To begin with, the big surprise was to have Ryan Macklin up for the weekend for the celebration. He and Lily are good friends. He is a good friend. I figured it would be a great gift. Thus, this weekend, he was crowned the avatar of the Gaming Convention (Unknown Armies reference), because by Sunday, I felt like I had just been through a surprise mini-gaming convention. Where he goes, gaming conventions erupt.
Thursday: I picked up Ryan on Thursday. The first thing we did after the usual catch up was work on one of his projects. He interviewed me for my experience as a GM for his upcoming book. Like a convention, there is work that must be done. Not just because of the whole tax write-off aspect but because we like collaborating. Then it was on to heroic drinking as mandated by Heather. And there was heroic drinking to be had. Oh, yes. That pretty much took up the rest of the night.
Friday: Friday morning, it was off to breakfast sans Ryan because someone wasn't feeling all that good. Then, we waited to spring the surprise on Lily when she and Matt arrived. Ryan appeared. I gave Lily gifts from me and Jeff and all of us were smug. Lily did a lot of squeaking and cursing while I prepared stuffed Cornish game hens (which were fab). That's when the gaming started: Call of Cthulhu. Lily ran us four Miskatonic U students through an adventure and we rang in the New Year screaming (IC) at the summoning of Cthulhu before we pushed it back. It was a very good night.
Saturday: Saturday is always LARP day. So, it was pretty chill until about 4pm. Then it was Matt, Lily and Lee running the Mage LARP with Ryan and Jeff as NPCs. Ryan is a terrific NPC player. He's got a lot of tricks in his pocket. Jeff did, too, but I didn't get to RP with him. Ryan took off with Matt and Lily after the Mage LARP to hang out with Heather while Jeff and I did the Vampire LARP. We came home late-late-late, expecting Ryan to be asleep. Nope. So, we talked. I helped brainstorm some more with him on Mythender until VERY late.
Sunday: Lunch was sushi and then Matt and Lily came back over. The four of them (Matt, Lily, Ryan and Jeff) rocked a game of BSG. I'm not a big boardgame fan but I have no problem watching them play and hanging out. For the record, the Cylons – Jeff and Lily – won. A lot. That's when Ryan and I took Matt and Lily out to dinner at a decent steakhouse.
The end of the night was the height of awesomeness with Ryan introducing us all to his work in progress: Mythender. Tagline: "Would you like to stab Thor in the face?" Yes. Yes, I would. This is a kick-ass game. I cannot explain the awesomeness of it. I really can't. The GM is part ref, submissive person and tempter. The mechanics are fast moving once you get the hang of it but the power dynamic between player and GM was so different. It was, of course, a very late night but well worth it. We killed Odin and he had it coming to him.
Monday: Monday was a final breakfast with Ryan at the cafe before packing and taking Ryan to the airport. It was a very good time. We said our good-byes. I'll see him in February for DundraCon and all will be awesome once more. Of course, on the way home, Jeff bought stuff for Mythender and is going to convince Ryan to let him playtest the GM rules.
Now, I am tired but recovering—just like after a convention. At least I didn't have to travel for this one.