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Sep. 2nd, 2019

[September Update] UK RPG Convention Listing

This is the September update for the UK RPG conventions for 2019 and far beyond.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.

Please note, a few conventions have asked to be removed from this list.



Concrete Cow 19 1/2, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th September 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Mug & Game Games Day IV, St. John’s Community Centre, Buxton Old Road, Congleton, CW12 2ES
Saturday 14th September 2019, 10.00am - 6:00pm
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com

The Owlbear and the Wizard’s Staff II: Warwickshire RPG Mini-Con 2019, The Band Factory, Unit 13, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 2AU
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-owlbear-and-the-wizards-staff-ii-warwickshire-rpg-mini-con-tickets-55534516233

TringCon Autumn 2019, Marsworth Millennium Hall, 1 Vicarage Road, Marsworth, Herts, HP23 4LR.
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 9:00pm
http://tringcon.org

Armagh Ged[C]on 2019, Seven Hills at County Armagh Golf Club, 7 Newry Rd, Poyntzpass, Newry BT35 6TH Northern Ireland.
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 2019
https://m.facebook.com/gaminggeekingNI/

Wyntercon VI, Eastbourne Sports Park, Ecat House, Cross Levels WY, Eastbourne, BN21 2UF
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 2019
https://www.wyntercon.org

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

Spaghetti ConJunction 3b, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA
Saturday 19th October 2019, 10.00am - 7.30pm
https://spaghetticonjunction.wordpress.com/

GamesFest 2019, Victoria Hall, Akeman Street, Tring, HP23 6AN
Saturday 19th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
https://www.facebook.com/Gamesfest-13335893233/

StabCon South Autumn 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Southampton, Bracken Pl, Chilworth, Southampton SO16 3RB
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd November 2019
https://m.facebook.com/StabconSouth/

GrogMeet 2019, Fan Boy Three, 25 Hilton St, Manchester. M1 1EL
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th November 2019
https://thegrognardfiles.com/grogmeet-2019/

GBCon Winter 2019 Tabletop Gaming Day, Lopping Hall, 189 High Road, Loughton IG10 4LF
Saturday 9th November 2019. 10:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.facebook.com/gbconuk

Dragonmeet 2019, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

+

Winter StabCon 2020, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th January 2020
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

HandyCon 7, Holiday Inn, Maidenhead, Manor Lane, Berkshire, Maidenhead, SL6 2RA
Friday 17th - Sunday 19th January 2020
http://handycon.co.uk/

ConTingency 2020, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 22nd - Monday 27th January 2020.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Dudley Bug Ball 2020, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Revelation 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

AireCon 2020, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th March 2020
https://airecon.uk

Concrete Cow 20, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th March 2020, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

NormCon 2020, Entoyment Wargaming and Hobby Centre, Unit 2 Fleetsbridge Business Centre, Upton Road, Poole, Dorset BH17 7AF
Friday 27th - Sunday 29th March 2020
https://www.facebook.com/normcon20xx/

Seven Hills 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th April 2020
http://7hills.org.uk/

North Star 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 9th - Sunday 10th May 2020
http://www.northstarcon.org.uk/

Mega Charity Games Day for Mind 2020, The Core, 32 Foley Trading Estate, Herefordshire, HR1 2SF
Saturday 16th May 2020, 11:00am - 11:00pm
https://m.facebook.com/events/459922967890974

UK Games Expo 2020, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 29th - Sunday 31st May 2020
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

FeatherCon 2020, Featherstone Castle, Hall Bank, Northumberland NE49 0JG
Friday 28th - Monday 31sr August 2020
https://www.facebook.com/groups/485003805271383/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Aug. 2nd, 2019

[August Update] UK RPG Conventions Listing

This is the August update for the UK RPG conventions for 2019 and far beyond.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.

Please note, a few conventions have asked to be removed from this list.



Field of Games 2019, Silverstone Farm Campsite New Rookery Farm, Little London, Silverstone, Northants. NN12 8UP
Friday 2nd - Monday 5th August 2019
http://fieldofgames.co.uk

PaizoCon UK 2019, Bournville College, 1 Longbridge Lane, Birmingham B31 2TW
Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk

HandyCon 6, Holiday Inn, Maidenhead, Manor Lane, Berkshire, Maidenhead, SL6 2RA
Friday 9th - Sunday 11th August 2019
http://handycon.co.uk/

Grand Tribunal 2019, Gas Green Community Centre, Baker Street, Cheltenham GL51 9HQ
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th August 2019
http://www.grandtribunal.org/wiki/Main_Page

FeatherCon 2019, Featherstone Castle, Hall Bank, Northumberland NE49 0JG
Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th August 2019
https://www.facebook.com/groups/485003805271383/

ShadowCon XIII, Northfields Community Centre, 71A Northcroft Road, West Wali g, London, W13 9SS
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://www.shadowwarriors.co.uk

Tabletop Scotland 2019, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 0TH
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://tabletopscotland.co.uk/

Q-Con XXVI, Queen’s University, University Road, Belfast. BT7 1NN
Friday 30th August - Sunday 1st September 2019
http://www.q-con.org.uk/

GamesCon 2019, Emsworth Community Centre, PO10 7DD
Saturday 31st August 2019, 09:00am - 10:00pm
https://gamescon.co.uk/visitor-info/

Concrete Cow 19 1/2, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th September 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Mug & Game Games Day IV, St. John’s Community Centre, Buxton Old Road, Congleton, CW12 2ES
Saturday 14th September 2019, 10.00am - 6:00pm
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com

The Owlbear and the Wizard’s Staff II: Warwickshire RPG Mini-Con 2019, The Band Factory, Unit 13, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 2AU
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-owlbear-and-the-wizards-staff-ii-warwickshire-rpg-mini-con-tickets-55534516233

TringCon Autumn 2019, Marsworth Millennium Hall, 1 Vicarage Road, Marsworth, Herts, HP23 4LR.
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 9:00pm
http://tringcon.org

Wyntercon VI, Eastbourne Sports Park, Ecat House, Cross Levels WY, Eastbourne, BN21 2UF
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 2019
https://www.wyntercon.org

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

Spaghetti ConJunction 3b, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA
Saturday 19th October 2019, 10.00am - 7.30pm
https://spaghetticonjunction.wordpress.com/

GamesFest 2019, Victoria Hall, Akeman Street, Tring, HP23 6AN
Saturday 19th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
https://www.facebook.com/Gamesfest-13335893233/

StabCon South Autumn 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Southampton, Bracken Pl, Chilworth, Southampton SO16 3RB
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd November 2019
https://m.facebook.com/StabconSouth/

GrogMeet 2019, Fan Boy Three, 25 Hilton St, Manchester. M1 1EL
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th November 2019
https://thegrognardfiles.com/grogmeet-2019/

GBCon Winter 2019 Tabletop Gaming Day, Lopping Hall, 189 High Road, Loughton IG10 4LF
Saturday 9th November 2019. 10:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.facebook.com/gbconuk

Dragonmeet 2019, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

+

Winter StabCon 2020, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th January 2020
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

HandyCon 7, Holiday Inn, Maidenhead, Manor Lane, Berkshire, Maidenhead, SL6 2RA
Friday 17th - Sunday 19th January 2020
http://handycon.co.uk/

ConTingency 2020, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 22nd - Monday 27th January 2020.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Dudley Bug Ball 2020, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Revelation 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

AireCon 2020, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th March 2020
https://airecon.uk

Concrete Cow 20, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th March 2020, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

NormCon 2020, Entoyment Wargaming and Hobby Centre, Unit 2 Fleetsbridge Business Centre, Upton Road, Poole, Dorset BH17 7AF
Friday 27th - Sunday 29th March 2020
https://www.facebook.com/normcon20xx/

Seven Hills 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th April 2020
http://7hills.org.uk/

North Star 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 9th - Sunday 10th May 2020
http://www.northstarcon.org.uk/

Mega Charity Games Day for Mind 2020, The Core, 32 Foley Trading Estate, Herefordshire, HR1 2SF
Saturday 16th May 2020, 11:00am - 11:00pm
https://m.facebook.com/events/459922967890974

UK Games Expo 2020, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 29th - Sunday 31st May 2020
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Jul. 1st, 2019

[July Update] UK RPG Convention Listings

This is the July update for the UK RPG conventions for 2019 and far beyond.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.

Please note, a few conventions have asked to be removed from this list.



Summer StabCon 2019, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

LongCon 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://www.thedodd.com/longcon-home

Roll Dice Gaming 2019, Ashton Gate Stadium, Ashton Road, Bristol BS3 2EJ
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th July 2019
www.rolldicegaming.com

GBCon Summer 2019 Tabletop Gaming Day, Lopping Hall, 189 High Road, Loughton IG10 4LF
Saturday 20th July 2019. 10:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.facebook.com/gbconuk

Field of Games 2019, Silverstone Farm Campsite New Rookery Farm, Little London, Silverstone, Northants. NN12 8UP
Friday 2nd - Monday 5th August 2019
http://fieldofgames.co.uk

PaizoCon UK 2019, Bournville College, 1 Longbridge Lane, Birmingham B31 2TW
Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk

HandyCon 6, Holiday Inn, Maidenhead, Manor Lane, Berkshire, Maidenhead, SL6 2RA
Friday 9th - Sunday 11th August 2019
http://handycon.co.uk/

Grand Tribunal 2019, Gas Green Community Centre, Baker Street, Cheltenham GL51 9HQ
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th August 2019
http://www.grandtribunal.org/wiki/Main_Page

FeatherCon 2019, Featherstone Castle, Hall Bank, Northumberland NE49 0JG
Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th August 2019
https://www.facebook.com/groups/485003805271383/

ShadowCon XIII, Northfields Community Centre, 71A Northcroft Road, West Wali g, London, W13 9SS
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://www.shadowwarriors.co.uk

Tabletop Scotland 2019, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 0TH
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://tabletopscotland.co.uk/

Q-Con XXVI, Queen’s University, University Road, Belfast. BT7 1NN
Friday 30th August - Sunday 1st September 2019
http://www.q-con.org.uk/

GamesCon 2019, Emsworth Community Centre, PO10 7DD
Saturday 31st August 2019, 09:00am - 10:00pm
https://gamescon.co.uk/visitor-info/

Concrete Cow 19 1/2, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th September 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Mug & Game Games Day IV, St. John’s Community Centre, Buxton Old Road, Congleton, CW12 2ES
Saturday 14th September 2019, 10.00am - 6:00pm
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com

The Owlbear and the Wizard’s Staff II: Warwickshire RPG Mini-Con 2019, The Band Factory, Unit 13, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 2AU
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-owlbear-and-the-wizards-staff-ii-warwickshire-rpg-mini-con-tickets-55534516233

TringCon Autumn 2019, Marsworth Millennium Hall, 1 Vicarage Road, Marsworth, Herts, HP23 4LR.
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 9:00pm
http://tringcon.org

Wyntercon VI, Eastbourne Sports Park, Ecat House, Cross Levels WY, Eastbourne, BN21 2UF
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 2019
https://www.wyntercon.org

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

Spaghetti ConJunction 3b, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA
Saturday 19th October 2019, 10.00am - 7.30pm
https://spaghetticonjunction.wordpress.com/

GamesFest 2019, Victoria Hall, Akeman Street, Tring, HP23 6AN
Saturday 19th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
https://www.facebook.com/Gamesfest-13335893233/

StabCon South Autumn 2019, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Southampton, Bracken Pl, Chilworth, Southampton SO16 3RB
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd November 2019
https://m.facebook.com/StabconSouth/

GrogMeet 2019, Fan Boy Three, 25 Hilton St, Manchester. M1 1EL
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th November 2019
https://thegrognardfiles.com/grogmeet-2019/

GBCon Winter 2019 Tabletop Gaming Day, Lopping Hall, 189 High Road, Loughton IG10 4LF
Saturday 9th November 2019. 10:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.facebook.com/gbconuk

Dragonmeet 2019, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

+

Winter StabCon 2020, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th January 2020
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

HandyCon 7, Holiday Inn, Maidenhead, Manor Lane, Berkshire, Maidenhead, SL6 2RA
Friday 17th - Sunday 19th January 2020
http://handycon.co.uk/

ConTingency 2020, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 22nd - Monday 27th January 2020.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Dudley Bug Ball 2020, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Revelation 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

AireCon 2020, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th March 2020
https://airecon.uk

Concrete Cow 20, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th March 2020, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

NormCon 2020, Entoyment Wargaming and Hobby Centre, Unit 2 Fleetsbridge Business Centre, Upton Road, Poole, Dorset BH17 7AF
Friday 27th - Sunday 29th March 2020
https://www.facebook.com/normcon20xx/

Seven Hills 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th April 2020
http://7hills.org.uk/

North Star 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 9th - Sunday 10th May 2020
http://www.northstarcon.org.uk/

UK Games Expo 2020, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 29th - Sunday 31st May 2020
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Jun. 7th, 2019

My Gaming Table Set Up for RPG Conventions

My Gaming Table Set Up for RPG Conventions

I do quite a bit of gaming at RPG Conventions and gaming meets. I have run games of Firefly Cortex+, Supernatural Cortex+, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Tales from the Loop, and Things from the Flood. The games that I am running require some set up, a few props and handouts, player guides, cheat sheets, character sheets, character archetype sheets, dice, pencils, and Audio Visual displays.
That is a lot to carry around, set up, then breakdown, and put away after the game too.

I don’t use a GM Screen as I do not like putting a barrier between me and my players. I like the conversation to flow and to be open with all the people at the table. As a player I am always wary and distrustful about GMs who shield themselves behind a GM Screen, conduct their dice rolls hidden from view, as it seems to set up a confrontational game; GM vs players.
Dice rolls are done in front of everyone and they fall where they fall.

Here is a table image of my game set up ready to receive the players that I took at a recent convention, UK Games Expo 2019.



As you can see the most important item is the X-Card. I have that out at every game I run to ensure that no players has to suffer a psychological trigger or even just feel uncomfortable about a subject during the game. As the content of the games I run are teenage issues, I run games from ‘Tales from the Loop’, they may potentially touch on someone’s bad experiences. The players have characters that are kids and we often have content about bullies, bullying, children interaction, teachers, school, broken families, and homework.
Any of those subjects *could* trigger any flashback or other uncomfortable feeling or sensation.
Fortunately there has been no need for an X-Card to be used during my 28 times of running it for the public.



