Friday at gencon should have started early. I had tickets to True Dungeon's True Arena. A competition of gladitorial combat, resolved through the ancient art of shuffleboard. This event was supposed to begin at 9am but due to making my wisdom check the day before, I had refunded the tickets and had planned to spend an extra hour or so on my face. The problem of course comes in where you never manage to get the sleep that you end up scheduling for. With mock26 still getting up each morning before 7am, it more or less guarenteed that I'd at least be conscious around that point even if lazing around. That and the fact that I had not eaten at all the day before meant that I was eager to limp my way down to the Embassy's breakfast buffet and engage in the consumption of mass quantities to quote the coneheads.
WHen mock26 and I went down to breakfast we again bumped into sherilyn70. The breakfast area was crowded like always but it didn't seem to run into any of the shortage and chaos problems that we had seen the previous years when gamers contemplated eating their food right off of the trays instead of waiting for plates. I'm also happy to report that I had waffles for what might be the first time in my life if you discount a few run-ins with eggos when I was a kid.
After mock26 left to head over to the convention center I stayed and chatted a bit with sherilyn70 and one of her boytoys who had wandered on over. After a while, it was back to the room for a liedown since my first event wasn't until 11. It would be my second chance at qualifying for the KB world championships. On the way there, I of course picked up a few more goody bags and added them to my collection. I can't be sure exactly how many of the damn things I grabbed but I have 13 of those card tins sitting on my floor right now so it must be at least that much. The CCG packs also added nicely to my altar of dead CCGs.
When I arrived at the qualifier, it was time for another blast from the past. It was Tyberius (aka David) from the magiccarrot forums. I had met Ty the year before at origins when we had both been in the masters and journey to jupiter game there. He had come across as a real nice guy and from the forums, I found that he had taken KB fandom to the next step.
Here is his case of Roaming Red Runs. He actually took the time to sculpt and make little figures for each of the RRR's in the game ranging from the Ebola Virus to Leif Carrotson. Trust me, the pictures do not do these figures justice at all.
Not only has he crafted figures for the RRR's, but he's also gussied up his pawns as well. I love the black darth vader and the red devil. It's also hard to see but the pink pawn is obviously a mutant with three googily eyes instead of two.
After seeing all of this, all I could think of is that scene from batman where the joker asks 'Where does he get those wonderful toys?'. I'm a fan of the game and everything, but in addition to lacking the skills, I'm not sure I could ever be diehard enough to actually craft optional bits and pieces for it. It's a lucky thing that he's not taking commissions to make sets of these or I'm sure I'd be out a good chunk of cash.
Also in the game was foxxtail's squeeze in the middle of the picture there. I can only assume that they didn't play in the same qualifiers together because either their schedules clashed or maybe he was just subbing in for her since she had already won the previous day. It's always a good idea to have some people you're friendly with in a game of KB. All too often the game breaks down into a grudge match of sorts and you certainly don't want to be the one without an ally.
These three people rounded out the game and as far as I know, I've never seen any of them before. I've gotten to the point where I don't even try to remember people from game to game or con to con. I depend on the fact that I'm distinctive enough and they'll remember me. At that point, my only job is to try to play along until I can figure out where I'm stupposed to know them from.
I don't remember much about this qualifier game quite frankly other than that it was another pretty bunny poor event. It was also another generally friendly game and Ty was the pawn master. I ended up splitting the proceeds of a few carrot-top casinos and magic fountains with him with drastically sped the game along. I ended the game with very few carrots overall, but was able to snag the last one, Julie I believe, to close things out. I ended up sweeping along a whole heaping load of carrots from other players due to their lack of bunnies, but in the end, it was Julie that won the game for me.
After it was all ofer, I had some free time before the KB blue-yellow demo I was supposed to run and stuck around chatting with Ty. He broke out a game that he had designed using tiles and themed around the animal pawns he had created. All I can say is that his kids are going to be lucky campers one day on family game nights.
While we were sitting around there was a bit of a disturbance as two guys in costumes walked in and began reading from a piece of paper. It took my a bit to get the point as they read out a list of charges that included the carnal knowledge of farm animals.
Apparently his friends had coughed up a fair amount of money to have the guy incarcerated for 50 minutes in the Klingon Jail and he was being fetched by prison guards.
