I'm happy to report that I see to have cleared my small backlog of other things that needed to be done and I'm ready to dive into the recap. One thing I have noticed while looking at these pictures is that I was really, really spotty about taking pictures during the con. Everything came in spurts and there are huge blocks of time where I didn't snap anything for some reason. I should carry some sort of beeper with me that goes off every hour at cons and reminds me to just snap a shot even if there's nothing interesting at that moment to take a picture of. If nothing else, it would help put these recaps into a temporal frame of reference.
So lets see....as far as I can recall, friday morning at origins started a bit later than usual. The only thing I had that morning were my demos for playroom and they didn't get started until 10 am. I think that this was the best night of sleep I got the entire con too. It might not have been quite a full 8 hours, but it was close enough.
One thing I sort of regret about the origins trip is that because I was doing the playroom demos, I never really had blocks of time avaliable to really go through the exhibit hall in any systematic fashion. I usually like to go booth by booth, sucking up swag like a knickknack hoover and it just wasn't possible this time around. It's not a huge big deal since there didn't seem to be all that much to pick up this year from what I was hearing through word of mouth, but it's more the principle of the thing. It just dosen't seem like a con unless I come home with a huge bag of useless crap that sits around collecting dust for years.
I don't recall much of that morning's demos for playroom though I think it most mostly rounds of killer bunnies demos. I had been presented with 2 playroom demo team t-shirts the previous day and so was wearing one of them for my shift. Nothing makes you feel like a demo monkey like t-shirts with the company logo and announcing your indentured servitude on the back.
Chris, Matt, and I got to play another No Holds Barred game with Jeff as far as Killer Bunnies went and I payed off on my soda debt. I was hardly surprised that I failed to win the second game either, though at least I made it to the carrot draw and didn't come in last, having to pay another forfeit. The funny part was that none of us noticed that 3 or so large carrot cards were missing during the game. It was a screwy moment when we realized that there was only one large carrot card left during the draw but 3 small cards left. They were eventually located, mistakenly shuffled into the deck.
After the stint at playroom, it was time for part II of Rescue of a Lifetime. Our group had gotten parred down a bit after the first game with Matt and Joyce, as well as Kath, refunding their tickets. Kath at the very least tried to buy back in but failed, much to everyone's general relief. On the way to the game I picked up what was easily the most expensive pizza I have ever purchased. I hadn't had time to trek anywhere else to snag lunch and so I decided to just buy a whole pizza at one of the little convention center cards for $22. I figured that at least the Bills would probaly want a slice or two at the game, though I should have checked on that beforehand. It ended up that everyone had already ate at the food court, which left me with a $22 pepperoni pizza. I do have to say that it really wasn't bad. It was certainly the best convention center pizza I've ever run across over the years. While the Bills weren't interested, a couple of the other players took me up on my offer and it sorta felt like I was repaying the bagel karma from the day before.
The second module wasn't as inducive to humor as the first but the player interactions were much better. Bill S dumped the wizard and swapped over to playing Rubella, which he seemed to mesh with. We basically spent the entire game talking smack as a duo and that was fun. We picked up someone new to play Wiggley and I have to say that he nailed it on the head. The take was perfect and the english accent even fit in a way.
- Begin in large cage suspended above a lava pit. Wiggley picks lock and cleric duo stroll out using airwalk. 'Tho long Thuckerth!' Torturously covoluted winching of the cage to solid land by the rest of the party.
- Extended combat upon reaching the ground with weird shark-like monsters and weird red-veined whozits. MVP: Bag of marbles. I think it accounted for at least two deaths on its own as people slipped and fell off the cliff into the lava.
- Discovery of more evil thtrawberry goo in cauldrons.
- Join up with some woman who claims to be a wedding guest who was also captured.
- Most entertaining scene of killing a monkey ever. Basically the bard and wizard wandered off on their own and upon seeing a large monkey in a cage with the red goo, wanted to kill it so it wouldn't be possessed by evil. Monkey guts were everywhere as they lightning bolted the thing and otherwise rained superflorus violence down on its ass.
- Discovery of gateway back to own world, but comes with a dark corridor filled with traps and 4-stanza long riddle poem
- Summon Monster = Hoards of trap-finding monkeys. We basically just tossed monkeys at the corridor until we figured out where all the death was, like something out of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. They were some really unhappy monkeys.
At one point during the game Kath showed up just to watch and pulled up a chair near the Bills. When she began to toss in obnoxious comments, both of them basically shushed her in their own way. That more or less decided me that if she was in for the Saturday game, I was going to pass on the whole thing.
Oh, and as a sidenote, I ended up winning on of the 2 top RPer slots again. I picked up a copy of Tongiaki, an uberplay game, from the prize table.
