk, the one-legged Iranian man who was the secret ingredient in our perfect storm of family, reconfirmed his commitment to his newly-adopted relatives and (I like to think) eventually led us safely past the police and into the promised chestnut glade.

    Due to the slow start this game didn't quite manage to reach proper fruition, but the scenes of Holly (played by Alex) freaking out as she started to realize that she might be accidentally involved in a family kidnapping were particularly affecting, and as usual the game delivered that perfect mix of slow-paced road conversation, sudden drama, and listening-to-awesome-music that I have come to expect.

    Plus afterwards Joe put on his unused mix and we had a 15 minute dance party in the apocalypse room, enthusing/scaring the occasional onlooker -- though I do believe we got a few people to join in by the end.

    Sea MFing Dracula, Sunday Night Gala. The post-Ribbon-Drive dance party turned out to be only a taste of things to come, a warm-up for the inevitable lawyerly triumph of Boss-A-Lot Ocelot in his quest to prove that it is Art itself -- rather than arsonists, tea candles, or Tupac -- that sets things on fire. But honestly I think that game needs its own thread, because holy shit.
  • Posted By: Ice Cream Emperor

    A quote, after some particularly steamy scene-frame involving Kagematsu and the hot springs:

    "Don't worry, Joel, we can ogle him in our minds..."
    [Dreamily]"Yeah, it's our shared imagined space..."
    [Not-so-dreamily]"... and it's getting HOT in there."

    Yes!, and

    "Kagematsu is sooo dreamy"
    "I know, right? He is also totally super deep"
    "Totally. And he's the tallest man in Japan"
    "That's sooo hot"
  • edited June 2011
    Affects of the Art:
    I played Dreaming Crucible in the cavern installation, and the majority of the game revolved around a King of the Underground and his attempt to re-create a lost son through the temptations and memory-mining of a mortal youth. There was a magic forest, but the game began and ended in the Cave-Kingdom.

    I totally agree with the feeling that the place we were in was more than welcoming. I totally get that feeling, when i look back on other cons, that we were in a space where this was not supposed to be the thing people do in that place. But at FabReal the spaces we played in begged us to keep up with the imagination and inspiration. It was AMAZING. It makes me want to go home and gut my housemates garage into a ziggurat or candy jungle or something.

    Quote from Jedi Blackbird:
    Stoic Jedi Master: "Why were those drones so interested in that transponder?" [scowls]
    Untrustworthy Scoundrel Guide: "What?! I don't know...it was all shiny....and beepy." [looks away]

    I cannot thank Jacksno or Ross or all the FabReal gods and goddesses who made real that 24 hour glimpse i had into pure awesome. Cannot. Thank them. Enough.
  • edited June 2011
    As for the spaces, others have already said it, but that won't stop me from repeating. The fact that care had been taken in assembling spaces at all -- and the physical elements of that assemblage, creating a separation of space that was, for lack of a better term, not-boring -- had the greatest influence for me, more than the specific content. And also, I think Brendan absolutely put his finger on it about the space not feeling like it was meant to be something else; that it was being borrowed/diverted from some 'normal' purpose. These games and these sorts of activities really felt like they were the normal purpose of the studio, at least for the weekend.

    That said, if they do it again next year I will definitely put some thought into bringing a game that can somehow base itself off the gaming location, because that could be pretty fun too.
  • edited June 2011
    Everything about this show was wonderful.
    Posted By: Ice Cream Emperor
    Polaris, Friday night: Ben Robbins is mean, clobbering Johnzo's knight over the head with But Ifs and cursing my poor valiant protagonist with the most wilfully wussy sister ever.
    Having never played Polaris before, I was shaken at how Ben went for the throat in the first scene and so I was a little off-balance in the early going. Polaris is a vicious, vicious game. I want to play it more.
    Posted By: Ice Cream EmperorJohnzo responds by confronting a murderous military coup of inexperienced knights with their own gullibility, watching them murder each other while trying to decide what to do, thendisinterring his ex-lover in order to wear his face as a maskwhile walking through the city, raising the previously-murdered ruling class from the dead.
    Don't be judgmental at me! You were the one who put Corvus' ex-lover down in the first place! :)

    My favorite part of that is that I rolled weird on my experience dice from that round and so poor mad Corvus still had one Zeal left even after getting his necromancy on.

    "The emergency is temporary. Once we adjust to the new circumstances, all shall be well!"
  • edited June 2011
    Whoa, I totally forgot a game:

    Monsterhearts, Saturday night.
    An apparent shortage of facilitators had led me to volunteer to run DRYH (the only thing I felt possible, given my general exhaustion by that point on Saturday), but then when Carl had to go and pitch Monsterhearts -- one of the few games on my 'I really want to play this' list for the con -- I could not resist, bailing on DRYH (and taking one interested player with me into Carl's game instead.)

