Having had a week to reflect on the event, I'm still pretty sure I had a good time, and I'm pretty certain that I'll be going again (I'm even obsessing over costume and phys-reps). However in the traditions of these things (when did it become a tradition anyway?) I present my hits and misses of the weekend:
- The other crews.
- Failing to win a single game of poker all weekend.
- Having my honour defended by Skippy after being slapped round the face by a rich zhugou.
- Skippy's hat game.
- Doughnut's beer game (as a spectator).
- Chatting with the Moment of Clarity crew.
- Some very fine NPC performances
- A bunch of FOIP stuff ... but it was fun
- Somehow I seemed to have contrived to be wherever the plot wasn't ... as a consequence I really only heard about the dodgy going's on second hand. This is probably just dumb bad luck on my part.
- If there's "something in the forest" then there should actually be something in the forest other than a ref telling you about it. Players tend to be a fairly forgiving bunch when it comes to phys-reps, so some guy in a fun-fur coat and a werewolf mask would be a prefectly legitimate stand-in for a giant blue coyote. On the other hand, if you can actually produce a giant blue coyote then you get massive kudos points.
- Key forensic plot discoveries should really be made by the players rather than NPCs. Bringing in "CSI" every time there was an incident took away from the roleplaying experience rather than adding to it. Sometimes players need to be bullied into not passing the buck, but they have a better time for it.
- The band was, for me at least, an inconvenience. Granted this may just be me getting old and grumpy but it didn't really gel with the flavour of the background, which seems musically rooted in the 19th century for the most part. Also there was little for those of us not interested in watching/listening to do aside from play Skippy's hat game (see Shiny above).
- There seemed to be an awful lot of plot to deal with on Sunday morning/early afternoon. This isn't ideal when people are packing up to leave at various times. I have no idea what happened about the dodgy going's on because I was busy humping my kit down to the car.
- Given the state of the weather, I think that the organisers should really have paid a bit more attention to accommodation. I was very well catered for thankyouverymuch but others weren't so fortunate. The "advertising" for the event had made a fairly big thing about the site having indoor accommodation but there was very little in the way of concrete information to follow this up (see pre-game communication below) and a lot of people ended up sleeping on the floor in the rather rowdy main meeting/dining area while the "plot" area was, it seems, silent and empty next door to it.
- Pre-game communication from the ref team was diabolical the pre-event email contained very little in the way of useful information including details of the world it was set on and where it stood both physically and politically, nor did it contain any out of character information at all. Really if I had to identify the absolute weakest part of the event, this would be it.