[ORIGINS 2018 SERIES] A first timers Origins Experience

This was my first Origins.

It will certainly not be my last.

PRE CONVENTION

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the convention, so Ray and I did a fair bit of research before we arrived which included a fair number of YouTube videos on the convention.  Unfortunately by the time we watched those, we had already gone ahead, the planners that we are, and purchased all of our event tickets.

We used 3 tickets out of the 9 we bought ahead of time.

Oddly enough, this didn’t bother either one of us at all.

While there I heard Origins referred to as, “The party con” and “The con you just hang out and meet people at” and frankly, that’s not far from the mark.  Unlike GenCon, games don’t always sell out (unless it’s the D&D Adventure League Epic), and most tables will do their best to try and seat you.

This is a convention where friends are found, and new bridges are built.

As a professional planner, I will say that you will need to learn the art of camping the spawn point for event registration if you want to get into things offered only once or twice, but for your garden variety games you can get into most things.  Registration for any convention comes with an expected amount of technical challenges in the form of thousands of attendees hitting F5 and overloading systems. Next year I’ll buy the tickets to the things I absolutely want to do, like True Dungeon, D&D AL’s Epic, and maybe an obscure talk or two.

THE CONVENTION ITSELF

This was a more relaxed and well organized event than I have seen others give Origins credit for. Registration pick up was relatively quick, everything ran on time, and the layout of things made sense.

I have attended a large number of different types of conventions, and the vibe was incredibly positive from my experience this year.  Anyone I interacted with was positive and excited to help us, and I didn’t hear a single discouraging word from anyone I interacted with.  Game creators, artists, and attendees all mingled on the floor in a beautiful celebration of our hobby.

Before I get into the games, the people, and the things we want to share with you, I have to mention the food.  I had seen every single YouTube video include a trip to North Market, which is less than a block from the convention center.  I live in a city with amazing food and I was skeptical.

There’s a wonderful selection of eateries around the convention center if you’re willing to wander out away from the food court, but the North Market is a must visit for anyone that visits, no matter what your dietary restrictions or preferences are.

Oh my goodness, it was worth it, I went off Keto for a meal for it.

Eat the pierogis and try the ice cream, you will not regret it.

It has been suggested that I do a whole blog post on "Food at Origins."

GAMES

We will be providing a more in depth review of some of these games, but I wanted to touch on some of the things we got to try:

  • Shadowrun - This was a great little module run by the amazing Catalyst Demo Team.  These guys know their stuff, and are a joy to play with. Shadowrun is now in it’s 5th edition and runs in a beautiful 2077 future dystopian setting.

  • 7th Sea - 7th sea is set in the pirate infested waters of a fictional world that centers around swashbuckling and sorcery oriented themes and was revitalized by John Wick through a landmark Kickstarter.  The game is lightweight and like all John Wick games, allows for a lot of cinematic experiences.

  • Dungeons & Dragons - We got into an Adventure League event that was supposed to be a two hour module.  If you haven’t checked out Adventure League with 5th Edition, you really should read my post on it here.

  • True Dungeon - This was a big one for me.  I had been reading about True Dungeon for a while, and the experience lived up to the hype.  We will be doing a longer piece on them as we got a chance to speak with some of their team members.

  • Dragonfire - This is the new D&D game from Catalyst Games and is what they call a legacy card game which means that your character can level up and go through adventures.  It was a fun lightweight and “gateway” option for D&D.

  • Exposition - These folks are on the cutting edge of card games, combining your smartphone or tablet with a fun card game!  We will be doing a full review on this game, so look for that coming up.

  • Hero Realms and Star Realms - I’m not going to lie, I loved this game, in part because it’s the only game I’ve ever beaten Ray at twice in a row.  Beyond my very selfish reasons, this is an easy to learn, fun to play game that is a customizable card game. The mechanics are the same for both versions, with some differences in cards.  It’s intended for two players at the base and is easy enough to play in 30-45 minutes

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We will be doing a series of posts covering our experiences at Origins 2018 that includes coverage of the amazing people we got to interview.  Look for more content from Origins 2018 from d10again!

This post is part of a series on Origins, if you'd like to read the whole series, please click here.