Of course the table is laden with character sheets for the players, crucial for their interaction with the game itself.
The Character Archetypes are next, laminated for reuse, are taken out of the Tales from the Loop book but edited for the UK setting. They are a good guide for generating characters though only a few players actually come up with their own ideas.
I have the Principles of the Loop displayed in a stand as a constant reminder. It is useful to draw attention to it if the player characters are tempted to call the police during the mystery or try and avoid the adventure completely. On the back I have the basic list guide of character generation to display and reference when we do char-gen together.
The other stand has the Pushing the Roll rules on display, including the use of Luck Points and the PC’s Pride, along with the table of dice roll probabilities as percentages.
The Cheat Sheets have the details on the skills and their use during play, a good resource to check during play as some of the skills have a few neat little tricks.



I have been using my new display technique for a lot of my images and maps, reducing the number of physical handouts. I put them into a KeyNote PowerPoint presentation on my iPad and display them to my players at the table.
You can now remotely control a Keynote presentation on an iPad or MacBook via your iPhone. I don’t have to move the iPad to interact with it so it can stay in place displaying towards the group. I can not only pull up the next slide or go back but I can select any slide in the presentation to play next.
Not only can I control the slides but also interact with them too, drawing on the slides as they are displayed. So I had my iPad displaying the presentation to the players, I controlled it from my iPhone, and I also used my iPad Pro to record and keep detailed notes.




I use Notability on my iPad Pro, a nice little app that helps with note taking. It allows you to hand write you notes in quickly, drawing diagrams, table layout, relationship maps, doodles, as well as adding photos and images to the notes too. You can edit the notes, moving, changing colour, or re-sizing diagrams or the notes themselves. I can transfer the the handwritten notes to typed form as well. It also records the session as an audio recording so I can refer back and check on how I deliver the session.

My scenario notes used to be just a few scribbled ideas and six names in a list. Now I do a little bit more prep as I have notes on the weather, news, TV shows, music, cinema, and current local occurrences at different times of the year in Derby, UK in 1984. I also have each scenario location written out and plotted as well as the motivations of the major NPCs too. In some cases I have the scenario completely written up and laid out.



The only things I handed out other than the character archetype sheets and the character sheets were the NPC cards. I like to use them as they are very tactile and the players can hand them around and indicate which NPC they are talking about.



I have also made some cards for the kids’ bicycles so that they can choose which one they want to reflect their character. I have made over forty of them so there is plenty of choice and as the game is set in Derby and Nottingham they all have to be Raleigh bikes too.

I also use casino chips to represent the game resources the players have. Blue casino chips for the Luck Points and each player gets a black casino chip each to represent the use of their Pride during the game. I like using casino chips as the players get a physical indicator of how many Game resources they have and it is always a nice moment when they are handed back to me. They are also very tactile so the players can play and fiddle with them as they consider their options.



My dice tray is yellow so it matches the table cloth unfortunately but it is a cool Star Trek one.
I have a set of Tales from the Loop dice as well as a set from Things from the Flood too. They just add to the feel of the game as the have a very touchable feel, like a waxy coating. I have found that ten dice work okay with Tales from the Loop but having more dice available for the players is good especially if they don’t have their own.

I always provide pencils for the players as they often don’t have their own at the table. A pencil sharpener is also necessary.

So this is my usual table layout and it works very well for me.
All that is required are the players!

What’s yours?

May. 31st, 2019

[June Update] RPG Convention Listing UK

This is the June update for the UK RPG conventions for 2019 and far beyond.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.

Please note, a few conventions have asked to be removed from this list.



UK Games Expo 2019, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 31st May - Sunday 2nd June 2019
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Summer StabCon 2019, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

LongCon 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://www.thedodd.com/longcon-home

PaizoCon UK 2019, Bournville College, 1 Longbridge Lane, Birmingham B31 2TW
Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk

Grand Tribunal 2019, Gas Green Community Centre, Baker Street, Cheltenham GL51 9HQ
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th August 2019
http://www.grandtribunal.org/wiki/Main_Page

ShadowCon XIII, Northfields Community Centre, 71A Northcroft Road, West Wali g, London, W13 9SS
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://www.shadowwarriors.co.uk

Tabletop Scotland 2019, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 0TH
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://tabletopscotland.co.uk/

GamesCon 2019, Emsworth Community Centre, PO10 7DD
Saturday 31st August 2019, 09:00am - 10:00pm
https://gamescon.co.uk/visitor-info/

Concrete Cow 19 1/2, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th September 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Mug & Game Games Day IV, St. John’s Community Centre, Buxton Old Road, Congleton, CW12 2ES
Saturday 14th September 2019, 10.00am - 6:00pm
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com

The Owlbear and the Wizard’s Staff II: Warwickshire RPG Mini-Con 2019, The Band Factory, Unit 13, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 2AU
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-owlbear-and-the-wizards-staff-ii-warwickshire-rpg-mini-con-tickets-55534516233

Wyntercon VI, Eastbourne Sports Park, Ecat House, Cross Levels WY, Eastbourne, BN21 2UF
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 2019
https://www.wyntercon.org

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

Spaghetti ConJunction 3b, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA
Saturday 19th October 2019, 10.00am - 7.30pm
https://spaghetticonjunction.wordpress.com/

GrogMeet 2019, Fan Boy Three, 25 Hilton St, Manchester. M1 1EL
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th November 2019
https://thegrognardfiles.com/grogmeet-2019/

Dragonmeet 2019, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

Winter StabCon 2020, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th January 2020
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

ConTingency 2020, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 22nd - Monday 27th January 2020.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Dudley Bug Ball 2020, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Revelation 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

AireCon 2020, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th March 2020
https://airecon.uk

Concrete Cow 20, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th March 2020, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Seven Hills 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th April 2020
http://7hills.org.uk/

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

May. 30th, 2019

[Con Report] Congleton’s Games Day III

Mug & Game Games Day III, St. John’s Community Centre, Buxton Old Road, Congleton, CW12 2ES
Saturday 25th May 2019, 10.00am - 6:00pm
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com

It was good to head down to Congleton for this Games Day.
An early start on the train to get there in time as I was running a game in the morning slot.
It was good timing as well as I met other gamers on their way to the venue so we shared a taxi there.



There was plenty of signage so you were in no doubt that the Games day was taking place. The venue is a converted vicarage building done in a modern style and was a good sized space.
We were greeted warmly on arrival and I started setting up ready for my game, getting my screen and PowerPoint presentation set up via my iPad remote controlled by my iPhone.



The Sign up sheets for the day were done so beautifully and nicely labeled with a different coloured meeple for each table.
My game was also well signed up, six players in all.




The players arrived promptly and several had played in my game at the last Games Day. So I must have not put them off anyway.
I started with the ‘Principles of the Loop’, and got on quickly with the character generation.

We had our 14 year old Jock called ‘Clubber’ with his cricket bat and favourite song ‘Danger Zone’ by Kenny Loggins. He has an Raleigh Aeroburner BMX bike.
The knife wielding Troublemaker was Clubber’s twin brother, Chad who is always playing Sex Pistols’s ‘Anarchy in the UK’. He has a Raleigh Chopper bicycle in fire red.
The 14 year old Rocker Chick was Trixie with her flick-knife comb and rocking off to ‘Sweet Child of Mine’. She has a black Raleigh Bomber bike.
Trixie’s kid sister at 12 is Bernadette, who is a serious Computer Geek with her amped up hand held computer console and listens to the newly released ‘Careless Whisper’ by George Michael. She rides a Raleigh Starburst bike in red with silver stars.
Our 13 year old Weirdo Rat who always has his pet rat with him and plays Hughie Lewis ‘Hip to be Square’. He rides an old Raleigh Penny-farthing bike.
Last but not least is 13 year old Young Farmer Andy with his mini tool kit and love Suzie Quattro’s ‘Devil’s Gate Drive’. He rides a Raleigh Cruz, a motorised bike.

The scenario starts with scenes at home and Rat decides to sneak out and grabs basic supplies of crisps, biscuits, pop, a sleeping bag, and a small one-man tent. Andy has permission to go and is more organised having plenty of farm produced fresh food; meat jerky, cheeses, bread, bottles of cider, and a bottle of moonshine. He has a cassette player to play his songs and takes his bevy tent with him too.
At the sisters household they get permission to go due to their CHARM. Their mother was keen, inappropriately very keen, to see their friend, Clubber, and she seemed to be a little weak at the knees when he arrived. They have a new two-person tent with camper beds, they make sandwiches, take loads of chip sticks, sneak some of their father’s beer, and pack a map and compass too.
Clubber gets permission to go quite easily but is forced to take his twin brother with him. Their mother packs them a hamper with fresh food, they take a stove and pans, and pack a first aid kit just in case.

After the girls recover from their mother’s response to Clubber’s presence, they get on the road and head towards Gotham (pronounced GOT-ham) and the idea of a cool fresh water lake in this Heatwave.

They hit the country lanes on their bikes heading out on their adventure.
What follows is a run in with a black Mercedes, a hoover bike, an truculent robot, a gang of hooligans, rain during a drought, and scientists trying to save the world.



The players had great fun and really went to town playing the characters. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves.



I had a rapid lunch, a homemade chili con carne, provided by the con as part of the sweat equity for running a game at the con.



For the afternoon slot I wasn’t running a game so I got in on Simon Bray’s OpenQuest games as part of his Crucible of Dragons setting. This was set on the Island of Pherae, a land ruled by dragons.

It was using pre-gens so I had the Dwarf character, Karathas Goldma.
As a group we were to head out to an island that just suffered a landslide and ancient ruins were uncovered. We were to explore and ‘liberate’ any treasures we discovered.

We travelled across the ocean in the ‘Ripper’, ending with us having to row the vessel itself.

Arrival at the Sea Queen’s Isle, the original name for the uncovered island, was straight forward, at first. Creatures soon attack us on the beach and we fought off ghouls and followed by a giant crab.

After that we explored the island and got involved in the puzzles and mystery of the ruins. We were hit hard on the final climax as we missed out one of the ruin sites so missed the clues there.

It was a great game, lots of fun working out the mystery and the other players around the table were great fun to, adding to the experience.

I liked the OpenQuest system, a stripped down version of RuneQuest, it has a simpler skills set and doesn’t seem as broken as most D100 games. It was nice to dip into the percentiles dice but I don’t think I’ll be making a habit of it.



After that it was the goodbyes before heading out the door to catch the train home.
It was a very good games day with excellent attendance and was very well organised.
The next date is on Saturday 14th September 2019.

May. 19th, 2019

My game at Congleton Games Day III

I am running this Tales from the Loop at Mug & Game Games Day III.


Heatwaves and Rain-Guns
Tales from the Loop RPG
Saturday
For up to seven players. Newbies welcome!
The long summer days never seem to end and weather is hot and sunny. The adults are always moaning it is too hot and sweaty; they have stopped us using the hose pipes when we play in the garden. So we’re on our bikes and off the lakeside to swim. But who is that guy on the grav-hover motorcycle and why does he keep following us around?
Tags: Player-led, Sci-Fi (Alt-History), Nostalgia Play, No Pre-gens, Rules-lite, Newbie Friendly, Musical Accompaniment.




Mug & Game Games Day III, St. John’s Community Centre, Buxton Old Road, Congleton, CW12 2ES
Saturday 25th May 2019, 10.00am - 6:00pm
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com

#TalesfromtheLoop

May. 18th, 2019

My games at UK Games Expo

My ‘Tales from the Loop’ (and ‘Things from the Flood’) games at </i>UK Games Expo</i>.
There are a few spaces available in some of the games.

Bigtrax and Magic Tricks - Friday Morning
https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/game.php?id=RPG5041

Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia - Friday Afternoon
https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/game.php?id=RPG5042

Computer Cassettes and Crash-Test Marionettes - Friday Evening
https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/game.php?id=RPG5045

Heatwaves and Rain-Guns - Saturday Morning
https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/game.php?id=RPG5043

On Cloud Nine and Golden Sunshine - Saturday Afternoon
https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/game.php?id=RPG5044

Computer Cassettes and Crash-Test Marionettes - Saturday Evening
https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/game.php?id=RPG5046

May. 3rd, 2019

[May Update] UK RPG Convention Listing

This is the May update for the UK RPG conventions for 2019 and far beyond.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.

Please note, a few conventions have asked to be removed from this list.



ConTRAPtion 2019, Chatsworth Hotel, The Steyne, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3DU
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May 2019
https://warhorn.net/events/contraption-2019

North Star 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th May 2019
http://www.northstarcon.org.uk/

30th Beer & Pretzels, Burton Town Hall, King Edward Place, Burton upon Trent, DE14 2EB
Saturday 18th - Sunday 19th May 2019
https://www.spiritgames.co.uk

Mug & Game Games Day III, St. John’s Community Centre, Buxton Old Road, Congleton, CW12 2ES
Saturday 25th May 2019, 10.00am - 6:00pm
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com

UK Games Expo 2019, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 31st May - Sunday 2nd June 2019
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Summer StabCon 2019, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

LongCon 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://www.thedodd.com/longcon-home

PaizoCon UK 2019, Bournville College, 1 Longbridge Lane, Birmingham B31 2TW
Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk

Grand Tribunal 2019, Gas Green Community Centre, Baker Street, Cheltenham GL51 9HQ
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th August 2019
http://www.grandtribunal.org/wiki/Main_Page

ShadowCon XIII, Northfields Community Centre, 71A Northcroft Road, West Wali g, London, W13 9SS
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://www.shadowwarriors.co.uk

Tabletop Scotland 2019, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 0TH
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://tabletopscotland.co.uk/

GamesCon 2019, Emsworth Community Centre, PO10 7DD
Saturday 31st August 2019, 09:00am - 10:00pm
https://gamescon.co.uk/visitor-info/

Concrete Cow 19 1/2, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th September 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

The Owlbear and the Wizard’s Staff II: Warwickshire RPG Mini-Con 2019, The Band Factory, Unit 13, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 2AU
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-owlbear-and-the-wizards-staff-ii-warwickshire-rpg-mini-con-tickets-55534516233

Wyntercon VI, Eastbourne Sports Park, Ecat House, Cross Levels WY, Eastbourne, BN21 2UF
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 2019
https://www.wyntercon.org

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

GrogMeet 2019, Fan Boy Three, 25 Hilton St, Manchester. M1 1EL
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th November 2019
https://thegrognardfiles.com/grogmeet-2019/

Dragonmeet 2019, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

ConTingency 2020, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 22nd - Monday 27th January 2020.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Dudley Bug Ball 2020, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Revelation 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

AireCon 2020, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th March 2020
https://airecon.uk

Concrete Cow 20, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th March 2020, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Seven Hills 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th April 2020
http://7hills.org.uk/

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Apr. 14th, 2019

Things from the Flood arrived!

It is a thing of beauty.



I’ll do a review soon.

