Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Bookshelf

Awhile back, +James Maliszewski at Grognardia started a meme. I don't know if anybody else picked it up, but I've finally gotten around to adding my bit:
And here's a frequent denizen of the surface of that desk:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Requiem for Paragon City

Yeah, I know - it's just a game. And if you can't get past that reaction, please just stop reading here and go lecture someone else about starving children or whatever it is that makes you feel all grown up.

It was the Friday before Labor Day. I was looking forward to a long weekend, and stopped to check my email one more time before I got in the car. My brother Mike described it as finding out that fifty of his friends had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. City of Heroes was being shut down.

Apparently, this was done so that the parent corporation could... well, nobody's too sure what they were trying to accomplish. It was later verified that the game was still turning a profit, and all NCsoft offered by way of justification was some weaselly corporate newspeak. The suddenly unemployed members of Paragon Studios, the people who did all the work, didn't seem to know much more than the rest of us.

But that's not really the point, is it? Despite some valiant efforts to save them, Paragon City, the Rogue Isles, and all their associated alien worlds and pocket dimensions, are going to vanish on November 30th, 2012, probably forever. I'm writing this to work my way through it, to figure out how the cancellation of one online superhero game could hurt so much. Aaand, it's an excuse to talk about Mugged Santa again and put up some nostalgic pictures that (mostly) haven't left my screenshot folder before.

I was never much into MMORPGs, or any kind of video games for that matter. I enjoy them well enough when I sit down to play them, but somehow they never stick. So, naturally, when Mike started nagging me to try out this great new super-hero game that he and Billy and Lynn had been playing, I shrugged it off with an occasional, "eh, maybe later." Eventually, he just bought another copy of the game and mailed it to me. Well, okay, the least I can do is try it out, huh?

On March 7, 2005, I created a storm summoning/gravity manipulation Controller called Ki Rin and, after a brief training mission, joined Mike and Billy in Atlas Park. I can't remember who they were playing. Maybe their established characters, Neutronium and Carabiniere, but probably new characters so we'd all be the same level. We played a few missions and then I stuck around to explore a little on my own. Before the week was over, I had created several more characters, including Sunshrike, who was to remain one of the mainstays of my ever-growing horde. And I was already pestering other friends to sign up. Somehow, this game did what the others couldn't; I was hooked.

Tom watched me play it a few times and then wanted to try it himself, so he created several characters on my account. Getting more and more into playing Broccoli Mangod (or, in this incarnation, Brocholi Mangod), and The Acting Patriot, he finally decided to create an account of his own. That only accelerated things. One of us would see the other playing and jump right on. The Hunger Strike team, full of food-based heroes inspired by Broccoli Mangod and The Angry Beet, grew, along with MYTHOS, founded by Cthulhu Boy and Song of R'lyeh. Citrus Shocker and Capt. Scrappy split off to found The Scrap Pile, and will go on scrapping until The End.

We worked our way out of Atlas Park and Galaxy City, then moved on to explore Kings Row and the deadly, shattered ruins of The Hollows. Kings Row became the source of a lot of fond memories, I guess because it was fairly easy to reach the appropriate levels (we were always creating new characters) and it was a fun area to explore, especially during the Halloween event. Broccoli Mangod refused to attack The Lost there, because he felt strongly that they were only misunderstood unfortunates, exercising their right to free assembly. In Steel Canyon, we renamed one of the ponds, "Cowards' Lake" because we always ran there to lick our wounds after starting a fight we couldn't quite finish.

During the 2006 Winter Event, when Tom realized you could almost put together a Santa suit from the costume piece prizes, he created Mugged Santa, an old (but still ripped) man in tighty-whities whose mission was to win back his uniform from the treacherous gnomes who robbed him. Starbryte, one of my earliest characters, who had been neglected for a long time and was still only second or third level, joined him, along with people we met along the way and Mike's Frost-Brand. Absurd as it may sound, this improvised plot was the basis for my short story, "Mister Blue Sky" in the POW!erful Tales anthology.

