Origins 2015 Debrief

And so my giant Origins 2015 debrief. For whatever reason it’s been tough to find the time to just sit down and type all this up, so it’s almost 2 weeks late. Needless to say, I had a pretty amazing time. Much like last year I spent all my time around Games on Demand, except this year I was able to run a couple games, which was pretty great.

I got in Wednesday afternoon and took some time to get my badge and get settled in. Mostly just killed time in preparation for ALL THE GAMING I WAS ABOUT TO DO. Continue reading

Forge Midwest 2015

Forge Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin, remains one of my favorite cons. Small, great people, and always a lot of excellent games to choose from. Here’s a bit about what I got to play this year.

Day 1, Friday

Got to FMW around 2, which was a bit after the afternoon slot starts (at 1). Said hi to a few folks then played a couple games to kill some time. Someone broke out a little board game called Tiny Epic Kingdoms. It’s a cute little game. It was immediately obvious it was a Kickstarter games. Just had that slightly un-polished, not-thoroughly-playtested feel that a number of Kickstarter board and card games have. That’s not to say it was a bad game. It was fun and easy, with a very small footprint. A great way to kill some time. It has a number of mechanics that a lot of gamers will be familiar with. There’s some worker placement (meeples!), territory conquering, exploring, resource management, improvement. It’s even possible to broker peace with another player and share some territory. Each round the active player gets to choose from a list of actions (that get marked off until all the markers are used — 5 markers, 6 actions — at which point the next player clears the board), everyone else can either take that action or collect resources based on their meeple placement. There’s a few ways to trigger end-game conditions, at which point play continues until available actions are used and Victory Points are counted. The differences in races seemed pretty wide in that some seemed obviously better than others, so I’m not convinced they’re balanced really well, but it’s honestly hard to say after only playing once (and watching one more round of other people play). Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – Reunion and Tension

I missed this session, so I’m putting down some scattered notes from the GM just for completeness sake. A number of things are definitely coming to a head.

Copying the notes here verbatim:

Reorx patches up his dwarves then he and Geyrok decide to catch up to Flint and Kardin in Morangi.

They are uncertain of the way so travel is slow going to avoid getting lost (failed Orienteering) until The four-armed great ape and pygmy men pick up their trail at the crash site.

The dwarves decide to make a run NW to the swamps and hope to lose the pygmy pack there.

They have too much at stake to be dinner, Geyrok’s newly found brewing herbs and Reorx’s kidnapped woman. They easily outpace their pursuers. (Successful Chase w/Greed assist!)

And push on through the night to avoid camping in the swamp.

Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – Foreshadowing the End

We’re starting this session with the party still split up — Geyrok & Reorx (whose player was absent this session) in the underground complex, Kardin & Flint with Drake on the way to Morangi. The GM started out with a minor retcon for how the last session ended for Kardin & Flint. In addition to seeing something coming over the trees we also see another human running from the crash site. Drake immediately recognizes this human as Alex, who he had thought dead. The GM also came up with an idea to keep everyone involved while the party is split. For players without a PC in the current scene they can play an NPC that’s in the scene and they can use that NPC’s beliefs to earn Artha for their PC. Turned out to work pretty well and kept everyone engaged in every scene.


While standing close together in the hut looking out toward the crash site Kardin notices that Flint has been changing. His skin tone has gone to a ruddier tone and his beard and hair have been thinning considerably. Also where new hair should have been growing in was something much stiffer, definitely not hair. After studying him for a bit Kardin decides it must just be the stress (failed Dwarven Greed Wise) and he doesn’t pursue it further. Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – Never Split the Party

A couple weeks of scheduling problems and then Origins, but we finally got back into the dwarf game, picking up right where we left off last time.

And then it took me a couple weeks to get around to sorting out my notes and getting this AP up. Here goes!

Fighting the Wilderness

Everyone’s immediate concern are the two dwarves currently sinking into the quicksand they fell into. Kardin immediately climbs up a tree to cut down some vines to try to rope in the sinking dwarves. Unfortunately there’s more to the vines than there appears immediately. The vines come to life and begin trying to wrap Kardin up, but he manages to escape and cut some down (successful Power) with some of the vine cut off.

At this vines all over the forest “wake” and begin snaking down menacing everyone in the area. A number of Reorx’s scouts begin fighting them off while Kardin & Flint work at forming the vine into loops that the sinking dwarves can grab onto. Before they finish Flint notices that one of the dwarves is one of Reorx’s squad that has pro-Prince leanings. Knowing this he surreptitiously sabotages the vine (cutting it all the way through) so that before the dwarf can be  pulled to the edge of the quiksand he sinks to his death (successful Stealthy). No one notices Flint being the cause of the “accident” and the lost dwarf is mourned while the other is saved.

Kardin starts a fire hoping to use it to scare off the vines (successful Firebuilding) and after Flint and some other dwarfs swinging burning brands around the vines calm down for the night.

The dwarfs settle in for the night while a number of dwarfs take turns during the night to cut down a large tree to use as a bridge to go across the quicksand. Continue reading

Origins 2014 Recap

I went to Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio for the first time this year. I primarily went for Games on Demand and that’s where I ended up spending the majority of my time. I left the room pretty much only for food, bathroom breaks, & sleep. I barely even saw the vendor hall. I went in with the intention of walking around a bit, but got distracted by a board game demo right as I walked in and then the hall closed and I didn’t get a chance to go back.

Anyhow! Of course, what I really want to talk about is PLAYING ALL THE GAMES. All told, I played a total of 11 games. Two of which I’d played before: The Climb & Spark, though when I played Spark previously it was in a pretty early beta stage. Continue reading

Dwarves in Eden – The Great Men

The vast majority of tonight’s session was taken up by a Fight. Which was fine. We don’t break out Fight very often so we were all a bit rusty, but it was still a lot of fun.

The GM had us fast forward a bit from the last session. So we found ourselves right in the middle of a situation (a Fight), but we didn’t really know how we got there. The plan was to finish the fight and then back fill. Which was a great idea, but we kind of ran out of time and didn’t have a chance to fill in the blanks, so that’ll happen next time. Continue reading