JP On Gaming

Friday, June 27, 2014

Origins: What I did during the con


Wednesday morning came real quick. I got up at 3AM, showered then packed the car with the last of my stuff (computer, medicine, clothes). The rest was already in there. After a last check for things I might've forgotten and an email check, it was off to Columbus. I listened to a few CDs I hadn't listened to in a while: Marillion's Season's End and Brave Live in Paris Part 1, Rush's Power Windows, Genesis's Theater of the Mind (a bootleg), and Oasis's Familiar to Millions Part 2.

I was in a good mood when I arrived in Columbus shortly before 7 AM. I parked the car, took the elevator and was elated to discover that the Delaware room(s) were just outside the elevator. I set up my NeoExodus stand and table. Isabelle quickly arrived and we both got into game mode. I showed her where all of the games and material for the games were located. The mods, the LRs, the handouts, the iconics, everything. We were both stoked and ready to go.

Players showed up and we were off to play John Dow's "Black Glass Valley Raid". Enjoyable game. Interesting choices. I will say this put me in a good mood for the con. I was really hopeful that we would have a number of tables.

Next slot, we waited in vain for players. So Isabelle and I went to play something. I played Arcanis.

For the evening slot, again no players. So then I got myself a ticket to play a game whose blurb spoke about a Soviet invasion of Denmark. I was definitely intrigued. So I got a ticket and showed up to the room. To both my surprise and delight, it was a Twilight 2000 game.

Uncle JP's olden days story time

It was the late 80s. The Iron Curtain was still high across Europe. My fellow classmates and I were playing a game that put our hormone-filled teenage days with heavy machineguns, rocket launchers, tanks and things to destroy all kinds of things. It was awesome. To think we would go about Poland to destroy, pillage, and loot whatever we can.

That was Twilight 2000.

I have a number of really interesting stories such as stealing a herd of cows to pull our tank or meeting people from countries we barely knew or understood or stealing Russian supplies in a Lada. Ah... Memories.

One of the things that ended this campaign was the following scene - which was the last time I played the game.

I was a medic and we were escaping our latest botched operation (due to poor planning as usual). I was trying to keep a prisoner alive in the back seat of a lada while the other two hulking heavy weapon specialists in the front drove like madmen down this little Polish country road. I kept screaming to the guys to slow down so I could stabilize the man. I kept failing due to the crazy penalties from the driving.

Then Marc turns to me nicely telling me to STFU and punches me. In the face.

The minimum amount of damage he dealt made my head explode.


The campaign ended right there.

Ahhhh the 80s.


Thursday morning, I joined a game of Witchhunter, then Arcanis with the gang from Denver: Bill, Gregg, Jim & Michelle. Then in the evening I again played Witch Hunter. I must say that I really like the game and its setting. I've said it before but it is really growing on me even more. I have a number of ideas for things I would like to write for it. One thing at a time, I remind myself. One thing at time.

That last game I played with Isabelle, which was an added treat.


Friday brought more of the same. So I played Arcanis with Isabelle. I failed pretty much every check I did, except the one to spend money... It was fun. Again playing with Isabelle made this game somewhat special.

For the afternoon I managed to join Pedro's Rotted Capes table.

I will be honest. Superheroes and zombies are both things I love. Separately. When first approached with the idea of mixing the two together, I was... underwhelmed. I can see the draw, but did not really feel it. Still, if you read this blog, you know that I try to give an honest shot to every game I play. Peter and I had been talking about it for quite a while and I promised him I would play it. One day.

That day was Origins 2014.

I sat down to play with the gang from Fandible. It was really enjoyable. The Arcanis system used with superheroes works fairly well. Though I am still quite partial to Mutants & Masterminds as my Superhero system of choice. I played the Iconic "Powerhouse", a Colossus look-alike. The adventure had a lot of the typical zombie-tropes. Everything one expects and likes about them. While I can honestly say that it may not be my thing, I strongly encourage anyone who loves either superheroes or zombies to give it a good go.

To add to the awesome, the table was run by the creator and huge enthusiast of the game and setting: Peter-B. The energy was high and the great really exciting.

The evening slot, I went around looking for a game and eventually sat at a table of a new game called "Reality A." Rather interesting game. To give a quick description of what I understood, some strange event happened and now some people are able to manipulate the world around them. It is a very mixed group of genre that mixes techno wizards, with Harry Dresden type things. I got to be a redneck with a Dale-Call (see below for the commercial), and a pick-up truck with a tank turret. Awesome.

All my supernatural abilities I re-branded with a redneck flavor: I drank PBR to use "dull pain," I had a truck with Dale Earnhart's #3 on the side (along with a turret gun), I created some beer goggles using... Beer bottles. You get the drift. I really laughed during this game.

After that, I played in the midnight slot of my first Heroes of Rokugan adventure. I did very little of use as my character pretty much sucked. However, I enjoyed myself enough to order me a 4th edition book and look forward to playing some more of it. I haven't played the game seriously since 2002. My campaign in Ireland being the last true L5R campaign I ran/played in.

I guess there might be more posts about L5R in the future.


On Saturday morning, I had a ticket to play Witchhunter (again). However, it turned out that the adventure had been swapped for The Mastiff of the Baskertons. Instead, I ended up running it! I must say I really liked running the adventure. There were still a few rough edges (I have since sent a reviewed version to Clint with a few correction). I really enjoyed running it. It was the first time I played a Witch Hunter adventure that lasted the full 4h of the slot.

The rest of the day was spend playing the Invasion of Tultipet, the Origins Battle Interactive for Arcanis. It was a massive undertaking. Ken, my GM, pulled few punches as we fought waves after waves of dwarves. Dwarves with heavy crossbows are just NASTY. I spent a lot of time on the ground, just bleeding out. For a skirmishing character like myself, front line duties end poorly.

The story involved us trying to stop the mad queen of the dwarves from summoning a dragon. Now in case you don't know Arcanis dragons are massive forces of destruction. Really scary stuff. We succeeded, but victory was, as usual, bittersweet. Definitely an experience to remember.


Sunday morning, I had a ticket to Arcanis, but I just had enough. I'd played so much of it that I wanted something else. I initially went looking for more Rokugani goodness, but there were no such games.

Then I turned to Catalyst's Shadowrun. I'm getting to enjoy myself some more, even if I can honestly say I'm not a huge fan of the world, but I can live with it. I have fun with it, and I'll leave it at that.


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