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Starfire Messages

For those of you who haven't been reading your email lately, my character binder went AWOL during dinner at Jing Jing's (was last seen on the head table where Lorelei, Cin, Smiley, etc. were seated). The restaurant says they don't have it, and I wasn't able to find it when dinner was over. This means someone else at the restaurant, most likely someone in the SILWest group, walked off with it by accident. All such people are on the mailing list and will get this message. So I ask all of you to please double-check the binder(s) you brought home and make sure that mine isn't among them. If you've got it, let me know immediately (I'm not going to accuse you of binder-napping; I know it was an accident), and I'll see about the best way to get it from you. Thanks again.

Oh, and great postgame gathering. Three cheers for Cin. You Bekosh know how to party. ^_^

"You're going to WASTE them?" - Braunn Trroutt, putting in her two cents about Human funeral proceedings

Chris Reaves/Go'ots Gr'urruff <>
- Sunday, November 28, 1999 at 17:02:39 (PST)
Very well put, Jonathan. I think you summed it up very well. There's a saying "you can't please all of the people all of the time". but I personally feel Aimee, Steve, George and Tom tried their hardest to do so anyway. To those who didn't enjoy "Starfire" as much as they could have I apologize and I wish there was something I could do or say to help you feel better about it. Also, like Areiel, I truly hope that at some point in the future you will re-think your decision to not be involved in future SIL-West games, because I feel you will be missing out.
I understand feelings of frustration, I certainly had some this game, as a key element to my organizations goals was accidently left out, but I got over it. If you really want to know frustration, ask me about the last 30 minutes of dragon, after I got ganked.
I have to throw in my words of congratualtions here, now.
Of course Steve and Aimee for making it all happen, and for the little bambino on the way.
*To George, who was great this game, I don't think I ever saw him without a smile the whole game. (Tho, that may be a sign of insanity, more than anything else.)
*To my crew (Tina, James, Angie, Jan and Ray) who kicked butt like cross-eyed Rockettes. There's nothing quiet like have a group that works together like a well oiled machine. Who your teammates are can make a huge difference.
*To the Abos, who looked like they were having more fun than anybody on Friday night.
*To the Grand Poobah of widgets, Tomas Puig.
*To Lorelei, Sunny and Barry who have no idea how bad a scare they gave me when they asked me if I knew where to get rum.
*To Areiel and Cyn, listening to them bicker during the funeral services was hilarious.
*To Cyn for asking me if I was Maxwell, which led me to make jokes about Maxwell's Silver Hammer. However the joke was on me because I had NO IDEA that was actually very real in the game.
*To Lisa, Ellie, Alexi, Miles and Glen who all so filled things out with such beautifully played whackos.
*And finally, to the gamemasters again for letting me do something I love to do... Sing Badly.

It was great to see so many friends again, and to make new ones. So, who is hosting the Post-game party?

Jason Warlock/Placebo Domingo/Enigma <>
- Monday, November 22, 1999 at 18:38:52 (PST)
Me again.

As to the praise/complaints from the game, a couple points:

