So lets see....where I did I leave off? Ahh, exhaustion. Yep, by saturday I was just completely beat. After the incremental sleep deprivation, the late night chat with sherilyn70 left me incredibly wiped. It was the only day where I didn't get up early enough to make use of my exhibitor badge to wander the hall early. I managed to haul myself out of bed, heavy headed and muttering curses in my head, around 10am and staggered my way to the convention center. I'll note that sherilyn70 seemed well-rested and chipper somehow, which seemed vaguely unfair to me. Morning people are an affront to nature and mankind IMO.
My schedule for the day was going to be relatively light. I had another game or two of the amorphous blog RPG scheduled but had decided to ditch it the day before rather than risking another meeting with those morons. As such, all I had down was the Killer Bunnies Masters Game at 2pm and then the Nightmare Before Christmas constructed deck tourney at 8pm. Despite my poor experience with the last KB nationals qualifier, I now had time to give it another whirl. I went to buy a ticket and was happy to find that there were slots left open. Finishing that, I went to the exhibit hall to wait for the game.
As I was passing the Tokens booth, I was flagged down by one of the booth guys there. Now, I haven't mentioned this before now, but everyone at the booth sans one, was incredibly nice and helpful and just great guys overall. Two of them were actually from mainland china which I thought was pretty remarkable. I made it a point to always pass by a couple times during my days in the exhibit hall just to say hi. Their running promotion during the event was that you could roll a d20 and then based on your roll, you would receive a free promotional magic item. I think the breakdown was as follows:
1-14: Longsword +1
15-19: Ring of Protection +3
20: Ring of Regeneration
Now, I've mentioned the collating problems that we had had earlier when buying packs. They had directed us toward one of their exhibitor people who was selling singles and offering to trade them so that we could swap out duplicates for items we didn't have. The problem was that he was offering a discounted value for anything we traded in. I guess it was understandable but I wasn't overly happy about it. In the end, I ended up trading off almost all of my dups for around 70% of the listed value. I later found out that this policy had been changed from up on high and he ended up being told to give 100% value which obviously made me a bit unhappy. Also when I attempted the roll and got a 19 out of it, he refused to even consider giving me a +1 bonus of sorts despite the fact that I was amongst the first to buy, had all those issues, and had, in essence, been ripped off a bit in trading with him.
So anyway, as I was passing by the booth, Morris motioned me over and surepticiously passed me a ring of regen. That's him in the middle of the pic. The guy rules I tell you. The president of Rook (who was co-running the booth) had promised me a RoR on thursday, but I never ended up seeing him again and without Morris, I'm pretty sure I would have been shafted completely.
After this exchange I made my way over to the Playroom booth to wait for the qualifier to start. When I got there, Tony asked if I had brought my copy of Dead Man's Treasure to the con. When I answered negatively he said it was a shame because I could have gotten it signed by Reiner Kinizia who was there. The best part about this is I had missed him last year and had lamented the fact. The chance to get a pict6ure of and with the godfather of game design this time around? You betcha. He was a really nice guy and I think the bowtie fits him perfectly.
As we were setting up for the picture he arranged the games in front of him as he wanted and held up what he said was his favorite of the four games that has been put out by playroom. I've always thought of myself as more of a poison person, but DMT is certainly a good runnerup.
So celebrity picture hunting aside, it was time for the KB qualifier. I'm sorry to say that I don't have any pictures of this event, which is really sort of sad since I enjoyed it _MUCH_ more than the previous one, and not only because I managed to qualify. Yep, cut to the chase, I made it to the finals. Marcelo's $5 investment was safe for another day.
The game was a good one all around and I ended up with the most carrots, which was all that I could hope for in the end. Another interesting quirk was the number of zodiac cards that came out, and not just any zodiacs but people kept picking up their own. This did not bold well for the zodiac draw. Luckily, I had the magic spatula from my opening hand and nursed it along without using it until the very end. If I hadn't, the zodiac would have indeed hit, and there would have been quite a bit of unpleasantness from my POV as the person with the most carrots. At this point, I don't even remember which one was the winner, only that it wasn't dex or presto. Neither of them have payed off for me in ages.
And then, it was time for the masters game. I had caught up with and chatting with Jeff briefly the day before and he was the same as always. He always manages to be the life of the party.
Here were a couple of people in the game who are obviously uber fans. They presented Jeff with one of their creations and it was very well received. In case you can't identify the image, that's the green gelatin with evil pineapple chunks. Jeff also had a flo dinner shirt on which I assume foxxtail had presented him with at some point. She had mentioned last year that she had run across the dinner and had been trying to acquire a shirt.
Celle was also in the game along with one of her friends who brought a bag of cherry cordial hershey kisses. I didn't snag any pictures so you'll just have to take my word on it. The game went pretty smoothly and jeff made sure that everyone in the end had at least one bunny and one carrot. I can't say for certain but I'm pretty sure the guy in the middle of the picture won. I'm also not completely certain but I think his name was Bud or something along those lines. I would see him in the KB finals as well.
After the game, I made plans with Chelle to meet up with her, Todd and the rest of their friends for dinner at a local resturant at around 4:00. To pass the time, I went back to the Tokens booth and blew another $90 dollars on magic items. I sat there and happily sorted and traded and basically slipped into my own little world. After a time, I happened to glance at my watch, figuring I would find something else to do or maybe wander some more before it was time for dinner. The fact that my watch read 4:15 was shocking. I checked my phone and sure enough, I had missed calls on it. The damn thing had failed to ring once again. I don't understand how this cell phone can get a signal just fine when it's being held but for some inexplicable reason the radio waves or whatever cannot make it through a couple millimeters of cloth. You'd think I was wearing freaking lead shorts or something.