And of course, there was also City of Villains, which, as you might have guessed from the name, was the expansion that made it possible to play the bad guys. It was my birthday present from Tom that year. That was also about when Tom's co-worker Emerson joined us, and when we started our fan blog. CoV opened up new vistas, new power sets, and new inspirations (not the game term, the regular word). The tutorial was a cool prison break scene, and the starting zone was an amazing burnt-out husk of an old-timey European style city with newer sci-fi elements built over it. Port Oakes kind of reminds me of Cleveland. I will always think of Key Tower as Arachnos HQ.

I joined in villainous enterprises with The Unbeholden (Tom's creation, founded by his StalkerBeasty Boy,  who casually handed off the administrative duties to my CorruptorMistress Terror. Unbeholden is also one of my favorite group names, which will see new life in Qalidar), The Twice Born, and The Technocratic Dominion. One day during a Double XP Weekend, Zombie Lizard Moll (me), The Partying Animal (Tom), and Firetemple (Emerson) fought their way through an army of snake people and founded The Bad, The Ugly, and The Mutagenic, which, with the addition of Mike's Apocalizard and several others, would become our most active villain group.

After a while, the blog sort of faded. Kind of a pity, because we were still playing a lot, and there were several later adventures that I would enjoy revisiting. We all drifted away from the game for a while because of financial issues, and I was the only one who came back with any regularity. The games I played with strangers never engendered the same kind of spontaneous creativity as our friendly sessions, though, and the stories I came up with by myself, while fun to play out, never quite seemed worth the trouble of blogging. Here are some of the posts I really enjoy going back to. Probably nobody but me, and maybe the other people involved, will feel this way, but I'm putting it all out there anyway.
For the release of Going Rogue, they had a promotional event in which everyone who had ever had an account could play for the weekend. Mike, Tom, Lynn, and I signed on and played until our eyes bled and we collapsed over our keyboards. My character had the new demon summoning power set, naming her summoned creatures (which the character insisted were not demons, but quasi-sentient extra-temporal chaos manifestations) after my cats. There was the whole new world of Praetoria to rampage across which, sadly, I never explored much after that get-together. Also, I only have a couple of screenshots to show for the whole event. I guess I left the extra roll of film at home on that trip.

And that's what it really is - a trip. Not the drug kind, although, well, maybe sometimes, but the vacation kind. The adventure kind. Sure, the game was a way I could do things with physically distant friends and family, but it wasn't unique in that way. And it was a way to meet new people, but I do that all the time at conventions and, you know, life. Those are things I'll miss, along with the fun of just creating characters and playing the game, but what really makes it irreplaceable is that it was a unique place where we talked, explored, created, and overcame adversity together.

It's a place where I could revisit old ghosts at will. Walk around a virtual corner and, hey, do you remember when that gardvord knocked Scrappy off the bridge and he landed here, barely conscious, in the middle of a bunch of Lost? Remember when we first saw all those clockwork swarming around this ditch and had no idea what was going on? Isn't this where we were exiting from that sewer mission and that enormous muscle-man in pink underwear zipped by? Yeah, the exploration badge is up on this ledge; took me forever to find that one. And so on. It's ten or twenty of my favorite vacation spots, all full of old memories, all ready and able to embrace new memories, all crumbling into the abyss at the end of the week. That's what I'll really miss.

And flying. Flying is awesome.

And here's a song. You'll just have to pretend this video full of Doctor Who scenes is a video full of City of Heroes clips. Somebody else made this. I don't do video.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Carnage Noir

The last Carnage at Lake Morey wrapped up recently. Moving was probably a good idea, because blah blah blah, but I still blah blah blah. Yeah, this has all been said very well before, and I don't really have anything to add.

Wednesday
After recovering from SuperFrankenSandy or whatever the part of it was called that hit Cleveland, I went in early to work so we could get out early in the afternoon and head for Syracuse to pick up Monk before the airport started to think he was a terrorist or something. The weather was drizzly. We didn't hit any of the terrifying storms we had been warned about. The worst of it seemed to be long gone. 

