Tuesday, June 7, 2011

North Texas Confidential, Day Two

Saturday 6:55
The Day of People Who Talk Too Loud begins with the painful screeching of the alarm clock—and the vociferous cursing of me and Skullcrusher. Apparently even in the depths of Bacchic excess my Czech obsession with being punctual can still function on a subconscious level (the depth of my crudo will eventually drown this out later in the day).

Despite feeling like ass and a quick worship session with the Porcelain God, I splash water on my face, throw on some clothes and we are off again.

Saturday 7:30
Breakfast buffet. I eat a massive amount of bacon. Breaking the kosher laws will lead later to Yahweh trying to kill us on the drive home, despite my Reform Judaism rationalizations. Our God is an angry God.

Not Erol Otus
Feeling like ass continues, but I enjoy the people watching. I am shocked, shocked to learn that Erol Otus has a flat-top and a somewhat conventional appearance. Don't judge a book by it's cover and all that. (In fact, no less than three others, including Malicious Mike, tell me in the course of the weekend that they thought I would be taller.)

We ask the Flaming Troll from Austin to join us and apologize profusely for drunkenly ruining his Caves of Chaos game last year at the Austin Mini-Con. He enthusiastically recounts his experiences with the Myth of Sisyphus game, I am so dense that I am I only realize later in the afternoon that this was the game we played last night.

Fortunately for the Dear Reader, Skullcrusher has chronicled our first encounter with Jeff D here , thus sparing me the verbiage.

Saturday 9:45
I manage to miss yet another game as I jibber jabber post-breakfast. Now note here that at a Con which is famed for having incredible sessions with multiple hard decisions to make at each and every one that I only actually make it to one of the six sessions I have signed up for—and that one 40 minutes late. Holding it up for the flake team.

The conversation with the Green Dragon Lord, Urutusk Gal, and Mr. Brown, is at least worth the damage to my already shaky reputation (and my even shakier head at this point in my hangover).

Urutusk minis painted by Jeff Berry. The two missing are in my pocket. 

Urutusk Gal has the working prototype of the boxed set iteration of her game. It makes me cry with the beauty—and not just because she manages to actually make good on many of the things I am stuck in the blah, blah, blah phases with the Domain Game—the components are indescribably good with all the gleaming platinum dice, intricately carved jade screens, small crystal vials of mutant blood and the like. (I leave the details to the interview I am conducting with her.)

After making soft whining, placating sounds for missing her Thursday game, I prostate myself on the floor and beg for her to run a pick-up session. Graciously she agrees and she begins to set up the game.

Near our table I notice a woman sorting through stacks of paper miniatures with a sign inviting people to join her Tekumel game Sunday at noon. Hardcore Tekumel lunatic fanboy that I am (is there any other kind for Barker's setting?) I am instantly drawn to walk over there like the proverbial moth to flame.

I notice that the paper miniatures are the same well-drawn, FREE ones that I was pumping up here on the blog last year and I wax enthusiastic about them. Turns out she is Manda, the artist responsible for the critters to which I respond with a torrent of “No Shit?” style witticisms.

Proof that I didn't make this up.

Turns out that not only is she running a Tekumel game, but it is a playtest of a port of the notorious Sword & Glory rules to a new Tekumel supplement for Jeff D's new Pocket Universe rules. (You'll hear more about this later in my upcoming interview.)

Saturday 10:40
Meanwhile Urutusk Gal is politely tolerating this tangential delay, but finally grabs me forcefully by the back of my shirt and drags me over to the game table. We are joined by Urutusk's Gal's Special Lady Gnome Friend, Chinchilla the Serving Wench, Navy Joe, and The Boy (with patient Rather Gamey Dad still basking in the thrill of being murdered with great relish by his party mates in attendance behind him).

Saturday 15:01
We finally finish chargen. After carrying the value of my Height, Frame, Hand Size, and Muscular Tone to the third power divided by the value of my Caste, Alertness, Age, and Performance and multiplied by the Violet color value I finally break down into tears and with big doe eyes I turn to our hostess and plead for her to do it for me. The deadlock is thus broken and my character Ty' Sumker aka The Black Ratter lives (see character sheet complete with foppish hat below).

The scenario is after my own heart, we are playing the exploratory team for a colonizing expedition that exists in our hostess's home campaign. And what a competent bunch of would-be conquistadors we are. In the first five minutes we manage to have our ship veer off course and flounder on a coastal barrier island two weeks travel from the colony.

