Thursday, July 8, 2010

Origins 2010 Recap

I'm going to ease back into writing by giving my recap of Origins 2010. I spent Sunday, the last day of the con, with my boys exploring the exhibition hall, chatting with various games designers and playing a game of Dresden Files RPG. The family pass was only $10 for all three of us to get into the exhibition hall; Origins knows how to treat families right.

First I had a chance to chat with some very friendly RPG game designers: Fred Hicks, Ryan Macklin, Rob Donoghue, Jason Morningstar, Paul Tevis, Luke Crane and Brennan Taylor. Most I had met before and I was please to meet for the first time Jason (who promptly recruited me for his One Cool Thing video I posted about last time) and was able to share my recent experience with his game Fiasco. Rob was kind enough to share with me his experience reading and working with gaming PDFs on his iPad (I'm a convert now and looking to get one ASAP). It was fun catching up and chatting with all these great folks, but my sons were soon bored with dad yacking away.

Thankfully the exhibition hall had distractions to occupy them while I was talking. Doubly lucky was the fact that Ryan was looking for players for a pick-up game of Dresden Files. I had found out about the pick-up game from his Tweet the evening before. As the time neared it turned out Ryan had 4 slots open but 5 players counting me. Since I wanted my sons to experience first-hand a con game I opted to sit back and provide support as needed.

First off let me say that Ryan is a great GM. I don't know where he found the energy to run a game at the end of a long con, but he did a fantastic job. As Lead Project Developer for Dresden Files RPG, Ryan really knew his stuff. He was able to pull together some very wild ideas (a were-goat, a myth-busting organization called PENGUIN) and make it work. Ryan would go on to say the session was very Saturday Morning Cartoon-ish, but it worked, which says a lot for his mad gaming skills and the versatile FATE system Dresden Files is based on.

Let me be clear before I go too much farther that this is not a review of Dresden Files. This session was an introduction to us, but I felt very comfortable playing because of past experience with Spirit of the Century, even though I've never read one of Jim Butcher's Dresden novels. I'm coming at this from our overall experience of the game. I'm indebted to Ryan for making this such a cool play session for my boys.

I was pleased to see that my boys picked up on the mechanics of play very quickly. Their primary gaming experience to date has been D&D (Basic, 3.5 and 4). They were really sailing with the ideas of Aspects and making a fun story. Both really got into the story and their characters. They were talking about the game the rest of the day (especially El Chupacabra). This was enough to prompt me to get the PDF of the game when I got home. I'm interested in digging into the details as soon as time permits.

Now, it's not a convention if you don't spend some money. We all purchased some Game Science Dice. I've been interested in them since I saw the YouTube interview. I was pleased to see the opaque dice with unpainted numbers which hit that Red-Box-nostalgia spot. I can't wait to add them to my Back to D&D Basics campaign.

Well, that was our Sunday at Origins 2010 in a nutshell. That will have to hold me over till 2011. Next year both of my boys will be old enough to join me at GenCon. W00t!

Follow Your Bliss,


  1. That sounds like a good day, JJ!

    Those Game Science dice are funky-tastic. How do you like them?

  2. Yes, a very good day indeed. I can't quite capture in words what it was like to spend the day with my boys at Origins.

    I love the look and feel of the dice. I haven't had a chance to use them in play yet. I'm hoping to get the Back to D&D Basics campaign restarted in a couple weeks after the boys' summer camp. I'll let you know how it goes.

  3. I've been tempted to order some Game Science dice, but I've heard negative reviews of people getting dice with burrs on 'em and needing to be sanded down. I don't really want to pay premium price only to have to fix them myself. I also heard sanding them down will ruin the roll accuracy they're supposed to have.

  4. The 'flaw' is the result of breaking the die off the casting and should not affect rolling. I have heard that sanding will affect it's accuracy. The videos on YouTube do a better job of explaining it. I haven't been able to gather my group to play so I don't have any feedback yet. I'll be sure to post what I find.

    Thanks for posting your comment.