Albin Johnson Wow! FrontierCon finally happened. It's over and part of history, and what a blast! We saw a great bunch of people show up and a kick-ass series of gaming sessions! I can't begin to tell how much fun we had, and Dean Bailey's folks definitely made us feel at home at their pastoral ranch home. The large basement rec room was the perfect casual setting, the home itself was huge and the surrounding land beautiful. And Dean's family fed us like we were royalty! Breakfast every morning to put Shoney's to shame. And family so friendly. Many thanks, Dean. Lots of old faces, but some very cool new faces too. At last the con-going crowd got to meet Joe McKeon, Clark Valentine, Gary Hart, and David Little. Not too shabby! These guys ended up stealing the show. I trust no one will soon forget the surprise appearance of Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger himself at the con, donning the guise of our own lovable Joe. But the weekend wasn't without its perils. The stairs into the basement proved to be more dangerous than we thought. The woods behind the house were frequented by roving bladder-fiends. And from my own empirical observation I can safely report that each and every gamer snores (except for Brad and Vandi - they slept in a separate room so I didn't get to observe their snoring) so the basement at night sounded like a pit of growling QuickDeaths. Regardless, it was fun for all. Literally non-stop immersion in the gaming world - Dean's folks and Troy were kind enough to go out and bring in food during the lunches so there were almost no interruptions in the high-adventure atmosphere from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. For the record: number of attendees: 13 number of first-timers: 4 attendees driving: 9 attendees flying: 4 farthest trip: Brad and Vandi, from Denver shortest trip: Dean, who was staying in Amherst anyways games originally planned for the 2-day event: 4 games finally scheduled for the 2-day event: 8 games actually run in 2 days: 11 hours sleep per night for the average attendee: 5.5 number of sausage biscuits offered at breakfast: 45 number of sausage biscuits after Joe McKeon work up: 27 victims of the stairs: 2 (Joe and Troy) victims of the 'invisible' folding doors leading to the upstairs bathroom: 1 (Jason) times Dean Bailey broke down and laughed during 'Kill the Bad Guy' after being told his character couldn't laugh: 2 number of space-happy Dral stewards who attacked PC's: 4 most unlikely hero: Jason's Vrusk 'Ziska', who took out 50% of the bad guys in a game where his scientist was escorted by two big enforcer PC's number of player-characters to get laid in the weekends' games: 2 Got your own favorite memory of FrontierCon? Send it on and share the love with the group. Thanks for a great weekend, folks!
Brad McMillan Soft drinks consumed: three coolers full closest civilization: 14 miles worst traveling experiences: I'll nominate us (but Joe seems to have a case, too. So, Joe, did your return trip end up as bad as ours????) number of female characters played by Dean: three number of neuter characters played by Dean: one number of male characters by Dean: none > hours sleep per night for the average attendee: 5.5 gee, you're being generous!
More from Brad: DAMN, WHAT A WEEKEND! For those of you who missed it, I'm more than happy to gloat about what a wondrous time that Vandi and I had gaming until the wee hours at Dean's folks with a KICKASS group of gamers. Got to sit back down with the faces we were already familiar with and looking forward to gaming with again (Al Johnson, Dean Bailey, Andy Campbell, Troy Cheatham, Jason Hawkes, Alan Isom, Frank Patnaude), got to meet others from the PBEMs I'm involved with (Clark Valentine, Joe McKeon, Gary Hart), and meet some new faces (David & Barbara Little). Dean's folks were incredibly accommodating and generous (tell them thanks from us again, Dean!), and the gaming was just flat-out fun. We actually managed to get in about 11 games. I can't speak for the rest of the group, but Vandi and I had a blast running games and playing (Clark, Andy, Frank...dudes, those were great!). Assorted thoughts from the Con: 1) Joe McKeon is NOT his character from "Life in the Space Lanes." Not in any way, shape, or form. 2) The "Kaboomite Maneuver" from SciConIII LIVES! Clark, you bad boy! 3) Don't lick the protomatter. 4) Jack Black (Troy Cheatham) is the poster child for Clikk conveyance. 5) There's a point where "suspense" becomes flat-out panic (knew that Zuraqqor Battlecruiser was a bad idea!!!). 6) It's apparently a really big deal who gets to open up the kitchen door (Vandi and Troy's 10-minute in-character argument was a classic) 7) Ifshnits can pass as butt-ugly Human children on Clarion. "I WANT MY MOMMY!!!!' :-) 8) Dean didn't get to kill anyone until late Saturday evening, and then he couldn't hit anything. AND he was the only one who got shot in the party. 