Origins 2001 Report

July 5-8, 2001, Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio

Thank you, Wizards of the Coast and GAMA for a great convention… For those of you that weren’t there, here is a convention report to fill you in on just some of the news and events. And yes… I’m going to shamelessly plug stuff I thought was interesting… Origins has historically been the most prominent board game convention in the U.S. and this year, they kept that title with a cornucopia of board game and tabletop gaming events. No matter what your interest, here, there was something for you. Many RPG game designers were there as well, including a host of D20 designers  offering new supplements. One that caught my eye was Twin Crowns

An age of exploration fantasy campaign setting which includes nautical travel and combat, new divine, arcane, and druidic ritual systems rules.
(Living Imagination has closed)



RPGs, Miniatures & Wargames

RPG Stuff

Other Game Stuff…

From Paradigm Concepts, I picked up a copy of  The Bloody Sands of Sicarus. Set in the world of shattered empires, Arcanis, This brand new D20 supplement contains a rich, original campaign setting with a roman/gladiatorial feel. It is full of intrigue,  exotic adventures, and dangerous combat as well. It is designed to be easily dropped into any campaign, It looks like just the thing to spring on my players! Look for an in-depth review soon!

More Information on Paradigm D20 gamesFrom the Troll Lords, I wanted to pick up a copy of the Chenault brothers’ D20 adventures on CD-ROM.  I didn’t make it back to the dealer area before they closed the last day was there, However, It’s on the buy list  in the next week or so… I’ll provide a review on this as well… The Malady of Kings
More Information on Troll Lord D20 Games Camelot Exists… If you believe. I was introduced to an Arthurian RPG by Peter Corless.  King Arthur Pendragon features role-playing in the age of Chivalry and Romance. With four source books and seven supplements this RPG has been around for awhile. Just goes to show you need to get out to a big convention once in awhile just to learn new things.

King Arthur Pendragon RPG
King Arthur Pendragon RPG


( no longer sells RPGs)





These guys get the vote for Chutzpah! Ground Zero Games 2000 currently has two RPG’s available Exodus7 (Sci-Fi)  and 2123, a d100 post apocalyptic science fantasy game set in the near future after a nuclear war. While the games could use a bit of refinement, Kevin, Matt, Thank You! It’s a great start!

2132 Roleplaying Game from Ground Zero Games
2132 from Ground Zero Games


Ground Zero Games Website




White Wolf’s Exalted  was fun to play. The game is fresh, creative, and role-playing is smooth.  I especially liked the castes and traits mechanics, and the thespian qualities of this game greatly enhanced our intro session.

Exalted Roleplaying Games

White Wolf Publishing




Key:20 Publishing has a new RPG out called Little Fears. Remember when you were a little kid, and that monster under the bed was slowly pulling off the sheets and working it’s way up to drag you down to the underworld?  This game is it!

I also spent some time talking to a representative of the Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) concerning the release of the new Farscape RPG. They said they had finally inked an agreement with the Jim Henson company and that we could look forward to seeing the Farscape RPG soon…. GenCon maybe???



From Maximum CNG a new post apocalyptic  RPG, Nemesis; A Perfect World . After the Nemesis event, The Second Age of the Gods is at hand.  Many of the people on earth were changed by the twilight nemesis, granted strange, unusual, and even supernatural powers, others were unchanged.  Can you survive in this strange new world order, do you have powers you are  not aware of, find out in this exciting new RPG

(Company Closed)




From the Cutters Guild, A Fantasy Horror RPG, Deathstalkers
Wander dark domains,  and confront the lords of death, in this no holds barred triumph of terror! How good are you at role-playing fear? Will you succumb, and become one of them? The most complete Fantasy Horror RPG I have seen to date with a staggering 610 page source book.

