The Kraken 2 (and this time its personal)

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The Kraken is a fantastic Gaming Vacation in the east German countryside and is truly made of awesome sauce.  I was back for my (and the event’s) second year and it was another thing of beauty.  The idea is essentially that gamers from all over can get together, experience great games and events, and also have enough time to relax, socialise and otherwise take the intensity out of a gaming convention.  No need to run from slot to slot and have a packed timetable – you’ve got five days and plenty of time.  You’ve guests such as Sandy Petersen running Cthulhu games, and a good range of ancillary events like horror seminars, workshops and other things too.  With an all inclusive price tag, there’s no need to worry about paying for anything and you’re well fed and watered in the grounds of a historical German Schloss.  What’s not to like?

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Conception Report 2011

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With my bags packed I settled down to watch a movie (given the usual AK Time Delay) and wouldn’t you know it, Kenners turns up on time shocker! So we were off and down at the Drunken Lodge within four hours. Cool beans, an all time record. It should of course be referred to as the Healthy Lodge, as we had a veritable banquet every night of only the finest cuisine and nary a bag of crisps was opened. We did have booze, but a man’s got to live… and I needed something to fight off the impending cold that loomed large (both outside the lodge and in my sinuses).
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Front-load Your Characters

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So I’ve been playing a lot of small press games on and off and reflecting on how to “write” a scenario for some of these – especially when it differs in many ways from your more traditional method of gaming or writing. Games such as Hot War or Dead of Night require very little in the way of story for a good game, all they really need are some strong characters with motivations and a good starting point – maybe with a few more “bangs” to keep the story moving when a scene goes stale. This sort of tactic can work well for a traditional game too, but whatever style of game you’re running it relies on good players and there’s no accounting for that…
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Furnace 2010 Con Report

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Furnace is an “All About the Games” roleplaying convention in Sheffield that caters for 80 passionate souls, all keen on their widely diverse taste in games and you can get to play all manner of things in this great little con taking place in a sandstone army barracks. All my games were run in the cells. Nice.
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The Kraken – A Gaming Vacation

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Only vaguely prepared – as frankly I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, and packing hippy left-field Indie games after all – I headed out on the strange and wonderful adventure that is The Kraken. Tuesday I headed off with a stop at Lemur’s house that evening to play games and break the journey to Stansted airport. We played a few hands of Dominion, which has always been highly rated by anyone I’ve talked to and it was indeed a great little game. This would prove important later in the week when I’d got to Germany.
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Improvement Needed

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So I went to CONcrete Cow last weekend and thought I’d do it as a punter if possible, relying on other people running games. I’d taken something to run, but we found a game with empty slots and signed ourselves up and given that the GM knows *a lot* about the 40k universe thought that Rogue Trader should be fairly cool. Now here’s the first problem I’ve been encountering at convention and it may be just coincidence. It may be that I’ve got silly high standards about what I get from a game. It may be rampant misogyny and I need help. But whatever it is,I just can’t seem to get a lady to run my a decent RPG these days…
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Con-Quest Sign Up Sheet Creation

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Sign up sheets have always been something I’ve done in a fairly singular way. Different one for each game, relevant fonts, catchy colour scheme, eye for getting the information out, tags of the key bits… so with a ton to print for Con-Quest it came as a bit of a challenge to think of something that would be suitable for all the eclectic games we’ve got. Essentially all the important info had to be there and ideally it’d be elegant. Continue reading

Conception Report 2010

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Kenners ready before Evilgaz shocker. Due to the demise of my computer, I was not what you’d call prepared for Conception, and so it was with no small amount of fluster that I stuffed my gaming bag for the con with AK uncharacteristically ready and waiting. Once I’d got my shizzle together though we were off and down in good time. Not quite good enough to make the evening slot on Wednesday, but early enough to settle in and say some hellos.
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Con-Quest Announced

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Four old hands from the gaming scene have seen a Midlands shaped hole in the UK gaming calendar. Much like taking your own games to run at cons if other people aren’t providing them, we decided to provide our own convention as no-one else seemed to be putting a show on. What could possibly go wrong?

With all that’s good in gaming and a broad church appeal that will see everything from D&D 4e to Indie publishing, via home brew settings and systems any other flavour you can think of, we aim to have the best in RPGs, board games, card games, miniatures, whatever the gaming public demands – plus a select array of traders.

We’re currently getting the website built, but initial information can be found on UK Roleplayers and we’ve already had game submissions in the first 24 hours. So if you can make it on 10-4-10 (that’s 10th April 2010) to the Derby Assembly Rooms (that’s UK for you colonials) for a full day of sociable, varied gaming, you’d be well advised to come on down and say hello.

My only current worry is not getting to play or run any games myself, I’ll just have to organise. But maybe if I’m sneaky… regardless, we’ll have the other Smart Party members there in force, so come along and jump on in for the big win!