I sort of had a two day Amtgard weekend. I hate to call what I did on Saturday Amtgard but I did go to Silvermoon (Salem, OR). We are influx at my local holding, trying to find a new park and I hadn’t seen any of the options as of yet, so I decided to go and check one of them out. I also vaguely recall telling someone the week before I was going to be at Silvermoon and I didn’t want to be a liar.
I showed up for a few hours, talked to a few people, didn’t pay attention to the games, and then left. It actually caused a bit of a crisis of purpose which I posted about on my Patreon. If you want to read about it and be part of the discussion considering pledging on Patreon to see the post. Basically I had a wavering belief in my knighthood and purpose in the game, at least at the local level. It has mostly passed though, thanks to the fun day I had at Dusk Hollow (Dallas, OR) on Sunday.
Dusk Hollow has become my new favorite place to go. It has a younger/newer population so the enthusiasm feels higher, plus, unlike Silvermoon, they ditch a reasonable amount of time. Not to mention it’s where my Man at Amrs, Ozzward is Regent, so I get to work with him and that gives me a sense of purpose.
This week I had additional incentive to go to Dusk Hollow. I met a new friend, Sundown, at the local Tap House two weeks ago and she was excited to learn about Amtgard. We set a date for her to come out and which was this Sunday, the 17th. She even said she would bring friends.
Much to my delight, she showed up on Sunday and she brought three of her friends. One, Casey, I had met at the Tap House the same night I met Sundown. I brought them all short swords and explained the fighting rules to them. It turns about Casey had played Amtgard for a few weeks when he was younger and was very gung ho in comparison to the others. The others were a bit more timid but they fought each other and had a good time.
After they fought for a little bit I brought out a few rule books and went over the different class and some of the game concepts. After we talked about it for a little while they took to reading up on the rules. They were feeling a little overwhelmed so didn’t want to participate in any of the battle games that day, but they were pretty excited about the possibility.
I also talked a little bit about the community aspect and the awards but I didn’t make it central to the discussion of Amtgard. I mostly talked about the community and that there are lots of volunteer opportunities outside of just playing the game. Sundown had no idea about the community aspect and seemed excited to hear about it.
They also got to witness an Althing and Court. Not the most exciting thing to watch on your first day, but it gave them an opportunity to see all aspects of the game, the game side, the business side and the awards side.
They were there for about two hours and genuinely seemed to enjoy their experience. They said they planned on returning next Sunday. Sadly I won’t be there to greet them because I am running a Dungeons and Dragons game.
It has been years since I’ve put in that much effort into introducing people to the game. My worry is I overloaded them with information, but I don’t think I did. I just did an overview of the classes, not going into the details of the game rules or abilities, outside of the basic fighting of rules of course. It was a fun experience to be the one to introduce new, enthusiastic, people to the game. I haven’t done that since I ran the demo at Newcon so many years ago.
Part of the reason I don’t do it when I see a new person is anxiety. What made this easier is that it was someone I had met previously, even if only once. Even then there was still a level of anxiety I had to fight against. It helped that they were all eager to learn. I hope I managed to get them excited about the game. I’d love to be there guide. Part of me would enjoy living through their experiences and exploration of the game.
As for the meat and potatoes of the day, there were three games. The first was an escort game. I didn’t catch the specifics because I was going over the classes with my new crew.
Then there was some ditching, which I participated in, and then the second game. The second game was a ring the bell style game. Your team had to hit the bell four times to score a point. Each time a player hit the bell, they died and were cursed, so you couldn’t just sit there and ring the bell repeatedly. It had to be different people.
Originally I didn’t plan on playing in the game but Anya needed to step out so I took her place. I played warrior. I never did end up using any of my abilities but I did get into the game. I nearly scored a point but there was a rules mishap and we had to rewind a bit and I was prevented from scoring the point.
After the battle game we played a game of Rez. If you’re unfamiliar with that game it’s also called Kill Your Kill by some. The goal is to kill everyone. When you die, you stay dead till the person who kills you dies. There isn’t always a winner but there was one winner this day, Critias.
After the Rez we played the last battle game for the day, a two man forever game. It was pretty straight forward, There were teams of two, you died, you go back to the base and wait for a new teammate. Once there were two people at the base you would come alive.
It lasted for a long time, ending out the day. At times it broke down into groups banding together. Most notably, Darb, often helped out other teams. He was playing a summoner druid without any weapons. Not ideal for this sort of game, but he did give out a lot of enchantments.
At the end end of the day, before it go to dark, I pulled Ozzward off to the side and we did some single sword work. We started by sparing for a few rounds so I could see where he could use some improvement. We stopped after a few minutes and I went into teaching mode.
Pretty much everything he was doing needed some tweaking. First of all he was squaring up his shoulders, which is excusable when doing sword and board, but not with single short. He probably shouldn’t be doing that in sword and board either. I showed him how to angle his body so his left shoulder is further back and harder to reach. I explained the importance of keeping your back straight at all times and keeping your knees bent and ready to spring.
I ended on a note about footwork. It’s important to move in triangles, never in straight lines. I did note that a lunge is an attack rather than typical movement and movement is what I was referring to. I showed him a training exercise which he can do when he is just walking, to help reinforce these movement rules, as well as help strengthen his legs.
This too was very fun. I haven’t done any basic instructions in a good long while. It might have been since I was helping out my squire Indra, when he first started playing. I really look forward to Ozzward learning and applying my teachings to improve his fighting. I’d like to see how far I can take it. I have a lot to teach, a lot more than I can physically do myself.
On top of the typical events of the day Old Man Lee brought out a turkey dinner for everyone to partake in. I ended up eating after most other people so sadly I only got stuffing and gravy. The turkey and mashed potatoes were gone. It tasted good, if a bit salty. It was nice to eat something, even if it was just a bunch of carbs a little fat.
Sunday was a much better day than Saturday. I came off of Sunday feeling invigorating, the exact opposite of how I felt after Amtgard on Saturday. Next weekend is going to be Amtgard lite though. I will be attending Silvermoon on Saturday, we are voting on which park will be our new permanent home.
The althing is schedule for 2pm. I will be leaving as soon as it’s over to spend some time with my friend Isabel. She wanted a drunk evening and I was willing to oblige. She might be inviting a few other people, making it a small, impromptu party.
Then on Sunday I won’t be attending Dusk Hollow because, as I mentioned, I’m running a Dungeon and Dragon’s game. The plan is to have this be a monthly game so I’ll be missing at least one Sunday a month for the foreseeable future.
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