A good time was had by all. In fact, Beloved Wife decided that we should make our reservations for Carnage 2008 before we left on Sunday.
NatureBoy and I got into all the games we pre-registered for (pre-reg early!), so we were very happy. I tried to follow the advice to try things you don’t normally play. Mixing that with NatureBoy’s interests, here’s what our schedule was like:
|Friday, 1-5 pm||Into the mouth of Milu; a d20 modern game about ancient powers on an erupting Hawaiian island.|
|Saturday, 8 am-12 pm||Avatar: the Last Airbender; a fudge-based game set in the world of Avatar.|
|Saturday, 1-5 pm||Giant Monster Smash; miniatures combat where Godzilla and his gang fight to save/smash a city|
|Sunday, 1-3 pm||P.R.A.W.N.; a LARP in a pool.|
So we arrived and found the Lake Morey Resort with no trouble.
We registered, got our schedules, t-shirts and Leis, and then checked into our hotel room. We left Beloved Wife to settle in and get some studying done while NatureBoy and I played our first game.
Mouth of Milu was held in a dark room with some sheet-good panels over a billiard table. In the center of the table was a large color map of Hawai’i. NB and I had never played a d20 modern game before, but most of it was familiar. The story involved some business people, some scientists, and a couple local helicopter pilots. I played the young female administrative assistant to a rich business tycoon. NatureBoy’s character was a physicist and astronomer, and a bit of an eccentric.
The story was pretty interesting and well-paced. It really focused on one character, which was a little disappointing. NB felt kind of frustrated at not having a significant role, but he played it well. Days later, one of the other players mentioned to me that they had been impressed by NB’s maturity and his good role playing and understanding of the rules. Well done, NatureBoy! Also, I was glad to have played in one of the theme games, this convention’s theme being "Hang 10." And Dr. Nik was a great GM.
We went out for Chinese food after the game. With directions from the front desk, we found a place north on route 5, in downtown Bradford [edit – House of Chan’s, 184 Main St.]. The was hot, flavorful food, generous servings, and lots of local color. We had enough leftovers to reheat for dinner on Saturday. We went back to the hotel and watched a few episodes from the first disk of Avatar: the Last Airbender – Book 3. It was good to get into the mood for the first game on Saturday.
BW had class, and was glad to have a shorter commute from Fairlee to Claremont, N.H., while NB and I headed off to our morning game.
The Avatar game was run by Bradford Younie, using his Fudge variant system Now Playing. NatureBoy played Toph, I played Aang, and the other player took Katara. The story was ok, with the crew seeking out a rumored surviving airbender and then escaping from Azula, Mei, and Ty Lee. NB enjoyed describing Toph’s earth-bending. I didn’t find the story engaging though. But it was our first Fudge game, and Brad let us all keep the fudge dice we used.
We went back to our room and grabbed a quick cold lunch, watched a couple more episodes of Avatar, and then set off to Giant Monster Smash.
This was the game the NB seemed to be most excited about. And what’s not to like! Giant Monster Smash uses Godzilla and other monster and robot dolls as miniatures in trying to control a city and destroy enemy monsters. The rules are based on WarMachine rules.
The GMs were super-prepared, with character sheets and rules/scoring sheets, color-coded dice in plastic dice cups, dry-erase markers, everything ran very smoothly and was lots of fun.
For dinner, we ate our left-over Chinese food, which had been reheated by Beloved Wife using a hot pot and clever application of hot water, foil and zipper-close bags. We took a trip to the dealer room to browse, where BW found a t-shirt she liked that said "you’re not the DM of me!" and NB found a set of dice for his collection. We also took NB to the rather small pool for an evening swim.
We didn’t have a game scheduled for Sunday morning, so we took a trip to the Borders in West Lebanon, because NB was interested in a book on drawing anime (in the style of Avatar). We surveyed the available books, and one about drawing robots caught his fancy instead.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by the King Arthur Flour store in Norwich. I then suggested we take the ‘scenic route’ back by following route 5 instead of taking I-91. However, I (we) missed the turn Route 5 takes out of Norwich village, and we went straight. This took us to South Strafford, and signs pointing to Sharon. Luckily, we had enough time to get back to Norwich, where we promptly got on the interstate.
After a quick lunch, NatureBoy and I got our stuff and headed to the swimming pool for our first official LARP, P.R.A.W.N. In this game, the players all are fish in a tank. There are two rival gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, hands that come from the outside sometimes feed us and sometimes take a fish away.
There weren’t many players, so the storylines were somewhat limited. But we had fun swimming after food (plastic hearts safety-pinned to styrofoam balls) and attacking other fish. Hey, it’s a fish-eat-fish world. Even BW got recruited to play the role of a cat, going around the edge of the pool, trying to catch a curious tank resident.
NB was a little disappointed when the game ended early, but they had run through the plot elements that were viable with the players we had.
One of the things that made this game convention so nice was that Beloved Wife came with us. Having meals together and having family time was a great balance to the intensity of the gaming sessions. Thanks for coming, CraftyMomma!