JP On Gaming

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Origins 2015: After-Action Report

Here is my Origins After-Action Report. A short overview of how this past weekend went. The good, the bad, the plan for next year.

The Trip

This year my trip to Origins was twice the distance: three hours from Nashville to Louisville and three hours from Louisville to Columbus. I-65 then I-71. I had a quick stop in Louisville to spend some time with Julie and watch the kids sleep.

The Con

As an idiot, I forgot that I did not have an 8 AM slot on Wednesday! I could've slept until 7am! Oh well. I was there and ready to do stuff. I got time to chat with James-Z from PCI and with others.

The rest of the day I played Arcanis and Legend of the Five Rings.

Thursday, I GM'd some WitchHunter, Blood Moon on the Seine, the start of the year 2 story arc. In the evening, I got to play some more Arcanis with my good friend Chad.

Friday, I played a game of Shaintar "kinda organized play." I will have more to post about this campaign in another post. The afternoon slot, I got to run "TOS1-01 In the ArchDespot's service" which is on the intro mods to Saggakar. The game went well, though I decided to reorganized the player handouts a little after the game, make them more "organic" and "natural".

The evening, I had initially planned to play WitchHunter, but the table did not go off. As a backup, I wanted to play L5R, but they had a non-Heroes of Rokugan Larp.

So I got to my first choice of LARP: Arcanis. Everyone wanted to see me in my dress & wig again. I settled for the red nail polish (it was all I had in my medicine box). I must admit that I had a lot of fun throughout the LARP. I did what I would expect Kermina to do: stick with the richest most available man (which in this case, was Lord Varo played by Eric-W of PCI). I was a social butterfly, going from here to there, and fleeing from the gnomes (who are like, so TOTALLY disgusting, and like filled with cooties, and like they are TOTALLY like ewwwwh!)

So I managed to get myself invited to Tomo-Khan's wedding. However, to conclude the wedding, I had to agree to attend with a gentlemen of the Khan's wife's choosing. Wishing to claim some credit in this wedding, I agreed.


Her terms were that I attend the wedding with that horrendous thing that is Temi-do the gnome. I almost puked in my mouth when she announced it. Barely an intelligent creature! Gah!

Note In Arcanis, gnomes are deformed creatures who are the children of dwarves and men. Gollum would readily be a hot-looking one. My character is particularly prejudiced against them, as she finds them extremely distasteful...

Note 2 Temi-do is Chris-C's character who pursued me throughout the LARP (and all the way back to Arcanicon). I love playing with him because he's not only a great player but his character is very unique. He likes to make my character feel uncomfortable by being near me. That will no doubt be a plot in one of next year's LARP or Arcanicon event. I dunno exactly when/where it will be. It'll be a very fun and interesting event that's for sure!

On Saturday, I played the last of the Arcanis Hard Point adventure before getting in on the two-rounds battle interactive. For the first time in... well ever, Kermina managed not to be a burden to her party, and actually managed to be quite helpful!

Yes! I was quite surprised myself. I served as healer, did some fighting, did some dancing, I did take a fair amount of damage.

The Good

Origins is a great convention, the venue and size of it makes it conducive to talking to people, sit down at a random table for a game, and just "relax" - I know it is rather odd to say, but the pace of Origins is much different than GenCon's, which to me feels much more business-like, stressful and requires a lot more running around. I would say that the two are completely different.

Arcanis. The story, the execution, the people, All of these are high points for me. I really enjoyed the Arcanis larp and the battle interactive. It got hairy, scary and brutal all at once. With the final result that I now have a date at one of next year's major events where I will have to accompany Chris-C's gnome character.

It was the first Arcanis BI that my character acted as the main healer (there were a lot of others, but I think I cast more healing than anyone else). Normally, I am a skirmished dancing around the edges of the battlefield this time, I did some of that, but having improved my spell casting abilities, I could easily heal people and perform a few other maneuvers.

The Not-so-great

Again this year, I only ran a very small portion of my own events (1 to be exact). That said, the players I had made my job as a GM both easy and thoroughly enjoyable. After the game, I decided to reorganize how my player handout were arranged so I did a little bit of house cleaning last night after the game.

The HQ lines throughout the weekend remained rather long. I'm not 100% sure what the problem was, but it is greatly frustrating when you have 8 people sitting behind the desk, and only two are working through a huge line of customers. I thought it didn't look good and was frustrating when you had only a short break. Now the people were really nice and efficient, but taking some of the rush would help. And no, I'm not talking about the initial line (against which there is little to do)

The Lower Attendance proved to be something that was not ideal. That said, a number of factors played into this: the school year in three nearby states (Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio) either ended DURING or AFTER the con, the beautiful weather, all played into this.

I did not get a chance to play any of the WitchHunter events. I did get to run two WH events to back up my man Clint. Both of which went well and I had a blast sending werewolves, satanic cultist, and vampires against my unsuspecting table of players. It was great.

Next Year's Plan

With the low number of ticket sales, I have been debating whether I should simply forego GMing events next year and focus on playing. Make Origins my play-holiday. With any luck, the kids might be come with me, particularly Jojo...

Who knows? I am definitely thinking about it.

Focus on playing Arcanis and others games. That could be really fun!

I just need to get Julie to approve my plan...

My CUNNING plan.


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