    It was the end of the summer, the first day of senior-year school in Nowheresville Beach, Oregon, a mostly-ex-mill/logging town washed up against the Pacific coast. Not much happens here -- unless you count barfights at The Winner's Circle Bar & Grill -- but when you're a teenager, 'not much' is almost indistinguishable from 'the most important thing ever.'

    I played Kansas, the teenage witch. (Yes, her parents named her that. No, not for good reasons.) For Kansas, things really have changed over the summer -- things like her mom going all psychotic on her philandering father, leading to divorce, kitchen knife attacks, restraining orders in all directions, and Kansas living at home with her nearly-catatonic mother. Little surprise then that she has abandoned her previously upstanding, preppy A+ ways and become the talk of the teenage town, a volatile mix of angst, anger, and sinister arcane power. Her pretend boyfriend dropped her -- "I just don't think we'd be able to get into the same college, anymore, you know?" -- and everything is just, like, fucked! okay?

    I am sorry to admit that I cannot remember the name of the guy who played Robin, the Fey (if you're out there, sorry! I remember your face!) Robin was a true outcast, a trailer home kid to a single mom waitress whose nighttime wanderings had led him into the faerie kingdom, where he was adopted by the Fey. Almost all his friends were imaginary -- except for Sean, founding co-president and only other member of the Chess Club -- and he spent a lot of time being stuffed into lockers. Which probably explained how he figured out that his locker was actually a portal to The Abyss (making for convenient at-school gazing!) But now that it's senior year, Robin is trying to turn over a new leaf, and become more social -- which is totally going to work!

    Candy played Eva Rose, the Vampire. Many ages old, smokin' hot, and way, way too cool for this town, Eva Rose was hiding from some very unfortunate people -- and what better place to hide than a shitty nobody town in Oregon? -- along with her extensive, fashionably retro wardrobe. As for the burning, age-old question of questions -- why, oh god why, would a 300 year old vampire want to attend high school? Well, you'd attend high school too if the music teacher, Mr. Kane, was hotter than a thousand fiery suns.

    Jamie played James Chen, the "Quarterback". I mean, Infernal. James wanted a lot of things -- like, really really wanted them -- but unlike most teenagers he had the seemingly all-powerful 'Grandfather' in his corner, willing to provide them, no questions asked! Last year James really, really wanted to be good at football, and suddenly he was first team quarterback, with the social standing, letterman's jacket, and Cheerleader Girlfriend to prove it. Too bad Max, the ex-first-team-quarterback, is so jealous -- he really, really needs to just get out of the way.

    This game was pretty awesome, with Hot rolls absolutely dominating the proceedings -- Candy's Vampire, despite moving through the school in a Mr.-Kane-obsessed haze, managed to parlay her highlighted +3 Hot into a truly stupendous amount of experience (I don't know if Carl kept track but it felt like it was 20+; by comparison, I managed to pick up my 5th right at the end of the game.) Her slow-motion, new-girl hallway walk-in started the first day of school off with a hormonal bang that just seemed to pick up more and more momentum as things continued.

    It took Kansas all of half a day to break her promise to herself that she wouldn't freak out at school, cursing out some near-strangers in the cafeteria after browbeating Robin's 'friend' Sean into apologizing for an earlier Eva-Rose-jealousy-inspired lunchtray dump into Robin's lap. She immediately fled the scene to smoke outside, chewing herself out for confirming all the horrible summertime gossip that had spread about her and her family. Her outburst got James' attention, though, and when he came outside to talk to her it turned out that maybe he didn't really, really want that Cheerleader Girlfriend quite as much as he should -- the 7-9 results on 'Turn someone on' are really quite a piece of art. Some genuine concern followed by a well-timed "smoldering glance" resulted in a sudden, Kansas-initiated kiss -- right at the exact moment that the Cheerleader Girlfriend walks out the door. James' excuse? "She kissed me!" Kansas was too stunned by her own actions to bother making excuses.

    This lead to the following exchange (paraphrased):

    Carl (MC): "So Kansas, when you get back to your locker later, it seems like somebody has written something on it..."
    Me (Kansas): "Oh. Was it... 'beautiful, strong young girl?'"
    Carl (MC): "Well, yes, but for some reason they spelled it 'S', 'L', 'U', 'T'."
    Me (Kansas): "Isn't that a shame for them..."

    Finally, a chance for some dark magic vengeance! (Sean had caved too easily earlier, and therefore escaped the doom.)

    But first, she had to go smoke under the bleachers while that jerk James, who totally tricked her into kissing him somehow, used the football tryouts to get out some aggression -- on the ex-quarterback, Max, who had taken what should have been his seat in Math class earlier in the day. A +volatile roll later and Max is bleeding from the nose and probably concussed -- and who better to escort him to the school nurse than the new student, Eva Rose! Unfortunately for Max, Eva Rose gets confused: instead of taking him to the school nurse, she takes him to the locker room; and instead of stopping the bleeding with a kleenex, she stops it by removing all the blood from his young, sweaty body! But before Eva can cover for her accidental overfeeding, she hears footsteps and has to make a break for it.

