News Flash! Origins Tournament Recap!
Riders on the Phlogiston was the DCC tournament for Gen Con 2018 – and for the first time, we also ran the tournament at Origins! Origins 2019 saw its first official DCC RPG tournament. Pictured above are tournament winners from the cleverly named Team Three. Left to Right: Nema Bezak, Tom Gintner, Dan Kennedy, Jeff Goad (judge), Ivan Thomas, Matt Snodgrass, and Michael Bolam (judge). And here is a late-breaking recap of the Origins tournament!
Judge Jeff here, with a recap of the 2019 Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Tournament at Origins!
After two successful runs of the tournament at Gen Con, we decided it was time to bring it to Origins. These players brought their A-game and made this an unforgettable event!
Over three days, we ran eleven sessions, ten of which ended in TPKs! The tournament proved even more brutal and bloody than at Gen Con. The tables that fared the best were often the ones that included folks who had gamed together before and signed up as teams. But many solo players showed up, joining existing teams or having one formed for them on the fly.
Thursday – Day 1
We had five teams playing. I ran two of them (Team Don’t Knock It and Team Funnel Fodder), Judge Mike ran two as well (the Band of the Silver Moose and the Midnight Marauders), and there was one team under Judge Dieter (Team Three).
Of those five teams, four qualified to move on to the next round. The Band of the Silver Moose was the only team to survive the first adventure and escape the dungeon, so they quickly became the team to beat!
Day 1 Advancing Scores:
- Band of the Silver Moose (Judge Mike): +3127
- Team Three (Judge Dieter): +950
- Team Funnel Fodder (Judge Jeff): -250
- Midnight Marauders (Judge Mike): -300
Team Don’t Knock It (Judge Jeff) scored -400 and did not move on to the second round.
Friday – Day 2
This day played out as one might have expected, looking at the previous day’s scores. Except this time, Team Three took the lead over the Band of the Silver Moose!
Day 2 Advancing Scores:
- Team Three (Judge Mike): +5400
- Band of the Silver Moose (Judge Jeff): +4150
The Midnight Marauders (Judge Jeff) scored +2450 and Team Funnel Fodder (Judge Mike) scored +500 but neither team advanced into the final round.
Saturday – Day 3
Remaining were two teams fighting head-to-head! The only two teams to get positive scores in the first round were the teams competing against one another in the final round. The Band of the Silver Moose had won the first day and Team Three had won the second day. It was anyone’s game!
Both teams were nervous but especially Team Three, since the Band of the Silver Moose were still the only team to have completed a dungeon (in Round 1, and without any deaths!). If we added up the scores of days 1+2, the Band of the Silver Moose was in the lead! Thankfully for Team Three, the scores were reset each round.
For the final dungeon, Judge Mike was running the Band of the Silver Moose, and I was running Team Three. There was a moment of hope for Team Three when we realized that the Band of the Silver Moose had TPK’ed and Team Three was still going, even though they were almost out of hit points, and luck, and the Cleric had been completely cut off from his god through mounting disapproval.
In the end, they died in the same room as the earlier team, so yet again… it was anybody’s game. Mike and I tallied up the points and there were only 100 points dividing the winning team from the runners up. And we were announcing the winner the following day at the Goodman Games booth.
Sunday – Day 4
We had run into various members of the teams at the food court and in the exhibition hall. Mike and I gave them the spoiler that there only 100 points divided the two teams. The poor players were questioning their every move, including a moment when the Band of the Silver Moose cast Divine Aid (which results in a -100 penalty).
We all gathered at noon at the Goodman Games booth and revealed that … (drumroll please) … Team Three earned 850 points and the Band of the Silver Moose earned 750 points…
Team Three were the winners of the 2019 Origins tournament! Congrats to Nema Bezak, Tom Gintner, Dan Kennedy, Matt Snodgrass, and Ivan Thomas for being such awesome players!
A little bit about Team Three: Their name came from their Cleric rolling almost exclusively 3s and failing to cast almost every spell attempted. Despite this, they managed to take down the Band of the Silver Moose, who appeared to be the team to beat from the very beginning.
Both teams were awesome and could teach a master class on good roleplaying: a great combo of clever and daring gameplay. Careful yet quick. Thoughtful yet decisive. They communicated well with each other, listened to each other, and let each character shine in the right moment.
A funny side note is that one player from Team Three and one player from the Band of the Silver Moose have a DCC home group together in Columbus. So Team Three was comprised of four friends who play together plus one from the Columbus DCC group, and the Band of the Silver Moose were five folks who play together plus another Columbus DCC home group add-on.
If the winners had been selected by highest total score of all three days then the Band of the Silver Moose would have won. If the winners were selected by who won the most number of days, Team Three still would have won. However, the winners were chosen solely based on their performance in the final round, and with that Team Three won by a narrow margin. All of that is to say, it was a close game by any metric!
Mike and I ran five sessions each and we were exhausted by the end. But let’s look at the numbers and see who was the “nice” judge and who was the “mean” judge:
In Round 1, both of Mike’s teams moved forward but only one of mine. (Mike 2, Jeff 1)
In Round 2, we each had one team move forward. (Mike 3, Jeff 2)
In Round 3, the team I ran won. (Mike 3, Jeff 3)
So by that metric, we were tied!
However, I had 100% TPK rate and Mike only had an 80% TPK rate, so I guess in the end that makes me the “mean” judge and Mike the “nice” one. But I can live with that!
A special thanks to Judge Dieter who stepped in at the last minute to run a session on Day 1… and the team he ran for was Team Three! Perhaps Dieter was their lucky rabbit’s foot?
Hope to see y’all at the 2020 Origins tournament next year!