Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

Intercon roundup

[Happy birthday to hungrytiger and tpau!]

Before it all recedes too much, time for a diary entry about my slightly extended weekend.

General note: it was awfully pleasant to get away from the keyboard and the Net for three full days, and instead spend the time with a lot of people face-to-face. It really drove home how stressed-out I am, and probably socially deprived. I need to think about the implications of this. Certainly, it drives home that online interactions (which make up so much of my social life at the moment) are no substitute for the real thing. I need to rebuild my social life.

It also makes me realize how tense I am about self-imposed responsibility nowadays, whether it be work-related, SCA, or whatever: getting into a situation where I was *not* in a position of responsibility was delightful. It's not about the work -- I did a decent share of volunteering over the course of the weekend -- but there is a qualitative difference between helping out and being in charge. I'm in charge of way too much right now, and taking the authority-figure responsibility for too much on top of that. It's ego-difficult to let go of that, but I'm going to need to find ways to dial things back for a while, and find my balance point again.

Anyway -- downer reflection aside, it was a solidly fun Intercon all around, from the very beginning. It started out with the Thursday Thing: essentially a mini-con attached to the Con. From Thursday through Friday evenings, we had a series of panels on All Things LARP. I wound up on both of the Writing panels, which were engaging and boisterous: it's a topic I'm passionate about and always happy to blather on. And I sat in on about half the other panels, all of which were great. I quite regret showing up late for the Costuming panel, which turned out to be full of practical information for the casual costumer.

Friday evening was Intercon Zi, the micro-game session. Pregame/Postgame was my favorite, despite some curiously appropriate snafus. The first hour took place just before the beginning of a particularly ill-starred game, as everyone tries to figure out how to get things started. After that, it switched over to game wrap: everyone got "character sheets" describing what happened during the game, and then got left alone to spend an hour arguing about it. Thoroughly silly, and I suspect it would fall flat if handed to most novice gamers, but we had a high level of "been there, done that" in the room, and had a great time metagaming the heck out of it and generally playing mental Calvinball.

Ripoff! was the weakest of the bunch -- not bad, but it was explicitly Klingon Group Therapy with "Klingon" crossed out and replaced by "Romulan". Which makes sense in principle, but is just plain harder to play: Romulan-style cunning requires more thought and care than Klingon aggression, which slowed the game down. Fortunately, Vance gave us all Nerf guns, and in the second run-through, I concluded that seeking an excuse to fire them livened things up considerably.

Bughunt! was exactly what the name implies, and was a fine finish to the evening. I was one of the Space Marines, fighting our way through a "ship" full of bugs being played by the rest of the players. Very little plot, but some simple elemental roleplaying, loads of running around and lots of shooting Nerf at folks.

My Saturday afternoon game was Starship Edsel, which was grand silliness. I was playing Joe Rodshurtz -- that is, The Redshirt. My only complaint is that the rest of the players didn't get into *nearly* enough trouble for the first couple of hours, so it took a solid two hours for me to get killed the first time, and I only got killed three times over the course of the game. (Which is about half what I expected.) But it was still loads of fun, including winding up (quite to my surprise) in two separate romance plots, a sweet one with The Nurse, and being seduced / used by one of The VIPs.

Saturday evening was tending Ops. As usual, bringing my laptop along ensured that I did not wind up bored on my own; instead, I wound up spending most of four hours chatting with learnedax and a new LARPer (apparently an old friend of asim's). I also got to deal with The Soda Crisis. Moral of that story: an equal ratio of Coke and Pepsi doesn't work around here. (We realized at about 7pm that, out of about 80 bottles of soda, we were left with ten each of Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, so I did a run for Everything Else.)

Sunday morning was Time Travel Review Board, a light and fun horde game. I always love horde games, because they are fine excuses to engage in high-impact roleplaying without needing to worry about complex game goals. I played the caveman Ogg; a conservative zealot who wanted to go back and help the founding fathers write the Second Amendment more clearly (so I channeled Bill O'Reilly for ten solid minutes); a Brandeis professor who wanted to interview Moses right after Mount Sinai, to get clarifications about the word of God; the inevitable Time Patrol cop; and a bunch of others. Not a deep game, but well-suited to Saturday morning.

And finally, there was Closing Ceremonies, which was dominated by CONGA and Kong. The Kong standup seems to be turning into the official Intercon NE mascot. Is there any chance that 2011 will be anything *other* than InterKong?
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