Anyway, when we last left our intrepid adventurer (me) I had just reached the convention center on June 24th. I got there around 8:30am and my first even wasn't until 10. I had been dead tired as I rolled into the city but the excitement of the convention soon brought me back to life.
So I needed a place to sit and wait for my first event and there were many rooms about with tables and chairs set up for the games to come. I went to my first event early and took a seat. I probaly should have guessed something was wrong when this was the banner sitting outside of the room. I certainly wasn't playing in any Cthulu games, never having gotten into the whole gothic squidmonster coming to devour the world from atlantis thing that some teenage wanks fall into.
Still, despite their questionable choice of RPG genre, they make a kickass display cthulu. It was the best decorated room I found during the entire convention and this guy was the centerpiece.
Of course, who could pass up a picture standing next to a giant bat-squid elder God coming to devour the world? Not I.
The next few pictures are most likely of little interest to most people who aren't afflicted with an extreme case of OCD that requires them to obsessively build the most intricate and lifelike models during their spare time. These were some of the display pieces that people had put together for the convention. I think they were actually running miniatures and wargaming on these damn things over the course of the four days. Amazing.
I shudder to think about the amount of time, dexterity and attention to deatil that goes into something like this. I tried building a model airplane when I was a kid and when the controlstick wouldn't go into the cockpit right I got pissed and started smashing and cramming. Things went rapidly downhill from there.
I'm not sure but this certainly looks a lot like that citadel in the return of the king. Where the people of gondor fought off sauron's minions.....
And this could even be helm's deepish, except I'm sure that I would have recalled a flaming volcano in the background. Regardless of how much you might disparage the anal retentive nerds that do this sort of thing, you have to applaud their results. It's certainly a work of art.
So the cthulu people finally told me that I was in the wrong room and they had switched with Amorphous Blob, the group that was running my first game. I ended up sitting with the two GMs for over a hour before the game started. I think the game was called the rescue of a lifetime, and was actually a continuing module with the same characters that they had run for something like half a decade. I ended up playing Professor Phineas J Wiggley esquire, a halfling 'troubleshooter'. In the end I invited far more trouble than I shot including trying to row myself across a river in a purloined apple barrel using my rat on a stick as a paddle.
Here were two other people in the game. The person in the foreground played a orc captain...gruff sort. The one in the background was a crazed human bard with puppets on both of his hands who he conversed with and is certain are plotting to kill him. Yep, it was one of those groups.
Every group needs a drunken priest to fill it out. The three of these people were all together and I started to suspect some collusion at a later event. Anyway, the priest was the only one who could really RP. I ended up winning the event and got a set of really ugly puke yellow/white opaque crap. I think they were going for some sort of ivory effect and failed miserably.
Here's me with the only celebrity I met in person. The woman to my left is Margaret Weis, co-author of dragonlance and countless other things. She didn't quite look like I expected her to look. I was expecting more salt of the earth after meeting her writing partner tracey hickman at gencon last year. Still, a famous person is a famous person. I was kinda regretful I didn't get her to autograph anything.
Well, these people here were supposedly famous too though in a way only B movie actors can be and I didn't meet them personally. Here were 4 or 5 members of the original Dawn of the Dead cast. Apparently they're still kicking and roaming around trying to scrape a living out of a movie made 20 years ago. No doubt the remake brought them out of their crypts and janitorial jobs.
Here's me with my ubermug! I farging love this thing. It's the size of my head almost. It fits around a half gallon or close to it and is spillproof, has two sealable spouts, and is thermal. Kick ass.
No gaming convention is complete with a stormtrooper, an imperial pilot, and R2D2. I also saw a few klingons while I was there and assorted other costumes I can't even begin (and won't try to) identify. Oh, and do you see that uber gold-colored die featured on that board thingie? I bought that too. It's only an inch and a half across or thereabouts but I'll bet it'd knock a good sized hole in someone's head if I whipped it at them.
Who could pass up a perfectly set up photo-op like that? Not I. These are not the gamers you are looking for.
I thought this was pretty funny, ecspecially at a gaming convention. I could just imagine someone had put this out there as a hint...psssst, there are BOOBIES here! Heh.
"Follow. But! Follow only if ye be men of valour, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived!
Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair.
So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth."
Ahhh, it's the rabbit!
"Well, that's no ordinary rabbit!"
"That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!"
"Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!"
AHHH! It's got me! It's got me!
"I warned you, but did you listen to me?
Oh, no, you knew it all, didn't you?
Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it?
Well, it's always the same. I always tell them--"
R2D2 escorted by a couple of stormtroopers through the convention hall.
