Monday, June 30, 2008

Origins 2008 Blog! Entry Two

Alert! Blog entries this week were written one week prior, on Thursday, June 26!

Last year, I promised myself that I wouldn’t wake up so damned early for games. That…well, doesn’t seem to be the problem. Last night was a long one, and after today’s sessions, I’m utterly bushed!

Burn the heathens! In the name of the Emperor!

Dark Heresy last night was an absolutely pleasant surprise. I had somewhat been expecting something of a heavily tactical, minis-driven firefight, but the investigation elements of DH really came to the fore. Playing a Tech-Priest for the first time, as well, proved to be interesting, particularly when I managed huge successes on Tech-Use when trying to open our “mysterious device” and access its contents.

The mysterious device...oooh!

The device finally opens!

The highlight of DH, though, was Ebbs’ transformation: using his Psyker’s “Firestorm” ability, he rolled heftily on the warp chart…and became a Daemonhost! The game ended with him annihilating most of the party in warp-flame, amidst much Chaos. Tons of fun, all around.

Guess who likes the warp effect chart!

Tech-Priest Celadon stays to the rear...

From the end of DH, Lionel and Ebbs retired, as Dan and Jules joined me in waiting for El Willy and his crew for some Dungeon Slam! Only problem was…we didn’t count on the tornado! Herded by security, we were herded into the lower levels of the convention center where we waited out the storm.

"Dungeon Slam!" at Origins 2008

Watching the chaos as the WegsHogz throw down...

Turning the tables on Jules and the WegsHogz

By the time El Willy and his crew wrapped up, it was nearly 2:00 am, so our session with the Mad Mage was an utterly short one. I do think, though, that a reprinting will soon be in order—my cards are getting pretty well marked up!

"So, let's add that Luck bonus in..."

The Mad Mage's tower is tiring at 3 am!

The morning today began with a quick breakfast with a compadre from Wright State’s Adventurers’ Guild and a trip off to play Hell Rails. Unfortunately, I was the only player! As such, the organizers sidled me into a game of Union Pacific—a rather bland, PvP railroading game. I ended up winning the game, but I felt like it had much less to do with strategy and much more to do with simple utter luck of the draw.

Immediately thereafter, I trucked on over to the Rogue Cthulhu room for Beyond the Sea, a 1960s investigation, where I played Police Detective Dom “The Bug” Coccinello, who was looking into some mysterious murders surrounding a new casino opening. I love the style of the Rogue Cthulhu games, and this was no exception.

The Rogue Cthulhu Banner

The Great Cthulhu rises from the RC room floor!

Our GM—an old vet, Jennifer—ran us through a fantastic story, which ended in full Cthulhian style…with my character insane, and his private eye counterpart both insane and dead (by my hand, no less!). Fantastic session, made only better by the familiar Rogue Cthulhu faces.

"How much Sanity am I losing?"

Smiles from the Rogue Cthulhu game--"Beyond the Sea"

"We're stranded, going crazy, and probably going to die...there's nothing like Call of Cthulhu!"

Dinner was rushed, though I can’t help but mention North Market. It’s so easy to get sick of the fast food in the Convention Center Food Court, and the freshness at the Market is such a wonderful difference. I was running pretty ragged by the end of CoC, so a quick curry was really refreshing for me, before heading back to Hommlet in 4e.

Dan, Rachel, and Emily in the dealer room

Andy and Dan, being fabulous

The crew at North Market--Dan, Emily, Maranda, Lionel, Ebbs, and Rachel

After my earlier difficulties with the RPGA, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Return to the Moathouse, since it was being coordinated by the same people. That said, my first impressions of the game soon dissipated as we delved into a new version of the Temple of Elemental Evil’s Moathouse. The throwback was really fantastic, and the guys around the table were much more sociable than the last RPGA group that I had run with at Origins. I did feel a tic out of touch—all but one of the other players was from the Arlington area, in Texas—the jokes were flying and good tactical suggestions were offered on all sides. I’m not sure if this will cause me to re-evaluate my feelings on the RPGA—there’s still way too much paperwork and bureaucracy—but it’s a start, at least.


That said, playing my Tiefling Wizard was an utter blast, and my earlier opinion on 4e stood up to a higher-level game. Flaming Sphere is sheer fun, rolling around a boulder of fire across the battlefield, running over enemies. Brilliance!

As for tonight, I’m ready for a long nap. I feel like I have a long day tomorrow, with two games of WEGS (including the Friday Midnight Special!) and another Rogue Cthulhu journey, but I’m not the only one. Within two hours, Dan, Maranda, Rachel, and Ebbs head off to Mutant Academy…from 2:00 am till 5:30! Oi! They’re troopers…I’ll be sleeping by then.

Lionel feverishly sorts his new cards

Till tomorrow, fellow gamers…stay tuned!

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