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Category Archives: Conventions

Posts about the conventions we attend.

JC701: Season 4: Fang’s Regret

Bodyguard Brigade on patrol along the Orion Pirate sector, got a distress beacon from a JumpCorp transponder, but not sending an identifying code from a ship or person. The signal was coming from an area normally associated with Trevor Blackfinch. They go to investigate and are attacked by 2 fighters. They destroy one, and the other runs off but not before sending out a signal.

They scan the planet and see a dropship and signs of wreckage. They go down and are warned off by the dropship. They determine it belongs to a relatively unknown pirate faction from the other side of the sector. Very strange for it to be here. They fly off and then approach stealthily from the other side of the planet, landing the ship just outside sensor range and hike in from there.

They engage the pirates in a shootout, taking down most pretty quickly before a pirate in a Powered Armor Suit (something they’ve never seen before) comes out. Also, some pirates get about the dropship and start shooting them. Eventually they take out the guy in the armor and the dropship leaves.

They find the wreckage belongs to a cat people craft and there is a message on a coded line from Fang to Emo and the JC701 crew…he’s calling in his favors, he wants them to come rescue him from these new pirates!




Hugh Jass – Human Captain – Alex
Bugsy – Rigellian JumpCorp Pilot – Steve
Kaz – Saurian Security Officer (actually a Pirate trying to go straight) – Dave
The Baron – Human Science Officer coming out of retirement – Norm

The backup officers on JC-701 are pulled into a meeting with Col Jaeger who is discussing an issue with the Holy Binary Dominic Newland. The Binary explains that an extremist faction of Pilgrims that have been attacking into Rigellian space have bitten off more than they can handle. The Rigellian Ambassador explains that he has pulled all the Alliance people off the planet, but coalition forces have remained and will likely resist the Pilgrims. Col Jaeger orders the crew to retrieve the pilgrims and only engage the coalition forces of Rigellia.

“Bugsy” flew the vessel on the scenic route to Amassus IV where they find a fight in progress near the planet. Captain Jass convinces the Rigellian captain, Steveodore Von Bugsberg (a distant relative of Bugsy), to leave the area. As soon as they do, the pilgrims land on the planet despite the Captain’s orders to stand down and surrender. The crew follows them to the surface where they find several wrecked ships.

“Bugsy” and Kaz head over to disable the pilgrim’s ship. That doesn’t go well. The pilgrims blast “Bugsy” for being Rigellian as Kaz attempts to get them to surrender. Kaz blasts a couple pilgrims and takes two pilots prisoner. Captain Jass and Baron join them to search the vessel. Kaz finds the pilgrims’ documents with their conclusions based on circumstantial evidence that the Rigellians are doing something nefarious on Amassus IV. Apparently, there is an underground facility on the planet that has more to it than meets the eye.

Captain Jass leads the team to the facility to check things out. They find pilgrims and Rigellians locked in another battle. After blasting a few Rigellians and take the pilgrims prisoner, the Baron discovers a secret entrance to a subterranean chamber. Down in the chamber, they discover a Rigellian hatchery.

Flashback: Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, the Rigellian Ambassador contacts “Bugsy” and tells him that the planet they are going to is a Rigellian hatchery that has been disguised as a refining planet. “As you know, our particular mode of reproducing can be disturbing to the races that we use as hosts for the larvae. Even though we no longer use JumpCorp citizens as hosts, the images of humanoids and other sentient beings hosting larvae will not make peace with JumpCorp easy. Since you, as I, are highly vested in peace with our neighbors, I need you to find the device I left in your quarters. If, and only if, your crew happens to find the hatchery, you need to use the device to erase their minds. It’s the only way to ensure peace.”

Current Time: The hatchery guards tell Captain Jass that if he and the crew leave now they will not be harmed, but if they attempt to continue into the hatchery, they guards will resist to the end. Bugsy also tells the crew that there is no reason to stay here, after all they’ve got the pilgrims, which is what they were after. Kaz is in agreement, but Captain Jass and the Baron insist on pushing in and just as a fight is about to erupt, “Bugsy” pushes the button. The planet goes into lockdown and the Ambassador’s voice comes over the device, “I’m sorry Bugsy, there is no such thing as a device that can erase minds. You will be honored by Rigellians everywhere for your sacrifice.” And the planet explodes as the reactor goes critical.

As usual we met at Jim’s house for JimCon. We started off with Outpost board game, then Evil Mike’s Last Parsec game on Friday. On Saturday we started with Owen’s World War 2 game, then Steve’s Savage Conan game. On Sunday we played Shadows Over Brimstone or something, I wasn’t there.  :P


Disclaimer: Any resemblance to actual persons, living or soon to be dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Alex, Mike and I went to Origins again this year. This trip marked the 10th anniversary of going to Origins and meeting our good friends Dave McGuire, Tom Wisniewski, and Norm “No Relation” Hensley. In honor of this we all ran games in the settings we ran (or played in) 10 years ago. Norm ran Shaintar since it was in Sean Fannon’s epic Shaintar game that we all really became friends. Mike ran Tour of Darkness. I ran Rippers. Dave ran Mordheim. Tom was missing this year due to real life. We hate it when real life interferes with gaming.

This is the first year in many years that we had to pick up our badges from Origins. It’s a good thing too. While the line was really long, it did move quickly. On the way to our long line, we saw Jim Searcy of Studio 2—the guy who has gotten our badges in the past—standing in the short vendor line. He was still there when we left with our badges.

Waiting in the Badge Line.

Waiting in the Badge Line.

After getting our badges and settling into our rooms, I took some games to sell at the auction. I’ve never done this before. The process was simple and the Origin’s auction people were very nice.

Now it was time to play our first game. Geek Chic had not set up their tables yet, so we had to depend on Origins to find a table. They dropped the ball. On Wednesday there are empty tables everywhere. The guy at the RPG HQ told Mike he could not use any tables unless he had an event registered with Origins. Say what? The RPG HQ suggested we use the open gaming area. The open gaming area has about 10 tables and is located at the furthest point you can walk to before hitting Lake Erie. Since there were five of us, we had enough bearers to carry all of Mike’s game stuff to the open gaming area.

On the way, Mike stopped to talk to Origin’s event folks to see if he could register the game as a real event and get a table assignment. Two things happened. One, you can’t register a game at the convention. Game registration is closed. Two, the head honcho at the events area said the guy at the RPG HQ was wrong. The event guy told us we can use any table we want until someone with a real event comes along and kicks us off. This is how it has always been and we were good with it.

After all that, we played Mike’s Tour of Darkness game in the Opening Gaming. For the rest of the convention we never had to use Origin’s Open Gaming tables Again thanks largely to Geek Chic. Those guys (and gals) rock.