We picked up Monk and went to Tully's, the sports bar across from the Dark Gathering, for dinner. We then proceeded to orbit Lake Onondaga because Tom thought he could get to the motel by feeling his way through town instead of getting back on the expressway and, despite years of experience that suggested otherwise, I believed him. When we finally got there, they couldn't get to sleep, which of course meant I couldn't sleep either, because they were giggling and talking about boys well into the wee hours. Or "more wee" hours. It was already pretty late when our tour of the slums of Syracuse ended.

Thursday
So yeah, more driving, more drizzle. Not much to say about it, but I guess I should blather on for a while so I'll have more room for pictures. We took a different route, cutting straight across to Brattleboro or whatever it is instead of meandering through the diagonal course that the machines always want us to take. We got to the resort and checked in. I found Andre and said hi, then Tom wanted to do laundry. We tried to go to an Indian restaurant but it was run by crazy people so it was already closed, so we ended up somewhere else. Hungry Bear or something like that. I don't remember what I ate, but the house margaritas were really good. They had a little bit of a bite like you'd get from ginger or something. I don't know what it actually was, but it worked.

After dinner, several of us from the Hungry Bear adventure moved on to Andre's Pool Room of Madness for a Call of Cthulhu game. Much of the usual crew was there, along with New Tom (who was actually much less new to Carnage than us, but I hadn't gamed with him before so he's "new" here) and Old Tom (not Bombadil, although keeping him focused was equally difficult). Instead of waiting eagerly for that lucky die roll that drives your character insane, we got to play characters who started out crazy, which was a fun twist. I got fried by a weird blaster-thing (I know what it was, but I don't want to ruin the scenario for future players) and other characters met even more awful ends, but a couple of them did escape.

I went back to the room, so that was the end of the evening for me. Old Tom stayed out to get even more wasted and, apparently, to go around belligerently asserting weird things.

Friday
I spent a lot of Friday making character sheets for Walk the Spiral. I had intended to do this Tuesday, but then there turned out to not be any electricity. So anyway, I took my laptop out to the lounge and happily concocted my pre-gens in a comfy couch by the window. I had a nice chat with an interesting Diplomacy player whose name I can't remember now. I also picked up the new Dungeon! board game from Cooper's Cave. Well, remade, anyway. It wouldn't be quite right to call it "new." Anyway, if you're near wherever Cooper's Cave Games is in the real world, I recommend going to their store.

Anyway, I finished that and a few mixed drinks, went off to print out my stuff, and then mingled for a while. I was going to play a midnight game, but I got sleepy and went to bed instead. I guess I should just quit signing up for those. Tom woke me up later for some Tom thing, but I got rid of him pretty quickly.

Saturday
Got moving and made a last-minute prop for the Aqua Teen game. I was about ready to join the fray while Tom was around, so he suggested that we "go be among them." I said I'd be along shortly and he left. A little later, I searched the resort and he was nowhere to be found. Apparently by "them," he meant the beer displays at the grocery store. So anyway, I did the lunch mingling thing and then headed back to the room to get my stuff for the Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1: Black Stockings and Sippy Straws. I was kind of anxious about the day's events, so, as Monk looked on in alarm, I downed a double shot of absinthe and mixed a gamma bomb (my name for equal parts absinthe and Mountain Dew) in my water bottle for later re-fortification.

I was soon in a prime Aqua Teen-running mood, but only one person (Roy) showed up. We frantically texted for reinforcements, but were betrayed on all sides by fickle friends. Tyler even made a point of luring people away from our table, despite my desperate attempt to bribe him with uncooked beans. I even wandered upstairs and tried to recruit people.

Zach wandered by. Tom and I had adopted Zach as our Carnage son a few years back because, like all old people, we can only maintain an active lifestyle by draining the vital energy from younger companions. Naturally, I shanghaied him for my event. Still, that was only two. Normally, I cancel when there's less than four players for this game. Andre gave me another excuse by calling with a vacancy, and Tom even stopped by to mock my failure. But I got a good vibe from my two players and from various chemicals, so hell yeah, we're doin' this thing!