#TalesfromtheLoop
#ThingsfromtheFlood

Apr. 11th, 2019

Leicester Group First Tales from the Loop Game

So I was invited to run a Tales from the Loop game for a Meetup group in Leicester. Two of the new players from my Nottingham Dice Cup game the previous week had travelled all the way from Leicester to try the game out. They were keen to play it again and get a few more players too.

This article contains SPOILERS for the scenario ion question.

There are two board game cafés in Leicester but they were unable to host the game for ‘reasons’. Instead one of the players found an upstairs room at the Globe pub in the centre of Leicester we could use instead.

There was also rumours that ten new players had signed up for the game! Crikey! That would be hard work.

I got to Leicester from Nottingham with no issues and walked to the Globe from the Railway Station in very little time, even with my bad leg and stick. The Globe is located on Silver Street alongside Games Workshop, Forbidden Planet, and one of the board game cafés. A great little spot. The Globe itself is a cosy little pub and we had the upstairs room to ourselves. The room was nice and large and had just been renovated so there was a slight smell of fresh paint to the place that wasn’t too much of a problem. The staff at the Globe were very friendly and helpful and I had a great pint of Sunchaser to start the evening off.

Fortunately I had six players turn up, all new to role playing, two from the game before and four brand new players. Lovely.

They picked their character archetypes and I started with the ‘Principles of the Loop’ the char-gen. The previous players kept their characters from the game before so the others made new characters and developed quick relationships between them all.

So we had our Bookworm Matilda, with her magnifying glass and who has a love of Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’. She is arguing with her mother over her missing father, though her mother calls him a worthless layabout.
Louise is our Popular Kid with her ever-present can of hair-spray playing Joan Jet’s ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’. She has been blamed for the batch of missing items in the house. Though Louise’s crazy aunt is locked in the basement, she has all the missing items.
We have a Computer Geek called Monica who’s favourite song is ‘Living in Electric Dreams’ by Phil Oakley. She plays games on her Sinclair ZX81 (maxed up to 128k) while her parents are arguing over nothing.
Our resident Weirdo is G who has an orienteering compass with magnifying glass. His anthem is ‘God Save The Queen’ by the Sex Pistols. He has to finish off his chores, namely mowing the lawn, before he is allowed out.
The Hick is Lars with his tractor playing ‘Freedom’ by Wham! He has been busy laying a brand new patio with his brother Fred at Matilda’s mum’s house.
The skateboarder Troublemaker (and car thief) is Jenny for whom the song ‘Drive’ by Cars calms her down. Jenny’s drunken dad often tries to argue with her, trying to make her do more astound the house. However she sneaks out taking his toolbox with her.

Their Hideout is an abandoned library full of old books. Soft furnishings have been provided by the stolen car seats, a ghetto blaster provides entertainment, there is a science kit with a microscope and ‘acquired’ science equipment from school. In one corner is a vanity dressing table with a selection of make-up and in another is the computer station with lots of devices wired up together. There is also plenty of fresh food provided from the farm. Possibly one of the coolest Hideouts so far!

So this group meet up at their Hideout and all were happy to attend the Steam and Transport Rally at Elvaston Castle. When they encountered Milo and his Silver-liner semi truck stuck in Elvaston Lane, they were the most reluctant group yet (most groups are very happy to have their Kids jump into a lorry cab with strangers). They needed convincing so not only did they get the offer of beer and snacks but Milo also offered to pay them cold hard cash!

So they end up working on building the outdoor auditorium for the Magic Show at the Elvaston Castle show grounds, as Milo wanted his monies worth. The Kids were also charmed by the robot, A-Fil-08 and were particularly concerned when the scientist mess about with the robot and got it to deliver the Echo Sphere next to the stage. They also took a strong interest on Springthorpe Cottage, the folly that was also an electrical sub-station. They failed to break in at the front door so poor Matilda, being the youngest, was dropped in via the narrow window to open the door from the inside.

Of course what they discovered lead them on the Mystery, exploring the tunnels under the Loop Facility, working out the Echo Spheres, suffering the Loop Surge, seeing the Bigtrak tank, watching the Magic Show, discovering the ‘shady men’ and rescuing the Bigtrak (unlike both Nottingham groups that decided to keep the tank!).

It was a good introductory adventure for the group and they all seemed very happy with the concept of role playing and enjoying playing as Kids in the 1980’s.


The Leicester Group of Players

Hopefully we’ll be playing again soon.
Thanks again to Tanya for organising it and the staff at the Globe pub for being so helpful and accommodating.

#TalesfromtheLoop
#GlobePub
#ActualPlay

Apr. 8th, 2019

Seven Hills Con Report

So finally managed to make my way to a Garrison Con after missing last year’s Furnace due to my broken leg. It was also the first full day that I wasn’t using my crutches to get about though I was topped up with pain meds.

Picked up nice and early, instead of taking the usual train journey I normally take, so we got to the MacDonalds restaurant in time for a quick breakfast before the gaming.

Just caught the trail end of the opening speech and got down to my table ready for running my first game in Slot 1, Tales from the Loop - ‘Heatwaves and Rain-Guns’.
I had six players signed up and ready to go.

I was also using my new display technique for a lot of my images and maps, reducing the number of physical handouts. You can now remotely control a Keynote presentation on an iPad via your iPhone. Not only control but also interact with it, drawing on the slides as they are displayed. So I had my iPad displaying the presentation to the players, I controlled it from my iPhone, and I used my iPad Pro to record and keep detailed notes. The only things I handed out other than the character archetype sheets and the character sheets were the NPC cards. I like to use them as they are very tactile and the players can hand them around and indicate which NPC they are talking about.

I took the players through the ‘Principles of the Loop’ and started char-gen.
We had a young Rocker called Calver, 11 years old with his drums and sticks and his love of ‘Prince Charming’ by Adam Ant. He had a black and gold Raleigh Grifter bicycle with gear changing handle.
Billy Steve is our 13 year old Computer Geek, with his calculator, playing Van Hallen’s ‘Running with the Devil’. His bike was a sensible Raleigh Willow (it’s not just for girls) with handlebar and rear luggage baskets.
Billy’s younger sister, the Bookworm Jill, gets him to carry her encyclopedias for her as she listens to Nina’s ‘99 Red Balloons’. She had a matching Willow though hers was pink instead of black.
The oldest at 15 is the Jerry the Jock with his ever-present football. He is obsessed with the ‘Ghostbusters Theme’ by Ray Parker Jr. He had a Raleigh Chopper bike with cross bar gear changer.
His 13 year old brother is the Troublemaker Jonny with his cigarettes and lighter who listens to Twisted Sister. He had inherited his brother’s old Raleigh Bomber bicycle.
Last but not least we have our Hick, Joe Sudden, with his sheep dog Shawn, listening to Queen’s ‘I want to Break Free’. He had a Frankenstein bike made up of different types, parts and devices.


I started with the background on Derby in the summer of 1984, hot and humid in the middle of a heatwave. With no water to play in and keep cool and inattentive parents, the Kids decided to head off to a secret lake near Gotham (pronounced GOT-ham) in Nottinghamshire. It only a short bike ride away.

The opening scenes from home covered what supplies the Kids were getting together to take with them. Some were organized and had tents, sleeping bags, food, torches, sun screen, insect repellent, etc. The other Kids were just going to wing it with the bare minimum.

The Mystery starts off with the Kids cycling off to Gotham on the country roads (with the Famous Five theme playing in their heads) when they are suddenly knocked off their bikes by a passing black Mercedes car with the private number plate RAV 1. Fortunately the Kids were able to not only keep their balance but a couple of them were also able to damage the car as it sped past them. The car screeches to a halt and the driver shots obscenities at them. During this confusion one of the Kids was able to steal a computer cassette from the car before the driver sped off again.

What followed was run-ins with robots (old and new), a gang of Gotham Hooligans, a rider of a Grav-Hover Motorcycle, a cool deep water lake (in a drought?), a United Nations task force, rainfall during a drought, and ended with a Roman-candle Windmill.

The game was well received by the players who came up with great ideas and solutions to the Trouble the found themselves in. Though I had to rush the ending a little due to the shorter slot running time.


Players of my Tales from the Loop game.


After lunch was Slot 2 and I was playing in a game this time around. Dragons Conquer America ‘The Mexica Raid’ by Remi Fayomi. Set during the time of the Conquistador invasion of Central America, we were playing the native Mexica people.
We were a mis-matched group of sacrificial captives held in the Capital city. Rescued from prison by one of our fellows, who was an outsider, we set about trying to halt a Conquistador attack at the coast.
Once getting out the city we were fighting through the undergrowth of the jungle, strange Mexica water spirits, and then finally the Conquistadors on the beach.
We also realised that the talk of ‘Dragons’ wasn’t metaphorical as there were real dragons flying and supporting the Conquistador attack.
We charged the beach to get our goal, a ‘bearded man’ to be a sacrifice for our own dragon summoning ritual, I managed to slay a European noblewoman in the process too.
More confusion reigned as we all got split up, many of us were wounded, at the wrong temple, and managed to summon the wrong godly dragon in our ritual.

A great game though we did struggle with the Mexica names, the Mexica culture, and the nature of sacrifice and bloodletting as part of a way of life. It was good to play outside the usual pseudo-European Middle Ages settings of most fantasy role playing games and the card mechanism is intriguing.
Well done to Remi for running the game.






After dinner in the pub downstairs it was Slot 3 and I was running my Things from the Flood (sequel spin off game to Tales from the Loop) game ‘Computer Cassettes and Crash-test Marionettes’. It would be the first time I was running both this game and scenario. I decided to forego the usual handouts, maps, images, three screen presentation, NPC cards, etc. It was just going to be me and the players with their character sheets. This game was also going to be more macabre.

I had five players, two from this mornings Tales from the Loop game.

I went through the ‘Principals of the Flood’, describing that it is all falling apart and life is boring. We then generated our Teens at the table before the scenario began.

We had Jack the Rocker with his notepaper and pencil. He had been caught at school smoking dope with Jen.
Jen was the Lone Wolf, her only companion is her pet rat, Amy. She had been wrongly accused of smoking dope at school with Jack.
Taylor is the Raver with her spray cans of paint. She had inappropriately invited a teacher, Mr Stevens, to go to a rave with her.
Melissa is a Snob with her loaded money clip. She got in trouble for being absent from school, trouble she couldn’t buy her way out of.
Wolf was the Street Kid with his lock picks. He had been wrongly accused of stealing lunch money from younger kids at school.

The scenario started with a ‘Breakfast Club’ style Saturday morning detention session in the school library. The supervising teacher, Mr Franklin, was too busy playing Doom on the office computer so the Teens were left to their own devices. Left at a loose end there was going to be nothing but trouble.

What followed was strange sirens from the Loop Facility, strange apparitions, weird news about a missing school girl declared deceased after six weeks gone (yet the Teens had spoken to her the day before).
The tension was ramped up and the Teens encountered strange occurrences, crash-test dummies, growing cables, black ichor, and strange tunnels under the school. Then it took a darker turn though the teens managed to destroy the big bad in the end.

The players enjoyed the puzzles and running through the maze of the scenario.

After that I headed back home to Derby.

Mar. 31st, 2019

[April Update] UK RPG Conventions Listing

This is the April update for the UK RPG conventions for 2019 and far beyond.

There are several date clashes especially on Saturday 6th April 2019.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.



Conpulsion 2019, Teviot Row House, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th April 2019
http://conpulsion.org/
https://www.facebook.com/conpulsion/

TringCon 2019, Marsworth Millennium Hall, 1 Vicarage Road, Marsworth, Herts, HP23 4LR.
Saturday 6th April 2019, 9:00am - 9:00pm
http://tringcon.org

UNCON 5.0, Heart Centre, St Georges School, Westwood Road, Broadstairs, Kent. CT10 2LH
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April 2019
https://m.facebook.com/Uncon-Tabletop-Convention-133304054023566/

Seven Hills 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April 2019
http://7hills.org.uk/

National Student Gaming & Roleplaying Championships 2019, Glasgow University Gaming Society, Glasgow University, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Friday 12th - Sunday 14th April 2019
https://nsgrc.co.uk/

D6 Con 2019, The Rugby Hotel, 22-23 Sheep Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 3BX
Saturday 13th April 2019, 09:00am - 11:00pm
https://m.facebook.com/events/2196514887337456

DevaCon III, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Trinity St, Chester CH1 2BD
Saturday 27th April 2019, 10.00am - 11.00pm
https://devaconblog.wordpress.com

ConTRAPtion 2019, Chatsworth Hotel, The Steyne, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3DU
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May 2019
https://warhorn.net/events/contraption-2019

North Star 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th May 2019
http://www.northstarcon.org.uk/

30th Beer & Pretzels, Burton Town Hall, King Edward Place, Burton upon Trent, DE14 2EB
Saturday 18th - Sunday 19th May 2019
https://www.spiritgames.co.uk

UK Games Expo 2019, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 31st May - Sunday 2nd June 2019
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Summer StabCon 2019, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

LongCon 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://www.thedodd.com/longcon-home

PaizoCon UK 2019, Bournville College, 1 Longbridge Lane, Birmingham B31 2TW
Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk

Grand Tribunal 2019, Gas Green Community Centre, Baker Street, Cheltenham GL51 9HQ
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th August 2019
http://www.grandtribunal.org/wiki/Main_Page

ShadowCon XIII, Northfields Community Centre, 71A Northcroft Road, West Wali g, London, W13 9SS
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://www.shadowwarriors.co.uk

Tabletop Scotland 2019, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 0TH
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://tabletopscotland.co.uk/

GamesCon 2019, Emsworth Community Centre, PO10 7DD
Saturday 31st August 2019, 09:00am - 10:00pm
https://gamescon.co.uk/visitor-info/

Concrete Cow 19 1/2, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 14th September 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

The Owlbear and the Wizard’s Staff II: Warwickshire RPG Mini-Con 2019, The Band Factory, Unit 13, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 2AU
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-owlbear-and-the-wizards-staff-ii-warwickshire-rpg-mini-con-tickets-55534516233

Wyntercon VI, Eastbourne Sports Park, Ecat House, Cross Levels WY, Eastbourne, BN21 2UF
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 2019
https://www.wyntercon.org

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

JenCon Seven, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 26th - Sunday 27th October 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk/index.php/10-newsflash/143-jencon-phwoar

Dragonmeet 2019, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

ConTingency 2020, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 22nd - Monday 27th January 2020.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Dudley Bug Ball 2020, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Revelation 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

AireCon 2020, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th March 2020
https://airecon.uk

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Mar. 30th, 2019

My Things from the Flood game at Seven Hills

My Saturday night game at Seven Hills Convention in Sheffield.

