Origins 2011: The Games I Played, Part 1

Yesterday I blogged about the games I played at Origins. I enjoy GMing, but really enjoy playing too and it’s something I don’t get to do enough of. A lot of the games I played this time around were with systems I was unfamiliar with, but I’m always willing to try new stuff.

7th Sea GM's GuideWednesday of the convention started with a game I knew little about called “Scarlet Pimpernel: The Trap is Set” using the 7th Sea system. The scenario was based on The Scarlet Pimpernel (a novel I was previously unfamiliar with) involving a league of English aristocrats who secretly rescue French aristocrats from their appointments with the guillotine during the early stages of the French Revolution. The 7th Sea system caught my eye because it advertises itself as a “swashbuckling and sorcery” game and still has a pretty strong fan base despite the fact that it has been out of print for 6 years (it’s still available on DriveThruRPG in PDF format though).

The sorcery aspects were almost completely ignored for this scenario, but the GM did a fantastic job of highlighting the swashbuckling nature. We were slicing tapestries and throwing them over our enemies’ heads, shattering second story windows as we leapt to the attackers below, and doing spinning attacks while taunting three foes at once. There was also a great deal of social interaction as we bartered with individuals, found our ways to safe houses, and even attended a royal ball. All in all, the game was really enjoyable and was my first positive experience with the Matinee Adventures group of GMs.

Mutants & Masterminds 3rd EditionNext was “Paragons: Project Paragon” using the new Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition system. I’d played 2nd and 1st edition once each (and in that order) so I figured I’d give this one a go. The system was more streamlined and largely felt to me like D&D 4e for superheroes, but without the powercards (which is a tad ironic given that these guys actually did have “powers”). In all, I liked the simplicity of the system and would definitely be willing to try it again.

The Paragons setting was a bit like the TV series Heroes in that ordinary people wound up discovering that they had extraordinary abilities. I wound up playing Nathan Blackmoor who was the only one who didn’t look normal: in addition to his panther-like powers, he actually looked like a panther. Starting out at a safe house for supers, we wound up tracking down an organization trying to steal information on Project Paragon, a program to artificially create supers. A certain woman was our primary antagonist, but we soon found out that there were a number of clones of her, all hunting us down. The scenario was alright (didn’t have much of a resolution though) and the GM wasn’t very enthusiastic or engaging, but there wasn’t really anything that I feel hurt the game. Not the best game, but it could have been better.

Iron DynastyThursday was my Savage Worlds day starting with Iron Dynasty: Way of the Ronin, a Savage Worlds setting with the same name. Iron Dynasty is largely a mix of historical Japan with magic and ghost stories come to life. For instance, we fought a Ghost Lantern, which lured travelers to their deaths. This scenario was run by the creator of the setting and we ran an introductory adventure he wrote.

At the end though, I thought it was okay. I didn’t see anything particularly compelling about the setting and the GMing style was decent, but not inspiring. I was given a $5 off coupon to buy Iron Dynasty, but decided against it. As the Platinum Warlock put it, “Okay doesn’t generate sales.” To be honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever pick it up, what with so many other great Savage Worlds settings out there that I find much more interesting…

…Like Deadlands for instance. Later that day was “Clint’s Rock” using Deadlands Reloaded, which as I’ve previously mentioned is a Savage Worlds setting I greatly enjoy. I got to play a Mad Scientist who, along with the other characters, was hired by Hellstrome Industries to kick Clint off his property, forcefully if necessary, in order to make room for the new railroad. Little did we know that the ol’ coot had learned a bit of magic in his time away from society and we had giant spiked bears and walkin’ dead to contend with. Only after I torched his house with my flamethrower did we discover that the dynamite he was throwing at us was magically appearing in his hands! In the end, though, Clint met his fate and we were able to claim our bounty for completing our job.

Clint's Rock

The final state of things as we took out Clint. The Pinnacle demo team did a great job with minis.

I think that’s enough explanation of my games for one day, so I’ll leave you on that and say: “To be continued…”

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Posted on June 29, 2011, in Conventions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. HEADLINE: Small Asian Woman Seen Riding Anthro-Panther Out of Town and Exclaiming “Yee-Haw!”

    LOL. While I really enjoyed Paragons: Project Paragon (I’m a big M&M player to start with) and I’m a fan of that GM, I will say that the session overall left me a little frustrated. I think the problem was the group dynamic, in that their wasn’t much of one in that I felt that at least 80% of the group was more interested in their character being teh zomgawesomez instead of trying to work an actual team and therefore perfectly good plans where doomed to failure almost before they were made. Also people screwing around with their phones while the table is active is one of my serious pet peeves with the bonus not paying attention, so I was getting a little twitchy before all was said and done.

  2. Now that you mention it, I do agree that part of the problem in that game was lack of team cohesiveness. I’m not entirely sure why that was though. Perhaps we didn’t have much of a motivation to work together, except that we all happened to be present when the first clone started firing at us. Something to keep in mind for any game: give the players a strong reason to work together.

    And people with any electronics at the table are a pet peeve for me too. Haven’t really had that issue when I’ve been running stuff, but it’s unfortunate when they do.

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