Origins 2009: Day 2

The big difference between going to a big con before and after  having kids is that before your sleep deprived when leaving the con, after kids, you’re sleep deprived from day one.

I woke up Thursday looking forward to gaming, but nursing a headache from too little sleep and too much beer. Nothing a lot of coffee couldn’t fix though. We headed north for coffee and free wifi at Cup o’Joe. Great coffee but unfortunately the wireless network wouldn’t work with our iPod touches.

Coffee in hand and headache tamed, three of the Blackrazors headed to Hackmaster Basic tutorial session.

The first stop on Day 2 was the convention hall and customer service to get a refund on one of my Thursday events, which freed up my afternoon to wander the exhibit  hall.

My first event was Hackmaster Basic, which was an introductory event. It got off to a slow start – our table leader was still learning the rules himself, and we had several false starts. That said, character creation was a fun mix of random rolls and point building, and once we were done we got to run thriuh a scenario with one of the games designers. It’s very crunchy, but I’m looking forward to my own group’s playtest.

My second game was the Swords of Mars, a Spirit of the Century, planterary romance game inspired by John Carter of Mars.  I played Jaynie, a rocketpack wearingo gadgeteer who’s father was kidnapped by Xang the Conqueror, warlord of Mars. It was everything SotC should be: fun, fast moving, and creative. It also got me thinking about doing something similar for my own gaming group when I run the game at home.

In between games  I hit the exhibit hall. My goal was to find stuff I could use I  my Star Wars campaign, particularly minis, star maps and source books.

First up was Reaper and their Chronoscope line, which has a bunch of cool retrofuture, pulp and superhero minis. It’s not quite right for Star Wars, but there were a few that could work for npcs, and they’d be awesome for a pulp or plantery romance game.

Armorcast had some cool industrial terrain. Unpainted, but still cool – I don’t know that I’d use it in my regular game but it has potential for Battletech.

Iron Wind Metals had some simply amazing Battlestar Galactic sculpts, and i really wish i could justify buying some. They also had Babylon 5 minis that could be retasked for Star Wars, but what I really loved were the tiny star fighters. They’d be great for Star Wars, and I plan to double back and buy some.

The Margaret Weis Productions booth had a surprise:   Six Guns and Starships, which is the new source book for their Serenity RPG. It instantly bumped the Cortex RPG from my shopping list; a book with starship floor plans trumps a generic rulebook any day.

Studio 2, the Savage Worlds distributor, had surprises of their own: the Fantasy Companion for Savage Worlds Explorers Edition and The Day after Ragnarok.

The Fantasy Companion adds everything you’d need to run a sword-and-sorcery style game using the Savage Worlds rules. Buying it was a no-brainer.

The Day after Ragnarok is like Ken Hite read my group’s collective mind. We’d wanted to run a weird pulp game with Savage Worlds set just before World War II. This game happens after the war: the Nazis managed to awaken the Midgard Serpent, but the Americans kill it with an atomic bomb. That act may save the world, but it also poisons it with radioactive venom that spawns all manner of pulpy horrors. I bought it just overhearing the sales pitch; I can’t wait to read the book.

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