Roy played Meatwad, and Zach started out with Carl. I included Shake and occasionally Frylock (he was off on an Internet-generated hookup which he claimed was a science convention, but Meatwad went to find him) among the NPCs. It started off a little slow but, within ten minutes, we were playing off of each other easily and it really got going. The femme fatale, Lana, constructed earlier from garbage I found in our room, appeared and introduced assorted plot twists (although only Meatwad could hear her). Carl eventually died and was replaced by Billy Witchdoctordotcom, who resurrected Carl and pieces of Carl several times as the turkey-chicken conflict from Robofrance played out.

We managed to sustain the mood all the way to four o'clock, when Meatwad and Ultra Mega Chicken conquered the world and decided that it was time to exterminate all mammalian life. Back to the mingling, I met Scott and Petra, who apparently Tom had mistaken for me earlier. Just Petra, I mean, not the pair of them together. I hope. In celebration of the fact that I was wearing shoes with really flimsy soles, I smashed my big toe into the stairs as hard as I could and twisted it into a really fascinating new shape. Then there was dinner out somewhere with some people who all looked like giant throbbing toes, and then I got back in the room and had Tom check out the wounded digit to make sure it wasn't broken. It's good to have a medic handy.

All patched up, I headed down to the ballroom to run Walk the Spiral. Unfortunately, only Christy had signed up. She thought she could get one other person to play, but didn't sound too sure. She also looked wiped out. The other option was that we could jump in on this game with the colorful banners that had been sucking up players all day. (Note to self: get some colorful banners.) Dave from the Dark Gathering was also playing in that game, so I agreed to go that route.

It was a neat game, with runestone-based randomizing and a Norse... well, everything. I think it was called Ragnarok. I was a little put off by the murderhobo play style that some of the fans had adopted, but I didn't want to make waves. I got a little cranky towards the end just because it was taking forever and I wanted to go ice my foot, but like I said, still a fun game.

After a short break, I put my bottle of absinthe, a couple of cans of mountain dew, and a glass into my bag and  moved on to the lounge. Tom and Dan Williams were out there drinking with some other people, so I went to talk to them first. If I had known Dan would be dropping off so soon, I would have stuck around out there to catch up, but I didn't know and I was eager to make the scene at Andre's court, so I moved on after a fairly brief conversation.

Andre was preaching fire and brimstone when I arrived. The conversation eventually meandered away from politics and drifted back to more pleasant topics. After a while we went out to the porch for a toast, drifted back to the pool room, all that. Good times, but not much to talk about.

Less Important Days
And then there was Sunday and packing and driving to Syracuse to drop Monk at the airport. We stopped for lunch at a place called Stella's somewhere in the wilderness. It didn't look like much, but the food was really good. After that there was Monday and more driving and happy cats at home.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Tunnels

We've got another one of these out. Now I can get back to getting ready for Carnage.  :-)

Elder Tunnels: Halloween Special 2012

Print $8.99 - Click Here to Buy
PDF $5.99 - Click Here to Buy

This is the special Halloween issue of Elder Tunnels, featuring spooky Tunnels & Trolls goodness, including:

  • Introduction by Andre Kruppa
  • Creature Feature: The Woe Hound by Jerry Teleha
  • Creature Feature: The Bone Lord by Tom K. Loney
  • Junior's Return, a GM adventure by David Moskowitz
  • The Curse of the Three-Eyed Stone, a solo adventure by David R. Crowell

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nazi Buddha

Okay, it's not really a Nazi Buddha. I just thought that was a funny title. Like the worst superhero ever, or something.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19735959

Anyway, I'm trying to think of an artifact that could be more awesome than an ancient Tibetan statue carved from a meteorite.

...

Still nothing.

...