After the game we all gathered back together with the exception of Kath and decided to head over to North Market. I'd never been before but it was apparently the it place to get something to eat at the con. Nothing there really struck my fancy but I did manage to have what might have been the most embarassing meeting I've ever had at a con. I bumped into someone in line at one of the stalls and didn't recognize him when he called out to me. I tried to jog my memory but notta, so he kept supplying details and I still couldn't remember who the heck he was. It turns out that I had met him last year and he was working for Playroom Entertainment at the time. After blanking on his existance, I felt this need to stay there and make smalltalk, as if to somehow cover up my faux pas. I then proceeded to stick my foot in my mouth a couple more times as I misspoke the name of someone who worked at playroom and then, upon hearing that he was planning to go to law school, proceeded to tell him that I once thought about being a lawyer because I liked law and order. I just couldn't seem to shut up. I eventually limped my way out of the market, the tatters of my dignity trailing behind me.
When we got back to the convention center we decided to give the Kobold Midnight Massacre a try. I had participated a few years ago and it had seemed like fun but I just couldn't get into the spirit of things at the time. I figured it might be different with some people I knew there instead of just a room full of strangers. Everyone else decided to head back up to the hotel rooms for the time being while I parked myself in the room the game was going to take place in. While there watching the setup I ran across one of the more interesting t-shirts and conversations of the con.
It might be kinda hard to tell with the black shirt, but this guy had quite a big gut which his friend pointed out made the t-shirt sort of ironicly humorous. They continued to banter with one another and at one point the friend said 'After all, you're pregnant. This is, what, your 42nd trimester?' to which the guy wearing the shirt responded with assorted anatomically impossible obsenities.
The entire idea behind Kobolds Ate My Baby is that you play kobolds, quite possibly the weakest most inept race of creatures ever created. All kobolds want to do is eat babies and they are led by King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG!). The kobold God is Vor (VOR SAVES!), the angry red God, who apparently overslept on the day that races were being handed out and got stuck with the kobolds. The only thing that Vor hates more than kobolds is cowardice, which explains why kobolds are so incredibly suicidal, charging adventurers despite the fact that they're basically walking fodder.
In this episode of the Kobold Midnight Massacre, King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG!) has received a letter addressed to occupant, inviting him to a 'feed the children' banquet at the local pre-school. King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG!) misinterprets this missive, having a miniscule comprehension of human, and believes that they're going to be serving babies as food along with free range children.
Here we see King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG!) annoucing to all the gathered kobolds the feast at the preschool. We were all commanded to proceed forthwith to the school and bring back as many succulent babies and free-range children as we can.
Oh, and did I mention there were puppets?
We were given a variety of arts and craft supplies and told to make our own puppets to represent our kobolds. The results were really pretty spectacular given that the materials provided were pretty basic. We kept making enhancements as we went for most of the night so the puppets kept evolving and getting better as it went. I'm not quite sure exactly what caused me to think that I should make my kobold anatomically correct. It might have been a temporary bout of insanity, but it was entertaining if nothing else.
The principal of our table certainly seemed to find the idea amusing. At some point in the night I added a cheesy french accent to the whole thing and named my kobold Jacques the Cock. I seem to have this inherent belief that if something is funny, overacting the hell out of it will automatically make it hilarious.
It wouldn't make for much of a game if our kobolds didn't have stats, right? We were told to roll 2d6 to determine our attributes. I think BEeR stood for Brawn, Ego, Extraneous, and Reflexes. I used my new chinky dice and as you can see, I initially rolled a 3 for Ego. The principal allowed a reroll, claiming that she couldn't believe that a kobold with my 'endowments' could only have an ego of 3. Overall I made out like a bandit on stats, not that it matters much since you're still likely to die before you can even turn around twice. I also had 24 hits (hitpoints) which probably made me one of the buffest kobolds out there.
In addition to rolling for stats, we were also given skills and abilities based on the items we chose. We weren't told what they represented so people just snagged whatever they felt would go with their character best. I only found out after the fact that what I had believed was a cleaver was really a pot helmet, leaving me with two pieces of headgear. I ended up with the abilities of Bash (which let me break inanimate objects) and Bard (which let me convince other kobolds I was telling them the truth).
And then with one final speech by King Torg (ALL HAIL KING TORG!, we were off. While the person running our table was fun and entertaining, it was also pretty clear she didn't know what in the world she was doing as far as the rules of the game were concerned. Things were horribly inconsistant from player to player, round to round. In the end, it didn't much matter though. I mean, you can't recally be concerned about the rules if you're playing Kobolds Ate My Baby. Ironicly, she also ended up being quite the mistress of death.