(1) It should be noted that this was a NEW game, which means that there was never a chance to fully test it. For example, I remember that when the GMs were explaining Atlantis at the post-game, they mentioned that in the first three runs, one side completely dominated by mid-Saturday (our run was tense, though). In our run of Dragon, Morrolan and Crew had effectively won by mid-Saturday as well. That happens, as sometimes just due to a single action by one character which throws off the game, either due to casting or player interactions or what not. Oh, well.
(2) About Maxwell in particular, I'll agree that he was incredibly powerful, but I thought the Devourers were certain to win on Saturday (which is why our group started doing stupid things). If the Xchao-dai had identified and terminated Maxwell earlier, things would have gone a bit differently (and, had they held on to certain key items, they could have done it). Likewise, most people were screwed up by other characters, not the GMs. Our wormhole, which we spend hours getting together, was killed by one switch of the Warden, and she in turn was deposed by a single shot from Discord, which also screwed up our attempt to get the wormhole back up. Granted, the ending was a bit of a deus ex machina, but it was THE FIRST RUN OF THE GAME. Remember, they had to write all the blue sheets and all the books which everyone complained about reading (and which I was mad for not having; I had to have everything explained to me).
(3) About particular character complaints, allow me to share a story: In Dragon, I was cast as a total and complete dupe, and worse, a dupe whose controller was done with him midway through Saturday (seeing a pattern, here?). Thus, I became a dupe for another group and made an even bigger idiot out of myself. Additionally, my casting was as an honorable warrior who had to somehow justify massively dishonorable actions with his goals; which was the exact opposite of what I requested. I know that a lot of people are not going to like this, but you can't be cast as the perfect character every game. Only playing when you get cast as a great, super-important character is, in my mind, a bit selfish (the game needs a few idiots and dupes to run). And, with a fully cast game (something that has never happened before on this coast, ever) the redundancies that were built in become that: redundancies. Simply speaking, some people become less necessary than they might have been. The only reason I got onto the wormhole project is that I donated a bunch of parts, and then basically forced my way onto the staff. And I still was left out of a great deal of events because very few people really trusted me (except about the bombs, which was the one thing I had to lie about, oddly enough). Paranoid feelings and insular actions are extremely common in SIL-West, and any multiple player should know this, though newcomers can be expected to get a little frustrated with it.
(4) Some objections about the game, such as the irrelevence of Sargassian society, the powerlessness of man before the gods, and other problems, might be accurate. But the only way to get a "perfect" game is by making your own, and then others will complain about it. Hating SIL-West, or refusing to join other, field-tested games, just strikes me as a bit of an overreaction.


Jonathan Reaves <>
- Monday, November 22, 1999 at 17:38:38 (PST)
My view of the game was somewhere in between.

>>I had a flamboyant character to flaunt with 2 or 3 plots to interact >in. I
>>enjoyed the game immensely.
>I had one plot that was a completely moot point by Saturday's lunch break.
>I ran around trying to bluff, influence and otherwise involve myself with
>some other plot... ANY other plot, just to keep myself occupied. But most
>of my in character contacts freely admitted they had their pick of three or
>four plots, and I was just not that important or interesting.

I too had a character whose major plot was done by Saturday noon. And by late that afternoon, I was frustrated, and ready to call it quits. But Cygnus was able to find a way out and get back into the swing of things because of two areas in which our GM's had designed a really amazing amount of depth.

The first was in the character itself. Cygnus may have boarded the Starfire with only one major goal in mind, but his personality and character were given enough background that it was quite easy to posit the testy Bekosh making a snap judgement, forming a passionate view about any number of other goings on, and inserting himself and AMI's radical views into the situation, whether invited or not. It was also a nice challenge as a player, to be confronted Sunday morning with the fact that Cygnus had chosen the 'wrong' side, but have Cygnus stick to his choice because that's the sort of fanatical bastard he is.

The second element of depth that made the difference was that the game mechanism was set up to allow Cygnus to grow. When it became clear that Cygnus was going to be useless with the skills and resources he had at the start, the game had within it the depth and flexibility to allow him to acquire enough new skills, abilities, and resources to make himself matter again. Not that any of this was easy; in the space of six hours Cygnus had to: acquire a space suit, steal a jetpack, figure out how to breathe in a vacuum, get sufficient quantities of energy and oxygen, and learn the EVA skill. Even so, the maze almost killed me any number of times. But all of this was challenging, and once I was engaged, it was great fun.

>>The richness of the game was astounding but I think it was also
>> >overwhelming to many people. The time constraints for absorbing the
>>?>materials was too limited for the amount of information (even if it >had
>>been available earlier - but that would have been a big help).
>I did not find the game rich or complex. The Sargassan culture may have
>been interesting at first, but nobody cared about that once we realized that
>the real threat was the "Devourers". I guess you could say that peace broke
>out early, and the only paranoid people were the ones who had the power to
>defeat all challengers anyway. Once us "commoners" identified that the only
>real power was in the Hologram/former Aborigine/Maxwell plot, we had nothing
>to do but watch the 500 pound Gorilla smash all opponents with unfair ease.
>It wasn't even sporting. What's the fun in watching a fight if you know
>who's going to win?