Wednesday: Mike’s Tour of Darkness

I was in charge. From that point on things didn’t go well. Our mission was to free US prisoners from a NVA camp. A helicopter dropped us off well out of sight of the camp. Some say the helicopter flew over the NVA camp on the way to the drop off zone, but those claims were never substantiated. Never substantiated! It was a hard jog through the trap infested jungle to get to the camp.

Once in position to recon the camp, we are immediately set upon by the NVA. Dave’s character, who is carrying our heaviest weapon, is in deep dog doo-doo most of this battle. We also see that the camp is heavily fortified with NVA troops. Some say we should have used the chopper to soften up the NVA. Heck, I didn’t even know the chopper had weapons! (I missed that day of training.) Anyway, after Dave’s character is healed, he begins pumping grenade after grenade into the NVA camp. This cleaned out the camp nicely. We enter the camp.

We search for the prisoners, but fine only a hatch leading to an underground maze of tunnels. There are strange going-ons down there. We fight our way through most of it. We end in a room containing a NVA wizard summoning something weird and horrifying. It is a creature made up of a conglomeration of bodies all jammed together. Even more horrifying is that we recognized the poor souls within the monster. They are our original characters from 10 years ago!

We deal with the monster, but the NVA wizard escapes through a secret door. We chased him to the exit door of the tunnels. Then we hear the sound of thunder and feel the weight of tons of dirt and rock cover the exit we are about to go through. We’re stuck.

Some say we’ll died in those tunnels. We’re about to prove them wrong.

To be Continued…

Mike setting up the endless NVA foes in his Tour of Darkness game

Mike setting up the endless NVA foes in his Tour of Darkness game

Tour of Darkness: The heroes fight their way through the tunnels.

Tour of Darkness: The heroes fight their way through the tunnels.

Thursday: Steve’s Rippers

The Rippers are called in by Inspector Brunt of Scotland Yard to look into the grizzly murders of three people at a church in a small town near Newcastle, England. Arriving at the scene it doesn’t take long for the Rippers to determine that someone has been trying to use arcane rituals to summon…something. And it appears they were successful. With their knowledge of the occult the Rippers realize that one of the candles used in the summoning is missing. Normally this would not be important, but because of the type of ritual involved that fifth candle is needed to end the summoning spell. Until that happens, the spell will be weakened, but beings from another place can use the spell to enter our world. As if to prove the point, two devilkin appear in the summoning circle and begin attacking the Rippers. It’s a team effort, but the devilkin are sent back from whence they came.

Mike’s character determines from a sample at the scene that the substance used to create the pentagram is talcum power. They will need talcum powder once the fifth candle is found to make a new pentagram and end the spell. (Mike’s character critically failed the roll to discover what the substance was. This is not good, as you will see later.)

Now the investigation begins in earnest.

Their investigation leads them to the existence of an occult book. The significance of the book is revealed in a message carried by a smiling child. Someone named Mr. Jack is willing to trade the missing fifth candle for the occult book. The Rippers decided to meet with Mr. Jack at the park. They find Mr. Jack surrounded by children. He is entertaining the children with his sleight of hand tricks. After some discussion, the Rippers agree to the deal.

The Rippers search a warehouse where one of the victims worked and find the book. As they leave they are accosted by a weird and very hostile group of (lost?) circus performers. The Rippers manage to kill the ringmaster, which is enough to send the others packing, but not before some serious damage is done to the Ripper’s crew. After some healing and rest, the group is ready to meet Mr. Jack.

Mr. Jack is in the crypt section of the cemetery. Once again he is surrounded by children. He is also surrounded by tortured souls hanging by chains from posts driven into the ground. Mike’s character tries to deceive Mr. Jack by trading a fake book for the fifth candle. He critically fails his Stealth roll and Mr. Jack immediately sees through the ruse. After that, all hell breaks loose. Literally. The summoned creature is revealed to be what is known as a Horned God. The Rippers triumphantly destroy Mr. Jack and the mortal form of the Horned God.

Mike’s character constructs the pentagram (with talcum powder) and sets out all five candles to perform the ritual that will break the spell. Unfortunately is was not talcum powder that was needed for the pentagram, but grounded up bone. The last thing the Rippers see is the Horned God appearing above them…and he is not happy.


Rippers: The circus is in town!

Rippers: The circus is in town!

Thursday: Dave’s Mordheim

Playing the characters we played long ago, the Queen sends us on a journey to a new province across the sea. This is more to get rid of us than to reward us for services rendered. I’m in charge again playing an aging swordsman. (What? How could you think this will not end well?) Dave’s intricate plot, well timed diversions, and unending list of characters keep us on our toes. “It’s not a Dave game unless someone is about to die.” (No one said this. I just put it in the write-up because I liked it.)

We set off with a fleet of ships, a whiny new governor, a back-stabbing first mate, and some other guy that seemed to be there just to be mysterious and cause problems. No slight on Dave, I just don’t remember who the guy was. There is an unending list of characters!

Back to the fleet. Soon we are free of the back-stabbing first mate because we throw him overboard. Things seem to be going well until the storm hits. Once it passes we find ourselves alone at sea. We manage to make it to the new province, but we’re the only ship that does. (During the game my character repeatedly must console the townsfolks with the notion that the other ships will arrive “soon”.) The “city” we dock at is a huddled mass of badly maintained buildings and a big wall. The big wall is to keep out the lizard men. They have a special name, but I don’t remember it. The city had a special name too. As did everything else.

We meet the Inquisition…didn’t like the leader or the organization. We fight off a huge lizard man attack and earned the respect of the huddled masses. We catch an assassin trying to kill the mysterious man from the ship that I mentioned earlier. We discover the assassin isn’t there to kill him though. She was there to save him. (That’s what all the good assassins say.) Apparently he has something inside of him (a spirit or something) that is sacred to her people.

She reveals that she needs to take him to a secret temple deep in the Jungle. (By-the-way, the assassin was not human or lizard man, but I can’t remember what she was. At any rate, she was special.) We decide to help her with her quest. Thanks to our amazing tracking skills and social interaction skills we make it to the temple without incident.

Then we are attacked by a huge force of lizard men.

We had to cut the game short, because someone else had reserved our table. (I didn’t know that was allowed!) We find out that the thing inside the guy is a dragon…that appears and … well, I don’t think it ended well for us … again.

Dave sets the scene in savage Mordhein.

Dave sets the scene in savage Mordhein.

Mordheim: The carnage at the Sacred Shrine.

Mordheim: The carnage at the Sacred Shrine.

2015-06-04 23.11.10

Friday: Shogun

Friday morning we got together with Bob, Phil, and Norm to play some “Shogun”…or “Samurai Swords” if you don’t want to get sued. This is one of my all-time favorite games. I lost an Army first round to Mike. I vowed revenge. It wasn’t long before a few of us were down an army. In the end, I took Mike out of the game, gaining his provinces. Then Norm took me out, gaining all of my provinces. Norm was two provinces shy of officially winning the game, but we called it anyway because he was so dang tough.


