Monday, February 18, 2013

BASHCon 2013 pt 1: Stomach Knots and the Ties of Our Lives

By the title I mean Peryton Publishing not the gaming convention BASHCon. The folks who run that convention have their strategies of running the weekend-long adventure gaming festival in the middle of February each year, and that is that. The University keeps the staffers for it strictly students so institutional memory gets replaced with fresh approaches and mostly fresh faces each year. These approaches can have inconveniences but never much more than minor problems. This year it was the getting to the convention that was hardest on me.

Things started to get a little hairy right after the summer. JerryTel was going to be the front man on this one as the guy who lived closest. Peryton who was politely enthusiastic towards my proposals for the gathering in Toledo back in August, drank some Draft of Forgetfulness and Antipathy or something. Just after a couple weeks of having gotten serious, JerryTel told me he was getting no response to his queries. So I took the lead. Not sure how I did it, but someone responded to me. After speaking for a couple more weeks with a fellow named Jared Hightower, the overall coordinator of the convention, about my proposal, things worked better than I expected. The organization offered to go ahead and just cover everything to have Ken as a special guests. I then started using the money I had saved for travel costs for the superstar Trollgod on my would-be awesome Exhibitor Booth and physical books.

Problems came up with getting Ken to Ohio, then they went away. Then potential problems and technical difficulties crept into the equations. Ken kept getting worried about getting his tickets. And then if anybody loved him enough to pick him up from the airport. And then the flight was delayed three times on departure night. Once again Ken started wondering if anybody loved him enough to pick him up from the airport. Once all that was taken care of and resolved, the BASHCon coordinators did everything they had promised that they were going to do, I found out PeryPub didn't have a booth at the convention. I found out on speaker phone, while carrying a box full of books on my head, an industrial-sized poster holder in one hand, and wearing backpack full of more books walking across a bridge over half-frozen creek from the car towards the UT Student Union building, with the chilling wind in may face... Awkward.

Still I wasn't upset. Ken was there in Toledo as a special guest. My favorite FRPG T&T was prominently featured throughout the program. And I didn't have to carry even more boxes from the car in a second trip and hurriedly set up the booth, as we were on Peryton Time on arrival (Later than already being LATE). There was the issue of refunding my down payment for the slot, but BASHConners have never been coy or opaque when it comes to money. There were more Exhibitor Booths than I have ever seen at the small convention. I didn't mind not having a spot, the last couple places were in very low traffic areas.

I couldn't even steal Pery's line "One does not simply walk into BASHCon." Even getting in through regular means took less time in previous years, and I waited in line twice. Once with Peryton who hadn't pre-registered and a second time to get my badge which I pre-registered. Ken kept us company and was chatty about history which was awesome. Meanwhile JerryTel, The Boy, and G'noll arrived. Alex, hereby known as Sigfried, a gamer from Michigan, who has just started coming to BASHCon last year, but has played with Pery and me at GenCon a decade ago, was there as well. Sigfried and I had a beverage at the Phoenician restaurant inside the Student Union center by ourselves and caught up before the start of the night's events.

The "traditional" Friday night T&T scenario had all experienced BASHCon Delvers, with Ken being the only newcomer. No newcomers to Our Game, but it was an awesome game.  Road Warrior-esque leprechauns living in a giant hoodoo in a desert valley full of warped magic. JerryTel's Jherri the Great Nee Good, the dwarf, flying around a cavern with desert fairies fluttering around him. Sigfried's 4'9" bald human fighter, Dvarik, and Ken's shady elven Rogue, Primamoon(sp?) arguing as a hungry dragon flew at them. Jherri TGNG's cousin, Allgeese(sp?), G'noll's PC, and Peryton's Alanthea (elven Wizard)interjected themselves in the game mostly very humorous one-liners. While The Boy played his spoiled noble, second child, Curly, a human rogue, with very polished flare.

The night ended up at Applebees around midnight. Ken's welcome party with almost everybody mentioned above was a ton of fun. The Boy was falling asleep, but hey he was hanging with the big dogs now.

I couldn't fall asleep, so I entertained myself with recalling the shared story of "The Lair of the Snow Dragon" from a couple hours earlier. It was really a great brain-animated blockbuster to view for this old GM. I woke up a few hours later very happy and "dancey". The morning's push-ups went on for a long time.

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