Ember Dev Blog, Part 6!

Okay, Free RPG Day is over and I made it through alive! God I’m so tired. I was up late the night before (like, 4:30 AM), doing editing for the re-release of the Player’s Guide. So I got the briefest of shut-eye and ran off to play games at The Foundry at 10:00 AM. That means I was up at 8:30 for a haircut at 9:00. Unfortunately the entire damned town picked that exact time to do the same thing, and they all called ahead of me to reserve a spot. So the quick in-and-out that I was expecting didn’t happen and I wasn’t waiting 20 minutes to get worked in. So I shined myself up as best I was able and ran to get a quick bite of breakfast at the deli.
9:00 AM is too late to get good breakfast.
The eggs were dry crumbles and the bacon was really the only edible thing they had left. I paid $6.00 for that and a coke. The day was hardly looking up.
I arrived at The Foundry 20 minutes early to set up to find it was locked up tight. But it wasn’t too warm out yet, so I sat in my car and waited until the lights came on. It was 9:55 when they let me in, and honestly I figured they wouldn’t have cut things so close. As it turns out I didn’t have much to worry about.
Once I was allowed inside I found my table and got ready. I was the only one there for a good little while, but I slowly saw people drifting in. Mostly Magic: The Gathering players, and they all seemed super excited. One guy (an adult!) was hopping up and down in glee after some event that I’m not sure I even saw, but there he was. I decided not to investigate further. I’m glad he’s happy though.
Eventually, a man approached me asking if I was running “Embers”. I smiled and said “Close enough, yeah. That’s me.” He then told me that his kids were wanting to play and wondered if I would let them. I asked “how kids are we talking about?” He told me they were 8 and 11. Ouch. I explained that the game was written with an older audience in mind, but I was pretty sure I could tone things down to be suitable for them if they wanted to check it out. I’m sure this sounded silly, because here I was with a game where you play fuzzy critters and an adventure plainly labeled “Cookie!” right on the cover. “How messed up could it be?” I heard him think.
Boy was I unprepared for this. He joined the game with his wife who had never played a tabletop RPG before, and characters were selected. I then launched into the game making certain edits for age-appropriate content.
These kids, these sweet, innocent kids of the tender ages of 8 and 11, were slobbering monsters.
The first thing they did when they got to Cookie’s house, rather than knock on the door, decided to kick it down and storm in (the door held, and I treated it as if they had knocked like normal human beings). They then proceeded to steal some of her curios while she was in the kitchen, and the little girl – the EIGHT YEAR OLD – wanted to kill her and set fire to her house!
The parents intervened at this point, and advised them that there was a story here and that they should follow it. Eventually some other kids came along that knew the pair, and the two hellions lost interest and wandered away to do something fun. Thank god. As an aside, I got a call in the middle of the game from one of my regular players asking if we were gaming today. I told him we were, and that I was currently in Paragould at the game store, and would be in Walnut Ridge at 4:00 PM if he wanted to make the game.

Once the game was over (and the parents thanked me and told me they’d had a great time, I packed up and went to get food before my afternoon session in Walnut Ridge 20 miles away. I was still pooped and needed about 4 more hours of sleep before I’d be whole again, but the show must go on. I dropped into one of my favorite diners and fell victim to the old trap of my eyes being larger than my stomach, as dad used to say. This Ozempic I’m on tricks you into feeling full all the time, and when you eat anything, you feel stuffed. I found the next level beyond stuffed. I immediately felt sick and came home to relax, poop… a LOT, as it happens… and get some relaxation in before making the drive to the next town. At one point I was going to call and tell the people at Eclectic Geekery that I was feeling too rough to make it today, but that wouldn’t have been right. The show must go on, and all like that.

So I drag myself into town and note that there aren’t a lot of people there. Usually there are cars on game day. Entering, I really start to feel the lack of sleep, and I stagger to my appointed table. Someone asked me if I felt okay, to which I lied and said yes. I was up against a DCC game at the same time, and I expected players to come in any time. However, that didn’t happen. The store was oddly empty, especially for a day like today. I wandered around a bit and harrassed the owners for fun. They told me that a new M:TG expansion dropped THAT DAY right on top of Free RPG Day, and that it was supposed to have hit the Saturday before. Essentially, WotC killed this event with their bullshit across the entire country. Because they’re dicks. Every day I find another reason to not like them as a company. And just when I feel like they’ve hit rock-bottom, the bastards start to dig.
Long story short, nobody showed up for the game, but I didn’t let it bother me. It happens sometimes. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again. It just means I get a day off is all.
One other thing, there was a woman at the bookstore doing a book signing. She was there with a drop-dead gorgeous friend that I find myself thinking about a lot and that I’ll never see again. I got to talk to them for a little bit and even showed off some of my own work. That was fun, and the high point of my day.

Did I say that was the high point of my day? No, no. I finally made it back home in the 95 degree heat and staggered into my bedroom. I exploded out of my clothes, turned on the AC, and fell dead into my bed for the next 14 hours. THAT was the high point of my day. The ending. The part where it ended. The bedtime nope-nope nap-nap. It was glorious. I hope nothing important happened while I was refrigerating.

I spend almost the entirety of Sunday in bed because I was still feeling the hangover from the day before. Finally, I threw on some clothes to get a bite to eat and came out to the studio. I noticed that there was surprisingly little electricity in the house, which means there had been a power failure. Which means that the entire studio needed a reboot. Which means that my home network was currently fscked and needed a manual reboot as well. Fortuantely, all the network equipment for the entire property was installed behind a large console CRT television where it would be out of the way.
Yeah, I’m a fucking genius I tell ya.
Apparently some putz, some dick, some yo-yo… had been left unsupervised and ran their car into a utility pole taking out most of the neighborhood for about 30 minutes. I must not live right. At any rate, the power is restored, the network is back up, almost no work was lost, and I’m mostly recovered.

I wanted to have the 1.0 version of the Player’s Guide in Preflight by tonight, but that’s not happening. I’m taking the time to squeeze in three more color images and refactor all the loose tables (that is, all but the leveling tables), into a consistent format. I’m also finding numerous formatting erros along the way, which surprised me. As I told a friend today, the word “consistency” keeps coming to mind. So that’s what I’m doing tonight as soon as I finish this post. I may get this into Preflight but… nah, I won’t. Not tonight. Those three images will be 8 hours at least, so maybe by tomorrow? We’ll see. The book will be SO much better for it.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. I’ll keep you all posted with breaking news and late reports!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart