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GenCon Report: Day T-1

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
OK. So I didn't know what else to do, and since our beloved Nick is not answering his mail (probably swamped like the Titanic), I figured it was time to start.

Wednesday (Day T-1)

It's 3 in the morning and I've been awake for an hour. My plane leaves at 6:30. One word, Claudia: De-Caff. So many things to worry about. Did I pack the Hell Money? Will 8 Tambourines be enough? What am I going to wear? Who am I meeting? Will someone please give me a lemming?

Yes, this is it: GenCon. The Mecca (now revamped and known as the Midwest Convention Center - it just doesn't work the same, does it?) of Gaming. And this year, I return after a 4 year hiatus.

5:30am: Coyote has dropped me off to catch my flight. Too bad the check - desk isn't open. Grrrr....they tell us to be here an hour early....oh, there you are. Check in with the usual, and damn! There's no coffee. I'm gonna die. Even airport coffee is better than no coffee.

10:00am: In Memphis, I am greeted by a picture of Elvis. See old friends and do the "Hi-How are you?- Doing fine - Going to GenCon" bit. A total stranger introduces himself. "I couldn't help but hear that you're going to GenCon. So am I." And proceeds to ask about what games we play and tell us about his character. The flight announcer saves us from an anurism by announcing that our flight has been moved.

Tried to call home for first installment in report. Phones don't work.

10:53am: One of the first on the plane by virtue of sitting on the tail. Start playing a game: "Gamer, Gamer, Gamer, guy going to GenCon but not a Gamer. Gamer, Gamer, Gamer, Gamer, BUISNESSMAN (they still make those?), Gamer...." The stewardess watches us arrive, shakes her head, sighs heavily, and waits. Since she's near me, I ask what's wrong. "Nothing. You're all going to GenCon, aren't you?" I guess I'm not the only one who can spot them.

12:20: Am in Magical Milwaukee. Now what? Oh yeah. Since the only hotel I remember is the Hyatt, I find a cab to the Hyatt. Apparently they are hiring from the bottom of the barrel of MD2020. Phew.

12:40: At the hotel, my two trunks are seized by a friendly bellhop and hustled to the frontdesk. "I'm not staying here." "There's a charge then." OK. I shell out the whopping 2 bucks (one per bag per day) so I have some freedom to find my people. He seems disappointed that I don't give him more. Hmmmmmm......

"@#$%! Is it really you?" Well, since this person seems vaguely familiar, I guess so, and say hi while sneaking a look at her badge. Wow. This pretty much sums up the reason for going to cons. She knows me, I know her, and the only times we ever met were at cons.

Mosey on over to the convention center. Phew. Fresh paint. Oh well, we'll soon lose that scent.

At the door, I go to the information booth. I'm looking for the Hogshead Booth. "Don't know where it is." OK. Where do I go to pick up my badge? "At the exhibitors booth." Where's that? "In the hall." OK. "But you can't get in without a badge." Is your name Flip? How do I get my badge, then? "Go to the Exhibitors booth."

I finally get past the Information Booth and start for the Exhibitor's hall. The door nazi stops me before I hit the escalator. "You can't go up there without a badge." I'm going to get my badge. "I can't let you pass." If you don't let me pass, I'll never get my badge. My friends, who have my badge, are meeting me at the booth." It's like Laurel and Hardy without the sophisticated humor.

And at the door to the actual convention, it's the same again. Grrr... I swear they hire these people just so they can watch the dance.

Try to call home. Phones don't work.

1:00pm: The booth is deserted and a wreck. There is no product, no people, and just a few chairs and tables. I pull back the hair and start to make it look like a display. "I'm sorry miss, but I have to see your badge." I swear, I'm going to kill someone. I don't have it. I don't know where the booth is. "Oh. If you go through those doors over there at the end of the hall, and take a left, you'll see it. They should have everything you need." Is this for real? Are you sure you work for WotC? "Yes. I'm going to go an make my rounds, but when I come back in about ... oh an hour or so, you really do need to have your badge." OK!

I follow instructions. "I think someone already picked up the badges." I know you don't remember them, but I have to try. Tall, say 6'7"? Reddish brown hair? British? Handsome? "I'd remember that one!" Rats.

I go back and finish re-arranging the booth. I think I told them I'd meet them at the Hyatt, or the center. Or was it the Hilton? Need caffiene. Must have been the Hyatt.

Turns out they were staying at the Hilton. Finally hooked up the right people and life was good. Arranged display, got ready, and made my first sale (before the booth was even set up). Life is good.

Try to call home. Phones don't work.

After another mix-up, found the Chaosium people. Had dinner with them and found out that they nearly didn't have rooms. Grrr...these are my hosts. How can hotels lose rooms that are booked nearly a year in advance? Oh well. We have rooms now, although I'm going to be schleping stuff all over hell and creation.