Computer Cassettes and Crash-Test Marionettes
Things from the Flood RPG
Saturday evening slot.
For up to seven players. Newbies welcome!
If the 1980’s was the decade of technological wonders and renewed optimism then the 1990’s was full of crass commercialism and cynical skepticism. Delivering the World Wide Web, Microsoft Windows, Sony PlayStations, Grunge music, and Cool Britannia, the Teens have more pressure and responsibilities. The only way to blow off steam is at a rave or just to get away from everyone and visit the Isolation Zones in the flooded Land of the Loop. Amongst the rusting hulks and abandoned buildings are old wonders to be discovered and away from prying eyes the Teens feel free. So what if it is dangerous?
Tags: Player-led, Sci-Fi (Alt-History), Nostalgia Play, No Pre-gens, Rules-lite, Newbie Friendly, Macabre, Musical Accompaniment.




#TalesfromtheLoop
#ThingsfromtheFlood
#SevenHills

Mar. 29th, 2019

My Tales from the Loop game at Seven Hills

My Tales from the Loop game in an running at Seven Hills convention in Sheffield.


Heatwaves and Rain-Guns
Tales from the Loop RPG
Saturday morning slot.
For up to seven players. Newbies welcome!
The long summer days never seem to end and weather is hot and sunny. The adults are always moaning it is too hot and sweaty; they have stopped us using the hose pipes when we play in the garden. So we’re on our bikes and off the lakeside to swim. But who is that guy on the grav-hover motorcycle and why does he keep following us around?
Tags: Player-led, Sci-Fi (Alt-History), Nostalgia Play, No Pre-gens, Rules-lite, Newbie Friendly, Musical Accompaniment.



#TalesfromtheLoop
#SevenHills

Mar. 24th, 2019

Dice Cup Nottingham Tales... Game 3

I managed to run the second part of my Tales from the Loop scenario Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia’ at Nottingham’s The Dice Cup board game cafe. We had to have a long break due to me, well, breaking my leg.

NOTE: Spoilers for the Scenario continue.

I have only one of the players from before as the others couldn’t make it at the last minute but I had four new players join. Three of those players hadn’t played roleplaying games before so I had some pressure there then. Two of the new players were arriving late too so that halted to game to some extent.

We had some great player characters created though.
We had a Troublemaker called Ricky Wilde, carries his Zippo lighter with pride and has a side deal selling cigarettes to the children at school. He was anxious due to the school kids finding out his mum was a Erotic Dancer!
Our Hick was Jeremy Reynolds, who carries his multitool and drives his tractor. He was the eldest of seven siblings and he had to do a lot of work on the farm.
Matilda is our Bookworm with her magnifying glass.
We were joined by a Popular Kid, Louise with her ever-present can of hairspray.
Last but not least was the return of Victor, the Weirdo with his pad of paper and pencils.

I had to run the scenario from a different starting point as the players last time hadn’t gone to all of the locations nor had they concluded any of the plot threads.
I started with the original character, Victor, having phoned all the Kids to join him in the Mystery. We had scenes from their home life to begin, learning about the Kids situations as they were called to assemble at the Hideout.

I started with the Kids encountering the dodgy Lepidopterist in the street, on their way to their Hideout. He offered them money for them to catch the ‘blue and green’ butterflies if they encountered them. At once the players picked up that he was no good and decided to give themselves fake names from the offset. Also Ricky decided to sneak up on him and steal his wallet from his back pocket. The player rolled on Ricky’s SNEAK and got three successes by rolling three 6’s on a roll of 8 dice. Ricky discovered not only wads of British Stirling in the wallet but other currencies too, especially the Russian Ruble. He also had a CCCP membership card, could he be a Russian spy?!
Ricky dropped the wallet at the Lepidopterist’s feet and took his ‘job offer’.

They also noticed poor Tracy Edwards was putting up ‘Missing’ posters on the lampposts. Her Golden Labrador, lady, has gone missing for a couple of days and she was clearly upset. The Kids tried to console her and offered to keep a look out and took a handful of posters too.

They headed back to their Hideout to get briefed by Victor on the Mystery and to see the captured Atomic Butterfly. Jeremy checked over the mechanical butterfly with his TICKER skill using his Multitool to assist him. He rolled two successes and was able to open up the butterfly and discover not only about how the butterfly works but also the fact that it is powered by an Atomic Battery. The Atomic Battery is very unstable a would explode if hit by metal or by electrical power. The explosion would be small but very intense, vaporising anything within a half metre diameter.
He also learnt that the Atomic Butterflies were laying the seeds of the Feral Buddleia that Victor informed them about.

After that the Kids decided to investigate and search the Lepidopterist’s Hut and what followed for the rest of the Mystery was multiple counts of arson, breaking and entering, theft of firearms, damage to property, and revelation of Government Top Secrets.

This was the only group that actually took apart the Atomic Butterflies to render them useless.

A great game and the new players, both experienced and new, enjoyed themselves and were very involved in the game. The mad fools are also happy to play again soon so expect another few games and reports to follow!

The worst bit is I forgot again to take a photo to the group, next time I will take more photos.

Thanks again go to the staff at The Dice Cup Who we’re very friendly and helpful.

#TalesfromtheLoop
#TheDiceCup

Mar. 13th, 2019

Next Year’s AireCon Dates

Next year’s AireCon has been announced.

*AireCon 2020*
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th March 2020.

Mar. 1st, 2019

[March Update] UK RPG Conventions

This is the March update for the UK RPG conventions for 2019 and far beyond.

There are several date clashes especially on Saturday 6th April 2019.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.



Convergence UK 2019, Element Games, Hallam Business Centre, Hallam Street, Stockport SK2 6PT
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd March 2019
http://www.convergenceuk.co.uk

AireCon 2019, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th March 2019
https://airecon.uk

Conclave 2019, Skylark Hotel, Aviation Way, Southend-on-Sea Essex SS2 6UN
Saturday 16th - Sunday 17th March 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/295413090899485/

Concrete Cow 19, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 16th March 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Glorantha Games 2019, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA
Saturday 30th March 2019
https://www.facebook.com/groups/113179238364649g3/

Conpulsion 2019, Teviot Row House, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th April 2019
http://conpulsion.org/
https://www.facebook.com/conpulsion/

TringCon 2019, Marsworth Millennium Hall, 1 Vicarage Road, Marsworth, Herts, HP23 4LR.
Saturday 6th April 2019, 9:00am - 9:00pm
http://tringcon.org

UNCON 5.0, Heart Centre, St Georges School, Westwood Road, Broadstairs, Kent. CT10 2LH
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April 2019
https://m.facebook.com/Uncon-Tabletop-Convention-133304054023566/

Seven Hills 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April 2019
http://7hills.org.uk/

National Student Gaming & Roleplaying Championships 2019, Glasgow University Gaming Society, Glasgow University, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Friday 12th - Sunday 14th April 2019
https://nsgrc.co.uk/

D6 Con 2019, The Rugby Hotel, 22-23 Sheep Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 3BX
Saturday 13th April 2019, 09:00am - 11:00pm
https://m.facebook.com/events/2196514887337456

DevaCon III, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Trinity St, Chester CH1 2BD
Saturday 27th April 2019, 10.00am - 11.00pm
https://devaconblog.wordpress.com

ConTRAPtion 2019, Chatsworth Hotel, The Steyne, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3DU
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May 2019
https://warhorn.net/events/contraption-2019

North Star 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th May 2019
http://www.northstarcon.org.uk/

30th Beer & Pretzels, Burton Town Hall, King Edward Place, Burton upon Trent, DE14 2EB
Saturday 18th - Sunday 19th May 2019
https://www.spiritgames.co.uk

UK Games Expo 2019, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 31st May - Sunday 2nd June 2019
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Summer StabCon 2019, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

PaizoCon UK 2019, Bournville College, 1 Longbridge Lane, Birmingham B31 2TW
Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk

Grand Tribunal 2019, Gas Green Community Centre, Baker Street, Cheltenham GL51 9HQ
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th August 2019
http://www.grandtribunal.org/wiki/Main_Page

ShadowCon XIII, Northfields Community Centre, 71A Northcroft Road, West Wali g, London, W13 9SS
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://www.shadowwarriors.co.uk

Tabletop Scotland 2019, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 0TH
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://tabletopscotland.co.uk/

GamesCon 2019, Emsworth Community Centre, PO10 7DD
Saturday 31st August 2019, 09:00am - 10:00pm
https://gamescon.co.uk/visitor-info/

The Owlbear and the Wizard’s Staff II: Warwickshire RPG Mini-Con 2019, The Band Factory, Unit 13, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 2AU
Saturday 21st September 2019, 9:00am - 10:00pm
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-owlbear-and-the-wizards-staff-ii-warwickshire-rpg-mini-con-tickets-55534516233

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

JenCon Seven, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 26th - Sunday 27th October 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk/index.php/10-newsflash/143-jencon-phwoar

Dragonmeet 2019, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

ConTingency 2020, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 22nd - Monday 27th January 2020.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Dudley Bug Ball 2020, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Revelation 2020, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd February 2020
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Feb. 24th, 2019

[Con Report] Mug & Game’s Games Day II

Congleton Games Day II
Saturday 23rd February 2019
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com




Set off nice and early from Derby on the train taking in the misty landscape from the train window as I crossed counties. I got to Congleton with no issues and arrived in pleasant sunshine.
With a short hop in a taxi to the venue due to my broken leg still healing, I got there with the Games Day in full flow. The venue was a church community hall, stone built with modern amenities, and accessed through the graveyard. I was greeted warmly on arrival at the reception desk and offered help and assistance in joining games.
There were over forty people in attendance in the church hall with seven full tables of roleplaying games, board games, and war games taking place. More people arrived during the afternoon too so it was nice and busy.
They also had a huge board game library of new games and a Bring & Buy stall too.



As my game wasn’t taking place until the afternoon I joined in a board game based on the film ‘The Thing’. There were seven players for an intense game of trying to survive in the Antarctic Outpost with an alien thing infecting the human crew. I managed to remain human throughout but the things were able to beat us. It was a fun game to play so I hope to try it again soon.



Next I set up my Tales from the Loop game, Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia. I had six players signed up but only four players showed up, two being a father with his young son. He was the youngest player I have ever had at my gaming table.



I started straight away with character generation and we got some cracking characters.
We had young Joe Thompson, a Hick with a German Shepard called Dave as a companion and a love of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’.
His older brother was Tucker Thompson, a Troublemaker armed with a sharp knife and constantly plays Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’.
Next up was the Weirdo called Ratty, carrying his pet rat Stubs, who rocks out to ’Touch’ by Daft Punk.
Last but not least is the Computer Geek, Maximilian Smyth, who listens to AC/DC ’TNT’ as he codes his computer.
Their Hideout was an old barn with a cellar on Stocker Flats Farm with electrical power for a TV and multiple computers. There were comics, board games, magazines scattered around and a nice supply of cigarettes and alcohol.

The game started with scenes from home life and the Thompson Brothers were doing their chores and collecting hens eggs. They noticed two of the laying chickens had escaped out of the chicken coop and were nowhere to be found. Joe fixed the hole in the chicken wire whilst Tucker followed the tracks of the two chickens. The chickens were gone, escaped beyond the farm boundaries so they could only hope they return of their own volition.
Ratty wasn’t at home but instead was with his friend, Simon the Conspiracy Theorist, who was tending his ‘tomato plants’ and mumbling about missing pets, Government vans, and thunderstorms.
Max was at home on his own, emptying the food cupboards to fill his back pack full up of sweets, crisps, and bottles of Coca Cola before heading out to the Hideout.

The Kids has no real plans so headed to the ‘Meadow’ to play. The ‘Meadow’ is waste ground near the Loop Facility that was destined to be a housing development but the Government stopped the works. Trenches were dug for the utilities and the foundations before the work stopped so the whole area has been left fallow, overgrown with weeds and summer flowers. It’s ideal to play in and out of the trenches, games like War, British Bulldog, Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, and the like.

As the Kids investigate the area they discover strange contraptions, lots of little bones, an absence of animal life, unusual tracks, and stories of missing pets.
When the Winfields, a family of school bullies, arrive on the scene then things heat up and the adventure continues.

It is the first time I have ran this game that the players chose not to seek the help of their ‘cool’ science teacher, but instead got the help from the annoying school swot, Specky Neubert. It is also the first time the Kids used the Atomic Butterflies *against* the Feral Buddleia, that was a nice touch to get rid of both issues in one fell swoop!




This was a great game, the father and son team playing brothers was sweet to behold and the rest of the players were creative and also did a great job keeping the content clean for the young player.


The table labels were great too!


The Games Day was great too. The new venue works very well. The kitchen with flowing coffee, cake and chilli con carne was a marvellous too. The attendance for a con held in a provincial town was high, better than some big city conventions that have been running for years.
Well done to the organisers and the volunteers for such a great convention day. Let’s hope that they continue for years to come.

#mugandgame
#TalesfromtheLoop
#RPGConventions
#conreport

Feb. 22nd, 2019

My game at Congleton’s Games Day II

So I am managing to hobble to a Game Convention this weekend, Congleton Games Day II organised by Mug & Game.



I’ll be running the following Tales from the Loop game. 



Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia
Tales from the Loop RPG

Saturday Afternoon slot.

Three to six players. Newbies welcome!

3 to 4 hours play time.

Watching the swarm of butterflies flowing between the Buddleia at the 'meadow' where you play is peaceful in the sunshine and the silence is welcome after all the arguments at home. But why is it so quiet, where is the birdsong, and what are all these little bones scattered about in the grass?


Tags: Player-led, Sci-Fi (Alt-History), nostalgia play, no pre-gens, rules-lite.

Feb. 3rd, 2019

[February] Up and Coming RPG Conventions

This is the February update for the UK RPG conventions for 2019 and far beyond.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

Quite a few are falling on the same dates so there are clashes, especially on Saturday 23rd February 2019.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.


