Check Out the Scene at Columbusí Origins Game Fair 2018
  • Check Out the Scene at Columbusí Origins Game Fair 2018


    Held from June 13th to the 17th, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio, Origins Game Fair competes for the 4th or 5th position on the list of largest tabletop gaming conventions. It is an extravaganza taking over both the convention center and adjoining Hyatt and is too large to cover in toto. Instead, there were three moments that encapsulated my Origins experience.


    The Origins gaming experience that will be trotted out as *my* Origins experience was a Cortex ruleset session using Fallout (the video game franchise) as the setting. The GM opened with something prophetic (paraphrased here), ďSometimes I wish the gamers I had at cons were in my home group because con players have so much love for the game that they travel and pay to play." With those words, the next four hours were some of the best gaming Iíve ever experienced, in part, because two of the players found their moments.

    One gifted with a cutting whit and comedic timing played a ghoul doctor, while the other decided to voice his character somewhere between Colonel Sanders and Foghorn Leghorn. The players had never met each other, but their chemistry was box office gold. Everything they said played perfectly to the other while shaping our adventure. Iíll spare you rehashed jokes in favor of swearing that session was lightning in a bottle. It was a moment that, when you look for the game that you would love to do one more time, thatís it. Few of us knew each other, but after that session we all joined an email list to stay in-touch.

    The next marquee moment involves the friend you only see at cons. Iíve written a tiny bit for Danny OíNeilís The Dread House and, at Gen Con 2017, I had the chance to play in that setting as Danny GMíed a 1920s Call of Cthulhu session. I played a hobo and, to give the character some life, I had him leave hobo signs everywhere he went. Cut to Origins 2018, I run into Danny and he shows me the printed copy of The Dread House, and has a story for me. When we played at GC, he did not really know what hobo signs were. Several months after that, heís eating at a restaurant and they had symbols on the back wall that connect the dots for him. He took a picture of those hobo signs in the restaurant and, months later, when we ran into each other, shared this connection that will only be cool to us, but it will *be* cool to us.

    For all the good times (and there were so many more), thereís still work to be done as there was harassment during the con that needs to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

    On Saturday night, my travel buddy went into one of the Short North Ballrooms to ask about a deception party game that was being run there. While heís talking to the individual in-charge of the room, one of the players comes up and reports that, during a session, several male gamers reduced a female gamer to tears by hurling abuse at her. Worse, the referee did not intervene. Since this witness wanted to lodge a formal complaint, my buddy left and told me what he just heard. We walked around and discussed the implications for a few minutes before we headed back toward the stairs just past the room. As we passed the room, we caught more of the story as the individual in-charge of the room and the referee reviewed the incident. Instead of enjoying a game, several individuals decided to bring a woman to tears.

    At Origins, and most conventions, the good far outweighs the bad, but we could take it further so no one has to leave in tears and, instead, we can all look forward to next year. Despite the work that needs to be done, Origins is an excellent show and I plan to return next year. If youíre going, Iíd love to talk and game with you.

    This article was contributed by Egg Embry as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      It doesnít always happen, but sometimes the characters just really hit it off in the game and it makes the game that much enjoyable for all of the players involved. Thereís something doubly amazing about seeing that role-playing alchemy happen with strangers.

      Sucks about the harassment. We all have a responsibility to call out that behavior when we see it and support those being subjected to it. Iíve been in the position of a DM having to say something to a player about the terrible creepy stuff coming out of their mouth. The sad thing was, I donít think they understood why I did so, or how serious an infraction it was.

      Quote Originally Posted by Egg Embry View Post
      The players had never met each other, but their chemistry was box office gold. Everything they said played perfectly to the other while shaping our adventure.
    1. Egg Embry's Avatar
      Egg Embry -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ralif Redhammer View Post
      It doesnít always happen, but sometimes the characters just really hit it off in the game and it makes the game that much enjoyable for all of the players involved. Thereís something doubly amazing about seeing that role-playing alchemy happen with strangers.

      Sucks about the harassment. We all have a responsibility to call out that behavior when we see it and support those being subjected to it. Iíve been in the position of a DM having to say something to a player about the terrible creepy stuff coming out of their mouth. The sad thing was, I donít think they understood why I did so, or how serious an infraction it was.
      I'm sorry you were put in that position as a DM, but, like you said, there's a responsibility to call it out and I support your call.

      Chemistry at the gaming table is everything in a game. If an adventure is blah, but the players are great then it's a quotable session. Not that the game we played at Origins was anything other than exceptional. I would love to sit at that table again! ;-)

      Thanks,

      Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer
      If you're looking for helpful tips and stock art for your RPG, check out CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURE - RPG RESOURCES BOOKS on Kickstarter (featuring James Ward, Lenard Lakofka, Rick Hershey, myself, and more).
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      Origins is in my backyard and I haven't made it yet - I have to go next year.
    1. Egg Embry's Avatar
      Egg Embry -
      Quote Originally Posted by dave2008 View Post
      Origins is in my backyard and I haven't made it yet - I have to go next year.
      Excellent! It's a fun bit of gaming! I come up from Atlanta, and plan on doing it next year. :-) If you go, ping me (here, the Wanna-lancer link, most social media), I'd like to say hi in-person. :-)

      Thanks,

      Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer
      If you're looking for helpful tips and stock art for your RPG, check out CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURE - RPG RESOURCES BOOKS on Kickstarter (featuring James Ward, Lenard Lakofka, Rick Hershey, myself, and more).
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Egg Embry View Post
      Excellent! It's a fun bit of gaming! I come up from Atlanta, and plan on doing it next year. :-) If you go, ping me (here, the Wanna-lancer link, most social media), I'd like to say hi in-person. :-)

      Thanks,

      Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer
      If you're looking for helpful tips and stock art for your RPG, check out CREATE YOUR OWN FANTASY RPG ADVENTURE - RPG RESOURCES BOOKS on Kickstarter (featuring James Ward, Lenard Lakofka, Rick Hershey, myself, and more).
      Will do!
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