Monday, November 12, 2012

Carnage Noir

The last Carnage at Lake Morey wrapped up recently. Moving was probably a good idea, because blah blah blah, but I still blah blah blah. Yeah, this has all been said very well before, and I don't really have anything to add.

After recovering from SuperFrankenSandy or whatever the part of it was called that hit Cleveland, I went in early to work so we could get out early in the afternoon and head for Syracuse to pick up Monk before the airport started to think he was a terrorist or something. The weather was drizzly. We didn't hit any of the terrifying storms we had been warned about. The worst of it seemed to be long gone. 

We picked up Monk and went to Tully's, the sports bar across from the Dark Gathering, for dinner. We then proceeded to orbit Lake Onondaga because Tom thought he could get to the motel by feeling his way through town instead of getting back on the expressway and, despite years of experience that suggested otherwise, I believed him. When we finally got there, they couldn't get to sleep, which of course meant I couldn't sleep either, because they were giggling and talking about boys well into the wee hours. Or "more wee" hours. It was already pretty late when our tour of the slums of Syracuse ended.

So yeah, more driving, more drizzle. Not much to say about it, but I guess I should blather on for a while so I'll have more room for pictures. We took a different route, cutting straight across to Brattleboro or whatever it is instead of meandering through the diagonal course that the machines always want us to take. We got to the resort and checked in. I found Andre and said hi, then Tom wanted to do laundry. We tried to go to an Indian restaurant but it was run by crazy people so it was already closed, so we ended up somewhere else. Hungry Bear or something like that. I don't remember what I ate, but the house margaritas were really good. They had a little bit of a bite like you'd get from ginger or something. I don't know what it actually was, but it worked.

After dinner, several of us from the Hungry Bear adventure moved on to Andre's Pool Room of Madness for a Call of Cthulhu game. Much of the usual crew was there, along with New Tom (who was actually much less new to Carnage than us, but I hadn't gamed with him before so he's "new" here) and Old Tom (not Bombadil, although keeping him focused was equally difficult). Instead of waiting eagerly for that lucky die roll that drives your character insane, we got to play characters who started out crazy, which was a fun twist. I got fried by a weird blaster-thing (I know what it was, but I don't want to ruin the scenario for future players) and other characters met even more awful ends, but a couple of them did escape.

I went back to the room, so that was the end of the evening for me. Old Tom stayed out to get even more wasted and, apparently, to go around belligerently asserting weird things.

I spent a lot of Friday making character sheets for Walk the Spiral. I had intended to do this Tuesday, but then there turned out to not be any electricity. So anyway, I took my laptop out to the lounge and happily concocted my pre-gens in a comfy couch by the window. I had a nice chat with an interesting Diplomacy player whose name I can't remember now. I also picked up the new Dungeon! board game from Cooper's Cave. Well, remade, anyway. It wouldn't be quite right to call it "new." Anyway, if you're near wherever Cooper's Cave Games is in the real world, I recommend going to their store.

Anyway, I finished that and a few mixed drinks, went off to print out my stuff, and then mingled for a while. I was going to play a midnight game, but I got sleepy and went to bed instead. I guess I should just quit signing up for those. Tom woke me up later for some Tom thing, but I got rid of him pretty quickly.

Got moving and made a last-minute prop for the Aqua Teen game. I was about ready to join the fray while Tom was around, so he suggested that we "go be among them." I said I'd be along shortly and he left. A little later, I searched the resort and he was nowhere to be found. Apparently by "them," he meant the beer displays at the grocery store. So anyway, I did the lunch mingling thing and then headed back to the room to get my stuff for the Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1: Black Stockings and Sippy Straws. I was kind of anxious about the day's events, so, as Monk looked on in alarm, I downed a double shot of absinthe and mixed a gamma bomb (my name for equal parts absinthe and Mountain Dew) in my water bottle for later re-fortification.

I was soon in a prime Aqua Teen-running mood, but only one person (Roy) showed up. We frantically texted for reinforcements, but were betrayed on all sides by fickle friends. Tyler even made a point of luring people away from our table, despite my desperate attempt to bribe him with uncooked beans. I even wandered upstairs and tried to recruit people.

Zach wandered by. Tom and I had adopted Zach as our Carnage son a few years back because, like all old people, we can only maintain an active lifestyle by draining the vital energy from younger companions. Naturally, I shanghaied him for my event. Still, that was only two. Normally, I cancel when there's less than four players for this game. Andre gave me another excuse by calling with a vacancy, and Tom even stopped by to mock my failure. But I got a good vibe from my two players and from various chemicals, so hell yeah, we're doin' this thing!

Roy played Meatwad, and Zach started out with Carl. I included Shake and occasionally Frylock (he was off on an Internet-generated hookup which he claimed was a science convention, but Meatwad went to find him) among the NPCs. It started off a little slow but, within ten minutes, we were playing off of each other easily and it really got going. The femme fatale, Lana, constructed earlier from garbage I found in our room, appeared and introduced assorted plot twists (although only Meatwad could hear her). Carl eventually died and was replaced by Billy Witchdoctordotcom, who resurrected Carl and pieces of Carl several times as the turkey-chicken conflict from Robofrance played out.

We managed to sustain the mood all the way to four o'clock, when Meatwad and Ultra Mega Chicken conquered the world and decided that it was time to exterminate all mammalian life. Back to the mingling, I met Scott and Petra, who apparently Tom had mistaken for me earlier. Just Petra, I mean, not the pair of them together. I hope. In celebration of the fact that I was wearing shoes with really flimsy soles, I smashed my big toe into the stairs as hard as I could and twisted it into a really fascinating new shape. Then there was dinner out somewhere with some people who all looked like giant throbbing toes, and then I got back in the room and had Tom check out the wounded digit to make sure it wasn't broken. It's good to have a medic handy.

All patched up, I headed down to the ballroom to run Walk the Spiral. Unfortunately, only Christy had signed up. She thought she could get one other person to play, but didn't sound too sure. She also looked wiped out. The other option was that we could jump in on this game with the colorful banners that had been sucking up players all day. (Note to self: get some colorful banners.) Dave from the Dark Gathering was also playing in that game, so I agreed to go that route.

It was a neat game, with runestone-based randomizing and a Norse... well, everything. I think it was called Ragnarok. I was a little put off by the murderhobo play style that some of the fans had adopted, but I didn't want to make waves. I got a little cranky towards the end just because it was taking forever and I wanted to go ice my foot, but like I said, still a fun game.

After a short break, I put my bottle of absinthe, a couple of cans of mountain dew, and a glass into my bag and  moved on to the lounge. Tom and Dan Williams were out there drinking with some other people, so I went to talk to them first. If I had known Dan would be dropping off so soon, I would have stuck around out there to catch up, but I didn't know and I was eager to make the scene at Andre's court, so I moved on after a fairly brief conversation.

Andre was preaching fire and brimstone when I arrived. The conversation eventually meandered away from politics and drifted back to more pleasant topics. After a while we went out to the porch for a toast, drifted back to the pool room, all that. Good times, but not much to talk about.

Less Important Days
And then there was Sunday and packing and driving to Syracuse to drop Monk at the airport. We stopped for lunch at a place called Stella's somewhere in the wilderness. It didn't look like much, but the food was really good. After that there was Monday and more driving and happy cats at home.


  1. I recognize that shabby, ill-kept inn in your photo.

  2. We were never really sure what it was.