Spaghetti ConJunction 3a, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA
Saturday 9th February 2019, 10.00am - 7.30pm
https://spaghetticonjunction.wordpress.com/

Beachhead 2019, Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5BH
Saturday 16th February 2019
https://entoyment.co.uk/beachhead-2019

Concord 2019, Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre, Bond Street South, Bristol, BS1 3LE.
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 24th February 2019
http://www.concordgamingconvention.com/

Dudley Bug Ball, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 23rd February 2019, 10.00am - 11:00pm
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Mug & Game Games Day II, St. John’s Community Centre, Buxton Old Road, Congleton, CW12 2ES
Saturday 23rd February 2019, 10.00am - 6:00pm
https://mugandgameblog.wordpress.com

Revelation 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 24th February 2019
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

Convergence UK 2019, Element Games, Hallam Business Centre, Hallam Street, Stockport SK2 6PT
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd March 2019
http://www.convergenceuk.co.uk

AireCon 2019, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th March 2019
https://airecon.uk

Conclave 2019, Skylark Hotel, Aviation Way, Southend-on-Sea Essex SS2 6UN
Saturday 16th - Sunday 17th March 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/295413090899485/

Concrete Cow 19, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 16th March 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Glorantha Games 2019, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA
Saturday 30th March 2019
https://www.facebook.com/groups/113179238364649g3/

TringCon 2019, Marsworth Millennium Hall, 1 Vicarage Road, Marsworth, Herts, HP23 4LR.
Saturday 6th April 2019, 9:00am - 9:00pm
http://tringcon.org

UNCON 5.0, Heart Centre, St Georges School, Westwood Road, Broadstairs, Kent. CT10 2LH
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April 2019
https://m.facebook.com/Uncon-Tabletop-Convention-133304054023566/

Seven Hills 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April 2019
http://7hills.org.uk/

National Student Gaming & Roleplaying Championships 2019, Glasgow University Gaming Society, Glasgow University, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Friday 12th - Sunday 14th April 2019
https://nsgrc.co.uk/

D6 Con 2019, The Rugby Hotel, 22-23 Sheep Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 3BX
Saturday 13th April 2019, 09:00am - 11:00pm
https://m.facebook.com/events/2196514887337456

DevaCon III, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Trinity St, Chester CH1 2BD
Saturday 27th April 2019, 10.00am - 11.00pm
https://devaconblog.wordpress.com

ConTRAPtion 2019, Chatsworth Hotel, The Steyne, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3DU
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May 2019
https://warhorn.net/events/contraption-2019

North Star 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th May 2019
http://www.northstarcon.org.uk/

UK Games Expo 2019, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 31st May - Sunday 2nd June 2019
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Summer StabCon 2019, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 5th - Sunday 7th July 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

PaizoCon UK 2019, Aston Conference Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands B7 4BL
Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk

Tabletop Scotland 2019, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 0TH
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://tabletopscotland.co.uk/

GamesCon 2019, Emsworth Community Centre, PO10 7DD
Saturday 31st August 2019, 09:00am - 10:00pm
https://gamescon.co.uk/visitor-info/

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

OddconUK XIII, Park Inn, Forge Gate, Telford TF3 4NA
Friday 11th - Sunday 13th October 2019
https://www.oddconuk.org.uk

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

JenCon Seven, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 26th - Sunday 27th October 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk/index.php/10-newsflash/143-jencon-phwoar

Dragonmeet 2019, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 30th November 2019, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

ConTingency 2020, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 22nd - Monday 27th January 2020.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG
Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Nov. 30th, 2018

[December] Up Coming RPG Conventions

This is the December 2018 update for the UK RPG conventions for last of 2018 and into 2019 and far beyond.

Each has a website (though a few have Facebook pages) for information and details.

Quite a few are falling on the same dates so there are clashes.

If you know of any that have been missed please mention them in the comments below.


Dragonmeet 2018, Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London, UK
​Saturday 1st December 2018, 9.00am - Midnight
https://www.dragonmeet.co.uk

Winter StabCon 2019, Britannia Hotel Stockport, Dialstone Ln, Stockport, SK2 6AG
Friday 4th - Sunday 6th January 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/21195645768

ConTingency 2019, Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk. PE36 5BB
Wednesday 23rd - Monday 28th January 2019.
http://www.con-tingency.uk/

Spaghetti ConJunction 3a, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA
Saturday 9th February 2019, 10.00am - 7.30pm
https://spaghetticonjunction.wordpress.com/

Beachhead 2019, Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5BH
Saturday 16th February 2019
https://entoyment.co.uk/beachhead-2019

Concord 2019, Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre, Bond Street South, Bristol, BS1 3LE
Saturday 23rd - Sunday 24th February 2019
http://www.concordgamingconvention.com/

Dudley Bug Ball, Station Hotel, Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4RA
Saturday 23rd February 2019, 10.00am - 11:00pm
https://b-m.facebook.com/Dudley-Bug-Ball-Games-Convention-328010347608331/

Revelation 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB

Saturday 23rd - Sunday 24th February 2019
http://revelationgames.org.uk/

Convergence UK 2019, Element Games, Hallam Business Centre, Hallam Street, Stockport SK2 6PT
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd March 2019
http://www.convergenceuk.co.uk

AireCon 2019, Harrogate International Centre, King's Rd, Harrogate HG1 5LA
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th March 2019
https://airecon.uk

Conclave 2019, Skylark Hotel, Aviation Way, Southend-on-Sea Essex SS2 6UN
Saturday 16th - Sunday 17th March 2019
https://m.facebook.com/groups/295413090899485/

Concrete Cow 19, The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL
Saturday 16th March 2019, 9:00am - 11:00pm
https://www.mk-rpg.org.uk/Concrete_Cow

Glorantha Games 2019, Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham. B4 7LA

Saturday 30th March 2019
https://www.facebook.com/groups/113179238364649g3/

TringCon 2019, Marsworth Millennium Hall, 1 Vicarage Road, Marsworth, Herts, HP23 4LR.
Saturday 6th April 2019, 9:00am - 9:00pm
http://tringcon.org

UNCON 5.0, Heart Centre, St Georges School, Westwood Road, Broadstairs, Kent. CT10 2LH
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April 2019
https://m.facebook.com/Uncon-Tabletop-Convention-133304054023566/

Seven Hills 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB

Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April 2019
http://7hills.org.uk/

National Student Gaming & Roleplaying Championships 2019, Glasgow University Gaming Society, Glasgow University, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Friday 12th - Sunday 14th April 2019
https://nsgrc.co.uk/

D6 Con 2019, The Rugby Hotel, 22-23 Sheep Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 3BX
Saturday 13th April 2019, 09:00am - 11:00pm
https://m.facebook.com/events/2196514887337456

ConTRAPtion 2019, Chatsworth Hotel, The Steyne, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3DU
Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May 2019
https://warhorn.net/events/contraption-2019

North Star 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB

Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th May 2019
http://www.northstarcon.org.uk/

UK Games Expo 2019, NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT & Hilton, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP
Friday 31st May - Sunday 2nd June 2019
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk

Tabletop Scotland 2019, Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 0TH
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th August 2019
http://tabletopscotland.co.uk/

GamesCon 2019, Emsworth Community Centre, PO10 7DD
Saturday 31st August 2019, 09:00am - 10:00pm
https://gamescon.co.uk/visitor-info/

DragonDaze 2019, Newport Centre
1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH
Saturday 5th October 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
http://www.dragondaze.com

OddconUK XIII, Park Inn, Forge Gate, Telford TF3 4NA
Friday 11th - Sunday 13th October 2019
https://www.oddconuk.org.uk

Furnace 2019, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th October 2019
http://furnace.org.uk

JenCon Seven, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB
Saturday 26th - Sunday 27th October 2019
http://www.paizocon.co.uk/index.php/10-newsflash/143-jencon-phwoar

Continuum 2020, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG

Friday 7th - Monday 10th August 2020
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2021, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG

Friday 6th - Monday 9th August 2021
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Continuum 2022, John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LG

Friday 5th - Monday 8th August 2022
http://continuumconvention.co.uk/

Dice Cup Nottingham Tales... Game 2

I ran my follow up scenario for my Tales from the Loop game at Nottingham’s Dice Cup Café on Tuesday night, Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia. My intention was to run it for the same group of players from my previous game ran at the Dice Cup just over a month ago but two of the players couldn’t make it. Fortunately we had two new female players wanting to play as they were intrigued. They both were new to roleplaying, a little unsure how to go about it but I reassured them that they would have a good introduction to the hobby playing Tales...


The RPG Room at the Dice Cup Café set for my game.

I took them through the 'Principles of the Loop', which is a great start for new players anyway, and described how the session would go. They generated two great characters.
Victor a gender-swapping Weirdo who is a troubled artist with his drawing pad and a love of strange things (loves Souxsie and the Banshees ‘Happy House’ too).
Maxine, or Max to her friends, is a shy Bookworm who is driven to find the answers to the big questions with her dog Colin. Nana’s ‘99 Red Balloons’ is her favourite song.
They joined the established character of Jono, the Young Farmer with his multi tool and his desire to see the world.

Having the character generation at the start also helped for the new players as they were very creative and inventive with their choices and there are plenty of plot hooks for me to use at a later date too. Then there was the working out of the relationships between the Player Characters, the two new ones with the other player’s character too.

We also learnt that all the Kids had run afoul of the family of bullies, the Winfields. Poor Max has had a football repeatedly kick at her by them, she now hides in the school library where the Winfields never set foot in. Victor is constantly bullied by the Winfields, especially by the girls, and they call him some horrible names.

We used the same Hideout but the new Kids added their own touches to it. Maxine added a bookcase with a comfy chair and reading lamp. Victor added posters of 80’s goth bands, Halloween decorations and left the spider webs up!

We started with brief scenes from their home life and Jono went first. He had managed to do all his chores earlier in the week so he was ducking out for the day to avoid the Government Inspectors who were auditing the farm. He had made sandwiches and had a bottle of pop to take out with him.
Max has to help get her younger brother, Nat, up whilst her mum is working two jobs to make ends meet. She makes herself some snacks and a flask of sweet tea and selects several books to bring along too.
Victor is ignored at home by his parents making him almost invisible. He doesn’t take anything out with him as he will no doubt pick something up along the way.

The Kids meet up at the Hideout before heading out for the day.
They meet Leslie, the Corona Pop delivery man with his duel fuel delivery van full of bottles of pop, on their travels. He offers them a bottle of American Cream Soda and asks them to keep an eye out for his pet Toucan called Guinness who is missing. Of course Victor steals some sweets of the van whilst Leslie was distracted my Max and Jono.

It was their first bit of Trouble they had encountered so far so I took them through the dice mechanics of the game. Victor was great at Sneaking, he had a Body of 4 and a Sneak of 3 giving 7 dice for the dice pool. He got +2 dice for the distractions that Max and Jono were doing against Leslie. The player rolled 2 sixes getting two successes. The player had a choice whether to carry one of the successes over to another but of Trouble along the line or gain a better success. She thought that Victor would take extra sweets and drink to share with his friends so that is what happened.
I also showed the players the different ways of getting out of Trouble if they failed to roll any sixes in their dice pools.
They could Push the roll, re-rolling their dice pool but gaining a Condition. Gaining a Condition means they will get one less dice in their dice pool next time they roll.
They could spend a Luck Point to re-roll their dice pool. They have a limited number of Luck Points.
They could use their Pride an get an automatic success. They can only do this once a session.

Then they go to the Meadow, a piece of wasteland left to go fallow after some developers started to build some planned homes there. All that’s there is an abandoned works shed, dug trenches for the utilities, and weeds growing in the spoil piles.

There the Mystery starts with appearance of the Winfields acting suspiciously and the complete absence of insects or birds. With a pushy mother trying to collect butterflies, Lola her daughter leading the Kids to sneak into the Facility, animal bones scattered in the grass, weird tracks in the grass, and elusive green and blue butterflies along the way the mystery deepens to an investigation of the abandoned farm in the Facility grounds.

They managed to shutdown the Atomic Butterflies and avoid the deadly Feral Buddleia in an alternate 1984 in Derby.
Or did they?
They left it to a robot to finish the mission but what could happen in the second part in the next session?

The players had great fun and are keen to play again. I have included their messages straight after the game as well as a picture of the RPG gaming table at the Dice Cup.
The next game will continue on Tuesday 16th October at the Dice Cup in Nottingham.



#TalesfromtheLoop
#TheDiceCup

Ludorati Café Nottingham Actual Play Part 1.

Tales from the Loop Actual Play
Nottingham is proving to be getting better and better as far as getting players for my games is concerned, far better than my attempts in Derby.
I had another success running my Tales from the Loop game, ‘Bigtrax and Magic Tricks’ at Ludorati Café Bar on Saturday afternoon. I had four players signed up for my game, all keen and ready to go.


The Cube at Ludorati Café with the table set ready for my game.

We were allocated the Cube, a beautiful glass panelled room with a great table set up, air-conditioning, Bluetooth speakers, TV, flipchart, and a host of other goodies too. It is such a great place to run, and no doubt play, role playing games in. To top it all we had table service from the bar as well.

I went through the ‘Principles of the Loop’ with them and began to make our characters.

We had a young Troublemaker called Jojo (Josephine) Jones with her iconic hover-board. She suffers from Dyslexia, has dreams of becoming an Olympic Hover-boarder, and loves ‘Ant Music’ by Adam and the Ants.
 Her older brother, Chad Jones, is a Jock and plays Ice Hockey with his ever-present hockey stick. His teacher hates him but he will always do the right thing as “It’s the right thing to do.” His song is the seminal ’99 Red Balloons’ by Nena. Their dad, Eric Jones, is one of the MoD guards at the Facility.

Billy-Bob is our Hick with his trusty canine companion, ‘Dog’. He is anxious as someone has been poisoning his animals on the farm but wishes to better than the clueless ‘townies’ by taking pride in building machines. He just appreciates the vocal simplicity of ‘Born in the USA’ by Bruce Springsteen.

Last, but by no means least, is Analise, our Weirdo who is a curious girl who thinks that nobody loves her (it might have to do with the razorblade she carries?) She has a dazzling charm that disarms all that go against her and she adores Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’ song.

Their Hideout was a hayloft on Stocker Flats Farm decorated with posters and magazines about hover-boarding, tools and toolkits are littered about the place, there is a selection of protective hockey gear like masks, gloves, and other armour. The copious amount of Vodka bottles provides that homely touch that finishes the aesthetic. The Kids know that they are safe when in their hideout.

As usual I took them through my own setting for the Loop, Derby in the spring of 1984. That April had been one of the coldest and wettest on record. Miserable weather that kept everyone indoors. To top it all the main concern at school was the revision for mock exams and the time that the pupils would choose their main subjects in ‘Options’. Lots of pressure.

Yet now the sun was shining and it was the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. The Kids have seen a flyer about the BigTrak (British, Independent, Gravitron-powered, Titanium-armoured, Radium-Laser equipped, All-terrain Krawler) being on display at the Elvaston Castle Transport and Steam Rally this weekend. They loved the BigTrak toy when they were younger so they were keen to see the full sized tank version.

We had a few quick scenes of home life for each Kid before they all made their way to their Hideout. Their plans were knock awry when they heard the Dixie horn from an American style truck stuck trying to get down the narrow Elvaston Lane. The driver, Milo using the worst Cockney accent, asked them for help to get to Elvaston Castle as they had to set up for a televised Magic Show at the County Fair. The Kids were reluctant at first, but the promise of a ride in the truck, free beer, and a tenner for helping them set up clinched it. They all piled inside the cab. Of course the Kids struggled to actually direct them the correct way as none of them knew the route (quite a few failed dice rolls there) so the truck pulled up later than planned.

