More on Slayers East


Last night was the hardest, most emotional roleplaying experience I have ever endured.

In the face of two incredibly Earth-destroying events, one of which had already begun taking effect and one that was about to, Candy took the power of an elder God into her body and made her stepbrother kill her.

I’ve had player characters die before, but never in such an affecting way. Not with my stepfather shouting “No!” and my mother running to stop me, screaming her head off and her step-brother holding her and crying because he didn’t want to hurt her. Morgue said I could still talk so I told him “Do it. Save the world, Zak.” and he did, and afterwards Scott and I were both crying and he was shaking and everyone else was completely stunned and man.

I’m glad I trust this group so much, even if I was a bit embarrassed about crying in front of them. There is just so much love and support, and once I/Candy realised that the only chance the world had was if I did the ultimate Heroic Sacrifice thing, just like Buffy.

I’ll probably write more about this whole episode, but not right now.

Consider this

Sometimes, I am glad I am not my roleplaying characters. On the other hand, I still have to have the hard conversations that my roleplaying characters have, so it’s not really like I have much emotional distance.

I am, of course, talking about Slayers East last night was my character (Candy, the slayer)’s spotlight episode in which I had decided I wanted her to sort her shit out. What this boils down to is she had to start being honest with people and not run from her problems any more.

The ‘episode’ ran roughly like this for Candy: Candy running, flashing back to bad stuff. candy meets the Big Bad, who sees that she has made herself weak, causes her immense pain and steals the main magical artefact this season has focussed on. Candy goes home, tells her step-father Brian who gets very angry with her, she is unable to cope with this and goes to see Zak her step-brother who reveals he has magic and uses it to see into her psyche.

School the next day and Candy is sent to the school counsellor, and spends the entire day offloading to him. After school she goes to Nick’s house for combat training and finds him doing magic over his comatose father. They have a talk, and end up kissing. The others have worked out that the wellspring of power is at Nick’s mansion and head up there.

When they arrive, Lex is awake again and kind of evil. Langbourne (Big Bad) arrives and encourages him to be more crazy. Lex decides to kill Candy, and then everyone else. Langbourne magics a snake out of an NPC and Cass and Cynth battle that while Candy and Lex duel. Candy spent a lot of time ascertaining how evil he had become and Nick eventually nodded his assent that his Father had to die. Candy beat and killed Lex.

Langbourne set fire to the mansion, the characters run out, Nick runs off into the forest, Candy retrieves him, everyone goes home and Candy speaks to her family.

One awesome scene involved me as Candy and Morgue as Nick, the boy she loves but never managed to get anywhere with after she’d discovered him trying to do magic. We were walking in the woods and trying to get what we felt for each other out in the open. It was an incredibly difficult scene to play, because both of them have been denying it for so long, and were so scared to open themselves up to each other.

There were lots of long pauses, full of tension and uncertainty. Finally (after another character had interrupted) Candy burst out with “Nick, I really, really care about you, and all that stuff that Petra* said wouldn’t have hurt so much if I didn’t” Morgue didn’t seem to know what to say…there was a long pause, and Candy became worried that she had said the wrong thing, so I followed up with “and I know you’re really busy at the moment worrying about your Dad and everything so if you want to..” and Nick kissed her. And it was awesome.

That kiss is the payoff that me and the fans have been wanting for so, so long.

That aside the whole session was incredibly emotional for me. Following all the flashbacks at the start to the ways Candy is messed up and a scene with the Big Bad where he exploited her weakness to steal back an essential magical item I was physically shaking. I had to really work to keep my breathing regular and deep. I have mused before on the level of connection I feel for Candy, I think it’s a combination of length of time playing her and a reaction to the awesome work the entire group puts into their characters.

I haven’t been able to connect to any character so deeply, and that is due to the supportive nature of the group and the way everyone is willing to just dive in, mess up their characters and rely on each other to pull the group together and succeed. I really dread the end of the series, because I love this game so much.

So, at the end of last night’s session when Candy had killed Nick’s father (he’d gone bad. Real bad) and then brought him home to rest she went into her family and friends and tried to explain the weakness that the Big Bad had been exploiting. It was really hard for me to say, and when Blair said supportive things as Brian and Morgue as Merryl and Scott as Zak spoke up too, I did in fact cry a tiny tear.

Hard stuff. But very worth it.

*Petra Nick’s girlfriend from the start of the season who yelled at Candy at a party for ‘leading Nick on’, on a stage, in front of everyone.

Slayers East again

We had a session of Slayers East on Monday (number 8 I think…) it was a Hallowe’en episode following on from a very nasty angst-fest session. Morgue had asked us all to let the dark stuff take the back seat and have a fun, relaxed epsiode. Scott and I were wondering how that would work, given all the piles of bricks that fell on the characters last episode (metaphorically speaking) but we needn’t have worried. Morgue emailed me and said it was the much requested Troy and Allister episode.’

You remember Allister right?
So, my angsty Slayer took the back seat, chose a Supergirl costume for the Hallowe’en dance and fell under a spell. Meanwhile, Allister took centre stage in a remarkably West Side Story-influenced plot about him and Troy trying to be friends again.

