Byron’s visit and Super MegaFest 2011

Darth Maul and Byron
Darth Maul and Byron V.O.

This past week, I attended another going-away party for a co-worker, this time for Pat O., with whom I share a birthday. We went to Watch City Brewery on Waltham’s Moody Street. It’s a bit more spacious and easier to park near than Union Station in Newton, Massachusetts. However, it’s also farther from the “T,” which causes difficulties for those without cars. I’ve been busy with editing assignments in advance of Thanksgiving.

Byron V.O., an alumnus of the local role-playing groups who now lives in St. Louis, was in the Boston area this past week for work. On Friday, 18 November 2011, Byron met Thomas K.Y. & Kai-Yin H. at Janice’s and my place. We had dinner at Bertucci’s and hung out for a few hours afterward, talking about food, history, and movies.

The next day, Byron and I drove out to the Sheraton Framingham for the annual Super MegaFest, where we met Ken G. The genre entertainment convention was especially crowded this year because of headliner Patrick Stewart. Janice and I had seen the British actor years ago, but Ken got a pricey VIP pass despite some reservations.

Byron and I got autographs from Tia Carrere (of Relic Hunter and Kull the Conqueror) and Sean Astin (Goonies and the Lord of the Rings trilogy). We also met Antony Michael Hall, who starred in popular 1980s films and more recent TV dramas, and Deal or No Deal model Patricia Kara.

We also saw other celebrities, classic vehicles, several fans in costume, and various vendor tables. There were more apparel suppliers than in past years, but fewer comic book or RPG sellers. Videos and toys held steady. Byron and I ducked out to Acapulco’s for lunch while Ken attended Stewart’s panel discussion. Fortunately, the weather was nice. Byron later won a gift basket of Star Wars memorabilia in a charity raffle.

Byron and I got back to my place in Needham, Mass., in time to meet Beruk A. Janice cooked Sloppy Joes for dinner, and we converted Player Characters from D&D3.5 to FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre for the “Vanished Lands: the Broken Chains” fantasy one-shot scenario. Brian W., Sara F., and Josh C. arrived after dinner.

I’ll post separately about the session, in which an adventuring party reunited in the Halmed Desert to deal with devils and return the city of Falit. The quick-and-dirty conversion worked fairly well — we’d have to review magic more carefully for an ongoing campaign — and I hope everybody had fun getting back into character.

I think Legends of Anglerre would be good for a new group and for simplifying higher-level characters. Most of my midlevel D&D and Pathfinder gamers would likely resist, however, because they have a lot of money and attachment invested in the current system and numerous powers/items. A few people have suggested using the modern supernatural Dresden Files, but I’d rather stick with Legends of Anglerre for traditional fantasy.

After another late night talking about politics, religion, and family, Byron and I drove back out to Framingham to pick up his gift basket. We saw a few more costumes and had an easier time walking around the show, which was quieter on a Sunday morning. Janice had made breakfast, and we grabbed lunch at Wild Willy’s before Byron headed to the airport. Soon, millions of Americans will also be traveling!

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