The Kids got to see the construction robot, A-FIL-08, in action setting up the auditorium and stage truss and then were drawn into the Mystery by the scientist in the white lab coat taking control of the robot to move and position an Echo Sphere by the stage. They then proceeded to investigate and were hooked into a world of secret tunnels, strange Echo Spheres, duplication of hover-boards, Gravitron Loop, running afoul of school bullies, the discovery of the Kid’s father as one of the MoD guards, flame-throwers and fireworks, and escaping the tank-stealing spies.

The Kids (and the players) were very excited about driving the BigTrak tank and were ecstatic when they did. Again the Kids take the BigTrak tank home with them rather than return it back to the stage, it must be a Nottingham thing as all the other groups that have played this scenario have always driven it on stage to the audiences’ applause. 
The spies were also caught and stopped from causing any more harm. A triumphant end to the exciting Mystery and a few scenes from the Kids home life toned the mood down somewhat.


The players celebrate driving the BigTrak!

A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and the staff at Ludorati Café Bar were very helpful. A big thank you to Damon the Games Coordinator at Ludorati for allowing me to run the Tales from the Loop RPG at the café and no doubt I’ll be running more there soon.


Me running the game. Photo by Damon Mitchell.

#TalesfromtheLoop

Nov. 29th, 2018

Dice Cup Nottingham Tales... Game 1

So I ran my Tales from the Loop game ‘Bigtrax and Magic Tricks’ at The Dice Cup, Nottingham on Tuesday night, 14th August 2018.
I had three players sign up, either via the café or through the East Midlands Meet Up group.

I went through the 'Principles of the Loop' with them and introduced the setting of alternate Derby in the spring of 1984.

We got straight into char-gen and we got three great characters.
We had a young Troublemaker called Dennis (the Menace) with his fags and lighter who was very protective of his friends as they are the only things he has. His mother is alone and drinks a lot so he needs to get out of the house. He loves ‘One Step Beyond’ by Madness.
The Computer Geek is Neil, a mere slip of a lad with his trusty customised computer. He is constantly listening to ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie whilst he is on his computer ignoring his nagging mum. The tough guys pick on him but woe betide for when the shit hits the fan...
Our Hick, or Young Farmer, is Jono. His is independently minded and wants to see the world rather than be stuck on the farm. He idolises his older brother who is away at Agricultural College and he always carries his hand-sized tire-iron multi-tool with him wherever he goes.

Their Hideout was an old camper van, was luxurious but is worn and battered, in Neil’s back garden on some waste ground. Jono has hooked up the mains power and plumbing to it, as well as providing farm produce to eat. The camper van was overgrown with plant life on the outside and littered with computer and robotic parts on the inside from Neil’s experiments. Dennis provides the protection and the magazines that passes for entertainment.

After a few quick scenes of home life for each of the Kids they started looking at the flyer for the Elvaston Castle Transport and Steam Rally that was going to be held over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Of course they were excited about the fact that the BigTrak tank (British, Independent, Gravitron-powered, Titanium-armoured, Radium-Laser equipped, All-terrain Krawler) was going to be on display.
Their plans were interrupted by the sound of a loud car horn, sounding like the Dixie car horn from the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ TV show. They rush outside a see a large American style truck stuck on the road. Of course they help out (except Neil who is hiding) with getting the truck to Elvaston Castle and help with the set up of the stage and auditorium for the Magic Show.

What follows is a hacking of large construction robot, scientists in wire lab coats, weird echo spheres, tunnels under Derby, dodgy MoD guards, bad magic tricks, school bullies, and a failed promise of ice cream.

And the Kids escaped in the Bigtrak and haven’t returned it!
A marvellous end to the one-shot though all the players are keen to play again on a fortnightly basis.



The Dice Cup staff were excellent, helpful and informative.
I will hopefully be running more Tales from the Loop games soon, watch this space.

#TalesfromtheLoop

Continuum 2018 Con Report

Continuum 2018, John Foster Hall, Leicester.
Saturday 21st July 2018.

It was just a just quick hop on the train down to Leicester early on Saturday morning, returning back to John Foster Hall after a long absence.

So the first game slot of Saturday morning I had scheduled my Firefly game, No Power in the ‘verse.
I had a full sign-up sheet so eight players with a reserve too. The sign up sheet had the individual Serenity crew as sign up choices, so that the players could choose who they wanted to play before the game.

I set up in the middle of the main hall, three tables together, so I had enough space for all the players. We had a full crew so all the Firefly characters with the exception of River Tam.
I handed out the character sheets and introduced the system to the players, covering the dice pools, plot points, and the consequences system. I even encouraged the players to add or change additional Specialities (Kaylee having ‘Celebrity Gossip’ as a Know Speciality seems very wrong somehow) as I went off to change.

I put on my tie and waistcoat over my Blue Sun T-shirt, put on my Flamingo badge, and wore my Bowler hat; with my (poor) Cockney accent and was transformed into Badger.
Returning to the game table the players faces dropped on realising they were dealing with Badger.
Badger gave them the deal of a lifetime, the lost ship, Far Horizon, was famous for surveying the ‘verse 200 years ago before it was all terraformed. No one knows where it went down. But the stories have all been retold in the comic books, lazer-vids, and Cortex-plays ever since. Now an opportunity has presented itself as data-crystals from the ship are up for auction tomorrow. They will reveal the last location of Far Horizon and all that survey data that we make everyone rich!
All they have to do is get the right data crystal and the only data-crystal reader on the planet at the Auction House. Easy eh?!!?

The players hit the plot running, Inara, Book, and Simon (with Zoe acting as bodyguard) went to the current auction as high value guests to scope out the site. Wash and Kaylee hacked the computers and ran interference and Mal and Jayne (Jayne got a sweet sniper nest set up) covered the outside. They all learnt the different ‘players’ behind the scenes (two ex-Registered Companions) and the fact that 47 Tong ran the auction house with a paramilitary group looking after the security.

A tough nut to crack but with some risky pick-pocketing (dropping bugs on factions) and calling the Alliance down on another rival. After the triple-switch and a bit of shadow play they got the prize, the right crystal.

Jayne got to use his various ‘flavours’ of grenades at the goons closing in and the whole crew pulled together to escape with the correct data-crystal. Next would be heading out into the black after the lost ship with rival crews after it as well but the game slot came to an end.

Great players and all very good at sharing the spotlight between each other. It was a full team effort to get the results. Had some great portrayals of the characters too, the player of Inara was the only player at the table who hadn’t seen the TV show but the way he acted as Inara was spot on.
A shorter game due to the shorter game slot in the morning.
I forgot to take a photo of the group.

I had a game scheduled for the afternoon slot but there were so many games on offer that I didn’t get any sign-ups. I spend a nice leisurely afternoon in the bar catching up with people and caught two seminars; Historical Gaming and Mark Galeotti’s Organised Crime in RPGs. I learnt so much on the Russian Mafia, the Vory.

A quick dinner from the canteen, salmon on spinach in a creamy sauce- nice!

The last slot on the Saturday started at 20:00 so I had time to set up my table by the open windows in the main hall and get my full set of players seated comfortably. I had six players, three I knew from Derby, the others I have ran games for before.

I was running my Tales from the Loop game Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia.
I covered the *Principles of the Loop* and introduced the setting of alternate Derby in the hot summer of 1984. One of the players had played in my previous game at UK Games Expo but the other five players were new to the game and system.

We got started on char-gen and got some great characters with some very interesting relationships with each other.
So we had the Popular Kid, Kelly Leigh, with her bubblegum, the Computer Geek Lukas Smythe armed with his Sinclair Spectrum Computer, the big older kid was the Jock, Ben, on his BMX, his younger sister, Lena the Rocker, with her ghetto blaster (actually just a cassette recorder), our Hick is Stig and his trusty rough collie, Ruff, and the group’s Troublemaker is Pamela ‘Pam’ Greenwood with her fags and lighter.

The hideout was an old American style silver caravan with a ghetto blaster and loads of mix tapes, fresh food from the farm, a stack of ‘specialist’ magazines along with some ‘Smash Hits’ mags, a telescope, a pile of filled in Doctors sick notes, and the whole place was protected by traps, tripwire, and other hazards.

The character interactions started straight away as the Kids headed to the Meadow to play. They met the Corona pop man on the way and learnt about the missing pets. They offered to look for his missing Toucan Guinness. The players pushed through and past the plot hooks, heading straight for their objective, the Dark Wood. After encountering the titular Feral Buddleia, Ben the Jock pushed Lukas the Geek into the plant’s tentacles whilst Pam the Troublemaker set fire to the plant. Panic ensues and the Kids discover the reason why all the insects, birds and pets have gone.
After smashing their way through the wood, being rude and abusive to an ethereal Lepidopterist, and discovering the burning hole in the chain link fence, the Kids encountered the school bullies, the Winfields!
Running away and avoiding any more plot hooks the Kids retired for the day.

They returned to the fence of the Facility the following morning with the comical moment as the rest of the Kids launched poor Lukas over the fence. More hilarity ensued as the players managed to get me into a fit of giggles due to their PCs antics. And more laughter followed through out the game.

Of course the scenario ends with arson but not before the Kids managed to close down the Atomic Butterflies with the Computer.

A quote from the game; “If you want to make it bigger use Lucas-aid!” Groan.

A great game with some great players adding additional complications and stepping clear of many of the plot hooks in the scenario. Good banter all around and made it a very enjoyable end to the day.
Photo below is of the group. I was still laughing about the game the following day.



With that I made my fair wells and headed back home to Derby.

My crazy notes below.

#Firefly
#TalesfromtheLoop

Nov. 28th, 2018

UK Games Expo 2018 Saturday Con Report

My second day at UK Games Expo 2018 Hilton Hotel, Birmingham
Saturday 2nd June 2018.



The first slot in the morning was my Tales from the Loop game Bigtrax and Magic Tricks. Although I had arrived nice and early to set up my table and relax before running the game my five players were already sat at the table, waiting and keen to start! All the players had never played The game before but most of them own the game.
So I started with the ‘Principles of the Loop’ and began to generate the player characters.

Peter Steel, a Popular Kid, is obsessed with his Simon Le Bon style haircut and is armed with a flick-knife that was actually a comb (nice!). His kid sister is Erin Steel (nicknamed ‘Google’), a Bookworm with a leather satchel of many pockets full of books on many subjects. Our Young Farmer is Alan with his trusty German Shepherd dog called Keegan. He’s a conflicted lad who loves his Boy George. The military minded Jock, Thadious ‘Thad’ Holeston, was a new kid to the school as his father was down on his luck. He always carries his Navel Officer’s baton and an confident swagger. His girlfriend is Picasso, a Weirdo, with an Art School drawing pad and an unhealthy obsession about Thad’s father, Mr Holeston.
The hideout was at the Holeston residence, their disused pool house. With a tanning bed, a kennel for Keegan, a not-so mini-library, a box of almost hidden sports trophies, and paintings of the Kids’ adventures on the walls.

Starting with the opening scenes of home life as the Kids got ready to go to their Hideout, we saw the difficult conditions that the Kids put up with. Safe at their Hideout they plan to attend the exhibition of the real life Bigtrak at Elvaston Castle before being interrupted by a huge American style truck stuck in the road outside. Of course they help out and they help to set up for the Magic Show with help from a giant robot. With mad scientists, strange sphere, weird cables, tunnels, booming noises underground, and dodgy spies the adventure clips along at a fast rate.
To save the day the Kids really did ‘jam the signal’ with jam!

Marvellous! Photograph of the group below.



I had plenty of time for lunch so I checked out the trade halls at the NEC and still had time to grab a good lunch a few drinks and chats st the bar.


The main trade hall.

The second slot of the day in the afternoon was another my Tales from the Loop games Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia. This is the same scenario that I ran on Friday night, ran it the same way but the players this time did some very different things.
I had five players who turned up on time ready to play.
So I started with the ‘Principles of the Loop’ and began creating the player characters for the game.

So we had Robert Robottom, a William Hague/Margaret Thatcher idolizing Weirdo carrying a razor blade (very weird in Derby in 1984!) with his big sister, Stacy, a sassy Popular Kid who was always masticating on chewing gum and had a ‘yapping dog’ called Mr Snuffles. Dwayne the Young Farmer with his trusty Leatherman multi-tool and a love for Kenny G music. Nick is the Computer Geek with his Atari 400z and a robot dog that was always humped by Stacy’s little dog. Damien is our Troublemaker with his skateboard and an urge to collect ants.
Their Hideout was at the Robottom house using the garage and adjoining coal bunker. Pictures of past Tory Prime Ministers adorns one wall whilst the other wall is plastered with posters of Duran Duran, Wham!, ABC, etc. Cigarettes and alcohol supplied by Damien, a boom box, a CB Ham radio, and a wounded stoat called Simon finish the place off nicely.

The opening scenes of home life started the day and the move into the adventure was seem less. The Kids pushed against each other at ‘the Meadow’, wasteland by the MoD Facility, and the investigation started slowly with the later discovery of the Feral Buddleia. There was also a stronger desire to speak to the ethereal Lepidopterist in ‘the Dark Wood’ and get answers from the adults. The arrival of the school bullies was met with suspicion and then things went nasty from there. It almost ended with a thermonuclear detonation that would have levelled half of Derby!

This game differed from the same scenario I ran on Friday night as the first few contests where hit by bad dice rolls. The failed rolls during the start of the investigation shaped the new direction of this scenario. Failing to find the clues the players role-played more. In both scenarios the Popular Kid tried to CHARM her way with one of the bullies; in the first she succeeded and the bully helped her get the Atomic Butterfly, in the second she failed and was driven away with swear words, getting upset, and taking on Conditions. This caused the other Kids to take revenge on the bully.
Lola’s presence also caused more minor ‘sexual awakenings’ with the Kids.
The final scenes returning to the mundane life were more poignant, especially in contrast to the madcap adventures the Kids had.

Another great game with a photo of the players below.



After that it was another chat with people in the bar before heading home on the Saturday evening, filled again with the afterglow of fun games.


So about UK Games Expo 2018.

The Fantastic!

The players in all my games, all 26 of you.
They all brought their A-game and came up with such fantastic ideas and engaged so well with the scenarios I presented.

The helpfulness of the Expo volunteers when dealing with my enquiries.

The Good
Picking my GM Pack from the suites in the NEC when I arrived Friday morning as it was very easy and straight forward. It was en route for me but I heard other GMs moan about the early morning trek from the hotel to the NEC and back.

The earlier start of the morning slot meant we had a good lunch break with plenty of time to get food as well as checking out the trade halls.

