Of Barren Hellscapes

Okay.

So I went to Midwest GameFest over the weekend. That’s a tabletop and RPG event in Independence.  It’s small – they only get like 500 people a year or something, but it’s nice. Sort of.

But here’s the thing – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU INDEPENDENCE!?!

And to be fair, and I don’t admit this freely most of the time, I am FROM Independence, so I can rant about this all I want.

What fucking barren hellscape IS THAT, seriously, where they have something called a “PIZZA RANCH” but no motherfucking STARBUCKS??!!?!

Oh – yes, I know that people will say “Oh, there IS a Starbucks over at the other end of 40 highway by the –” WHAT THE SHIT?

I should not be closer to a Cheddar’s, a Cabela’s, and the aforementioned Pizza Ranch than I am to a Starbucks EVER – E.V.E.R.  That should not be a thing that can happen in a civilized society.

It. Should. Not.

I was forced to drink hotel tea out of a fake plastic souvenir mason jar.

Are you hearing me?

UNTENABLE.

Now.

The event itself was delightful.

I got to play in a really cool Shadowrun event GM’d by the guy who wrote the module. Super fun.

I tend to play “talkies” – more communication driven characters. Which will surprise exactly no one reading this.

The mage in the party was awesome.  He played a mage whose schtick was basically that he’d been Van Wilder attending the UC Santa Barbara of mage schools and had taken a bunch of electives and stayed on past graduation driving around in a golf cart because people liked him, and then become “The Dude.” Another guy was the hacker / combat guy – he was super serious and awesome too.  He had a mentee – the REAL hacker guy, who was played by the guy who usually GMs for us.  The character was a teenage kid who idolized the combat hacker. I ended up having to pretend to be the kid’s mom – so he started calling me “fake mom,” and the combat hacker “fake dad” – which led to the two of us having arguments about how to raise the kid.

My favorite scene of the night was when we decided to let “little Charlie” learn the ropes of interrogation in Shadowrunning by having him question this guy we’d taken prisoner. We had him tied up and rigged with an explosive collar and just stood back and kibbitzed and helped out while the not-good-at-talking kid questioned this poor terrified ganger. It was hilarious. When the kid messed up and the guy started not giving the answers we wanted or scared the kid, one of us would step in “Now, Charlie, sometimes when people are under duress, they say things that aren’t QUITE true to make it look like it’s someone else’s fault. And it’s NOT VERY NICE, and there can be some pretty serious consequences.”

Good times.

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When You’re a Stranger

I just want to take a moment to say that Doctor Strange is AMAZING.

I LOVED this film.

LOVED it.

Benedict Cumberbatch was the CUMBERBATCHIEST!

Mads Mikkelson was the MIKKELSONIEST!

Tilda Swinton was the SWINTONIEST!

SO GOOD!

I laughed. I cried. I marveled at the CG and explosions!

Seriously.

If you have not seen it – WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING!!???!?!?!?!

MINOR SPOILERS:

I loved that Rachel McAdams had enough self respect to walk away AND to respect what he had to do as a superhero.  SHE was awesome. LOVED HER.

I loved the cape.  LOVED IT.

I loved Tilda Swinton OWNING her moment at the window with the snow. LOVED IT.

I loved that it was more Man vs. Himself than Man vs. anything else.

I loved the time loop.

I loved the cut scenes. Because of course I did.

Seriously.  Go see it. Totes worth it.