I had a fantastic time!!! From my role as the emcee for Iron GM America, to playing, to running games. And there was much enjoyment of tasty, tasty adult beverages, lots of laughing, lots of cuddling, and lots of fun!!
We got there Thursday night, in time to check in and wander down for the opening ceremonies, which include a light buffet. We all circulated, caught up with old friends and noshed. I got to announce the request for game ingredients for Iron GM America. The idea was that my friends Jeremy, Thaddeus and Craig were “famous” GMs, and the audience would submit ingredient ideas that they would have to incorporate into their games, each running two hours of a six hour slot on Sunday.
After opening ceremonies, I played in my friend Kath’s game, “Clarity of Vision,” in which the six players played the children of elder Amberites, and had to save the universe when the Pattern became too strong and was destroying everything, including the children of Amber. If you need an explanation of this, see the links in my last post. We had to craft a new eye for the Serpent of Chaos out of the stuff of dreams, in order to restore balance. This necessitated a trip to Tir Na Nog, the reflection of Castle Amber in the clouds. We each had to fulfill a need or want to win a token that allowed us to restore the pool of dreams and create the eye. We did it.
I always take the Friday morning slot off to sleep in, and have a leisurely breakfast. Then Karrin and I got together to plot for our Sunday game.
After lunch I played Fiasco in Amber. Wow, seriously fucked up. You play characters who are supposed to screw up spectacularly, and this was no exception. We had a plot against the throne of Amber, Oberon’s head in a box, a plot to remove the King of Chaos and replace him with Mandor, and Oberon’s headless body leading an army of the undead to reclaim his head. It wound up, with me as Flora winding up on the throne of Amber as Queen, Eric as my footstool, and eventually Benedict plotting my overthrow.
That evening I ran Amber Family Therapy again. The whole idea of this game is the siblings of Amber gathering for a group therapy session, but what it really turns into is the story of some poor Shadow therapist’s spiral into madness, alcohol and depression as horror upon horror is verbally heaped upon her. This year was no exception. I have decided that Craig is banned from ever playing Julian again. He’ll have to pervert someone else’s favorite character next year. Last year they all tried to convert her to their side, this year they decided that Oberon had marked her for his next wife and this was a test. Hilarity, and obscenity, ensued.
Saturday morning I played in John Kim’s “Hellcats and Hockeysticks” game, which was in no way linked to Amber. We had five players, and it started with kidnapping a hitman who had been sent to kill one of us, torturing information out of him, and then killing him and imprisoning his soul in a lavender plush kitty. We attempted to frame the Prefect from the other wing for his murder, and she attempted to frame our Prefect and her twin sister for heroin dealing. It ended up with the girls of St. Erisian’s defeating two professional hit men while a gunfight ensued at the police station where our Prefect Amy and her sister Mae were being held. I think my favorite exchange of the game was, “Do I have time to summon something nasty?”
John: “No, you don’t have time to summon anything.”
Me: “Ok, so I… wait a minute! Miss Stanhope! They’re coming for us! Help! They’re trying to kill us!” (Miss Stanhope being our PE teacher with PTSD from her time in the Gulf War.
John: “I guess you can summon something. Miss Stanhope comes barreling down the hall.”
That slot ran until 5, so after dinner I played in an Amber/Fables crossover run by my friend Meera. It was good! I had expected a darker game, but pretty much everyone else was on board for silly. And honestly, when you’re outvoted 3 to 1, there’s nothing for it but decide to be the straight man. I kept lobbing them out there, and they kept smashing them back. I got to move the plot along, they got to be silly, and everyone got to enjoy the game. I also wound up being Queen of Amber again, by complete accident when I attuned myself to the Jewel of Judgement to help the others defeat Evil Cockroach Corwin.
Sunday Karrin and I ran the big romance game, “Shadow of his Desire.” I think this was the best game of the con. Our players were all excellent. They all bought in to the premise of the game, and really pulled out all the stops. We actually applauded everyone as they got their happy endings, mostly narrated by themselves. The big surprise was my friend Corey, who I hadn’t thought knew anything about romance novels, who was stunning as Benedict, the grizzled veteran who wants to be done with war, who courts Dierdre endearingly awkwardly. Everyone was stunning. Really. Could not have been happier. The loose over-arching plot was that Oberon had died, and Gerard the heir apparent was missing. Mandor, who had used and cast aside Brand, had set his sights on Julian, and had lead an army to Arden to claim him. We opened with Gerard crashing his own funeral. Gerard’s player actually made me cry with is final scene.
I wore the shark jammies to the after party, and my friend Kai wore her fox jammies from the same place. We spent hours in the soaking pool, then a few more piled on top of the couch in the admin lodge with sexy, awesome people.
Seriously, if anyone wants more details about any of the games, go ahead and ask. If I went into as much detail as I wanted, we’d be here for days. Trust me. I had such a good time. The gaming was incredible, the company even more so. The food was awesome, and the tasty adult beverages were exceptional.
Thank you to Simone Cooper who organizes this every year, and thank you to all my fellow Amber nerds who pay to keep going.