Sunday, June 17, 2018

Free RPG Day at The Source Comics & Games

My signage, the FLGS' signage

0953, right before the doors open

Dear Phil,

Well, I had been invited to run your world at the 'Free RPG Day' event at The Source a while back, and yesterday was The Day. I got everything loaded the night before, and managed to get up there and have everything set up before the doors opened and the crowds rushed the place.

Since this was going to be an 'open table' session, where people could drop in and out all day as they had the time and interest, I took a scenario that you had treated us to a number of times over the years - a posh party at somebody's palace. So, we were off to the restored Kolumelra's Summer Palace in the Nyemesel Isles, where Lady Si N'te was having her name-day party. Yes, Phil, there was cake, and I made sure that there was enough for everyone. Plates, napkins, and forks, too; I try to be thorough.

The gambit was that, as often happened in your campaign, a rift had occurred between the Multiverses and people were getting swept up by all that loose other-planar energy and dropped in the palace gardens; this allowed people to play what they wanted to, and when they could. as you pointed out more then once, all sorts of odd people show up that way, and it does make for interesting adventures.

I had quite a few people explore your creation, over the 10 and a half hours that we played; I had five to six players on average, with peaks of seven to eight at times. I also talked to over twenty people on the side, as I was asked quite a few questions about your world and how you played. I also told a few of our stories, showed off a draft of "To Serve The Petal Throne", and ate a lot of cake. People enjoyed your world, and all the wonders that you gave to us. I was a little perturbed at the person making the sign for the table, as I've always said that it was "Phil Barker's Tekumel", not mine, but I moved the sigh off to the side and used the ones that I'd made up for the event; they seemed to work just fine.

Some people you know showed up and played; Kathy, David, and Doreen from the old days, Bob (Robert the Bald from the old Blackmoor crowd), Heather and Jake from when you were so sick, and also some new folks: Elspeth, Chandra, Tom, Gillian, Alice, Meredith, and Willie from the RPGsite where the thread about you, your world, and 'those thrilling days of yesteryear' has racked up over 250,000 views over some 600+ pages. We had a Kzin, an assassin from Dune, a Sacred Cat of Bast and her frazzled minder, as well as quite a few of The Usual Suspects amongst the guests. The usual dancing, drinking, eating, and attempted assassinations; typical party fare on Tekumel, as usual.

I used your game mechanics, but with 3D6 instead of your preferred 1D% to make the D&D people feel more at home; they got it, and Tekumel, very quickly, putting the lie to the perception that Tekumel is "too weird and inaccessible" for the average gamer to be able to play without "proper interpretation". I dunno; I just ran the thing the way you showed me how, with a little help from your colleagues Dave and Gary. (I told stories about them, too.) People seemed to like your style of gaming, and I frankly enjoyed running it for them; everybody seemed to have a good time, even the guy who got eaten by the Akho out in the harbor. Much laughter, and cake, was had by all.

The palace plans worked out very well in live play, so I think I'll go ahead and start cutting lumber. I'd better move smartly, as there was a lot of discussion at the game table about making this an annual event. I don't know how that will work out with the limited space in the store's gaming area, but we'll work something out; we always managed to, back in the day, and I'll keep trying to do so for you and your creation as long as I'm able to.

I think you'd have enjoyed it all, Phil. I could hear you laughing.

yours, as ever, Chirine