    This leaves James -- sent to the showers early, it's not like he's going to get cut from the team -- to discover (in the handicap stall of the boys' locker room washroom) the pale, bloodless corpse of the teammate he just smashed to the ground in a moment of who's-the-quarterback-now aggression. James freaks out, for obvious reasons overlooking any bite marks, and runs out to call the coach -- "Max is dead, Max is dead!" Soon the entire team, plus cheerleaders, are assembled in the locker room, surrounding the coach, who is resolutely but not optimistically administering CPR.

    Things are not looking good for James, and much worse for Max. But this is not what James needs right now. And, after quite a bit of description of the scene and Max being dead, Jamie (James' player) suddenly looks up from reading his moves and says: "James really, really doesn't want Max to be dead." A string and a successful roll later, and Max suddenly sputters to life, all thanks to 'Grandfather'. Relief and confusion everywhere, and Max looks around, bewildered, before he seems to remember something. "That bitch!" Cut scene.

    Some proper hexing followed -- a trip into Kansas' abyss, which consists of a memory-palace version of her family home, with her mother blankly watching TV and smoking in every single room, reveals that the Cheerleaders are a bunch of amateur-hour witches, carving the 'SLUT' into her locker with some sort of ritual dagger. Seriously? Losers. No amount of witchcraft is going to help Samantha recover from having all her hair fall out in the middle of the cafeteria.

    Unfortunately play stopped at that point, because I am quite sure absolutely none of that would have turned out well. I left out quite a bit of play between Robin and Eva Rose and the jazz-playing, smoldering Mr. Kane, but suffice to say that had its moments as well.
  • edited June 2011
    Posted By: Ice Cream EmperorJohnzo responds by confronting a murderous military coup of inexperienced knights with their own gullibility, watching them murder each other while trying to decide what to do, thendisinterring his ex-lover in order to wear his face as a maskwhile walking through the city, raising the previously-murdered ruling class from the dead.
    Loved that Polaris game. So juicy.

    And to be clear, that's Corvus (Johnzo's protagonist) raising the city elders who were slaughtered by the rebellious knights who thought they were doing his bidding, but who were really just betraying their oaths meaninglessly and undermining the values of their entire society -- which their would-be idol Corvus brutally pointed out to them, throwing them into near suicidal despair, in a beautifully liberal interpretation of "get things under control." The desperate-for-redemption knights were locked out of the city by the terrified People, and Corvus walked the streets alone, raising the murdered councilors, even though we had established in conflict that bringing the dead back to life was the most horrible abomination the People could imagine. Oh yeah.

    Johnzo's answer to the whole "you're the only knight in the town, walking around doing necromancy in public as horrified citizens peek out at you from the windows" dilemma was: "well they saw what happened the last time someone crossed the knights" (pats his starlight sword) Dayyyyuum!

    Eight experience checks in that final scene. Textbook example that, after the antagonist has been beating on you for a while, being the protagonist does not necessarily mean being a nice guy. Johnzo, I still want to give you a big smooch for going balls to the wall.
    Posted By: johnzoHaving never played Polaris before, I was shaken at how Ben went for the throat in the first scene and so I was a little off-balance in the early going. Polaris is a vicious, vicious game. I want to play it more.
    That's how we roll. But notice how in hindsight the "brutal" conflicts of the first scene were really just child's play (you get retired to teacher, your squires think you're over the hill). Chicken feed compared to where we wound up. That's that sweet, sweet escalation for you.

    (Oh and Daniel, you are the God Emperor of Sea Dracula. Seriously dude, I had no idea you were a mighty fist of dance floor justice)
  • Oh, another awesome thing, it seemed like there were a number of newbiesRPG stars waiting to be born there.
  • Daniel's performance as Kansas was subtle and perfect and I hope he doesn't take it the wrong way when I say, to me, he totally was an entitled 17-year old girl whose parents had just gotten divorced.

    The locker into the abyss was very creepy. I also remember being totally creeped out by Daniel's abyss, but have repressed his actual description. Daniel?

    Maybe part of why I was creeped out was because we were in the candlelit dark forest with evil white mask guy behind us.

    Interesting that the Chinese racism thing came up in the other thread, because I went out of my comfort zone to play James Chen, thinking about Robert Bohl's Misspent Youth advice. I know I said one thing that could definitely be taken the wrong way and cringed inwardly and hoped nobody noticed and quickly moved on, but might have made other mis-steps without even realizing. Mostly I deliberately tried to avoid stereotypes.