Here was the first victim at our table who was also the first person to die in the entire game I think. Net elapse of time from the start? I figure around 2-3 minutes or so. Ya, this game dosen't really kid around. Everyone is a walking corpse waiting to happen. Since she died she was immediately sent to detention where her puppet was destroyed and she was given the supplies to make another. She returned later only to die immediately upon getting there. She returned yet again only to croak a couple rounds later. It was one whole revolving door of kobold corpses for her before she called it a night.
The way the game ran is the principal would set out these little cards with pictures on them, mostly involving things found at a school. The first person to go picked a picture of a bike rack and was able to snag a bike, and upon making a ride check was able to zip around on it and later started a chaps wearing biker gang. My kobold also got a pair of the 'assless chaps' but chose to wear them backwards to display his goods. The girl who died picked a picture with one of those warning sawhorses with the flashing lights and immediately got run over by a bus. My first pick was of a school fence upon which I got attacked by a fencing coach. Upon being informed that running would be un-kobodly and anger Vor, I charged and attempted to bugger him. Not the most conventional form of attack, but it seemed to disturb him greatly.
(Man, it takes freaking forever to do one of these updates. I feel like I've been at it for hours. Actually, looking at the start time, I HAVE been at this for hours. Christ. I'm going to take a break and finish this a bit later.)
Soon after we started they announced the winner of the best kobold puppet and Bill won. His was a really superior effort and better than anything else I saw that night. The prize was nothing spectacular. He ended picking up 3-4 copies of some gaming magazine that had features Kobolds Ate My Baby. Still, swag is swag and it's better than nothing.
At Bill's suggestion, I cut away some of the bottom of the puppet so that I could actually raise and lower the flag, so to speak. It made things a lot more interesting during the game.
- Joyce died almost immediately when she picked a picture with an upside down cow. Note to anyone who ever plays KAMB in the future...AVOID THE UPSIDE DOWN COW! It was pretty much insta-death. The cow fell on her and squished her to death.
- Battle with the fencing instructor ended prematurely as another kobold chucked a spell at him which conjured chicken onto his head that would later explode like a grenade.
- Matt and I ended up in the kitchen of the school with some other guy who had honey mustard splashed over him and gained the attribute 'tastes like baby'.
- While moving through the school to follow the smell of babies, the same misfortunate soul was hit by a stray spell which turned him into a chicken. In effect, he became a chicken that tasted like baby covered in honey mustard. We're talking the life expectancy of a blowfly.
- In trying to, errrr, 'choke the chicken' he pecked at my kobold doing some minor points of damage while I shoved the mini-kobold down his throat. Ya, it turned sorta creepy XXX for a while.
- Of course, it got worse when matt tied a rope to him and tried to haul him off. At this point imagine a really bad frenchie accent talking about baisting the baby-tasting chicken with extra cream sauce and the like.
- In the end, after a use of the bard skill, I managed to gain sole custody of the honey mustard covered chicken which tasted like baby and used to be a kobold and was told to carry him to King Torg (All Hail Kill Torg!)
And here is the great and mighty King Torg (All Hail Kill Torg!) on his throne. I got there just as he was berating this guy for his failures, at one point asking him if he knew about the postal system. When the guy, obviously confused as heck said no, King Torg (All Hail Kill Torg!) said he would teach him about the postal system, snatched the puppet, stuffed it into an envelope and made the guy fill out his address so they could mail the puppet to him.
King Torg (All Hail Kill Torg!) was very happy with the snack I brought back and awarded victory points. He also told me he was quite disturbed and I should keep it covered. When Matt's kobold got sent to King Torg (All Hail Kill Torg!) it had a nipple bitten off.
The game went on for a bit and we eventually had to swap tables. The one we ended up at wasn't nearly as fun and partly it was due to the fact the guy running it seemed to actually know the rules. Bill M and I also got stuck sitting alongside a really obnoxious jerkoff. I also managed to horribly offend some woman I was sitting next to with some kobold-related pickup lines. I didn't notice it myself but I'm told she started shooting dagger-like glares at me and actually shifted her chair away.
We ended up leaving the game with around a hour left to go, deciding to call it a night. Bill S had been killed at some point and ran off to make another kobold.
Personally, I think it's even better than his first effort. It reminded me of an evil pichachu when I first saw it and he had meant for it to be gremlin-esque. What we all finally decided it really was were the whammies from Press Your Luck. No Whammies! Big Bucks! Big Bucks! I used to love that show to death. It was probably my favorite gameshow of all time. I would have loved to have gotten a chance to get on it, even if it had a chance of leading to being an assistant manager at Walmart.