A most excellent hotel
And by most excellent I mean most horrific. We arrived at the Bedford DFW Airport Area West Holiday Inn for the North Texas Roleplaying Game Convention at half past noon, give or take 5 minutes. Jason went to the front desk to check-in, but was told his room wasn't ready. As check-in time is usually 3PM, this wasn't entirely unexpected, but given that many people would be arriving from out of town for the con at the hotel, it was a bit suspect. We decided to head to lunch, even though my lunch plans were to lift weights. I was dropped off in front of LA Fitness with a bag of weightlifting equipment while Jason and Mack headed to a restaurant close by. One comment about the gym: the douchebag ratio was directly proportional to the hot girl ratio, and there were numerous hot girls if that tells you anything. We returned to the hotel around 2PM to attempt another check-in, this time Jason stating he was in fact a priority member with Holiday Inn after being told the room still wasn't ready. 10 minutes passed as the desk girl looked at her computer, and our denial to entry seemed eminent. She then informed Jason he could sign up again for free, which would allow us to go up to the room. That wasn't ready. The same room magically became available to us after Jason was a priority member in the system.
I'm not one to question the whim of a hotelier, but this hoop-jumping was a foreshadowing of things to come. I took a quick shower, changed clothes, and we headed down to the con. After drinking a few, of course. I hadn't eaten anything since noon the day before, but was not hungry in the least, thirsting only for alcohol. More foreshadowing...
Drinks in hand, we saw Mike Badolato and Doug Rhea manning the desk area for NT12, and chatted with them for a bit. Mack and I got con badges and packets, then roamed around to see what we could see. Jason apparently had a lot of catching up to do with Mike and went back to the room. I did not question this hypothetical homosexual interlude, instead deciding to talk to Allan Grohe about not needing another copy of OSRIC. By this time I was feeling the effects but didn't let it stop my incoherent ramblings. Bill Barsh was hocking his wares and I made a comment or two, noticing the individual sitting at his booth: Frank Mentzer. Of course I had to say something, and Mr. Mentzer was nice enough to entertain me with a few stories before I left, seeking crap to buy. On the shelf was Adventurer Conquerer King, a game I have bitched about on this blog before. The book did look nice, though, and I picked it up. As an off-hand comment I said, who is Tavis Allison? Sitting only 10 feet away a man raised his hand, and made a statement to the affirmative that he matched that name. I asked why I should buy it, his answer being, "Because we're playing it now." $40! I wasn't going to spend $40 on one book, I thought. I only had $80 total to spend on gaming crap so wanted to look around a bit. Bought some con dice for no reason and a copy of Horror HERO for $3 because hey, why not?
Standing a few feet from me was a short, white haired man I had never met and Norm Harman, a guy who blows more money in the dealer room than me if that's even possible. Norm was trying to convince the man to buy Carcosa, that weird, pulp supplement previously for D&D, now for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. As has already been recorded, I ranted at length about LotFP last year, and full frontal male nudity, so getting Carcosa would be a hard sell. However, the arguments Norm made were pretty good, possibly better due to the rapidly increasing inebriation level I was experiencing at 4PM. I finally realized that the short man was none other than Steve Marsh and he was seriously contemplating buying the book. Not one to let some D&D author show me up, I decided to buy Carcosa if only to rub it in that old man's face. I grabbed the book, threw money at Doug and grinned smugly, having bested Mr. Marsh. WE KNOW MENTZER IS THE TRUE D&D EXPERT, SIR. Then I punched Tavis Allison in the face. That last part isn't strictly true, but apparently I wrote that down in my journal so I must report on it.