Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter War Journal 2012 (Day Three): The Reckoning . . . or Something

My final day at Winter War was a bit more subdued.  With only two slots in the day, I only signed up for a session on the second slot.  In previous years, trying to make it to church and actually remember what my family looked like was problematic Sunday morning, so I decided to eliminate the first slot from my agenda.

My last session was a Mutants and Masterminds game predicated on being a super hero team in the town where the con is going on, which also happens to be a college town.  I have some mixed feelings about the session, and it's taken me a few days to figure out what was nagging at me, at least specifically.

Overall, I had fun.  I have been more than guilty of running an over the top comedic session.  I had a lot of fun being the guy with the highest deception score to explain to the media how our horrendous mistakes really weren't mistakes at all.

When I pinpoint what made me uncomfortable, I'd have to say, it wasn't the off color jokes.  Those come up a lot in various games I've been in.  I think it was the fact that sexual jokes were "a" joke in the session, they were the primary joke, and that was uncomfortable for more than one reason.

One reason was that I became very aware of various people casually checking out the session as their own got over.  Including younger gamers.  I really didn't think it was a good thing for anybody that didn't sign up for an "off color" session to have to wander into some of the more raunchy parts of that session.

The other thing that got to me had to do with my character coming close to being compelled to do something very specific sexually.  This one made me think a lot, because my Space Wolf in my regular Death Watch game was recently enthralled by some Daemonettes, and it would seem to be a similar situation.  Heck, I put some of my own M&M players through some uncomfortable moments that had to do with romantic or amorous entanglements.  So what was the difference?

First, in a long term campaign, you can read your players and their characters, and what is and isn't fair game.  Second, there is a difference between taking someone to the well and holding their head under so that they "drink."

Maybe this isn't a problem for other people, but I think that that level of intimacy, compelling someone to have their character do something fairly explicit, is right out for a convention game.  I guess that's as much as I can put a finger on my discomfort.  Well, that, the fact that there were random gamers wandering in and out of the room including younger ones, and the fact that there wasn't really any kind of disclaimer on the event.

Again, I'm not trying to be prudish, it just kind of took me broadside, and made me feel kind of . . . icky?

Just so I don't present the wrong image, I did have a lot of fun in the session, its just that there was one particular scene in the game that was a problem, and the incessant single note sexual humor did start to get annoying.  The goofy mishaps and screw ups were a lot of fun.

This also brings up something I have started to notice.  I'm thinking I may just try to find an afternoon/late evening mass to go to, because that last session of the convention seems be kind of a downer.  Everyone is worn down, tired, and a little punchy, and, at least for me, knowing that the end of the session is an honest to goodness "drop dead" point seems to loom heavily over the game.  I may schedule the first session and skip the afternoon one in the future.

After the last session, I missed the Gopher Swarm to pack up the booth, but I caught up with the swarm to reassemble the store.  My wife and I were worn out and hadn't seen one another for a while, and we needed to make sure the dog and the house were still standing, so we missed out on the Gopher After Party, such as it might have been, but honestly, I was worn out.

Since this is the wrap up of the whole weekend, I'd just like to say thank you to Don McKinney and his wife Susan for their diligent work in keeping the con going and running smoothly, all of the members of the convention staff, all of my GMs, because it can be a rough, thankless job, and regardless of any hiccups, I had fun in every session.  Also, thank you to all of my fellow Gophers for making life interesting.

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