In which we learn, among other things, that you can subtract from Awesome several times and still have an end result of Awesome.
But this isn't just any con. I'm sure it's possible to ruin Gen Con, but it takes more than a few mistakes and misfortunes to keep "the best four days in gaming" from living up to its nickname. No, really, they didn't pay me to say that. That's how I feel. I can see that I'm being ambiguous again, so I'll try and clear it up:
GEN CON ROCKS!
Okay, now on with the play-by-play. As always, you can click on the picture for a larger view, but you may find out that some of them are blurry.
Troll Hoot) and other people whose names always slip away from me. One of them was Australian.
We had some D&D-themed food specials (the waitress did an excellent job of explaining Otiluke to Tom) and chatted. I got a strange compliment on my hair: "it blows in the breeze even when there's no breeze." Maybe that means I'm a gorgon.
It was probably Wednesday's combination of multiple forms of alcohol with the delicious and very spicy "Elder Dragon Chicken" that led to my digestive issues. Whatever it was, it kept me in the room most of the day and I had to cancel both of my Peryton RPG Fiend Folio Frenzy sessions. So much for showing off my game. Late in the afternoon, I wandered downtown, ran into Mandy in the Crowne Plaza lobby, and did some shopping. Got a couple of cool metal six-siders with blue pips.
Ken St. Andre, his son James, and a guy named Brent drifted by and shanghaied me into a game of Magic: The Gathering. I hadn't played in a long time and it was fun to get back to it, although I had no cards of my own with me and had to borrow one of Ken's decks. I won the round but, not having built the deck, can't take much credit. This is one of the things I love about Gen Con: you never know when a game is going to just drop into your lap.
Everyone straggled back to The Stone Soup Inn for a private session of Tom's Cthulhu Dawn adventure. I think we did more damage to each other than any of the monsters did to us. We ended up staying on the boat instead of exploring the blacked-out city, which caused us to miss most of the plot. I think there were too many players for a serious Call of Cthulhu game, but it was still a good time just because so many people were hamming it up and Paul's roommate kept accidentally blasting our characters with his shotgun.
Before I wandered far, Tom reported to Mike (Monk) and Kelly that I might be bored, so they found me and we hung out for a while. I got to see character sheets for the stuff Mike was running, including a Beavis and Butthead one which, even after pasting the time and date into this very blog some time ago, I had somehow not known he was doing. Kelly and I wandered around a little while Mike worked some more, and then we had a pre-apocalyptic dinner at the Crowne Plaza bar.
I didn't have anything scheduled for the seven o'clock slot, so I sat between the tables for Tom's Cthulhu Over Casablanca and Mike's Drag Racing Zombies from Beyond the Moon events and worked out some last-minute details for my upcoming Doctor Who adventure, Web of Light. At some point during these events, zombies attacked, diverting through our room from Caed's popular Zombie Walk. Hopefully the other gamers (who were not actually part of the Apocalypse event but had been stuffed into the room with us anyway) weren't too annoyed when people dressed like zombies staggered around their table and pawed the character sheets.
At some point in that paragraph up there, it technically became Saturday, but, to me, the whole Apocalypse All-Nighter was Friday night, so it's all staying under this header.
last year's opening session showed up again and had recruited friends. It was, predictably, an amazing session. We had Frylock, Shake, Meatwad, Carl, The Cybernetic Ghost of XMas Past from the Future, and the Love Mummy. Meatwad was infected by the proto-super-corn Frylock was growing in Carl's pool. Eventually, it started ordering him to kill. The Love Mummy was used as an improvised steering device on Frylock's moon rocket. The adventure finished a little early, so we worked up a sequel, "The Search for Shake" (because Shake had been lost in space). Everyone switched characters and they proceeded to track Shake to Ceres, where a cult of space trees ("we don't know - WE'RE TREES") had propped up his algae-encrusted body as a totem. The session ended at around 5:30 when Frylock's attempt to revive Shake using the cloner resulted in the entire house animating as a giant algae-Shake-cornborg.
BASHCon). Caed suggested we all go to Steak & Shake for breakfast, and Tom's ghost hunters jumped right on that. Yes, I still consider this to be Friday night. One mediocre cup of yogurt and "fruit" with gigantic OJ later, we said our good-nights and Tom & I were marching back to the Stone Soup through almost tolerable weather while the sun came up.
I slept through a lot of Saturday. Tom wandered off some time before I did. Eventually, I hacked my way through the steamy jungles of Indianapolis to meet the gang at Claddagh. After thinking of nothing but the joy of air conditioning for miles, I found the bastards eating outside. Out. Side. Tom's survival that day was a narrow thing. Four quick glasses of ice water later, though, I was comfortable and enjoying myself. I caught up with several people I hadn't seen much of, including but not limited to Jordan, Todd, and Christy. The ever-enigmatic Christy disappeared pretty early, though.
That was pretty much it for Saturday. Mike & Kelly were heading back and it seemed like my best chance to make it to the room in a group before the bars kicked Tom out at midnight or whenever. I had an event to go to in the morning anyway, and still wasn't sure I had recovered the fortitude to drink heavily. Apparently, I missed quite a party. If my extra sleep contributed as much to the quality of the next day's game as I think it did, though, it was worth it. Anyway, I like this picture even though I wasn't there when it was taken:
Tom & I grabbed some quick breakfast stuff and crossed the Venusian lowlands to run Lilith Be a Lady Tonight and another Aqua Teen Hunger Force and the Book of Beards session. Having already played with my crew from last year, I was all set for this one to be just okay, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Everyone got into their characters, and the guy who played Carl did a great impression. Scott was there and, even though he had never seen the show, he got it right away and gave a nearly spot-on performance as Frylock. Some of my own ideas had taken a more useful form as well. This time, I remembered that Les Barbes Bizarre was written in hair and read with the tongue. Carl got clowned and lost his skin in a botched attempt to adapt him for life on the moon. Rather than destroy or guard the book, they sold it back to Future Wolf, who gave them a ride home in his "believable hair ship" but otherwise paid in IOU's based on the success of the screenplay he was trying to sell.
We met at Champions for the victory dinner. That would be Tom, Mike, Kelly, Scott, Ken, James, and... maybe that was it. A guy called G'noll and his wife showed up to say hello but didn't stick around. Tom hit the exhibit hall and bought novels from all the booth writers who had successfully guilt-tripped him earlier. We also spotted David Nett from GOLD and chatted with him for a bit.
I watched my Doctor Who DVD and quite enjoyed it. In the end, it was revealed that, "there is great danger in dreaming alone," which made it a wonderful epilogue for this year's Gen Con. So, while I could never entirely give up the indulgence of dreaming alone, I mean to bring along a few companions as often as I can. I'm thinking anywhere from three to 35,000.
As for next year, role-playing Aqua Teen Hunger Force has become one of the great joys of my life. I'm not sure what that says about my life, but the game is definitely on my schedule, probably with the show's new title, Aqua Unit Patrol Squad One. My modified BEAN rules worked really well, so I plan to stick with that. Staying closer to the convention center is a possibility. Finally, I mean to do a Micronauts scenario using a modified Peryton RPG system (much like what I'll be testing at Carnage this winter) and borrowing not only from that comic book, but also from Rom and other Bill Mantlo tales.
And, as always, there's Tom's blog, Part 1 and Part 2. Don't believe his lies.