Friday evening, I played Iron Floor GM. tpau had asked me a little while ago to AGM for Expedition, but I really didn't know anything about the game except the public high concept. (It was really three games -- one set on a space station, one on a planet, one on the ship traveling between them -- linked by deliberately slow video communications.) So I got there about an hour before game time, and dove quickly into reading into it. I wound up assigned to Voices From Afar (the "planet" segment), partnered with another AGM who was in the same situation except that he had slightly less advance prep than I did.
That said, it actually worked out well. The other AGM and I both had lots of GM'ing experience, so we were both able to take the information we had and roll with it. And Sheena (the lead author) had written up extremely concise outlines of all the plots and characters, which meant that I *could* get a fair overview of everything in an hour. We had to consult with Sheena frequently with questions and updates, and he reserved some of the key information management to himself (since he had the big picture), but overall the balance worked nicely: we stayed very busy helping the players with the moment-to-moment adjudication, consulting as needed.
Friday night was tpau's Birthday Party. This was an exercise in over-preparation: she had brought somewhat too much food and alcohol, and I added at least as much again. Good party, though, except for Security getting called on us 2.5 times. As best I can tell, the room blocking by the hotel was somewhat diffuse, and we had mundane neighbors. So a party that, while not quiet, was by no means exceptionally noisy, turned into a bit of a problem. I suspect that room blocking is going to have to be one of the discussion topics with the hotel as we discuss whether we're going back next year.
The high point of Saturday was BCS:GOP:TNG -- Battle for Control of the Soul of the Republican Party: The Next Generation. I was playing Glenn Beck, which was an absolute riot. I honestly have seen very little of the man, but in talking to my friends, I quickly gathered a number of the high points, especially his fetish for arbitrary use of bad charts. So I borrowed a small whiteboard from work, and took every opportunity during the game to turn every conversation I could into an excuse to draw circles and arrows and OBAMA with a frowny face.
Spoilers: I got about halfway through the game, having a fairly routine time wheeling and dealing, trying to figure out whether to support Mitt Romney for his apparent socialist leanings or Christine O'Donnell to help destroy the Republican Party -- as it happens, Glenn Beck in this game is so over-the-top because he's actually a socialist, sending all his money to good causes, so I figured that helping the party self-destruct would be appropriate.
Unfortunate, about mid-game I figured out that Barbara Walters was a vampire; just before I could out her on TV (and get rid of some competition), she managed to capture and turn me. So instead I outed O'Donnell as a crazy vampire hunter, which did her reputation quite a bit of damage until about three minutes later when she staked me into a cloud of dust on live TV.
I wound up finishing the game as a fill-in character of Arnold Schwarzenegger, cruising for hot young men, and managed to wind up the presumptive nominee for Secretary of Defense (since the army is *full* of strapping young men), with a promise to tap O'Donnell as Undersecretary of Monsters.
Really, the game mostly *was* about politics, not fantasy. But the vampire underplot, unsurprisingly, managed to have an outsize effect on the story.
Sunday's game was 10 Bad LARPs: C-Section. I'm a great fan of the 10-Bad series, for the same reason I love playing Horde -- it's an exercise in over-the-top improvisation. Low depth, but lots of variety, and quite exhilirating when the characters are outlandish. (And *everything* in 10-Bad is outlandish.) For sheer pointless Sunday-morning ridiculousness, it's hard to beat spending two minutes playing a box of chickens trying to get through airport security.
And Sunday afternoon was the biggest Dead Dog we've ever seen, almost 2/3 the size of Intercon B. We took over New Mother India (completely -- we bought out the restaurant), and proceeded to have an excessively noisy but rather boisterous good time. I might wish for a restaurant with better sound absorption next time, but renting the whole place seems to have been a really good idea, and worked out nicely.
Afterword: in looking up the previous paragraph, I happened on the NEIL page giving the history of the modern northern Intercons. It's quite neat, especially in that each entry links to the schedule grid for that con, with blurbs for all the games. Brings back remarkable memories, both good and bad. (Oh, lord -- Flog-a-Thon: the joke that walks like a game...)