Spring Convergence Summary: Plan? What Plan

Apr 19, 2010

The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy! — Robert Burns, 1785

As always, pre-planning results in deviation. Spring Convergence proved to be no exception. Kevin and I both planned to run specific games but as it turned out, neither of us did.

After packing in our supplies into the Mount Evans Field Station / High Altitude Lab, everyone got settled in for the weekend. The location could not have been nicer but it was remote. To start the weekend, several individuals engaged in a fruitless search for a cell phone signal. You know the scene — the wandering about holding up the phone hoping a signal will magically appear. Rather amusing from my point of view considering I’d already stated it was unlikely. Alas, I didn’t snap a single photo of the location or the first “hunt”. If we do it again, I’ll certainly pack a camera.

Thursday evening we got started playing with me running a Top Secret session. The plot idea was conceived from a book plot I’d read a few months prior. I was pretty certain none of the other players had read the book so felt pretty safe. Much like running modules, I faired poorly. I’ve never been good at the over-arching plot lines or pushing players down a path. Top that with them not expecting me to try to do so; the result was a room of frustrated players along with a cranky GM. I figured it would be a few hours of fast paced fun. I failed. It happens. I accept the blame for not getting the momentum of the game running quickly enough.

Friday was a mixed day. Early on, it was the repeated search for the cell signal from several players. Finally, they broke down and drove down the mountain until they found a signal. During and after the search, the bulk of the daylight hours were spent playing Magic: The Gathering thanks to Randall bringing up a box of decks. Most of us hadn’t played in a decade so it was a respite from the frustration I caused the previous night. Great fun for the afternoon.

Luke turned us back to RPG’s during the evening hours. We quickly generated characters for a 3rd Edition D&D campaign. He made it quick and painless even though Randi and I had only played it once previously and Wheels had never played. The game got us rolling again but I had to bow out early to get some sleep. To be honest, 11 p.m. is far from early to me these days but it was within the context of the weekend.

Saturday dawned early. Due to my double booking, I was headed out at about 7 a.m. for a robotics contest. Kevin chose to join me for the day while the others stayed behind to do as they chose. To make a long story short, the contest was a bust for my team. Known issues were still present and I chose to not try to battle through them. Friends and a cool location were a little over an hour away. I chose gaming over bots. Kevin and I bailed from the contest shortly before noon and headed back to the field station.

Upon Kevin and I arriving back at the field station, Luke wasted no time in getting the game rolling again. He had a plan and was working us along nicely. As with all games, I occasionally questioned the plot in the back of my head but never let that stop me. We took a break for yet another cell phone repast, much shorter than the last since everyone had finally found locations to make calls.

After a bit of pizza, the group chose to continue to play the D&D campaign. In reality, it was a non-decision. Characters were in play. Shifting games would have sucked up more hours. So Luke lead us along an undead filled, twisted plot. Little by little, he sucked every character into the game more fully. The group played until the wee hours of the morning. Somewhere after 2 a.m. I don’t recall the exact time. I’d call that success.

Kevin and I planned games. Neither of us ran them. Did it matter? Not in the slightest. I relearned something about my GM’ing capabilities. Kudos to Luke for stepping up and running a great campaign.

Everyone was very happy with the location even with a bit of a hike due to the snow. Small hiccups were present but nothing unexpected. We’ll likely be back based on the feedback I was given during and after the weekend.

Good fun. Good people. Good location. Great weekend.

With that, I’ll let the others comment on the experience. I had a great time and look forward to the fall.



  • I attack Randy!!!!!

  • Mark,
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think that the length of the day, especially for me, took some of the spunk out of me. Maybe next time we jsut get settled Thursday, roll characters, and jump all over things after a good nites rest. I know I had second thoughts on how I could have created some action. I was trying to think too much…..

    I am already looking forward to developing the halfling a little more if we go that way next time. Oh, and I already dug out my Justice deck, Merman deck, and I am keeping a surprise for everyone.

    Luke, that was fun. Odie, “Did you see the size of that Chicken?”

    And, last but not least, “It’s only Vodka”

    Peace. Off to the Ice Rink.

  • @Wheels: I’m not stressed about it. Sessions bomb on occasion and I didn’t get the game rolling quickly. I should have.

    And when you attack Randi… “You miss!”

    • I’ll reiterate the kudos to Luke for taking the bulk of the weekend and running away with it.

      The locale? superb.
      The people? the best.
      The gaming? Chock full of fun…. I may not have had a chance to bust out a game of Mad Scientist, but I did con Wheels into helping me make a couple prototupes. And heck, I even managed to win a game of M:TG after probably over a decade of retirement – how can I speak ill of that?

      Guess I’ll have to try for CoC another time. But I’m not complaining, so rarely do I speak of a gaming get-together when I’m not discussing running.

      As for the Autonomous Vehicle competetion – those things happen. Color me not upset that we went to see some cool robots run a course of their own programming. Too bad we were the focus of the Geek Tragedy, but that’ll make next year’s success all the sweeter.

      Big thanks to everyone… time to think about the 4th Convergence.