So, the Sacramento family visit continued with my brothers and the nephews, and then some fireworks on both the 3rd and the 4th.
On the third, El Dorado Hills has its Fireworks & Freedom Concert, which I'm guess they do one day early cause they can't compete with other, larger, local shows?
Regardless, went with the mom and the daughter, and other than doing 4 pull ups on the Marine's booth pull-up bar (after being pushed into it by the daughter), I was looking forward to checking out the booth for the Game Room Adventure Cafe. They set up a stand for advertising the escape room and board games, and selling various knick-knacks like dice and dolls. But best of all, they used the Labyrinth game I gave them as an attraction to get passer-bys to interact. Nova played that for about 20 minutes with Adriana.
The fireworks were totally decent, but the after-fireworks nightmare of getting home, and street closures, and traffic mayhem was quite unfortunate. The daughter cried due to fatigue and frustration.
The next day, the same three of us headed to Lake Tahoe. The mom gets a free invite most years with included hotel room, dinner, and spot on Tahoe Lake beachside to see the show. We went last year and I swear it was the best fireworks show I've seen in my life, so expectations were high.
Part of those expectations? When my mom goes to play slots, she give me and the daughter $20 to go play at the arcade! It was just as we had left it: Q-Bert, Ms. Pac Man, Galaga, Spy Hunter, Mario Brothers, and of course the coup-de-gras: Pac Man VS, the 4 player game. If you haven't played it, it's a blast, and plays something like this (if the Youtube link still stands). We even ran into another father-daughter pair, and played some epic Pacman VS games. One thing I noticed about this game, the music is outstanding. It slowly builds into a techno fueled fever pitch as you go through the game.
The fireworks? They ended up being astounding. They are also synchronized with lots of July 4 / America thematic songs, but also mixed with various pop tunes of the last years, and they used songs by Prince and David Bowie during the performance.
Another Indie RPG meetup
After all the fireworks shenanigans, there was just enough time to eek out another Wednesday night for an Indie RPG meetup, similar to the week prior. Again, I set up a meetup on the I Attack The Darkness meetup, and this time not only did Matthew and Brolyn show up, but we got two additional players: Alex and Rizwan.
We pitched a bunch of things, including a concept that Brolyn is working on which sounded really cool: Playing villagers that supply adventurers in a sort of selfish resource management game (however it felt a little too early to try it out just yet).
We ended up going with the classic Microscope. Only Matthew and myself had played this before, and I was really happy that we got Alex to join us, as he was just there for D&D action, and had never seen these games before.
In this session we put together "The Rise and Fall of Atlantis", and set up bookend with "Conflicts arise between humans and merpeople" and "The Human Rebellion". After doing the Bans and Adds we knew that dragons, spells, light sabers, space faring technology, and pirates were out; but slavery, political intrigue, krakens, and obtanium (as the source of power) were in.
We didn't have a huge amount of time (one player had about an hour) but we were able to get two goes around the table, with a first focus being Obtanium itself, and a second one being Political Intrigue. We got one good role playing scene. It was definitely enough so that everyone got a feel for the game.
There was one moment where Matthew had an idea for how the scene would end, and I added an idea, where instead I should have demonstrated the Push and Voting mechanics, but we discussed it later, and I'm hoping that I'll learn from this mistake for the next time.