Go to the King and I for dinner. (Chow Yun Fat was not on the menu -- Rats,) Thai food is HOT! Yumm! So, what are the plans for the Cthulhu for President Rally? "Oh we figure we'll wing something."

We're doomed.

Figure out where and what to do. Oh, so the Rally is on FRIDAY. That's always good to know.

Try to call home. Sorry, Coyote. I didn't really mean to wake you up. Goodnight.

"Go ahead. Say my name four times. I dare you. I double dare you."
post #2 of 34
Fortunately, you didn't triple-dog dare us to say your name four times, and as everyone knows, you cannot turn down a triple-dog dare...!
post #3 of 34
Speaking of which, what precisely were you selling? An RPG? A CCG? KODT Black Hand T-shirts? Cans of Spam?

The Undead must know...
post #4 of 34
Mini-review of Hastur by Someone Who Wasn't There, and therefore may not be entirely correct:
Hastur was the person in charge of Sales for Steve Jackson Games for a while. As such, she worked many a con huckstering anything and everything SJGames put out...which was alot, as they are sorto of the Remco of Gaming...good, quick, and relitively inexpensive, unless you happen to be into card or chess games. (No expansion rules for chess should cost 20 dollars when Cheap Ass Games puts out entire games [sans playing pieces], boards, etc...for 5bucks.)
During this time, she made many connections, including Chaosium, Pagan Publishing, and Hogs Head (although I think she may have had these latter beforehand, due to her Lovecraft facination.) I officially met her (I had seen her about over the years) shortly after she left SJGames, when she was running her Bullet Scenerios as Wyrd Images at a little con I help run.
Somehow...I don't know how, since she assumes I can read her mind, and plans were already well under way before I knew she was going...old contacts were stirred up and she was drafted to help Hogs Head and maybe Chaosium huckster stuff at Gencon, selling anything they handed her. So, there's games, mostly, but I think there was other stuff as well. The women sells anything...keep her out of politics, she'd be give her.
You should see her at a slave auction.
She was also the person running the Cthulhu Rally Friday night, Lich, if you saw that. It would have been nigh impossible to be in the dealer's room and NOT have at least seen/heard her from across the room. She has...lungs.

Chaosium & Pagan are the folks behind the Call of Cthuhlu, Arkham Press, Delta Green, etc. Hogs Head is behind Warhammer & Warhammer40k (give us the damn RPG)...and evidently Pantheon & Slay, which were hawked at the con.

[This message has been edited by Coyote (edited 08-18-2000).]
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
To correct you so I don't get killed by the people involved *grin*:

Hoghead: Got the license for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, not 40K. 40K is being done by someone else (I want to say Games Workshop, but someone may have to research that one). They also have the license for S.L.A. Industries (originally of Nightfall Games). Games they have published under their own handles are Violence, Puppetland/Powerkill, Baron Munchausen, and Pantheon.

At this time there are a ton of books for the WFRP game.

Arkham Press is separate from Chaosium and Pagan. Chaosium = CoC. Pagan = Delta Green with licences from Chaosium for CoC stuff.

As for making connections, I don't know. Read tonight's installment to find out.

"Go ahead. Say my name four times. I dare you. I double dare you."
post #6 of 34
Munchausen was cool....
As for the rest, I lay corrected. (I'd stand, but she keeps knocking my knees out.) She's probably right about Games Workshop, since I thought they had Warhammer until shetold me Hogshead did.
As for my confusion over Pagan Publishing & Arkham Press...that's totally my own. But go to their website, and you'll get confused, too. The fine print has 3 websites under one umbrella, 2 of them being the above mentioned.
I'm going back to my corner, now, to plan on World Domination (It's easy. Let Blofeld win, then sneak the world away from him while he's tying up the secret agent.)
post #7 of 34
Shit! That's what I've been doing wrong. Mental note: tie up secret agent...
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
And the next installment:

GenCon Day 1

6:00: God it's early. Someone give me caffiene.

7:30: Met up with the Hogshead people in the lobby of the Hilton
for the traditional Hogshead Breakfast. There's a reason we love
James. Where's the coffee? Met some of his other booth weasels.

8:00: Got to the booth. James decides to change the format. Cool.
It's like playing Tetris (tm). There are a couple of 8' tables,
a 6' one and a 4'. How do we arrange this? Where's the inventory
list? Don't forget to mark down your sales. Does anyone have a
schedule they want to give me? Oh. Sell Pantheon. Where's the coffee?

One of the other Booth Weasels tells me why I refuse to eat within
the convention center this weekend. According to the story, the
people in charge of one of the concession stands came in and turned
on the light to see the brown moving walls. Urgh. I need coffee now.

Suggestion is made that we bring incense to the booth in case we
need it. That and Stick-Ups(tm).

9:00: While returning to the booth with my caffiene fix, I get a
chance to look at the line waiting to get into GenCon. It's scary.
It goes around the building. So many gamers. So many humans.
Not the right time to summon. Rats.

Somewhere in this we are trying to find the last few people to give
the badges to. We finally find one, who is in line getting game
tickets. Cool. Decide to wait so she can follow us to the booth.
She get the game tickets and ... hold on, these are the wrong ones.
"Sorry we can't change those." Apparently it takes 20 minutes to
program something in, and two hours to take it out since they seem
to be using every single program ever invented. I wonder aloud
if they've ever considered using one platform. After all my company
can do it, and it's corporate.

10:00: The gates open and the herds arrive. So many gamers. Buy
Pantheon. "What's that?" Explain. Am selling Pantheon like no tommorrow.
Cool. "Do you have WFRP?" You betcha. "Let me tell you about my character."

James starts wondering about where Apocraphya II is. The printer
promised it would be here yesterday. Anthony organizes search party.
OK. We'll get it in today. Really. "Do you have WFRP?" Yeppers.
"Cool. I have the coolest character..." Just buy the books. I
don't care about your imaginary friends.

10:15: A line is queing around the castle. What's that for? "The
new D&D book." Really. The line now covers two walls of the Castle.
Make that three. Make that three with a tail that winds among
the aisles. No one can see the booth. Hrm..... Hey. You. Yes
you. While you're waiting to purchase the D&D book, let me show
you these other fine products. "Snicker." No really. Look. Violence
- a game with no socially redeeming values. "Looks good. I'll take
one. It reminds me of my character...." Grrrrr...

Hey. You. When you're done with the happy little "I'm gonna slay
the dragon" game, let me show you something really gritty: SLA Industries.
"Whazzat?" Futuristic horror. "Sounds good. That's like this character
I play." Did anyone bring any espresso?

11:00: Am handed an order form to order lunch. Not bad. Only $8.00
for a side salad. Wow. And only $1.75 for a can of coke. Damn.
I mean at home I pay $.50 so this must be really special. Ed,
Anthony, everyone. I think we need to start practicing our smuggling skills.

11:15: "Hi. I'm supposed to give these to the cool people here
at the con." It's an invite to tonight's WotC party. Errr....OK.
I've heard these things are kind of boring but you never know.

1:00: I realize that it's time to huckster the Cthulhu for President
Rally. I ask James to let me go to the Chaosium booth to do so,
and promise to put in a full day on Saturday and Sunday. He agrees.
Have I mentioned how nice he is?

Try to call home. Phone doesn't work.

Chaosium booth. OH MY GOD! THEY HAVE A YELLOW SIGN! I am the happiest girl on the planet. What's new? "Everything." Cool. Where's Jeff? "Don't know." Oh. He has my box of goodies for the Rally. "Check at the Labyrinth." Huh? (probably my wittiest reparte yet) Apparently the Labyrinth is in the Arena and they are playing Call of Cthulhu in the secret rooms. OK.

Can't find the secret rooms. Ask the person at the desk. "Do you
have a game there?" No, I just need to get my stuff. "Well, we can't
let everyone go there." Fine. I understand. All I want is to get
my stuff so I can advertise. "We can't tell you where they are."
Grrrr.... Where's the caffiene?

No matter where I go, I can't find him, so I go back to the hall
and just start recruiting. Hi, would you like to join the legions
of the Elder Gods? Cthulhu for President. Why settle for the lesser
evil? "What's a Cthulhu?" Just show up at the Rally. And buy this book. "OK."

I take a minute to walk the floors. Everyone is running like the
proverbial chicken. Gamers with backpacks full of Gorp are taking
it to the hotel rooms and coming back for more. "Excuse me but where
can I buy the new D&D book?" You see that big castle that takes
up one third of the hall? "Where's the Champions game?" At the Labyrinth,
like it says in your program book. I start to wonder if I have "Information" tatooed on my forehead.

See someone I know. Pounce. Babble, babble, babble, squeak. Repeat often. I love these things.

Back at Chaosium, I find out that no one knows where the rally is
being held. Grrrr..... The pre-reg book says one room, the program
book another, the information booth another, and someone apparently
started a rumor that it will be held in the park nearby. Gulp espresso
and march to the events booth. Where's the Rally going to be held?
Three different answers. OK. Who's in charge of the Events? Hi.
Where's the Rally being held? The Simone (or something like that).
Good. Which one? Apparently there is a room by that name in every
single building in this city. Finally find out that it's at the
arena. Good. Explain that we are advertising it as being there,
and now it will be held there no matter what, since they gave the
go ahead. Even if someone else is there. "They won't be." Cool. I love my job.

4:00: Still at Chaosium. Huck, huck, huck. I am a huckster. Several
of the crew members keep feeding me coffee so I am wired. Woooooo!
Meet up with the Cthulhu Live guys. Very interesting weirdos.
You have to love people that do everything they can to scare their
players so much they lose three sanity points or more per game.
Get invited to a demo game tonight. Cool. I think I'll try that.

6:00: The hall closes. Try to call home. Phone doesn't work.

Food with Anthony, a Hogshead Booth Weasel. He teaches me a new
phrase. "Ia! Ia! Pika! Pika!" After killing him, I practice it
for a moment. I scare myself with how good I am at the Pikachu(tm) voice. I scare him.

8:00: Back at the center. Try to call home. Phone doesn't work.

Where did the Cthulhu boys say to meet? At the front? The back?
I forget. I spend a half an hour searching for them. I guess I'm
an idiot or they decided to cancel. Rats. I guess I'll go to the party.

OK. First let me point out that WotC parties are kind of odd, to
my experience. They are politic fests, a good chance to schmooze, and absolutely dull.


This is the Bootlegger's Ball. The roaring 20's were never this
loud. They closed off an entire section of street for this puppy.
We have an overpass above, air flowing through, and are literally
dancing in the streets. Wow. I decide to people watch, since I
don't know anyone there. It's great. The band is live and solid.
I mean usually the bands are clueless, but these guys know how
to PLAY. Women are dressed as flappers with the feathers and boas.
Men are wearing Zoot suits and spats. Amazing.

And there are people dancing that obviously took lessons to do this.

I sit back on one of the lounges they have around the dance area
to enjoy the spectacle. Wow. Suddenly, there is a vision in red
bowing in front of me with his hand out. He's grinning. OK. I'm
whirled out onto the floor, and it's great. I forgot that I know how to dance.

Later, there's gambling. Cool. Then more dancing when the tables
close. I could go into details about the night, but you probably
don't want to know. Suffice it to say that this has to be the greatest
Con Party I have ever been a part of. And I wasn't even costumed.

Midnight: Try to call home. The phone isn't working.

Back at the hotel, tell Jeff about my day and make arrangements
to schlep my stuff to the hall first thing in the morning.

Collapse into bed. God, I'm tired.

"Go ahead. Say my name four times. I dare you. I double dare you."
post #9 of 34
Please upload the Polaroid picture of yourself wearing the 20's prison uniform from the Bootlegger's Ball.

We know you have one, and we triple-dog dare you.
post #10 of 34
"I wonder aloud
if they've ever considered using one platform. After all my company
can do it, and it's corporate."

Hastur, this is Gencon, of COURSE they have to use an Enterprise system.

WFRP: 98.6 on your FM Dial. All fantasy soundtracks, all the time.
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
No, I don't have a prison uniform shot. I wish I did. Remember, I didn't know anyone there, so I couldn't get one. That and I don't take a lot of pics.

On the other hand, a lot of my cultists were photo happy, and they probably have a lot of pics. I just didn't really get in touch with them until Friday night. There are a lot of pictures from Friday and Saturday floating around, and, yes, I will find them.

I'll post the next installment sometime tonight.

"Go ahead. Say my name four times. I dare you. I double dare you."
post #12 of 34
I didn't believe Hastur about her lack of photogenecy, at first. After all, she has some classic features, especially the raven mass of hair and large grey eyes with very expressive brows...until I tried to take some of her.

Unless you can seriously control the shot (and in a few months, I *will* master the Olympus C-3000 digital I'm getting), something weird happens to the photos. There's this weird blur around her face.
post #13 of 34
I'm just mad that Marcus Alexander Bagwell was there and I wasn't.

We coulda' busted some shit up.
post #14 of 34
I'm blaming the van exploading on her now. Repairs will delay the purchase of the camera, and therefore delay pictures of her. It's a conspiracy, I tellya.
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Day 2

7:00: Woke up. Promptly fell out of the bed. God I hurt. Note to self: Dancing a lot the previous night will kill you if you aren't used to it. Where's the coffee?

8:00: Schlep my stuff over to the Hall. The Door Nazi is confused by my not wearing my badge around my neck like every other one of the 30,000 people here. I'm wearing it on my ankle. I do the "See, here it is" kick. Ta - Da!

Repeat kick for one at the escalator. Repeat kick for Door Nazi in front of hall. He compliments me on my form and tells me that I may have to do this alot. *shrug*

At the Chaosium Booth I take a handful of Hell Money and go around to the various booths buying votes for Cthulhu. It gives me a chance to see what the various dealers have. I keep expecting the TSR people to toss me because of the Hell Money, but they don't. Oh yeah. They're now WotC. Cool.

10:00: Doors open and the people start pouring in. I start my pitch. The rubes love it. Cthulhu for President! Why settle for the lesser evil? Buy your vote for Cthulhu. Vote for Cthulhu. He is the only candidate that will live up to his promises. He promises to eliminate all the problems from the United States: by eliminating all the people. "What's a Cthulhu?" Just come to tonight's Rally at 7:00. Be there. We will call up the Great Old One himself. Promise!

Amazingly enough there were a ton of people that wanted to join tonights festivities. I realize that tonight we have a special sacrifice, and it's time to spread the word.

While talking Rally, I'm selling Chaosium stuff. You ever play Call of Cthulhu? "No, but I have a really cool D&D character." I need more coffee.