I think Christy is right in pointing out that Maxwell had an overwhelming advantage. Even the GM's pointed out that they had no expectation that the Holograms would ever be able to reach the arsenal that would have balanced that struggle; in fact, they were surprised that Yoshinake got as far as she did. But I don't believe that a predestined "Grand Outcome" in any way hurts the game. In fact, I think it adds to the flavor of it. Consider 'Secrets of the Necronomicon', an earlier Sil-West game. In a world where the best we can hope for from our gods is indifference, the ultimate triumph of evil is a necessary component; the atmosphere is incomplete without it. In Empire, my character was set up as a tragic hero, doomed from the very beginning. To the chagrin of the GM's, I actually managed to escape that doom, only to perish in an even grander, more tragic doom, founded on nothing but my own stupidity.

So what if Maxwell was bound to win? I don't think that the game would have been nearly as enjoyable or complete with any other outcome.

>Michelle Huariu resigned her commission upon return to normal space and took
>a job with Jenny Lindt to investigate the untimely death of Mrs. Lindt's
>husband. She is pregnant with Harry Baldy's child.

Once every three or four weeks, she receives a piece of junk mail from AMI, asking for money.

>I think that sums it up adequately. I don't mind having words put in my
>mouth, or having a character with preordained destiny, as long as I can have
>some fun chewing the scenery as the ship sinks. But I was not even given
>that comfort. The GMs spent too much time explaining jokes and chuckling at
>their own cleverness for me to enjoy the random silliness that may have made
>this weekend worth my time, effort and $70 (not counting costuming).

The GM's can only do so much; the vast majority of making the Starfire an interesting place was the responsibility of the players. And it saddens me that you won't be back, because you were clearly one of the people who made the investment of time, money, and energy to make it a cool place.

In every Sil-West game I have played in, my character needed to do things beyond its abilities. I've seen players whine because the GM's said something wasn't possible, and I've seen players cheat to do things the GM's said they couldn't. The challenge is to come up with a way to grow a character beyond its restrictions in a fashion so plausible as to command its assent, even by the GM's.

As for the GM's chuckling at their own cleverness, I'd have to say that it's a fair cop. Not that we players are any less smug or arrogant. But if we pause and reflect, we can see that they should be pitied, not chided. Consider their illustrious leader. It is no small curse to attend the greatest university in the known universe, and be destined to live in a world of underlings so short-sighted that they continually fail to bow before the radiance of one's educational background. It's a wonder they can put up with us at all. Truthfully Christy, would you willingly consign yourself to such a high, noble, and lonely fate?


I hope you reconsider your decision, and share your energy and presence with us again.

Take care,

Areiel nee Cygnus Bevin-Engles I

Areiel Wolanow <>
- Monday, November 22, 1999 at 16:09:14 (PST)
Ooh, I get the first post-game message posted. How fun, although I can only do this since I missed dinner :( First, to all of you who asked about the bombs which I "forgot" to mention came from my planet, you have my most sincere apologies. But remember, when I sign the treaties with the Consortium and the Dominion, you still don't know that. Second, to my dear fellow engineers and scientists, it was a pleasure working with you all. If you could help me get home, it would be even more of a pleasure (you do all owe me at least a couple favors--remember those command codes?--and I'm certain my governemnt would reward you appropriatly). > Third, I would happily play in any game that is selected for the next one (But one like Empire or Tea in the Sahara, which has not been done in a long while, might be preferable as more people could play). Oh, and who's hosting the post-game party? (if that was announcing at dinner, please excuse my ignorance). Thanks to the GM's for another dose of organized chaos--one can never get enough.

Kastellentelr (who seems to be very fond of parenthesis)

Jonathan Reaves <>
- Sunday, November 21, 1999 at 22:24:53 (PST)

The Church of the Cosmic Flux

Open Services
Friday 10pm in the VIP lounge

followed by a discussion of
Athena, Nariss, and T'ruka:
The Role of Wisdom in Our Theological Pasts

ALL Species Welcome!

Priests: Attendance is mandatory.
Members: It is a Most High Ceremony.
Holograms: Please check in with the Sustainer.

(Some fluxors will be provided, but please bring one if you can.)