9) Don't force fighters to open up a can of whoop-ass on your battleship (it ain't pretty). 10) Joe McKeon IS Ar-nuld in disguise. 11) Mechwarrior Mad scientists are no match for Gary Hart (and others). 12) "Kill the Bad Guy, Rescue the Girl, etc." was frightening to witness. Had to be the funniest adventure ever played at a Con. 13) "Dean, whatever you do, DON'T laugh!" (Sigourney Weaver has no sense of humor). 14) Al, dude, good job organizing. 'Nuff said. 15) Synchronized snoring. 'Nuff said. 16) An evening of sustained belly laughs are good for what ails ya. 17) Nothing beats a burning Valentina (Clarion) at night. Andy, get your stuff together for that system - it rocked! 18) The "Black Dancer" is fine, but nothing beats the "Pink Frilly." 19) We're not going to go where Dick was. 20) Al takes care of his players. You know what we're talking about. What has your Referee done for YOU lately?
Gary Hart Having not attended one in the past I did not know what to expect, but needless to say everyone was friendly, had loads of fun, ate tons of food and snacks and played non stop Star Frontiers. I would have to say it was one of the best face to face gaming sessions that I have ever been involved with and was close to busting a spleen on the last night playing in Clark's "Kill the Bad Guy, Rescue the Girl, etc." game. I've never laughed so much for so long and it was great watching Dean trying not to bust out in a fit of laughter since it meant there was a change he would take a negative combat modifier. I also got to meet 3 of the other players of the Life in the Space Lanes PBEM game that Albin Johnson is running and would also have to agree that Joe McKeon is nothing like his character in the game and does a great impression of Arnold. Another fun part of the weekend was the time spent driving up to Lynchburg with Albin Johnson, Alan Isom, David and Barbara Little. We talked the whole way up and back. Thanks to everyone who made it a wonderful weekend, especially Al and Dean - Great Job!!!! Dean thank your parents and wife for everything they did!
Into the Light
A Write-Up of the Game's Event's
By Vandi Williams, the game's referee
Into the Light… …as played by: Gary Hart, Andy Campbell, Clark Valentine, Alan Isom, Dean Bailey, Albin Johnson, Troy Cheatham, and Brad McMillan at FrontierCon. It all started when that chick put the green crystal rod in the hole down in the heart of an alien outpost on some lost world where people ran around in suits of armor. That seems like over a year ago now… Suddenly, the party was transported to a place of nebulous vapors where its members were swarmed by a race that called itself the Clikk. Its mission was to create a new universe in the alternate dimension in which the party was now trapped. Its building blocks were coming from our own universe, starting with the Frontier. The next scene: characters awoke in a white room with no apparent doors or windows. They were stripped of all their gear, and they felt like a Mac truck hit them at 80 mph. Those who sported hair looked a bit like castaways. They estimated that a couple of weeks had apparently passed, although they had no memory of them. Troy's character was Clikk-free at least. A little searching uncovered a couple of hidden doors, and the characters found their way out of their cell, back to the shapeless world of colorless mists. A light glowed in the distance, and the characters made their way toward it, noting that the building from which they had emerged resembled nothing so much as a big wasp's nest. Before long, they saw a river of light. As they approached, their hair literally stood on end, and their skin crawled with electricity. Down the river, they saw two humanoid figures. As the figures approached, several huge blobs of glowing energy-nicknamed haystacks by players who were by now thirsty for a fight-emerged from the river and attacked. The haystacks (actually called Sarquoi by the Clikk, but who cares what they think?), had the power to pound and paralyze, which they did with mindless efficiency. The approaching humanoids each had Clikks perched on their heads, and we all know what that means. Without a second glance at the haystacks, half the party launched themselves at the Clikk-controlled humans. One of them got away, but the other was wrestled to the ground, the Clikk torn from it. The human died from the trauma. Despite the pain of grasping the thorny Clikk, and the even more intense pain of approaching the river of light, Andy's character shoved the Clikk into the stream where it disappeared without a sound. (Too bad Dan's character wasn't there to