So how did we get back to these people again. Well, I ended up oversleeping on friday and missing two events. I did not get to play a wargame where I would 'keep what you kill', and I missed something else involving some lich lord attacking a citadel or something. I didn't take any pictures for the rest of friday and only ended up playing one other game, orcs at the gates, a game based on a great RPG comic that ended up feeling a little lacking to me and followed it up with another Amorphous Blob RPG which was more lackluster. I ended up tying with another guy for best RPer and we rolled d20's to settle it. He rolled a 3 and said something to the effect of 'looks like it's yours'. I toss my die onto the table and poof, a 2. Son of a bitch. I lost out on getting some more swag and then on saturday morning I returned for the conclusion of rescue of a lifetime. As the winner, I got a buy into the second round and as it turned out I was with the other three guys because everyone else bailed.
Same two GMs were running the event. I didn't mention it earlier but they give dice to reward players. They were giving me some of the ugliest dice it has ever been my misfortune to own. Some of these things are so God awful there's really nothing you can do with them. A few are completely nonsensical as they're actually sharp cornered cubes and have what looks like spacestations on them.
So I again took up the mantle of Phineas J Wiggly and we set off the complete the advention. In case you're wondering about the hats, we bordered the ship of captain kweekwaig and his ship full of mimes. It was a pretty entertaining adventure where I was forced to toss my giant animated muffin overboard to feed a dragon so it didn't eat me. In the end, I got screwed in the vote and didn't even come in 2nd place. It makes me wonder if the three other players rigged the vote since frankly, two of them couldn't RP their way out of a paper bag. Seeing as I won the last time, they might have had a chat about how to vote seeing as even if everyone had shown up, they would have controled at least half the vote. Oh well...missed out on more swag.
This was from later on saturday and was the most horrendous, god awful piece of shit game I have ever played. Someone zoom in on this character sheet and you'll soon find why. If you notice, I had something like 2,500 hitpoints if I recall correctly. My armor class was something like 80 and could lift tons. The game sucked and was completely out of control. The brainiac behind it (who kept telling me he worked for the secret service) managed to dragoon me into stayin behind after all the other players bailed. I ended up trying to help him fix his monstrosity and from what I hear, the next session turned out better with the changes. All I know is I deserved to be payed for this one.
So a few more games, a lot more swag gathering, and some shopping later...we end up at my last game of the convention. This is a Big Eyes Small Mouth RPG, a system created for anime characters that someone has altered to accomidate a game world where you're all kids with super powers (or just oddities) at a school (Advanced Dimensional Green Ninja-Educational Preparatory Super-Elementary Fortress 555). This was my character sheet. Like? I decorated it myself with the crayons provided through the course of the game.
This was Mr Bun. He was my prop for the game. Mr Bun is charity's bestus friend and no one gets to touch Mr Bun. Anyone who does gets hit with her Bam, which consists of a parking meter with 80 lbs of concrete attached. Not many things kept moving once I hit it with my Bam a few times. I ended up clocking another girl because she wanted to go on the slide when it was obviously Mr Bun's turn and I smashed all sortsa things in the school as we were roaming through it. I haven't had so much fun in a RPG in quite a while.
Here was the GM and behind her the chart of characters.
All the players in my game. From left to right...the GM, hubcap the overactive pixie, Cyd the skater punk and charity's older 'brother', habime the ninja, Ann the gothy witch, me, farley the overactive ferret, and prince vandersnooten the rich kid.
Here was a closeup of the board. I was using it to zoom in on my digital cam to read the various links but reduced down I doubt you can see a darn thing. If you're really curious a link to the chart in pdf form is here
So that's pretty much it for the convention. As I was driving away I realized that I had taken absolutely no pictures of the convention center itself or columbus. I snapped a few photos from the inside of my car as I was leaving to go to Akron to pick up Chau.
Here's the convention center. Columbus was a really nice city and I liked it lots. It was clean, orderly, wide streets, and even during rushhour you could go 70+ on the highways. It certainly had a lot to recommend it. In many respects, I like colukmbus much better than indianapolis. It's not really comparable though....there were probaly 5,000 people or at the most twice that at origins. I think gencon had a visitor count of something like 25,000 last year. No city probaly deals with that much influx very well.
Another shot of the convention center.
Here is Chau and her friend Vera getting one more picture snapped before Chau and I headed back to chicago.
So I got back to my apartment and wanted to take some photos of my souvineers. It wasn't until much later when I looked at the pictures that I started pondering WTF was up with my hair and why Chau didn't mention anything as she was snapping the pictures. Anyway, this is the first and likely only tie-dye shirt I will ever own. It has a charater from the guy who drew the pictures for munchkins and the dork tower comics. It says "All that I'm saying is give Geeks a chance". Geeky, eh?
Here's a picture of another character from the Dork Tower series and it says, "Everything I need to know I learned from gaming". On the back is a list of 20 or so things that one learns from gaming which range from obscure to hilarious to just plain lame. You can't win them all I guess.
So that's it for now. Next set of pictures will be the pictures from Jersey and after that the sissy poker meat. There's just too many of these thing to go through and caption.