Thursday, July 06, 2006

Origins rundown

Origins was a blast again this year! I'll grudgingly admit that Gen Con is bigger and seems to have more to do outside of the exhibit halls, but I feel right at home at Origins and in Columbus. I took my time getting up to Columbus, hitting a rest area geocache along the way and rescuing a stuffed cat as a companion for my plush Esper Ranger mascot.

I spent Friday night (June 30) at a Holiday Inn Express outside the city preparing the cards for my playable demo of the Kenzerland Chaos board game. Cutting up printouts of the card descriptions and then glue sticking them to the front of old Yu-Gi-Oh cards, then putting those into sleeves. I had just gotten the board itself printed and laminated at Staples that morning.

Saturday (July 1) I arrive at the Convention center a little after 7am, grab my badge and then sit at an open gaming table up in the breezeway until the hucksters room opened at 10am. All the while I had a copy of the Great Space Race prominently displayed for all passing to see. The swag bag was excellent this year. A free back issue of KODT, a purposely deformed Crystal Caste d6 with D'oh! written on it, a handful of d6s from, a couple of the Horrorclix figures with a pair of tiny d6s and... pogs? Who's trying to sell pogs again?

I thought I would be running free demos of GSR at the Kenzer & Company booth, but it turns out they had me scheduled to run ticketed demos in the tabletop gaming room. I dash over there to run demos of the Tech Support card game from 10am ~ 2pm, then had the rest of the day free for shopping.

Checked into the Hyatt (3pm) connected to the con center and had a very cozy room up on what they call the "8th floor" but is really probably at the 15th level on any of the surrounding buildings since the Hyatt sits up on these crazy concrete legs. Kicked back for a while just in time to see the shuttle launch scrubbed.

Went back to the expo hall to look around more and sit in on another demo game of GSR until the hall closed at 6pm. Went to find some dinner, hit a nearby geocache and sat in on the traditional Knights of the Dinner Table: Live Reading (8pm ~10pm) where Jolly Blackburn was surprise inducted to the Origins Hall of Fame. I had my name in the box to go up and read this year but didn't get drawn.

Back up to the room to read KODT to myself and watch Monty Python's Flying Circus on TV until I fell asleep with the big picture window open to the high rise city lights.

Sunday (July 2) got up, packed up and took some stuff down to the car, got breakfast and ate with a fellow Kenzerite (Rythax). Went back to the room to get my convention roll-around suitcase with the bumper stickers, checked out and went to run the GSR demos in the tabletop gaming hall. Never did get time to find people to try my Kenzerland Chaos game.

Did some more last minute shopping, got my sister a Princess Bride related T-shirt. Bought a couple cheap ($5) anime DVDs, a Kentucky terrorist hunting license, a tube of mini D&D dice for plush Esper, a zip-up dice tin, a 100 sided die (Zocchihedron) and had a "What If?" conversation with Col. Zocchi about the Pearl Harbor attack. Cashed in my demo work credits at the Kenzer booth and hit the road for home.

Once I crossed the river at Cinncinnati and got back into Kentucky, I did what I always to and totally missed seeing the spot where Interstates 71 & 75 stopped being the same road and took a wrong turn without even realizing it until an hour later when I was almost to Lexington instead of Louisville. D'oh!Got home safe. Now it is time to prepare for my trip to Japan on July 20th.

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