JP On Gaming

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

[Origins 2018] Origins After Action Report Part 1

Part 2 Part 3

Another year, another Origins. As every year, it is a roller coaster of highs and lows. Of great and suck. So let's take a trip down memory lane...

Before Origins

For a few months now, I have been writing, thinking, tweaking, and reviewing the adventures I wanted to run. This year, I would run Akhamet and Saggakar - I chose not to run Rhym in order to focus and force myself to put my time on specific locations.

Getting there and Wednesday

After a long day of work on Tuesday, where I touched a bunch of things and loaded everything upon my good friend in the QA department. My hope was that something would pass review and testing so that when I came back, they would roll out.

I got on the road shortly around 3pm. Traffic in Nashville is much different at that time, as it would get much worse a mere 30 minutes later. The trip was uneventful. The road was clear, traffic light, and in good time, I was at my hotel north of Cincinnati. Sleep was good.

I woke up late (around 8AM), showered and headed out.

I stopped at Meijer to get food for the con: ham, cheese, drinks, pickles, and cookies. Nothing very exciting and it would lower my costs, allowing me to buy more goodies.

The sacrifices...

One of the big changes this year, was the moving of the registration from the middle of the convention center to the north side. For me, that meant close to a mile walk from the south side. That is not a big problem, I need the exercise. My complaint with that is that they did not have a station for Generic Tokens anywhere else. "Buy a bunch of them" I was told.

Then they only take cash, but there is no ATM machine anywhere near there, and no indication it was cash only until you made it around the corner and was face to face with the booth. Not convenient for sure.

I won't complain about the lines, it's day one of the con, at the start of the con, it will be long. Having said that, the line went really fast.

For my first slot, I found myself alone. No tickets sold. Unable to get a table of Arcanis (as it was sold out), I made my way around the place. I made my way to one of the small-type groups and sat at a table of Mutants and Masterminds. It was an interesting game, set on Guam in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

My biggest issue with the game had to do with the setup that took a very long time. About 1h in a 2h game. The story was cool: something happened to the Maryanne Trench and we had to investigate. I expected something Cthulhu-related, but nope. It was a happy deception. Most of a mystical solution.

The evening slot, my table again had no tickets sold so I managed to get onto a Shadowrun table. I had been looking forward to playing that game again. With the new edition coming out at Gencon, it might be something I could get ActionMan into.

Now I will say this was the last time I would go to Shadowrun during Origins. Just having larger and larger tables does not make for a better game experience. Quite the opposite, it slows down the game and it just means you get to do less. Tables of 4 through 6 provide the best experience. Tables of 7 are not good, and tables of 8 suck.

Yes, it turned out to be a table of 8. No wonder the guy wanted to sell his ticket. Wise man.

For that, I must give the people at Baldman Games who run the Adventure League a big kudos. They limit their tables - as do I - to a hard limit of 6. This means everyone gets some GM-time and have the opportunity to shine and provide something unique to the party. Good job, BMG.

The game over, I headed to the hotel and tried to sleep. It was difficult to find sleep because I was kept worrying about whether my games would go off or not.


Thursday was a day I was looking forward to. Before the con, I had a few tickets sold, but I was really worried about it. A quick breakfast with my good friend Dave-M.

Trip to the car, which was conveniently parked just under the Delaware rooms. I was surprised by light my game box was. It had grown so heavy as I ran Curse of Strahd, having like a million things in there.

My first game was Battle of Farelis, Part 1 set in my Tyrants of Saggakar setting. As I posted, this adventure is part of a bigger storyline that will culminate at Gencon. I had a really good time running it, even if the final scene came off as a little abrupt. Okay. A LOT.

It has been a while since I wrote a module set in Saggakar. A year I guess? The Mad Despot of Hellsmere was the last Saggakar release for Gencon last year.

For my next two slots, I ran "The Tomb of Prince Tsubeteb" set in the Akhamet setting. This is an adventure that is really fun to watch and does presents some unique challenges for the players. It reminds me a little of the Lost Pyramid of Neferheket which I published last year.

It is very fun to see what different groups do with the same information.

Both feature tombs but they play out completely differently because of the story around the plot. And the layout is also different...

The highlight of the day was when my wife and kids showed up to for a short time. They showered me with Father's Day gifts. I could see ActionMan's eyes go to the table as he has yet to play either of these adventures... And he wants to play them... And he will... Just not now.

Why would they drop by you ask? They were on their way to Canada for a month's trip where they spent time with family and practice their French. There was a bit of paperwork to do and lucky for us, Columbus is on the way between Nashville and Montreal! I think next year I may have ActionMan come with me.

Heck! He's already asking me "at what age can I GM for you at Gencon?" Nice... Guess who will beat you up in a few years?

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