Frankly, I've always found the jail to be a monumental waste of time and space. I understand that it's for charity and everything but I can't imagine that it really raises all that much money in the end. I guess it might be a funny sort of gimmick, but it must be a pain to track down individuals and go through the whole arrest procedure. In all the time I've been going to these cons now, this is the first time I've ever seen the whole process in action. I had assumed previously that mostly people just climbed into the cage for a photo op and that hardly seemed worthwhile. I'll leave the Klingon-centric rants to mock26.
After my KB demo, Ty and I both went to the next table over for our game of Journey to Jupiter with KB creator Jeff Bellinger. This was only the second time I had gotten to play the game and it didn't seem to be any different than when I had first seen it a year ago. I'm sure cards have changed around but the gameplay is still the same. The general idea is to launch your bunnies in spaceships so that they can collect carrots that are floating around the solar system. Once the carrots are onboard, it's then their job to drop off the precious cargo at Jupiter. When the last carrot is delivered, the game is over and the winner is determined just like in Quest.
Here is a shot of the group I played with. I'm not sure if the admonition against posting photos of the game was still in force so I kept it to one picture without any real details. From what I heard chatting with Elisa of Playroom, the entire game should be putting the shelves within around a year's time. If I remember correctly, she said that JtJ might actually beat the Onyx expansion of Quest to the retailers.
The game itself was a lot of fun and fairly well-balanced. Jeff spent quite a few rounds jumping up and down on the little girl after she failed to trade with him but there weren't any horrible conflicts causing mass bunny casualties (in general). Everyone ended the game with at least one carrot and then it was on to the draw.
WooT! Lucky #5 won the game for me. It's sorta hard to see but I'm holding the lucky magical carrot in my hand in the picture. Of course, there were no prizes other than bragging rights and I managed to resist doing any sort of victory dance.
As we were talking post-game, I mentioned that I had to rush off because I had the BYOV Harry Potter Larp to get to. Here you see a picture of me showing Jeff my magic wand and I think by his expression you can tell he was quite impressed. I gave it a few waves and poof, I was off.
*screech to a halt* Err, not quite. As I was getting ready to leave the room, MikeB gave me a shout from the other table. It turns out that he had popped in at some point for some killer bunny goodness as well. I snapped a picture of his table in the middle of the game and then it really was time to get to the larp before I was late.
Alrighty, you know what the line in the middle of the entry means. I'm going to pause this for the time being and I'll finish it up with a recap of the BYOV larp and then round 1 of nascrag.
I got to the HP larp with what turned out to be plenty of time to spare. There had been a room shift and that had apparently confused some of the participants. Add to that the fact that some people are just always late and there was lotsa time to just sit around and twiddle my thumbs after arriving. Melissa and mock26 both made it to the event, but Richard was curiously missing. It wasn't until the next day that we found out that he had somehow managed to contract botulism. Ahhh, taste the drama. Apparently his grandmother had presented homemade sweet pickles to a family get-together and we can only assume that she didn't sterilize and add one of those pressure seals like she should have. The upshot is that everyone who tried the pickles had a little surprise a few days later.
Here's the BYOV guys setting up and getting ready by passing out characters and whatnot. You can see Tom J as Snape righ tin the middle there. I ended up getting hosed pretty royally in the whole character selection thing. I had emailed in early requesting house slytherin but had been overlooked in the character sorting. All of those slots had been filled and the guy I ended up with...well, the less said there the better.
Here's the squid with someone who looks surprisingly harry potter like.
I spent the majority of the LARP either bored out of my mind or suffering bouts of frustration and irritation. Part of my issue was that the larp ran fro 4 to 8pm. Well, each night at 7pm people could gather at the true dungeon tavern and make combo tokens. I had my ingredients all set and had simply been planning to take a little walk right before 7. I was told that it would probaly be a problem since the storyline would be coming to a head at that point and I would certainly want to be around for the exciting finale. I weighed the options, and not wanting to mess with the storyline, sacrificed my chance to get a Ring of the Ram. You can understand why I was sorta pissy then we I just couldn't seem to manage to get my character involved in any of the going's on. gazpacho and I both spent the reveal part of the con looking at other people's character sheets and remarking how every single one was more interesting and involved than what we had picked up. Frankly, I would have traded mine for his even.
