the Fairgame Archive

2007-01-29: Back from Dreamation
by Emily

...and it was fabulous. Comedy was the name of the day, with some dark and serious moments.

The Score:

5 games played

4 characters married:

—-1 by a zombie priest

—-1 by an elvis impersonator

3 villages or cities destroyed

2 hearts broken

1 important intelligence mission accomplished

I'm going to post about the games I played over at the Forge. As many as I can get to, but most certainly I'll write up the game of Shooting the Moon we played on Saturday afternoon: a Shakespearean comedy complete with identical twins and swapped children.  I joined the game Mel White ran of his brother's rpg, Ganakagok on Friday. A collaborative game set in an Inuit tribe to the far north. Friday night I got to play a dark comedy cum loose political allegory with zombies using Unistat, run by the author Andrew Morris. And Saturday I ran Shooting the Moon and Breaking the Ice, back to back. Both were really fun.

Joshua and Vincent played their games Shock: and Mechaton several times. Vincent got plastered by Sebastian and Crispin, Brennan's son. Joshua had the single best game of Shock: he's had so far, and I believe it was captured on tape.  Nathan ran 1,0001 Nights on Thursday night, which was also taped, so the archive of our games is getting filled out here. Jeff and Judd interviewed Vincent for Sons of Kryos. Let us know, folks, when they are up. And thank you so much!

Traveling to get there: The trip down flew by. We got up crazy early in the a.m. to get Joshua there on Friday by his 2pm gming slot for Shock:. Somehow, we made it there in an hour less than I'd remembered it taking.  We seem to have gotten the good fairy of travel unlike other folks.  Sebastian seemed to take everything in pretty well, and quickly found the (classic) Transformers movie being played. He later started mastering a Warhammer 40,000 tactical video game, and seemed pretty at home. He was terrifically patient with us slowpoke adults and said he had a good time.

I got to meet a bunch of new folks including Storn, Jay, Dave, Frank, Bill, Mel, Jeremiah and Sheila, (hi there!) and game with many of them along with folks I don't get to see much like Ralph and Kat and Michael Miller. Dinner out on Friday night happened despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of New Jersey traffic and road construction. And Saturday night I got to sit in on a great discussion of dealing with problem games and gamers, followed by a wonderfully silly session of Jared's classic "Action Castle". (Live-Action Infocom Yes, seriously.)I just realized that if this counts as a 6th game that I played, then fully 5 out of the 6 characters I contributed to ended up married.  Something was in the air, I guess.

The earlier part of Saturday night had a more serious tone. Luke showed Jason, Mayuran and me pictures from a trip to he'd made to Poland to visit Dro and his family. They went to the former death camps Auschwitz and Birkenau while he was there. Luke had some extremely sobering pictures of the nighmarishly efficient grounds and buildings used to kill so many people in so short a time.  Appropro to the game Jason is working on right now, Grey Ranks, there were pictures of archival photos from the holocaust museums, of the boy scouts and girl scouts from that time in Poland.

Grey Ranks is set in Poland during World War II. It traces the lives of young boys and girls serving their country during the brutally suppressed Warsaw Uprising in 1944.  I got to playtest it on Saturday. It was touching and crushing, enlightening and enraging.  Each session begins with the reading of a text that is a broadcast from "Radio Lightning", a Polish radio station during the war, which fills in the players on the events of the war and the occupation.  It makes it feel real and present to hear the numbers of lives lost recounted, the march of the war and the simple details of peoples' lives.  I'm looking forward to getting to play this game more. It's an important one.

2007-01-29 05:01:50 Emily

There were also pictures of baby Dro—so cute! And shots of salt mines near where he grew up that are indescribably cool. Imagine a cathedral underground, carved out of salt and stone—with statues of saints and huge crystalline chandelliers hewn from sparkling crystals of salt.  It must have been an inspiration for Tolkien's Dimrill Dale.

2007-01-29 09:24:18 Guy Shalev

Sounds awesome.

2007-01-30 01:19:34 Dave Cleaver

Emily, it was great to meet you and the rest of the Massachusetts crew. My top two games of the convention were the Shock: and Shooting the Moon games. Followed closely by the carry game. All in all I had a great time at my first convention. Perhaps I can convince my wife to come to the next JiffyCon. If not, I'll probably at least be at Dreamation next year. I don't think I could stay away.

2007-01-30 02:29:56 Emily

It was great to meet you Dan. We'd love to have you and Kilena (?) at JiffyCon.  I completely agree about Dreamation. 1ce might be a fluke but 2ce and I'm hooked. No keeping me away either.

I'm just about to post about Love's Reflection. I can't wait to see a write up of that Shock game.

2007-01-30 03:31:43 Dave Cleaver

I'm trying to convince Kylene to ride up for JiffyCon. Wish me luck.

2007-01-30 15:34:49 Emily

Good luck!

And I hope there's a gathering coming up sooner out in the Boston SG'ers neighborhood, too.

2007-01-30 16:22:54 Emily

Meg, I wish I could remember who it was, but one person who played in Nathan's game of 1,001 Nights was raving to me about how well realized and evocative the characters were. He was planning to steal several for other games that he was playing in completely different systems.

I'm like, "Score!"

2007-01-30 19:35:39 NinJ

I'm honored to have been in two of your favorite games at the con, Dave.

Bribe your wife if you have to. Bribe her with games if you can.

2007-01-30 20:53:03 Emily

And I can't believe I wrote 'Dan' up above. : (

I'm still very glad to have met you DC, and look forward to getting to meet Kylene, too.

And keep me posted about the "love game"!

2007-01-31 17:09:10 Jason M

It was great to see you and play together!  I'm looking forward to Nerdly.  Will you run Sign in Stranger there?

PS:  Go register!

2007-02-01 00:28:07 ScottM

Sounds like a great con—congratulations on so many cool games.  (So many weddings does sound like something was in the air...)

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