Shogun with Bob and Mike.

Shogun with Bob and Mike.

Shogun with Phil and Norm.

Shogun with Phil and Norm.

Friday: Norm’s East Texas University

In ETU we all play college freshman at ETU. Each game is a half of semester. Norm is planning on running it for us until we graduate or until we die at the hands of some supernatural evil. Either way it will be great! I am pleasantly surprised how fun this game is. Maybe it’s Norm. Maybe it’s the setting.

I think its Norm.

After last game we are either seen as heroes or troublemakers depending upon who you ask. While still trying to live normal lives and pass algebra, we also have to contend with ghost hunting and flaming spirits trying to kill us.

This game starts with my character trying to get a girlfriend and Mike’s character (a cheerleader named “Double D”) nearly killing a guy with fire extinguisher. Hey, we thought he was a vampire! Al’s/Alex’s character, a college wrestler, gets a chance to wrestle with a big name wrestler. Dave’s character, a rich frat-boy, is seeing his professor on the side. Apparently she—the professor—is insatiable.

We get a paid ghost hunting assignment, so we head to the Sweat Lodge—the college’s gymnasium. All we have to do is summon a ghost and talk to it. This works…a little too well. While we hope to summon a girl that was killed in the gymnasium years ago, what we get are ALL of the kids that have died in the gymnasium…and there have been quite a few! And they are not happy about it!

We realize that salt might damage the phantoms. We split up. This always works in the movies.

In the end we manage to stop the ghosts from killing us and free the one we were concerned about.

Upon returning to the professor who gave us the assignment, his first question was “Did you get any pictures? Readings? Anything?”

Uh, no, we didn’t.

We may not graduate after all.


Norm's ETU. We summon a ghost. Things go bad after that.

Norm’s ETU. We summon a ghost. Things go bad after that.

Friday: Steve 1950’s Sci-Fi

This year our friends Ben and the other Mike were at Origins, so we put together a time we could play Savage Worlds together. Just to make things more interesting Ben brought another friend whose name is Ben. That meant my players were Mike, Mike, Ben, Ben, & Alex…who later changed his name to Steve.

I ran a Sci-Fi game that took place in 1955, eight years after the Roswell, NM incident. In my game, aliens had landed at Roswell and the government is afraid it’s happening again. This time deep in the Arctic Circle.

The Army had lost contact with the O’Dell artic research base. This happened just days after receiving from the base pictures that looked an awful lot like flying UFOs. The army then scrambled to form a team to investigate the situation. The government agent in charge of the operation was joined by an a high-profile adventurer, a father-daughter team of scientists, and an alien…yes, an alien. Who better to know the “enemy” than a hotdog-loving alien who survive the Roswell crash of ’47?

The final leg of the journey to the research base is a six-hour ride in a Polarcat in sub-freezing temperatures. The joyride is interrupted by scientifically augmented polar bears who attacked the team’s polarcat. After the bears are killed, Len-E the alien, confirms that the bear’s augmentations are Alien in origin.

The team arrives at the base to fine it empty and with lots of damage. The radio antenna is busted, the equipment is busted, and there has been a fire in one of the base’s Quonset huts. While getting the radio and other equipment up and running, a lone figure collapses on the outskirts of the base. This turns out to be one of researchers. He tells the team how they have discovered a UFO in the ice and have moved the base closer to this major scientific finding. The damage to the base he explains away as damage from a storm. The party doesn’t exactly believe him, but decide to go with him to the Beta base.

It’s a trap!

They arrive at the Beta base only to be attacked by aliens and furry creatures who look like brown sasquatches. Machinery is humming all around them creating create billows of fog. The aliens are melting the ice to reveal a large alien artifact that looks nothing like anything the team has seen before. But Len-E knows what it is. Len-E also knows that the alien in charge is the Alphan’s worse criminal mastermind, Mik-L. Mik-L intends to destroy Earth with the alien artifact. No more hot dogs for Len-E!

During the ensuing battle, Len-E switches sides—or appears to. The party is able to take over the alien spaceship and imprison Mik-L. They called in the Army and are hailed as heroes for saving the earth! Of course, no one can ever know about it.


Savage 1950's Alien Encounter. One of these players is an alien.

Savage 1950’s Alien Encounter. One of these players is an alien.

Savage 1950's Alien Encounter.

Savage 1950’s Alien Encounter.

Saturday: Norm’s Shaintar Extravaganza

It was a Shaintar game that brought us all together, so it’s only fitting the last game of the convention is Norm running Shaintar for us.

The game begins with a city in trouble. Our party of heroes known as The Chosen of the Horn are sent out to confront evil, drive them before us, and hear the limitations of their women. Or something like that.

The Kal-a-Nar have invaded the city and are rounding up the citizens for some nefarious purpose. While the rest of us sneak into the city, Samar the Wise saunters into the city declaring the death of all Kal-Nar at his hands. What Samar the Wise does not understand is that he is only a 25xp character. With him is our ninja-thief-assassin played by Dee. I’m not sure how many men she decapitated but it became her signature move. The rest of us did our best to send the Kal-a-Nar back to hell. Speaking of sending people somewhere, the Kal-a-Nar are sending their captives through portals. To where, we know not.

As we fight our way to the captives and the portals, Samar the Wise dies.

But wait! A glow encompasses his body. The Silver Unicorn, seeing us as her champions, has given Samar his life back! Samar is now Samar the Wise and Holy. …And is even more difficult to live with than before.

The Kal-a-Nar begin retreating into the portals. We follow…

…and appear in Hell. Hell is decorated with lots of lava, walls, and enemies trying to kill us. These enemies are also trying to free Ceynara, the Queen of Hell. We must stop the summoning! We cannot fail! The fate of all of Shaintar rests on our 30xp shoulders! (We got a level-up.)

After passing through the portals, our party is divided and appear at opposite ends of Hell. Without showing (much) fear we begin the long battle to the center. It was brutal. Each enemy we kill returns as a fiend from Hell. Each step we take is fraught with peril from lava and foe alike. Inch by bloody inch we battle the Kal-a-Nar and their demons. Against overwhelming odds the two parties of heroes meet at the center summoning area—just as the Queen of Hell was materializing from her long slumber in the abyss! With only seconds to spare, we dispatched the acolytes chanting the summoning spell along with their fearsome demon guardians. The Queen fades back to the Abyss. We have won! Shaintar is saved!

…and we are stuck in Hell.

Maybe Samar the Wise and Holy can get us out of here? We can only hope.

An epic finish to and epic game in an epic corner of the Board Game area of Origins. There were about 30 tables in the Board Game area that no one was using and Norm needed an epically long table for the epic final scene…which was epic!


Shaintar with Norm

Shaintar with Norm

Close view of Hell.

Close view of Hell.

Wide view of Hell.

Wide view of Hell.