    I was also guilty of stereotyping Candy. She did not look like a gamer but she was great.

    I was also a whiny complainer about a couple calls Carl made--I've never had a GM play *that* hard on me before, and if I had been GM I would have backed down to a player like me--but Carl didn't back down and, in hindsight, he was so right, the game was so much better his way.

    I've heard Monsterhearts pitched as being "like Twilight" but it was more like Carrie. Everything wrong with high school all surfaced. Pig blood on the prom queen.
  • Posted By: johnzoOh, another awesome thing, it seemed like there were a number ofnewbiesRPG stars waiting to be born there.
    My impression after just being in Olympia for the weekend is that Jackson and Ross have been secretly training an army. A very casual, friendly, opt-in army that feels like the cultural mirror image to what many people (myself included) feel is the unavoidable norm.
  • edited June 2011
    he totally was an entitled 17-year old girl whose parents had just gotten divorced.
    Oh, absolutely.
    Posted By: jdfristromThe locker into the abyss was very creepy. I also remember being totally creeped out by Daniel's abyss, but have repressed his actual description. Daniel?
    I kind of skimmed it in my description, but basically it was like she was walking through her childhood home, with rooms that contained objects or even little scenes or interactions that represented her life or revealed her future -- whatever it was she needed to know. Kind of like the classical 'memory palace' technique for remembering lots of stuff. The problem was that along with all of that, every room* also contained her mother, sitting on the couch, staring blankly at the TV and chain smoking. I believe Carl asked me if her dad was anywhere in the house, and I said that sometimes she heard him talking in another room, but he was never there when she went in.

    * I really do mean every room. I have this image of her going into the bathroom and her mother is there in the bathtub, fully clothed, with a TV in her lap and an ashtray balanced on the edge of the tub.

    Coming up with 'what is it like when your PC opens their brain' is one of my favourite bits of Apocalypse World characterization-opportunities. It's often the only thing I think about in advance of play for a character, because I want to make sure I can come up with something interesting.
  • I just wanted to say I'm really really impressed by the combination of rpgs and installation art. I'm really into both, but I've never made the connection. Now I'm like - duh. Well done! Looks wonderful.
  • Strangely, I don't think I met any of the artists. It was like faeries came and left these magical toys to play with.
  • Here are some sweet photos grace ellis took...
  • that looks like what burning man should be instead of what burning man is.
  • The apocalypse cafe room was apparently something the artist had actually done as a Burning Man installation (unless I misunderstood our brief conversation.) So, uh... I can't really think of anything else to say that doesn't involve Internet rhetoric.
  • Hello all! Candy here! (Eva Rose from Monsterhearts)

    This is my first post, this weekend was the first time I played a story game. I have been only playing 'real' board games for about a year w Frank's monthly Danger Room game day. Other than that I do pretty well at Scrabble, w avg scores of 400+ and an online rating of about 1850.

    I only found out about the convention a couple of days before when Frank sent out an email. I was very excited! I love the Species studio and was thrilled to see that installations were being set up. For better or worse I did no research other than checking out the Fabricated Realities website.

    jdfristrom wrote: I was also guilty of stereotyping Candy. She did not look like a gamer but she was great.

    Thank you for the compliment - that makes me feel great! I do not look like a gamer - 48 and not so hip looking any more - but I have to say I felt very welcome by all who I interacted w. I was a tiny bit nervous coming into a situation where I did not know anyone! Or even much about the culture I was visiting. Everyone was great though! Ben and Ross were most welcoming as were Brendan and Seth who I joined in playing Galaxy Trucker and Dominion w when our game of Microscope did not work out. Also thanks to David, I think, who gave me a ride home! I had a great time - it was really good to get out.

    Thanks to jd for admitting the stereotyping....I am a bit used to being judged - just by being a woman who was hot by society's standards and then when I did the whole punk rock thing....in 1981 I was the only punk in my high school... and then a major scenester in my time in NY...now I am disabled w chronic pain and in some ways have become invisible....and a bit used to being put in a different box - even by my 12 year old daughter - who does not know me as a 'cool' person, just mom! She is constantly surprised at my stories but not that impressed by my namedropping....she thinks I don't know how to use makeup! ha ha!

    I bring this up a bit because I think it relates a lot to Monsterhearts. Once I got home I immediately went online to make sense of the experience and the materials for Monsterhearts stress the need for teenagers to come to terms w their bodies, for skins to pass as mortals as a metaphor for the alienation and confusion all teens feel as they experience very powerful emotions for the first time, both about and w/in their own bodies and about others (and their bodies). So I think that this was an interesting point that came up. "Passing" is a theme for the game.

    I will admit that during the game I was a bit confused as to the "purpose." What was our goal? How did we determine a winner? Were we supposed to kill all the other players? I did not really have much strategy as I did not understand some of these points. Yet in my ignorance I did accumulate way more experience than other players! jd WAS right about that!