The fact that the convention goes from strength to strength and continues to expand. No more getting crushed in the hotel corridors.

The Bad
The Ork Encampment infestation! (Joking)

Only getting three players (but what great players they were!) for my _Supernatural_ game on the Friday afternoon.

The prices at the hotel bar. Even my lime & soda changed prices from £2, to £1 to .55p.

The Ugly!
My fault really but I left my iPhone charger in the Windsor Suite where I was playing on the Friday night. D’oh! I phoned the Hilton Hotel on my train home and they said they would recover it and leave it at the concierge desk for collection on the Saturday. However they couldn’t find it on the Saturday even though there was a record of it being left for collection. Grrrr!

In conclusion.
A great convention with some excellent and creative players for my games. Running five games over two days was tiring but so rewarding. I ate well and was relaxed throughout the con.

Would I run five games again at next year’s Expo?
Hell no, I’ll probably run six. ;)

#TalesfromtheLoop

UK Games Expo 2018 Friday Con Report

First day at UK Games Expo 2018 Hilton Hotel, Birmingham
Friday 1st June 2018.

First slot was my Firefly game No Power in the ‘verse with me dressed as the character Badger. Seven players so we had the full crew except Simon and River. They were a little shocked at seeing Badger on their ship armed with a comic book about the survey ship Far Horizon.


Me GMing dressed as Badger. Photo by Tom Zunder

A heist caper ensued with the crew upsetting the 47 Tong Gang as well as the Oryx Private Military Group. A high-profile prisoner released, an auctioneer’s heart broken violently, torture, double-switch, and the revelation of secrets best kept hidden. Lots of laughs, alternative ways of solving problems, and consequences quashed. A great game. Photo below of the players with their character sheets.


The players from my Firefly game.

The second slot in the afternoon was my Supernatural/Grimm/Sleepy Hollow game Headless in Rapid City. I only had three players for this game and I was considering pulling it. The players were keen to play and, boy, were they keen. We had Sam and Dean Winchester with Icihbod Crane stuck into a deep mystery in Rapid City. They were responding to news reports about a biker gang decapitated during a police shoot out, with additional news about strange lightning strikes, escaped tigers, stolen swords from museums, and sudden violence on the streets of Rapid City.
The players lapped up all the handouts and were demanding more and more; I provided ample more with dodgy characters to boot too. It got to the stage where they wanted to stick them all on the wall like a ‘murder board’ in a detective TV show with string attached to the different people and locations. The players noticed the patterns and additional clues within the handouts and then were making intuitive leaps about the mystery as it unfolded.
Great moments in play and the players captured the characters perfectly in their portrayals. The chap playing Ichibod wasn’t at all familiar with the TV show but played him impeccably. An intense yet fun game with the plot taken in huge chunks.
I could kick myself for not taking a photo of this great group of players.

Slot 3 in the evening was my Tales from the Loop game Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia. I had six players who were interested in the Tales from the Loop game but none had never played it as yet. For one of the players it was her first time playing a role playing game. No pressure then.
So I started with the ‘Principles of the Loop’ and began char-gen.

We had a Bookworm, Elizabeth Bellmount, armed with her signed copy of ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’, Timothy Lansden, a Computer Geek with his trusty Commodore 64, Tiffany Bell, a PopularKid with her diary of secrets, Alexandra Bell, a Victorian dressed Weirdo with her drawing pad, William ‘Billy’ Carter, a Hick with his faithful German Shepherd called Joey, and finally Walcot Preston, a Troublemaker with his fags and lighter.
Their Hideout was the Stocker Flats Farm old barn with power for the computer, broken machinery, piles of old books, an oil drum fire, a vanity table, fairy lights in the rafters, and lots of dog-torn soft furnishings.

These troubled young teenagers were living life in Derby in 1984 within the boundary of the MoD’s Loop. Escaping the humdrum of home life they grouped together to play in the summer sunshine. Playing in ‘the Meadow’ they discovered the absence of the birdsong and the missing hum of the insects and started investigating straight away. Discovering strange tracks and the scattered bones of small animals and birds they ventured into the ‘Dark Wood’. Contending with the school bullies acting suspiciously, an ethereal Lepidopterist, butterflies zipping away, a dodgy man approaching them inappropriately, a cute little robot, scary abandoned buildings, and the popular, clever, pretty, sporty, strange, troublemaker Lola.

Of course the adventure ends with several of the Kids exercising their pyromaniacal tendencies in a spectacular fashion and a careless disregard for characters suffering seizures.

Another great game driven by some fantastic players and I believe that the ‘newbie’ enjoyed herself and wasn’t put off from this weird little hobby of ours. There was lots of laughter throughout.
The photo below is of the group at the table watching the dice cast.


The players from my Tales from the Loop game.


I returned home on the last train filled with the after glow of happy games and players.

More to follow about Saturday at UK Games Expo.

#Firefly
#Supernatural
#Grimm
#SleepyHollow
#Cortex+
#TalesfromtheLoop

Nov. 27th, 2018

North Star 2018 Con Report

North Star RPG Convention, Garrison Hotel, Sheffield.
Saturday 28th April 2018

So a good journey to the Garrison Hotel with very little fuss.


Just some of my game preparation.

Got there in time for the opening speech at the start of slot 1.


Graham presenting the opening speech.

I was running Star Wars Edge of the Empire called ‘Nerves of Steel on Dantoonie’.
So I had four players signed up on the day, the pre-booked players didn’t show up, and only one of them had played this system before.
They selected their characters so we had the Wookie, Saljacca, whom was dangerous not only at close quarters but at long-range too as he had a plasma-slug sniper rifle. Next up was Freya Farthen, the genius mechanic, who could fix and repair anything. Then there was Nash Doorna the smuggler, cocky and overconfident and oozes charm. Then finally there was Moria Sunfell, the sassy pilot who always carries her trusty pistol.


Me GMing my Edge of the Empire game. Photo by Tom Zunder.

They started stranded in the Dune Sea of Tatoonie next to the smouldering crater and the shattered remains of the ship they just raided. They had their prize, data crystals with a wealth of information on future tech and two grav-sleds, neither of which were functional. One grav-sled had its chassis wrecked but its engine was relatively intact. The other sled was structurally sound but its engine was splintered. Of course it would take all of them to work together to swap out the engines and get a fully operating grav-sled between them.
Then they decided that they would take the longer but safer route back to their spaceship, rather than the direct quicker but more dangerous route back.
So they managed to escape the dessert without incident (other than some poor flying by the pilot), and also traded with some Dessert Jawas for so drugs for Saljacca and a new Astromech droid they named RAVE-2.
Psychedelic!



They got to their spaceship without incident and were off-world, past the Imperial Blockade, and away to their homeworld, Ord Mantell. There they cleverly arranged to sell their prize to the highest bidder from amongst the most dangerous organisations in the Galaxy.
The auction would take place on Dantoonie, in the old rebel base there. The characters would only get a day to set up the place to receive their guests from the Black Sun Crime Syndicate, an ambitious Imperial Officer, a Republican Senator, and Teemo the Hutt!
They managed to cunningly hide their spaceship very close, get the shield generators to work to protect the base form orbital bombardment, set up the separate viewing rooms, and primed the whole base up with explosives.
After a bidding war between all the interested parties there was the inevitable betrayal and double-cross. After a furious fire-fight our heroes managed to escape in their hidden spaceship, leaving the squabbling factions behind.
They got their loot, their lives and their ship all in one piece. Now of course they are a mighty fine target for every single criminal group in the Galaxy!


The players from my Edge of the Empire game.

It was a trip to the salad bar at Morrison’s for lunch and a catch up with some of the con-goers.

Slot 2 was another of my games I was running, Firefly ‘No Power in the ‘verse!’.


Table set up for my Firefly game.

I had six players signed up for this game so I got straight down to the player character selection. So the characters Inara, River and Simon didn’t make the selection. We had Jayne the hired ‘muscle’, Zoe the second officer, Wash the pilot, Book the shepherd, Mal the captain, and Kaylee the mechanic. I got the players to read through the character sheets and add a couple of Specialisations to their skills whilst I headed off and changed.

I hastily dressed up as Badger, one of the criminal bosses from the TV show, with a waistcoat, flamingo badge, a tie but without a shirt, and a bowler hat. I returned to the table in full character, proclaiming in the worst Cockney accent ever, that “I was in ruttin’ charge, I was the gorram boss and that I had a shiny job for them!” From that opening everyone was on board, with big grins across their faces, and we started the role-playing session in the full Firefly flavour. I stayed in character for the most part, only dropping out when I took the players through the rules as they rolled their dice during conflicts.


Me dressed as 'Badger' Photo by Tom Zunder.

The job was a simple one, get a couple of high-value items from the Auction House on Persephone that would lead to the location of the missing legendary spaceship, Far Horizon. Everyone knows of the Far Horizon the first survey scout starship of the ‘verse, made famous by the comic-books, laser-vids, halo-films, and cortex screenings of its adventures in space! If found it would be a mighty fine prize. It would contain the raw survey data of the whole of the ‘verse revealing the as yet untapped resources that Parliament has kept secret over the centuries. Also the value of the ship as an historic object could also be beneficial and there would be, no doubt, more valuables on the craft that could be sold off too.

Of course the crew had to get hold of the obsolete data crystals that were up for auction as well as an antiquated data crystal reader. Now they just had to come up with the right ‘caper’ to get hold of the items before the rival crews did!


Me GMing my Firefly game dressed as 'Badger' Photo by Dom Mooney.

What followed was a series of calamity events with consequences growing as the crew went through multiple plans, each one getting more and more outrageous, to complete the caper. Of course in the end it was the simplest plan (with the luckiest dice roll) that got the goods for the most part.
The climax was the trip out into the black to the revealed location of the ghost ship and the discovery of the huge secret that would change the ‘verse for ever.
A magnificent game with the players pushing their characters as well as putting up with Badger himself sitting in the Serenity, getting far too involved in their plans. A great deal of fun.


The players from my Firefly game.

A pre-booked meal in the Garrison bar with a couple of pints just hit the spot before I headed into my third and final game.


North Star has it's own convention beer!

‘Testing Times on Tarsus’ a Traveller scenario run by Dr Moose.
This was my first foray into Traveller (apart from some games when I was in the 6th Form where the GM did all the dice rolls for the players behind his GM screen) but all the other players were familiar with the game system.
We were trouble-shooters for a corporation tasked to check out the security and integrity of some of the corporation’s holdings on the backwater planet Tarsus. Our boss, Rev Landfill, had instructed us to get the layout, staff structure, and copies of the contents in the safe whilst testing the security ‘quietly’. Of course the job goes south almost straight away and there was some bloodshed.

Our boss fires us from the job and we do our upmost to track him down and deal him appropriately. More dead-ends and things going wrong meant that we were struggling to get anything achieved at all. By the time we earnt our spaceship we were definitely floundering and it was only by being the bait ourselves that we managed to draw out our old boss, Rev Landfill, and capture him with some help of some Imperial Shock Troops. A fun game with role-playing our desolate cause.

With that I headed back home on the train, forced to stop in Chesterfield and continue my journey home to Derby in a taxi due to engineering works on the railway lines. Grrr!

#StarWars
#EdgeoftheEmpire
#Firefly
#Traveller
#NorthStar

Seven Hills 2018 Con Report

Seven Hills 2018, Garrison Hotel, 635 Penistone Road, Sheffield, S6 2GB

Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th March 2018
http://7hills.org.uk/


Seven Hills has it's own beer!

So got to the Garrison Hotel just in time.

Firs session was Blades in the Dark ‘War in Crows Foot’ with Pete Atkinson.
This was my first taste of Blades... and it was good. I generated a Cutter, Slate Durance, as part of the ‘Wreaking Crew’ gang.
I loved the char-gen as a group effort and the setting was very intriguing. The job itself went well, planning and doing were done at the same time. Lots of action and the game system zips along nicely.
I will look into this game again.


The loot from the heist.

So for session two I was running Tales from the Loop ‘Bigtrak and Magic Tricks’.
I have ran this scenario three times before and I try the expand the content out.

I got five keen players and got straight into the char-gen. Gabby was the Bookworm with a full encyclopaedia at her disposal, Trent Rivers was the Troublemaker with a Swiss Army Knife, Rocker Carly with her signature Leather jacket, the Popular Kid was Vicky ‘Bad’ Manners with her Hi-Top trainers, and finally we had the Young Farmer Ben armed with a crowbar.
Their Hideout was an old barn on Stocker Flat Farm with a stage made from hay bales, an old sofa, a dart board, a ghetto blaster, cassette tapes that unspooled, and the whole place covered with bad graffiti.

The Kids took to the roadies setting up for the Magic Show, easy as they had a truck full of beer. They got involved in investigating the strange appearance of the Professor and the weird sphere he hid by the stage.
Hijinks ensued as the Kids had to deal with inappropriate behaviour from the roadies, dodgy TV magicians, two over-friendly MoD guards, and evading the Russian spies.

I haven’t laughed so much as we had some good jokes and situations occur in the game.
A very successful conclusion to the scenario with a few poignant moments at the end.


The players from mt Tales from the Loop game.

Session three was my Firefly ‘No Power in the ‘verse’ game.
I had eight players (yes, 8 players at the table) so every character from the series was used except Shepherd Book.

A job offered from no other than Badger. A simple infiltration of a high-brow auction house to get hold of two lots on auction turned complicated as other factions and ship crews were after the same prizes. Data crystals that would point to the location of the missing, legendary survey vessel ‘Far Horizon’ from Earth-that-Was.
Lots of second guessing and reading the other rivals revealed the double switch and the Serenity crew managed to get the prize.
Shoot outs with some of the recurring characters from the TV series ensued as they tried to get off planet side.

A race into the black to get to the missing ship followed and a desperate plan to deal with a heavily armed foe. Everything came together for the grand finale and the revelation of a big secret the Alliance doesn’t want making public.

A very satisfying game with plenty of plot points flowing, character roleplaying, and every player getting their time in the spotlight.

After that it was a rush in a taxi to the railway station and a train home.

#BladesintheDark
#Firefly
#TalesfromtheLoop

Nov. 26th, 2018

Spaghetti ConJunction 2A Con Report

Spaghetti Conjunction 2A.
Geek Retreat, Birmingham, UK.
Saturday 10 February 2018.

A late finish at work the night before, not getting in until 02:00, meant a rush in the morning to get the train on time.

Got to the venue in plenty of time, it’s only a few minutes walk from the railway station, and it was good to see it busy. There were lots of familiar faces in attendance with plenty of games on offer. I got my game sign up sheet into the mix as the game sign ups started.
Those attendees that were new to the convention went first then it went on to the random ticket allocation for the rest of the sign ups.

