Origins 2018 Report

Hello readers, this time around I’m here to discuss my visit to Origins Game Fair 2018. As usual, Origins takes place during Pride week, and the parade goes down very close to the convention center. There were people showing off their rainbows all over, and it was great to see.

Origins has been called “diet Gen Con” by some attendees, and I can understand why — it’s got that great “Gen Con vibe” without the huge crowds. There’s plenty of games to see and play, plenty to shop and explore, but the halls are never packed shoulder-to-shoulder and everything just feels a bit more relaxed.

This year, I was present to demonstrate the new Wrath & Glory RPG for its world premiere. This was also the same weekend as Free RPG Day, and Ulisses North America was presenting a Wrath & Glory quickstart to show off how the game works. Written by John Dunn, the adventure is quite fun — and I ran it about four times over the weekend, while also manning the booth area in Studio 2 and going through various business meetings.

Wendelyn Reischl and Stephen Rhodes were also there running games with us — Wendy ran about six games total, in fact — and our fans were exceptionally pleased. I got to meet several happy Warhammer 40,000 players who wanted to know more about the new RPG I had designed. Eric Simon performed heroic deeds managing the booth and keeping all of us on track throughout the weekend.

Primarily, I will remember this year for the people that I am very fortunate to call friends.  Wendy, Stephen, and Eric are all fantastic people — and we have a ton in common. Sometime I think it would be great just to grab a cabin in the mountains of Colorado and game for an entire weekend with these folks.

I also got a chance to sit down with James Layton, who is one of the hosts of the Grim Dark Podcast. Not only does James have a fascinating history of his own, he’s a very passionate gamer and has a talent for helping me come up with cool ideas for my game lines. Tim Huckelbery was also present — a close friend who I have known for 15 years now! — and it was great to reconnect with him.

We had a party at the Three-legged Mare on Saturday night, where we showed off some sneak peeks at the Wrath & Glory Starter Set maps, chatted about the game line, and met many new friends. I even got to embarrass Tim a bit by getting him a standing ovation from the attendees for his work on Dark Heresy 2nd edition.

Origins was a lot of fun, as it has been every year I have attended: this was my third. I will remember it fondly, and especially this year as one where the company of my friends was warm and inviting, a memory I shall cherish.

One sour note came from another poor experience I had with “living campaign” games. I’d like to write more about this at length, but the short version is that every time I’ve sat down to try out some kind of organized play in RPGs, the game itself has been very disappointing.

Here’s hoping next time I get to try out some new games in a different format!

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