Take a good look at the man on the left there. Take a good, long look.
That man is The Enemy.
Sure, he looks harmless. In fact, he is. Mostly.
Sure, he looks like a sympathetic, compassionate fellow. In fact, he is. Mostly.
But he is also The Enemy. And he cannot be trusted.
His name is Sean K. Reynolds. And under that beneficent disguise lurks the heart of a cold-blooded killer. A ruthless psychopath.
He is The Enemy.
A little explanation may be in order.
I've been doing some freelance work for Sean, working on a few Pathfinder books. I asked for some work and he gave it to me. That's because he appears to be a valuable human being who listens to the needs of others and does his best to fulfill them within the powers bestowed to him. At least, that's how he appears.
On Friday, I stopped by the Paizo booth to see if I could trade for a copy of the new Pathfinder RPG. Sean got me one without even needing to trade for it. We talked for a little while and when he asked what I was working on, I explained The Enemy rules in the Houses of the Blooded larp. Or, Sean had seen them and was explaining their pure brilliance to someone else who happened to be there. One of those two sounds right. I particularly like the part where I'm brilliant.
The Enemy Rule. You go to a buddy of yours and ask him to be your Enemy in the game. The two of you get bonus points for various things. Bonus Style, bonus Advantage, etc. It's a rule that's my attempt to dismantle as many of the emotional land mines that lurk around in the larp setting as I can.
And then, I asked Sean, "Sean, would you be my Enemy?"
He agreed. And thus, our rivalry began.
Meanwhile, back in the booth, The Shotgun Diaries and Houses of the Blooded were both gone. I still had Play Dirty, Cat and Discordia. We sold a bunch of Cat and much more of Discordia than I thought. We also had PDFs of Curse of the Yellow Sign Act 1 and 2, but those didn't sell as well as I thought. The common question was, "Can I download it?" When they found out they could, they passed on the CD. A lesson to learn.
I also talked to a French publisher about the rights to print HotB in their native language. We bargained, chatted and agreed it would be a good idea. Keep an eye out for full-color, hard bound HotB... in French.
Finally, Friday night, I agreed to run Houses of the Blooded for what turned out to be a whole ton of people. I think there were as many as eleven folks in the room. I've run the game for that many people before and learned a few tricks. Here's what I did.
I assigned the rank of Count to three of the players--including the very ambitious and devious Mike and the very friendly Rob from the Bear Swarm podcast.
Oh, and speaking of Rob, I should post this little beauty here. It's a real tattoo, not a fake. And it's gorgeous and highly humbling.
I assigned the role of Count to three players and then put the rest of the players in a position of finding a Count. The group divided themselves up and they all got into their carriages to party with Shara...
By the end of the game, there were two poisonings, three allegiance switches, a duel and an attempt to start a Romance with Shara. In short, all kinds of dangerous activities. I believe fun was had by all--there were a whole lot of "Hell yeah!" when I inquired--and many of us retired downstairs to McCormick and Schmick's where I drank a lot of whiskey and ate a lot of happy hour appetizers.
We bumped into some friends of ours from Phoenix, chatted, laughed and eventually went back upstairs and fell fast asleep.