Fair Warning: This is a one part game related article, and one part personal blog. Cheers.
Sometimes there’s droughts when it comes to gaming; long excessive mind-boggling dull drums where the schedules never pan out right. Real life laughs at you in the face and despite all the projects, papers, divorces and alienation all you can do is sigh and pray that, at some point, you can pick the damn dice up again and, just for a few hours, pretend to be somebody else and not have to think of that shit or write run on sentences to get your point across.
Then, it pours. People come out of the wood work, flocking to you with eager eyes. They come at you with fists clenched with dice and character sheets, longing for someone to run them. Or play under them. Whatever, for they too are like you and need that particular interaction, that one craving satisfied, that one addiction fed. Who am I to deny them their fix? Escapism junkies love our ecstasy in numbers.
Get ready for the wild ride that is my past weekend, the start of my Spring Break, and if I offend anyone with my antics…..well, whatever.
Thursday: No Gaming, but Music and Drinking.
My Pathfinder group didn’t meet; but it was all good because a buddy of mine was in town playing at a local bar.
I did, however, do a video response to Matt James’ contest for a free autographed copy of Soldiers of Fortune. I triple dog dare you guys to click on that link, and not only watch his video, but watch my video response. Go ahead, I’ll still be here, and the real question is if YOU will have the heart to come back and look me in the face after peering into the mind of a mad man who had an hour to kill.
The show at The Agave was great. Luke Wade (of Luke Wade & No Civilians) put on a damn good one man acoustic set, including a cover of Ramble On by Zeplin that, had I had a lighter on me, would’ve been up in the air. He was also cool enough to put me on his tab and kept the cheap ass Whiskey on the Rocks flowing for me. Good times. Definitely check his band out, buy their album and get them some recognition so we can have some REAL musicians getting radio play. Go watch the video to “As Long As She Knows” and tell me they don’t kick ass. I mean, unless you are a Bieber fan or something.
Friday: One and a Half Games, Alcohol and Nudity.
Our Friday afternoon Basic D&D group met up, and good times were had by all. Our characters, still level 1 and enslaved by Hobgoblins, managed to break out and escape into a nearby mine that had become infested with Kobolds, Spiders and giant centipedes. The giant spider fight was particularly nasty, considering the lethality of the poison involved, but we managed. Through the crawl, our naked ass characters armed with only torches and pick axes would eventually discover scraps of regular chain mail and mundane weapons, and we felt like badasses. Our DM is kind of brutal, considering at the end of the mine was a huge cave opening to freedom….blocked by the habitat of 3 Ogres. Luckily, we had salvaged the poison sacs from the spiders, and although 2 of us fell in battle, the Dwarf with his last breath managed to finish the fight and we were able to live another day. We finally hit our second level; and my cleric is rejoicing he can cast spells now. Seriously, Clerics without spells at Level 1……it’s both awesome and suck.
Later that night, I took a couple buds out of town to visit a friend we haven’t seen in years. Okay, the guy was technically my arch nemesis back in High School, but growing up has taught both of us some humility and forgiveness. I took my D&D Rules Cyclopedia and a stack of sheets with me, along with some dice, because there’s been a constant begging to DM for a long time. I figured it would be fun to show these peeps who’ve only played d20/3.5 some old school gaming. I think it blew their minds a bit by the simplicity and openness of it.
Unfortunately, we started drinking heavily prior to the game, and a LOT of people showed up. You know how not too long ago I did a video about optimal group size? I was looking at 6 players (my comfort zone is 4), hadn’t met half of them and all of them were drunk and crazy once char creation was done. Also, this chick that was there….while she was pretty cool to talk with and all, she was topless the entire time. No, seriously, and unfortunately she wasn’t bad looking either. Yes, I say unfortunately, because trying to DM while all the players couldn’t focus gets on my nerves.
Now, I know what everyone’s thinking….then quit playing and have fun. Which is what I pushed for, but, everyone (including the topless girl) kept hounding to keep going. In the end, despite my best diplomacy of “Guys, let’s just drink and have fun” I feel like I kinda killed the evening for everyone. The party seemed to take a serious tone after that…..also the realization that I had sobered up trying to DM was the literal buzzkill on my end.
So, I’m treating Friday Night as a refresher in a policy I made years ago, and seem to have forgotten why: No alcohol or nudity at the game table. I can’t believe I fucking said that, again. But, seriously, even when gaming with a “mature” audience…..gaming is its own thing, drinking and nudity is fun too, don’t mix the two, you’ll fail at both.
Saturday: GURPS and Surprise! More Gaming!
So I woke up the next morning, shaved my tongue, went back and revisited my cell phone pics from the previous night, took some Excedrin, wondered where the hell that cut on my leg came from, shaved my tongue again…..
After having a light lunch and lots of fluids, my bro picked me up to go play some GURPS with him and his friends. Now, my bro is about 10 years older than me, and so this was a MUCH different gaming atmosphere compared to the previous night. A couple mutual friends were there, and I was very happy to see them, and I got to actually game with some other guys who are acquaintances. Thing is, it’s a very nice house, and these guys have a very respectable job in education, and most of the people there were parents. So, yeah, it kinda felt strange to be gaming with a much more clean-cut, professional group of peeps. It’s funny how the previous night I kinda felt like the calm killjoy; the next afternoon I felt like the radical chaos grenade.
Luckily, we were playing what essentially was Shadowrun using GURPS 4th edition rules. It’s funny I asked why not just run SR; and his reasoning was that GURPS gave us a fairly balanced way to allow players to mix cybernetic augmentations and cast spells without penalizing the players. It was interesting going into the game, all of us with prior SR experience but playing with a different style of rules and, in my case, a different way to handle spell casting. My bro pre-made me a mage packing air elemental powers and lightning spells, as well as some utility spells like invisibility, Wizard Eye and the like. I had the joys of doing things like going into a gun fight completely invisible and opening fire on a target. While his armor soaked up my damage, it was fun to drop the spell and walk up with a gun point blank to his face, grinning, and telling him to drop his gun.
Was also really impressed with how charging up spells to be on standby worked; the poor enemy decker didn’t stand a chance against me. I was also just impressed to get some more GURPS experience under my belt. GURPS is a system I own a few books for, but never ran and a lot of times could never wrap my head around. After seeing in action, it’s clicking and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I want to play with it more.
After wards, I met up with some old friends who had called us after the game let out. We met up at Starbucks, hung around and BS’d, and after my bro left we had all crept back over to my place for some late night card games and Zombie Dice. I got to introduce a couple of them to Citadels (one of my fav Fantasy Flight card games), and my friend who’s dating a guy from a major game company (which I’m not at liberty to talk about, out of respect for her and her man) gave me some spoilers of some products that are possibly in the works. Good times. We ended the evening going out for some nasty 3 AM hole in the wall Tex Mex and burgers. Win.
I somehow managed to not have a single alcoholic drink the whole day.
Sunday: Blocks and Booze
I killed off the last of my Shiner Bock playing Minecraft all day with guildies. Win.
Finale: Pi Day
That brings us to today. Happy 3/14 everyone! I’m about to head over to a buddy’s house and eat pie. And drink some more. I plan on my liver failing by 8 PM tonight.