This year was interesting and fun. and in some ways a little disappointing. Certain things that i would have liked to have happen did not do so and other things that i had not expected, took place. Serendipitous. I guess would be the word to use.
This years experience was a bit truncated it seemed. Friday was payday, and as result, I could not actually leave for Origins until i had the money in my hand. Normally it is my custom to go up on thursday, which is a good way to get in on the ground floor of the activity, Also, you can use some of thursday's night time to go the Con Book and find out about things that you might not have seen online. But such was not to be. And in addition, unless there were crazy amounts of open gaming featuring Spirit of the Century, I didn't see a single event for that game that didn't run headlong into Cam larp time. I go to the Origins for the Cam larp and that's what it is.
Well, Okay, I actually go to Origins because there's a girl in Columbus i'm sweet on, But that's neither here nor there. And sadly, her schedule and my schedule did not mesh up at ALL. It made me very sad.
I did however get to re-sample some of the same things that i enjoy about Columbus. And i did get to stay at the Courtyard By Marriot as is my usual want. Big Breakfast, Pool all to myself in the mornings. Love it. Pure sybaritic pleasure. I may sample the Drury or the Hampton next year, as they are closer, there would be less walking. But hands down the CBM peeps did a bang up job.
As a gamer, i am not used to being treated politely in public by hotel staff. It has been my experience in the past that most hotels that have vast amounts of gamers descend upon them feel as if they are experience the torments of Christ.
And truth be told, Gamers can be finicky, excitable, and notoriously cheap. I have been all three on various occasions.
Although, to my credit, never all three at once. But honestly, i think the hotels know that the gamers bring in the money. and since we are an aging demographic, a lot of the craziness of our youth is more focused and channeled into our various obsessions. As a result, I think we're seeing better treatment.
I have noted in the past though, that we have had to explain to certain venues that we are NOT Civil war Re-enactors or SCA people. I don't know that's about but in this area at least, if you do SCA most hotels won't touch you with a ten foot pole.
SO! Out of the city, Hit a traffic slowdown just past King's Island. (Gotta plan a trip there. It's been ages since i went last.) Had the slowdown clear up about a half hour later, and into the heart of Ohio.
I am becoming a bit more adept at navigating on this trip. Didn't have to look at my directions once actually. Remembered the trip from recent journeys. Checked into the hotel, no problem. Unpacked and geaered up for my run onto the con floor this year, no problem. Made my run into the con floor and picked up my pre-regged packet and swag, No problem.
Found out that the Cam larp had been moved out of the main ballroom and into a much smalled space on D-pod. Ah well. Could be worse.
Went into the dealer's room and purchased swag:
a lovely black and white shirt from MingLing
which says "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!"
A copy of The Book of Spirits (For use with my awakening thing)
A copy of The Blood (Which is a players guide to Requiem kinda. I glossed it and liked what i saw.)
A number of out of print Gurps books, Which i've found are invalueable resources.
And i collected a number of cards and stuff for the purposes of later follow up. There was simply too much that i could not buy. Might post the most interesting links here once i've had an opportunity to peruse.
Touched base with the Cammies and the White Wolfers. Wanna throw a shout out to my World of Darkness posse! Yo, for rizzle! Ended up talking a little shop with Eddy Webb, who is developping MET Awakening and got invited to participate in the Mage Larp on Saturday. Which was a blast actually. But i'll come back to that.
Quick trip back to the hotel to unload swaggage and get a quick shower. Like most really urban areas, where you have large buildings downtown, Columbus can be like a convection oven in the height of summer.
Back to the Requiem larp: I am told that our IC venue is not, in fact, Columbus, but is in fact Segovia, Spain. A spanish prince is about to step down and take his rest and it's rumoured that he has a chalice that may in fact be the cup of Christ. Hijinks ensue. Adding to the weirdness factor is that a larg number of the existing camarilla members have elected to play their own characters, who just happen to turn up in spain for this event. If there was an explanation given for this, it was laid out on thursday and i did not hear of it. I'm not going to be so cruel as to point the finger and cry "CHEESE!" but it was jarring, i thought. Still, the NPC crew and the Cam ST and coordinator team did yeoman's work. And while i felt a little odd participating in the main plot, (Which has nothing to do with Pinky Berkowitz) I did have an opportunity to touch base with a number of the people in my region and work on all kinds of regional plot, At one point, i was tapped to hide the bodies of a pair of Diablerists before the prince returned, And using my contacts, I was able to hide those bodies in such a way that GOD HIMSELF would have trouble locating them without a phone call from me.) Always willing to help out for the movement. ya know? Have made some formal enemies. Have made some new friends. Have vastly expanded my vampire rolodex, as it were. Had a long and thoughtful talk with a few people that i had been meaning to. Felt like i got a lot done.
Went back to the hotel and slept fitfully.
Saturday was day for Mage! And i threw into the mage game with gusto. A non-sanctioned event with pre-gens, i was handed a musician character, Happily, music is something a bit about. The game was set aboard a riverboat during 1939 and had to do with the judgement of a mage who had given himself over to dark powers. There was at least one attack from abyssal spirits, that involved me using a shoe as a weapon. Tried to prevent a second murder but failed. Game had to be called on account of time limits sadly.
In playing, and watching as much as i could, i have come the realization that i can indeed run this game without having some kind of aneurysm or nervous breakdown. It FLIES in the hands of an experienced GM and is actually way faster than i would have imagined. I, personally, was in awe of the John Hermann.
John also had what i thought was one of the best organizational tips that i have heard of late for GM's. He said to a player who was asking about reponses to questions that oftentimes, it is better to send a dozen email message containing 1 question each than to send 1 email with ten questions. It keeps responses short and o the point and enables the ST to clear them off their plate that much faster. Genius!
Had a good time with the Mage larpers and was impressed by the level of play. I felt like most of them brought their "A" game. And i got a compliment or two.
Had to compliment the guy Jeff Himmelman, who played the head of our Cabal. He had the proper attitude from the Jump. Turns out the fella has a podcast called, Gamer: The Podcasting
Which i will be checking out in due course. You know me, i like to be up on things. Also turns out he's read the WFCR, which was such a shock that i nearly fell over. I keep forgetting that people other than Acid Reign and Everett actually read this stuff.
After a quick dinner, came back and hit the Vampire Larp again. Oddly, quite a bit of the actual bloodshed took place on friday night, and the Praxis of the city of Segovia changed hands without anybody having to die. A rarity. The Chalice was found not to be the actual Grail, but may have still had powers or was a complete ruse. Still don't know. Things became tense round about 10:30, and there was some yelling, and when this occurs in a room full of predators far older than me, I usually look at my bare wrist and say. "Woo! Look at the time!" I bailed, and sat down to relax for a bit, and arrange some OOC action. May be doing my first proxy soon, and hopefully that won't be too heinous.
Went back to the hotel and stayed up late, read some, but then also found that the room next to mine was filled with Cammies and they were drinking. (For the record. I did not hear them through the wall. Only through the door while i was out getting ice. CBM rooms are very quiet) So, we stayed up a bit and jawed and then finally i went back to my room and slept the sleep of the damned.
Got up, had a fistful of bacon and sausage, and then packed up and got on the road. headed home. I wish i had spent more time with the girl, of course, but i had a damn decent time anyway.