We got there in plenty of time, set up, and then he ran Monsters and other Childish Things in the morning and Dogs in the Vineyard in the afternoon. Both are independently published table-top roleplaying games. They were both very much fun.
In Monsters and other Childish things, each character child has a pretty astonishingly powerful monster and the kid has to figure out the difference between problems that can be solved by the monster just eating people as a solution to the problem and other possible solutions. The very cool thing was that all the kids had a lot of interesting traction to them and their monsters fit them very, very well.
I played a kid who really wasn't that capable of just about anything, but the monster made it so that he could read, influence and persuade just about anyone to do just about anything. He became the really popular kid. It was definitely a face sort of character, and I don't usually play those. I'm usually the hatchet man in the back that just does what's necessary to do. So it was a stretch... especially when just about everyone I thought about "talking to" or persuading pretty much got eaten by someone else's monster. So then I started using my powers on the other kids... until the really bad things started showing up.
There was an over-scheduled kid who had a teddy bear that granted her wishes. A homeless kid whose monster could be one to thousands of rats. A kid with a temper that had a Venus flytrap monster. An NPC Hawaain surfer girl with a shark god monster. And when the bad things showed up we all started working together. It was interesting and turned out to be a lot of fun as the players were all a lot of fun.
The Dogs in the Vineyard game had diony in it as well, and it was really fun to play with her again, and both of us really tried to bring in the other two players as well as we could. Carl did a great job of giving equal playing time, too, so it was really fun. The other two players were an ex-improv guy and someone that had usually done war games but had really liked being in one of Carl's Dogs games before. It was really great working off everyone else, especially in the character generation time when there were all kinds of interesting relationships between the characters formed.
The adventure itself was good, too, but I think the weaving of the lives together of all the characters might well be my favorite part. *laughter* Especially when Carl can take an element of the creation of one of the folks and then pull it into the next and the next.
I am not even sure I'll write either of the games up, as they will likely be used again. But everyone was really cooperative, and folks were very careful to not step on each others toes. Sometimes I wonder if con folks are extra nice because we're strangers, or if it's just around women players that that happens? I dunno. But it was quite polite and rather enjoyable, and it was a good amount of gaming for me.
We then went to Breads of India for an excellent dinner. And we watched a bit of a game where insomnia leads to greater and greater super powers and a much greater chance of falling asleep and getting killed. It was pretty bemusing as they were running it with children characters being chased by the Boogie man, basically, rather than the way it's written which is for adult characters.
Then we drove back, and I read 7-11 of the Go manga and now I WANT MORE. Ahem. But one cool thing is that Carl has all four of the Zombie Powder manga, so I might just plow through those tomorrow before the Mountain View schedule so that I have even a single clue as to what bellumina and shadowgirl1605 are writing about in their fics for that fandom. It would be good to have a clue...
After doing so much gaming I needed decompression, and it's been good to go back into input mode for a bit.