Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Little Bit of Impromptu Show & Tell


A Little Bit of Impromptu Show & Tell
I'm going to start this week's Not Erik post (I don't know why I find the Not Erik tag funny, but I do.....) with a bit of a confession: I'm something like 1/2 a hoarder, but please be nice and refer to my problem with the adjective "collector".

I collect things. I cannot help it, it is in my blood. My father's a collector, I moved around a lot as a kid and the only two constants for me were my brother (and then only up through High School) and my stuff. I'm not going to necessarily say I really enjoy having "stuff", but as a collector I love the hunt. I enjoy searching for things and get a bit of a thrill when I find that thing I've been looking for....and sometimes I admit I didn't even know I was looking for it!

I've mentioned a few things before, like my growing Appendix N collection and probably my Gamescience dice, but I have a bunch of other potentially cool things that I've picked up over the years. Not necessarily part of some larger collection, because face it......one piece of a larger collection probably doesn't hold a lot of meaning, but it can. I pretty much buy every used copy of Lawrence Watt-Evans' The Misenchanted Sword I come across in the wild. I only have the one copy at home, but those other copies get given away rather quickly.

Anyway, my point is I have some gaming "things" I've picked up over the years that I enjoy which aren't part of a collection per se and I thought I'd share them with you today. My inspiration for doing so is one of the items that I have hanging over my TV so it overlooks where I play my every-other-weekly-Saturday-Night-OSR-game. When looking for a picture of it I came across this one I took four years ago and I realized pretty much everything in the shot has some story or some such behind it:

A modified picture of my one display case

Now this picture has been quickly photoshopped to remove the reflection of my ugly mug from the empty top right quadrant of the display case. This was a well-built case discarded from one of the liquor stores I was working at. It was missing shelves, but nothing I couldn't throw together.

In no particular order (except for the last show & tell item):

KoDT Resin Busts
A buddy of mine, along with his brother, got a license from Kenzer & Company to produce these resin busts of Knights of the Dinner Table Characters. KenzerCo got some cash and some figurines for themselves and they sold some on behalf of the brothers. I cannot recall if it was Origins or GenCon, probably Origins, where I had been volunteering running GMs/Tables/Games everyday and hanging out helping with the booth in the vendor hall when there wasn't a game. My (ex)wife and I would do this every year and help tear down/pack the booth. Technically a big no-no as we usually had regular attendee badges, but if you hide your badge and work like you're getting paid for it, con staff/security can be cool about it. Anyway, I had decided I was going to buy the set of the Knights at the con, IF there were any left when the con closed on Sunday. We made the drive from Boise to SLC regularly enough that we could purchase them directly easily enough. Sure enough there was a complete set left at the end of the con so I bought them......only to find out we got set #3! Sets 1 & 2 went to the brother's home group and we weren't looking to get a low-numbered set, but nobody had really gone through them so we just lucked out. Knowing we had set #3, when the other seven figures came out I was allowed dibs on the #3's. I enjoyed picking up the Blank Hands and later Gary & Squirrely. 

Munchkin Bobble-Head

After 2009's GenCon....I was again helping tear down the booth the the guys from the Steve Jackson Games were nearby tearing down their booth and they brought out the Munchkin costume. For some reason I HAD TO try it on and after some hard-core convincing they let me try it on. They knew it was disgustingly wet with sweat, but it was still better than spending a few hours in MOPP4 gear (I know a couple of you get that reference...and felt that pain!). I got a picture of me wearing it and the next year I was able to show John Kovalic the picture and get him to draw me wearing it on a blank Go Up a Level card. You can't see the card, but it's with the bobble-head I purchased as part of the transaction (was more a buy something and get something signed kind of thing....those Steve Jackson Games guys know how to sell).

Stone Carving

Harder to see is this stone carving of a dragon and village scene. It's pretty cool and I practically stole it for something like $5, maybe $10 at the CONduit convention in SLC. This is the convention I first got to play HackMaster. We used to go every year until we realized we were paying $$$ to basically sit in a room and play HackMaster with our friends. Everything else we did at the convention was free: the dealer's hall and the art show/auction. We eventually transitioned to playing at our hotel and visiting the convention afterwards. The convention would have this silent auction every year for a bunch of cool art, with the proceeds going to the conventions literacy charity. As expected, most of the art was traditional prints/painting, but there were sometimes things like painting on silk, carvings, sculpture, etc. I would make a point of bidding on these commonly-overlooked items and in this case I got my item on the low opening bid. It's actually pretty cool, and definitely took some skill, but just not what the masses wanted I guess.

Lewd Beholder Miniature

The next three items all come from the same source, but I'll go over each individually. This mini is a bit on the delicate side so it doesn't go in with my regular minis. It's of a "Lecherous Beholder" and was painted/gifted by Jolly Blackburn. He's a rather generous guy and just thought I'd like this when I was over for a visit. He was right. I wasn't able to get one of these and the eyes are delicate enough I'm pretty sure I would still have it in a blister pack had I managed to get one. I have a metric butt-ton of KenzerCo minis, but very few have been painted, so this unique one gets a place in the shelf.


How many of you can legitimately claim to have an actual Callie from the Origins Awards? I've had two now, both were ones that Jolly had won/earned. This is the second one which was actually gifted to me by Jolly.....more on that later. The first one was straight-up stolen, not by me mind you, but filched at the big party we all had after the awards ceremony (there were several Callies at the party). It was given to me, I think, by the thief himself/herself and we decided it would be cool to turn it into a travelling trophy of sorts for the fans. I took a bunch of pictures and even started a blog of Callie's adventures. It was more a "letters home" kind of thing and the blog had pictures of the letters (in original Greek, mind you) and then the translation. Callie went from Ohio to Illinois to Idaho and then was sent to Canada, or was it Australia? Either way the whole affair got cut short when she got lost in customs. So not cool.

This second Callie was gifted as part of a joke. Jolly thought it'd be funny to cram it in my suitcase so either I'd be surprised when I got home or strip searched at the airport when I unintentionally lied about my bag being packed by me and being aware of all its contents. I'm going to assume the former, but the latter is funnier in my opinion. I travelled enough to know what 50 pounds feels like and I noticed the bag was a couple pounds off (I used to travel a LOT), so the ruse was discovered before we even left the house, but I told him I'm keeping it....so I did.

Knights of the Dinner Table Poster

The biggest thing, and probably one of my most precious gaming "things" is this large hand-drawn & colored "poster" of the Knights done by Jolly as a gift. He's probably done a few more by now, but at the time this was the second one he had ever done, the first being for a charity auction. I was unemployed and at the time money wasn't terribly tight, but only because I was draining my 401K. Jolly did this drawing up and gave it to me with the intention that I could put it up on eBay and get maybe $300 for it. I was touched by the sentiment, but I'd sell a kidney (I don't know if that' actually a thing) before letting something this sentimental go. It looks good (much better than the picture implies) on the wall and reminds me daily of the friendships I've made over so many different gaming tables. It is a heartfelt message that brings back a lot of memories....and promises of more memories to be made.

That concludes this particular entry of Not Erik Show & Tell.

Bonus Pics:
2009 GenCon
Frugal Munchkin
Frugal Munchkin

2010 Origins (Staged)
Callie #1 the Morning After
Next Morning w/Callie

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