Last night I got back from Origins – this year, unfortunately, I was only able to be there for a single day. I chose Saturday for obvious reasons – if you’re just going to be there for one day, that’s the one. I didn’t get a chance to do any actual gaming – I only really had the time to go through the exhibitor hall, talk to some people I needed to talk to (more on that later), go to the art room and a couple other things. Still, I feel like I did a lot, and had a good time. The convention seemed more subdued than last year, and it was also about 10 degrees cooler (though still warm).
At the very first booth we visited, my wife found something that I just had to buy: the original, out of print boxed set for the Lord of the Rings Adventure Game by Iron Crown Enterprises, circa 1991. Here’s a pic of the find:
I only had a chance to glance through the box, which is in decent condition for something 20 years old. Inside are all of the books, character sheets, and un-punched cardboard cutouts of the characters and enemies that come up in the included adventure “Dawn Comes Early”. It is a rules-lite version of the Middle-Earth Roleplaying (MERP) system, but using d6s instead of percentile dice.
My wife promised she would play a one-shot with me, which is awesome. That’ll have to happen.
The rest of the dealer room felt very busy, but not packed or claustrophobic. The room was dominated by a huge Mayfair Games area, including a dozen or so round tables, all of which were filled with players the whole time I was there. As usual, there was no Wizards of the Coast Presence, nor a White Wolf presence to speak of, and if Indie Press Revolution was there this year, I did not see them, nor HERO Games, which is too bad.
Once again, business brought me to the Jolly Roger Games table. I finally got to meet the artist for Parsec in person, which was cool, and the three of us got a chance to sit down and iron out the last details of what needs to happen before Parsec goes up on Kickstarter. Overall, I’m very happy, and whatever happens with Kickstarter, I feel like I’m doing all I can. I got to go through the contract I’ll have with JRG, and speaking without a lot of experience, it seemed like a great contract to me, so that’s a good thing as well.
It was cool to see the cover art out on the JRG table – one small step closer to A Real Thing.
I’ll be posting about other things I saw at and around Origins this year, but one thing that somehow I hadn’t heard about before is Cubicle 7‘s new LotR game, The One Ring. (Is it the Chosen One at last, or do I need to keep designing Servants of the Secret Fire?) I’ve looked around for more information on the game itself, and there isn’t that much, from Cubicle 7 or otherwise. Here is a site where they are promoting the game by posting characters who will be in it.
From what I’ve read, a few people are comparing The One Ring to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition – a big boxed set that contains all the things you need to run the game, like dice, character sheets, the rulebooks and that kind of stuff. I personally am both excited and unhappy – excited because I think WFR is an awesome game design, but unhappy because I hope that The One Ring won’t have a price point anywhere near $100 (there’s a reason I really like WFR but don’t own it – I can’t afford to).
The model for the game is clearly it’s own supplement treadmill, which is also unfortunate. The first game will focus on Wilderland, Mirkwood and the Lonely Mountain in the wake of the destruction of Smaug. Future releases will expand that focus to other parts of Middle-Earth. One review that I found stated that the game’s storyline assumes that the heroes of the Lord of the Rings do not exist, and explores the storyline in their absence (or, at the least, they are not brought together, etc.). I think that idea is awesome, and is a game I would love to play, I just hope it isn’t too expensive – and that it’s, you know, a good game.
In August, almost certainly with a GenCon release, we’ll find out.
That’s enough for now – next time, some more from Origins, as well as other Columbus stuff.