I had a great time at Origins. I was working for IPR, so I shared a room with Brennan and flacked games every morning of the show. I like being affiliated with a booth because it gives me something to focus on in an otherwise fraught social situation. Mornings are good because nothing else is going on. Perfect!
Thursday I got roped into a game of How We Came To Live Here. Four people, I was a hero named His Moccasins are Worn. It being a one-shot, I made him a traitorous bastard obsessed with his love for the leader of the Child Stealing People, half-bird badasses who … stole children. I gave up my own sister to them. Adrian Swartout played the other hero She Talks to Birds, and she was as good as I was bad, and we were both very stubborn, giving the GMs a great gift as we tore each other up. Lots of fun. In the end I arranged for all the village’s warriors to be ambushed and slaughtered, and my “friends”, the bird people, rolled in and took over. Playing this again gave me the confidence to run it locally, which I will now certainly do. I was a little hung up on the inside GM/outside GM thing and a small group, but having seen it in play with four people, it works beautifully and I’m over it!
Later that night I facilitated a Fiasco game. This was especially nice because we’d pre-arranged it with some local Columbus people and played at their house. I got to see a little of the city and enjoy some real hospitality — plus a kickin’ game of Fiasco! We chose the Vegas set (playset of the month coming this December) and it went to some crazy places. All four characters were, at the Tilt, working in unison on a plan to get revenge on Big Jack, the guy who runs the Paradise Casino, and of course it was a massive disaster. Hilarious characters — Peter Adkison played a prostitute named Fantasy who habitually sucked on weird menthol breath-freshening sticks. Chirs Aldridge was her pimp (Object: Weapon: Nine Iron), the most pathetic example of pimp-ness in history.
Friday I worked the booth, then ran a scheduled Fiasco game with Nick Wedig, Kira Scott and two others. We chose Flyover, and it was meth queen vs. the world, with meth queen coming out on top. The various subplots culminated in a showdown with Mexican gangsters during an F-2 tornado. You know, the usual. I loved this session because everyone played to type and none of the characters ended up where they were supposed to.
Lunch was one-on-one, me and Chris Engle, who is a cool and interesting guy. His new 30-minute dungeon game looks very fun. Other boothies I got to know and like – Jeremy Keller, Josh and Melissa Rensch, and Will Hindmarch. Each of these people saved me from charging some customer $2000 at one time or another.
That night I facilitated Fiasco again, this time for Will Hindmarch, Paul Tevis and Ken Hite. Ken insisted we play Chris Bennett’s Dallas 1963 (playset of the month for October) and we had a hell of a game — I played a fading Dallas belle who married beneath her, to a self-destructive DPD lieutenant. My husband was also a contract killer. His partner, Ray Fredosso, was sort of a loose cannon/lunatic and his lawyer was a sad sack named Edgar Fishman, who had once been my character’s lover. A very tight setup. We eventually learned that Ray and Earl had been contracted by sources “close to the President” to whack his wife — Jackie was a problem and her death would ensure his reelection. History went down as you’d expect, Fishman bumped Fredosso’s rifle, and the job was botched.
That night was the big conversation session for me. We talked about Story Games and why Rob Donoghue hates it (I get it now) and many, many other things. There is no substitute for sitting around face to face and talking.
Saturday I was tired. Booth, then a scheduled Fiasco game. This time it was Los Angeles 1937 with Michelle Lyons, Matt McFarland and Cheyenne Grimes. So much fun! Another tight setup, with Cheyenne and I playing twins, Matt playing her ex-husband, and Michelle playing my guy’s old flame. This game was nice because it was like a study in melancholia, punctuated with arson. Not funny, really, but very honest. At one point I needed a cheap hood to show up with a message form Mickey Cohen, so I introduced an 18-year-old torpedo named Ray Fredosso. WIN.
That night I rounded up a group from previous games, as well as Jared Sorensen and a few awesome others, and we played my Lady Blackbird hack-of-a-hack, DEATH SCHOOL. It was silly and fun and a perfect brainless antidote to a sleepy Saturday night (They saved Ronald Reagan and America).
Fiasco was very well received and we sold out at the booth. I was very gratified by all the excellent play and enthusiasm the game was generating. Thanks to everyone who Went There, if you know what I mean.
No games on Sunday, just hanging out, making my movie, and breaking down the IPR booth. I had no trouble at all at Origins and really loved Columbus. I will be back, and next year will be even better.