stick his character's tongue in the stream.) The haystacks disappeared with the Clikks, giving the party a chance to figure out how they were going to get away with some of the now-paralyzed party members before the Clikk that got away returned with reinforcements. Unfortunately, they failed. A few turns later, a dozen haystacks appeared, surrounding the characters. The noose started to tighten. From out of nowhere, a Clikk appeared. Now, Clikks all look pretty much alike-oversized, spiny katydids with a long feelers and a grayish cast-but this one was wearing a necklace of gems. It stood on its hind legs and waved its forelegs grandly. The haystacks halted. The Clikk waved again, and the haystacks retreated and vanished. Then, it gesticulated at an odd angle with its legs, floating in the air, as if pointing the characters in a specific direction. Then it disappeared. The players, being players, of course immediately went in the direction indicated by their current mortal enemy. Now, during the events that led to this point, players, being players (and this group was particularly quick on the uptake), noticed that they could move in ways they hadn't expected (with the exception of Troy's character, who gets brownie points for tenacity). With enough thought, for example, one could fly (gently, slowly, but fly nonetheless). With even more thought (and some background knowledge), one could create simple objects; pipes, daggers, and the like. So, the characters surged forward, and the players merrily bombarded their poor GM with shouts of, "I'm gonna make a….!" At last they came to a cave. Their paralyzed party members started moving again, and so did the party after a rest. They came to another hive-looking building, but this one was much bigger, and had swarms of Clikks coming and going all around it. Despite the odds, they managed to sneak their way into the pod. They found a couple of rooms filled with what they identified as being components for navigation systems used on starships. Before they could go deeper into the pod (and really get themselves into trouble), the necklaced Clikk appeared again. It waved its feelers softly and made a nice chirping noise. With a gesture, food and water appeared at the characters' feet. Upon the characters' positive reaction, several mounds of gems (well, actually, pretty rocks) appeared before them. That's when the Clikk decided to get personal. Andy's character started talking to it, so Andy's character was the one it approached. Slowly. At last, when it was apparent that the Clikk intended to climb on board, Andy's character (who had been threatening to squish the Clikk from the moment it appeared) chickened out. Troy's character stepped in and agreed to host the Clikk. At last able to communicate with the party, the Clikk explained that he represented a small faction that believed that destroying the characters' universe was wrong. He wanted to tell them how to stop the destruction and then would transport them back to their own universe. The characters agreed, but first wanted to make a pit stop to gather their gear. Nal-fre-Gott (I'll bet you didn't know that Clikks had names, did you?) led them to a smaller pod filled with mounds of garbage. After fighting off a giant, acid-spitting centipede, the party found much of its gear and headed toward its final destination. Braving the pain of being close to the protomatter stream once again, the characters fought their way into a chamber containing the machinery that actually stole and transformed the matter from the prime dimension. Nal-fre-Gott's eyes were damaged in the battle, so the characters had to solve a visual puzzle before reinforcements arrived. (Yes, the players sweated when I put a bunch of little pieces of paper in front of them, told them to make diamonds over circles, and then wouldn't tell them how much time they had to solve it. But they were a brilliant bunch; it shouldn't surprise anyone that they managed to solve the problem in a little over 90 seconds, which gave them 490 to spare!) With that, Nal-fre-Gott disengaged from Troy's character and sent them to their own universe. Of course, Nal-fre-Gott had no clue where he was transporting them except that it was "a large world with many ships coming and going." They appeared, tired and weak, on a hanger deck filled with Hummas in military dress. Hummas, being the excitable lot they are, drew their weapons and demanded the characters drop to the floor. Fortunately, they agreed. An officer approached and requested an explanation. He was told that the intruders had appeared out of thin air. "What shall we do with them, sir?" "Shoot 'em!" was the reply. I guess I'll have to get started on part three now, huh?
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