Wednesday, July 02, 2008

2008 Origins Post Mortem Report

This one looked as if it weren't going to happen.

Oh, I had been diligent. I had gotten together with friends and gotten a hotel for a decent price and had paid ahead of time. But the one-two punch of crazy high gas prices and losing my job at the end of May, nearly conspired to rob me of my favorite convention.

I was laid off at work. Budgetary concerns and all that. At nearly three years, i still had less seniority than any of the other full timers in the shop. So i got bounced. They did however, give me all my vacation pay as well as 2 weeks of severance. So as it stands as of this writing, all of the bills are paid.

An unexpected bump of cash from a house-sitting gig for dad, a sell-off of some of my collections, and a timely and incredibly kind gift from a from a friend enabled me to go, and not worry every second i was there that i would be broke before trying to drive home.

Incredibly, i didn't even have to drive. Jimmy has a large-ish van and in a last minute change of plans, i left my car at home. and skived off to the wilds of Columbus with a van load of friends.

Our Cast:
Jimmy (The driver and my best friend)
Brandon and Maranda (The cute couple)
Alec (The "Navigator" and resident Blunt Object)
Megan (More Pervy than YOU!)
And your arrogant correspondent

Travelling with friends means that you have people to share the trip with, but it also means that your schedule is not your own. We were up early every day and home late every night. I got no swimming nor long sybaritic breakfasts where i got to make notes and consider the day before. It meant that i ended up playing more games this year than any other year previous.
Also, worried that i would have very little money for food, i had packed a bag filled with comestibles, but they turned out to be unnecessary, and thankfully so. The bag was heavy to bring along,even in the truck it would have been a pain in the ass.

We arrived around noon-ish, got checked in at the con. (Swag bag was a little light this year) And then made a look around the Dealers room. Had an opportunity to touch base with Fred Hicks of IPR games and chew the fat.
Also touched based with my peeps at the White Wolf booth. Donated the one and only physical copy of "Out in the Night Air" to Kelley who was pleasantly surprised and has vowed to put it up as a prize for ICC (Which is the international Cam convention, being held in Detroit this year.)

I managed to get in a game of Requiem for Rome. learned many amusing things about Gladiators. (Apparently during the neo-pagan revival, there were seven gladiator schools in Rome and they functioned much like wrestling federations. Some gladiators even had action figures.) Got to play a Daeva senator and try to unravel a mystery. A short game meant only to give a taste of the setting and system. 2 hours and out. Not a bad idea that.

A trip to the hotel, check in, unpack, sort out my gear, At this point i'd been awake 26 hours. A long hot shower and in a little over two hours, back out to the con and dive into Requiem Larp. No way in hell i'll fall asle...

Okay. Maybe there was a way in hell. The greater miracle is that i awoke refreshed and ready to go.
As per tradition, i'll detail my experiences in the larp in a separate post. Suffice to say here, i think we all had a good time and managed to do some cool things.
Requiem over, and back to the hotel after a stop at Chateau Blanche (White castle for those that don't know.)

A word about the hotel. A step up from the days inn of the first year, but a major step down from the Courtyard By Marriot from the last two. I missed the early morning jacuzzi and the hot breakfast bar.

-Ex Machina for Tri-stat, Have had an itch to maybe do some cyberpunk. Going to look it over. (5 bucks)
-Dogs of War for White Wolf. In the same vein as Precinct 13 for cops, this book handles military material. Good stuff from what i've read.
-Truth and Justice. Heard a lot of good stuff about this game and i like much of what i've read so far. been looking for a rules light game for supers for a while now.
-Floor plans from the cut-rate gear at the SJGames booth. 3 for 10 bucks. Got the Haunted houses, the underground labs, and the Mall of the Dead.
-Some new purple dice.
- A free disk of the Silvervine game from it's makers.

No weapons. Too expensive this year. Also, no T-shirts except for a white wolf shirt i got for playing the Requiem for Rome game. I have Zazzle now. I can make my own.

