Origins 2012   4 comments

I spent almost a full week in beautiful downtown Columbus, Ohio between May 29 and June 4. The actual game convention was Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Although I took my camera along, I didn’t really take many pictures until the end. Still, let me put some images onscreeen here, and comment, and hope it gives you, dear reader, a feeling for this year’s great Origins convention.

Jherrrii, a member of Trollhalla, was in my first T & T game on Thursday morning. He’s the good-looking guy, but I’m the tall one with a hat.

All four of my T & T sessions were in the Fairfield room in the Hyatt Hotel. Each morning I arrived at 9 a.m. to run a game–noting like a real campaign adventure, since most of the time I was teaching people how to play the game. Still, we covered the basics of how to play in less than an hour most days, and the players were all so good, that they never lost a character.

Feasting in Trollhalla after the adventure. Water, vitamins, and an apple for the trollgod.

I wasn’t too eager to take photos this year. It was Saturday morning before the camera came out again to capture two great roleplayers.

Three members of Trollhalla came to game with me. This handsome gent is Bitt Burrnn–he survived a trip through Dwarf World.

I didn’t actually take any showroom pics until the last day. It occurred to me that I should document the presence of the major exhibitors at the show.

Catalyst Games–I don’t have any of their stuff, but they took up a lot of space and did thousands of demos.

Is this the new Hollywood and Vine?

The Mayflower emblem rose above everything else in the dealer’s hall.

Steve Jackson Games shared a booth with Atlas Games. They were halfway across the hall from the Flying Buffalo booth and I didn’t have to listen to the “Exact Change: chant whenever somebody bought something.

Thunderstone is a deck-building game. Seems to be a popular concept for new games these days–deck building, not thunderstones.

Geek Chic is a furniture shop for the gamer who needs the best equipment money can buy.

Jolly Blackburn, author/artist/creator of the Knights of the Dinner Table comic book. He never seems to be out of his comfort zone.

This is Stephanie, the most beautiful vendor at Origins. She taught me how to roll golf dice. I taught her the very basics of roleplaying.

Looney Labs had a minimal presence at Origins. I wonder why.

Leather and lace. Call it Steampunk if you want to–I know fetish behavior when I see it.

Author Michael Stackpole lurked in the back of the Exhibit Hall in the “Library”–a kind of special ghetto for authors of science fiction and fantasy.

Goblins for sale. They don’t look much like Tunnels & Trolls goblins, but they sure were cute . . . and well dressed.

I sure wish Flying Buffalo had the kind of money to put on this kind of a display at Origins.

Ral Partha was once, imho, the greatest name in miniatures. I don’t know how they’re doing these days, but they are still around.

The D20 Girls were new to me this year. But having booth babes to sell your product is always a good gimmick for sales.

These fun folks taught me how to play Fauna–a brilliant board game that teaches about the animals of the world. The game would be a blast for biology class in school, but wasn’t really targetted to the average Origins attendee.

Every year I stop and talk to the exhibitors whose tables are not crowded with would-be buyers and fans. These people are usually in the wrong place. These people are often brilliant and very innovative. I enjoy talking to them, and learning from them, but I pity them, too. Most such games vanish with barely a trace in a year or two.

The first time I went by this booth, there really was a guy with an axe in his head. I brought back a bookmark witht hat phrase in six different languages.

Z-Man used to be one of my favorite companies. Now that they don’t do Shadowfist any more, they have dropped in my estimation, but they still have a lot of great games.

Troll in the Corner is a game store and occasional publisher. I don’t really know them, but I like them.

James helped us out at the Flying Buffalo booth.

This man won the Nuclear War tournament and got a supergerm flashlight for his efforts. This was the front table display at the Flying Buffalo booth–mostly Lost Worlds and Queen’s Blade game books. The T & T stuff was on the side table. as was Nuclear War.

Convention over. Time to break things down, pack up, and hit the trail. Goodbye, Columbus!

At the airport Monday afternoon after the con was over. This is the jet that brought me home.

And now, dear reader, our revels are ended. The tale has been told. Origins 2012 wasn’t very exciting, but it was a good convention for me, and for Flying Buffalo. I got to play T & T four times; I met some wonderful people, and maybe they will become my friends; I saw some old friends like Jolly, and I ate extremely well. I gained 6 pounds in a week. I came back with a couple of games, including a $40 hardback of Arcanis, an rpg that won the Origins award for best rpg of the year. I’ve started reading the rules. I got it autographed by the creators. Good stuff. It’s about 6 weeks till GenCon. Giant game cons are almost more fun than a man should be allowed to have.

Oh, and both Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton were at the con. Wil came by and talked to Rick at the FBI booth. I wasn’t there. I never saw either one of them. Somehow it just feels like they ought to be friends of mine . . . but they aren’t–at least not yet.

If you were at Origins, please add your comments to this blog. As usual, I’ve missed 95% of the con.

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4 responses to “Origins 2012

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  1. Small world! I gave a lecture in the Fairfield room of the Hyatt in Columbus years ago. (2006? 2007?) We had around 600 attending, but then – we had no tables. Looks like y’all had a fine time, and we’re glad you got back home safely!

  2. Thanks for the report!

    I haven’t been to a game-only convention in (AHHHH!!!) 28 or 29 years. It’s been almost as long since I’ve been to a SF convention. College, career, grad school, life . . .

    To judge from your pictures, the signage and production standards of booths and games have both gone way up since “back in the day.” It’s not CES or E3, but it is still glitzy compared to what I remember.

  3. I swung by Saturday morning and managed to loot Flying Buffalo’s T&T supply. Also picked up the Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes rulebook and “the Case of the Pacific Clipper” which Rick recommended. Not as much T&T stuff there as I’d prefer but I did get Dwarf World and a couple of solo’s. Glad you had a good time; I was really hoping I’d make it before 9am and get in on a game but schedule prevented it. Someday!

    • Now, if you want tvp for buying all that loot, you’re gonna have to show me the receipt, or at least tell me how much you spent. I’m not gonna look it all up, and I don’t have it memlorized. Thanks for supporting T & T! Khenn

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