12:00: Lunch with an old friend, John. Since I haven't seen him in about 4-6 years, this will be nice.

We go to the Mall and as we enter, we see a sign for the Clown Museum. Clown Museum? Let's go!

Amazingly enough, it's kind of interesting in a creepy, what-were-they-thinking kind of way. I quickly start to get a tad unnerved by the smiles and the jollility which abounds. The only thing the museum seems to be missing is a set of clowns parachuting from the ceiling. Or the Killer Clowns from Outer Space. I'm going to have nightmares about this place, I just know it.

This proves once again that this man is one of the strangest people I know. Not by virtue of his being a weirdo, but because he seems to be a bit of a bellwether of oddity. I knew there was a reason I liked him.

Shoot a couple doses of coffee to prepare for the booth. On the way back stop at a store that sells Cthulhu green shoes. I try on the ones made out of Ostrich hide cause they look like they're covered with pustules. Unfortunately, I refuse to pay $45 for a pair of shoes I won't wear except for Devivals and Rallies. Still....Cthulhu Green shoes with pustules. Hmmmmmm......

1:30: Back at the booth. Huck, huck, huck. I am a huckster. Cthulhu will end hunger in America; he will eat the hungry. Cthulhu will end excess litigation: he will eat the lawyers. Cthulhu will unite the states under one class, ending all class wars; everyone will be an hors'de'orve. I should have been a politician.

People come by, take my money and listen to me promise that we will be giving away free money at the Rally. I also explain that we are going to sacrifice Mr. Shiny at the Rally (he's a big part of the Rally every four years). Do you see him working the crowd like I am? Meet me here at six if you want to be a cultist. We really are calling up Cthulhu.

Sell all kinds of stuff. "Where can we get a stuffed Cthulhu like that?" Actually it's a beanie Cthulhu. See? The mark grabs Cthulhu's butt. "Wow. That's too cool." Actually, it's kind of disturbing, considering how cute it is.

6:00: I meet up with my cultists. I seem to have about 20 of them. We go over to the arena to start setting up the hall. There are about half a dozen people in the hall. Is there a game going on in here? "Well, not officially but..." Good, because we have the hall and are going to be really loud. Are you one of my cultists? "No." I do a quick check to see if I suddenly turned green, based on the expression on her face. Ok. We're going to start setting up now. We have an hour to get ready for upwards of 500 screaming fans. Wanna help?

It's amazing how fast people can move.

We decorate. Streamers are everywhere. There are signs for the various parties: chaos, insanity, confusion, etc. We put various musical instruments in the chairs: whistles, kazoos, buzzy things, etc. I set up two girls at a table in the front to give out political buttons. And I train 12 of the cultists to run the puppet. I have Cthulhu green tambourines and maracas for my cultists to play. We're going to have fun.

7:00: We open the doors and start the warm up act. There is a line. They pour in. I'm on the stage calling to them that there is plenty of room in the front row. As they enter, I start them with basic cheers: I say Ia, you say F'tagn. Ia! "F'tagn." Ia! "F'tagn." IiiiiiA! "F'taaaaagn." The crowd is already to have fun. We warm up on the kazoos for the Interstellar Cthulhu Orchestra. They actually are following the directions. It's time for the entrance. Mr. Shiny has arrived.

He comes in to screams and impassioned crazy people throwing themselves to the floor for him. He is their speaker.

He riles the crowd, eggs it on,and generally has a wonderful time with them. He culls the people who represent the various states and they come to the stage to speak. Throughout, we are occasionally having conversations, but making it look like we are arguing. It's great. We scream, yell, cry, and he sacrifices people into the barrel of steaming goo to convert them to the cause. My cultists move among the crowd, helping them shout, pushing them into the edge. It's great. Somewhere along the way, I notice that the doors have been closed. Just as well: I don't think the rest of the convention could possibly understand what silliness is happening here.

Mr. Shiny introduces me. He also calls up three volunteers to come and be acolytes. They scream as they fall under the table and emerge with their heads covered in octopus masks. I love it. They hang around onstage, to help.

I run the crowd. I ask Mr. Shiny to stay on the stage with me so he can share in this moment. He does. I preach. Boy did I miss my calling. We give them money and collect the plate (anything except currency). We give them the ceremonial beads (glow in the dark Mardi Gras beads). I teach them the Hastur chant. (Gimme an H. Gimme an A.) I call them a bunch of idiots and they laugh. But they want blood. I can tell. It's time.

I ask what they want. "Sac-ri-FICE!" they chant over and over again. I tell them that I will give them what they want. Per my instructions, the cultists start to close. Mr. Shiny is nervous. I tell the audience that only with blood can we call up the Great Old One, and I have promised. They chant. The cultists close. Mr. Shiny realizes what is about to happen as I scream, GET HIM!