Day two
Up relatively early. into the con without too much muss or fuss. (Our navigator has the unfortunate habit of missing the proper exit.) And onto the games.

Played a lovely game called Silvervine. Was handed a character which was an orge, but not the usual ogre. I was large, and furry, and apparently an ex priest, with the ability to levitate. I carried a long spear with a hook end and because of this, i decided i was the rigger's mate aboard the sky-ship we were aboard. Jimmy was handed a goat-man with a penchant for firearms. We bumped into another skiy-ship that was unfortunately over-run with Zombies. The ships log read like the ships log of the Demeter. We cleaned them out Jimmy and I parted company and i went off to play Mage.

Mage: the Awakening is not a game for beginners. You should not be trying to teach introductory WOD system in addition to the vagueries of the Mage system, which is a touch baroque at the best of times. Still. I had a good time, and we got much of the plot sorted before time ran out. It may have also helped me to realize a work around for the problems i was having with it. I may yet find some ways to work with it better than i presently am.

Requiem that night, bloody and masquerade shreddy. Home and thence to bed.

Bitch: WHY IN GOD'S NAME AREN'T THERE MORE PEOPLE RUNNING SPIRIT OF THE CENTURY? I saw one game, it was closed by the time i got to it.

Computer Game News: I am officialy excited about Eve Online and Champions Online. Will hopefully try both and report here.

Day Three
Up early, and dragged out to the con. thought about playing the Mage larp at 9:00 am, but instead had an enormous breakfast at All American Burger and dug out a con booklet.
Ended up playing a game of Champions and surprised myself at how much i remembered. The guy who ran it was pretty good. He'd come up with a fun scenario involving the Grand Rapids Power Corps. The game was a cross between the "Mystery Men" and "The Office" I ended up playing the Martial Artist and grim avenger of Justice, who's the office grump and is a little bitter that he didn't go into management. Happily, the people who came out for this game knew Champions pretty well and we were off to the races. I had fun filling in the forms in an impertinent manner. A FUN and FUNNY game.

Then after a necessary hiatus, Requiem. Where the Pinkster was in rare form.
A long day. but good. Most of our people who were relatively new got something for playing

Mission: stay at the Drury or the Hyatt next year, Get myself a Zuca carry-all.

Up, packed, dressed, showered and out the door by 10. On the con floor for one last turn around the place before heading home. As predicted, many vendors had slashed prices. it pays to be a veteran.
After a false start, we haul ass for home.

Other things i learned over the course of the weekend:

-While the well of inspiration is usually a spring. Occasionally it must be refreshed by the rain. The rain comes in the form of hundreds of other people with similar interests and their own tips, tricks, gambits, and bits of creativity. These things are old hat to them of course, but to you they can be new and fresh.
-Every con is an opportunity to learn and tighten your own game.
-No matter raunchy and pervy you think you can be, Megan can top you.
-Brandon jumps in with both feet.
-Maranda has interesting Head-meats.
- Pinky still doesn't belong in a fight, but i am good at handling car accidents.
-The ST team is rarely ready for a batch of people who know a little something about working Influence.
-Euchered out of trying Terrorwerks again!
-North Market is NOT a grocery, but is collection of kiosk style micro restaurants and food vendors. A little pricey but not more pricey than the food court. Wish i'd known about it sooner.
-Corsets and Bustiers are not always an improvement, But they certainly better the odds. On balance, "Yes".
-Hot women dig on a fez wearing man. I am tragically completely oblivious in at least two cases, that were reported to me after the fact. There are times, when i wish i was a great deal quicker on the uptake.
-Occasionally, Teens needs to be punched. Trust me it will help them to develop better social radar, and maybe some fucking manners.
-Hunter is going to be Bad-ass. Everything i've seen for it, including the FREE scenario that i acquired, is superhumanly cool.
-More people this year than i expected. I sort of thought that gas prices would have crabbed the con a bit. But people really turned out. I still expect however, that gas prices may yet rip the tits off of the smaller cons.

Sono Finito.


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