The Queen is summoned!

The Queen is summoned!


On Sunday we checked out of the hotel. I picked up my loot from selling games at the auction. Then we spent the rest of the day in the dealer area. Mike and I both bought minis for future games. Mike’s minis were AWSOME. Mine were cheap heroclix. J

We had a great time thanks to a litany of friends who shall remain nameless at this time until the NDAs are signed. What happens at Origins stays at Origins.

Chaos Steve



Dave welcomes our new alien overlords.

Dave welcomes our new alien overlords.

The sheep say "None shall Pass!" (We offered them Alex.)

The sheep say “None shall Pass!” (We offered them Alex.)

Not Our Game.  Wish it was.

Not Our Game.
Wish it was.

This year at Jimcon, Jim was missing during part of the first day due to a death in his family. He was kind enough to let us invade his house while he was gone. His nephew, Mike Byrd, let us in and already had the first game set up: Eclipse.


In Eclipse, you play the leader of an interstellar civilization. You compete against the other (lessor) races for supremacy of the known universe by exploring new star systems, researching technologies, and waging war on your (inferior) neighbors. In our game there were five players: Evil Mike, Ben, Owen, Mike B. and myself. We think of Eclipse as a Twilight Imperium III light. Yet it still took us eight hours to complete a game…with a break for lunch of course.

Towards the end of our game, Mike B. and I had made an alliance. So had Evil Mike and Owen. Alliances allow you to help your ally out in battle and to move freely through their part of the universe. At end game time, alliances total up their victory points for both players and divide them by two. This is the player’s score for the game. So if you have a crappy ally, he may bring down your ending score. You can always try the “sudden, yet inevitable betrayal” but it will cost you a few victory points.

The score at the end of our game was extremely close. Evil Mike and Owen won with 35 points. Ben (just Ben) had 34 points and Mike B. and I had 33 points.

Our Eclipse board with Mile and Owen looking on.

Our Eclipse board with Mile and Owen looking on.

Later in the Eclipse game, Mike and Owen do battle with their fleets.

Later in the Eclipse game, Mike and Owen do battle with their fleets.

Savage XCOM

After Eclipse Evil Mike ran us through a Savage XCOM game. In XCOM, We play highly trained commandos battling an invading alien force. In this mission, we were sent in to single-handedly save a city whose inhabitants were being round up for who-knows-what kind of horrible fate. Our main objective was to bring down the force fields that were preventing our land-based forces from entering the city. Saving the civilians was on the list of objectives too, but further down.

I played the sergeant in charge of the commando team. Our high altitude drop into the city was flawless. Soon after it all feel apart. We were spotted by the aliens as we stealthily moved about the city looking for the power generators for the force fields. We held our own until the alien version of a hover tank appeared. Owen’s character nearly bought the farm while trying to get a car started. The alien tank hit it head on with its main weapon. The brave seargent came to the rescue though and got his man to the medic (Jim). Our sniper, Mike B., got in trouble when some aliens appeared on the roof he was sniping from. He survived that battle only to become the target of the alien tank later in the game. For some reason the aliens took offense when he began taking out the power generators on the roofs of the buildings.

We managed to accomplish the mission, but it was ugly. Still, I hope to get a promotion out of it.

Mike explains how we're all going to die during his XCOM game.

Mike explains how we’re all going to die during his XCOM game.

The Alien "hover" tank.

The Alien “hover” tank.

Savage Doctor Who

Owen continued his Savage Doctor Who setting with the Doctor taking our intrepid heroes on a vacation. These plans are interrupted though when the TARDIS picks up a distress call. Seconds later, the TARDIS is floating in an asteroid field. An escape pod is discovered and a trustworthy looking fellow (with amnesia) is found inside who is more than happy to become the latest addition to the team. (This is Ron’s new character. His last character was turned into a cyborg.)

The origin of the pod is not a mystery for long as a large spaceship floating through space narrowly misses the TARDIS. As always the Doctor is intrigued, but is unable to land the TARDIS in the spaceship because some sort of “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey thing” prevents it. The heroes are sent in through an airlock to investigate. But the doctor doesn’t send them in empty handed—he entrusts them with K9 (a robot dog) and the sonic screwdriver.

As the heroes explore the vessel—a deep space cargo vessel named the SS Washington)—they are set upon by a number of clockwork androids. If that was not unusual enough, the androids are wearing 18th century French clothes and painted masks. Strangely, the clothes are identified as being the original articles. It is currently the 51st century.

Reading the ships logs uncovers that the SS Washington responded to a distress call the day before, from the SS Madam Sophie. This is the final entry in the log…

During further exploration, it becomes apparent that something is going on in Engineering. Whatever it is it’s drawing almost all the power from the ships systems. Once in Engineering, a number of the heroes are able to spy on the clockwork androids there. A metal “doorway” has been erected in the center of the room. This doorway is connected to a control panel that is being operated by a single clockwork android. As they watch, the rest of the androids walk through the doorway and disappear. Through the doorway can be seen a stone floor.

After overpowering the remaining clockwork android (with a sniper shot to the back of the head), the heroes gather in the Engineering room. The doorway is a time portal set to earth in the year 1750…at Frontevraud Abbey in France to be precise. Princess Sophie (born 1734), a daughter of Louis VX grew up at this abbey. Could this be the same Sophie as the ship in the distress call was named after?

The heroes enter the portal and find themselves in Frontevraud abbey. The princess and several nuns are being accosted by clockwork androids. After a swift fight, the androids are defeated and returned to the 51st century. The princess is left safe and sound in 1750 France.

Using the sonic screwdriver, the time portal is shutdown. This allows the TARDIS to land. The Doctor explains…Whilst the heroes were exploring the SS Washington, he detected another ship – the Madam Sophie. On board he found that a large explosion had occurred, killing the crew. This had left the maintenance androids—the clockwork androids—alone. They took to their task of repairing the ship. The ship’s computer core took major damage and needed to be replaced. The androids decided they needed to replace the computer core with the brain of the original 16 year old Madam Sophie. Sixteen years is the same age of the ship.

The TARDIS and the mysterious ship from Owen's Doctor Who game.

The TARDIS and the mysterious ship from Owen’s Doctor Who game.

The heroes gather around the TARDIS's control panel as the Doctor takes the controls.

The heroes gather around the TARDIS’s control panel as the Doctor takes the controls.

Savage Conan

My Savage Conan game continued with the characters travelling down to the Black Kingdoms looking for adventure, gold, and ancient lore. What they found was a woman about to be sacrificed to the Teeth. The Teeth are reptilian monsters (dinosaurs) that roam the area. It was a tough fight, but the heroes’ save her. The woman takes them to her village where she hopes they will end the village’s slavery to an ageless woman named Beersheba.