So at this point I'm pretty paniced and sweep everything into my bag and scramble for the exit with the the refrain 'Chelle is going to kill me! Chelle is going to kill me!' running through my head. I made a call to her asap and she had the grace not to bite my head off. She had even decided to stay and wait for me, sending the rest of her friends on ahead. Frankly, I'm surprised she hadn't just written me off as a flake after the dinner fiasco the other day.
When we finally arrived at the resturant, everyone else was already there. It was a _huge_ group of people so we were at 3-4 separate tables. I recognized a few individuals from past meetings and Chelle and I ended up sitting with Karen and her husband. As you may recall, Karen was the teacher friend who was completely sloshed the night before who I met at the Big Bar on 2. Her husband seemed like a really nice guy and I'm sorry that I can't remember his name for the life of me. We chatted about a lot of things, including the fact that he had served a tour or two in Iraq.
On a sidenote, if you're reading this chelle, I told him I would give you the link to the Hadji girl song so here it is.
The resturant's specialty was buffalo, which I had never tried before and wasn't all that keen on giving it a whirl. I tend to stick with the things I know when it comes to food and the explaination that buffalo tastes like 'beef with flavor' didn't exactly hook me either. Beef had always seemed to have enough flavor to me and why fix something that wasn't broken. I ended up ordering a bacon cheeseburger or something along those lines as an entre and I'm happy I did. It was hands down the best burger I have ever had in my life. It was so good that I'm sort of pissy I can't remember the name of the place, though I'm already making plans to stop in there for a meal at some point during next year's origins. It was fantastic.
Mr Karen (memory's still coughing up 0's) and chelle decided to split a strawberry shortcake sundae whozit and man, did that look good. I was already stuffed silly so I managed to restrain some of my more predatory instincts.
After dinner, it was time for a slow, leisurely waddle back to the convention center. Most of Chelle's friends were going off to the smithee's, which I guess is best described as a sort of MST3K-like award show for bad movies. I, on the otherhand, had a nightmare before christmas tourney to go to.
On another sidenote, columbus smells. I don't mean that it smells like the stench of sewars that pervades indy, but there are just odd block by block smells that you can't identify the source of. As we were walking back, I kept smelling rubbing alcohol and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. When I commented on it, everyone else said that they smelled the same thing. Then a block later the alcohol was gone and the fragrance of the moment was horseshit, with no horses in sight. Maybe they had just manured a flower bed or something but I didn't see anything nearby that could explain it. It was lucky by that point we got to the hotel because god only knows what odor would be next.
So then it was tourney time. I broke out my standard Kidnap Mr Sandy Claws deck and prepared to do battle. I did pretty well through the preliminary stages though my deck seemed unbalanced somehow and was continually stalling. Here's a picture of the second to last round. Anni (who you can't see because she's being blocked by hat-guy) won and so did I so we faced off in the finals where my deck just completely collapsed. It must've been some horrendous shuffle because the cards I needed were all at the very bottom of the deck. Anni didn't even need to pound me with her disruption deck since I was already so disrupted on my own that anything she tried to do might actually help. I dubbed it as the 'everything sucks' defense.
The scary thing is, it almost worked out. It wasn't until the last 2 days that everything finally came together and I started popping up points like crazy. It wasn't enough though. I ended the game just a point short and she went on to take victory. She very generously decline taking a prize so I picked up a boosterbox of christmas town. I used the cards I still needed to fill the collection and then passed out what was remaining to the other players. It was like we were drafting 6 people. I would open a booster, look and see if it had something I needed, and if not I would pass it along. That person would take a card from that pile and pass it along and so on. It became a big mass of card piles and eventually, everyone walked off happy it seemed. On top of that, Andrew also had prizes in the form of rares form the set. The guy who finished in third picked up a copy of each rare from the premier set, and everyone got a randomized 3-4 rares as well as promo cards. Overall, the event was a big success in my opinion.
Ah, it looks like there was a shot with Anni in it. I didn't even notice this picture for some reason and only just plopped it in with this short little blurb. It must've gotten lost in the shuffle somehow.
Here's a picture of Rodney and his son Jared. I spent a good amount of time chatting with them during the card drafting and afterwards. If I remember correctly, he's a firefighter from kentucky and they both enjoyed the game a lot. We spent at least a hour after everyone had cleared off talking about possible decks and swapping cards around. It was midnight by the time we made for the exit and we exchanged contact information before we separated.
I got an email a few days after the con and here is an opening excerpt:
Anyway, just dropping you a line to first of all, say how much we enjoy'd ourselves this weekend and to let you know you added a huge part in that. You are very generous and also very easy and comfortable to talk with. My son also said to tell "that guy" hello. Thought you might get a kick out of that.
Sweet. It's nice to know that I might have helped making someone's day. I'm certainly hoping to see them at future NBC events. Even better, I hope they eventually find people to play the game with in their area.
So that was basically the end of saturday. sherilyn70 wasn't in the room when I got up there and I lounged around on the bed watching some special on the discovery channel about the most poisonous jellyfish in the world and how the damn things are only the size of your fingernail. With crap like that in the ocean, I certainly don't regret not going swimming. I fell asleep before the end of the show and when I next woke up sherilyn70 was in bed and asleep. It turned out that she had spent a good chunk of the night at an 'adult' game of apples to apples that wasn't as adult as she might have wished. Still, she seemed to have gotten along quite well with some of the other people involved but more of that in the next recap.
Welp, there are like 20-something pictures left to go. I'll try to get the last part up before dexcon starts.