Deathstalker Roleplaying Game Coverart
Deathstalker RPG
(Cutters Guild Games is Closed)
Looking for a plain good old fashioned fun game to play with family and friends? R&R Games, Inc., has a game  (or two… ) for you. The one I tried out at the convention was Riddles and Riches.  It’s a visual  game where you have to solve the riddle to find an object in a house. You have to be quicker than the  others you are playing against to solve the riddles and find the objects, and naturally, you are awarded riches when you solve the riddles… Other games that looked interesting by this game publisher included Time’s Up!, Sold! – The Antique Dealers Game, Pig Pile, and Overthrone. All  these games are trademarked.

Riches & Riddles Board Game
Riches & Riddles Game

More Information on R&R Games




Placebo Press was pleased to announce (To me, anyway) their new 3rd edition Ebola Monkey Hunt. They skipped 2nd edition all together in this release, and now, not only do you have to look out for Ebola Infected Monkeys, But the dreaded Power Monkeys are wandering loose as well. Other really fun looking games by placebo press currently available include:

My Brain is Bleeding
Which is a cautionary tale of what can happen to you once you fail to hack a high security mainframe computer
Trailer Park Gods
Go ahead, If you can fix your own pickup truck, if you like to test your strength by single-handedly crushing beer cans, or if you  have always wanted to ride a bull, but never quite got around to it, this game is for you.

(Placebo Press is now closed)

Udder Madness

That’s It! Now you get to play cow tipping Aliens. You have to see this in action to believe it, and I heard there was a LARP group out west that adopted this game as their new religion…



So you want a stuffed toy Dragon? She may be willing to make you any other legendary, or ferocious, critter as well. The person to talk to is Kerri Seibert, at Kerri’s Kreations. She already has a large selection of dragons, and unicorns, and can be reached at (303) 371-7137

The Evil Polish Brothers demonstrated their new Science Fiction board game JUMP .  Jump stands for Justified Use of Military Power. This is another of the games at Origins 2001 I saw that I wanted to add to my collection.

Evil Polish Brothers Games Closed







Eagle Games is planning on releasing three new board games in coming weeks. The American Civil War, War! In the Age of Imperialism, and Napoleon in Europe. The game features hundreds of 24mm pieces, and fantastic huge maps 36″x46″.

Eagle-Gryphon Games
Eagle-Gryphon Games

Eagle Games



From time to time, for yourself to see when they are open for business…Flying Tricycle, LLC. offers  laser engraved counters, tokens, and accessories for your favorite board games and collectable card games, and building models and other accessories for miniature games.

Flying Tricycle Website Closed
Flying Tricycle Website Closed






Michael G. Conrad offers Production Design, Writing, Art Direction, and Illustration Services for game designers. He can reached via e-mail at:

Crystal Caste, founded in 1997 offers a dice design for the new millennium. Crystal shaped dice. You can check out their dice offerings and other gaming accessories at the

Crystal Caste Dice
Crystal Caste Dice

Crystal Caste Website


The Cutest Sales Reps at any dealer booth at Origins were the ladies of Magi-Nation, genuinely friendly, warm, outgoing,  they offered sample cards and a newsletter for the Magi-Nation card game.  I didn’t play a demo round but the cards feature excellent artwork. Magi-Nation out of business…

Magi Nation Trading Card Game



Miniatures Stuff

Wargame Stuff

There were plenty of miniatures dealers at the convention, so many, in fact, I simply didn’t have the time to browse through all of their selections of goodies. I decided this year to showcase structures, scenery, and kits for floor plans concentrating on the rpg side of gaming.Before that, though, I want to tell you about Adiken, a Canadian manufacturer and distributor of scenics, figures, Lord of the Ring miniatures, and best of all, molds, so you can cast your own mini’s. They were doing live demos at Origins, making miniatures right there at the convention. Adiken Miniatures is now closed.Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture also has building molds. Buy a kit, round up some plaster of Paris from Wal-mart or K-mart, or whatever, scrounge up some paper cups, a putty knife from the drawer, a spoon, some paper towels and you can go to town, literally, and create entire miniature cities. They have a wide variety of structural molds available.

