Now that it's all over, and the risk of spoilage is gone, I can blog about the most excellent surprise party I planned for my husband, Jeff's 30th birthday. It started a few weeks ago, when I realized he was getting burned out from work, karate, and DMing/storytelling 3 or 4 different games. I mentioned to our good friend Eric that if he were to throw something, anything, together for his birthday, it would be a wonderful gift.
So Eric planned a classic dungeon crawl. First level characters against goblins, with the hint of a dragon at the end!
Then it occurred to me to really surprise him with this. I handed over a house key to Ana, and arranged for everyone in our usual gaming group to be at the house by 6:30. Hide upstairs with their shoes and the lights off.
I made him his favorite breakfast, French Toast, and Jeff and I spent most of the morning cuddling on the couch watching the DVD from his sister of the Muppets Season 2. Then we got dressed and I took him out to a sushi dinner, followed by a trip to his favorite gaming store. It turned out that chatting it up with a bunch of other gaming nerds really whet his appetite for gaming. He was starting to wax nostalgic for D&D. Now, up until now I had him convinced that I was probably going to run something as a solo game for him. I dropped a few more hints that would lead him down that road, and we went to the grocery store to pick up his cake. He was looking at these tiny little 2-serving ice cream cakes. I convinced him that we needed a bigger one to accomodate for his tradition of birthday cake for breakfast the day after. Oh, and then would you look at that? The price on the next bigger one is only a couple dollars more, and we'll have leftovers!
Ice cream cake in hand and friends parked around on the far side of the house, we get home. I take the cake and tell him to go upstairs and look in the gaming book, that I'd hidden something for him up there. He goes and as soon as he has the lights on, our friends yell Happy Birthday to him, causing him to nearly fall back down the stairs!
He quickly draws up a 1st level character, and much dungeon crawling ensues. Eric did a great job, and Jeff kept whispering to me how awesome this was. All of our friends were wonderful, helping organize schedules, and even coming back early from the Ren Faire to make it to our house on time.
The next day Jeff and I went to the Ren Faire and he got to spend a bit of his birthday money, and we had the usual good time drinking really expensive beer and eating really expensive food.
Jeff has told me that this was the best birthday he's had in a very long time. I'm incredibly appreciative of our friends who helped with the surprise, especially Eric for taking the DMing reigns for an evening (or two, since we didn't kill the dragon yet!).