The Wrecking Crew

The original purpose of this blog was to blog mainly about gaming. It has been a week, the imaginary people in the nose-bleed section of my mind are getting riled up and telling me to get on with it already. So start off, I will talk about The Wrecking Crew.

Nine years ago my family fell on hard times. As a family we made some of the hardest decisions of our life, and the end result was my husband joined the army. My children and I moved back in with my parents. I needed something to do with my time rather than mope around the house. I’m not sure who suggested it, but I’m pretty sure that it might have been Adam. That said there was this WoD group that met down at this local game store and were doing a demo there that coming Saturday.

I was interested, and I showed up.

I brought with me a Setite character, an ugly ass bitch. I got a strange look from the Storyteller when I related my character concept to him. He scratched his head a bit and said, okay.

We get about a half hour into the story and my character needs to get into this house being guarded by some ghouls. Others in the group had already gotten in through their own means, so I was left to my own devices, as I remember it.

So the guards riled my character for a bit while I did some quick thinking. I think that they asked me what I was going to do either get them not to rat me out, or to let me in, or something. Either way, in a rare flash of inspiration, my character started to unbutton her shirt.

Now, remember, I am playing an Appearance 0 Follow of Set.

The guards get alarmed, “What are you doing?!”

“Tell you what, you let me in, I’ll keep my clothes on.”

The Storyteller just stared at me for a second or two, then the guards ushered my character on into the building, looking over their shoulders at my character and shuddering.

The next day, the Storyteller gives me a call and says, “Hey, we talked about it, and we’d like to invite you to our private games.”

That was my introduction to Dave Martin and indoctrination into The Wrecking Crew.

Over the next two years, I play with them almost every Saturday. I get asked to run at my first convention with them, then another and another. This is when we were just one of the many demo teams for White Wolf.

Sadly, real life interfered with my ability to keep playing with them. First, moving an hour and a half away made it more and more difficult to pack up the then toddlers and head out for an evening of gaming. Second, well, I was being torn in two different directions. I had to make a choice between two people who were upset with me for different reasons but related reasons, and there was really only one choice I could make at that time.

I regretted having to make that decision; I resented having been put in that position to begin with. Dave helped me out of some bad places and was a great friend, one of the few I had at that time. I had to walk away, and I walked away without an explanation. Dave made his displeasure known regarding my behavior, but I was not willing to talk about why I was doing what I was doing. On the way back from that convention, our car broke down on the side of the road and we were without reliable transportation – well, until the past two years actually.

Fast forward many years. We were at Gamers’ Inn for one reason or another, and I spy at the far table, some of my brother’s friends – and Dave. Holy cow! I got up, nervous as all hell and say hi, how it is going. We exchange numbers. I leave, but I’m pleased to see that he’s doing well.

Next week I get a phone call inviting me back into the group. I accepted. A little older, a litter wiser, I laid down some ground rules for the husband this time around. He’s also a little older and a little wiser, so understands them and apologizes for being an ass the last time.

After awhile, it came up that we were a senior demo team. I really did not understand exactly what that meant at the time other than additional perks. A couple of months after I rejoin, Dave emails us and says the next game is a play-test session, please print, sign and bring a copy of the attached file.

Oh, it’s an NDA for White Wolf. How cool is this? Around the same time I was asked if I could possibly afford a plane ticket to GenCon. One guy had to drop out, and there were slots to fill, would I be interested and able to.

Flash back to the last convention I did with him where I was less than reliable. I was being given a second chance. I took it – with the caveat that I need to clear it with the husband of course. I had a job at the time, so I could pay for my own plane ticket.

My first GenCon in 2009 was awesome in so many ways. Of course, I was in total shock through most of it. What the hell did I get myself into?

The Wrecking Crew at GenCon 09

RinCon 2009 was the next convention I did after that. I made sure to sit in on panels since I had no opportunity at the GenCon to do anything but work. Several panels were on game design and pitching, and one was on the state of the industry with Andrew Hackard and Kelley Barnes. There were three of us in the audience, which made it absolutely awesome to have two industry people to interrogate all to ourselves.

Well, the question about the role of demo teams came up. Kelley spoke about the importance of their role, and specifically about The Wrecking Crew. This prompted me to ask what the role of senior demo team entailed and how it differed from other demo teams.

The answer blew my mind. After picking up what was left of my mind after her answer, I sat there shell-shocked again. It entailed things like the team they had as senior was not up to par and were getting complaints from both players and White Wolf employees. Out of the other official demo teams, Dave’s reputation was the best. He made sure to get paperwork in on time, his team was profession, his team bathed… things like that. Kelley had nothing but good things to say about Dave and his team, which, included me now. Blink. Blink. Blink.

This GenCon, was even more awesome than my first one – and I got to get out and sit in on panels too!

Kelley Barnes has been made HR director, and Shane Defreest is now our handler. He said some really awesome things about us over here in this article on the Grand Masquerade. It’s hard to believe that includes me. This still has a very surreal feeling to it. The fangirl and the cynic war with each other in me on a daily basis.

Which leaves me with a list of pure awesomeness that has come about since returning to the Wrecking Crew:

  • I get to do volunteer work for my absolute first and favorite RPG game company.
  • My name is in the play-tester credits for Geist the Sin-Eater.
  • I have my foot in the (back) door into an industry that is hard to get into.
  • I’ve been to GenCon, twice, and I only had to pay for my plane tickets.
  • Gaming conventions are free, as a general rule.
  • I’ve been stopped and asked questions by VIPs at conventions just because I’m wearing the Wrecking Crew t-shirt.
  • I’ve meet some awesome fans from around the world.
  • I have fans.
  • I have been asked for my autograph.
  • I get to go to New Orleans!!!
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