Raffles and whiskey
When we showed up to the Con, I had already been drinking quite a bit. Let me clarify: quite a bit for a normal man. My liver processes toxins at a rapid rate, meaning it takes a lot to get me drunk. It may be from years of abuse, training my liver for the Alcholympics, but I suspect my mutant power might be the metabolization of poisons in general; even as a child I was highly resistant to the effects of drugs. Anyway, so yeah, I was already through a flask and working on a handle as we pulled up. I was not drunk. Doug Rhea and Michael Badolato greeted us as we wandered into the registration area. It was at this point that Mr. Rhea began explaining the contents of our registration packets. At the time, I did not comprehend the purpose behind this explanation as I really didn't care at all. In retrospect, that was an immensely stupid decision for reasons that shall become apparent.
We were given a variety of tickets in various colors. Red, green, blue, etc. All primary colors to keep it easy for the guys to know what was what. "You need to use the puce ticket" would most likely have been met with looks of incomprehension. Saturday night I was given a complete rundown of how at previous Cons, some of the limited items were bought wholesale by nefarious eBay scammers who sold the wares at greatly escalated prices. Some of the minis, for instance, were selling for upwards of $75 on the Internet. BADMIKE WOULD NOT ALLOW SUCH TRANSGRESSIONS, ALL CON GOERS HAD FIRST DIBS! Anyway, the tickets were somewhat of a commodity at the Con as there were individuals who had friends who couldn't attend but wanted a mini or module. Had I known this I would have freely given mine away to anyone who asked as I did not care about any of the Con swag. The reality is that I would have bought all of the stuff but couldn't find my stupid tickets and then justified this to myself as a sign that I should focus on more important items such as two copies of OSRIC. Reports of an individual trying to sell his tickets for $50 are not apocryphal: that actually happened. Once again, dear reader, I remind you that some of the people in this hobby are jackasses, well beyond my naive inanity in social situations.
One of the tickets was unlike the rest, a perforated double ticket oft found at bake sales and Cub Scout meetings. Yes, ladies and gents, it was a raffle ticket for entry into the raffle where items of dubious to wondrous quality would be raffled off. Raffle. Mr. Rhea at given me the details of the raffle, but alas, I made my way around the Con, looking for something to do that Friday night. I was accosted by an individual offering free beer to play in a game. I obliged and made my way to a room where Bill Webb was running Swords & Wizardry for anyone who was able bodied late at night. Mr. Webb was a fine DM and seemingly full of infinite energy, although he did try to murder half the party when they traversed an innocuous log bridge. Not even making that up. My character, an idiot fighter of some sort (the details were lost after Mr. Webb took my sheet stating I could play him again in the future) with low skill. I blame the player, mostly, as he continued to drink heavily. Saturday night I wanted to buy some more raffle tickets and walked by the main Con room on my way to the cash register. Well, who would have known…the raffle was actually taking place AT THAT VERY TIME. And yours truly hadn't torn his golden double perforated ticket (it was gray with red lettering but whatever) in twain, submitting half for the opportunity to be considered and possibly blessed by the gaming gods, leaving NTRPGcon with some cool, free stuff. Again, I blame the player and the whiskey.
I made it through 3/4 of a handle by mid-Saturday night. Even by Andre the Giant standards this is quite a bit. I'm not even counting the gin I drank before smashing the glass or the couple shots of Jamesons I stole from Jason, feigning ignorance when he mentioned his bottle being empty. I'll point out that I had forgotten about drinking any of his booze until now, but I vaguely remember opening the freezer, seeing that tasty beverage, and chugging back a couple shots before heading back to bed. The Handle only cost me $20.56 after tax, being the cheapest part of my Con experience. I do remember my fighter's name was at one point Epimetheus due to some dumbass crap I did and I renamed him mid-game. Didn't die, though, even trying as hard as I might. Stupid snakes...that's twice within the last two games I played that my characters have almost been done in by giant snakes. Perhaps I offended a serpent deity in my past.