While in the village they meet Beersheba’s ambassador to the village who is called the Pale Woman. The Pale Woman is guarded by four brutish demons—or at least the villagers called them demons. The adventurers find that they die to the sword just like any other creature. So does the Pale Woman. The village headman tells the adventurers of the undying Beersheba who uses black magic to stay young. He also tells them of the impassable cave filled with unimaginable evil that is the only gateway to Beersheba’s home. He continues on by saying that Beersheba’s surrounds herself many with more of her brutish demons. He finally shows them a gold nugget and says if they kill Beersheba, they can have as many of the gold nuggets as they can carry. The adventurers decide to travel through the impassable cave filled with unimaginable evil, fight their way through an army of demons, and kill Beersheba—to get the gold nuggets.

The ultimate evil in the impassable cave turns out to be a giant armored worm. It nearly kills them, but they persevere and destroy it. The fight at the ruins where Beersheba has her home seems easier than the giant worm. Evil Mike’s Sorcerer, Amo, cast his spells of burrow and deflection to great advantage. In the end Beersheba was killed, the village was saved, and the adventurers wondered away laden with gold nuggets…for now.

In Savage Conan the heroes save a women from "The Teeth".

In Savage Conan the heroes save a women from “The Teeth”.

Why the third scene of the Savage Conan game was difficult.

Why the third scene of the Savage Conan game was difficult.

History of the World

History of the World is a strange game in that who you are and where you’re at changes constantly. After the first of seven epochs, I was king of the world. Then the world spun on and I was left behind. Far behind. Ben, Owen, and Mike B. all were in contention for the lead as each epoch past. Jim and I kept up, but were always last. Me more than Jim.

Ben won by a goodly amount, with Owen coming in second. I don’t think Owen ever won an Epoch Marker. Ben and Mike had plenty. Mike came in third. I might have been third had I played my card in the third epoch that you could only play in the third epoch! As it was I was forth and Jim came in last.

The end of the World. Green(Ben), Red (Owen), Blue (Mike), Yellow (Steve), Purple (Jim)

The end of the World.
Green(Ben), Red (Owen), Blue (Mike), Yellow (Steve), Purple (Jim)

Many thanks to Jim and Terri for putting up with us all once again.

Also thanks to Owen for the synopsis of the Doctor Who game.

Chaos Steve

They tell me there was a Jimcon on the 3rd of October. They also say I was there. I don’t remember any of it, but if I was there this is what would have happened…



Our first game was “Eclipse”. A game we’re going to say is like a Twilight Imperium III Lite version. We started around 10:40 and by 11:00 Ben had committed his first cheat. There was some controversy as to where everyone sat. Ben prefers Evil Mike and I sit next to each other, thus guaranteeing we’d be at each other’s throats for most of the game. Instead Evil Mike sat between Owen and Ben, I was on the opposite side of the galaxy. It’s never good for Evil Mike and Owen to sit next to each other either.


In eclipse we each play a species that have their own strengths and weaknesses. Our goal is to earn victory points by exploring new star systems, researching technologies, and building spaceships for both discovery and warfare. The universe is a small place after all and it’s inevitable in this game that you’ll be fighting battles with the other players…scum that they are.


There are many dangers and great rewards when exploring new star systems. Evil Mike and Jim both found technologies that quickly enhanced their space ships into objects to be feared by the rest of us. Ben and Owen discovered supernovas near their home worlds. While filled with vast resources, they could explode at any moment. That moment for Ben happened on round 4. Likewise, Mike and Jim discovered an ancient Hive planet in between them. The Hive ships caused them a lot of trouble and resources as they defend their systems from them. I believe at one point Jim got tired of it all and went on the offensive against the Hive.


By round four, Evil Mike’s Cruisers were the scourge of the universe with a 6 armor rating and uber-cool plasma canons. Yet he lost in a fight against the evil ancient aliens. Owen and Mike turned out to be bad neighbors. Maybe that was because of a wormhole that also joined their two space realms. Nearly every round they fought to a standstill over the same star system. Since Owen had his own troubles with Mike, this left Evil Mike free to roam the universe. Besides aliens, Evil Mike also attacked Ben. Beneficent Ben, who hasn’t thought of attacking him? Ben was a little put out by it all.


On the last round everyone attacked their neighbor. Final round combat results:

Owen neutron bombed two of Mike’s territories worth 4 victory points. I attacked two of Jim’s territories and lost in both battles. Ben attacked two of Evil Mike’s territories and won one (Evil Mike’s home planet) worth 3 VP. Jim attacked Evil Mike at the central planet of the universe and lost. The final scores were mighty close. Owen won with 33 VPs. Evil Mike has 27. Ben had 24. Jim and I tied at 23 and Mike came in last with 21.


Solomon Kane Revolutionary War

Next Evil Mike ran us through a Solomon Kane game that takes place in the America’s during the revolutionary war. Our heroic adventurers meet George Washington at Fort Clinton. The Heroes had been having dreams of impending doom where Washington was at the center of it. To our surprise Washington was expecting us. He gave us a mission to rescue Ichabod Crane from the British held village of Sleepy Hollow. If I remember right, an English general by the name of Hodgson is possessed by one of the four horseman of the apocalypse. Either that or he is possessed by one of the horseman’s “agents”. Either way, he is one bloodthirsty general. Ichabod somehow plays a major part in the whole end-of-the-world scenario that is unfolding.


The heroes arrive at Sleepy Hollow just as a company of minute men are attacking the British in the square. We charged into the fray and fought to the doors of the governor’s mansion. Tonto (Owen) goes into a berserker rage and smashes through the front door of the mansion while Sheila the thief (Mike) unlocks the back door and sneaks into the cells in the basement


In the meantime Giselle (me), the comely gypsy, and Bar Willis (Jim), the marksman, are off to one side of the square shooting and fighting off charging redcoats. Behind Bar and Giselle two men burst out a building. They are locked in mortal combat, swords clashing. The outcome is swift. One is beheaded while the other is mortally wounded. The healer, Trevor ‘miracle max’ did a miraculous healing and resuscitated Ichabod. Upon returning to the living, Ichabod announces that his love, Katrina, has been kidnaped by redcoats. He will not leave Sleepy Hollow until she is rescued.


That evening the heroes begin tracking the kidnappers. Just as they arrive at the bridge that announce the entrance to Sleepy Hollow, a man on horseback attacks us. A man without a head! After a fierce fight skillfully executed by the heroes (well, maybe not) we defeat the horseman. Truth be told, it was mostly Nathaniel (Ron) that defeated the horseman.


We hear the sounds of many feet moving through the countryside and discover that the evil English general Hodgson has arrived with a plethora of troops. And he has Katrina held captive. His has set up canons on a ridge overlooking the town. We receive word that if Ichabod is not handed over to him, he will bombard the town.


The heroes leap into action. Some help evacuate the town. Tonto and Sheila silently climb the ridge to grab Katrina, while the rest of us stage a distraction. The plan quickly falls apart as a parley with the general goes south and one of our silent climbers rolls a critical failure.


