Jump to content
D6 Online 3.0

Recommended Posts

People have been asking me about Origins, so I decided to post about it. I'll first of all mention my role-play gaming experience, because that was my main purpose in going and what I spent the vast majoity of my time doing. Some aspects of it were good and some bad. Some of both were expected, some were not. (The second post in this thread has my non-game-palying experiences of Origins.)

 

I signed up for 3 Star Wars D6 adventures by a convention gaming group called "Sparks", but I didn't worry about bringing a PC with me. I assumed that we would be given pre-generated characters or quickly make new ones using templates. Because how else would there be game balance between the PCs if everyone could just play any character of any experience-level from their home games?

 

Well, my assumtion was only partially correct. Yes, they did have templates there available for play if you didn't have a character, and I was happy to see there was a few new ones that someone designed in additon to ones from the game. Not liking to do anything before 8:00 AM or even be awake, I'm proud to say that I sleepily chose one of the original templates and had a new PC completely ready for play in only 3 minutes, a human male Scoundrel named Max (who I got to use in all 3 adventures).

 

When everyone assembled at the table and the GM collected the tickets from the players, there were no introductions except for character names as we jumped right into the adventure. As we began to play, I quickly realized the part of my assumption that was very wrong. It was true that players can't bring in any character from any home campaigns, but you can use a convention character played at Sparks games only, regardless of the con or how many years the character has been used. And Sparks campaign characters earn character points at the end of adventures as normal.

 

So what we had in every game was a mix of ultra-powerful PCs going on rebel missions with a few starting-level PCs like my own. That extreme imbalance is utterly rediculous to me. We had plenty of situations in these adventures where the new PCs were mostly helpless but the experienced PCs were not challenged much at all.

 

But even the first GM never checked my sheet to see if I had made my PC correctly, so I could have allocated much more than 7D starting out, but of course I wouldn't have done that even if I had known. I stuck with the rules. They do have character update sheets that record the advancement of your PC, with entries for each adventure showing changes to credits, equipment, Force Points, CPs, and how CPs were specifically used to advance your PCs skills. Those advancements had to be signed-off by the GM at the end of each adventure.

 

The other stupid aspect of this convention campaign system was the fact that the adventures are run out of chronological order and repeated every so often over the years. (There is even no system in place to even prevent the same character from playing in the same adventure more than once, but I don't know why anyone would want to). This second issue wouldn't be that big of a deal if there was never any character advancement in skills or equipment, or they never recycled the adventures.

 

But in the system as is, these experienced PCs sometimes have the benefit of their experience (higher skills, new equipment) from adventures that take place in future of the current adventure, when they were less experienced and first acquired the equipment. I witnessed experienced players discussing gamemaster characters that were mentioned in the current adventure, and then realize that they hadn't met the character yet in this part of the timeline. And they have equipment given to them by the NPC they haven't met yet? Are the PCs supposed to be time-travelling back and forth in the timeline?

 

Another problem with this system is that two different PCs in the current adventure could have both completed the same previous adventure at different times it had been run, so that means that with respect the current adventure, the mutual previous adventure had happened more than once. NPC died more than once, plots were repeated, etc. This whole system is just plain wacky.

 

But even if you disregard the continuity concerns and just view each adventure as happening in its own unique parallel universe, then you still have the first issue of characters advancing through experience in skills and equipment from one independant adventure to another. Not having the characters advance or use equipment gained form previous adventures would make a lot more more sense.

 

Next, most (but not all) of the experienced players had obtained very high ranks in the Alliance, outrageous credit accounts, and ultrapowerful weapons and armor. Now since this convention group worships the R&E rules with very few house rules, all of this equipmnent exists in some WEG resource somewhere, and was only modified per the rules if at all. But still. I often had the feeling that I was playing with powergamers that are common in D&D (but maybe many games), and that type of gaming disgusts me. In D&D the PCs have an invincible collection of magic items, but in these Star Wars games it was technology. I feel strongly that continued access to high-powered equipment is anathema to Star Wars. That's why Artoo got blasted and Luke had to turn of his targeting computer to destroy the Death Star. That's why the Falcon kept breaking down. That's why Darth Vader was a cyborg. That's why primitive Ewoks help bring about the defeat of the Empire. The technology won't save you in the end. One player said his PC had a "collection" of almost all stormtrooper armors. We fought space troopers and he wanted to keep one of the suits of armor to add to his collection (back on base I guess). Another player had an entire fleet of freighters to use on missions, so that when one ship's BOSS signature got IDed by the Empire, he would just scrap the ship and move on the the next one. I puke on this powergaming.

