Origins, Day 2

I know you’ve been anxiously waiting to hear about my Origins experiences on Thursday. Well, here you go! (Oh, and it turns out the Columbus Convention Center does have some wi-fi hotspots, but they don’t extend throughout the entire facility, so you have to know where to look.)

10:00 AM–1:45 PM: Gotham City Showdown
I began the day by playing in Matthew Muth’s Mutants & Masterminds scenario “Gotham City Showdown.” The scenario involves a handful of Gotham criminals (the Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, the Riddler, and Killer Croc, in our game) escaping from Arkham Asylum and taking hostages in the mayor’s mansion. I had the privilege of playing the Batman … but I had the misfortune to roll horribly low on many of my actions. Despite some bad rolls and an abject loss for the heroes, I had a great deal of fun playing the game. However, playing M&M made me appreciate Dungeons & Dragons 4e even more. In D&D/d20 3.5e, most attacks involve an attack roll against the target’s armor class; many other attacks (like fireballs) automatically hit but grant a saving throw to resist the damage. In Mutants & Masterminds, every attack roll targets an enemy’s defense score, and every hit requires a saving throw. In D&D 4e, every attack targets one of an enemy’s four static defenses (Armor Class, Fortitude, Reflex, and Will), so that every attack works the same way mechanically. Compared to 3.5e, this puts more rolls in the players’ hands than the DM’s, and avoids confusion about whether a particular attack requires an attack roll, a touch attack roll, a ranged touch attack roll, or a saving throw. Compared to M&M, this means only one roll per attack (if the player rolls the attack die and the damage die or dice together), which saves time. In any event, I had a great time playing.

2:30–3:30 PM and again 7:00–9:00 PM: Dungeon Delve
Wizards of the Coast runs a “dungeon delve” event in which tables of six players try to get as far through a small dungeon as they can within a 30-minute time limit. The delve will be running daily, Thursday through Sunday of the convention. I participated in four delves today and collected nine delve tokens. Five of these I redeemed for an alternate-paint Galeb Dhur from the upcoming D&D Miniatures Against the Giants expansion. They’ll be offering a different repaint each day. Oh, and we got to play using preview miniatures from the Against the Giants set—but we didn’t get to keep them.

3:30–6:00 PM: Browsing in the Exhibit Hall
In between two sessions of dungeon delving, I took a very slow stroll through the exhibit hall. I bought a couple of dice-based word games from the Koplow booth (Crossword and Word Rally) and, from the Looney Labs booth, a set of Martian Coasters (for playing a game with Treehouse pieces), the Jewish Fluxx expansion pack (I got the Christian Fluxx pack at OrcCon), and a couple of older Fluxx promos. I looked at some fun T-shirts, but balked at the $20 price tag.

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