We spend the entire session mostly mucking about the island with our greatest accomplishments being discovering an undiscovered species of aquatic poisonous centipedes (dubbed Centifins by Navy Joe), an empty village, and a violent home invasion of some peaceful grasslands dwellings golden children.

Saturday 17:30
We take a half hour break for dinner. Of course, not wanting to break my flake streak, I never return.

I am instead—despite a new wave of landlocked sea sickness--whisked away to dinner by Skullcrusher and Mr. Brown. Due to my extreme queasiness we settle on a stomach-soothing choice of nuclear-hot chicken wings at the local Crazy Chicken outlet.

Now Jeff , this is where the less than smooth attempts to do some wenching by my party mates come in (I am too nauseous, monogamous, and apparently old to join in). Skullcrusher impresses our chipper, pretty Theology-grad school waitress by promptly smashing his Gin and Tonic glass on the table after the first sip (I am not making this up).

The Crazy Chicken staff masochistically and mysteriously instantly loves us for this transgression. We pay the waitress 20 bucks to sing all the words to Rebecca Black's famous ballad about Friday and the manager lady even comes over to sit in Mr. Brown's lap.

Saturday 18:10
We make it back to the Con just in time for me to wander off for a worship session again. Apparently the hair of the dog is a myth for people who talk about celebrating the annual anniversary of their 39th birthday.

Saturday 18:40
Refreshed and embarrassed for missing the remainder of the previous session, I notice that I am incredibly late for the Green Dragon Lord's game. In a daze I shamble over there and am jocularly accosted by said lord. I roll up a 12th level cleric, Mogg the Mendicant, in record speed despite the coke-fueled monkeys banging on steel drums in my head.

The session is an experimental, play-test of the adventure, Castle Mind-Fuck, designed the previous day in the lord's workshop. One hour in I see the obvious mistake I have made in choosing of my own free will to play in a dungeon designed by a committee of old school sadists.

Two hours in and we are still putzing around trying to figure out the two entry-way traps. We are THE WORST SET OF IDIOT PLAYERS EVER. How do I know this? Because the Great One screamed it into each and every one of our ears as he systematically went around the table choking us.

I mostly survive the evening by courageously hanging inside the pack and doing nothing more than casting a cure light wounds spell on myself when my toe nail breaks.
The Green Dragon Lord scoffs at our idiocy

Sunday 1:45
The game is still going on and I am begging for a mercy kill. Bad Finch and I make eye contact and mumble the special code word “broken arrow” to which we have conspired to both bring down simultaneous Flame Strikes to kill us all.

The Virgin Mary appears and instructs me not to drink any more and miraculously I follow her directions and head off to bed.

Last installment this afternoon coming your way.


  1. Are you certain CharGen /only/ took 4 Hours and 21 Minutes? lol!
    --I've got to find whatever you'd been drinking the night before...

  2. Another good report, Cake. I like how you told us what you ate, as well. Be careful on that ride home.

    Dun dun dun.

  3. I actually got through around 1/3 of the G&T before smashing it to bits.

  4. @Timeshadow
    I was drinking a yummy pinot noir available only in the finest of small Texas town gas stations called Flip-Flop.

    Yes well he was awfully vengeful.

    Forgive the small amount of dramatic license that must have creeped into this otherwise accurate report.

  5. Urutusk's Gal's Special Lady Gnome Friend??? Dude, better be careful. She might throw you under a bus the next time she sees you.

    Oh, btw, 'Chinchilla' and I sat down on the other end of the table and made fun of the feather in your hat for most of the game. At one point, I even went so far as to call it 'macaroni.' That was, of course, before I knew who you were. Of course.

    The Boy says hi and thanks for playing with him. He regrets tremendously that he was not able to offer you loads of reed popcorn and jungle pillows. You were just too late to URUTSK.

    - Ark

  6. @Ark
    She was our patroness after all, I suppose I lack for common sense.

    Yes well I took the high road here and ignored the plotting against my foppish hat.

    Urutsk? I think it's spelled "Urkustk" as a point of fact.

  7. Ha, nice to see you there. But, from your descriptions I'm no longer sure we were at the same con ;)

  8. All the ladies want a fat man with his name emblazoned on his shirt, Chris.