So, getting ready for this year’s AmberconNW was one of the reasons I did not get any writing done last week, nor did I get Monday’s post done. As usual, the convention was fantastic, and honestly, I could not have picked a better place to find out about my grandmother than surrounded by the 100 or so people who love me most in the world.
AmberconNW, now in it’s 21st year, is a small gaming convention outside of Portland, OR that was founded to bring together players of the Amber Dicelss RPG designed by Eric Wujcik and Roger Zelazny, based on Zelazny’s Amber books. Over the years other games, a lot of Indie Games like Apocalypse World, Monster Hearts, Bliss Stage, Dungeon World, Prime Time Adventures, etc… have made incursions into the convention as well. Some of the other games are skinned with Amber settings and characters, some are not.
Fantastic things about the convention include near gender parity, inclusiveness of trans people and people of color, and having hands down the highest caliber of players I have ever found at any gaming convention.
And the location.
Seriously, the Edgefield is amazing.
So this year’s games included:
Lady Faiella’s. This is a continuation of a game we’ve been playing for several years now. The children of the elders of Amber are brought to a finishing school of sorts for their own safety, as well as to ready them for life as an immortal scion of Amber. So, teenagers from all over the multiverse thrown together by their parents go on adventures. I once again reprised my role as Valentina Maria-Theresa Helena de Medici, 12th century Earth analog daughter of Benedict. As always, a good time was had by all.
GI Joe 1948. Three years after the end of WWII, a faction of the Third Reich survives and is committing acts of terrorism. The best of the best, elite of the elite are recruited to join a Spec Ops unit. This is done with a hybrid system the Geek Husband What Rules came up with. I played Covergirl, and our base was attacked. I got stabbed once when Zartan played possum, then when he did it again, my response was, “Fuck you. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… Someone’s gonna have to pry me off this guy.”
My third slot didn’t happen. It was supposed to be a Blue Rose game, but after getting some bad news about my grandmother during the end of the GI Joe game, I couldn’t even read the directions without bursting into tears. So my players took me to the soaking pool and kept me company.
Monsterhearts in Weimar Berlin: Les Coeurs Sauvages. So, the only real problem I have with Monsterhearts in general is that I have scars from high school. And I find high school to be kind of a boring place to stage things. So, I port it over to a cabaret in Weimar era Berlin. I’ve worked in nightclubs, trust me, the dynamic carries over. This game had competing Infernals, who kind of stole the show, until the Hollow ripped out her own heart and dropped it at the feet of her maker. Right before one of the Infernals asked his Dark Power to give her a soul. Which he did. For about a second before she died, the soul having made her human. I am the best GM.
Guns & Glamour. This is the pbta I’ve been working on for ages, and I now have help to complete and Kickstart it. Anyway, between the union agitating Goblins, the Troll raised by Pixies and his Pixie “big sister,” the Red Cap, Sidhe wheelman, and the Brownie bagman, we had a full house. Oh, it was fantastic. I almost want to write the whole thing up. The playtests I’ve run at AmberconNW have provided so much lore for this game. This year was no exception, and the game shall include references to Chandelier Day and the Order of St. Timmy, goblin knights. This game featured so many of my favorite players.
You know how some players are a gift to any GM with the fortune to have them? That was everyone in this game. Fuck they were amazing.
I did not play in the next slot. I tried, but the rules didn’t make any sense and everyone’s voices were running all together. Stupid stress. So I hid out with a good friend, and she talked me down.
Sunday’s game was the Portland Titans game I’ve been in for seven years. We all play superheroes of varying pedigrees. My character is a descendent of Amber. Another was a descendent of Chaos, the others were gods or Fae. This game is a lot of fun. My friend Carla and I have been “in a relationship” in that game for most of it. Last year we got married. This year we had a baby. In between fighting awakened gods, and our own natures. It was great.
So, yet again AmberconNW came to a close. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
Seriously, if you have any interest in Amber or Indie games you should look into it. Good food and booze, beautiful location, and some of the best gamers and nicest, kindest people you could ever hope to meet.
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