As luck would have it, my return to gaming has found me living in the vicinity of one of the larger gaming conventions in the US. The Origins Game Fair is already taking place and will run through Sunday, in Columbus, Ohio.
I fondly remember attending my first Origins back in 1985. Held in Baltimore, Maryland, it was one of my first big conventions. As with Gen Con, the year before, I was amazed at the sheer number of gamers in one place. Being a 15 year-old lad at the time, I had saved every bit of allowance and “spare” lunch money, to buy as much as possible in the dealer’s room.
As I recall, Isle of the Ape was the adventure for the AD&D Open Tournament and it was very exciting. I had always been a huge fan of the World of Greyhawk setting. To be playing in an adventure where the names of “famous” characters were bantered about, was a thrill. It also seemed certain that the adventure would be published and I loved getting a sneak peek. Sadly, this was one of the last World of Greyhawk modules that Gary Gygax wrote, prior to departing TSR in 1986.
My other big memory of Origins ’85 was the release of Battledroids by FASA. This miniatures game of mecha combat was unlike anything I’d seen at the time. FASA had a large demo table set up in the dealer room, which must have sat 20 willing participants.
The playing surface was decorated with all sorts of terrain and instead of lead miniatures, plastics models were used to represent the Mechs. It was incredibly entertaining and I promptly purchased the game and as many of the models as I could afford.
Just my luck, within a month after returning home from the convention, I learned that due to some legal issues with George Lucas (over the word “droids”), FASA had been forced to change the name of the game to Battletech. As a result, the game was reprinted, which not only changed the game but ended up being a much better product. Hmmm, I reckon if I still had that original it might be worth something. Oh well…
At any rate, this weekend I’ll be dragging the girlfriend up to Columbus to catch Origins for a day. We’re not planning anything fancy and won’t be playing in any events. I just want her to see what all the fuss is about. We’ll scour the dealer’s room and maybe take in a demo or two. With luck, my evil plan of getting her hooked on gaming, will slowly take effect. Regardless, it will be fun for me to see, as next year I fully intend on spending the week up there, playing my heart out.
Actually, my main reason for this post was to give a shout out to you folks. I’ll be snapping up a lot of pictures while we’re there. If you are curious about anything but not able to attend, I’d be happy to be your eyes and ears. Just drop me a line if you’d like me to check out any products for you or get a photo of anything in particular. I’d be glad to help out.