Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Winter War recap, part 1

So last weekend was my local awesome con, the thirty-seventh annual Winter War shindig. I've been going every year since 1992 and running games at it going back either to then or '93. I'd have to say this was one of the best Winter Wars I've attended. I had a couple of rough spots during the course of the weekend, but they had very little to do with the con and were more about issues arising mainly in my own skull. For example, I positively did everything in my power to screw up my own schedule Friday. That was very frustrating, but I got my act together by the time my game started.

Friday was still a hoot though, as I was able to have a nice lunch with Michael Shorten, the Chgowiz. Not only did we eat at my favorite Mexican place, but Mike bought. That guy's all heart, let me tell you. He played in both my games and the events were awesomer for it. When I arrived at the con around noon lunchtime only two people had signed up for my Encounter Critical game. That threw me for a loop. I eventually ended up with four players total: Mike, rogue attorney Chris Tichenor, my brother-in-law Jim (who may have only signed up out of pity, I was feeling a little dejected about the situation when I saw him at supper) and Marc, teenaged heir apparent to my local game store (i.e. his folks own the place). Missing from the roster were Josh, Kathleen and Doug, normally stalwarts in my games. Later I found out they were running their local White Wolf LARP that night. I'd be put out by that except that I feel confident that their game didn't involve unicorn-riding pink robots kidnapping Gary Gygax, so I win.

Everybody here a Futurama fan? If not, you should be. My Encounter Critical game was designed around one of the "What If?" type segments from the episode "Anthology of Interest". In the segment in question the only survivors of the destruction of the universe are Fry, Vice President Al Gore and his Action Rangers (Gary Gygax, Stephen Hawking, Nichelle Nichols and chess computer Deep Blue). I wanted to find out what happens to those people after the end of the universe. This involved me ripping off various TV shows, movies, etc., to populate the Great White Void where the universe used to be. Most of the game was spent exploring the Land of Fiction from the ancient Dr. Who episode "The Mind Robber" and a monster-infested Yellow Submarine.

Marc managed to get Stephen Hawking killed by hotdogging on his rocket-propelled wheelchair and the poor kid also missed all the cues that the cave full of statuary was haunted by a medusa, so Fry was added to the collection of stoned victims. Both those losses happened in the first half hour of play. At that point Marc caught on that in my games for every action there is an equal and opposite fiasco, so he managed to keep his third PC (Xanthor, inexplicably) alive through the end of the adventure. Meanwhile Uhura, the Vice President and Deep Blue were able to rescue Gary from the aforementioned Pink Robots. Eventually the group combined the Mind Robber's Brain Machine, the Rainbow Hippie Power Crystal of the Yellow Submarine, and Deep Blue's chess processors to build a Universe Reboot Device. Only Deep Blue decided that this time the machines should be in charge, so everyone woke up in the Matrix. And somewhere along the way the PCs ended up driving around in the Arc II, just 'cause they could.

This might've been my dumbest EC adventure yet.