In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Gencon Recap: Day 4

Still chugging along. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.... This particular entry is going to be very picture heavy. At certain points during killer breakfast, I was just snapping shots about as fast as I could get the camera to zoom and focus right. Even with some pruning afterwards during the resizing, there's still a crapload of images to get through.

Ahh, the big day. Saturday morning was killer breakfast and it was what we had all been waiting for.

Fake out :P. I'm going to bed

Alrighty, where was I again? Ah, the big day. We got an early start since mock26 wanted to make certain we would be among the first in line. Since the event started at 9am, he wanted to be there waiting by 8:30 at the latest. This meant a bit of a scramble as we tried to put everything together when it came to costumes and assorted tidbits. I also wanted to make sure that I could get down to breakfast and scarf something down since it was likely to be a long day without a meal break. I don't recall much of the breakfast trip other than they were checking room keys and that seemed to cut down on some of the chaos I remmebered from the year before. At no point this year was it a crazed free-for-all like last, which is a major bonus. After eating and grabbing some toast yogort for Melissa, I popped back to the room and we got ready to follow mock26 over to the Hyatt.

I had forgotten how much of a pain in the ass it was to manuver the god damn cutout box. I was able to hook the token box to my backpack so that I had both hands free but it was still a massive pain. I had also brought along a white sheet from home that I was planning to use to cover the thing with before the great unveiling.

When we got there, the line had already grown to a length of 30-40 people but mock26 had snagged us a place near the front. After setting down the burdens I flogged my brain into coming up with a few funny sayings for the 'speech bubbles'. I had decided to leave it undone until the last moment figuring that inspiration would hit me at some point and at the end, it was just a mad scramble to get anything down on paper, funny or not.

Welp, here's me and one of the speech bubbles I wrote up. Everyone loves killer breakfast!

While standing around waiting for for the doors to open, who should come roaming down the hallway but foxxtail in her katamari costume. I got her to pause and hold up the bubble so I could snap a picture.

At this point, it was almost time to go in. The crowds had grown exponentially and everyone was excited and ready to see the show get started. That is, everyone except for Richard who was once again missing. mock26, Melissa, and I speculated for a while about what possible calamity could have affected him this time. Just about any unlikely senario was on the table after the whole botulism issue of the day before. In the end he did turn up but late as heck which meant that he had to sit at the back and wouldn't get his turn up on stage until near the end of the event.

A shot of the crowd before the event started. I always wonder if they'll eventually move us to a bigger space one of these days since it's always packed to the brim in there. If you know just where to look in the picture and squint a bit, you can see the antenna of foxxtail's costume sticking up and the King of All Cosmos beside her. It must've been hell on wheels sitting in chairs packed closely together without whacking people with the headpiece.

Before everyone had finished filing in, I went and got my setup done, finageling the cutout out of its cardboard box and then draping the sheet over it. There was some space between the stage and the curtains in back so I was able to just tuck the thing behind there with no problems for later unveiling.

A shot of our lovely hosts before the carnage began. This year's theme btw was "Southern Fried Breakfast" so all of the filk songs featured Johnny Cash and the like. This was quite sad for me since I didn't recognize a single damn one and so had a problem singing along. I had gotten sort of used to them using musicals and had been looking forward to that.

Even though mock26, Melissa, and I were together in line, the way they had us file into the chairs meant that they actually went on stage before me with a group in between. This actually worked out better since this meant that we always had at least one person out in the audience close up who was capable of taking pictures. I always thought it was kinda sad in the past that we would run through this event with so few images to document it.

Here's mock26 and Melissa on their run. John went first and presented himself as a Monk and head of MADD, Monks Against Deadly DMs. I think this shot was right after he pulled out his little hand catapult and launched a shot into the crowd. (On a sidenote, the person who was hit instantly died)

Here's mock26 presenting Tracy Hickman with his 500 page petition signed by all members of MADD. The entire ream of paper consisted of nothing but his signature on each page. I shudder to think of how obnoxious it must've been to sit there and sign your name 500 times in a row.

After mock26, Melissa proceeded to tell Tracy how she was the reincarnation of Elistan, the cleric character from the dragonlance saga who just happened to also be an old man. (Tracy: 'You've changed!')

Having survived the possibility of insta-death upon answer 'How did you get here?', our heroes breathe a sigh of relief as the story unfolds.

