Origins 2014 Part 2: The Games

I went to Origins to play games, and to ease back into the gaming convention world. I accomplished both these goals, and I had fun to boot.

On the gaming side, I played three different roleplaying games in the Games on Demand area: Urban Shadows, Iron Edda, and Headspace.

Urban Shadows is a game of modern supernatural intrigue where mortal and immortals vie for control in a kind of shadow war. It is very much in the same style as the World of Darkness, and powered by the Apocalypse World game system. I got to play the Vampire (I know, big surprise). It was a fun couple of hours; we got to make shadowy deals with werewolves, dethrone rival vampire factions, fight off subterranean menaces, sling spells, be awesome. I loved the Debt mechanic, the currency that defines how things happen. It really underscores the political maneuvering nature of deals between characters and the world.

Iron Edda: War of Metal and Bone is a game of viking badassery where Ragnarok has arrived, dwarves unleash Destroyers upon the land, and warriors bond themselves with the skeletons of dead giants to fight off the intrusion. I played it with creator Tracy Barnett at the helm and it was the highlight of the con for me. We created characters and setting all at the table, and ended up with a neat holdfast with some conflict brewing, and characters that had reasons to fight for it. I made a Bonebonded warrior bound to the bones of the giant Freya, who also turned out to be the impossible love of the town’s matchmaker priestess. The way the story of Ragnar and Bryn came up organically at the table was simply fantastic, and it made these one-shot characters quite memorable. Tracy made a great game, and I’d love to play this again.

Headspace is a cyberpunk game where a team of operatives bind their minds together to achieve total unity, for better (they share skills and memories), for worse (they share psychological trauma and fears), or forever (if one member is killed, the consciousness remains as part of the linked headspace). The premise is intriguing, but the game was a playtest, and an early-ish one at that, which means the basics were there, the core idea was expressed, but it needed work on truly highlighting that one unique feature. Still, I enjoyed myself, and made the most of playing a flamboyant parkouring wiseass named Nike. I’ll keep an eye out for this game in the future, to see how it has evolved.

Other than RPGs, I demoed the miniature combat games Golem Arcana, and D&D Attack Wing, played random card games, and walked the hall a few times checking out all the neat merchandise.

Click on the link to see my pics: Origins 2014 photo gallery.