Saturday morning we had to get up early for a 9AM appointment with Bill, John's counselor. That was cool; Bill's a very nice man and had some good insights to offer.
Afterwards, we had a little time to kill before jordangreywolf's game. I was dressed up for the game already, in an old-fashioned-looking black velvet suit with a full skirt and black neckscarf over a white shirt. John wanted to get some pictures, so we went outside and I did a bunch of poses. Then he suggested some with the truck, and I pointed out that I'd brought my bikini with me. Which led to me changing and a bunch of bikini-girl-on-truck pictures. This was a little weird for me. First, the temperature was high-50s or so; it wasn't too cold in the sun, but standing on the concrete in bare feet definitely reminded me this was not bikini weather. Second, I am very definitely overweight right now. I'm as heavy as I've ever been in my life. So John would take a picture of me and say "That came out great! Here, look."
And I'd look at it: "Gah! I'm huge." At one point, I told him, "Don't worry. It's not your camera or photography making me look fat. It's my fat that makes me look fat."
We got some pictures of him, too. Scowling and smiling and doing other expressions. It was fun.
After a bit, we headed out to the game at Greywolf's. gwendelkitty (of course!) John Z and Russ also came, making for a nice-sized group. The game was awesome.
The scenario premise was that the characters were all gathered on October 31, 1929 at the house of a wealthy, deceased man on to hold a seance to contact him, nominally to find out where his will was. Russ and I played pre-gen characters Greywolf had constructed specifically for the scenario. I picked Berta Tvardosky, a cheerily creepy young woman with a fascination for blood and violence. Russ played Mr. Walters, the elderly butler. Gwendel played Madame Zoe, the psychic conducting the seance. JZ played Mr. Hutchinson, his aviator character intended for the pulp game that would follow in later sessions. John played an Irish-Catholic boxer-turned-PI named Michael Shane Patrick Sean Donaldson (or something like that), "but me boxing name was 'Mickey Finn', because when Mickey Finn hits ye," *smacks fist into hand* "yer down fer the count."
I've rarely seen so many players do such a good job of playing in character. Hutchinson had a disad of "Big Mouth", which JZ played up by babbling frequently and piping in with remarks at inopportune times. Russ's butler spoke very slowly and deliberately, with a deep voice and a magnificent air of resignation. John did a splendid job with Mickey's Irish accent, and delivered some great threats, really nailing the part of former boxer. And Madame Zoe was amazing. One of the best parts of the game: during the seance scene, the dead man, Pan Tvardosky, possessed Zoe. Jordan played Pan-speaking-through-Zoe, responding to our questions and relating his evil plan. While Jordan spoke, Gwendel mimed speaking, doing gestures and giving matching her expression to his words. I was doing most of the talking to Pan, because my PC was the only PC who'd known him in life, and I was seated on the other side of the room from Gwendel, so Jordan was looking at me and couldn't see her. At one point, I had to interrupt him: "Jordan! You have to look at Gwendel! You're missing her whole performance, and she's doing a better job of playing Pan than you are."
It was a wonderful one-shot adventure that'd make a great convention session. Another fun part: Pan's evil plan was to force the PCs and several of the NPCs to play a 'game' where the goal was to be the last survivor, while a number of undead tried to kill them all. The survivor would live and inherit everything, while Pan was to get resurrected during the ritual, too. (I kind of had the feeling that Pan planned to possess the survivor, but I never found out if this was true or not.) Most of the PCs tried to thwart the whole game and destroy Pan, but Russ's butler decided to play to win it instead. He started by pushing Madame Zoe down the coal chute, then killed one of the NPCs and stole her heart and youth. When we defeated Pan, Pan's evil power went to Mr. Walters and he became the new boss mob. The game ended with PCs stabbing him through the heart and pinning him to the door of the altar room. It was magnificent. Russ was a good sport about it, too.
During the game, I colored "Sometimes You Fly", the sketch I'd done for John's birthday. We were still playing when I finished coloring, so I drew the "Johnni 2008" picture idea I'd had and colored that too -- it was a much simpler concept.
After the game, Jordan put on an anime DVD he'd checked out from the library: "Tokyo Godfathers". It was about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby. Gwendel, Jordan, John and I watched it. It was pretty good; one thing I noted with amusement was that the baby cried a lot. Probably still not as much as the average real baby, but it was a nice change from the typical baby-as-prop treatment that infants in fiction receive.
By the time that finished, I was done with my second drawing and pretty sleepy, so John and I went back to his place.
Sunday, I packed up my stuff, and we loaded it into the truck. We went to Panera to get some food, and to All Fired Up as soon as it opened at noon to paint pottery. In the past, I've traced some of my existing art on to pottery to paint. This trip, I hadn't brought my regular sketchbook, just the oversized one that was empty except for "Sometimes You Fly". I didn't even have that with me, since I'd given it and the other new piece to John and left them at his house. I doodled a bit on some paper scraps, and finally settled on doing an angel against a background of night sky. I used masking tape cut into little triangles and squares to mask off bits of the sky for stars, and did the sky in purple and black. I'm curious how it'll look after it's fired, but I won't know until I come back in March.
John had a black-and-white ink drawing of a tentacled vixen-girl that was very striking, and he freehanded that design onto a small plate. It was coming out well, though he hadn't finished it by the time we had to leave. He's planning to go back on Tuesday to finish it. He had two other items to pick up while we were there, a Sasta plate he'd had re-fired due to spider-webbing in the glaze (re-firing fixed it nicely), and a Sasta chopstick-plate that looked very nice. Cyn, the store manager, called the attention of another customer to him. "Look at these, he does great work. Very anime-style."
Customer: "Oh! That's really good. Are you a professional artist?"
John: "I am now!"
ladyperegrine and her daughter were able to drop by while we were there, to my delight. They painted a gecko statuette in green, with big pink dots on its back and yellow marks between its toes. It was quite striking and looked good.
My flight left at 5PM, so we packed up to leave the shop at 3:15. Which wasn't a bad time to go anyway, as a party of 21 twelve-year-olds had taken over much of the shop at that time. (Though they were well-behaved and other than the noise level increasing due to more people, it was fine.) No problems with the flight back. All in all, a short but lovely trip. I like being able to take weekend trips; so much less fuss and planning required when I don't have to take time off from work.