The cultists mob him. They pin him to the stage. The audience is standing, shrieking their joy. I start to fear, but I can't lose control. These people are nuts. I tell the people that Mr. Shiny offers his blood. They cheer. I tell them that it is time for him to die. They cheer. I offer that only something better can save him. Is there anything better? I scan the audience. I don't see anything.

Suddenly the cheers turn to shrieks and everyone is pointing to the side of the stage. I look, and lo and behold, it is Pikachu(tm)! Charlie brings forth the pinata, and we release the now humbled Mr. Shiny. The audience is screaming. I bring forth the blindfold. One swing each.

One tries and hits, but it isn't enough. Another. Again. Another. Again. After several, one grabs the stick we are using to hit the pinata, and starts stabbing it, over and over again. The audience screaming has hit a high pitch. Pikachu(tm) opens. His guts (the candy) are all over the floor, but it isn't enough. People flow forward and stomp and kick and pound and ... it's amazing. The crowd is completely out of control. It's a mob.

Suddenly, one of the mob raises the head of Pikachu(tm) high above his head. I don't know how it's possible, but the crowd goes even wilder. Now they are scrambling for the candy, cheering, laughing. It's wonderful and scary all at the same time.

It is time to raise the Great Old One.

I lead the crowd in the chant. "Ia! Ia! Cthulhu F'tagn! IA! IA! CTHUHU F'TAGN!" The doors in the back of the auditiorium open and in comes Cthulhu.

He is a 35' puppet that takes a dozen people to run him. He moves like a Chinese Dragon, eating the people that throw themselves in front of him. I have instructed my cultists (that are running him) to guide the victims so they go into Cthulhu's maw, down the body and emerge at the other end. It somehow seems appropriate.

Having put on his personal appearance, Cthulhu disappears to wreak havoc elsewhere. I call the witnesses. Witness for us. What did it feel like to be eaten and promptly shat out by the Great Old One? They are lining up to tell the world. The audience loves them.

To close, I ask them all to come forward and partake of the Cthulhu Communion before they go out among the world. They form lines to eat Gummi Worms (tm) that we drop into their mouths.

8:30: The show is over. I'm flying high on adrenaline and my cultists are telling me that they had fun. Good. Now it's time to clean up. There are streamers and confetti and stuff all over the floor. I instruct one of the cultists to get a broom. Before she goes though, we sit and chat for a few minutes.

Gummi worms make great tentacles. One of these days, someone will take a picture of me wherein I am poised and elegant. This is not one of those days. I'll post the picture when someone sends it to me. Never let it be said that I don't epitomize the ridiculous.

Go get the broom. Put the trash in that pile there. Put the instruments and the puppet here. Don't forget to give back the boom box. I'll return the fog machine and the paddle in the morning. Where's the broom? "They won't let us have one." What?! I'm going to hurt someone. Why? "They said that it's their job, and they'll take care of it." OK. So basically, we're trying to be nice, but the union won't let us. So we leave a mess.

After we close the show, drinks and snacks with the cultists. We start planning what we can do next year if Chaosium lets us.

I call home. Hey, the phone works. Coyote tells me I am not allowed near politics.

Back at the hotel, collapse into bed.

"Go ahead. Say my name four times. I dare you. I double dare you."
post #16 of 34
And Hastur recruits another cultist into the Sewer.....
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
OK. So this was supposed to be the next GenCon post, but it obviously isn't. I'm going to bed. I promise I'll write it tommorrow.

On a side note: I missed one of the little highlights of the day for Saturday. Apparently, there were a bunch of people handing out little pamphlets about the dangers of gaming. A couple of you might even remember the pamphlets: "Janie, now that you're a high enough level sorceress in the game, I have something to show you." "What's that, Game Mistress?" "You're now ready to try the real thing."

Can you say Jesus Freak? I thought you could.

One of my cultists apparently was accosted by one of them. That's how I found out.

After the obligatory jokes about the pamphlets being older than I am (don't even think it), I sent my cultists out with some Hell Money. I figured that if they wanted to share their message, we could share ours.

"Go ahead. Say my name four times. I dare you. I double dare you."
post #18 of 34
I tip in Hell Money.
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Day 3

Saturday: Woke up at 7:00. Fell out of bed. You know, one of these days
I'm going to learn to slow down the day before. Need Java. Must drink
bean juice.

8:00: Head over to the Hogshead booth. On the way, stop by the Cthulhu
Live display to return the fog machine and paddle. Note to self: these
guys have to come to some Texas stuff.

At the Hogshead booth, crack jokes with the rest of the crew. What
should be pushed? SLA. OK. How many Apocrypha II did we sell? I give
Anthony my best deer-in-the-headlights stare when he tells me that the
books haven't arrived yet. We've apparently captured the printers
family and sent him pictures of the wife and kids and a goat. The
promise is that the books will arrive today, or we auction all of them
off to the GWAR booth.

I'll believe it when I see the books.