I have a bit of a confession here, each year, it's very difficult if not impossible for me to actually remember what the hell goes on at killer breakfast other than in a global sort of way. For some reason, I never remember all the bits and pieces of the minutae. For instance, I rmemeber the opening scene revolved around being on a bridge of some sort but I don't recall off the top of my head what the horror that was attacking was. Godzilla? Balrog? Something else? I tend to remember the bright flashes of detail when things are interesting but the rest just slips by the wayside. Thus, I'm not sure exactly what the world tried to have mock26 and Melissa for lunch other than one person climbed into his pickup truck but it stalled on the bridge.

break again

Anyway, as whatever the horrible danger was that approached, Tracy came around with the million dollar question, 'What do you do'. I have no clue what mock26's response was but Melissa cut right to the chase.

She prayed and appealed to a higher power, Laura Hickman. In case such blatant sucking up was not enough to tilt the scales in her favor, she also proferred a bribe.

As Laura gestures Tracy over, everyone hears 'It's Godiva!'. Ka-ching! It turns out that Godiva's are also Laura's favorite, which had to have scored some bonus points there.

While Melissa managed to survive with her bribe, Tracy thumbed through mock26's petition and then 'threw the book at him', killing him instantly.

Melissa lived on, for at least a little while longer, here shown perhaps shedding a tear for her dear departed companion. As Tracy made his way back around however, she made the mistake of trying to appealing once more to the great Goddess Laura. 'Yeah, like that's going to work twice.' was the response.

At this point, Tracy brought up Peter Adkison, introducing him to the crowd and giving him the oppertunity to get his hands bloody. I have no clue what senario Peter painted other than I have a lingering suspicion it was lame. What it did do was wipe the board clean of people and it was my turn to venture up on stage.

As I was walking up I passed my camera off to mock26 so that he could continue to take shots during the event. Here I am giving a little wave to the crowd as impending doom loomed before us.

Umm, that is, right after this short musical interlude. It was time for another filky number. Everyone sing along if you know the tune! There's nothing like having a good musical number or LauraQuest hit right as you get on stage. If nothing else, it adds to your survival minutes and you don't even have to work for them.

But all songs must end and death can only be delayed and not deferred. Tracy made the rounds and asked each of us how we had gotten there. My answer of 'I'm here every year' seemed to go over pretty well. Frankly, I just wanted to give some sort of answer that wouldn't cause insta-death. Plenty of people never even make it to the second question and actually facing the senario before them.

At this point, there was still a pickup truck on the bridge which had stalled. A couple people were trying to repair it, there was some monstrous hoard coming toward us, and I believe this was the point where the hoard of killer girl scouts entered the field. Suffice to say, it was a bloody mess. Luckily when he came around to ask people what they wanted to do, I was prepared.

'I cast Mirror Image!' You can see the beginnings of Tracy's response as the entire room more or less exploded into laughter and applause. The best part was that Tracy had had his back turned apparently as I was grabbing the image so when he saw it, it was already there with me hiding behind the thing.

I'm guessing it's times like this that even the most steady DM needs to have a sitdown and collect his thoughts a bit. I guess this is like what happens when all of a sudden your campaign goes all pear-shaped (This is what I get for reading too much Pratchett) unexpectedly.

At this point, I wasn't stopping for anything. I had no clue how long I was actually going to survive up there and I wanted to get through as many of those darn speech bubbles I had written as possible. This one says, for those who can't read it, 'Pay No Attention To The Person Behind Me'.

If I could put a speech bubble up over Tracy's head here, it'd probaly say either 'Sheesh' or 'Good Grief'.

The best part is that after each new speech bubble there would be a new round of laughter as people read along. I was told by Tracy afterwards that he saw Peter laughing his ass off across the room. So much for a cutout being vengeful, I guess. I was too busy trying to keep all the darn bubbles straight to notice much of anything at the time.

'Fear no DM!'

Breaktime again.

Of course, you can only follow up a thumbing of your nose at the DM's power with flattery.

At this point, mock26 called out from the audience as my plant, 'How did the cutout get here?' a la Tracy's question for each of our characters when we get up on the stage. In case you can't make it out, the speech bubble says 'I came with stupid' with arrows pointing over at me.

Here's the last shot before my demise. I have no clue how long I personally lasted up there, but it wasn't very long at all in terms of cycles of people. In the end, I was crushed by the falling pickup truck which took out the entire table, with one single exception.

Here's Tracy escorting me personally to the podium after I had left the table so that I could get a KB t-shirt like the one he's wearing. Spiffy!

And there, standing above the crowd of new characters was the only survivor of the pickup disaster. Eventually, the cutout was moved to in front of the stage and off to the side a bit near the podium. It stood there for the entire rest of the event and the best part is every once and a while, Tracy would walk over to it to confer, nodding and whispering as if he were receiving advice from the cutout before coming back to annihilate another table full of breakfasteers.

