February 15, 1998

MONSTER TRUCKS!!!

By this time it had been nearly a week since I'd had any exercise, and I really could feel what the lack was doing to my body. Knowing that everyone was going to be meeting around 11, having breakfast and then meeting around noon to game, I woke up at 10:00, put myself together, got to the exercise room at 10:30 and spent half an hour on the bicycles in the exercise room. There were four of the newer cycles in the room which had no resistance on the pedals at all, and they were incredibly hard to pedal when I couldn't bend my right knee enough to make a round. With the bikes at home, there was enough resistance than when the right foot came off for the periods that it couldn't stay on the left didn't lurch ahead with all my body's weight. There was enough resistance that my right could just play along for a bit.

Luckily, they had an older model on the other side of the step machines that did have some resistance and while I pedalled, it allowed me to set up for whatever kind of resistance and rpm workout I wanted. That worked out really well, and I watched some Disney kids program about a kid wanting to play for the high school soccer team while I pedalled. In part it really reminded me of why I wanted to be doing this, and the rest was entertaining enough to keep my mind off my knee. By the end of it I had soaked one of the provided hotel towels and my knee was more flexible than it had been for quite some time.

That was good. It was even more astonishing, when I got to my room, I called Carl and told him that I'd likely skip breakfast for my own breakfast and shower and found out that no one else had called him, so that breakfast was likely delayed a bit, so I had plenty of time to shower and that I should call him when I was done.

At the end of the shower I felt more alive than I had for a few days, even on just five hours of sleep. Exercise is an amazing thing. So Carl, Cera, Earl and I went down to breakfast at the hotel buffet and I had a lot of waffles, fruit, and crisp bacon as well as glasses and glasses of juice and coffee. It's been a very, very long time since I've ever eaten at a Con as well as I was eating at DunDraCon.

It was marvelous.

It was good enough that I was able to bounce my way to the dealer's room, get more silver dice and then bounce about the lobby and collect strange and marvelous people, including Donji and Eli (who was the guy who played the archer in Friday night's game, and who has the longest, most gorgeous black hair I've seen on any human being). They brought another crew with them, and so the half a dozen of us persuaded Carl to run a fast and furious Feng Shui game!! Hoorah!!

This is another facet of Carl's GM'ing that I really love and really should point out. He has a very, very good cinematic style when he wants to bring it out, and is very, very good with full-out no-holds-barred action adventure. In many ways Feng Shui may well be the game that he was born to run. He is really, really good at capturing and releasing the over the top Hong Kong action feeling. It's something that I really, truly love.

So even with seven players, five of which had never played the game before, and only three hours to run in, we all managed to make up characters with really cool and interesting handles and story bits and go through a nice hot fight and small adventure that gave everyone a solid taste of what it was all about. With plenty of time for everyone to talk about it afterwards as well and still make their 6pm games.

It was gorgeous. *grin* We were basically a tac-team for the Ascended, the people that went in to clean out problems that the Masters of the world wanted cleaned out, with all the luck, powers, and bullets that that implied. So we went into a temple and were supposed to hit a place that was supposed to be a bunch of gun-runners that were going to make Hong Kong more violent by spreading guns around. We were supposed to destroy the arms, and the people with them, and we had to do it in less than twenty minutes otherwise our own masters were going to just bomb the place clean. They really didn't want to bomb downtown Hong Kong, so wanted us to make a clean surgical strike of it.

It went cleanly. Donji created this lovely psycotic sniper killer. Earl had a killer that was a quick draw artist. Mine was just built to spread as many bullets as was possible. There was a Big Bruiser, a martial artist, and a Crab that were just fun to go with to rampage into the temple. .50 caliber sniper rifle bullets can do a lot of damage when the mooks are lined up.

It was funny, it was fast and it was fun and quickly done. And then it was 6pm and Donji ran off with Eli to run her game.

While all that was happening Trent/Paul K. appeared and sat near me and listened after getting hugged suitably by all who recognized who he was. I was glad that he hadn't gotten lost while following the directions to get there, and it was very, very good to see him and hugs him solidly. Then he started showing me leggings. I have this incredibly blue, sappire gem blue, pair of crushed velvet leggings, and I bought them through him. I had ordered a pair of burgandy leggings as well as another pair of black with just the liquid velvet rather than the crushed, but the lady that supplied them to him couldn't get them to him before he'd left.

Instead, he spread out about eight pairs of tights that he'd brought with him from his very own collection. There was a gorgeous liquid velvet black pair that felt just like the name implies, but they had a couple of big holes in them from a guy that somehow or another tore them badly. Sadness. There was a turquoise pair, and a pair that was burgandy but both were in flat velvets. Not quite what I wanted... and then... there was this pair with champagne colored liquid velvet and side panels in white lace. After Cera also got to look them all over, I decided that I had to buy the champange pair and just wrote Paul a check right there and then. Not only do they look astonishing, they're really, really comfortable to wear. I wish that there were more events formal enough for me to wear them to; but I have a feeling that I may just wear them for everyday after a while and not worry about what to 'save' them for as they're fairly sturdy.

Everyone from the Horde arrived at San Ramon at about 6:30, so we had about a dozen people for dinner in the restaurant and various other people found us while we were there.

Dinner was a lovely chaos. Lots of conversations, lots of voices. A little scene between Whirlwind and Rime, which Chrisber had to be distracted from was played out over debate as to wheither or not the restaurant would serve the yellow-fin tuna as sashimi. They did, with just a quick searing on either side. The waiter did a fantastic job and we tipped him superbly for it.

Then we all went into Carl's room and thought about gaming. For a while. I'll admit that I got tired of 'what game are we going to play' fairly quickly. After a while I could see Rob's eyes glazing over a bit at all the random Shadowrun character names that were being thrown around, as he'd never really played just Shadowrun with the Horde. Bryant sounded like he was ready to run something, and Paul looked even more perplexed being even less contextful than even Rob as to all the games and campaigns that Carl had run. So the four of us broke away from the main group and headed to my room to game.

If I hadn't had as much background in Carl's worlds as I did, I could very well have seen the debate that was raging about what characters in what games as being like that joke about that group where a guy just stands at the front of the audience and states, "Number 32." and everyone in the room falls down laughing because they all know what the joke is.

I love the background and the depth and I'm glad that I know it and can participate in it; but I think that some of it was also remembering what it was like Friday night, so it was good, for me, to go off and play in a game with little history other than the one shared in the source books.

Bryant ran a fantastic game, too. The link goes to the writeup I did of it. It finished about 4am, when we finally let Hubert go to sleep, and Paul had a class he had to take the next morning, but he thought the sacrifice well worth it. I wrote him later to ask how he did, and it turned out that he did just fine. I'm glad

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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