Hirst Arts Website - Miniatures
Hirst Arts

Visit the Engineers at Hirst Arts





Dwarven Forge has unquestionably, the most variety in their Master Maze product line, and the demo dungeon was the coolest I have seen. They have it all, rooms, caves, caverns, halls, stairs, accessories, furniture, treasure, weapons, scrolls, chests, arms, armor, accessories, and of course, monsters.

Dwarven Forge Logo

Visit the Dwarven Forge Foundry


Vatican Enterprises offers a rich assortment  of Hudson & Allen Studio 25mm scale buildings, and paint accessories, including medieval villages and houses, fortifications, a long stone bridge, a fortified farm, and a native american style village to name just a few of the goodies available. For additional details you can e-mail Ben Pope or phone in your order to (810) 286-1572

If you just have to buy in person, In Columbus and Kettering, Ohio, there is The Soldiery, your one stop outlet for miniatures, models, books, dice, and games as well. Stop by for a visit if you are in the neighborhood, and if you are in the cornfields and cowfields of Indiana like me, or in the South pacific somewhere, you can always order online at:

The Soldier gaming store in Columbus, Ohio
The Soldier in Columbus, Ohio

Drop in on the Soldiery online store





There were so many things to see and do at Origins, I simply ran out of time. For those of you I may have missed in spending some time to get to know, or in providing a comment, or gaming review, no offense was intended. If you would care to have me add you to this convention listing , I would be more than happy to. Just drop me a quick e-mail to the Webmaster here with a website link, phone number, or a snailmail address.  If you have any objections to the use of your logos and graphics in this report, I’m more than willing to remove them.To Good Gaming!

With Regards,
Dirk Collins

By the looks of the playing tables at Origins, the classics of Decision Games  still remain popular. Now if I could only find out if Strategy I has been re-published. Decision Games also publishes bi-monthly, Strategy & Tactics, Fire & Movement, and Moves, magazines devoted to history, gaming, and game reviews . They have even more new games as well, New to wargaming?  These are the guys to visit!

Fire & Movement Magazine
Fire & Movement Issue 119
Origins, a traditional  home for board gaming, and for the wargaming crowd was business as usual
this year as one entire convention hall was devoted to board games and miniatures.Gamescience  had a booth, and Lou Zocchi was there.  I was honored to meet this long time game designer and publisher.In the board games category, Columbia games caught my eye with Victory, The Blocks of War, and Wizard Kings. Ohh, how I lamented and gnashed my teeth at having spent my budget long before making it to the Columbia Games Booth.

West Front Boardgame
West Front

Wizard Kings Board Game.
Wizard Kings Boardgame

Columbia also makes Harn, One of the first richly detailed fantasy role-playing settings in existence.

HarnMaster Role Playing Game

Travel to Columbia Games

Hiroaki Kokado, President of Sunset Games was at the convention as well. From the Gamers Japanese Service Bureau, he  was present as a guest. He  showed me Japanese translations of English wargames. I didn’t see any Japanese wargames, it would have been really interesting though. On the Sunset games website they have already posted photographs up of the convention.​

Sunset Games, Japan
Sunset Games, Japan

D-Day Japanese Boardgame
Seki, Samurai Board Game from Sunset Games
Seki, Samurai Game

Travel to Japan and see Sunset Games





Critical Hit, Inc., Moments in History, was present as well, offering their latest and greatest, Gotterdammerung, an operational level wargame of the end of the Third Reich. An expanded map of Berlin features the street to street fight right up to the last days on the doorsteps of the Fuehrers’ Bunker.

Gotterdammerung, The Fall of Berlin Board Game
Gotterdammerung, The Fall of Berlin

Overrun the Critical Hit Webshop Here






Eurogames / Descartes more properly belongs in the other games category, still, this award winning market leader from Europe has quite a few games involving competition. The one I liked best at the show was Formula De’ . So you want to be a race car driver?  Here is your chance! The high quality double sided racing maps that come with the game each depict different courses from all around the world. Expansion packs allow you to add new courses. Awesome!

Descartes no longer produces board games.