Friday started off pretty much as usual, since I had to go to work and put in a half-day. Didn't do anything unusual or anything like that during the day, and got home just in time to find out that the two big packages of Fading Suns gaming stuff had arrived. That cheered me up somewhat, except for the Customs and Handling fees! :<
The best part of Friday was the fact that I knew that I wasn't going to be running a game, I was going to be playing in one! :) Nick Roberts, one of my Friday night gamers, always runs a game for me to play in the week of my birthday, and this year was no different, with one exception: the Friday night gamers were hiding what game he was going to run, as it was to be a surprise.
Kathy, SteveB, and Ellie arrived first, and Kathy had the first "pressie" of the night. She had baked a cake - caramel, hazelnut, and a touch of apricot jam, with a divine icing. The cake was really good, as being diabetic (as are SteveB and Ellie), she wanted me to able to eat the cake without croaking or anything. Apparently they need me to GM games or something, and "you're not getting out of running Fading Suns again!" :) We put the cake in the fridge, along with the case of Canada Dry ginger ale cans, and then waited for Nick, Tom, and Joanne to arrive. While waiting, Kathy told me that she and SteveB were taking me out to dinner on the Saturday night, and that Ellie wanted to come along with us (and that she had promised to behave herself). (I suspect the bribe of the cake, both from me and Kathy had something to do with it!)
The other three arrived, and then I got the biggest surprise of my life. Nick was going to run Desolation! I had no idea that he'd even bought a copy of the game, and he told me that he loved the campaign of it that I had run (and will continue to run) and that he wanted to give me this as a present for my birthday. He'd bought the book and told the others not to tell me and all. What a great surprise this was, trust me on this!
We generated a batch of characters, and this took about an hour and a bit, and then started to play. One of the things I adore about Desolation is that the game is so neat. While being fantasy, it's post-apocalyptic, has a superb free-form magic system, and gives a brilliant twist to the various typical fantasy races. I knew that I wanted to play a magical type, and that I didn't want the magic to be necessarily overt. So it was either a Primalist (meaning I would take a Mongrel) or an Animist (meaning I would play a Loranthian). While the idea of playing a character with a lack of hygiene didn't really appeal to me, I thought that I would try the Mongrel and go with Primal magic. I took the Mongrel. Sakhut of Ridge River is my name. If there's enough interest in my doing so, I'll post the character here in my blog. (Just ask in the Comments of my blog.)
Once we wrapped character generation, Nick started us off on our first adventure. Travelling together for a variety of reasons, we came upon a wrecked caravan, and were then attacked by skorons. (Yes, the nasty beasties that I had created for the "Shadow of the Wolf" scenario for CanGames. Now I know why he had asked me for their stats about two months ago! Oh, irony! Oh, joy! <g>) Primal magic is soooooo much fun! After an hour and a half or so of actual play, we took a break, and had tea and some cake, and relaxed for a bit over that. Ellie was allowed to stay up this night and have some cake and milk with the rest of us, and then she curled up and went to sleep, before the rest of us continued to play for about an hour. I told Nick that I was having a blast playing the game, and he said that he was enjoying running it, and that he was glad he could rely on me to answer some of his questions about running Desolation and rules interpretations as we played, and I told him that I'm cool with that, but that he makes the final decisions and all that.
We finally broke up around 1:15 am, and everyone agreed that Nick was doing a pretty good job running the game. Joanne told me that she liked to play with me, and that it was interesting to see me from a player point of view, since I so rarely actually play in games.
Overall, a pretty good night, and I had a blast gaming. As usual, Kathy is a terrific baker, and the gang was pleasant to be with. Lots of fun had by all, and the company and the cake was delicious!