Welcome to Big Bad Con – BLARF!
Here is my yearly report on Big Bad Con, the premier roleplaying event of the Bay Area and possibly the world!
I love Big Bad Con. Its an incredible experience for a roleplayer. I await it every year in much the same way that small children look forward to Christmas. Celesticon is good. Dragonflight is good. Kublacon is good (so I have heard, haven’t been there yet), Pacificon is… Pacificon has some lovely people who attend and some wonderful people on staff and, oh never mind. The POINT is that Big Bad Con is far and away the best. It has the best planning, the best design, and attracts the best GMs and the best players of any convention I have ever attended. It gives the sort of experience that roleplayers have always wished their conventions would give them but could never quite achieve because they were lumped in with the tabletop gamers and the miniatures gamers and the eurogamers.* But Big Bad Con is just for us. Plus, Big Bad Con is socially conscious – donating to both local food banks and Doctors Without Borders. I think this is a great idea, and am continually surprised that more conventions don’t do this.
So once again I was all giddy and excited as the date grew closer!
…before getting into Big Bad Con proper, I need to talk a bit about the day before Big Bad Con. I often get pre-game jitters, but before this Big Bad Con I had them bad. I am not sure why. Partially I am sure that it was due to the problems I had with my Apocalypse Pony game a couple of years back. Partially it was because I had filled my schedule pretty full this year in an attempt to get as many buttons as possible. So I was nervous.
I was also up very late trying to get everything together. I had stuff to print and files to sort and cards to find and stuff to pack and dice to select and all that sort of thing that you do before conventions. And of course this meant that I was up until around 2:00 am.
Originally I was supposed to be at the convention at 10:00 am to help with set-up. But at the last minute Sophie got tapped to do a CostCo run for the convention. CostCo opens at 10:00 am, and since I was riding in the same car as Sophie, this meant that I was going to be late – very late. On the one hand I told myself that I shouldn’t worry about this because if the convention gurus decided they needed the CostCo run more than they needed me moving boxes, well, they knew what they were doing. On the other hand it was my first time working with the staff coordinator and I wasn’t keen on having to write to tell him I was going to be late.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I am laying the groundwork to explain my mistake.
Knowing that we were heading for CostCo, knowing that we were in a bit of a rush, running on little sleep and a lot of anxiety, I did something I knew I shouldn’t do. I took my morning meds on an empty stomach. I rationalized that we were going to CostCo, and I could get food there. But what happened instead is that I couldn’t stomach the thought of CostCo hot dogs and so decided to wait until after the CostCo run when we would get something for the road. Then I compounded my error by thinking that burritos were a good choice, then discovering I really couldn’t eat one in the car without getting drenched in salsa, and so holding off until we got to the convention.
So of course by the time we got to the convention I was horribly, horribly ill. And it was absolutely my own damned fault.
So about the first thing I did when arriving at Big Bad Con this year was throw up in the parking lot. Anyone observing me must have thought I was some sort of drunk – not an auspicious start to the convention. What was worse was that throwing up did not make me feel immediately better. It DID mean that I started to gradually improve, and eating part of my carne asada burrito also helped, but throughout Friday I was in the process of going from feeling horrible to feeling merely wrung out. Bear this in mind when I talk about Friday.
And with that somewhat unpleasant introduction, off we go!
*And at some conventions consigned to a hallway far away from where the rest of the convention is occurring. Not mentioning names here. Just expostulating.