Okay, I'm going to stop trying now. If I come up with something before I post, it'll ruin the whole setup.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gen Con 2012: Beggars at the Feast

Yeah, it's taken me a while. I brought home some nasty little midwestern stowaways from the con and haven't been feeling too good this week.

Fans of the musical Les Miserables will recognize the titles and captions. Yes, the songs are out of order. And, for the love of Grodd and your own sanity, don't try to put together some kind of consistent parallel with each of us being just one character from the show. Just chuckle or roll your eyes at the cute lines and don't ruin it by being anal retentive, okay?

Tuesday: One Day More
So anyway, after staying up late printing out character sheets and stuff and then working half a day, I got everything set for the cats and packed up. We headed out early in the evening and soon achieved sufficient velocity to pierce the net of the dreaded Barrier Arch at the edge of Ohio. We ended up arriving quite a bit earlier than we expected, so we tracked down the other Robin (Caed) at Scotty's. She was in the middle of a trivia game thing but, luckily, one of the waiters was willing to take our money and feed us while we waited for the chance to catch up. After that we headed out to Jordan's house to crash for the night (our check-in at the hotel wasn't until Wednesday afternoon).

Whatya think ye're at -
hanging round me patch?*
Wednesday: Look Down
Wednesday morning, we stuffed the boxes and boxes of stock we had shipped from the printer to Jordan's house into the trunk and drove down to the convention center. Tom waited in the car while I grabbed our badges. The booth for that turned out to be way back by the Exhibit Hall instead of at the front with all the others. It makes perfect sense, and I should have known anyway because I'm sure it was in one of those emails, but it was still frustrating at the time. So I told Tom what was up and quick-marched back there, then went into the hall to figure out how to get a dolly for those boxes. The exhibitor services contractor was no help, offering all kinds of services that would make my work take longer and my purse lighter. Jim at Studio 2 was willing to loan me one, but the it turned out that the guy who was using it at the moment was trapped in a terrifying labyrinth known as "the marshaling yard" and not likely to escape for another couple of hours. After unsuccessfully canvassing the area for other exhibitors from whom I could borrow such a device, I called Tom and he said we should just go eat and rent a dolly, which made good sense to me.

Not much to look at - nothing posh.
Off at Acapulco Joe's, we relaxed a bit with a frozen margarita (and of course Tom had beer) and some good food. Their Tex-Mex is a different style than the Tex-Mex I'm used to, but still very good. Tom somehow waved his hand and made a UPS Store flyer appear in the middle of our table. Seriously, I could have sworn that thing wasn't in the exhibitor packet until he conjured it up. He called them and got everything set up to rent us a dolly. Then we were off to pick that up and check in at the Omni, where all our bags were whisked away by a porter or whatever they're called.

Sooo, back to to the Exhibit Hall, we loaded up our mechanical beast of burden and had a division of labor to decide on. Somebody had to haul the boxes into the Exhibit Hall and start setting up, while somebody else had to take the car back to Jordan's house, catch a bus back downtown (so we didn't have to pay to use the hotel parking deck all week), and walk the dolly back to UPS. Luckily, we disagreed as to which of those tasks were preferable. It's great when things just work, isn't it?

These are my people; here's my patch.
I wheeled my way through the convention center and started unpacking. Would it have wrecked their budget to turn on the AC a day early, I wonder? Anyway, I started opening boxes and moving stuff around, occasionally taking a moment to fan myself with the dry-erase board. Jim saw me scraping at the tape with my keys and loaned me his knife. I ran into Ken St. Andre and got him to pose in front of our stuff, much of which is for his game. A strange man walked up and gave me a handful of tiny dice. Tom came back to get the dolly while I went to the hotel to chill for a bit. Literally. I was seriously craving air conditioning.

