Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas.
"Total party kill," I'd said.
"Yep," they'd said.
I'm thirsty and I need caffeine and all they have in the hotel's in-lobby gift shop is Mug root beer.
Mug is substandard and sickly-sweet at the best of times, and now, after already having one, I can't bear the thought of another.
"I'm sleepy," Mandy'd said, gazing regretfully at the once-promising (18 str! 18 Con!) character sheet.
"Alright," I said, "I'm gonna go down to the lobby and get a drink, y'all decide what you want to do."
Two-odd hours in and they were dead. Only two of them, but still, while many consider it an essential rite of D&D passage, nothing totally kills a party like a total party kill.
I settle for cranberry juice, and figure I'll get room service to send up some coffee. With Bailey's.
How did this happen?
This morning, Palazzo Hotel, Las Vegas. Day of the 2010 Adult Video News Adult Film Awards.
It's one of those mornings you spend with the curtains shut and the lights off, waiting for everybody else to wake up and for the taste of tequila to go away. Staying on a couch kindly lent to us by the biggest porn agent in Hollywood.
What's he doing? He's on a bed in a little pool of light created by his laptop, on the other side of the dead quiet room, wearing what he slept in, checking his mail.
On this side of the room is Mandy and KK asleep on the fold-out couch. On the bed in-between is another porn actress the agent represents who stumbled in about three hours ago and has spent the entire weekend arguing with her boyfriend.
I have to run a game in three, maybe four hours, out of a room in the Rio hotel. Because we rarely get to play with C.P., since she lives here.
It's a continuation of a game I ran in...September? October?
Anyway, point is it's hard to remember where anybody was. Most of the best tricks and monsters have already been cannibalized for other adventures.
I should probably stop blogging and start writing this dungeon.
I should do that, but Las Vegas during the Adult Convention is immensely distracting, as I probably don't have to point out.
Someone e-mailed me that they found a forum where I am despised and it is openly presumed that I harbor immature and contemptibly deviant sexual fantasies. Not because I am in porn, or because I frequently and loudly disparage both organized and disorganized religion, not because of my extremist political views or my terrible haircut, or even because I play D&D--but because--dig this--I play a different edition of D&D than the people in the forum. Oh, and also because I use funny charts. That is amazing. All the things I've done wrong and I am getting static for homebrew D&D. The boundless variety of human experience just rocks on toast, does it not?
Another shot, please.
Should we go to the porn awards? No, the awards are boring. Excruciatingly boring and long. And there is horrible mainstream smooved-out live hip-hop every time.
KK has to go, though, she's nominated for things.
She starts doing her make-up while Mandy rolls a new character.
C.P. helps KK apply her false eyelashes, then helps Mandy fight a mutant in a pit.
Then Mandy and C.P. make their way around the creepy tower, and get room service.
Mandy's dwarf fighter is knocked unconscious during an ill-advised attempt to steal a tapestry.
C.P.'s half-elf magic-user drags the dwarf away and they rest.
During the night, a goblin thief (poorly-armed and, helpfully I thought, loaded with healing potions) tries to catch C.P. unaware.
And on account of some absolutely pitiless dice, C.P.'s wizardess is slain.
And that's that. Total miniparty kill.
So there I am, down in the Rio gift shop, trying to decide how to spend the next few hours til KK gets back from the awards.
It's too late for the Pinball Museum. Bowling? Arcade? Strippers? There's an orgy party but Mandy's feeling too sick for that. Mandy's asthma makes it hard to do anything here since everybody smokes all the time.
I have no idea. I get back to the room.
"So what are we doing, ladies?"
"We're rolling up new characters."
"You're going back in?"
"We're going back in!"
So, you know, I rig it all up: Beloved sister, if I do not return from my expedition to...etc. etc.
So the new PC's are in there, and they are both hilariously average--10s and 11s in almost everything. Things occur.
So now, in this tower there are many glasses of night-sky-deep wine. These cups of wine are actually souls of people who died in the tower.
Not knowing this, Mandy's dwarf, Aquafina*, drinks this wine.
So then she has two souls. Like Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin in "All of Me".
So then I gotta figure out who this extra soul is. I roll randomly. Race: half-elf. Class: magic-user. The exact race and class of the character C.P. just lost. Chances of that happening--the way I was doing it--are 1 in 77.
So that's all Ouija-board scary and so of course I decide that indeed that is C.P.'s just-slain character is indeed inside Mandy's new dwarf.
So they're both role-playing voices in the same character's head. And they've both been hitting the Bailey's. "Who are you and why am I so short and what's my sister doing here?" and all that.
In the middle of this KK texts us that she just won Best Actress**.
And a movie she directed wins Best Music.
And she gets up there and gives this awkward unrehearsed unexpected acceptance speech which I guess we can all examine in detail when this year's AVN awards are televised on cable in March or April but which reportedly was roughly:
"Thanks to all my fans! Thank you all the geeks who love X-Files as much as me, I love you, I just started playing D&D this year, oh my god, thanks!"
So, y'know, Vegas sucks and all and I'm glad to be home, but any day that ends with two players getting total-party-killed and immediately wanting to keep going and another one actually thanking the hobby for no conceivable reason in an internationally-televised acceptance speech for some whole other thing is a pretty good day for D&D, I guess.
*It's that kind of thing when you've been awake so long you start naming PC's after the nearest object. C.P.'s was named "Tabasco".
**AVN's "Best Actress" award is for actually acting, oddly enough. Though KK already has AVN's for best Group Sex, Oral Sex, and All-Girl 3-Way Scene, so she's got some crunch to back up the fluff.
Chambers amid the roots of the great tree
54 minutes ago