We do not want to kill the general, but rather capture him if possible. Somehow, when all was said and done, we are able to do this and save Katrina. Truly, we are the unsung heroes of the revolution.


Savage Doctor Who

Saturday morning Owen ran us through a Savage Doctor Who game. The adventure continued where episode 1 left off… Hutch wakes up (Mike couldn’t make it last time, so he slept through it in the tour bus.) The Doctor invites us all to accompany him on a trip to Egypt. We all load into the TARDIS and in no time at all are standing in Egypt…a few thousand years ago it seems! It is baking hot – over 100 degrees, but it is a dry heat so we’re good.


Nearby is an oasis and a pyramid. The Doctor tells us to look around. We snoop around the pyramid. A large obelisk stands outside of the pyramid’s entrance. On it is an inscription: “Osiris loves you, Osiris welcomes you”. Written in English! Then the Doctor informs us that it’s actually in Egyptian, but that the TARDIS has translated it for us.


We approach the oasis and discover a village. After a tense moment we are welcomed into the village. We meet the village chief. The villagers are quite friendly and we mingle. It seems we know their language too! (Thanks TARDIS!) As it gets dark we see two moons in the sky. We begin to think that nothing is ever what it seems with this doctor fellow. None-the-less we enjoy ourselves. Our evening is interrupted by strange creatures, called Dagots, that emerge from the sand and attack the village. They look like scarab beetles, but are two feet long and have a poisonous bite! The doctor is bitten and falls unconscious. After the battle a celebration is held. It seems that the Dagots are a vital part of the villager’s diet. They get to eat fresh meat. (Dagots tastes like chicken.) Later that night, during the Celebration, a gong rings out three times. The villagers are even happier. Some will get to join Osiris! As a thank you, the chief insists we all take their place with the gods. The next morning, after little sleep, our hands are ceremoniously bound (loosely) with a golden cords. The gong rings out again and a door opens at the top of the pyramid. We climb the steps and enter a room that has no exits (other than the one we just entered.) We all remove our bonds and look around. The only door closes and the floor descends like an elevator. Electronic noises are heard. We arrive at a room with two sphinx statues. (Someone just had to touch one.) They are constructs and begin attacking us. After the sphinxes ravage several of us, Hutch is sure we are missing something. Wu Chan (Ron) then remembers the golden cords that bound us earlier. We bind our hands again (loosely) and the Sphinx stop attacking. Once this happens, a door opens. We follow the steps down to the bottom level. This level has several electronic consoles, two large metal “chambers”, and four pads on the floor. This is not Egyptian technology. As we look around the room, the pads on the floor light up and four men appear. They are actually more machine than flesh. We know these are Cybermen (Thanks again TARDIS!). A fight ensues. A couple of them are taken down, but two more appear. It’s a tough fight during which Wu Chan is mortally wounded. The TARDIS materializes and the Doctor emerges (fully recovered from his reaction to the Dagot poison). He is able to save Wu Chan by using one of the large metal “conversion” chambers. After making many adjustments, Wu Chan is placed in the chamber. When he emerges, he still has his own head, but has the body of a Cyberman. [It is likely that the Doctor will drop him off at a cyborg friendly planet to enjoy his retirement. Ron will have a new character next time.] Doctor explains: There are many pyramids dotted around the planet. The Cybermen are using the planet as a “farm”, ensuring a constant supply of humans that can be “upgraded” [This is the term they use when converting someone to a Cyberman.] He speculates that the original people were abducted from Earth thousands of years ago. He uses his sonic screwdriver to send a feedback pulse to the orbital relay station that causes it to explode thus ensuring that the Cybermen cannot return. Once again we are heroes!


Savage Conan

Following on the tails of Doctor Who was a Savage Conan game run by me.


On the road to Akbitana the heroes come across a large party of bandits attacking a wagon. Aquilonian guards are protecting the wagon as best they can, but many have fallen to the bandits. The heroes charge in, literally, and eventually overcome the bandits. The wagon’s owner Lortus, an Aquilonian merchant, is extremely grateful. He asks the heroes to accompany him to Akbitana where he can properly reward them. He gives each a purse filled with gold coins and throws a party in their honor. The heroes also meet Lortus’s Beautiful daughter Maeve who is mute and seems rather frail. While most of the heroes throw themselves wholeheartedly into the party, a few refrain from partaking. Amo (Evil Mike) searches Lortus’s large library and finds a tomb containing mystical knowledge. (I honestly can’t remember if Lortus gives him the tomb or if Amo steals it. Let’s say he steals it. J )


The next morning Lortus implores the heroes to accompany Maeve to an ancient Acheron temple in the mountains between Koth and Khauran. There the heroes hope to find a pool called the “Tears of Acheron” which will heal beautiful Maeve’s afflictions. The route through the mountains is arduous and at one point the heroes had to leave the wagons behind. They come to an ancient bridge spanning a bottomless chasm. They must cross one at a time for fear of the bridge crumbling beneath them. On the far side appears a demon spawned from the depths of ancient Archeon magic. It attacks them. The brave knight Karan charges the demon doing little to no damage against the foul creature. In return the demon strikes Koran with his massive pinchers, lifting him from the ground and opening him up like a can of sardines. Any other man would have died from such grievous wounds, but not Koran. He lay there in a pool of his own filth and blood, alive, but just barely. Gar the barbarian (Owen) quickly comes to his rescue and sunders the demon with a single blow of his mighty axe! It should be noted that Amo helped out by entangling the demon in sorcerous vines.


The heroes arrive at the ruins surrounding the ancient Acheron temple. A priest rashly commands them to kneel or leave. The priest believes that the large beasts his minions hold at bay will be enough to cower the heroes. (He obviously didn’t know who he was dealing with.) The beasts, known as lions, are released. The resulting battle was short and brutal. A intimidate from Amo and a headlong charge and beheading from Karan solved the problem of all the kneeling nonsense.


At the temple, the heroes solve the riddle of the barred door.


The heroes reach the room that contains the pool called the Tears of Acheron. Soon Maeve will be healed. Chop-Chop (Jim) tries to slide under a big heavy curtain only to pull it down on top of himself. There was much cursing (from Chop-Chop) and much laughing (from the rest of us). Khalim the Silent (Ron) and Gar (Owen) have a bit of a scuffle with a crazy dual-sword wielding Acheron leader. But it was Chop-Chop, now free of the deadly curtain, who rushes in and chop-chops him down.


Meanwhile Maeve enters the pool. Much mystical weirdness happens as the pool “heals” Maeve. It turns out she is not really the daughter of Lortus, but some vile changeling now imbued with the powers of Acheron. Amo suspected this. (He’s played in my games before.) Maeve calls forth the spirits of the long dead Acheronians who attack the heroes. During the fierce battle that followed, it was Chop-Chop who rushes in and kills the demon lady (formerly Maeve). I think Chop-chop could have completed this adventure without the extra baggage of the other heroes.


