Emerald City Gamefest is here

This year’s Emerald City Gamefest, Seattle’s foremost free, family, fun gaming event will be held on July 2nd from 10:00 am – 6:30 pm in the undercroft of the Church of the Redeemer, 6211 Northeast 182nd Street in Kenmore.  This year we are pleased to announce that we will be offering our gamer garage sale at the same time, so if you are looking to sell games you don’t want, or give a good home to someone else’s unwanted games, come on by and check it out!

As always, we are looking for people to run games at our event.  If you want to run a board, card, or roleplaying game at the gamefest, see the information on game registration


Thanks to Everyone!

Thanks to everyone who attended this year’s Emerald City Gamefest!  On behalf of all the members of the Flying Committee, we hope you enjoyed yourselves, and look forward to seeing you next year!

What do you think of this monkey?

Here’s a preview of the art for this year’s Emerald City Gamefest (click on the image to see larger version).

At the last Gamefest planning meeting, we decided to go with “frugal monkey” as the theme for our November 2009 game day. We figured that in these crappy economic times, a free game day was pretty good!

I’ve been asked to draw our flying monkey mascot accordingly, and I just came up with a draft (with my apologies to Norman Rockwell.)

All comments, critiques, suggestions, etc. are welcomed!

Recap: Viva Las Vegas, Part 1

Following the fun we had with the first episode of Knights of the Realm recently, I turned the game into a recurring online game played via Skype and open to drop-in players. If you missed the first episode, the premise is this:

Everyone is playing aging knights of the realm. Then dragons show up — that’s when they learn that by accepting knighthood they are heirs to an ancient, but very binding, obligation to do something about it.

Last Monday, we had a second game that involved Sir Michael Caine, Sir Tom Jones, Sir Mick Jagger, and Dame Jane Goodall. First, we went through the list of open plot items and new items the players were interested in adding. We ended up with:

  • Elvira as the Lady of the Lake (Lake Tahoe)
  • Save the world/Save the Queen
  • Embittered John Cleese returns!
  • Benefit concert — DragAid — as the knights seek help in Las Vegas

With this, we opened with the knights still using Sir Richard Branson’s experimental airship, this time to travel to Las Vegas. They had two goals: ostensibly, to be part of a benefit concert to raise money for the fight against dragons; and covertly, to retrieve a precious and arcane artifact on display at the Luxor as part of the Titanic exhibit: a Fabergé egg that MI7 believed might actually be a dragon’s egg.

Before departing, they stopped by to get equipment from Q, which included a Sir Microphone (the souped-up version of Mr. Microphone) for Sir Tom, and an unknown potion nicked by Sir Mick while no one was looking.

There were fewer dragons on the far side of the Atlantic, so travel was not too impeded. The heroes arrived in Vegas at night, greeted by fireworks (a little close to the airship!), paparazzi, and fans. Once they checked into the Luxor, they were all handed invitations to a meeting the next day, printed in gilt script on velum.

Bright and early the next morning, Dame Jane headed out to visit the Las Vegas Zoo — while the men were dragging themselves to get some sleep. At the zoo, she was recognized received a grand tour; she encountered Sally, a gorilla with some rudiments of sign language. Sally kept signing “Help”, “Hide,” and “Alone.” Jane’s sidekick Koko was upset, and her agitation got all the gorillas riled up; the zoo personnel asked Dame Jane to take Koko away. When they turned to leave, Sally added “Friend.”

Meanwhile, the other knights are awakened by room service around noon. Soon after, in the middle of breakfast, air raid sirens blared. The PA system came alive, asking guests to stay indoors and avoid outside areas like the pool and parking. Sir Tom immediately headed for the viewing platform at the top of the pyramid, mimosa in hand; Sir Michael follows with a mug of coffee. Sir Mick ran out front to see what was going on, somewhat drunk; he saw the shadow of a very large dragon onto the hotel tower.

Sir Tom tried to jump onto the dragon’s leg as it swoops past, and failed [he had no applicable skill, but that netted a learning point for the character]. He was caught in extremis by Sir Michael and found himself hanging down the side of the pyramid. Fortunately for him, he was able to slide down to the window immediately below — the suite occupied by by Adam West.

By this time, Dame Jane and Koko were returning from the zoo on the monorail, and saw the dragon swooping around. There was much screaming on board the monorail train.

The dragon heavily landed onto the sphinx that decorated the entrance to the Luxor, in front of Sir Mick. [This gave rise to a new piece of dragon lore in the campaign: “Dragons are like cats, they always try to fit where they can’t.”] Workers on the ground panicked, scattering. The dragon eyed the incoming monorail train, and decided to start swooping after it [I rolled randomly for targets].

Sir Michael took the lift down to the ground floor, while Sir Tom used a window-washing rig to make his more flamboyant way down. Sir Michael grabbed a bottle of scotch on his way to fortify himself with liquid courage, then tried to distract the dragon, but ended up a little worse for the wear. [He tried a social combat attack against the dragon using Biting Wit* but failed, and absorbed the damage with his quality Acting, which will be his plot hook for the next episode he shows up in.]