    I tried to just go w the flow and be creative. The four+ hours pretty much flew by! We were barely getting to some really good action when midnight came. Alas, I had to go, my ride was patient as we finished up but I was a bit anxious to not make him wait as he was going to Seattle....so I have a bit of a sense of everything left hanging. I can see how this could easily be continued at another session and kind of wish I had that opportunity. I left the building happy and energized but a bit confused as to what just happened.

    It was not until I read the rules and had some time to think about things that the impact really began to hit me....and I began to 'get it.' It is also interesting to read what others have to say about the game. Was the creator at the conference?

    We really did have a great piece of fiction going! Like a good book or tv series, I was left hanging, I REALLY want to know what happened next....had I not had to leave I think I could have easily played another 2 hours....we really were just getting to the meatier parts of the story w Eva alone w Robin, who had just discovered her secret and is desperate to experience Eva feeding on him. They were in Sean's cool wheels on their way to see Mr. Kane at the Winner's Circle [love that name!]. Mr. Kane was then confronting Eva....what would have happened? Oh! (BTW Mr. Kane was based on a crush I had for awhile on David Kane - I always joked about marrying him so I could fulfill my stripper name as Mrs. Candy Kane. And he does have a cool jazzy lounge act called Them Jazzbeards, they are awesome, doing soundtracks for your drinking - search online...I was lost at coming up w names! I blanked! Eva is my cat's name - Eva Catgoria after the famous actress. Rose is my daughter's middle name.)

    Later, re the above, I had pictured Eva being thinner, not super thin but 'normal' - now I wish I had made her be heavier and still have the HOT factor that was attracting all the guys esp James....I am disappointed Eva never got to get closer to James and Kansas for that matter....I think had she been heavier and was still casting this spell, the other girls in the story, esp Samantha, Jame's head cheerleader girlfriend would have been further riled up and incited to doing bad things to Eva. How could he/they be attracted to a FAT girl over me? Kansas and Eva had some sort of moment before our action started where Kansas offered herself to Eva as part of the backstory. I think they could have had a complex relationship.

    I loved the way Brian played Robin! He was very sweet! And jd was great as Jamie - a couple of times I brought up the idea of racism against his character but we did not seem to need to go there. I think he did play him against type. ice cream emperor was a fine Kansas and Carl was good at provoking things, coming up w some good twists. I would be happy to story play w any of you again.

    I wonder, had I read the rules ahead of time, how that would have impacted my play? I am not sure. I think it would have helped to have had more context into what we were supposed to be doingl....some sort of written tutorial on the goals and structure of the activity would have helped me make sense of it and perhaps play stronger. You may want to consider this for the future for us RPG stars in embryo....maybe expand on the description that is already on the website and in the book. (BTW - very cool to have the book!)

    The space was fabulous! I love spending time at the Species studio, working on our costumes and we go there for other reasons too like when we worked on the Olympia Rafah Mural Project (name drop - my daughter has a leaf on it and we worked a bit on the first phases). It is comfortable for me there, at home, but it was nice to see the installations and I would love to help w that next year. I think the space one was my favorite. I think we played Monsterhearts in the enchanted forest (?) and it was a nice setting for the story - dark w candles and the body parts of animals w their bones exposed....a goal of our game!

    We had a funny wa wa wa moment playing Dominion. Brendan had the 200+ cards all neatly set up on the table and was - luckily - still in the midst of explaining the A(ction), B(uy) and C(leanup)s of the game when the table collapsed sending almost all of the cards to the floor....glad it was not me! Luckily the spilled coffee did not hurt the game and we used our combined superior hand eye coordination to remedy the situ fairly rapidly.

    I am open to playing more games, story and board. I am in Oly on the East Side, I have room to play here and have a pretty flexible schedule. I can be contacted at candy@candio.com I am also on Fbook, search candio.

    Thanks to all who worked so hard to organize another great Olympia activity. may there be future conventions! Thanks to all who participated too, the intelligence and creativity in the room was astounding. I was pleased to see so many women too! At the 7 o'clock SAT night census it was almost even w maybe 5-10 more guys than ladies in a crowd of 60 or so? A women only game night could be interesting....
  • One last comment....this is from the web site of the designer of Monsterhearts and it has helped me put things into context...that is what the goal is, right?