 

And just a little more bad before I move on to the good. In the convention setting, anyone who pays for the game can show up and play. I played with a couple geeks that detracted from the fun. Please don't take offense if you consider yourself a geek, but I mean geek in a very derogatory way here. These geeks were sometimes 3 steps behind everone else, interjecting stupid ideas into good plans made by experienced players, and demonstrating poor social awareness by interrupting people while they were talking (even the gamemasters). These geeks were more annoying to me than even the extreme powergamers. The worst geek was in all 3 of my adventures. He noticed that one of the experienced players's characters had a very high Imperial bounty on his head (but it hadn't come up in the game world). This geek metagame whined to the GM that this high bounty was going to get his character killed, and he didn't want to die. Ugh. I wish my tolerance was higher for these geeks, but I'm not 17 anymore. One of the other geeks was a cute girl so she was a tad bit more tolerable.

 

OK, I promised some good. Honestly, the best parts of my gaming experience was that the three adventures were all well-written, and some of the players and GMs were good at roleplaying. The adventures were ran by the GMs that wrote them, and they were all good stories that I could appreciate. I think the turning point/climax of the third one was poorly executed by the GM, but I don't hold that against the adventure design itself. I also enjoyed watching and interacting with the good roleplayers. Some of them were very humerous and came up with creative solutions to problems. And it was a nice touch at the end of each adventure where all the players vote for the best roleplayers of the game and that democracy determines who gets bonus CPs.

 

So there it is, all the bad and good about my first convention role-playing experience. My character earned 17 character points, but I don't feel like I really earned that many. I probably could have had a little more fun if I was a better player myself, so I'll take a little bit of the blame. I'm just a mediocre player. This experience only reaffirmed my devout belief that I truly belong on other other side of the GM screen. But I guess the convention gaming served a good purpose for stretching my Star Wars player legs a bit before getting into a new group of gamers I'm about to start playing with for the first time. (And then when my game is ready, I'll have a group of potential players for it.)

 

So I'll plan on going to Origins next year (and maybe Gen Con too). But I don't think I'll bother with any ticketed games. There are plenty of people I could just get into a game with there for free. At least that way I won't pay for an PC-group-imbalanced, continuity-illogical, power-gaming, geek-fest. :cool:

 

 

Now on to the rest of my Origins experience, which is all good...

Edited by Whill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In between my first and second games, I went to the Exhibitor Hall to visit D6 Powers author Jerry D. Grayson. On my way to his Khepera Publishing booth, some anthropomorphic animals artwork caught my eye.

 

I stopped to find myself at the Studio 2 booths featuring Hollow Earth Expidition and the game with the animals, Shard. For some probably deep psychological reason, I am fascinated with anthropomorphic animals (except big green bunnies). So much that I am including some as PC races in my Star Wars game. Shard is a fantasy game of sorts in an original world where all of the sentient species are, you guessed it, anthropomorphic animals. There are no humans (or elves or dwarves) in this world, and the game is actually mostly based on eastern cuture as opposed to western. There are literally dozens and dozens of player character races to choose from. As cool as the art and everything was, I still doubt I would ever actually play the game if I bought it. Then I saw they were selling an inexpensive full-color paperpack book "The Art of Shard", and so I bought that. Scott Jones (co-creator/admin of the official forum/main artist/art director of the Shard gameline) was there, and I spoke to him while he signed my book. He reminded me how humans have always anthopomorphized the animal world since prehistoric cave art, in mankind's attempt to assimilate himself with the world of nature. He spoke of the use of anthropomorphic animals in ancient mythologies (which I am well-versed in), and I realized that is probably the source of my fascination. He even spoke about Spider-man, Batman, Wolverine, etc.

 

The book is nice, and there are even more images available online. If you have any interest in checking it out, here's the main Shard RPG website (flash), and you can check out the Galleries there. A string of art is posted in this page of the game's forum, and here is a 72-page quickstart PDF of the game itself.

