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June 27, 2004

The Black Road Report

Home again, and filled with that mix of exhaustion and exhilaration that follows a good gaming con.

The Black Road is an Ambercon in all but name. Great gaming is the standard for these cons, which is why I make every effort to attend three each year, and would make it more if I could. This year was no exception.

Some details on each event follow...

Slot 1 -- Tall Tales of Pattern and Shadow -- Here I GM, or at least in theory. Because this game uses "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" as its system, I don't actually do much except explain the game and facilitate. The storytelling was unpredictable and quite entertaining, with a large enough list of participants to give everyone plenty of time just listening and giggling. This simple, infinitely repeatable game concept remains something I can drop into any con I need to and expect a good result. Nice to have this in my toolkit. And congratulations to Lou Evans, voted the best talespinner in this play of the game.

Slot 2 -- A Simple Task, Well Rewarded -- I met Richard DiTullio at AmberCon earlier this year (as mentioned here), and I looked forward to this chance to game with him again. Low-point characters (a favorite of mine, as it limits the mess of powers that sometimes happens in convention Amber gaming) and a straightfoward, well run adventure made this a nice game. Welcome to AmberCon GMing, Richard! This was a quality debut.

Slot 3 -- Nine Losers in Akron -- Michael Curry brought the dark, twisted humor of kill puppies for satan to a low-class, no-taste recast of the Amber royal family. Satanic low-lives torment domestic animals in service of darker powers and control of the family. Well, I was playing Eric and so control of the family was a bit deal to me. Lots of disturbing, reprehensible behavior.

Slot 4 -- My Life with Corwin -- Following Michael's use of an indie RPG for a recast was my own similar effort. I have to admit I wasn't quite as prepared as I hoped to be, and was less than totally familiar with the system I was using, My Life with Master. I didn't send character generation advice in advance of the con, so time was used getting that done in the slot. I made a couple wrong rules callings (one of which I just discovered looking at the errata on the web) and had some problems in timing... MLWM is a tricky game to fit into a convention timeslot, and I miss-estimated timing, making the endgame unreachable. I was helped by great players and I hope there was creepy fun had by all. I know I'm hoping to run this again now that I think I've found my MLWM-legs.

Slot 5 -- The Jewel of Zhong Kui -- Michael Curry GMing again, this time using the Success system to re-create an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures (I was playing El Toro, masked wrestler supreme). We were all a little punchy and giggly from the weekend, but a nice little story occurred despite us. Lots of catch phrases were employed, and when the game ended early, we had some nice post-con conversation until the others started coming in from their games as well and the weekend came to its inevitable end.

TBR is always a good con, with some clever and unique gaming. This year, we added to that a chance to meet Ginger and Bryant face-to-face, and even game a bit with Bryant. We must do more of that!

Now it's time for me to start thinking about AmberCon North in Toronto this September.

Posted by ghoul at June 27, 2004 08:17 PM

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>> TBR 2004 post-con report, part 2 from Flaming Monkey
Now for the games themselves, the descriptions of which can be found in the TBR 2004 gamebook. My thanks to all of my GMs and players for helping to make it a fun con. Slot 1: Le Cygne: The Lost... [Read More]

Tracked on June 30, 2004 09:01 PM


I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed both Nine Losers and Jewel, despite my being woefully underprepared for the latter. And yes, I did have creepy fun in My Life With Corwin, even if we didn't make it to the endgame (and my character pulled a midgame death spiral). MLwM is definitely something I'd like to play again.

Posted by: Michael at June 28, 2004 08:36 PM

That death spiral's fix is, in fact, the rule I discovered in the errata. No such effect occurs. (That is, if you lose Love, your Self Loathing stays where it was rather than declining to your new Reason + Love total.)

That would certainly have made you more of an effective guard in those late scenes.

Posted by: Ghoul at June 29, 2004 12:47 PM

Yes, it would have definitely made me a lot more effective during the latter stages of the game. Now we know, I guess. Where's that errata posted anyway? I should get myself a copy....

Posted by: Michael at June 30, 2004 07:23 PM

Check at http://www.halfmeme.com/annotate.html for the three errata.

Posted by: Ghoul at June 30, 2004 08:02 PM

Thanks for the kudos!

It was great having you as a player and next time around I hope I am free to join you in some creepy fun.

Posted by: RIch at July 1, 2004 03:16 PM

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