After swooping around the monorail, the dragon landed back on the sphinx, facing backwards to stare at Sir Michael. Sir Tom started climbing to reach the dragon’s leg [no skill, failed, earning another Learning Point]. Sir Mick did same with more success and managed to climb up the dragon’s tail [using Rolling Stone* plus Jumping Jack Flash!].

On board the train, Dame Jane makes her way to the front car and accessed the emergency override, closely watching the dragon. During all this to-do, Sir Michael suddenly remembered the Fabergé “dragon” egg, and on an impulse headed back inside the Luxor to get Security to open the case. [This longer action took him out of the immediate round-by-round action.]

The angry dragon threw Sir Mick off, into the air, and onto a limousine carrying a mafia boss and a couple of hookers. [Mark was using his Can’t always get what you want flaw to earn a Hero Point, and also received a plot hook by absorbing damage with Dancing in the Streets.] Meanwhile, Sir Tom succeeded in climbing onto the dragon’s leg as it took off again.

The dragon managed to belly-flop onto the monorail train just before the train got into the next station. The train came to a screeching halt under the dragon’s weight, pinned to the track mere yards away from the platform. Dame Jane started evacuating the terrified passengers, with Koko’s assistance.

Sir Tom pulled out his Sir Microphone gadget and started singing Thunderball, becoming 007-like. Channelling the super-spy’s lethal precision and martial arts abilities, he kidney-punched the dragon [for 4 levels of damage, using of course his Ultra-Lounge* quality], causing the creature amazing distress.

Sir Mick climbed down from the limo where he had landed [and spent a round and a Hero Point recovering from earlier damage], yanked the angry driver out, and hijacked the Lincoln — not a first for him. “See if you can fetch me a drink from the mini bar, that’s a sport,” he told the agitated passengers. He revved the engine, whipped around, and like a madman drove the limo onto the monorail platform to ram it into the dragon’s face. Blood spurted everywhere; the dragon’s last gasp set limo on fire.

Dame Jane and Koko saved the monorail passengers from the thrashing dragon as the beast dragged the car down off the rail with it. Sir Tom ran right over the top of the dragon and to the limo, opening the door to get Sir Mick out. Jagger rolled down the partition, telling the mobster and hookers: “All right, then, that’s your stop.”

As the knights stumbled away from the unconscious dragon and the wreckage of limo and monorail train, Sir Mick added: “Listen chaps… this hotel just isn’t working for me. I’m switching to the Bellagio.”

* * *

The next episode is Monday night via Skype and open to all. You can join in by contacting me; I will be on Skype by 6:30PM (Pacific Standard Time) to help people make characters, and the game will start at 7PM. It’s dead easy to have an excuse for new characters to jump in, don’t worry (and equally easy to explain why they are not there the next!) If you want to join us, go look at the big list of knighted celebrities posted by John, and pick one you’d like to play.

On the menu:

  • Elvira, Lady of Lake Tahoe
  • The benefit concert
  • The unknown potion Sir Mick nicked from Q
  • Sir Michael Caine’s Acting plot hook
  • Sir Mick Jagger’s Dancing In The Streets plot hook
  • Sir Tom Jones’ Charisma, Charisma, Charisma plot hook
  • The Fabergé “dragon’s egg”
  • Zoo creatures — what was Sally the gorilla’s message?
  • The London bridge
  • The Trinity, NM test site

Pre-program available!

The PDF file of the program is available for viewing on Scribd. A word of warning: the file is “imposed” for printing on tabloid-size paper, which means the pages are in the following order: 8, 1, 2, 7, 6, 3, 4, 5.

See over 40 games to choose from!

More Guests at ECG!

In addition to author Erik Scott de Bie, mentioned in a previous news release, we have more confirmed guests for this year’s Emerald City Gamefest game day on November 15. Also returning after his popular visit last year is Wolfgang Baur, well known for his Open Design Project, his work on D&D supplements, and his magazine Kobold Quarterly.

New to the event is artist and writer Tarol Hunt, author of the long-running comic Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes. You can see Tarol drawing live on Justin.tv.

Hosting a Story Game Lounge will be bloggers, podcasters, designers, and indie game enthusiasts Mickey of Geek Girls Rule! and Ogre of Stabbing Contest. We are extremely happy and grateful to have so many distinguished guests.

Author Erik Scott de Bie a guest at ECG!

Author Erik Scott de Bie has agreed to be our guest this year again. He is best known for his two Forgotten Realms novels, Ghostwalker and Depths of Madness as well as his FR short stories. Last year, Erik ran his Song of Ice and Fire game, “Wolfling in Distress,” and everyone had a great time. You can read Erik’s notes on last year’s event on his blog.  We’re delighted that he agreed to join us again for this year’s event!

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