Thursday, March 10, 2016

Post Gary Con Analysis (part 2 of 2)

Just as I was finished eating dinner (BTW, here's part 1), I got a g+ community group text hangout message thing - technology, not my bag, baby.  Someone asked, "What do you do when it's been a half-hour and the GM hasn't shown up?"

"Riot," I replied.  And then in a more serious tone, offered my services as Game Master for that table, not really knowing who was there, what they were playing, or any specifics at all.  All I knew was that I didn't have a game scheduled and GMing is what I was born to do.

The person texting gave me their table # so I could find them.  I paid the check and made my way there.  As it turns out, everyone except the guy texting and his wife had vacated the premises a couple minutes before my arrival.  I can't blame them for leaving.  They were probably frustrated and didn't want to roll the dice.  After all, no one knew who I was and I could have been awful.

So, I wandered around and used the google hangout machine to ask if anyone was interested in an unscheduled session of Alpha Blue.  One guy said yes.  His name was +Tim Loughrist.  He and I were hanging out at a free-for-all table between gaming rooms, waiting for the previous tenants to vacate.

Tim was asking me questions about Alpha Blue because he had heard some things about it.  As I was explaining, the dude who had just playtested his Model U.N. but with pirates game joined in the conversation.  I recognized him from Game Hole Con, but can't remember his name.  Somehow, another dude sat down and by some miracle we had a game!

The three players created characters.  All were scoundrels, one a mutant.  The random tables provided the rest.

There's something about the sci-fi genre.  Especially, action-pulp space opera sci-fi.  More than once, the very first encounter I rolled at the start of the game became the centerpiece (centerfold?) of the session.  Spacers just seem to know what to do, I guess.

Tim's character was in debt to a bounty hunter so that he could begin the game with his own ship.  I told him it looked like a cross between an X-Wing and the Millennium Falcon.  The reason being my car was parked about a mile away from the convention entrance.  And it was cold, windy, and snowing.  So, I didn't want to spend 15 minutes walking (again!) back to my car to get all my Alpha Blue and Girls Gone Rogue maps.  Probably should have, but oh well.

Anyways, Tim drew his interpretation of that ship and named it the Iron Pigeon.  His interpretation was quite literal, which I thought was hilarious and took a picture of the thing.

After exchanging some of their credits for blue bucks and purchasing a trucker hat and some risque snow-globes, the action started.  A hologram appeared in their section of the space station.  Some diminutive alien threatened to blow Alpha Blue up unless a Blue Flamingo starship was delivered to him.  Behind him was a full-scale orgy.

So, the PCs grabbed their blasters and dove right in.  They landed their starship on a strange planet and infiltrated an enemy starship and nearby compound.  There was wheeling and dealing, negotiating a deal that played both sides against the other.  It reminded us of Clint Eastwood from The Man With No Name trilogy - aha, yes!  His name was +Clint Bohaty.  No clue who the third guy was, though.

A sexy, leather bodysuit-clad NPC tagged along.  Being the professional bounty hunger, mercenary, and assassin each of them was, they saved pleasure for the end, after their mission had been completed.  The mutant assassin had sex with a mature prostitute originally picked up by the merc, who also planted a thermal detonator inside of her, but I won't get too deep into that.  You just had to be there.

It was a good game and I thanked everyone for playing.  Unfortunately, GMs have to submit games far in advance of the actual conventions.  Planning 4 months ahead of time isn't my style.  I didn't know how Alpha Blue was going to go until after my games had been submitted, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to run my latest book.

No idea how, but I got lost from the Grand Geneva to my Comfort Suites hotel.  It was a straight shot and only a half-mile away, but somehow it eluded me and I was lost in a blizzard for about 40 terrifying minutes in an unknown town.  Thankfully, the woman behind the desk at Comfort Suites guided me in via phone.

Saturday mid-morning was my last session, The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence.  Two years ago I playtested Purple at Gary Con VI, so it was fun bringing The Purple back to Lake Geneva.

Just like Friday's Crimson Dragon Slayer game, I had 5 players.  A single guy played in both my scheduled games.  One woman this time.  She has the honor of being the only female I GMed that weekend.  Every time I said something, like "Yeah, you can start out with machine guns," she replied with "That's cool," or "So awesome," or something like that.  She wanted to play a minotaur cyborg.  "Sure," was my response and she was happy about that, as well.

I've run Purple about a dozen times and no session has been exactly like any other.  It's so sprawling and random that each game seems like a unique experience.  I'm running out of time, so I'll quickly mention the highlights...

  • Started as slaves.
  • Stumbled onto a security system.
  • Encountered a silly gnome driving a high-tech tank with laser canon.
  • Hid from The Thing That Rots From The Sky in a black pylon.
  • Wandered into a dimension that looked like an Erol Otus painting.
  • Helped a cult summon Yogsoggoth!
  • A few participated in an orgy with strange magenta-hued women.
  • Broke into an underground base.
  • Received a starship in exchange for not killing any more of Mannix's men.
  • Flew the ship to a shattered dome city that had seen better days.
  • Fought some Lovecraftian aberration and won.
  • Went to another galaxy or something.

All in a full day's work.

Everyone seemed pleased at the end.  I surprised myself with the Yogsoggoth encounter - it got even more indulgently weird, gross, and erotic than even I expected!

Not sure who the player to my immediate left was.  He was playing a snake-man wizard and kept improvising these cool spells involving his ancient reptilian ancestors and glands to the point where it was both awesome and ridiculous.  Anyway, I really enjoyed his roleplaying.  And he brought purple dice to the game!  Next time, maybe you can prevent those meteors from bringing down the Jurassic period.

So, that was it.  Hope you enjoyed reading my report on Gary Con VIII.  If you have any questions, please ask.  Thanks to the friends and family of Gary Gygax, as well as, all the great people I met during my all-too-brief stay.  

Unless a new baby is born just before or after Gary Con IX, I'll be there.


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