After taking my leave of Steve Winter's Gamma World game, I scoured the vendor tables looking for a copy of Gamma World. I thought I had seen one....and I had. I watched Zeb Cook buy it. Bummer. Oh well, there's always Ebay.
One thing I didn't mention about the GW game; Dewayne sat next to me and kibitzed the entire time. He also talked the waiter into bringing a pot of coffee to us. It was refilled three or four times. I must have drunk 8 cups of coffee during that game. I was buzzing....which meant no nap. I had hoped to nap for some of the 2 hours before the interview/session with Michael Curtis & Tim Kask on Gonzo Gaming. Nope...not happening. I wasn't even hungry. So, I wandered around and visited with folks. Got a few more signatures which meant I could leave more stuff back in the room instead of carrying around the heavy backpack.
So, the session was interesting. Not what I had expected, but interesting. Tim basically told stories about how to be flexible at the table and how to let the players drive the story. He doesn't allow anyone to have a rulebook at the table and he models that by not having one as well. The point is to have fun, not argue over rules. Michael gave some great advice on how to turn the game around. His main example was a 10' x 10' room with a chest and an orc. The trope is the orc is guarding the chest, which may be trapped, and the party has to kill the orc, defeat the trap, and get out with the gold. But, what if the orc is guarded by the chest? The scenario is that the orc was on patrol, slipped and fell against the chest which armed the trap. If he moves, he dies. Now the party appears and the situation is now all RP instead of all combat. In fact, Michael prefers to go RP as much as possible. As he put it, "Rolling dice can kill you. Why would I want to roll dice?" I want to game with him now. I wish I had signed up for his DCC game.
At 6pm, I met up with a few friends, acquaintances, and a guy I had not met before to play in Dennis Sustare's Swords & Wizardry game. The title was Pictures at an Exhibition. We were tourists (mostly) who had stopped for an day and night in a quaint little village port and we had taken advantage of the cruise line's tour of the art museum in the city. There was an exhibition of 10 paintings by an unknown artist of extraordinary talent. As we perused the artwork, one player moved close to one piece and we were all sucked into it. In the piece, there was a tree with odd brightly colored glass balls decorating it. A dozen or so brightly wrapped boxes were under the tree. Two birds could be heard singing in the tree. And some gnome was originally kneeling in front of the tree looking at the boxes. It fled when we appeared. We had to solve a mini-game to free the birds from some curse. Once we completed the task, we were each awarded a box as a thank you gift. Then we found ourselves back in the art gallery and the picture was gone. We looked at 5 of the 10 pictures in 4+ hours. One had a very simple riddle to solve. One had a very tough set of riddles to solve. One we completely failed to solve correctly and the patient died.
It was an enjoyable game. One of the players made the evening difficult for the rest of us by not paying attention to anything the rest of us were doing and going off on his own. Anyway, it put a serious damper on what would have been a great game. I'm not sure I would play in another of Dennis's games. He presents thoughtful scenarios with a lot of RP opportunity. If I can play without our discordant player, I would join in. However, if he is present, I'll bow out.
The evening wrapped up with cigars (for the others, I don't smoke) and drinks on the hotel's patio. It was nice to sit and visit with various gamers and get their opinions of the games they've played. I'm definitely going to try Runequest and Empire of the Petal Throne next year.