On a sidenote, I actually won a chance to get back on stage of sorts later on through a LauraQuest. I know I mentioned these earlier without describing them, but they're sort of game interludes where you can win prizes or a chance to jump the queue to get on stage. Since they had so many people to work through, and since I was sorta recognizable after the whole cutout dealie, no re-go for me. Boooo. I had been scrambling my brains for what I should have done for my schtick if I had gotten back up there. Heh, I never planned for the situation but it would have been funny if the cutout had a speech bubble that said 'I cast Mirror Image' and then I appear :P.

Ash Ketchem also showed up to the festivities and answered the whole 'How did you get here' by attempting to sing the pokemon theme song. This was obviously a tactical error which got him killed immediately.

Near the end of the event, it became a nascar event of sort as different teams in vehicles sped toward mount doom. At one point, one car of occupants decided to grab the cutout as part of their team and tucked it into their vehicle. Tracy would roll a die for each competator and then move them X number of steps across the front of the stage and down the asile.

Unfortunately, the car the cutout was in exploded at some point. I think someone in another vehicle shot out their tires causing an explosion. Luckily, the cutout somehow managed to survive, being blasted into the car immediately behind. The two girls in that car immediately claimed it and booted the guys who were with them in their vehicle.

It's to my great sorrow that I didn't get any other pictures of these two with the cutout because all of this was taking place behind me and through a crowd of people. If I had known what was going on, I would have definitely circled around for a better angle. I'm told now that they were committing carnal acts of depravity (in a PG/PG13 manner) with the cutout. At one point, one of them yelled out 'Once you go 2-D you never go back!'.

Richard did show up eventually and get to make his run through. He's the guy in the blue. I don't recall what his schtick was since it was hard to hear, but someone else in that final orgy of destruction did answer to the whole 'how did you get here' that they were the mirror image of the cutout.

In the end, the last breakfasteers were loaded onto a bus a la Speed and were zooming down the racetrack. To give you an idea of the other 'vehicles' in this little competition there was a panzer (I think?) tank, a fighter jet, a witch's broomstick, a horse-drawn wagon, and all sorts of cars for whom model names mean nothing to me. As the bus roared into Mount Doom, the entire thing exploded, killing every single person left alive....Well, except one.

And here are Tracy and Laura with the only survivor, ever to my knowledge and certainly of the past 4 years, of the Killer Breakfast event.

As always, killer breakfast ends with a final song and you can see here that the cutout is dancing along with Tracy and Laura. All in all, it was a fantastic event and friends wandered up afterwards to offer congrats or just chat as the crowd started to all file out.

Here's Elise with the cutout. I've mentioned her before in convention recaps and we also bumped into her again at the Bristol Renn Faire this year. I first met her at Origins in a BESM event she was running that I really enjoyed. She's a great RPer/GM and I would love to get the chance to be in another event with her at some point.

Here's Mr Shiny and Shiny Jr. Now, frankly I think Mr Shiny had one of the most hilarious responses for TD when he got up on stage, but it was a bit esoteric for most of the crowd. When he was asked what he was going to do he responded, 'I'm going to PM marimac and get her to ban to flat one too!' pointing at the cutout. I laughed my ass off. I'm sure Tracy had no clue what it was referring to but he walked over to the cutout and said, 'You can't do that, he's my friend!' and put his arm around it. Hilarity.

Here's Chelle with the cutout. Todd was back in their room passed out from a night of open gaming but I was happy to see that she had made the event and had apparently enjoyed it.

mock26, Melissa, Richard, and I stuck around after the event so that we could snag a few final pictures with Tracy and Laura.

Here's Laura with me and the cutout, like the lunchmeat of a henwy sandwich.

The event wouldn't be complete without a picture of tracy and me with the thing, though I wish that glare hadn't been a problem with this shot. I can't begin to tell you how many pictures I had to either toss out or retake due to cutout glare. I sometimes get the impression I spent more time reangling that thing than doing anything else that con.

A final shot of mock26 with Tracy and the cutout. I should also mention that he's holding and Tracy is wearing some customized buttons that mock26 had handed out at the event. They basically said in latin, 'I came, I saw, I died' for the first however many participants in the event and 'I came, I saw, I killed' for Tracy, Laura and some of their staff.

And so that was killer breakfast. Now that the event was over, I ditched the cardboard box and just carried the cutout around which was far easier to transport. Everyone else wanted to go off and snag lunch but I needed to make my way to true dungeon so I could drop off the cutout with its token box. Walking through the convention center with the thing was quite an experience. A lot of people did double takes and I got a lot of 'That's the coolest thing I've ever seen' sort of comments. One woman even stopped me for extensive picture taking. I never was quite sure if she thought I was someone famous or something and was just covering her basis just in case or if she just thought the spectacle needed a pictoral record.