10:00: The doors to the hall open and the masses start to arrive.
"Where's Apocrypha?" I explain about the lateness. The printers have
been promising the book since Wednesday, when it was supposed to arrive.
"Where's Apocrypha II?" Should be here today. "That's what you said
yesterday." True, but this time we have the negatives and won't give
them back without the book.

"Where's the Apocrypha?" It's supposed to be here today. I start
discussing the relative merit of getting a discount for each day that a
product is late from the printer. Something like 2% of original price
per day of lateness. This is met with wide approval from the crew.

11:20: I need caffiene and something that pretends to be food. I wait in
line for fifteen minutes while the crew of the concession stand proves
that half of being ready for a convention is having enough people - by
not having enough people. Hi. I'd like a Reuben without Saurkraut, a
large coffee, and a large Coke. "We can't make the sandwich without the
Saurkraut." Five minutes later, they want ten dollars for a tiny pizza,
and the coffee. I couldn't afford the soda. Yeesh!

11:30: The pizza made me ill. I swear I'm never eating in this building

12:15: Guy walks up to the booth. Before I continue, I have to draw you
a picture. This guy was the epitome of the scary gamer that knows the
rules better than anyone out there. He was slovenly, smelled odd, and
just set my squick factor running.

"What's new with the WFRP?" I start to explain. "'Cause I was wondering
if there were rules about the ...." At this point my brain starts to
die. I don't play by rules. I play for the sake of the game. If there
are dicing rules, I leave that to the Game Master. Sir, may I suggest
that you talk to one of our resident experts, Richard.

I introduce the guy to Richard, and they start discussing the game. I
turn around to make sales.

12:38: I turn around from making change to see Richard standing there,
stunned. As I move toward him, he gropes to find a chair and collapses
into it, his head in his hands. "Give me a minute."

He sits there for about five minutes before he is able to tell us what
happened. Please imagine that the story is told to me by a guy with a thick Chicago accent trying to do a Texas accent where the git is talking.

The guy had been there for 20 minutes arguing with Richard about really
detailed rules. This is the kind of thing that can kill a game. (Roll
for exact number of leaves in the tree the first orc is standing under.
Now the second. etc) Finally, he bought a copy of a book and started to
leave. Suddenly he turns around, "And another thing..." (Like the last
20 minutes weren't enough.) "Yes?" replies Richard, tired but willing to

"If I have a couple of characters, and the male and the female want to
have male/female relationships, what do I have to roll to find out if
she goes all flippity-floppity on him?"

Somehow, through his stunned expression, Richard manages "I guess that
would be a Fellowship roll." And the guy proceeds to argue it with
"Would that involve her Cool?" Richard couldn't take it any more and
told him that he could roll whatever he thought would work the best.

For those of you who have never gamed, just trust me that this is
hilarious. What amazed Richard was that all he could think of was that
this guy is in his basement, rolling for the characters, making the game
happen. And this guy rolls badly, so his imaginary friend and his
imaginary girlfriend couldn't even make it happen.

Richard: if you ever read this, you have to fix the story.

12:40: Richard looks around to find James. When he gets done telling
James the story and savoring the look of complete surprise on his face,
Richard tells James that he is going to write the flippity-floppity
rules for the next supplement. They may never get published, but he
gets to write them. He also states that the next time he sees this guy,
he is going to flee.

6:00: Dealer's hall closes. Time for food and rest.

8:00: I get to play a game. One of the Chaosium boys (Jeff, who was Mr.
Shiny last night) is running a LARP version of a scenario he dreamed up.
I get to be an NPC. I get to be a whore in WWI Shanghai.

It's at moments like this I wonder about my own sanity.

Great fun at the game, although when I died a horrible death at 1:00 am,
I was happy. I've been on my feet all day, and this didn't help. Next
year, I get to run the Chaosium boys through some stuff of my own
devising. Hehehehe.

2:00: Collapse into bed.
post #20 of 34
You got to be a whore in WWI Shanghai? Did you make your flippity-floppity roll?

Give Richard a Constitution bonus!
post #21 of 34
Good stuff there, and it immediately made me think of this:
post #22 of 34
This, of course, brings us back to SUMMONER GEEKS (which Hastur didn't see until AFTER Gencon, when she watched it 3 times in a row).

"Roll to see if I get drunk! Are there any girls there? If so, I wanna do'em!"
post #23 of 34
You went to bed at 2:00am on a Saturday night...? The LAST night at GenCon?! The Undead suggest packing a 20-pack of Power Bars for game conventions... right, DJEvil?
post #24 of 34
She didn't have a dance to go to.
(Stop by and see Radio Free Oz at Project A-kon some Sat)
post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Blofeld: I love you. Have I mentioned this recently? *grin*

Lich: Of course I went to bed on a Saturday at around 2. I had to work the next day and there weren't any dances that I wanted to go to. Not to mention that the White Wolf party was 20 blocks away! And I would have been there if I had had a chance, and the energy. Sorry to disappoint.

