Origins Pregame

prbcover2_web.jpgA good friend once said to me, on the occasion of the finale of a D&D game where nearly all the players were moving away, “I’ll see you all once a year for the rest of my life.”

He was referring to Origins. Origins is the yearly tabletop gaming convention (dare I say extravaganza) located in Columbus, Ohio. My first Origins was years ago, and I was only there for a few hours in between another trip. The next year, I was there in my capacity as a Looney Labs employee. There’s nothing like getting paid to play games to make you appreciate what you do. Yeah, there was administrative work to do, but it was a cool bunch of people.

Over the years, my relationship to Origins has changed, as there are now both good and bad memories of the convention intermingling in my mind, and my priorities for going to the show have changed. However, Origins remains my favorite “big” convention, as it seems like a much more fun show than GenCon (which I feel is more heavily an RPGA con than I like.)

This year marks two firsts. One, a game of mine will be on sale at a booth there. Two, I will be doing press coverage for you, my dear readers. (I just put in a last minute request for a press pass, so we’ll see how much access I actually get.)

The focuses of the show for me will be both seeing old friends and playing games. (Playing games at a game convention? What a novel idea!) There’s a lot of stuff I missed out on at the Gathering this year, and so I’m hoping the Board Room area will be able to help me out there. I’ll try to take pictures of anything interesting that I play, and any interesting sites of the con. I’ll try to make some recommendations too.

And, of course, there’s the shopping. Aside from just the games, Origins really is one of the centers of gamer culture. I hope to pick up a few of the movies missing from my “gamer dvd” collection. I know a few of them will be screened at Origins, but I’ll probably end up just buying them as long as they’re halfway decent.

My shopping list also includes the High School Drama card game (mostly because it sounds like an idea I had and prototyped… well, in high school), the revised edition of Space Dealer (provided it’s compatible with the old edition), and some Arabian-style miniatures. And I’m always on the lookout for bargains and interesting products. I have the feeling the Forge booth is going to have the greatest potential for interesting products, but you never know what you can find. There’s also a good chance I’ll be running D&D again come Fall, so I might be looking to bulk up some of my D&D equipment.

Of course, I’m going to need to get into demos of said interesting products when possible. There’s also this TerrorWerks thing that sounds like a cross between True Dungeon, a LARP, Killer, and Call of Cthluhu. I’m interested in giving the new Star Wars RPG edition a spin, along with the pile of new Star Wars space combat games out there. I’ll also be on the lookout for neat dungeon-crawler stuff.

Anything else I should be checking out while there? Anything you’d like to see me cover? I’ll do my best! (And I would love to meet any readers at the con!)

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, their three dogs, and two cats.


  1. Wish I was there for your D&D game!!

  2. It wouldn’t be until the Fall, so maybe you can catch some of it…

  3. Hey guys! Please make sure to drop by my booth (#223) and say Hi when you roll into Origins. Until then, I hope everyone has a Happy 4th!

  4. I’m glad you got a press pass. I was actually going to email you that when we got back tonight because it seemed like a good fit for you and CH. All I know is they have access to the Exhibitor hall more or less the same tie the exhibitors do… 🙂