This week I was at The Kraken, a gaming retreat in Germany, halfway between Berlin and Hamburg at a lovely Schloss. I managed to grab half an hour with head honcho Fabian Küchler to ask him about this idea of a gaming vacation rather than convention, what motivates him and what advice he can give to others thinking of running something similar.
Recording in the field has some sound quality issues and people enjoying themselves sometimes intrudes – but still well worth the listen!
Thanks again to our Patreon supporters – as we get more, maybe field trips can have better kit too!
Furnace was great as always. Been every year, coined a catch phrase, nominated it for victory in the convention awards and well, yeah, I know, I’m nothing to do with organising it, but I’m going to steal whatever reflected glory I can get just for showing up…
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?
So, how do we inject more pace into a session? In order to keep a game zipping along you need someone to push the pace. This can be a GM in more traditional games, but equally a very proactive player. In some of the newer style games there is responsibility or authority distributed among the people at the table and it can change from scene to scene, but all that is beyond the scope of this article, although the principles still apply. So, the following is in the style of what a GM can do to speed up their games, while hopefully providing the odd pointer for other styles of gamer also. Continue reading
Delta Green is a wonderfully written setting for modern day Cthulhu, in a not dissimilar style to X-Files, but with extra Lovecraft; the setting is truly a thing of beauty. One thing that had upset me, is that it uses the usual CoC BRP system (understandably), and has tried an iteration with d20 rules also, but neither of these rules engines support the particular type of play that the mood and theme of the books suggest. Sure, most people can play Cthulhu without the rules “getting in the way”, but that’s not the same as actively supporting the gaming experience you want is it?
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). Continue reading
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. Continue reading
The universally accepted wisdom is that if you’re running a convention, you must be mad. There have been many occasions when I’ve discussed this with the Smart Party and others and basically asked the fundamental question “Its not that hard is it?”. Well, the only way to find out is to run one myself. So I did. This was my first outing as a convention organiser and all new and exciting. Or scary, depends on how you look at it. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
For me DM started with a stopover at Lemur’s house on the Friday, and boy was I disturbed to note the picture of geese in the spare room, worrying that he might be subconsciously brainwashing me into playing Mouseguard the following day. I need not have feared… Continue reading