Friday evening, we saw Dharia at gaming weekend. This is really funny for a single reason. At lunch, that day, I suggested she could go to gaming weekend with us, and she gave me a Death Glare. It's the sort of look teachers give to unruly students, and were I not a veteran of all-things-horror, I probably would have wilted. Instead, it made me giggle uproariously. I won't quote, but effectively, Dharia said there was no way on the green earth or the black cosmos that she would be going to Gaming Weekend at WPI. And who was the first person we saw upon arrival? Yep, Dharia. Reminds me of the thing about political candidates, who say they will never abandon a running mate who's suffering in the opinion poles. 24 hours later, that running mate is dropped like a red hot iron skillet.
Well, T and I wandered around the WPI scene looking for the GMs of the two games we were interested in -- Seth and Adam. We did eventually find them, and scheduled some gaming for later in the weekend. However, that night we played a game called Blokus, which every fecking geek had to stop by and comment that it was Tetris meets Go. Actually, they opined, it's like anti-Go. They called it GoTris. I called it 'Come', and they, more often than not, Went. We played with a dinkus-minimus chemist/engineer type named Anthony. He pissed me off by talking down to Trista and Dharia (because they have breasts, they have no brains? Obviously, he didn't date much). So, I decided to chase him away. I did this by belittling him, and moving easily into a winner situation (the one time I did so), and he ran off before the game was done. Mission accomplished, I stopped the game so we could restart with Darius. I don't play games to win, I play to have fun. I chuckled about Anthony for hours. The way he flicked his pieces, when he could no longer play them was amusing to me, because he appeared to be close to a tantrum. Silly little sophomore/junior/who cares? On other notes, Trista later held her own against three engineers, kicking their asses mightily. IMHO: she is a tactical fecking genius!
Also, Friday, I started reading Marshall MacLuhan's Understanding Media, in free excerpt form from Amazon.com. The end of the exceprt came much too soon, so now I am eager to read more. This came about after watching the Criterion Collection's Videodrome extras... The Criterion Collection is a gem of a disc. Highly recommended, the film is one of my top ten, all time favorites.
Saturday was a nice day. We gamed from 10pm to 4:30am in a Freak Legion game. Fun and exciting and a perfect experience, except for the bouts of slap-happiness near the end. It was a three story game. In essence, all the characters were bad guys, mutants created by a corporate power, stationed at a research facility in the amazon. The first wave of characters were grunts, soldiers, guards. We were a fire team who's mission was to stave off the gung-ho werewolves from attacking our facility. We failed and they hit the area pretty hard. Our team was forced to fall back, and connect with the second group of characters. The second group were scientists and researchers, working on ways to augment (mutate) humanity. The third group of characters were the big wig decision makers of the site, who had to figure out a way to avoid being on the premises, when the corporation's team of jets equipped with high explosives showed up to bury the sight and all it's filthy secrets back into the ground. Fun, fun, fun! I played the gung-ho, "go team, go!" Team Leader (accidentally fragged by his own team, right near the end of the game!), a whiny, Woody Allen-ish Lab Manager (who managed to not only survive, but get away!), and the nam-flashbacking, kind ofnut job body guard to the head of the biz (who rode the werewolf leader like a surfboard down nine stories of air, to the ground below, shouting for his enemies to behold "YOUR LEADER!"). I do the game no justice with this minor recounting, but it was Schweet.
Sunday, we slept til noon and then had to run back up for Adam's Dark Ages: Mage. A veeeery different affair. Our characters were venturing into the Faerie Market (plucked from Neil Gaiman's Stardust), where we got embroiled in Fae politics -- helping a woman reclaim her real baby from the fae what swapped it with a changeling. We had to recover three objects, and then convince the queen of the Market to hand the baby back over. This game was more moving, and very satisfying on an artistic level. My character was an Italian mage, very learned in one school of magic, named Rino Argento. His manservent Marco Fulci made up for some nice comic relief. I played Rino with all of the quirks I've noticed from the two guys from Italia I've worked with, and the character work was nice. One of the players was a little too... Well... Troublesome. He was a real life pagan/Wyck who though he knew everything there was to know about Mages, etc. He was a judgemental, single-minded, caustic and callow individual, who bothered me to no end. And yet the game was a slice of brilliance, a singing, jeweled rose...
Monday, was veg around the house day.
Over the weekend, I finished the first two volumes of the Hard Case Crime (a new imprint of Leisure Books?) series of hardboiled novels. Lawrence Block's Grifter's Game was a brilliant little novel, excellently crafted, with one of the most chilling endings I've read in a long time. The last chapter made me numb, it was so evil, so perfect. The other novel, Fade to Blonde was a gripping read, maybe not as evil as the first, but exciting none the less. I'm geeked to read next month's novels!
Trista and I watched the rest of Toshiro Mifune as Miyamoto Musashi in the Samurai trilogy. Excellent films, all around, but part 3 is amazing in its depth of character, philosophy, and action. Perfect movies. Forget Star Wars, watch these instead.