This past weekend I traveled to the frigid lands of Michigan to take part in what is quickly becoming a personal tradition, Arcanicon. Arcanicon is a convention dedicated to the Arcanis campaign.
I have been involved with this campaign as a player since 2009. Love the complex story line. Although I have complained a lot about the system, it has grown on me and I appreciate it today.
The trip started when I left work early (16:15) to face the Nashville traffic to head to the airport. Nice day, warm, sunny, 70F (20C). Really an awesome winter's day.
Then I got to Detroit. Wow. The temperature was below freezing. Lucky for me I brought my wool jacket. I zipped it up to the top as I waited for the airport shuttle.
Other than that brisk assault on my body, there was no issue. I got there on schedule, without frostbite. Met my roommate, Dawn in the atrium where we would play. A nice open room with ample space. After a quick meal, I went to bed.
Friday I got up, ate and worked on the editing of the upcoming Rhym setting. I made great progress there which put me in a good mood.
I played the first adventure with a fun team, including Beth and Steve. however, I was surprised a backup that it was clear I was not needed. Now I do not have to be in the spotlight all the time, but it sucks when anything you do, you are overshadowed. Still, my character, the inimitable Kermina Gallia val'Borda managed to help out in the investigation and in the combats.
The story was one that skirted the themes of vampires and Dracula lore. Very fun really. Classic but highly workable.
For the evening, I jumped to a cobbled table, joining Paul and Nicole, with who I have played a lot of games. It is always a pleasure to join them. Also with us was Tom. Now fun story. As we waited during breaks, he and I said that it would be really fun if our characters got to ah together outside of a LARP event. Well our wishes were answered!
This second adventure was a mix of espionage and The Lost Boys. Again very cool!
By that time, it was back to the room. Dawn and I chatted for a while, then snoring.
Saturday was reserved for the special interactive event, with the same team as the night before. We faced a number of thematic monsters. A lot of challenges and monsters we do not normally see in Arcanis. It was interesting that one of my abilities: the spell rebuke which is effectively a turn undead. Well, it worked, for once!!! I was both shocked and really happy!
I really enjoyed the story, it was simple, flavorful and just plain fun.
I saw two things to improve Arcanicon. And one thing with the Hotel...
First, more people. A common note if you read this blog. If you have a choice, attend. Quite simple.
Second, the interactive started at 10am and lasted til midnight. Fourteen hours of heart-pounding craziness. I was originally going to say "start @ 1 pm" so that we could squeeze an extra slot to play. There are a few adventures out there I would have liked to play. That annoyed me on-site but really, after playing the special, that issue disappeared.
I will say that the special was good. It was much better than last year's incomprehensible plot of undead, plague-bearers and gnolls. I still don't understand what that was about. Better not to talk about it anymore. It was not as good the Vault of Larissa from two years ago, however. A solid offering.
Now for the true second downside: this was Tony-N's final event as Arcanis organizer. Over the years, I really learned to appreciate Tony's style and how he thinks as a writer and really find like what he writes: rooted in campaign lore, I feel like every adventure, I learn or explore a different take on things in Arcanis. Tony, I thank you for your work in making Arcanicon and making Arcanis even more interesting.
Big-time highlights... A few of them...
As usual, the people. Paul, Nicole, Beth, Mike, Stephen, Tom, Chris, James, OMG! I'll stop here so many good folks! Fun to play with.
But if there was an MVP, I have to give it to James-V, the man who brought my to Tim Hortons... And who brought me some Tim coffee during the game! Oh joy of joys! I'll skip the hotel food description. I had Tim's. I mean... If you are Canadian, you understand. If you are not... Tim Hortons was a mediocre hockey player who started a donut shop upon retiring. They may a very smooth, nice, flavorful coffee. The brand has a number of stores in the United States, particularly in Michigan and Ohio.
Yes, you will notice my wonderful nails... I was dressed up for my part... *Giggles*
I was left to ponder about the con. Will it be the last one, now that Tony is no longer organizing it? I hope not as Arcanicon is one of the event on my personal convention calendar.
You will guess that I will be going back next year. Yes, I will go back.