Last year when I posted my experiences at the North Texas Roleplaying Game Convention (I won't spell it out again, I promise), it was done in a rather haphazard manner, mostly because I just wrote down a list of things I remember occurring, hazy recollections due to alcohol abuse. This year the alcohol was in fact abused just as much but I thought ahead and decided to carry a journal around to record things as they happened. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately if you're into stream of consciousness writing), it took me a while to figure out half of what I wrote. Some of it is exceedingly detailed, some nothing more than a barely legible name followed by exclamation points. You can probably determine what parts were done sober and which under the influence...anyway, it took some time to go over all this stuff and make sense of it. That said, I plan to give a chronological account, in narrative form, of my time at the con, broken up into a few posts.
I had planned to attend NTRPGCon 2012 (okay, since I have to refer to this damn thing numerous times I'm just going to use NT12 from now on) after the one last year as I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately I never did get around to registering for it, figuring I could do it whenever I wished. Mistake one, preregistering means registering for games which means having an actual schedule of crap to do. Oddly enough, I didn't want to go to a gaming con to play games, mostly to just hang out with like-minded gamers and hear some good stories. Then some financial issues arose and I put off registration again and again. I always planned to go, figuring things would work out eventually. St. Patrick's Day, Jason Braun (a Special Guest at the con) were at a bar in fabulous downtown New Braunfels, TX, inebriated beyond all comprehension. Mack Harrison apparently showed up and we talked about the con, he expressed interest, and plans were made. We were all going to ride together in Jason's economical vehicle, saving everyone money and fostering nerd conversation along the way. Yeah, I didn't remember that at all until about two weeks ago when Jason mentioned it to me again when we were eating steaks in the same bar. The very one where I ate ghost chilies last year and lamented my intestinal health. NT12 was brought up, I said of course I'd go, done.
Maybe. I kept thinking about it: why would I want to go to that stupid con? I knew I couldn't register to play in any of the games I was interested in, couldn't spend a lot of money there and was more interested in watching basketball anyway. I asked Jason when he'd be leaving, when I should meet up with him to leave, he tells me, I then say I didn't know if I was going to go. A day later I got a windfall of cash which would be enough to buy crap in the dealers room and eat dinners. Would Jason be able to help me with alcohol during the trip? He made a statement to the affirmative, apparently having purchased two 1.5L of Jameson's. With the most important ingredient for a road trip provided, I had no excuses other than laziness and an anti-social attitude. Arrangements were made, and I arrived at Jason's place on Thursday night, ready to get up early in the morning and drive to DFW.
I decided to pare down considerably from the previous year and took only a few books figuring any game I'd play in would be either D&D or the rules would be provided. Or the most likely situation: I'd buy them at the con. That was in backpack #1. In backpack #2, a much larger Adidas backpack with multiple large storage areas, there were clothes, toiletries, electronic devices, a .380 handgun and workout clothing, including knee-braces and athletic tape. The gun because I never go on a trip without it and also because I live in Texas. That second part makes sense to Texans, and any reading this post are probably wondering why I even bothered with a token explanation. The workout clothes are most likely more interesting to gamers, so I'll explain that part. Since Jason was going to depart early Friday morning and I didn't want to lift weights at the crack of dawn before driving to his house, I called the hotel and was informed they had a "fitness facility" on the premises. Knowing full well what sorts of fitness facilities hotels are known to have, I found out I could just get a guest pass at an LA Fitness two miles away. I figured when we got to the hotel, we'd check in, I'd change into my gear, Jason and Mack could drop me off and eat lunch, done. It's probably a fair guess that I was one of the few people who would be attending the con worried about missing a powerlifting workout.
As part of the pre-trip festivities, Jason and I sampled some of the Jameson's, ensuring quality and the accuracy of its ABV. I am still of the opinion that it is vastly underrated at 80 proof given my proclivity for idiotic behavior when drinking it. That night I got no sleep on his couch, for a variety of reasons, but I wasn't complaining. I woke up tired, hungover, ready for a four hour car trip to the con. As part of my role as the girl on the trip, I requested we stop by HEB so I could buy a few jugs of distilled water before leaving town. We picked up Mack, loaded his gear, and began our trek up I-35, the sound of nerdy gamer chatter drowning out the road noise.