Sunday, February 21, 2016

BASHCon 16: One Flash of Light

But no smoking pistol

Having been off work since the 16th, this week has been one pleasant little vacation. Got some writing done, mostly for the Wobble setting, and played a bit of Civilization III. When Thursday rolled around, I was a little worried that I had planned to do too much over the BASHCon weekend, with only minimal preparation. Luckily those around around would ensure that I wouldn't.

Still I left Cleveland at 7:30 AM, heading to Toledo by way of Springfield to pick up Jedi. After picking him up around 10:15, we were really en route to the Glass City. We entertained ourselves by talking about gaming and Randy would fill me in on his history among the towns that we passed along the way. Believe me, it made I-75 between Dayton and Detroit much more interesting than it usually is.

A bash turned inwards

Getting into Toledo a little after 1pm, checking into the room was easy and the day was nice and getting nicer-- it was cold but clear and warming up bit by bit. I posted to everyone coming, two others besides myself and Jedi, to the Thursday night "Pre-BASHCon Bash" that the room was ready for the party and went off to lunch. As silly as it may sound, I have always been a fan of Big Boy's soup and salad bar, don't ask me why, and there is one within walking distance of our favorite Red Roof Inn.

I started to worry when despite four "Likes" of my arrival, that Gnoll replied that he was leaving Wisconsin really soon. JerryTel was ominously quiet as well. Paul had a six hour plus drive ahead of him, which meant he'd be showing up around 7pm. Jerry will be quite vocal about problems when things are going well but he goes quiet when things go wrong. Still with a bit of luck, three of us would have a great game session in the evening when the last one showed up to jump in and rock and roll to midnight. I knew Jerry wasn't coming at 8. By 9:15, I was in my bathrobe, while Jedi was reading Crawlspace and texting his wife. Gnoll showed up at 9:45 and we made jokes at the season premier of Vikings for a few minutes. There was a promise to meet up the next morning, but something in his manner told me otherwise.

Friday during the day, Jedi and I were kind of at a retreat for writer/role-players, while the rest of the world moved on without us. Throughout the day JerryTel and Peryton started announcing on-line that they were not running most of their events for BASHCON. A bit at a loss, I actually looked forward to rushing to do my Pre-Gen Characters, but found out that they were already completed. I contented myself with napping, while introducing my companion to Fear of Women parts 1-3. Just after I had found the Dungeon Bastard You-Tube videos, we realized it was almost 4pm and could go and stand in line for the BASHCon convention.

Simply walking into Morodor

Amazingly enough, this year's registration process was very, very simple. Registration was open before 5pm, when the event would open its doors (to the vendors' booths) and allow the waiting world in. Apparently someone learned the trick of closing doors as well as avoiding lines. That didn't stop the clerk at the registration desk from demanding two pieces of photo ID and refusing to not spell out my full name on my name tag.

My "Aboard the Jupiter Moon" Spacers event was ready to start at 5pm. No one showed. It was with some satisfaction that I saw JerryTel and The Boy, also waiting for folks to show up to their game with chariot drivers (Circumference Maximus, Imperius Gluteus, Chariotus Rigor Mortis, or some such) I was beginning to think that board games automatically found players and that only RPGs suffered shunning. I had just spent a day and a half in isolation for wanting to get some role-playing done, after all. Peryton showed up at 7:20pm or so. I am not sure exactly what time because she first went to check in with JerryTel, Jedi, and Gnoll, before bothering to find me. Still it was nice having dinner with her.

Beckett's Crawlspace game, "Gimme Shelter" started at 8pm. He was handling a full house, all the PeryPubbers, and one of the BASHCon staffers by the name of Ian. We had a great time. The most interesting thing about this scenario is that by the end of it, everyone easily agrees with the Character being played the most insanely. It was a treat being a player in it, as at GenCon last Summer I could watch it being played and was usually too busy to pay much attention.

Heading back to the motel, Jedi gave me an excuse to stop at Del Taco a day early. Robin was a bit miffed, as she had her driven herself and couldn't find the room without me, at least until she read the message where I named it inviting everyone there on Thursday. The chicken burrito in my hand complete with all sorts sauces turned her frown upside down.

Flip of the pancake

Getting Peryton and Randy to come with me to breakfast was easier than I thought it would be. I was also pretty rested, my last bouts of sleep were filled with dreams that formed a trilogy of 70s crimi/exploitation movies. We arrived at the convention just after noon.

That afternoon, Robin did run one game.  Her "The Crystal Rifts of Tartarus" was an exploration into Monte Cook's Cypher System. She had a full table but was able to fit me in as well. The other players around me were bedazzled with her universe. I was introduced once again to the Synarchy of her Qalidar setting, but she was definitely having fun with the game rules.

 After a luxurious dinner at the Phoenicia restaurant, right there in the Student Center, my own Crawlspace game "The Wrong Moon" started. All the PeryPubbers had retreated to Beckett's "Scream Bloody Gore" Oh yeah, during the dinner, Peryton and JerryTel high-fived each other for joining "The Quitters Club" when I wasn't in the room-- tell me that there isn't a conspiracy. Any way, thank you to Corey, Skip, Michael, Michelle, Nichole, and the returning Ian for making the game a success.

More specifically about "The Wrong Moon" it was a perfect Crawlspace session for me. It had everything going for it. Just enough players: six, with one needing to leave early (Ian), I had my perfect range. The players were interested in making the rules work, I got to work many more PERKs than usual into the play. All of us were in that weird Saturday night mood where B-horror movies and role-playing horror works magic. Most importantly, the scenario is one of the easier Crawls that I've written.

Round midnight, we (Pery, Jedi and I) ended up at Del Taco. Hey, it's a tradition.

Jupiter Moons Set

Sunday AM, Jedi started hinting that he was really tired. My snoring, the long days at the con, and how tired he was.  Some how my "Incident at Io Station" had not made it into the convention's program list anyway, so we announced to Peryton that we would not be attending the last day of festivities. On the drive home, he started getting into the official history of the places along I-75. By the time we were forty minutes outside of Springfield, he let me know what a great effort it was not falling asleep. I was so moved, I helped carry his bags to the front door of his house.

Then it was time to head home. Robin had stuck around to play in Beckett's Sunday game "The Jupiter Moon Mining Company" which started at noon until four. Around five, he suddenly remembered that he had to work tonight.


  1. Good times good times, and can you blame me for Dell Taco? my first time and so nummy! Good games, Good company, felt right at home and made some good friends along the way. till next time... EXCELSIOR!

    1. One day, this Pre-BASHCon Bash thing is going to work. And I will extend it out for five days. I will eat every meal at Del Taco to work my way through the menu.
      Definitely some of the best role-players ever.

  2. For me, running RPGs at conventions is both exciting and terrifying. I know I have the chops, but my experiences as a player at conventions has always been more negative than positive and I have a fear of being one of those, sometimes the inner voice of negativity overpowers the optimistic one. Regardless, this merry band we have gathered is one that I look forward to meeting up with a few times a year, for sure.

  3. And for the record...2009 (

    1. So we're at 7, you're at 21. Well, sevens are good.