    They’re for all the sketchy punks who would rather reclaim storytelling than let some impersonal man behind some impersonal screen write their media for them.
  • edited June 2011
    wow. thank you for sharing this candy! Joe McDaldno wrote monsterhearts and yes he was there. I am so glad you came to the con, i think story games can be a really powerful tool for people who are different to each other to find common ground. I felt that happening all around at FabReal, total magic.
  • edited June 2011
    Posted By: candioEva had some sort of moment before our action started where Kansas offered herself to Eva as part of the backstory. I think they could have had a complex relationship.
    Oh yes, definitely -- that's really the tragedy of a convention game, you never have time to do it all. The last part of our game kind of split into two pairs of PCs, but I am confident that if we had had time to continue that would have changed again. Kansas certainly wanted to know more about the cooler-than-this-town new kid. There were so many different directions the Kansas/Eva relationship could have gone, given the backstory elements and their respective personalities -- I would also love to see what would happen in a longer-term game when Eva inevitably 'got over' Mr. Kane (well, in the shortened version he turned out to be a vampire as well, but I suspect that was more for convenience's sake.) Would she bother staying in high school, because of the other connections she'd made? Etc. There was a lot of potential in all directions, really, which is of course a sign of a good game.

    And I wanted to say that I really appreciated the post on your general experience, and your reflections on some of the issues the game brought up for you. I played a lot -- like, a LOT, I think 4 different games' worth -- of teenage characters this weekend, and I think there's a reason that game designers and players often return to that general age. Also, I could tell a bit as we were playing that you were somewhat unsure about where to go with the game, or as you say what the goal was, but I think you did a good job of just following what's in front of you -- whether it was what was going on in the story, or what was marked on your character sheet. You were definitely an experience-generating machine -- but that also meant that Eva Rose herself kept taking actions and pushing the story forward.

    Also, I've been doing this for many years and I'm still terrible at coming up with names.
  • Posted By: Ice Cream EmperorNot much happens here ... but when you're a teenager, 'not much' is almost indistinguishable from 'the most important thing ever.'
    That's a lovely quote! And that was a lovely game, as were the other two Monsterheart games, and I would have liked to see a lot more of all those characters. Apocalypse World is the same way; they're both intended for campaign play so in four hours things are getting really good just as it's time to say goodbye. It would have been great to see Max (returned from
    the dead by James' "Grandfather" spirit after Eva killed him) react to Eva next day in school.

    Both Robin's locker abyss and Kansas' memory palace abyss were very keen.

    Seating charts are very important. Lunch... lunch is complicated.
  • Echoing all of the above, I had a great time at an amazing con! Many, many thanks to Ross and Jackson and Grace and all the artists who made such an amazing place, the volunteers who manned the door, and all the players both experienced and new.

    The art installations were SO amazing. I especially adored the Dark Forest setting. (I should have brought Summerland to run!) I ran 4 of my 7 games in it, including Saturday evening Monsterhearts by candlelight with the help of a flashlight and one spotlight Ross helpfully rigged like a full moon. Saturday afternoon I ran Monsterhearts for the first time ever, and liked it so much I ran it twice more. I felt very privileged to run it for the artist who created the Dark Forest, Ryan C. I ran Don't Rest Your Head (Dark Forest edition) once. Aaron T, the artist who created the adjacent outer space setting, played in that.

    The other 3 games were in the Safari Circle, surrounded comfortably by large animals: Fiasco Suburbia and two games of Lacuna. I didn't run Apocalypse World so I didn't use the Apocalypse Bar, but it was very cool too. The Castle in the Sky room had no chairs, just a soft fluffy cloud to sit on, so I did not run "Lacuna: Castle in the Sky" there, because I wanted to use my knees later. Jackson T ran "Walking with Halcion" using that setting, because he rocks like that.

    How scheduling worked for me: Friday afternoon's Lacuna was arranged in advance when Morgan S emailed me before the convention, and Saturday afternoon's Monsterhearts was set up on request when someone asked me Friday to run for its author, Joe Macdaldno (no pressure). Friday morning's Fiasco was run in a 3-hour slot for two of the Lacuna players since we all showed up early. Saturday morning I slept in.

    The other 4 slots were filled via the Facilitator Roll Call by the Mushroom King, which worked very well for the number of people we had. A drawback to the FRCbtMK is that each Facilitator/GM announced one game, although I was ready to run any of 11 I'd brought (Apocalypse World, Best Friends, Dogs in the Vineyard, Don't Lose Your Edge, Don't Push Your Luck, Don't Rest Your Head, Dreaming Crucible, Fiasco, Lacuna, Monsterhearts, and last-minute addition Puppetland). For the Sunday afternoon slot the Mushroom King asked if anyone had something they really wanted to play but hadn't had the chance to yet, and F/GM's stepped up to run as many of those as they could, which was great. The Mushroom Kings worked hard to make sure everyone got into something they wanted.

    "Monsterhearts is a game of smalltown teens and monsters toying with their hearts and bodies. It's an exploration of the human condition, like the Donner Party was an exploration of a way across the Rockies."

