JP On Gaming

Monday, June 25, 2018

Origins 2018 AAR, Part 4: The Highs and the Lows

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

High Points

One of the reasons I prefer attending Origins over Gencon, is that you can chance upon someone and talk to them about stuff. Everyone is not running left or right. There is a feeling that you can take time off your schedule. That you do not have to run 5 miles to your next slot is not foreign to that. I am both extremely lucky and very blessed with knowing so many awesome people. I will try to put everyone I met here.
- Chad N Chad is the VC of Kentucky and a close friend of mine. He loves to tease me about playing Pathfinder as much as I tease him about playing 5e. I was able to ask him about my PFS playing experience: "So if my boon gives me another boon for my boon..." He brushed me off. I also got to say hello to his wife Holly a few times, usually at Starbucks.
- Ginny Loveday Ginny is one of the head honchos for the Adventure League. She is based out of Knoxville, TN. She is always a delight and a pleasure to meet. As she is busy, that she takes some time to speak with a curmudgeon like myself is great. Interesting tidbit: I learned her real name... as it was on her badge! I can't wait for the next event in Knoxville/ Eastern TN to take ActionMan.
- Jay B I first met Jay during the days of Living Greyhawk when he was a triad for the Bissel region (IIRC) and we've kept in touch on and off since then. It was a pleasure to talk to him about the coming of Akhamet.
- Jay H I met Jay and his wife when they lived in Colorado. Since I moved, they moved eastward as well (DC IIRC) and every year at Origins we crosspath and catch up. Always a delight!
- John Wick Okay, you know John Wick, the real one, not Keanu. I first met in Dublin back at Leprecon 01 at Trinity College. He was promoting his latest book at the time and I was a major Legend of the Five Rings fanboy. Well, this year, he complimented me on my curves while I wore my dress. So there it is folks... John Wick came on to me!
- Matthew M I first met Matt at the first gaming event in Louisville I attended: Fandom Fest. He organizes events and participates in so many things. After I posted that I was there, he asked to come see him at the Rogue Cthulhu events, which I did during one of my breaks. He always runs these strange and interesting Cthulhu cross-overs like Criminal Minds-Cthulhu, or CSI-Cthulhu, or Scooby-Doo-Cthulhu. In all the years we've been crossing paths, I think we only got to play together once.
- Paul, Nicole G and their boys For many years now, I play every BI with Paul and Nicole. With Paul GMing more, Nicole and I do more playing (as Paul beats us up) but that is one of the many pleasures I have and one that keeps me coming back to play more Arcanis. This year, I met their two older kids and next year, I am thinking about bringing ActionMan... Having a table of wild boys would be an interesting experience. I don't know if we could all survive it. Great time!
- PCI crew I always feel priviledged to get to know these guys in person: Henry, Pedro, Jimmy, and Eric (don't argue) and I am very proud to consider each of them friends. Which reminds me, that I have to send something to Henry... Every year, these guys provide me with hours of entertainment.
- Tom-C If you read the whole description, his name comes up very often. The two of us share a lot of views on role-playing and have a play style that feed on each other. I can't wait to see what happens with the wedding idea. I think it will be awesome, so stay tuned folks.
- Thurston H If you do not recognize the name, you do not know about Pathfinder Society (PFS). Thursty wrote some of the most memorable PFS adventures out there. I talked to my fellow Canadian about a few things regarding PF and PF2. Definitely interesting to get an insider's spin on a few of my many worries.
- I cannot put down all the great people I met here, particularly the folk that put up with my shenanigans during the adventures. The GMs that ran me through the gauntlets. If you are not in the above list, then blame my sleep-deprived brain.

FOE tables The players who sat at my tables were all a bunch of great guys and I had a blast running them all through loops and plot line craziness

Arcanis was 4/5 awesome (1 adventure I really did not enjoy, still getting 80% is not bad).
- I can truly say that this was about Personal achievements (character-wise). That I stood before everyone and claimed to be in charge will no doubt impact my character for a while. Those moments are really what makes it come together for me.
- One thing I really thought was great and I must commend Henry Lopez for, is that he was soliciting feedback about a multitude of things. In organized play, doing that is something I always like to see. Not (just) through a bunch of ignoreable online questionnaires or drowned in endless forums threads. Getting this face-to-face interaction and getting a feeling that your ideas are heard is something I value more and more. I do not expect that all my thoughts will be implemented or will change, but hopefully they will tug at his mind in the future.
- *Last minute update* Henry reached out to me after the event and commented on this blog. For making me feel important and inflate my ego, he gets a double thumbs up!
- I like very much what they are doing, being able to support both ARG and 5e system. Now if there is something I would like to see more cross-system interaction for characters (say, during a Larp-like event or some kind of special). Many of the 5e players have characters who are very interesting, and their participation during the BI through shouts and cheers. I have not spent much time thinking HOW this could happen, but I would love to see more PC cross-play.

Low Points

Unfortunately, I cannot in good conscience say that everything was awesome and that there was nothing to be improved. So here they are.

Origins had a lot of issues this year.
- The Web site is just bad. It may have been great around 1996, but it suffers from glaring issues: accessing your own registration/logging in requires you to go through a series of vaguely related screen. How to buy tickets. What you are GMing. In short, everything is a mess and in need of a serious revamp to get up to par. When you compare to Gencon's site where everything you want is right there front and center... the comparison is even worse.
- A personal thing, but Event ordering was just terrible. I sold no tickets for my Akhamet stuff. The thing is, I was not able to search for that adventure, unless I put the event code. Putting the name in the search bar returned nothing. This is 2018 people, anything that generates or send and excel spreadsheet should be taken out to the shed and taken out of its misery. 1996 called and wants its speadsheet back.

Sleep (or lack) By now you will know that I was barely able to sleep. Next year, I will have ear plugs for sure!

My Car stinks I have to finish with this. This is a negative point, a massive negative. So I bought that new cooler on Wednesday morning, loaded it up with ice and food. I was impressed how good it kept my food cold. Same on Thursday. On Friday morning, I added an extra bag of ice to the mix. Everything was fine until Saturday around 1pm. That's when I realized the cooler did not keep the ice... It melted the ice and let it seep through into my passenger seat... That whole side was soggy with the smell of curdling milk, no doubt from the cheese. So now, I have a car that smells of curdled milk cooking in the Tennessee sun... So I drive with the windows down. I will buy myself a very powerful smell remover and have the car cleaned.

In Closing

I had a good time overall. I will definitely be back next year! Hopefully to fuller tables for my own stuff.

So all that's left is to say "Bye Y'all!"

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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