 

Then on my way from Shard to Jerry, I stopped by the Game Science dice store. They had literally dozens of varieties of d6s alone, all available for sale individually. I even talked briefly with the old guy from the You Tube videos who was spounting off his shpiel I was already familar with. So many of the dice looked cool, so I had to pull up the reigns and limit my purchase to a specific #. So I decided I would buy six d6s, and then narrowed down my choices. I bought a completely clear transperent die and four "gem" dice (transparent with different hues: purple, blue, green and a light highlighterish yellow). And my only opaque one is a genuine glow-in-the-dark die. You cannot buy them like this online, and I paid no shipping. There was a guy there to ink the dice for me in whatever color I wanted. Very cool.

 

I finally made it to Jerry's booth. He's a cool cat. We chatted for bit about his games, the internet and such. He was very appreciative of my online support for his products. He signed my copies of D6 Powers, Godsend Agenda and Hellas I had been lugging around in my backpack. I even got to have a picture taken with him and his Amazoran friend (think blue-skinned Amazon warrior in full costume). When he send me a copy I'll post it in this thread to share. Amazorans are a PC species in his Hellas game, and it was a nice touch to have one there.

 

Then I really had to think about getting some lunch before the 2nd Star Wars adventure, but I looked down the aisle from Jerry's booth and saw a tall man with greying Howard-Stern-type hair. He was at a booth at the back of the room, and there was one woman sitting with him. I knew that Peter Mayhew was supposed to be at Origins sometime, but I never expected to see him except for maybe how I saw him at the Star Wars celebration several years ago: at a distance walking or signing autographs for a long line of fans I didn't have time to wait in. I thought that must be someone else, but found myself moving uncontrollably in that direction. I got closer and thought, that really may be him. I started to look to the right and left of him expecting to see the long line. But no, there was no line, and as I got closer and looked back at him, he was already looking up to meet my gaze, waiting on me. It was Peter Mayhew, and no one was around him!

 

Chewbacca himself, in the flesh! I reached out my hand and said, nice to meet you Mr. Mayhew. He shook my hand and smiled. The rest is kind of hazy, and I was so surprised and excited to be there that it still seems like a dream. I don't think I totally geeked out on him or anything, and I remember he was talking to me about filming the Death Star trash compactor scene, and the time he was ill during the filming of Empire and they had someone else put on the Chewie suit for the day but they had to throw out all the footage because it was obviously not the real Chewbacca (him). Maybe it wasn't a lot of acting, because all of Peter Mayhew's mannerisms, the way he turns and tilts his head, the way he slumps over, his particular gait when he walks, they are all Chewbacca. Or I should rather say, Chewbacca's mannerisms are all Peter Mayhew. But whatever. The real, one and only Chewie! And no one else was around as we talked for at least 5 minutes. Then I felt bad because he was here to sell autographs and I was just going all fanboy on him. So I looked at the table and picked a classic ANH Han & Chewie 8x11 photo, paid the $25 and intently watched him sign his name on it. Then he put it in a plastic sleeve for me and gave it to me. By that time a group of 7 or 8 people walked up, so I knew my time with him was up. I reached out and shook his hand again and told him it was an honor to meet him. He then wished me to have a good time at the rest of the convention, and I walked away all giddy that I had just met my favorite Star Wars alien character: Chewbacca!

 

I will always have the signed Star Wars photo, and when I look at the signature that will bring me back to the memory of me meeting Peter Mayhew, talking to him, and watching him signing the photo. Chewbacca!

 

Meeting Peter Mayhew was the overall highlight of my Origins experience, but a close second was meeting Jerry D. Grayson and the blue chick. :-) Sorry I took off on you like that Jerry, but... Chewbacca! :)

Edited by Whill
clarity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of the other geeks was a cute girl so she was a tad bit more tolerable.

 

arent they always?

 

I had just met my favorite Star Wars alien character: Chewbacca!

 

is it ok to hate you now? :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please tell me you've washed the hand by now though :) \sw\

 

I do a lot of miniatures wargaming (mostly locally) but have never had the pleasure (?) of impromptu RPG at a convention. If I knew two or more of my fellow players (even if just knowing their personalities from online like here), I could probably get into that, putting faces to posts ; but I just don't know how much I could get into playing with strangers (some stranger then others) within a limited time-frame. I might play a "demo" (a handful of rounds of action or what not just to get the sense of a system). Anyhoo, glad you got some good out of your sessions.

Edited by Lubidius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly what they were, strangers. I didn't even know any of them from online, but I expected that. Even though some of the regulars are not strangers to me now and will probably be there next year too, I still don't want to play in ticketed games anymore.