    The playspace was a very nice balance of enough people around to feel companionable, but far enough apart that noise levels were excellent. The location was perfect, across the street from a hotel and within blocks of a Farmer's Market, more than a dozen good places to eat, a game and comic store (The Danger Room), a book store, and a tattoo parlor for all one's space bear needs. There was an excellent little booklet handed out with a map showing what was where.

    The schedule was good. Morning game 10-1, an hour for lunch, afternoon game 2-6. Officially dinner was 6-7, and there was supposed to be a 7pm-10pm slot and a 10-2am slot, but in practice I think it worked more like games got underway around 8pm and went to midnight give or take. A few diehards gamed until 2am.

    There were snacks and drinks and water for sale (to help support the con), and I much appreciated not having to leave the venue to keep hydrated.

    Sea Dracula requires its own thread, or possibly Youtube channel. Congratulations to Boss-A-Lot Ocelot on a hard-danced victory over Jackson Gerbil, Fox Mulder, and Savior-of-the-City Kangaroo. Joel also did his best to destroy Animal City in an amazing Boss Fight. After Justice was ummm... seen to, there was more live music, plus much talking in the alley outside, plus a late night walk to Jake's Hot Dogs with bonus street scene. Mmm, chili cheese tater tots.

    There were way too many good bits to try to cover them all, including the most heartbreaking "What Just Happened?" opening scene in the dozens of times I've run DRYH. Ross and Jackson know an amazing number of cool and interesting people. It was especially great to hear people who played, then talking about running games themselves in the future. Possibly I should have explained roleplaying better ("It's exploring the human condition, with dice"), but mostly I just threw all my players into the deep water and watched them fly. My thanks to all 21 of them, and my regrets to everyone I didn't get the chance to game with because of the tyranny of math.

    I'm posting this from Portland on my way to the bay area, but my heart is still back in the Dark Forest.
  • edited June 2011
    Okay, I only took a few photos of the different realities, and no photos at all of the games, but you can find what I have here. As far as Jason's question about the environments, I'm afraid I don't have much to add to what's already been said. I agree that this past weekend really illustrated what a subtle but powerful role our physical environments have on our play. I guess the more intimate, personal, and creatively invested-in a space is, the easier it is for me to relax and give myself over to the act of imagining a little more completely. Conversely, the more sterile and impersonal a space, the harder it is to get to that internal place. And I think that goes for creative endeavors in general - I mean, I feel like I prefer house cons to playing in hotels or game stores for the same reason that I prefer house shows to bars when I go to see music. With that in mind, having something like Fabricated Realities, something that is larger in scale but still preserves that feeling of being handmade and human and warm - well, that seems like something unique.

    Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, I had a wonderful time. I arrived a little before the Friday afternoon slot, and quickly found my way into an InSpectres game that Ben was running, along with Tori, Alex, and Joelle. We decided that our InSpectres were a group of 1940s-era teen sleuths - The Providence Rhode Island Teen Friends of the Beyond Committee - investigating the case of some mysterious singing that we heard late at night in the condemned old library. Alex and Joelle had never role-played before, but they jumped right in, and were tossing out ideas like old pros from the word go. I feel like I flubbed the final clue a little - sorry about that! - but it was still a great time.

    In the evening, Joe was kind enough to facilitate The Quiet Year for Morgan, Orion, Tori, and myself, which Tori mentioned earlier, and which I'd really been looking forward to trying out. Ours was apparently the most gonzo of Quiet Years, but everyone was having A LOT of fun. Um, we also actually weren't the quietest of Quiet Years, either - Carl, if we disrupted your DRYH game at all, I apologize. When we finished, Daniel and Joe and I played a few games of Dominion, and, man, I consider myself a passable Dominion player, but Joe clobbered me. My hat is off to you, sir!

    On Saturday morning, I played GXB, facilitated by Ross, with Peter (I think) as Momoko, and Marcy, Danielle (I think), and myself as her three suitors. GXB was a perfect morning game, I think - a little on the shorter side, and kind of relaxed and funny, which was great for when people were still a little groggy. After we finished, I played a game of 7 Wonders with Brendan, Lesley, and Lukas, and then wandered off to find food.

    In the afternoon, I facilitated Kagematsu for Daniel, Grace, Joel, Tori, and myself, of which Daniel gave a pretty thorough rundown upthread. Kagematsu is good as fuck, and I'm always happy to play it, though our session ran a little over, and I was definitely getting a little antsy toward the end - hopefully everyone still had a good time!

    For my final slot, I got a Fiasco game together with John, Marcy, and Tori, using the McMurdo Station playset. Man, what a reliably fun game! I named my character after a guy that was an asshole to me in junior high, and he ended up shot in the leg, burnt up in a meth lab mishap, and rejected by the love of his life, so... there's that.

