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Origins and Some Useful Links

I'm back from Origins, intact except for my poor budget. It seemed as though the 'verse was conspiring to keep me from getting there.  First I had to work on Thursday, and then when that was cancelled, I threw a tie-rod.  (Details in View From the Tower.)  I persevered, and only missed Thursday's offerings (including a GURPS Firefly game... *sob*, as well as a new LD that I'll now have to pick up elsewhere).

Serenity the official RPG: I had a great time with this, despite a negative review from some acquaintances the previous day.  As the only female at the table, I volunteered to play Inara (as much as I'd have rather played Simon).  Since long time pal Vic Polites played Mal, we were ideally suited to snark at each other for the length of the scenario.  The mechanics remind me of Alternity, though it seemed like there was a greater chance of success than in Alternity (which is something I hated about that game).  I also thought plot points (like drama dice or action dice) ought to be worth more.  Still, it was fun and Inara managed to make a maxed out persuasion roll to dissuade the Alliance fellow from searching Serenity and finding our fugitives.

The game was, like almost everything else, double-sold-out.  I can only conclude that the same incompetents who did the web site also programmed the ticket system, and it was a mess.  All over the place there were people scrambling to find additional GMs to cover multiple tables with official tickets where only one was supposed to be scheduled.  I sure hope they get their programming difficulties ironed out before next year.  Sheesh.

Dave Arneson's Blackmoor: I had the pleasure of having DAB's plot coordinator, Dawn Coakley, for my GM for the two Blackmoor scenarios I played.  One was.. meh... fine but nothing special... but the other was outstanding.  My half-orc priestess managed to save her pet Westryn Elf's life a few more times, and I had a great time.

Living Death High Level: We did the smart thing and put our party together ahead of time, leaving us with very few gaps in important skills.  I like to say we cruised through it -- if you're talking about a cruise in the North Atlantic during storm season.  We were scared out of our minds most of the time, but no one died and we managed to triumph over the bad guy in the end.  Keith (the GM) had to whack us with the clue-by-four a couple of times, but we did okay.  Of five tables, three succeeded, so the bad guy gets to keep taking his dirt nap.

Living Death Battle Interactive: Okay, it makes my brain hurt to even type those words together - Living Death and Battle Interactive.  LD interactives have always been LARPs - amazingly well done LARPs.  This was, in fact, a combat oriented interactive, with a plausible story behind the fighting and little mini-plots for each section.  The brave Travellers assaulted a train full of vampires, their spawn and their minions, to keep them from getting away and spreading their vileness throughout Great Britian.  Each GM had one of the train cars and the adversaries therein, and the players flowed back and forth, running to the aid of others as they got in over their heads.  I had a single vampire, and they took me down pretty quickly, for all that I tried to manipulate their chivalry... I also got to play my first LD character, Countess Ivanova.  She died long ago, but the body was never found (they blew up the building), so when Claire needed an NPC to be in charge of European operations, she resurrected the Countess.  Now I get to play her at interactives, which is great fun.

I spent far too much money in the HUGE dealer's room, including a carton of B-Movie Card Game packs.  I love the game (not collectable, huge fun) and now I'll have extras to re-sell to my friends, who can never find them.

I got enough sleep, enough of the right things to eat, time spent with friends and almost enough gaming.  What's not to love?

A couple of useful links, apropos of nothing...

DnD Prestige Classes table with sources  - It's one of those terribly useful things, especially since it includes all of their proprietary stuff.
D20 Hypertext SRD - I've pimped this before, but here it is again.  Really, really useful!  I'm working towards not having to carry any books, and this helps a lot with DnD stuff.

For someone who doesn't really care much for D&D, I sure play a lot of it!

Speaking of which... Eren Willowburr, my halfling wild mage in our Saturday night home game, took advantage of an old-school wish to jump up a level to 14th and her first level of Archmage.  Hoody-freakin'-hoo!  That game continues to be a marvel of teamwork and interesting role-playing, even though I was the only one to not get "story thread" points last time we got XP.  That means that my "core story" wasn't touched on.. .and hasn't been for quite some time.  I imagine that now he's realized he's left Eren out of the torture queue, her turn will be coming soon.  And me (or rather Eren) with 14 siblings (technically 13, as one is currently missing) and a pair of parents to torture... eep...

Which puts me in mind of Order of the Stick, of all things.  If you're not reading this web comic and you're a gamer, make with the clicky and go read it. Now.  No, really, I'll wait. It's really funny.  I may have to buy the book.


( 10 comments — Roll the dice )
Jul. 6th, 2005 09:04 pm (UTC)
It's a great strip
and reminds me so much of Might and Magic! I keep expecting little puzzle clues to fall out of things.
Jul. 6th, 2005 09:30 pm (UTC)
Order of the Stick is classic! Great gamer humor.
Jul. 6th, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)

I was bummed about missing Origins. Maybe next year.

Tell me more about Serenity though! Do they use the d20 dX mechanic?
Jul. 7th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
D20 was the one die they didn't use. The mechanic was nice and simple. Stats and skills were each rated by a die value (in steps of 2, which is why no D20, theoretically).

I played Inara, with (I forget the actual stats here) Personality of d10 but Strength of d4.

Skill checks were stat die + skill die (and there appeared to be specialization). You roll the two dice, add the results together and match them against the target difficulty.

Spend plot points after the fact to raise the result (one to one) or before the roll to stage up to the next die (spend 1 to take a d4 to a d6, I think).

My gut reaction was that plot points should give you more result, and perhaps have fewer of them to simulate the "we have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty" cinematic heroism.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the actual game.
Jul. 8th, 2005 12:00 am (UTC)
Re: Serenity
That sounds very cool.

I can't wait to see it. :)
Jul. 7th, 2005 04:06 am (UTC)
I think we decided that Origins this year was run by volunteer monkeys on crack working on computers run by slow hamsters.

They claimed that they had exactly the 180 people for the Arcanis BI, but I suspect that was a bogus claim because Origins wouldn't let them add more tables and they didn't want to turn anyone away due to a mistake.
Jul. 7th, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC)
I had a great time at the BI. Ivanova was classic "Bend over!" * snerk*

It's fun to grapple vampires!

~ M


Lady Cora Baker
Jul. 7th, 2005 01:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
Claire was unhappy with me for that one... she felt it was anachronistic. My poor vampire never stood a chance against you folks!
Jul. 9th, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the D20 stuff. Always good. OOTS is one of my favorite webcomics too.

But GURPS Firefly? Man, suddenly I'm interested enough to consider shelling out for the 4th Edition stuff! Too bad about your tie rod though. It's always a bummer when returning from a long trip like a Con.
Jul. 10th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
GURPS Firefly
It's not an official product, but it sure looked like fun. The tie rod was on the way down, so basically I just missed the first day. The important thing is that no one was hurt...

I haven't forked over for the 4th Edition of GURPS 'cause I don't really fancy the system, but I keep being tempted.
( 10 comments — Roll the dice )

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