Sunday we played board games although there is no record of what games we played or who won them. We all had a great time though!


Thanks to Jim for hosting again. Thanks to Ben, Owen, and Ron for helping fill in the missing pieces of what happened that weekend. (Why is this sounding like we all went to Las Vegas?)


As usual, we’re already looking forward to the next JimCon in spring.




This is the first year in many years that Mike and I were not running a ton of games at Gen Con for Pinnacle. Instead we made plans to play games with friends we already knew. Our only worry was that we knew we couldn’t schedule a gaming table but would be at the mercy of the Gaming HQs. This turned out not to be much of an issue. We found a table in Union Station and pretty much used it the entire convention. Granted, as you’ll see, we did do some “off campus” gaming too.


A big Gen Con surprise was driving downtown only to find all of the parking garages were full (on Thursday). We had to drive another 5 or 6 blocks away to find one with empty parking spaces. After leaving the parking garage that evening, we noticed the next parking garage, 50 feet further away, was $12 cheaper. I should mention that on Wednesday, prior to the official start of Gen Con, we got right in “our” parking garage across from Union Station. The attendant went out of his way to make sure we knew where we were going. Somehow he pegged us as Gen Con attenders. Maybe it was the giant “Savage One” on the outside of the truck. Or the black t-shirts.


But enough about parking, let’s get into the gaming!



We started off Gen Con by playing a big game of Settlers of Catan. Besides Ben, Owen, Mike, and I, there were also our friends Bob Geiger and Shawn Hurst. We realized after opening Mike’s copy of the game, that a few pieces were missing. Undaunted, Owen pieced together the map and figured out a way to use what we had to get the board correct. (Owen’s a genius.) I liked playing Settlers on a larger board with more players. It gives you the illusion of more options. We all soon discovered that many of those options were just that—illusions. Any options quickly dried up as players hoovered up choice settlement spots. Shawn took an early lead by getting the Longest Road bonus. It didn’t last though as several other players also built bigger, longer roads. I was flushed with bricks In the beginning of the game. I was literally trading 4:1 each turn to get wood. Then I finally got the 2:1 Brick seaport. I’m not sure I ever got brick after that. (Stupid game.) Ben ended up winning and there was nothing any of us could do about it. Nothing, I say.


Then I ran a Savage Solomon Kane game for the group. We swapped out Bob for Norm at the beginning of the game. Let’s just say the game wasn’t my best work. In the end, the player’s did rescue the lovely Lady Olivia, but are now stranded on an island filled with snake men cultist. (Little do they know that soon after the game ended the island sank into the sea.)


We finished the day with a couple games of 7 Wonders. Norm and Shawn had never played it. There are a lot of ways to score points, so it takes a game or two to realize what you should be doing. Norm seemed to pick it up ok, as he came in second with 55 points. I was able to win with 61 points. Shawn tied Ben for third place with 49 points. Mike had 41 and Owen, having a bad game, had 40.


Our second game went quite differently. Ben won with 62 points. Mike got second with 60 points. Owen was third with 58 points and I was fourth with 51 points. Norm and Shawn came in last with 44 and 43 points respectively. This is how the first game should have gone…except I would have still won of course.



I already mentioned the parking surprise. This caused us to unload at the curb a few times, then have Mike go park. This was also the day we got our badges. I tried to get our badges on Wednesday but there were some issues. At one point we weren’t even sure we had badges to get. Here’s a quote from the Exhibitor HQ:


“And now *you* understand. Anything goes wrong, anything at all… your fault, my fault, nobody’s fault… it won’t matter – I’m still not giving you badges. No matter what else happens, no matter who gets killed I’m not giving you your badges.”


Ok, actually the lady helping us at the Exhibitor HQ couldn’t have been nicer. She’d did everything she could to give us the badges. (I just like that Big Jake quote.) Jodi Black got the badges all straightened out so we were able to get ours.


Our first game of the day was Norm’s Hell on Earth game. This was made a little better because we had Teller in the game. Teller actually wrote Hell on Earth (HoE). Norm was nervous about the game; having never run HoE before and having Teller in the game. Teller immediately put him at ease though, because Teller is a great guy. Norm had prepared a cool game where we met a Domiciles solider who had lost his memory. We were trying to help the soldier get back into his bunker which had been taken over by forces unknown. We did this out of kindness and because we knew the bunker was loaded with goodies (weapons, ammo, food…) We had a lot of fun and nearly bought the farm in the end. But thanks to the heroic efforts of our characters we were able to save Denver and probably the world.


Following Hell on Earth Mike ran us through an Agents of Oblivion game that he made up on the way to the bathroom…or something like that. Teller stayed for that game too and we had John Goth join us too. John gave us all cool “Night Train” dice. In Mike’s game out team of agents were sent to Amsterdam. The agency knew something dramatic (i.e., bad) was going to happen there soon and it was our job to to find out what. We were to do this job quietly without drawing any attention to ourselves. Out team being who they were ended up nearly leveling a building in downtown Amsterdam. But we did this quietly and without drawing attention to ourselves. A critical failure reading some runes in the middle of the game caused the gates of hell to open later in the middle of downtown Amsterdam. Our bad. And we worked so hard on those runes too. The demon was summoned in a downtown square. It took all of us to put it down…quietly and without drawing attention to ourselves. It will take several years to rebuild Amsterdam after our visit.



Friday was Lake Day. Mike invited all for a day of boating and gaming on his deck by the lake. It started off rocky with Mike forgetting his bag—we had to turn around—and then McDonalds refusing to wait on a couple of us. I swear we had our invisibility suits turned off! But they failed to see us or wait on us. Later after cruising the lake, we ate at Anthony’s pizza. We all gave it two thumbs up.


Back at the dock, we sat on the deck and Norm ran us through a Savage Shadowrun game. It was fantastic. We had an absolute blast! We planned on staying and playing until dark, but circumstances changed and sent us home early. That was ok though, we all got to rest up for Saturday.



On Saturday we continued playing Savage Shadowrun until dinner time. We really played two games. In the first game our team injected a virus into the lab of some secret facility. In the second game, we were hired to find a missing singer who was a rising star in the industry. The second game pivoted on the first. (Norm’s a genius.) I’m sure Norm will have more Savage Shadowrun goodness for us in the furture!


After dinner, instead of finding a gaming table downtown, we went to Mike’s house. Mike ran us through a Savage Tarsa game. Tarsa is a setting that he and his friends (Lee and Shawn) have developed over the years. It’s a sci-fi setting. It was late when we played and I must say I was completely out of it. This is a continuing game and we did move the game forward, but not by much. (I think I blacked out right after Mike said, “Ok, let’s start.”)



