I spent most of Sabaday morning hanging out and prepping for my pick-up game of S7S, scheduled for 2:30, to catch people who missed other game slots.
It filled up in like 5 minutes.
The players were nikotesla, drcpunk, Mark Causey, and Remi Treuer.
Chargen went a helluva lot quicker, using the suggestions given to me by my peeps on Fliday. After getting them squared away, I went for a quick smoke and to buy another bottle of water. I had their write-ups in hand, and used the "Campaign Cartography" rules in S7S to come up with a cool scenario for them, based on their characters.
Of course we did not play it. Instead, these folks broke my game. Again.
In a decade of on-and-off development and several playtest sessions, no one has gone for player-vs.-player. Not once. The Sabady demo group did.
And it was pretty cool.
The system played fairly well, and having different folks game it spotlighted a bunch of hole to fix for the gamma draft. There was also some egeregious abuse of the Style Point economy (...Remi!).
However, the roleplay kicked ass over and above the awesome of finding flaws in the system. A fencing duel and a duel of wits. (If you check out Lisa's post that I linked to the other day, you'll catch a whiff of the awesome.)
Afterwards, we had about a 15 minute "What was Good?/Bad?/Ugly?" discussion, which gave even better feedback. And Remi did something that my DC area friends would label "extremely punk rock" -- he gave me his recently-purchased copy of Vincent Baker's In A Wicked Age..., because the Sabaday playtesters believed I needed to read it. (Cock-blocking Mark a bit, though -- Mark offered me his PDF since he'd bought a print version.)
I only accepted if Remi would take an ASMP PDF in return; he agreed, and all was well. (I believe he chose ZoZ, eventually.)
The Indie Games Pizza Party was okay, and I talked to a bunch of tres cool people. Indeed, there are two folks that I perceive a weird connection to: Joshua A.C. Newman / nikotesla and Mindy Kerr. The were familiar, as if we'd hung out together in the past. While granted that nikotesla has a mild physical resemblance to cjpetherick (especially when I first met Chris), it's more than that. It's odd and familiar all at once, that "don't I know you?" vibe. Mindy claimed that perhaps we knew each other in a past life. Whatevs, but I know I wasn't the only one to feel the vibe.
I had to kill a couple of hours between the pizza party and a demo I hoped to play in. So I hit the bar.
QUESTION: What sort of people hang out at a hotel bar, when that hotel is the middle of an industrial park in NJ?
ANSWER: A freaking deeply weird and disturbing sector of the population. Mostly single, middle-aged Sopranos rejects, looking for massive meat-/meet-market action with other middle-aged Sopranos rejects.
I was sincerely freaked out. Seriously. Listening to the discussions between folks, I could inerrantly tell what the next words out of their mouths would be. The 50 yr old, relatively hot trophy wife hitting on the closeted gay Marine on leave: I knew exactly what each of them would say before they said it. Almost verbatim. It was almost like I was reading the subtitles of the movie ahead of the dialogue, and was deeply disturbing.
Add to that political discussions with some extremely stupid people (even those who were on "my side" and even allowing for the cognition-clouding properties of alcohol), and I got nervous and freaked.
I am dead serious. I was creeped out immensely, more than I would have expected.
So I drank. A lot. Way more than I should've.
Sleep-dep plus massive quantities of booze = Chad insanely drunk off his ass.
While I made it to the table for drivingblind's demo, something in me recognized I wouldn't make it through the game. So, before they started, I got up and left. Alas, I only made it to the elevator bank and the "comfy" chair sitting there.
I eventually made it back to the room without mishap, and slept like the dead.
Thank God I am not a mopey or loud drunk.