I promise that the next con I report on will have lots of details about me not remembering the night before. *grin*

"Go ahead. Say my name four times. I dare you. I double dare you."
post #26 of 34
God, I love you, too Hastur ... but I love Coyote nearly as much ...


I'm conflicted.

Hold me.

Tell me it'll all work out. What are the odds of the three of us being happy? I'll make a D100 roll..... 73

Did we make it?
post #27 of 34
Lich, I'm convinced you gave me a turd in a wrapper. That "power bar" gave me just enough energy to walk over to the couch and fall asleep.
post #28 of 34
Blofeld, we may never know. Tiger Woods mistook it for a golf ball* and, well, it WAS a long drive....

*If you've never seen a D100, just imagine a golf ball with tiny numbers etched in the dimples.
post #29 of 34
We apologize for the delay in the next Gencon installment, as Hastur was kidnapped by wild pygmies chanting the soundtrack from "Until The End of the World."
We have top men tracking them now.
post #30 of 34
Power Bar's are designed to SAP you power.

And they TASTES like sap.

Soon to BE a CHUD topic.
post #31 of 34
We gave Hastur back. So where's the update?
post #32 of 34
See "All Things Cthulhu" She took a side trip.

You know you're in tech support too long when both the noun and verb of "sap" is used, and all you can think of is the application db, SAP.
post #33 of 34
Thread Starter 
Day 4

7:00: Fall out of bed and crawl to the bathroom where the coffee pot is. Wait a minute. I didn't fall very far. What happened? Where's the coffee? Oh yeah....

I had to transfer rooms last night and forgot to report it. No wonder I'm sore. The floor is solid. And this room doesn't have coffee. And the guys all watch baseball. Oh well. At least these guys are nice. Oh, look...a shower....

8:00: Feeling more human, I head for the booth. The crew is there. Hi. Howaya? Weresacupajava? Mmmm....good coffee.

10:00: Booth opens. Ravening hordes of gamers descend on the booth across from Hogshead to get signatures from Gary Gygax. Wow! The Gary Gygax! I hope that someday I can be as cool as his left nut. Seriously, though, he's a nice guy, but I just don't get it.

Suddenly, the announcement that makes me cry comes over the intercom. "Peter Woodward will now be signing autographs...." Wah! I want to meet Peter Woodward. Not at a signing table. Somewhere that I can actually converse with the man instead of "Here's a twenty for your picture. Thank you for the sig. God, I'm your biggest fan. Can you read me the Phone Book?"

I decide to pour on the ... well, charm isn't quite the word I have in mind. While you are waiting, check out our fine products. Someone comes over. I can't believe it worked.

Derek asks if there is anything I need. Caffiene. Massive doses of caffiene. "OK." He leaves the booth.

Suddenly I see Mr. Flippity Floppity angling towards the booth. I turn to find Richard and make some scathing comment, but lo and behold, Richard is nowhere to be found. All I see is a little dust cloud and speed lines going *thataway*. I never knew that someone over six feet tall could move that fast.

Thirty minutes later, Richard is back at the booth.

11:00: The guys from the Cthulhu Live group come over to the booth to give me a prop. I win! I got the paddle of Cthulhu. It's red with a little Cthulhu carved into it. When I spank someone, it leaves a cthulhu mark! It's so cool. I keep telling everyone that I can't decide which end I want to be on. Anthony turns as red as the paddle.

Derek returns with the anti - vodka. It's quadruple espresso! Damn! When you drink a mouthful, you make the face, just like a shot of vodka, but - oh god the rush a few minutes later. Derek, you are my good friend and trusted ally. Have I mentioned how much I love you recently?

4:00: The whistle is blown. The cheer rings throughout the hall. The con is OVER. When do we all leave? So what to do until tomorrow?

6:30: Dinner for the Hogshead people and anyone James thinks is cool. We go to this really nice Middle Eastern place where I end up across from Kia and Phil Foglio. These people are too much fun for words...these two have been together forever and still act like newlyweds. In a good way. Good food. Good people. This is a great way to end the con....except...

10:00: The People's Revolution. How do you describe the People's Revolution? A bunch of the more entertaining people from the show getting together to decide who should be sacked in a horrible way. Imagine Live Action CHUD Bulletin Boards. For the crime of being just complete idiots, the entire staff of WotC was shot. And every employee of United Airlines - and every other airline when they were done. George Lucas was thrown into a pit and then shot because of Phantom Menace.

I finally left. It was too silly, and I needed to find a place to collapse. Early flight tomorrow.

Day T+1

Well, the Survivors of the Wrath of the People's Revolution managed to get me home. Work should be interesting tomorrow. Especially when I show them the paddle.

"Go ahead. Say my name four times. I dare you. I double dare you."
post #34 of 34
And a report from another friend of mine, who Hastur knows and didn't even see (that's how big the damn con is):

She's up to Friday, now.
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