Bill's 40th Birthday Party

My 40th party was held on Saturday, 4-Dec-1999. It was organized as a Live-Action Role-Playing event hosted by the talented people of Mystic Realms. This web site contains character background and descriptions from the game, and pictures from the party.

Written Stuff

Pictures

As you might expect, the web pages that contain pictures take a while to load.

Purpose

Why this web site? Is it vanity? Is it ego? Is it a desire to show off?

Yes, of course it is! You know me!

But there's more to it than that. Most people at the party had never been to a LARP (Live-Action Role-Playing) event before. I think they're curious about what goes into creating such an event. (Actually, according to Tony Kukal, I created about ten times more background and character descriptions than were necessary -- but I couldn't help myself.) Because the story was so complex, I think many people missed most of it. Some people could not attend the party; they may want to know what their characters would have been like. Others may wish to know the sordid details behind other people's characters. This web site gives everyone a chance to aborb the entire story.

It also is a handy way of distributing the pictures. If you see a picture you like, you should be able to download it by control-clicking (on a Mac) or right-clicking (on a PC) on the picture itself. I scanned most of the pictures with a resolution of at least 150 dpi (dots per inch), so they should look decent on a typical color inkjet printer. Of course, you're always welcome to contact me if you want a copy of a picture.

One thing that is not clear from the story or the pictures: I took the opportunity to play three characters at the party. The last role I played, Winston Waterston, is a character I've played since my very first LARP experience in April, 1991. I still play him in Mystic Realms to this day. I haven't played the other two characters in years: Joe the Bartender (an amoral creature without a care in the world), and Professor Diddleswythe (an academic who's more in touch with his studies than with the real world). It was a pleasure to return to those other characters and have fun with them for a while.

And now that it's over...

I have documented proof that I was planning this birthday party for at least two years. I mailed almost sixty invitations and received twenty-seven acceptances. For each character, I had to write up a description, translate their abilities in terms of the Mystic Realms rules, and create skill cards for each of their skills.

In addition to this, I had to make sure my props were ready: the boxes that Professor Diddleswythe used in his test had to be bought, painted, and have electronic traps installed. I had to buy make-up items such as elf ears for those guests who were playing elves. (By the way, this is nothing compared to what Tony Kukal and his team had to prepare and schlep from southern New Jersey to upstate New York.) And, of course, I had to buy the drinks that Joe the Bartender would serve, and arrange for the deli platters.

I was up until 5 AM on both the evenings of December 2 and 3 to get all this ready.

Did I enjoy myself? You bet I did! If I were you, I suggest you do the same for your next "big-0" party! Provided, of course, you have as great a bunch of friends as I have -- and as you are.


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