Origins 2021 Recap – Part Two

You can find Part One here.

Day 2

We continued on with another quick stop at the Exhibit Hall and then attempted the thing that always seems to get the best of us during these conventions: trying to fit a meal in at a restaurant in the hour between the Hall closing and our next game. Somehow we manage to get into one of the local places leading Lee to have a conversation with the waitress about potentially getting either a Bison Burger or a Chicken Sandwich… both of which they were out of. Funny enough, two year previous they’d been out of both of those foods as well.

Regardless, we managed to make it to the game only a few minutes late. Luckily we got there just before they effectively gave our seats away (to some people with generic tickets).

Kult: Divinity Lost

Kult is one of those games where I might not know anything about it, but I’ve seen the images over the years. The best way to explain it is a horror game along the lines of Call of Cthulu. Horror games feel like they are perfect for conventions as, in my mind at least, they should be dangerous for the adventurers (investigators?). I expect that not all of us may survive any particular encounter we have.

For this particular adventure, our GM was running an adventure of her own design which set the PCs up at Paranormal investigators whose leader has received a call from a longtime friend who is having problems with shadows within his apartment coming to life, noises in the hallway, doors opening, and he’s at his wit’s end. Of course, as we begin to dig into the building, the neighbors, the landlord, etc. things begin to take a more sinister turn with the creatures taking an interest in us as well.

It was definitely an interesting game as the PCs seemed to work really well together. Between the group of us, I feel like we managed to look under every tock and look in every hiding place to get to the truth behind everything. The thing with these types of games is that sometimes you end up not asking the right questions and suddenly you’ve gone in circles instead of advancing against the plot. Luckily, I don’t think that happened. The only “bad” thing is that we really didn’t have any dice rolls to speak of, so I still don’t have a great idea as to the system mechanics, so I’d be interested in getting into another game down the line.

You can find out more about Kult here.

Day 3

Excellents

Now it comes to the best game I played all weekend and, of course, it would be the game where we ended up playing some kind of Saturday Morning Cartoon Princesses. The system 9th Level Games uses for this game is based on playing with one die for each player. You have your choice of a D4, D6, D8, or D10 which helps define your character. While having a larger dice means that you are likely better at some of the more physical facets of the game, the lower die are perfect for the more intelligent style of rolls.

Oh, and you get your very own Animal Companion. For my Princess (Of Video Games), the animal pet was the Dog from the old Nintendo Duck Hunt game.

The actual game was very much a collaborative story-telling environment where in conjunction with the GM and the dice rolls, we all got our chances to shine throughout the game session. The GM was amazing to be able to think on his feet with so many crazy things the group threw at him. The ease of the system and the other players at our session made it just a fun game with tons of laughs.

More than anything, the Dice System they use is very interesting and makes me wonder how well it translates to more… “serious” games. But if you are looking for a good session, I’d urge you to check out this particular game. You can find more information about the game here.

The Few and Cursed

This left us with our last session on Saturday afternoon and the chance to participate in an actual playtest session of sorts. I knew of the comic the game is based on from a Kickstarter I supported a couple of years back of the same name. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good western style play experience. For this particular game, it uses a D100 system, so you are trying to roll under for all your successes.

Our adventure focused a bit on the harshness of the world, a world in which water is the most precious commodity. In playing the game, I can see how resource management will be of utmost importance as time goes on, with your PCs scrounging for food and supplies wherever they might be able to find them. Some of the other bits and pieces we gleaned were how critical successes ended up not only increasing your damage/skill result, but you would reference a chart where you wouldn’t end up just getting a 1 for damage, but instead tried to make that moment a feel good for the player (which is one of those things we all have experienced, make the great attack and then do very little damage – so I loved they were taking a look at some way to make all that work a little better.

They are looking to have a Kickstarter for the game sometime in late Spring/early Summer, so be on the lookout over at Rock Manor Games.

 

Day 4

We hit the Exhibit Hall one last time to make those last minute purchase decisions. In previous years at Gen Con, Sunday would be the day I’d end up buying a new game that would seemingly never actually get played. For this year, I opted not to do that (even if there were a few things here and there that certainly spoke to me). Instead, we did our final walkthrough before making our trip back south to Atlanta many hours later.

Due to the pandemic, Origins end up somewhere around 10,000 attendees, which is about 50% of a normal year. So while I got an Origins experience, I was assured that I hadn’t gotten a true experience just yet. At this point, Gen Con is still the one I’d rather do if just for the spectacle of it all, but I wouldn’t mind coming back to Columbus in a couple of years and checking out a more normal Origins!

***

John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Click here to join John’s mailing list and receive preview chapters of upcoming novels, behind the scenes looks at new comics, and free short stories.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, Tales from Vigilante City, Beyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

About John McGuire

Writer of comics and novels. In 2006 his first short story "The God That Failed" was published by Terminus Media in their debut comic Evolution Book 1. Since that time he has had stories published in Terminus Media's Evolution Book 2 and Evolution Special, Kenzer and Company's The Knights of the Dinner Table, and Four J Publishing's The Burner #3. Currently he is eagerly awaiting the digital publishing of his first creator-owned comic The Gilded Age #1 to be published online as well as his first novel The Dark That Follows later this year.
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