Morgue told us there would be no singing, but we managed to slip a little bit in there all the same. Putting that aside, it was good fun driving Giffy’s Ultra-composed and together Cass up the wall with the madcap antics.
Cass: You have to show everyone you’re friends!
Allister: I’m not going to kiss him!

The story was foreshadowed in the previous episode where I requested a sweet little scene of Allister slipping a bag of gummi worms to Troy in the school hall. The plot of this episode was based on two rival ghosts who had killed each other in a gang fight, taking possession of the two (with no apparent effect on Troy and Allister) but driving the whole town to take sides with either the Jocks or the emo/goth/artsy kids. It was very Buffy Band Candy.

One of my favourite touches was to have Allister go to the Hallowe’en party as spiderman (full mask) and then Troy turn up as black spiderman. When they saw each other at the party they immediately did spidey poses at each other.
Allister: Your friendly neighbourhood spidermen!
Troy: Oh yeah!
Cass: Oh GOD!

Somehow the visuals for this entire ‘episode’ were very clear for me. Margie suggested it was all the costuming and I think that’s an important part of it. my favourite moment was right at the end, and I can see this as clear as if it happened. The drama is all over, no one is fighting anymore, and all the main characters have gone home. Troy and Allister sit on the roof of the school in their spidey suits, no masks. Allister cracks open a beer, but it’s got spring loaded snakes in it!
Allister: AAaaaaah!
Troy:*chuckles, then opens his own beer* *spring loaded snakes leap out* Aaaaaaah!

In terms of roleplaying, I don’t think I can effectively explain why I love playing this character so much. He’s pretty two-dimensional but his loyalty to Troy was very real to me. I guess I just like to be silly and funny and make mischief with Margie.

PoF: guns/ponies
CO: Allister McAllister

belly and RPGing

Theoretically I was going to get up and go for a run this morning. I haven’t been running this week because of the belly situation, but after my good day yesterday I’d been looking forward to a run.

I woke up at 5.58 and thought it said 6.58 and even though I could tell it was a nice day outside I opted for turning over and going back to sleep. I got very confused when I woke at 7.03 and lots of time had passed. (Chants to self: “will run Saturday morning, will run Saturday morning.”

My belly is bad again, but I think it’s *mostly* due to the arrival of Dear Aunty Flo, so to speak. I’ve been miserable all morning and it’s kind of settling now but I feel seriously wiped. Not sure if I’m going to make it out tonight, I just want to crawl into bed after the movie rehearsal.

I like dividing my entries into digestive updates and then regular news. Does anyone else appreciate it?
Last night was the second episode of Slayers East, and I got to resurrect one of my most famous Non Player Characters ever as a Prime Time Adventures style secondary character.

When SE started out, Muggle and I invented annoying ADD class clown boys called Troy McClure and Alister McAllister. I played Allister. They were to be found throwing fake worms in the air during class, ruining the school dance by forcing people to kiss the fish decorations and generally causing mayhem.

In their senior year they are no longer the inseperable buddies they once were/ Troy has become a loner emo kid and Alister has filled out and become a football player and cool kid. I actually found it easier to get back into my characterisation for Alister than I did for my actual character of Candy.

Alister had a scene with a girl he liked, they went into a ‘haunted’ maintenance hall to skip class and were interupted by a demon. Blair was awesome as the girl, constantly rebuffing his amateurish advances…

Clarice: Keep your hands to yourself! I have mace.
Alister (keeping hands to himself, good naturedly): You keep saying that, but I haven’t seen any.

…and eventually using him as a human shield against the scary demon.

I had fun striking a balance between new cool Alister and old silly Alister by suggesting pranks, like he would to Troy, and then immediately realising they wouldn’t fly with Clarice. I tried to keep him not too dumb, not pushing Clarice too far and acting very cocky despite her constant refusals.

I guess it’s easier to play this kind of character because there’s less pressure. No one has any invested interest in what Alisiter does, because his decisions won’t effect the other players in the same way as my character proper. He is a plot device and comic relief, but I’m determined to give him a bit of depth at least.

PoF: too warm now maybe
CO: sleep

wicked cool

Last night was the Revival of one of my most favourite roleplaying games ever: Slayers East. It was wicked cool. Giffy and I were late due to miscommunication (quarter to six, not quarter past six!) but once we got our character sheets sorted, Morgue spieled for a while and we started up.

In the interests of reintroducing the characters it was mostly framed around the return of Giffy’s character CC to Exeter. Thrown into this equation was the spell over the Slayer household which meant none of us could remember anything about the supernatural. Too cool.
I got some quotes down, but I don’t suppose they’ll mean much to anyone who wasn’t there. I got to have an awesome moment when I regained my memory and went all hard-core kick-ass slayer, and Morgue even simulated a cheesy crash zoom into my face for the reaction.

I am getting excited about the next Jenni’s Angels project, which hopefully we’ll get started filming in a couple of weeks. I’m a bit anxious to start sooner, but there’s no real need to.

PoF: didn’t want to get up
CO: itchy nose and hot chips for lunch