So here we are at Origins. Yay!
Took us some time to get out yesterday. Mostly that was because Heather's been backed up with work the last month
, so I amused myself taking pictures of people with my new phone:
Heather, wait...oh, hang on, there she is!
So we left, drove to Columbus, listened to Patton Oswalt on the way. Nifty. Got into Columbus, checked in, and then Michelle and I headed out to play Desolation
Ah, back among my people.
Now, I really enjoy Desolation
, but haven't really managed to play a game of it that emphasizes the sad state of the world, rather than going for cheap laughs. And I still haven't. The fellow who ran the game was the same one that ran Hollow Earth Expedition
for us in 2009
. That game was kind of weaksauce, so I admit that when we realized it was the same guy, we were a little apprehensive.
It was better, though. We didn't have an immature 16-year-old and his equally immature dad making boob jokes the whole time, for one. The GM liked screaming "RAT CHEESE!" a little too much (it made sense in context), but beyond that, it was a well-run sandbox game - he plunked us into the situation, and we just tore shit up and had fun. Interesting note: The other player (it was just me, Michelle and this other woman) not only had no experience playing RPGs but had to be told, conceptually, what an RPG was
. She got right into it, and she seemed to have fun; I'm just wondering how she got to that table.
Anyway, once again, characters were just photocopied from the book, but that's fine. The GM had trouble explaining the system (took too long, made my eyes glaze over), but once we got rolling he did well - didn't stomp on our plans, didn't interrupt the players (I fucking hate that), and ended the game when it ended, rather than shoehorning in a T-Rex. I approve. Wasn't awesome, but was fun.My Grade:
So then we went to bed. Up in the morning! I had tickets to Prawn
Well, fuck. No one showed. I got a refund and one we went.
The familiar skyline from the hotel window.
Con on the Cob! You should go!
At the Chessex booth, you can buy a scoop of dice. Don't pretend you aren't tempted.
So we got some lunch, did some shopping, and swung around to play in a demo of mad-scientist card game.
This dude even looks like a mad scientist.
The game is fun; you basically try and build evil experiments and collect victory points for the really important ones (like Underground City and Weather Control). Early gameplay, though, is slow; Michelle and I thought of some improvements, but they weren't simple enough to justify buying the game and house-ruling. And I have other stuff to spend money on (read on).
So then we had a game of Deadlands
. Oh, Deadlands
. Highly awesome. This was the Savage Worlds version, but all the fun stuff is intact. I played a huckster, slinging cards around for magic. It was a pretty straightforward "go get the dude off the mountain" scenario. At first I was concerned because we were tailing along two badass bounty hunters...but then the mutant bears popped out and ate them, and I knew we were fine and weren't going to be dwelling in NPCs' shadows. Yee-ha!
It was a good time. I had a shining moment (casting a Speed spell and rolling up behind the bad guy and capping him in the back of the head before he knew I was there), we got to shoot a bunch of zombies. I could have done with a little more RP, but honestly it was a two-hour game. And just look at this awesome setup:
The little orange things are corpses of things we shot. Boo-ya!
The GM explained the rules to the newbies perfectly and patiently, knew the characters and the rules well, and kept things moving. His characterizations were memorable, and it was generally a great time. My Grade:
Then, dinner! (Lemon Grass, a fusion place down the street. I recommend!) On the way we passed a dog biscuit store (no, really) with some interesting art:
I've played (run, really) this game before
, and was really happy to be playing it. Our players fell into it right away, and we had this cool, exciting, very epic Norse-ish story going on, involving elemental spirits, burned cannibals ghouls, giant fucking owls, snow rhinoceri (OK, they didn't figure in directly). My character was a fire-tender, a young boy who learned at the feet of the elders and kept their fire burning so they could stay warm.
One thing I didn't like: During the scenes, we only did the die-shifting round once, not twice (if you know the game, that makes sense, if not, don't worry about it). That changes the play because it changes the strategy, but it didn't end up mattering much. The story was awesome, we concluded and everyone, I think, was happy about how the Nitu people ended up.
The GM could stand to work on pacing a little bit, but only if I'm being really nitpicky. He definitely had a good feel for the game and did a good job at ceding control and ideas to the players, which for Ganakagok
is essential because if it's not a shared story, it's one dude telling you a story.
Our story mats, if you can read any of it.My grade:
I actually talked to Bill White, the author of Ganakagok
, a little after the game, about curse the darkness
and he totally got it, even from a brief description. Made me feel like I'm on the right track, if I can just distill what I really envision the game being about down from where it is now.
But I digress. Tomorrow, more gaming, including Changeling
and Unknown Armies
! Yay! Origins!