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The Ataniel Five-Year Reunion Newsletter
Issue Two - January 1997
(apologies to Joan Didion, but none to Bork, who stole the title just like I did!)
Where are you going to sleep while this nightmare plays itself out? Details inside about scheduling, housing, character updating, and much much more!
Okay, for the very few of you who I actually got around to sending a copy of STR #1, I heartily apologize for the long wait between issues. For the rest of you who are only now receiving your copy of the June 1996 issue (free with your current, January 1997 issue), please try not to laugh too hard when you read all the promises in #1. Anyhow, we here at Reunion Central have finally gotten around to making all the important arrangements for the Ataniel Five-Year Reunion, and we're doing our best to make the whole event a real doozy. Whatever, in fact, a doozy might be. Over the next four months, we'll be keeping in closer contact with all of you, trying to coordinate things, so if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch by phone or email (phone is faster but less likely, email is slower, but I actually tend to respond to it). This time around, we'll update you on the hotel plans and prices. We've also got an update on how the game plot is coming together, a feature on the top ten villains of Ataniel, a worksheet for updating your character for the AFYR (pronounced "Ay-fer"), and some ideas about all the party favors I'm gonna be tossing your way. I promise this will all be worth the wait and the outlay. Anyway, without further ado, I'll shut up and allow you to actually read the issue. Go on. Read it. What are you still bothering here for?
Booking space for the AFYR was, so Kay tells me, a logistical nightmare. Since someone who shall remain nameless had the bright idea of doing this over the Memorial Day Weekend so that we could squeeze four days of gaming out of it, we were faced with the dilemma of finding hotel space on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Fortunately, your intrepid Gamemaster's wife, working diligently while her husband slept in until noon, finally procured arrangements at the Doubletree Inn at BWI Airport, right off BWI Parkway. We've got two suites reserved, each with a living room, bedroom and bathroom. These suites will make up the Game Complex: one will be Reunion Central, where we'll game, the other will be the Reunion Lounge, where we'll relax and hang out. One of the bedrooms is earmarked for yours truly and wife, but both couches fold out into a bed, and so there's ample place to sleep in the Game Complex should you so choose. Sleeping bags might be a good idea for those who check in late. The fee for the four-day-plus reunion is $150. This covers the hotel suites, including squatting rights, as well as all the game materials and Reunion Yearbook. People are encouraged to bring additional money for food and other non-essentials, as eating is not covered. I need people to check in with me at Reunion Central Thursday night. Gaming will start on Friday morning and run through Monday (Memorial Day) evening, so you'll only need to beg off of work for one day. If there are any problems with these arrangements, please let me know immediately!
I was driving home from work two days ago when it all finally clicked. The Villain. The Plot. The Twist. The Third Moon. The Other Villain. The Surprise. The Other Other Villain. All of it. It's a proper continuation of the grand epic of Ataniel, with a healthy mix of old plots and new intrigues. I've even got a hook for the Ten Year Reunion, but I'll let that play itself out later. The title for the four-day marathon campaign is "Unfinished Business." It starts with the return of one of the greatest foes you've ever faced, and just gets worse from there. I've had five years to get more and more evil, as Kay, Daniel and Janet will attest. Some things you may have thought were beyond even me... might not be. In fact, I can only promise one thing to allow you to sleep at night: Ariath's still dead.
I'm enclosing with this STR a worksheet for each of you to send back that will start us on the process of updating your character towards AFYR readiness. As I stated in the last STR, there'll be a bit of advancement for each of you from our last recorded point, so I need your feedback about what the intervening years have contained. It's imperative that you send this back to me ASAP, because I've got a lot of work to do to meld my plots in with your character background. I've got a lot of hooks left to stick into your characters, so I need to see where they'll dig in the most! Throughout February and March I'll be catching up with each of you via telephone to hammer out the final character statistics and stuff. That way, by the time we get around to playing the game in May, there won't be any hang up trying to figure out if you've got Spots with you or not. I'll also be seeding you each with some possibly relevant 5-year information that your character might have picked up along the way. Some of it will be relevant; a lot of it won't. That's the way things go in Ataniel. Anyway, get that brain working, and send me your form soon!
A lot of you have asked me exactly what this weekend is going to consist of, how long it's going to be, when you have to be where, can we go out to Sabatino's, things like that... Well, we've got a Hell of a lot of gaming to do (is that a hint?) and not much time to do it. Here's what I envision:
As you can see, it's obviously game- intensive. That's sort of the point. I'm trying to squeeze the essence of a "fourth year" of gaming into a four day period. Timewise, it comes out to about seven sessions. There's gonna be plenty of time to hang out, but like I've always told Ed, "I can't wait for your stupid football game!"
I figured that it would be pretty easy to list bios for the Top Ten Villains of the Ataniel Campaign. I mean, there were only three years, and not a lot of those guys really had "major villain" status, right? Wrong. I'm actually kinda amazed that y'all stood up so well against the sheer number of master villains that were thrown at you. I've tried to winnow it down to ten, but I'm sure I've left someone's most hated nemesis out of it. To make up for it, I'm gonna try to sneak as many others as I can into the text pieces. Forgive me if I miss any. I've also added two slots for antagonists who didn't really fit the part of "villain" but who flossed your butt anyway.
I'm putting together a progressively bigger Yearbook for the AFYR. So far, I'm including a who's who, a variety of fun handouts from throughout the campaign, a new short story, the bits from the AY2 novel, and a couple of other goodies. Still, I want to make sure I'm making a keepsake that we can all enjoy. Please send me your ideas for what I should include. I've also got a little homework for each of you:
That's it! All I need! Remember when you bitch and complain about doing this that I'm compiling the verdammt thing and writing the game to boot. So nyeah.
Well, things are really kicking into gear on all of this. It's imperative that if you have any problems to call me immediately so that I can talk you out of them. Remember, this is more important than your job, your family, your football game... and I promise it's going to be more fun than sex with your favorite Star Wars actor.
Looking forward to seeing y'all in May!
Douglass Barré / firstname.lastname@example.org
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