Where are the swells who run this show?
After taking some time to unpack and relax, I wandered back over to the Hall and found that Tom had returned and touched things up a bit, or maybe he did that before he left. Anyway, I fidgeted a little more myself and then wandered out to see where he had gone. I found him back at the Omni hotel bar, where he introduced me to Teemo, who worked for (owned?) a European distribution company and was here for research and networking. Here he is from behind, with Tom. After an interesting chat, Tom left to powder his nose in preparation for Old Home Night at Scotty's (we're thinking Claddagh next year).

On the way, we passed a new and truly grotesque piece of statuary, so Tom had to pose with it. I guess I should have read the plaque, because I still don't understand what, apart from revulsion, this piece is supposed to convey. Hoping to attract more horror conventions, maybe?
Only one m-- AAAA! Severed legs! SEVERED LEGS!

Everybody raise a glass!
Anyway, Scotty's. There was all kinds of confusion about where we could sit and then we all ended up right next to the live band, which is exactly what you want when you're trying to catch up with old friends and get to know some new ones, right? They were actually pretty good, or at least I might have thought so if their amplifiers hadn't deafened me. Still, they left eventually and we managed to have a good time anyway. If you click on the picture, you can see Kelly, Monk, me, Teemo, Tom, Jordan, Amy, Ryan, and Frosty. That's a really awful picture of Frosty. Caed was off doing something Caedish and didn't make it. A trip over to the convention center for the non-exhibitors to get their badges, then a quick nightcap, and we were done for the day. At least I was.

Never wants a passerby to pass him by.
Thursday: Master of the House
The Hall opened at nine this morning instead of the usual ten, so folks who shelled out the big bucks for "VIG" badges could get in an hour early. Tom made it on time. I was a few minutes late. Tom jumped in and was handing out Qalidar: Resistance flyers like a champ, getting so many out there that we soon had to dial it back and just give them to people who bought something or expressed an interest.

Comforter, philosopher, and lifelong mate.
One of the people who came by was Jeff from The Gaming Gang, who talked me into joining in on his interview with Tom. It was actually kind of fun, despite the fact that I'm terrible at these things. Later, Monk and Kelly showed up, and Tom left to take a nap in preparation for his impending games (he was running two every night). Monk and I took the opportunity to add anomalous equipment (rocket boots, a cell phone, a laser pistol, and some frag grenades) to his Tunnels & Trolls character sheets. Sadly, Tom caught the tampering before his players could benefit from our magnanimity.

After the Hall closed, I met Tom, Scott Grant, and Jordan in the back room at Champions, then went back to the room to prepare for the games I was planning to run for Friday and Saturday. My brain was so fried from the soul-numbing task of constantly nodding and smiling at people who were just trying to get past me to make an offering at the Temple of Catan or something, that it took me another hour or so before I could conjure up any creativity.

Sitting flat on your butt doesn't
 buy any bread.
Friday: At the End of the Day
Another day at the booth. Sales didn't pick up much from the day before. The kilt-wearing masses continued to slosh back and forth. Seriously, I've never seen so many straight men wearing skirts. I can't think of anything particularly interesting that happened during the day. It's all kind of a blur. Monk and Kelly stopped by again. Tom left early again to rest up for another marathon. I passed up an invitation to dinner because I wanted a couple of hours to prepare for Aqua Teen Hunger Force later on, and that only left me time for a quick drink at the Omni bar. Monk and Kelly joined me for that, and then I went up to enjoy some decompression time.

My first session of "Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1: Puppet Show Tango" was amazing. The usual crew showed up with a couple more friends who I don't think were there last year. Once I got them started, they took off on their own. I hardly had to use any of the plot bits I had put together, apart from the "Last Dance For Napkin Lad" inspired background twists that I periodically threw in. The evening's fun ran back and forth between the two neighboring homes, across the neighborhood, out to Melon Shakers (where Willie Nelson and the Love Mummy went on a horrific rampage), back home, out to 612 Wharf Avenue, and back home again. Ultra Mega Chicken put in an appearance, and there was all kinds of mad sciencey fun with Frylock's cloner, ending in a mega-swarm of meat-fry-spiders devouring the world. This was the longest of these I've ever run, and easily the high point of the whole convention for me.

