Whew. Just phew. It's only Thursday--the first "real" day of Origins--and I'm already bushed.
I didn't get much sleep last night, waking up due to a pop-up thunderstorm at 5:30 am, so I've been running on caffeine and pure adrenaline since then. But, that won't stop me from posting for you, oh faithful readers, before I go crash.
After putting together my last few bits and bobs for today's game, Karl and I snagged some breakfast before finding even more of our errant WittKrew: BoardGameKaren (and her boyfriend, Jocelyn), and the Inevitable BLoff. Between the PlatinumChick, ChaoticKarl and I, we managed to get them situated before departing for our first games. For me, that was "Steampunk Beatdown" from the North Coast Gamers. And beatdown it truly was.
L-Train and EEE have had some experience with the North Coast Gamers, who specialize in homebrewed minis games. In "Steampunk Beatdown", the players were cast as a team of tinker and assistant, scavenging parts from the various locales in a Victorian villa, then create automata and weaponry to blow the ever-loving-hell out of the competition.
At least, that was the idea. Rather, I got my tin-plated keister handed to me from the get-go, as my assistant was wiped from the board by the third turn. Further, my scavenging rolls were all but non-existent, often only pulling 1 or 2 parts from a location, while others picked up 7 to 9. By the end game, I managed to muster my tools and put together some armor and weaponry...just in time to get smashed by another player. Wow. Heinous.
The game itself was a lot of fun, and the enthusiasm of the GM really shone through, but this game was an exercise in frustration for me for one reason: simple player courtesy. The player to my left got up from the game for an extended period of time on no less than 6 separate occasions, bringing the game to an absolute halt. In addition, he spent significant amounts of time on the phone, talking loudly, which made it difficult for anyone to hear the GM in the busy Minis Hall. I suppose you can't ever get away from "that guy", who always manages to make their prescence known at an open gaming area, but still...some simple common courtesy would have made the game much more quality.
After a lunch at North Market--mmmm, pastrami!--I scurried over just in time to make it to a session of "Deadlands Reloaded: Clint's Rock", run by Pinnacle's own Chaos Steve. A fun little intro scenario, the game was a pleasant diversion from "Steampunk Beatdown" in the fact that my dice were actually hot for once! My "New Scientist" managed to flamethrower some mutant bears to the tune of 26 damage and 6 wounds! Yowch!
The afternoon also made itself busy for me as I scampered about the Dealer Hall--not to go shopping, mind you: that comes on Friday, once I get paid! But, rather, to take care of some correspondence I've been needing to finalize.
One of the things I've kept somewhat quiet about is the efforts I've been putting forwards towards a gamer family, who are currently missing this year's Origins Game Fair due to some pretty intense health issues: the eldest son requires a bone marrow transplant, and the donor is his younger brother. The family had to cancel their badges and games, in order for the surgery to take place. My heart immediately went out to them, and I knew I had to do something. As such, I've spent much of my off-time this summer, organizing donations and the like from my various contacts in the gaming community. While it's been rewarding and very positive so far from all involved--the outpouring of support for the Hutchinson family from Cubicle 7 alone was huge!--it's been a lot of work!
But, after contacting everyone I've been trying to track down, I still managed to have time to drool over the Deadlands: 1880 Smith and Robard's Catalog and a few other books, and make it to a brief seminar on game design. While the seminar was entertaining, it wasn't particularly enlightening--the one hosted by Atlas Games a few years back was much more specific and focused.
After our annual trip to the Japanese Steak House of Columbus, I wasn't actually expecting to run game. While I was schedule for my first session of ICONS: "The Near Orbit Mass-Driver Blues", I had previously seen not a single soul sign up for my Thursday session! Lo, and behold, three people signed up--including Mike, the organizer of DenCon, who recognized my name--and a fourth joined on generics.
I've got to say: switching this game to ICONS from Heroes Unlimited was a massive success. The flexibility of ICONS and the sheer speed of the game allows for some great role-play opportunity, as well as fantastic avenues of creativity. The power stunts alone at the table were spectacular! Nano-bot dissassembler arrows, an EMP field surrounding a spaceship, Voodoo curses...fantastic stuff!
But, after nearly a full 24 hour day, I'm wiped! ChaoticKarl and I have to be up early for our 8am RPGA game, and I'll be running games for 8 hours afterwards! Yoi and double yoi!
No pics tonight for you guys--I only snapped about 10-12 all day--but I'll have the full album for Thursday and Friday up tomorrow. Till then, fellow gamers!