    After that, I hung out for a few more hours, and then caught my bus back to Portland. I really wish that I could have stuck around for Sunday, and especially for Sea Dracula - I'm definitely planning on coming back up next year! Like I mentioned before, many thanks to the organizers and volunteers that kept things going, and also to everyone that I played with and hung out with - you were all amazing! Special thanks to Jackson for letting me crash at his place at the last minute, and to Tori for playing in almost every game I was in over the weekend. Now I've got to turn in, though - I'm still operating on a little bit of a sleep deficit. Hopefully I'll see everyone at GPNW!
  • Posted By: EnricPDXThe Providence Rhode Island Teen Friends of the Beyond Committee
    Posted By: EnricPDXFor my final slot, I got a Fiasco game together with John, Marcy, and Tori, using the McMurdo Station playset. Man, what a reliably fun game! I named my character after a guy that was an asshole to me in junior high, and he ended up shot in the leg, burnt up in a meth lab mishap, and rejected by the love of his life, so... there's that.
    Genius. In every direction.

    And I think I probably said it at the time, but I was so happy I landed in that Kagematsu game, after kind of wandering around a bit during the 'find a game' round-up. The whole thing totally exceeded my expectations -- and I already had the impression it was a pretty neat game. I'm sorry if I stretched the game with my incessant demands for more narration prior to dice rolls! (But only a little sorry.)
  • I left my heart on the shattered highway between Portland & Olympia. Tear.
  • I want pics of this in Playground.
  • So it's 4 in the morning and I'm tired after a hard days work breaking down the realities with the artists and the organizers, which was actually pretty fun. So I'll share my thoughts and stories about the convention later, but for now I have some photos here.
  • I was one of the new peeps that Ben is talking about. This was my first ever Story Game con-thingey and this is also my first post (I’ve been lurking for a month or so). Anyway, I was a little nervous when I showed up, but everyone was way chill and inviting. It was laidback between games, with hardcore, motivated gaming during the sessions. I played all of these games for the first time:

    Friday 10-1, Joe McDaldno and Kaylee (sp?) helped me through my first game of Apocalypse World where I played the Faceless. Had a good time hittin’ rat people wif mah bat, but the stage was stolen by Kaylee’s heartless Hardholder bashing up her own lieutenant while his lover screamed from the other side of the door. Good times.

    Friday 2-6, Session is classified. (Carl Rigney does a great Senior Agent Snyder though.)

    Friday 7-10ish. Play-tested The Quiet Year with (Orion Canning), Tori (rian_bean) and (EnricPDX). Joe McDaldno observed. I did a terrible job of reading the text, but we were able to work through the rules quickly. AP coming.

    Saturday 10-1. The Dreaming Crucible with Tori (rian_bean) and Joel (Joel). I got to be the Dark Fairy. Most. Fun. Ever. We had a great story about a physically abused boy who jumps out his window. Link to AP: http://story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=14437

    Saturday 2-6. I was excited to play Microscope with Ben Robbins, but due to the excess players I ended up running it for Alex and Reid. We explored “The Shattering of the Crystal Empire” based on a little figure hanging up in the space-themed play area. I wish I had a picture of him. Anyway, it turns out that a giant space jellyfish drops a moon on them at the behest of the Blind Ones. Who knew? Quote, “This event is titled ‘The Mutha Fuckin’ Coup’”.

    Sunday 10-1. Perfect with Reid, Joe McDaldno, and Megann. It was way more fun to play the Law. But try as I might, Rowena (Megann) continued to elude my clutches and grow her secret society of Guerilla Gardeners. Reid played an arsonist/food critic (may the restaurant that serves bland soup be warned) and Joe was a libidinous priest of Abigail who got away with murder.

    Sunday 2-6. I guilt-tripped Ben Robbins into running Microscope again with Orion and Marcus. We really had to twist his arm. Our history included a naturalist aesthetic movement that was strict but definitely NOT NAZI. It was corrupted and overthrown by Atheistic Art Anarchists. Dragons were made out of secret math.

    While I enjoyed hearing about everyone else’s games, there was one that I desperately wished I could have played: Ribbon Drive. At the end of their session in the Post-Apocalyptic Café, they were blasting Gorillaz and dancing their asses off while describing the ending credits. That’s all I know about the game. I have never been so consumed by jealousy.
  • Posted By: MathalusWhile I enjoyed hearing about everyone else’s games, there was one that I desperately wished I could have played: Ribbon Drive. At the end of their session in the Post-Apocalyptic Café, they were blasting Gorillaz and dancing their asses off while describing the ending credits. That’s all I know about the game. I have never been so consumed by jealousy.
    Ha, I had totally forgotten about the 'ending credits' angle -- I believe Jackson wanted to see the 12-year old Dexter spitting mad rhymes into the camera.

    Anyways, I try to run Ribbon Drive at least once at every con I attend -- though to be fair, that is the first time there has been an end-credits dance party. I think Joe should probably consider adding that to the official rules.
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