Friday, October 21, 2016

AVL Scarefest Day 1: A Killer Tape Dispenser And The Tower Of Dread

Howdy gang, and welcome to the official first day of Scarefest! As usual during these travelogues, I'll be stopping by my room to throw a few thought down whenever I get a chance. The event goes until midnight tonight, so this post will likely go live after most of you have gone to bed. Those still up, read on!
  • Remember how I whined yesterday that my room was missing a surprising number of amenities? Well, another missing item was a standard writing desk. Two chairs, two dressers, and a bed -- no desk. I'm currently using my bed as an ersatz desk with a chair pulled over to it.
  • Note to self: Get rid of my nearly-spherical travel alarm clock. It went off, I swatted it, and it fell off the nightstand and rolled under the bed where it continued to buzz and chirp until I got out of bed, pulled the bed away from the wall, and retrieved it. Although, that DID get me out of bed, so perhaps it's by design?
  • Met Amie, one of the con's organizers, for breakfast and we chatted while discussing our respective real-life jobs. She's a web designer and I'm an editor, so we both are in the business of taking a person's rough ideas and making them into something better. So we commiserated on that for a while, sighed heavily, then walked down to the event center.
  • This afternoon I played in my first game of Dread as Andy ran our party through "Beneath the Full Moon." Dread is the RPG that used a Jenga Tower as its resolution mechanic. Anyway, our team of novice river rafting college students found themselves stranded in the middle of the Grand Canyon's Colorado River after our guide was horribly mauled by some animal in the night. So it became a struggle for survival as we tried to rescue our Guide, Gary, while avoiding the monstrous beast that followed us. With each close call, we pulled Jenga tiles, and the tower became more and more unstable. (Toppling it is a death sentence.) While returning from gathering firewood, I found the creature in my path. I tried to pull a tile, but the tower wasn't having it and down it crashed, as the werewolf ripped my throat out. I really had a great time with Dread. Later tonight, it's MY turn to put Andy through his paces as he's signed up to play in my Cryptworld game!
  • Stopped by the inn's dining hall and used my Meal Ticket to feed myself a big plate of chicken stew over rice with fresh biscuits, followed up with a slab of both German Chocolate Cake and Boston Cream Pie. Yeah, this beats fast food by a mile, and was a good additional add-on to my Scarefest admission!
  • This evening, we had five brave reporters and researchers who visited Vinton Hills Memorial Hospital who braved the horrors of  "Condition Critical," one of my favorite Cryptworld scenarios. I've run this adventure a half-dozen times, and I'm always surprised by what the party does. This time, after viewing the horrific footage of What Went Wrong In The OR, the party explored the facility only to be ambushed by an animated skeleton at the same time Experiment TB-4 decided to slither into view. Much chaos was had as they tried to stay alive on two fronts. The game ended when one player threw rubbing alcohol onto the creature, then tossed a lit cigarette onto the flammable beast. The trick didn't work as the cigarette didn't catch the alcohol on fire. Then, another player hurled a TAPE DISPENSER at the cigarette, making a critical hit! This drove the burning cigarette into the alcohol, setting the monster -- and the hospital -- ablaze! And once again, the world is safe!
  • So tomorrow's day begins bright and early at 8 a.m. when I plan to take a few Cryptworld players into the forests as they explore the horrors of "Unquenchable." Then, I'll take my chances in the DCC RPG funnel "The Shambling Un-Dead." Gonna be scary fun, folks!
And, in closing as I always do, here are some photos of Things Of Interest:

The convention center is in full Halloween decor mode!

This must be where the first PC death occurred...

If I had known a giant spider web was going to be on the wall behind where I was running my games, I would have run Tangled Threads from Monsters Macabre!

The room for the Starship Artemis simulator. The white wall is where the screen is projected, and each workstation has light-up neon mice. This looks much cooler in person.

The wargaming table set up with rules to review and sign up sheets for tomorrow's events.

The back half of the center is filled with Pathfinder Society events. It's quite the event for PFS, but the organizers have many more gaming systems represented this year,

Andy gives us a rundown of the situation  at hand during our Dread game.

The tower moments before I made my fateful last pull before the tower toppled. Take a look at it. I was doomed.

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