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.
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.
IndieCon is a new and slowly growing little convention right in the south of England, ostensibly catering to small press publishers, but open to anyone and any game really – although the emphasis is on new games, independent concerns and trying different things. Sometimes using Jenga or magnetic fish as a resolution mechanic…
I’ve been peripherally aware of this game for a little while now but had never had the chance to play. When I saw it on the list at this years Furnace I grabbed the chance to give it a go. My preconceptions were that the game was indie, it’s focus is on fighting as a space marine against a horde of aliens, that success is measured in kills, and that’s about it. Turns out I was right.
This year I attended my first Furnace, a smallish con held in Sheffield, now in it’s 4th year. The Smart Party were four strong for this outing, and between us we had 8 games to run that covered the gamut of gaming.
The location was really cool, a converted gaolhouse including the original cells to play in. There was a cosy bar that served excellent food. I’d have liked it to stay open a little later but they had beer in vending machines for the desperate, so not so bad after all. The rooms were ‘motel’ like, which means they were fine for getting your head down, but not for much else. That’s all I need from a Con though, and at £25 a night I can’t complain. Breakfast was perfunctory, but appreciated after a long night of game talk.
So, its been quiet round here? Well, yes, the Smart Party have been heavily involved in weekly games and organising campaigns and not so much of the one-shots we’re here to talk about. With summer over however (did it ever really begin?) there’s a convention a month into the new year starting with last weekend’s CONcrete Cow in Milton Keynes. This is a one day con Ideal for one shot adventures, and although I could only go last minute and hence didn’t get much chance to prep games or get involved in advance, I did get chance to play in a game of Spite: the second book of Pandemonium – following on from Dread (the first book, not the game involving Jenga as a resolution mechanic). Ably refereed by the always-reliable Mr Dorward and good fun as it was, it reintroduced me to the world of Playing RPGs With People You Don’t Know and threw up some behaviours I observed around the table; behaviours I think we could all do with trying to avoid… Continue reading
The Ennies are up for voting now, so get yours in. I can probably write down on a piece of paper who’ll win what and then post it up here when the results are out, but I shan’t. All I will say is that if you’re wondering what to vote for in the (9.) Best Setting category then you could do a lot worse than going for The Dreadful Secrets of Candlewick Manor, by Arc Dream Publishing. If you don’t believe me, run off and buy it now, and then read it and you’ll convince yourself to vote for it. Its halfway between trad and hippie, superbly written and immense fun. Have I ever let you down before?
I’ve completed a micro sliced review of this over at RPGnet, but I thought it worth compiling my thoughts on the book as a whole.
Now, there’s not much of a tradition of RPGs putting together books of one shots. There are some, and they’ve always (by their very nature I suppose) been a mixed bag. This one is no exception, but it’s still a superb resource for the harried DM, and who isn’t one of those?
Under the hardback covers we get 190 pages and 30 small adventures, called delves, for D&D 4e. My copy cost me exactly the same as the WotC adventures already on the market such as Keep on the Shadowfell. That makes it a whole lot of adventure for your money in comparison.
Every now and again I’ll be reviewing a role playing game from the viewpoint of Convention suitability. This is the first, the granddaddy of Con gaming, Call of Cthulhu.
This game should be rubbish. It’s got nothing going or it at all really. The system is barely functional, the background is too scholarly, and the PCs are pretty much useless in any conflict. Also, it’s expected that you die, or go mad if you’re lucky, in most games. Except, except, except…
Over at RPGnet I’ve been slogging away at reviewing Dungeon Delve, a collection of 30 oneshots for D&D 4e.
I’ve just finished 20 of them, so would like to draw your attention to that thread if I may.
Full review to come when I’ve done the lot.
And my capsule review is now up at RPGnet right here!