As I was walking out, I ran into macklinr, and walked back into the cafe to have coffee and chat with Ryan as he ate breakfast. The Macklin is a con-demo machine, and gave me a vast amount of excellent con-game-running advice. There was also plenty of personal chat, since while he and I have been e-friends for a couple years, this was the first time we'd met in the flesh.
I bought some index cards at the hotel gift shop, and wandered into the game room to find a place to sit and create some quick chargen aids. I ended up sitting around the table where crnixon was running timgray's Questers of the Middle Realms PDQ-based game. Clinton was enthusiastic, and the players seemed to have a good time, from what I could tell as I scribbled notes down for a pick-up game of S7S (which I ran Sabaday afternoon).
Then, I went and purchased two books. (NOTE TO SELF: Next con, bring more money for books, food, and water.)
Because I had limited fundage for book buying, I'd spent all of Thorsday and most of Fliday morning and afternoon asking folks which two I should get. I ended up buying judd_sonofbert's Dictionary of Mu (Paka's Thread Games) and Matt Wilson's Primetime Adventures (Dog-eared Designs).
(I've finished both by this point, and they both rock. Each was recommended to help display solutions to some of the old issues in -- and some of the new ideas that I wish to incorporate into -- S7S. Both books have been helpful in different ways. Thanks, folks!)
Around Friday evening, I discovered that the hotel food was (by my lights) overpriced, undersatisfying, and made me vaguely unwell. Add to this the crap service in the cafe, and this may help explain why I spent so much time in the bar, getting my calories from beer with the aid of the much more friendly bartenders. (This would prove my undoing late Sabaday night, however!)
Fliday evening, I played in Bill White's kickass game of ice-age storytelling: Ganakagok. This was well and truly bigtimes fun for me. My crazytalking apprentice shaman had gone out onto the Blood Ice between our village and the enemy village, searching for his prodigal brother, as their father (the Old Shaman) had died and my character didn't know the funerary rites to stop Dear Old Dad from coming back as a Cannibal Ghoul. My character sacrificed himself and saved his brother by releasing his Heart of Fire on turn 3, melting the Blood Ice into the Lake of Blood and blocking the enemy villagers from attacking our village for a time.
Alas, as now my burning corpse was at the bottom of the Lake of Blood, no one could perform the funerary rites on me, and I came back as a Cannibal Ghoul. A Burning Cannibal Ghoul (according to Bill, the first he's seen in the game). Later, I was able to take a Gift, "Chieftain of the Cannibal Ghouls", because hey, he must be in charge because he's on fire!.
This had a great impact on the endgame, which took place in the Ice Labyrinth of the Cannibal Ghouls, where the deposed-but-now-restored chieftain of my village called upon the pact made between humans and Cannibal Ghouls in the long-ago to end the conflict between them. Add to that the support of the burning ghoul chieftain (me), the defiant shaman (my brother), and the romance between the Infant Blesser of my tribe and the chieftain's son of the enemy tribe, and the game wrapped up very nicely.
Of course, since most of the player characters (on my side of the table) had horrendous Bad Medicine scores, though we saved Ganakagok and The People, we all ended messily. I believe my character was pulled into the now-risen sun, to there burn for eternity.