I ended up carting the cutout not directly to TD but made a pass through the exhibit hall first so I could show it to the playroom people who were there and those at NECA. I should have taken pictures but the hall was crowded, everyone was busy, and I was in a sort of a rush anyway. It's one of those things that I really regret that I never got a picture of them with the thing. A couple of Jeff Bellinger and cutout shots would have been spiffy. Oh well.

Alrighty, break time again. I need to get a few errands run concerning Gencon socal. It's still a bit uncertain, but it looks like I might be making it out west to hippieland again. More info on that when I finish the recaps.

So after making my way around the exhibit hall, I made my way over to True Dungeon to set up the cutout. I hung the token box around its neck, look a quick look around, and then I was off again. I was supposed to be in the Killer Bunnies Master game but I knew there was going to be no way I could get there in time when it was right up against Killer Breakfast. I didn't want to arrive late for it so I ended up giving the ticket away to Kalai. After dropping off the cutout, I went back to the exhibit hall to wander around for a while.

I bumped in sherilyn70 in the hall at which point I noticed something I hadn't before. She's got an eye that's half one color and half another! How freaky is that? She told me about the odds of that occuring, which convienantly slip my mind at the moment, but it was the first time I had ever run across it.

At one booth, they had a giant pallet of dice and were selling it in sizes from cup to pitcher. I was just amazed by the sheer variety and number of dice. It was pretty amazing to try to stick your arm down it as far as it could go and feel the crushing force just a half a foot down or so. Being buried under that many dice would not be a fun thing. I spent some time to the guy manning the booth and apparently they used to sell factory seconds in this fashion. Demand grew to be so heavy that there weren't enough seconds to go around. In the end, they just sent the call out to the factories in china to just churn them out a couple of pallets.

After a hour and change in the hall, I made my way over to the nascrag rooms. I had told Melissa I would check on whether our team had made it into the second round, not expecting that we would quite frankly. I figured we had a 25-35% chance of making it past the hump but that there was literally no chance in hell we could get beyond that. Well, it turned out that we had made it into round 2, though not by very much. The teams were placed in rank order of how well they had scored and we ended up coming in something like 4th from the bottom out of a list of 20 or so. I gave Melissa a ring and told her the good news and then proceeded to pray that some of our more gimpy roleplayers might have decide not to show up due to death, disease, or disinterest.

Here we have the Nascrag pope rounding up the groups again. I grew a little worried when I couldn't reach Melissa on the phone and had to leave a message, but she eventually got there in time. Unfortunately, so did the two gimpy highschool kids we had from round 1. I had really been hoping that maybe they would have gotten grounded or maybe it would be 4:20 time or something. The only guy to really embrace his role from round one, the one who played Innis, also showed up but his friend had ditched, not caring for the event. This left us with a vacancy for Jules. Dale's group had also qualified but it turns out that they had ditched en masse leaving just him. He ended up joining us as Connor and one of the gimpy highschoolers became Jules. I should have known that was going to be a problem. I don't recally exactly what Dale's former team name had been but it was something like the Stinking Gamers. To combined the two our team became 'Really No Stinking Chance in Hell'.

Overall, round 2 just wasn't as fun as round 1 IMO. The DMs for round 1 were hilarious quite frankly and the interplay with them had been smooth and easy. It even made up for the fact that half of the team was gimpy. This time around our DM wasn't as emotive in hamming up the scenes and characters, leaving more 'space' for us to fill with our roleplaying. That obviously became a problem. We had no problems with the puzzles and the plot elements but the roleplaying was a dead end sometimes. The gimpy Finnegan character did nothing but make a pot reference every 15-20 minutes or so and the guy playing Jules was even worse. All we would hear from him was usually 'Wee!' or 'No!' when directly asked a question. Not to mention that it was my job as Tacoma to be soppy with Jules with love songs and a barrel of innuendo. This part _really_ didn't go over well with the kid. Suffice to say, it was a bit of a mess. We finished the event with craploads of time to spare because the time that was usually devoted to intra-party RP just wasn't there. Melissa, the guy who was playing Innis, and I had a sort of group huddle when the others were off with the judge where we agreed to try to ham it up a bit to fill in and maybe score some more points. It was pretty clear that on the roleplaying side of things, it wasn't going good. Of course, attempts to ham up Tacoma usually involved flirting with Jules, which was sorta like bashing your head against a wall.

