I went to the Palladium Open House this past weekend. For those you who don’t know, Palladium Games made Rifts, Heroes Unlimited, Robotech (the tabletop game), and other role-playing games. The open house is at the headquarters of Palladium located in Plymouth,MI.

People from all over the country and even from other countries were there. Unlike a convention it is much smaller.  I believe the capacity was about three hundred. It looked like … well… an open house in a warehouse. There were some zombies and posters of the Palladium settings, which looked really great. It was split into two sections. One section was the main gaming place where about ten game masters ran game simultaneously. The other section was for the panels, auctions, and the costume contest. The food wasn’t expensive at all. Everything was very fairly priced. It had the usual fair, hotdogs, pizza, chili, and desserts.

I did not attend the VIP night because I am not a huge fan. Granted I like but I was not engulfingly enthusiastic. Is that a phrase? Is engulfingly a word? No? I didn’t think so. Do I look like I care? Also it was an extra $75, which I felt was too much especially for me.

Throughout the day there were different games ran by volunteers and the Palladium staff. Why would one volunteer to run games? Other than doing something you love, game masters got 30% off their purchase of merchandise, which included books and t-shirts. So many books with so many pretty covers, I wish I had more money.

Sign up sheets would be at a table and they only put them out about 2-3 hours before the game itself started.  I played in five games in those three days. Kevin Siembieda ran games throughout also and I had a chance to play in his Palladium Fantasy game, which was a total delight. Every game very great to play in and I met a lot of nice gamers.

I learned something about the Palladium Game system. It never occurred to me that it was a system that aggressively encouraged role-playing instead of number combat. The rules themselves are very loose and designed to be opened to interpretation. In some form there were always rules that were house-ruled. All but one of my game masters were very role-play driven. The only reason one wasn’t, was because he just wanted to see a blood bath. Most of my 4 hour games up to a maximum of two combats. We pretty much just chatted it up with NPCs all the time using forensics to figure out spider silk and eating cow manure. That what happens when you play the class known as the crazie.

The costume contest okay and the auction was pretty neat. There were all kinds of signed books and digital proofreader copies to bid on. For the most part a person can get a pretty good deal here.

All in all I had a really good time. This is definitely a place to go if you need a major role-playing fix.