 

Some of the guys in my new gaming group went to Origins but wanted to play other games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a few pictures from the con. I have a ton more but most aren’t very interesting.

 

It was awesome meeting everyone here and on other forums and putting faces to names.

Whill_1.jpg

 

Whill_2.jpg

Whill, Tobi and I

 

Peter1.jpg

Tobi and Peter Mayhew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Notice the color of my hands

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

I'm sure it was ever so tough rubbing blue paint over her ;)

 

But it looks like she'd just as soon kiss a Wookiee! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, yeah... I noticed! You sly devil you. ;)

 

And man, I realize Chewie was big, but you really don't get an idea of how big until you see the man inside the suit. I realize she's stooping a little, but still...he's almost as tall as she is and he's sitting down! And look at those mitts on him! He probably could pull your arms from their sockets. :eek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And man, I realize Chewie was big, but you really don't get an idea of how big until you see the man inside the suit. I realize she's stooping a little, but still...he's almost as tall as she is and he's sitting down! And look at those mitts on him! He probably could pull your arms from their sockets. :eek:

 

Yes, Peter Mayhew is 7'2", but he's not just tall. His largeness seems proportional to his whole body. Yeah his hands were huge. He's a very large human.

 

Did Whill remember to bring the promised "supplies"?

 

What I was able to track down. Slim Jims for the beef jerky request, and tropical punch instant Koolaid packets with bottled water. Jerry was appreciative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here are a few pictures from the con. I have a ton more but most aren’t very interesting.

 

It was awesome meeting everyone here and on other forums and putting faces to names.

Whill_1.jpg

 

Whill_2.jpg

Whill, Tobi and I

 

In the upper right of these two pictures (over Tobi the Amazoran's left shoulder), you can see part of the Game Science dice display. It had three sides all loaded with tons of individual dice for sale. I'm a little sad I could ony get 6 dice, but like I need any more dice anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great story Whill!

 

I had a similar experience a few years back. I went to Star Wars Celebration 2 in 2002 and the line to see Mayhew was insane, so I bypassed his and went on to meet Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Dave Prowse (Vader) and some others but never got back around to seeing Mayhew.

 

Flash forward about two years and my wife and I were at the Chicago Comicon and from across the way I saw a table with several people sitting all by themsleves. We wandered over and lo and behold! There was Peter Mayhew sitting by his lonesome, peddling his autographs ($20 at the time). We went up, talked for a moment, got his signature and moved on...but yeah, there was nobody around and these guys (I think Kenny Baker was also there) were parked in the rear end of the convention center almost like an afterthought.

 

Now is that any way to treat royalty?

 

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great story Whill!

 

I had a similar experience a few years back. I went to Star Wars Celebration 2 in 2002 and the line to see Mayhew was insane, so I bypassed his and went on to meet Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Dave Prowse (Vader) and some others but never got back around to seeing Mayhew.

 

Flash forward about two years and my wife and I were at the Chicago Comicon and from across the way I saw a table with several people sitting all by themsleves. We wandered over and lo and behold! There was Peter Mayhew sitting by his lonesome, peddling his autographs ($20 at the time). We went up, talked for a moment, got his signature and moved on...but yeah, there was nobody around and these guys (I think Kenny Baker was also there) were parked in the rear end of the convention center almost like an afterthought.

 

Now is that any way to treat royalty?

 

Right! I was shocked Peter Mayhew was just shoved in the back like that too.

 

I was at Star Wars Celebration 2 also. I saw Peter Mayhew walking to the autograph area, and then saw all those celebs siting down signing. Didn't you have to pay to even get in the line? I didn't go through and get any signatures at all, because my buddies and I only had one day there so we wanted to get the max we could out of it. We were in the big auditorium thing with MC Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and special guests Rick McCallum (producer) and Hayden Christiansen (adult Anakin).

Edited by Whill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, yeah... I noticed! You sly devil you. ;)

 

And man, I realize Chewie was big, but you really don't get an idea of how big until you see the man inside the suit. I realize she's stooping a little, but still...he's almost as tall as she is and he's sitting down! And look at those mitts on him! He probably could pull your arms from their sockets. :eek:

 

Tobi is a tall woman 5’10” and she’s dwarfed by Peter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tobi is a tall woman 5’10” and she’s dwarfed by Peter.

 

I'm 6'3" (and the shortest male in my extended family, yay for Dutch genes.)

 

Peter would leave me in the dust... one of the few people around I would have to crane my neck to look in the face. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...