After nascrag, I headed back up to true dungeon to sit around and wait until the results were posted. I had no illusions about advancing, but I was sorta hoping there might be a gap in another group and I could get in as an alternate. It was a longshot, but stranger things have happened.

I arrived in TD only to find that my cutout had gotten himself a pair of scaryass googily eyes. I found out later that Gary (from the TD forums) had basically used a sharpy on 2 1-gold tokens and stuck them on there. The effect was more than a wee bit disturbing and I had people tell me that they got the creepy feeling that the eyes of the cutout were following them as they moved around the tavern.

I checked on the token box and while it seemed to be missing quite a bit of tokens from what I had originally dumped in there, there was still enough for people to have plenty to fish from. In addition to checking on the cutout and box, I had needed to go to the tavern was I wanted to get my combo tokens cashed in for saturday but it wasn't due to start for another 90 minutes or so. I basically stood around and chatted with various people and was approached by a man in a dark cloak with mask who wanted to trade with me. I had left my tokens in the hotel room so I didn't have anything with me and told him so. As I was saying this, I was trying to get a half-finished bottle of coke out of my backpack so I could pop some pills. At this point the mysterious stranger offered to trade me a token, sight unseen, for my bottle of coke. I figured he was probaly a basket case at that point and said that I wanted to keep my beverage. It was then I remembered that I had the combo ingredients from the day before that I hadn't been able to swap because of the harry potter larp. I offered him a hundred gold pieces, mostly as a gesture of charity and so that he could walk away with something. It wasn't until he had walked off and I turned the token over to find that it was an ultra-rare heavy repeating crossbow +1. Holy crap. Of course, at that point I felt like a heel for sorta blowing the guy off. I found out later that it was actually Jeff roaming around and trading with people, giving them purples in the deal. I was further shocked when someone came up to me and said that he had pulled a +1 platemail from the token box. Apparently Jeff had seeded that as well with some ultra-rares. I would kill for a +1 platemail but instead of getting one, it ends up in the giant take a token box. It just figures.

After getting the combo token situation squared away, I packed up the cutout and headed back to the nascrag area where teams for round 3 were rallying. No surprisingly, our team was not on the list of those who had advanced. One pleasant surprise, however, was that I had scored as first alternate for Tacoma, meaning that of all the groups that had failed to place, I was the best Tacoma there. There's nothing like being first among the losers. It also meant that if any team had been missing their tacoma, I would be the one to slot in. Unfortunately for me, no team was missing a member and my nascrag dreams were sunk. I parked the cutout next to some gaming tables and plopped myself down.

Where I ran into Deodorant Dame. Spiffyness. I hear there was also a Febreeze Girl somewhere.

Seeing as there would be no nascrag for me, after a rest I carted all of my crap back to the true dungeon taverns. It had been a longshot anyway but if I had gotten into the event, there's no way I could have scooped up the cutout before they started their breakdown of the dungeon. I set the cutout back up with its token box and basically lounged around. mock26, Melissa, and Richard had one last TD run scheduled for that night with some people they had been through the dungeon with the year before. I figured I would wait for htem to show up and when they went off for their run, wander over to the Ram for some dinner before turning in early. This plan of course went to pot when Richard once again failed to show up. mock26 tried to sell the tickets but it just happened that there was no one in the standby line waiting for another go. Since there was no chance to get a refund at that hour, I stepped in just so they would have some extra combat firepower.

The funny thing is this ended up being the best run of the con for me, mostly because I knew where everything was already. I got to go through the dungeon as the barbarian and instead of doing anything 'useful', I spent the entire time roleplaying my character. Ogg's solution to the firewall room? He urinated on it. Ogg beating the crap out of monsters? Nothing but smacktalk and tooting his own horn in barbarian speak. The best part was getting to the last room with the female drow. I don't even recall what I said...something about 'Ogg no like talky woman' or something and she mentioned that she didn't care for the stench of humans, ecspecially the barbarian. My response was something about Ogg's man musk I believe. Anyway, later on as she tells us all to approach she grabs my character sheet and basically pulls me close to her in a dramatic sort of moment as she stares at me and tells me how she's going to enjoy watching us die or something. After she let go, I turn to Melissa and say 'Me think she have hots for Ogg' causing the drow to break character as he leaned on the final puzzle and started laughing. Fun, fun, fun. I would love it if in the future we could always do one last run like that RPing characters intead of worrying about puzzles and monsters and traps.

So that was basically saturday. After the dungeon we went ot the ram with the rest of the TD group where I stuffed myself with one of their gargantuan burgers. From there it was back to the hotel room and sleep.
Tags: gencon, killer breakfast

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