I have to apologize to all the people I missed at the PAX Prime 2010 DM Challenge. Literally, one minute before I walked out the door I was attacked by a raging owlbear also known to some as my wife. I had my laptop and projector packed in my backpack. All my minis were picked out. I had printed out the stats for my cast of characters. The statblocks for all my monsters including my award-winning horakh monster with custom-built miniatures. My stacks of foamcore maps. Everything. It was all in the car. Then, I heard the screech just as I was pulling the car out of the driveway.
I ran back into the house and into a full frontal assault by my wife who shall henceforth only be referred to as the Owlbear. After being torn limb for limb and left bleeding on the floor, I was accused of being an absentee father and making my owlbear into a D&D widow.
To be fair, it might have had something to do with my oldest daughter getting stung by bees twice an hour earlier and her left hand swelling up to the size of a catcher’s mitt, the five year old crying for her missing blankey while the two year old was emptying out the contents of her sippy cup onto the new bedsheets. What does she have to even complain about? She’s a stay-at-home owlbear. I’m a work-from-home dad who can watch the baby while she runs errands. This is her job as she so often reminds me. Do your job. Let me go!
I guess I do spend quite a bit of time obsessing over D&D and role-playing games. Last year, she told me I needed a makeover so I went out and bought all new T-shirts. All my old punk rock t-shirt were full of holes and starting to pinch my ever-growing frame uncomfortably. So I got an all-new RPG inspired wardrobe. D&D conventions t-shirt reprints, shirts splashed with d20s and my favorite, my “I (heart) Dungeons” t-shirt. I also spend an inordinate amount of time reading RPG blogs and working on different projects. But the alternative is to sit and watch T.V. with her all night. The owlbear follows two shows a night including 48 Hours, Big Brother and the Real Housewives of INSERT A CITY I DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN. In other words, brainmelting horseshit that I can’t handle for ten minutes. I certainly do abandon my family for five hours every week when I ride my bike to the city to run D&D Encounters. Maybe she has a point.
There was nothing to do, but stay. Even though I had made plans with her a month in advance. Even though she had witnessed me spending every night (after I bathed and put the kids to bed) gluing and cutting maps, printing documents and crafting minis. Even after I ended up missing my ferry the night before the DM Challenge, spent all night stranded in Seattle, got home at 7:00AM and caught an hour nap only to get up and feed the kids while she slept. Even though I told her this happens once a year and it was important to me. Deep breath.
The owlbear actually has a blog that a few of you posted comments on when she blogged about D&D. She calls me “Big Daddy.” I didn’t claim her at the time because we had a “no follow each other rule” on Twitter, but that went out the window. I don’t know. How do you handle your significant owlbears?
I refuse to let the time I spent on my DM Challenge entry be a waste of time. I’ll be posting pictures of my maps, traps and encounters this week starting tomorrow. I spent a great deal of time to bring some new ideas to the game table. I hope you all like it.