Sunday was dealer room day. We started at the back and walked down every isle. This took us the better part of five hours. We bought a lot of cool stuff and left even more cool stuff behind due to not being independently wealthy. We wore out Mike’s son, Alex. He left us early to find someplace to sit down. He guarded our stuff with Jack Sparrow’s sword though. His Gen Con purchase.


We had a great time and are already looking forward to next year!





Origins was different this year from past years. 1) We weren’t running 16 hours of games each, and 2) Alex, Mike’s son, joined us. Both of these things made Origins a lot of fun. We arrived and hung out with Norm after eating at Barley’s. We introduced Norm to Ra, the dice game. The first game you play of Ra is always a little different because it’s hard to tell just what you should be doing. Norm caught on fine though.


That night Norm ran us through a Savage Gladiators game. His arena was fantastic. We fought through several contests. Norm also added rules for “playing to the crowd” and “playing to the…” shoot, I can’t remember his name for it, but it’s the person that oversees the fights in the coliseum. He who has the power to say whether you live or die. My character learned that it’s not whether you actually kill the minotaur that’s important, it’s whether the crowd thinks you killed the minotaur that’s important. We lost a gladiator or two before the final contest in which we all fought to the death. Evil Mike and Evil Mark (Daymude) survived as the duel winners in the “There Can Only Be One Contest”. This shows just how corrupt the government was in the time of Savage Gladiators. Mike and Mark should have been put to death. Oh, and I shouldn’t have died, but that’s another story.


Thursday found two goblins raiding the dragon’s horde. Mike and I were the goblins. I’m not saying whose horde we plundered.


The first game on Thursday was mine. I ran a Deadlands game on a Geek Chic table. There’s nothing better than running games on a $2000+ table. As it turns out every game for the rest of the convention was run on one of their tables. In my game, the brave party was hired to guard one of Professor Vanderkook’s newest inventions—an improved version of the submersible boat. Unfortunately one of the warlord Kang’s lieutenants wanted the boat as well. There was lots of kung-fu fighting, an angry giant octopus, and even a compression explosion within one of the character’s diving suit. Just a normal day in the Maze in Deadlands.


We all got uncomfortably stuffed at Buca di Beppo’s and then returned to play in Norm’s Savage Conan game. This is a real favorite of mine for two reasons. One, Norm in the GM and two, Norm is the GM. And the third reason is that it’s Conan. (The One, Two, Three was all intentional and for no reason at all.) The adventure led us to the home of a large cave troll. Then we discovered it was really the home to a GIANT cave troll! Several of us went down, incapacitated, during the last scene with the mamma of all cave trolls. Al came to our rescue and was able to kill the creature with a fantastic damage roll.


Friday morning Mike got up early and went running with Dave. Dave tried to kill him by taking him over hither and yon. Most injuring was a hairpin curve where something in Mike’s knee went “snap”. That “snap” was nothing that kept Mike from finishing, but his days of running outside on the pavement were over for a few months while that “snap” healed.


Friday’s games stared with Dave’s Xcom game. I think everyone except Mike and I had played in one of these games before. Dave got some very cool terrain from Drop Zone Commander Cityscapes. The city layout was made even cooler by the Geek Chic table that enabled us to put the map under clear Plexiglas with the buildings on top. I got to play Deacon, the medic. Apparently the medic had died in all of the previous games. That, along with my history of playing medics, meant I was going to die. I amazed everyone, including myself, as I played the medic as he should be played…as a support team member. (I’ve learned that medics should not be the first into the fight.) Early in the game Gordon’s character jumped off a 10-story building. He thought his personal wingsuit would save him. It doesn’t when you roll a critical failure trying to deploy the wings. With the help of the medic (me), he survived to fight another day. Xcom is all about repelling an alien invasion. We did it with style and had a great time!


Friday night Mike and I got together with Bob Geiger and Phil to play some board games. But before that, I talked everyone into going to a pizza place for dinner. It was a big hit. Then Mike and I headed to Bob’s room for board games. First up was a game called Dungeon Fighters. What made this game unique was that combat involved you skipping a die unto a board painted like a target. If that wasn’t bad enough, many times you had special throw restrictions. These restrictions required you to throw the die between your legs, off your nose or elbow, or off your forehead. Dungeon Fighters is a cooperative game. We all died a long and painful death.


Next we played Clash of Cultures…until 3 a.m. Bob and Phil had never played before. I won, but only by a ½ point. Phil came in second.


Saturday Gordon ran us through a Savage Crackdown Supers game. (As you’ll see Saturday is a little fuzzy, so I may have this all wrong.) We played characters who were agents recruited for their various skills, some of these skills were induced by a drug. This drug has a name. It shall not be revealed here because I don’t remember its name. Anyway, it gave us all various super powers. It might have been called “Starbucks coffee”, but you didn’t hear that from me.


Our characters visited a super-secret, super secure containment area. Some would call this a jail. It was our bad timing that a jailbreak occurred while we were there. We fought tons of various villains; some with super powers, some not. All-in-all we had a rock ‘em sock ‘em good time.


The last game of the convention was Mike’s Savage IX Corp game. My character was a cybertech enhanced pilot. We were junior officers on a space ship.


That’s all I remember of the game. If Mike sends me more information, there may be more about it after this sentence. Let’s go see…


(I bribed a source who heard about the game from a friend who was sitting three tables away. This is what I got.) Our ship got sucked through a black hole. On the other side we discovered our ship had been badly damaged. Not only that, but a high percentage of the crew and passengers were dead or dying. Mike put us all in charge of our respective areas. This was a lot of fun roleplaying as we tried to get things done around the ship with a minimal staff. Once the ship was somewhat stabilized, we landed on a nearby planet and found a signal it was giving off. Following the signal, Gordon was killed by a viscous animal predator that he <intentionally> scared into attacking us. We discovered that the natives were enslaved by another race. We had a huge battle with them—the slavers, not the natives. Only the timely arrival of some reinforcements allowed us to survive the fight. Norm videoed that last part because Mike made noises for it. See it here:


Saturday night we ate at the pizza place again. It was good.


Sunday Mike, Alex and I spent the day checking out of the hotel and running around the dealer area deciding what things to buy.


Thanks Origins for another great convention!


Chaos Steve




This is where you can find all the details on The Harrowing. Dates and Logistics are on the Facebook Page.  The schedule is below:

Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 AM Game 3
Steve Game
Game 6
Norm Game
9:00 AM
10:00 AM Game 9
Norm Game
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
1:00 PM
2:00 PM Game 1
Norms MMG
Game 4
Dave Game
Game 7
Maharaja Game
3:00 PM
4:00 PM
5:00 PM
6:00 PM
7:00 PM
8:00 PM Game 2
Tom’s Game
Game 5
Gordon Game
Game 8
Dave Game
9:00 PM
10:00 PM
11:00 PM
12:00 AM