I got my "wake-up call" at about 10AM, when barbx's author, Anthony, let us know he was starting over. Anthony is an old friend of mine from when we both lived in Ohio. He lives in Florida now, about an hour's drive from John's place, and this was the first time I'd seen him in around nine years. (!)
Of course, koogrr had already been awake for hours by the time he got the call, being an Orlando native who doesn't need sleep. But I was somewhat groggy that morning, since I'm not native to Orlando and do need sleep, and hadn't slept very well in an unfamiliar place (not to mention staying up rather late). Anthony got there around 11AM, and the three of us sat around talking. Anthony showed me his PDA and fold-out keyboard, with which I attempted the post last Saturday. I think I'd still rather have a laptop* with a good keyboard, as the PDA wasn't well suited to typing on my lap (as I usually do). We considered watching "The Cat Returns", which Anthony had brought on DVD, but we only had a couple of hours before the game, so we simply talked away the time instead. I got to see pictures of Anthony's wife and baby (so cute!)
John also showed us a litle of Grand Theft Auto, which I'd never seen before and was curious about. We also went to the store to pick up some staples for the house (like Diet Coke for me) and some munchies for the game.
At about one o'clock, I drove us over to jordangreywolf's house for the game.
The game was awesome. I can't remmeber the last time I had so much fun at a tabletop RPG. I played Jing Li, an anthropomorphic vixen going through an identity crisis. I'm not sure I got her personality across well, but everyone else seemed happy with my performance. One cool thing is that I've been following the adventures of the characters in this RPG by reading the summary posts in bitzbox. So I had no trouble remembering who the other characters were, and I knew what my character had been through previously. That made it much easier to follow the game and how our current actions correlated with prior events. John's character, Kathmandu, was stuck in his "little white cat" form for the entire adventure, which meant that he had a hard time doing anything in combat. (Although his character played a critical role in the final big combat of the day, which was way cool). But the neat part about this was that my charcater, Jing Li, had a close but difficult relationship with Kathmandu, because she often felt like she wasn't so much a person as a pet, or a tagalong. Having him in stuck in his weakest form made her feel a strong sympathy for him, and Jing Li spent most of the session trying to protect him and make sure he was okay. She also got some chances to help Rose -- another character she's had the same sense of being "taken care of" by, and feels ambivalent about -- when Rose was in trouble. So the whole session, I thought, made Jing Li feel much more competent and useful than she had in the past.
The other players present were also way cool. Anthony did a great job with the NPC he was given, Captain John Scion. Scion was a newcomer to the group, but Jordan gave him a quick summary of useful information, so the rest of us had a lot of reasons to talk to him in-character, which was neat. I didn't know the other two players in the group before Saturday, but both of them were good roleplayers with quirky and interesting characters. playfuleye's character was fun to watch, as it seemed like she had all the non-combat skills: she'd be gleefully hacking up and repairing equipment as we got to things that didn't work, or worked in ways we didn't want them to. ("Someone get this door open!") Rose opened one door by giving it a good swift quick: beware the kicks of little girls. ;) Ferrari, the last PC, also had some good if strange lines. (On finding a robotic targeting eye among some equipment: "I want it in my head!") As a whole, the group stuck together and worked together, which was especially nice for such a large group.
Anyway, I expect there'll be a session summary up in bitzbox at some point, so I won't do any more of the geeky recounting of favorite session bits. (Although recapping the last conversation with Rose/Scion/Jing Li is tempting).
Jordan had tons of food for the game, including a tasty fresh-cooked stir fry and rice. :9 I ate a lot of home-cooked food this trip, which thrilled me, because usually on trips I eat out too much and all the fatty foods make me sick.
I actually had a headache and was groggy through much of the game, a fact that has largely blurred out of my mind with memories of how much fun the roleplaying was. Anthony suggested I might be dehydrated, since he has a problem with not getting enough water when traveling. So I drank a lot more water and started to feel better within an hour or two. I must remember this in the future.
The game ran from 2PM until 11PM, when Anthony had to get going or he'd be too tired to drive. John and I hung around for a little while and Jordan showed me a small fraction of his collection of miniatures, many of which I'd heard about. Seeing them in person, where I could see all the details and look at them from different angles, was a lot of fun.
Around 11:30 or so, John and I went home, where we talked for a few hours because this is Orlando and why would anyone go to bed before 3AM?
* As it turns out, I still don't have a laptop. Not only did it never show up, but the guy I bought it from never emailed me back when I asked him what had happened. I called my credit card company today and disputed the charge for it. I've never done that before -- it was sooo easy! They credited my account back immediately. Unless the laptop actually shows up, that should be the end of it. I'll keep a close eye on my credit card for the next few weeks, just to make sure that the charge doesn't pop up again.