You need somebody taller and I volunteer!
Saturday: The Second Attack
I had a game at eleven that morning, so Tom "opened" the booth himself.

Anyway, I was off running Walk the Sprial. Hopefully I'll have it all written up pretty soon, but to sum up, the session went well. I ended up with a full party of six, so all the characters were accounted for. The players were great, too. I hadn't prepared as much as I intended to, but I had studied the setting enough that, even though I left an important source book in my room, I was able to guide them through the surreal mysteries of late 1920's Silver Springs without a hitch.

Someone's gotta collect their odds & ends.
Monk and Kelly were at the booth when I got back. I think they ended up running it most of the day, which turned out to be our best sales day. I keep telling myself that's just because it was Saturday. I hung around for a bit, then wandered off to do some shopping. I picked up a bunch of classic Doctor Who DVD's from Who North America, got some beautiful green dice from the Zoccinator himself, snagged a copy of Cubicle 7's The One Ring, and picked up a Gen Con tee-shirt.

Said goodbye to Monk and Kelly, because they were leaving early Sunday and, a hazy few hours later, I was off to Champions to have dinner with Caed and her friends Randy and Josh. After that, not enough people showed for the next Aqua Teen session (needs at least four to keep it crazy), so I just chilled in the hotel room.

The law is not mocked.
Sunday: Drink With Me
Tom slept in a bit, so I got over there early, after slipping past the dalek guarding the entrance.

Jonathan Tweet stopped by to take a look at the Peryton RPG, which kind of stunned me. Did I tell him how cool I thought Everway was? No. Did I tell him how many hours of enjoyment I got out of D&D stuff that he worked on? No. Instead, what I said was, "Hey, I know who you are!" Pleased to meet you, sir. I am an imbecile.

When Tom showed up, I wandered off to drown my recriminations in a new (to me) Eclipse Phase supplement, Rimward. Then I picked up the latest Marvel Super Heroes game, too. I had been meaning to take a look at and possibly buy the Dungeon Crawl Classics game, but was surprised to find that Goodman Games wasn't here. I could've sworn they usually were. Oh well. I'm probably better off without another giant book anyway.
...where they kill for the bones in the street.
There was something going on at the Flying Buffalo booth with actors from Dorkness Rising. I took a picture, but mostly I got the backs of other onlookers.

After the con closed, the breaking-down process was remarkably smooth. We got everything rolled back over to the room and then headed off to meet some folks at Bourbon Street. Originally Tom had cooked this up as some sort of networking thing with Ken and Rick and somebody from FASA or something who impressed him earlier. Ken and Rick bailed because they were staying in some roach motel a hundred miles away, so the FASA guy had no reason to show, which left us with only Scott and John, both of whom had turned out to be great company while we were doing time at the booth. No offense to Tom's new contact, but I was actually thrilled that there wouldn't be any business talk and that I wouldn't have to nail on another plastic smile for another stranger. I was also thrilled to have some delicious blackened tilapia and several hurricanes. Jordan and Amy showed up a bit later, making it a good victory dinner all around.

Bodies on the highway - law & order upside down!
Monday: Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
We booked the room for Sunday night as well. We did this last year just because it makes for a nice, relaxing wrap-up. This year, however, there was also the consideration that we didn't want to be homeless while we were trying to get all our boxes and stuff packed up.

I looked out the window from the hotel room while I waited for Tom to come back from Jordan's with the car. The Gen Con banners had all been taken down. There were no clusters of backpack-toting conventioneers wandering around. It wasn't the Mecca of Gamers anymore. The city was just a city. It was time to go.

Also, dinosaurs were breaking loose and rampaging through the streets. Definitely time to go.

And that's it for this year. See you all in hell!



*In case there's any doubt, our neighbor Eloy from Third Eye Games was really nice and in no way reminiscent of an angry French prostitute played with an English accent. He was even cool enough to pose for this silly photo. If you're still in the mood to shop after you've bought all my stuff, then please do go buy some of his.