F'wit Ria'zon <>
- Monday, November 15, 1999 at 00:45:42 (PST)
Captain Briggs Robinson here with a few tips for the game:

Ways to avoid getting on the Captain's bad side:

10) Call the Starfire "Robinson's Cruiseship" on Friday.
(Saturday I can deal with.)

9) Tell a crewmember or guest that going to my
stateroom is like "getting thrown in the Brigg[s]."

8) Ask to see my tattoos.

7) Show me your tattoos (unless they're really cool).

6) Don't tell me about the bomb/plague/lifesupport-failure/threat/etc. (I really need to know.)

5) Tell me about the bomb/plague/lifesupport-failure/threat/etc. (You might learn what it means to "swear like a sailor.")

4) Ask to sit at my table without going through the Steward.

3) Spout off any obviously spurious and fallacious reason
chocolate should be banned in any way, shape or form
anywhere in the universe. (Nonsense!)

2) Call the ship the "Starblazer," me Captain Avatar, or any
combination thereof.

Don't know what I'm referring to...? Aeeeiiieee!!!

1) Make any references to that movie with the iceberg and
Leonardo di Caprio.

Thanks to Wendy for hosting a great party this evening. Look forward to seeing you all Friday!

- Captain Briggs Robinson.
aka Peter Corless.

Peter Corless <>
- Sunday, November 14, 1999 at 22:21:40 (PST)
I am looking for a transport vessel of someking that might be passing through or near San Luis Obispo county for the Starfire voyage. Any suggestions?
Admiral Togeta <>
- Sunday, November 14, 1999 at 15:58:40 (PST)
Hunting for Attire?

LARRY'S COSTUME at 1687 West San Carlos Street in San Jose has many theatrical costumes, some slightly tattered, and excellent feathery wings and headdresses for sale not rent. Take 280 to Leigh, go North on Leigh and turn right on West San Carlos. LARRY'S is on the left near Cash&Carry next to See's Addictive Chocolate Comestibles.

COSTUME BANK on State Street in Los Altos has exquisitely made, well-kept, affordable costumes for rent only. From 101 take San Antonio past El Camino. When San Antonio splits in downtown Los Altos, veer right onto State Street. COSTUME BANK is one block down on the left. The presence of Addictive Chocolate Comestibles has not been determined.

Lady Godiva Cadbury

USA - Saturday, November 13, 1999 at 15:48:50 (PST)

Grease paint is very messy and very heavy and tends to make me sweat. I plan to use eyeliner pencil instead. And my friend Ligeia the Makeup Maestro says that it comes in lots of wild colors nowadays. Not that I plan to paint my face wild colors, or anything extreme like that...

(formerly known as Allishandra)
(soon to be known as Ambassador Frroz'n, but you can call me Furry)

Lorelei Bosserman <>
- Friday, November 12, 1999 at 00:08:23 (PST)
In response to those of you who have emailed me regarding Starfire badges for non-crew members:
Sure, I can make up extra badges for non-crew members as a souvenir. Just email me, so that I can make enough. However, due to possible in-game uses of "official" badges, I will not hand out badges to non-crew members until the end of the game on Sunday. Again, a small donation would be appreciated.

A rough draft of the badge design is posted at the following URL:


Christy Young <>
- Wednesday, November 10, 1999 at 17:53:02 (PST)
As you may know, I have offered to make badges for the crew of the Starfire. Thank you to everyone who has responded. If anyone else would like a crewmember's badge, please email me privately ( before Friday Nov. 12th. I will be making badges this weekend. I will make as many badges as I have requests for them. I will distribute them on the first day of Starfire (Nov. 19th) and will provide a loaner needle and thread and/or duct tape to fasten them to uniforms. Though I have no profit motive, and am doing this primarily for fun, I will gladly accept donations (50 cents per badge sounds about right) for my time and materials.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

-Christy Young, a.k.a. Lt. Michelle Huariu, communications officer

Christy Young <>
- Wednesday, November 10, 1999 at 11:51:55 (PST)
hi all.
David McNeill-Coronado <>
- Tuesday, November 09, 1999 at 09:28:24 (PST)

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