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08 September 2014 @ 08:58 pm
A Rather Splendid Hat  

I bought this hat at Summerfest. At the time of purchase I considered it a rather distinctive item, but about three hours later half the bar staff, several players and two of the traders all owned similar hats and suddenly I was slavishly following a trend.

I still think it was a cool hat.

I bailed out of summerfest early. I had a cold coming on and took the advice of the rest of the bar staff that they could manage fine without me and that I looked a bit peaky. People probably didn't want me breathing on their food in that condition anyway.

I was there for the 35 deaths in the first battle and some of the muted conversations about monster etiquette that followed. No one wants to die (or get otherwise shat upon - e.g. having items stolen from the camp) because the refs are trying to prove an OOC point, but people are generally prepared to die if the players mess up. Telling the difference is somewhat hard.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/126722.html.
wellinghallwellinghall on September 8th, 2014 08:18 pm (UTC)
That is, indeed, a very fine hat.
louisedennislouisedennis on September 9th, 2014 11:04 am (UTC)
It's an excellent hat!!
king_pellinor: P Knightking_pellinor on September 9th, 2014 01:09 pm (UTC)
You should bear in mind that Keith had been selling those for a couple of days, but it was only when you started wearing one that they started flying out of the shop :-)
Elaine of Astolatladyofastolat on September 9th, 2014 09:57 am (UTC)
It is indeed a splendid hat... but you were the trend-setter. You could have charged the trader commission, since he got several purchases as a result of you modelling his fine range of hats to everyone who dropped by for cake. :-)
louisedennislouisedennis on September 9th, 2014 11:05 am (UTC)
kingpellinor should definitely look into this marketing opportunity next year. The bar staff could be decked out in an array of useful items for the discriminating purchaser and the profits could be used to fund cake and ale.
Elaine of Astolatladyofastolat on September 9th, 2014 11:53 am (UTC)
I missed a trick here. What I really need before next year is a nice, warm jacket-like thing, which will keep me warm when the sun goes down, but without impeding my arms like a cloak does. I should have commissioned one from a trader - free, but on the understanding that at least 10 times an evening, I would loudly exclaim how lovely snuggy warm it was, and how comfortable, and that my fellow bar staff would frequently exclaim about how nice it looked.
king_pellinor: P Knightking_pellinor on September 9th, 2014 12:58 pm (UTC)
I'll see what I can do :-)
louisedennis: roleplayinglouisedennis on September 9th, 2014 02:02 pm (UTC)
A poncho-y type thing might also work and would be easier to make than a jacket. Though it would be fun to see if the promotional thing worked!
king_pellinor: P Knightking_pellinor on September 9th, 2014 01:09 pm (UTC)
About the deaths: the explanation I've seen most held since Summerfest is that the players cocked up by not researching the big bad enough to know that he would explode on death - this seems to be due to normal mechanics that are well understood by those who understand such things well, so shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise had people looked into it. Also, having the whole player party mobbing the big bad is just asking for trouble anyway :-)

My own feeling is that this could give you 50 irresistible strikedowns, but I think the follow-up to that, where the remaining few monsters and players skirmished lop-sidedly (with most of the fighting players on the floor, but all the monsters being fighters), was reffed harshly/poorly. Monsters should be prone to fleeing when their side is clearly losing (I have a 75% survival rate when playing goblins, for example) or suffers a major set-back, and telling a dozen surviving players to clean up 50 strike-downs is enough of a challenge and RP opportunity all by itself.

So, half and half really. Part player cock-up / poor battlefield discipline, and part the reffing.

On the camp attacks, I feel a bit fed up because the monsters were left unopposed largely because the refs were explicitly hurrying players out of the compound - and I heard a couple of comments as we left along the lines of "of course, the other half of the adventuring community is here really, so they're not a threat". That sounds like a miscommunication - between refs and players, or between refs and refs, or both.
louisedennis: roleplayinglouisedennis on September 9th, 2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
Having skimmed at least some of the Facebook threads, I'd gathered that the refs felt the deaths were basically players messing up. It's a difficult call to make. I've been at fests with high death counts (on a couple of rare occasions). I didn't get that sense of high adrenaline "we just made it" from the players, more a sort of drained acceptance that they'd been pounded - it had been a tough fest anyway, not just in terms of deaths, but in terms of how late camp attacks kept running and how much constant awareness was being demanded of the players.

Morale seemed lower than necessary afterwards, from the point of view of one bar staff. But that doesn't necessarily amount to anything.
king_pellinorking_pellinor on September 9th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
I think one other problem with the deaths was that we thought we'd won the battle (IIRC I was turning to leave the field!) when the last big bad came up, somewhat unconnected from the ones we'd been fighting before. That meant it was more of a "it was hard and we won, and then it all went wrong" than "it was really tough but we came through in the end".

The graph started high and ended down, instead of starting low and going up.

I thought camp attacks actually finished rather earlier than they have in some earlier years.
louisedennis: roleplayinglouisedennis on September 9th, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
I thought camp attacks actually finished rather earlier than they have in some earlier years.

I suppose this shows how long it is since I've played. I recall being able to unwind in the evening as being something of a relief.
Elaine of Astolatladyofastolat on September 9th, 2014 02:41 pm (UTC)
You saw morale at its lowest point, that's for sure. My perception (as a non-player, watching on the outside and only seeing the bar) was that the final evening had a much better and happier atmosphere than last year's, at least in the bar. We sold a lot of cocktails - cocktail sales being my informal barometer of how happy and relaxed people feel. There were a lot of happy groups sitting laughing round tables in the bar. Last year, the last night in the bar was very flat - although not because of DEATH! but because a lot of the characters were stuck interminable meetings that they wanted to escape, but couldn't.
louisedennis: roleplayinglouisedennis on September 9th, 2014 06:36 pm (UTC)
I'd gone by then, but this suggests that what I saw was the initial shock and actually people were much easier with it once they'd had time to process it all. Which is probably good news.