Here is El Fire looking like she's stoned out of her mind. She was playing a slytherin though, so it's possible that's the look she was going for. I'm sure the Slytherins all know where to go to get the best drugs. Le sigh. I think I would have made a spiffy Slytherin. I guess I can at least thank the Gods I wasn't made a Hufflepuff. There are some indignities no one should have to face.
I do have to say this though....Tom was frakking excellent as snape and whoever it was who played Hagrid was spot on perfect. I didn't get to interact much with the other people running the LARP but those two almost made it worthwhile just to see them in action.
The saddest part about this escapade is I'm sure I would have had more fun if I just had an 'in' somewhere. I really tried with chatting up and interacting with everyone I bumped into but it just never got me into the onramp of the plot since they had no need of me and my goals were generally of the 'do not let them discover....' category. At the end during the reveal, my character so so uninteresting and seperate from the main plotlines that he wasn't even asked to give an accounting of what he had been up to. Which is just as well since it would have been a very short speech. Suffice to say, by the time the larp had ended and we were leaving I was pretty pissed. You can read gazpacho's LJ to see what his impression was but short of no one actually telling me to bugger off, we had pretty similar runs.
After the LARP was supposed to be round 1 of NASCRAG and I was to be in a group with Melissa and someone I had run in previous years with. I had a hell of a time getting Melissa to leave the larp since all the slytherins were basically doing their equivalent of having school pictures taken or something. Having not enjoyed the event, the mingling portrait party only served to increasingly cheese me off.
Here's melissa in her getup. I can understand why everyone would want do the whole picture thing with people all gussied up in their costumes and whatnot, but I was on a schedule and I was late.
In fact, we were so late to NASCRAG that not only had all the groups pre-assembled, with Dale (the previous nascrag friend) having joined another group, but we were stuck as stragglers. As the Nascrag Pope called the teams and hooked them up with judges, we stood around like frakking latchkey kids who were forgotten because their parents were off speedballing somewhere. The situation got even more sad as it just seemed absolutely impossible to find enough people to complete a group. First we were 1 short, then had 1 too many, then 2 short as the first guys quit, and so on and so on. By that point, mostly what I wanted to do is just say 'fuck this shit I'm going home' or the hotel-dwelling equivalent. The only thing that held me back was that I was pretty sure that nascrag would end cheer me up in the end and bring me out of the foul mood.
It was probaly almost a hour in before we finally had a group together made up of fills and whoever the judges could find wandering down the halls of the convention center at that hour. Thus assembled, we set forth for adventure and glory.
To begin with, I can't give enough props to the two GMs who ran out group through. They were absolutely hilarious. I was playing Tacoma, a female southern bard and one of the NPCs we ran into was a philandering jamacian named Harley. The RP was hysterical as Harley would trot out the most god awful pickup lines you can imagine. At one point, he even demanded a kiss on his cheek for services rendered. I kept telling the guy that I feel sorry that he couldn't have gotten assigned to a group with another Tacoma (ie: see foxxtail's LJ for her Tacoma outfit) since he surely missed out on a good thing there. Melissa also got into the event, at one point frolicing around prancing as Daphne, the jewish druid, to chants of 'take it off!'. I also got to write some pretty funny little songs for Tacoma to sing during the event, which is one of the things I love most about playing her in Nascrag. Ditty/filk writing on the fly can be a lot of fun.
They also had the coolest t-shirts with the entire cast of characters on it. I would have loved to have picked up one of these things. They were cool as hell looking.
All in all, the session was pretty spiffy, despite the fact that we had a few people on the team who just weren't really roleplayers. It was just hard to get them involved, and they were pretty gimpy when it came to portraying their characters. Nascrag is just one of those things where you just have to cast reserve to the wind and ham it up. It might not have helped that one of them was playing the character that Tacoma is in love with, and that attempted roleplaying might have just given him the willies. This certainly became an issue in round 2. We wouldn't find out until the next day whether we had advanced, and frankly, I wasn't holding my breath. I figured it was a longshot for advancement to 2, and we had no prayer in hell for round 3. In fact, since no one else could come up with a team name, I just grabbed last year's name and added an accent so that we were 'Really No Chance In Hell'. There's truth in a name sometimes.
After nascrag, melissa and I headed back to the hotel room. Tommorrow would be killer breakfast in the morning and the culmination of a lot of planning and effort. Tommorrow was when we would search for glory.