All the games had plenty of sign ups and one game even had to relocate to the downstairs section of the venue due to all the tables getting used.

I ordered some coffee before the game started and the service at Geek Retreat was excellent. It was delivered to my table promptly.

My game of Tales from the Loop, ‘Atomic Butterflies and Feral Buddleia' had three sign ups so we began straight away.
I started with a quick snapshot of summer in Derby back in 1984, dealing with the weather, political situation, technology advances, music (Now That’s What I Call Music had just came out), and what the kids did back then.
Then we got on with the char-gen after I covered the ‘Principles of the Loop’ with the players. We had a Rocker called Ed who wore denim and had an iconic bandanna, Peter who was a bit of a Weirdo with a pet rat, and a young Troublemaker called Neil ‘nicker’ Smith who was armed with a Knife. Their Hideout was an old WWII pillbox bunker with a crack in the roof, a rat run to keep other rodents away, a boom box for rock music, and a discarded punch bag.
The home life scenes consisted of Ed’s single mother who was a suspected shop lifter, Peter’s communist father shouting at Breakfast TV whilst reading the Morning Star, and Neil’s father having an early morning tipple.


My Tales from the Loop game in action

After discovering the strange piles of animal bones, the disturbing lack of any insects or birds, escaping the attentions of the local bullies, butterflies acting bizarre, ethereal woman chasing butterflies, Ms Science Teacher getting a illicit rendezvous, and a burning hole in a chain-link fence, the Kids managed to solve the Mystery before the the whole area was overwhelmed by carnivorous plants.

It was a thankless task though for the Kids as the return to the mundane was a sharp counterpoint to their adventures.

The game ran for over three hours but ours was the first of the morning games to finish.

After that it was the raffle with a real cornucopia of prizes.

I couldn’t stay for the afternoon session as I had to get back for a family event
In all it was a great event and I look forward to Spaghetti Conjunction 2B.

#TalesfromtheLoop

Dragonmeet 2017 Con Report

Dragonmeet 2017, Novotel Hotel, Hammersmith, London.
Saturday 2nd December 2017

So the taxi I had booked the day before didn’t turn up so I had to run through the dark streets of Derby to get to the Railway Station for my 06:01 train. I breathlessly got there to see my train depart. Had to wait an hour for the next one that ended up being late, if only the earlier one was late I would have caught it.
Got into London at 08:30 but it seemed that only one ticket machine that accepted cash on the Underground had a big queue so I was late getting the Tube.
Got to Hammersmith in short order and found the Novotel without any issues, getting in though was another matter. There was a long queue for two very slow lifts to the hotel lobby.
Quick and efficient service at the GM desk, though I learnt that my game had been pulled and the players put into other games that were running (quite rightly).

So unable to run my game and with no other games running in the morning I just had to twiddle my thumbs in the hotel lobby.

I caught a few great seminars though; Ken Hite and Robin Laws Talk Stuff was very entertaining as always, and Ian Livingston with the early days of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy was very insightful.

In the afternoon I ran my Tales from the Loop game ‘Bigtrax and Magic Tricks’. I had five players signed up from the start and it went fantastic. The players chose and generated the following player characters. We had Jed the Young Farmer who was sat on his tractor, young Chip who was a young troubled soul armed with a crowbar, Weirdo Ida with a pet rat called Poppet, a every popular kid called Joanna and her ever present hair spray, and a metal head called Dane wearing a cool leather jacket.

The player generation at the start of the game really helped to gel the group together as we had a father and son duo, two players from the Fantasy Tw*ts (https://tabletoptwats.podbean.com), and one experienced player.

Each of their opening scenes were short but very character based, giving glimpses into the Kids home life and backgrounds. They were keen to get straight into the mystery.
Dane had arguing parents and an absent older sister so left to get away, Joanna’s aunt had an episode, throwing cutlery at the smoke alarm (including the flyer for the County Fair) so she took that along for the ‘boys’, Ida’s parents wanted a ‘talk’ with her but she slammed her bedroom door and snuck out the window, Chip’s step dad was drunk on the sofa so he just left, and Jed tended his sick father before joining the others at the hideout.



The players from my Tales from the Loop game.

They all were excited about the Bigtrak and the Magic Show taking place the following day. They were chatting and planning to attend when they were interrupted by an American style car horn. A huge American lorry was stuck on the county road and the driver, Milo, was wanting help getting to Elvaston Castle to set up the stage and auditorium for the Doug Henning Magic Show. The kids all helped and the mystery unfolded.

Involving a robot called A-F1L-08, and mad scientist, dodgy roadies, weird spheres, a Bigtrak, incompetent armed guards, and a suspicious TV magician. It all comes to a crescendo with fireworks and ice cream!

Of course at the end of the game after such an adventure, the return to the mundane lives is a sober reminder of how those moments are so precious.

After that it was drinks in the hotel bar, chatting with the players about roleplaying games before speeding across London to catch the last train home to Derby.

#Dragonmeet
#TalesfromtheLoop
#tabletoptwats

Mug & Game Game Day 2017

Mug & Game Game Day, Ruby’s Fund, Congleton, Cheshire.
Saturday 11th November 2017.

So I made the trip from Derby to Congleton for Mug & Game’s first Games Day. In the past when I have travelled to Congleton the train goes directly there along the Crewe route. However it has altered so now I had to change trains at Stoke-on-Trent that added an extra half hour to the journey. I got to the venue by 11:30.



Ruby’s Fund is an Sensory Centre for families with children who have disabilities and special needs. More information here http://www.rubysfund.co.uk
It is a converted industrial building that has been very well developed and decorated. The downstairs area has a Café and a large play area that caterers to all children’s needs and upstairs has a large conference room with space for over twelve tables. The upstairs room also has two smaller committee rooms for private games, a small kitchenette, it’s own toilets, and bench seats around the edge of the room. A great space for a Games Meet!

Straight away I was welcomed in and informed that my game sign-up sheet for my Tales from the Loop game had gone up and had two people signed up already. Marvellous!

I got involved into a game of Cthulhu Wars, a Risk-like game but instead of human empires you play the different factions of the Great Ones from the Cthulhu Mythos. The game pieces are stunningly crafted creatures of the Mythos though several of them were very large. The player game mats, cards, tokens, and pieces are all very beautiful made but the game map that makes the game board is very poor looking with each area not very well defined nor of equal size for all the game pieces. Other than that it was a very good game with seven players in all at the table all developing their own factions domains. It is a game I would like to play again.

In the afternoon I ran my Tales from the Loop game, Bigtrax and Magic Tricks. I had two players signed up already and they managed to convince another of their number to join in too. Tales is a game that works well with smaller game group so having three players is great. The players were enthusiastic and got on with the char-gen with gusto. I had made up eight cards each with the archetypes from the rule book and the players pulled ideas and options from them. We ended up with a farm hick called Sven who carries a crowbar, young Bobby who’s a jock that nobody can call chicken, and Dexter a computer geek who is the smartest kid in school. They had a great hideout in the form of an old WWII bunker full of old furniture, broke down computers from school, and powered by electricity ‘borrowed’ from the Facility.

The scenario was the same one I used at Spaghetti Conjunction though I have now expanded it to make it a little longer by adding a few more NPCs and having the set up occur the night before the day of the show.

The Kids started with scenes from their home life and the use of walkie talkies (with one connected to a can and string set up) and the excitement of going to see Bigtrak in real life. Then from the hideout they see a huge American style lorry stuck up a side street. It’s a huge Silverliner truck and the crew are there to set up for the Magic Show at Elvaston Castle. The Kids help out and see a robot, A-F1L-08, a suspicious scientist, a strange sphere, a electrical supply shed with a secret room, a weird auditorium set up, and a crazy TV magician.
Hijinks ensues with some interesting character moments and the Kids save Bigtrak from mad scientists and spies. They get the ice cream too!

It was interesting to play with players who hadn’t been around in the 1980’s so the whole nostalgia element of the game wasn’t really present except from me running the game. The players were great though, they were from the same group from West Cheshire, called Cheshire Cats.



Players of my Tales from the Loop game.

So in all I had a very good day and will no doubt try to attend the next Mug & Game Games Day if I can get time off work. It helps a worthy cause too.
I’ll let you all know when the next one is scheduled.

#CthulhuWars
#TalesfromtheLoop
#Mug&Game

Nov. 25th, 2018

Spaghetti Conjunction 1B Con Report

Spaghetti Conjunction 1B
Saturday 21st October 2017.
Geek Retreat, Priory Queensway, Birmingham.
https://spaghetticonjunction.wordpress.com


So a bit of a rush to get to Birmingham yet I managed to arrive in plenty of time. A good friendly welcome and some very familiar faces to be greeted by.

A smaller attendance for the second event this year compared to the first one but a very keen crowd nonetheless. Both my games ran with five players each. A good staggered game sign up system ensured all players had a good crack at the game sign-up sheets.

I ran my Supernatural/Grimm/Sleepy Hollow mash up Cortex+ game in the morning with the players picking Sam and Dean Winchester, Ichabod Crane, Abbie Mills, and Nick Burkhardt. From the get go, with the initial news report and the characters establishing whom had the legitimate claim to FBI leadership, the game was full on alpha dog showdown. All the players captured their character moments very well with aplomb with witty commentary and put downs.
There was lots of ‘propage’ with the NPC cards, maps, location guides, and the handouts that helped keep the players informed (and over-indulged with options) and illustrate the setting. Clues sorted and research conducted to the point they worked out the machinations of the baddies and broke the code of the puzzle quite easily. Some combat and creative solutions ensued to the final showdown with a satisfactory conclusion.
The game overran a little but with the table service for food and refreshments it didn’t impact the pace at all running through into the lunchtime.

I had a nice chat with the players afterwards as we went into the afternoon slot. First there was the prize draw then the game sign-up in reverse order.

I ran Tales from the Loop to the five players (two from this morning’s game) and it was the first time I had managed to actually run it.
I issued out ‘X’ cards to the players as I described that the were going to be playing kids in an alternate 1980’s UK setting solving weird technological mysteries whilst dealing with a mundane (and almost tragic) home life. I was concerned that we may inadvertently stumble onto sensitive topics during play but in hindsight it wasn’t necessary.
I had the ‘Principals of the Loop’ set in a display sign which really help to start the game in the right frame of mind and we started the char-gen. The players came up with some cracking characters; we had a set of twins with sibling rivalry, brother and sister, who were sharp minded yet missing their deceased father, an ever-growing tinkerer of machines whose clumsy attempts to connect with others was always thwarted, a well-liked, ghetto-blaster carrying kid who wished to be left alone, and a music lover whose parents were going through a divorce. Their hideout was an old allotment shed with mains power, a fridge, jars of screws, nuts and bolts, and a home brew beer kit.

The game was set in 1984, in Derby, with the Facility having it’s own particle accelerator. Not in a crude giant circle, but in an electro-magnetic curved helix loop under the River Derwent.
The kids were excited to go to the local county fair to see an actual, full sized Bigtrax tank on display at Elvaston Castle.
Of course we played out the opening scenes at each of the Kids’ homes to catch a glimpse of their home life before the adventure began.
I had followed the advice of some of the actual plays I had seen online and made the mystery fairly simple in nature. But in hindsight it was a little too short and over a little quicker then I had hoped (I’ll have to expand it out when I next run the game). They had done some great things; dealing with jumped-up bullies given authority, thwarted a plan by the TV magician Doug Henry to steal the Bigtrax tank under the very noses of the Special Guard Service, rescued the said tank from spies, caused a little mayhem, and got given ice cream at the end of it all. Some great role playing moments throughout.

Yet the most poignant part was the final scenes at home when we were all snapped back into the mundane after the adventure. Those scenes that came so naturally yet were in complete contrast to what happened before with such melancholy and pathos. I was physically moved emotionally by them, as was everybody else at the table. I have never felt like that after a game.
With that ending we stayed at the table a chatted and reminisced about our past and games for over an hour and a half.

With that my time at Spaghetti Conjunction 1B was over and a fast train home.



My Supernatural/Grimm/Sleepy Hollow game in action.



My Tales from the Loop game in action.


#Supernatural
#Grimm
#SleepyHollow
#Cortex+
#TalesfromtheLoop

Blowing 5 Years of Dust Off My Blog.

I have decided to start using my blog again, blowing the five years of dust off. It is surprising how very little has changed and yet what is different too. My game focus has shifted to some new games and I am still attending conventions whenever I can, though I am no longer organising conventions at the moment.

I'll start by posting up my past RPG Con reports from over the last year, especially those that detailing game reports of Tales from the Loop games that I have been running.
I'll also be posting up my lists of upcoming RPG Conventions on a monthly basis, details of my game preparation, GM advice, and my (hopefully helpful) insight into running games.

My aim is to be informative as well as entertaining though those lofty ideals may disappoint. :)

Mar. 2nd, 2013

Buying tickets for Con-Quest Midlands 2013

There are several ways to get tickets for you to attend Con-Quest 2013.

1. Press this PayPal link below and buy a ticket on-line. Remember to fill in you name and contact details. You will collect your ticket from the convention desk on the door on the day so avoiding any long queues at the box office.
The Early-Bird special rate is currently £6.00 if you buy before Wednesday 01st May 2013.
The PayPal button includes the Group Booking Discount as a single transaction only.


Con-Quest Tickets



2. Send a cheque or postal order to:
Con-Quest Midlands
Derby Theatre
15 Theatre Walk
DE1 2NF


Please make them out to “Con-Quest Midlands”

3. If you are in Derby you can buy tickets over the counter at the Derby LIVE box office either at the Assembly Rooms box office located at the Market Place or at the Derby Theatre box office in the Westfield Centre.
Opening hours are 10:00 until 20:00 Monday to Saturday.
Tickets go live on Monday 318th March 2013.

4. You can ring the Derby LIVE box office 01332 255800 and buy tickets over the phone. Both credit and debit cards are accepted for payment. Credit cards incur a £2 booking fee [debit cards don’t incur a fee] and postage will incur a charge of £1.
When collecting tickets from the box office the card used for payment must be seen.
Opening hours are 10:00 until 20:00 Monday to Saturday.
Tickets go live on Monday 318th March 2013.

Group Booking Discount
For those in organised gaming groups or social groups you can get a Group Booking Discount. Please include the names of everyone on the ticket so that they can get in at the door. Individual members can collect their own tickets from the convention desk on the door on the day so avoiding any long queues at the box office.

For Group Bookings of between 6 to 10 tickets the total price is £36.00.
For Group Bookings of between 11 to 16 tickets the total price is £45.00.
For Group Bookings of between 17 to 24 tickets the total price is £60.00.


These discounts are only available if paying via PayPal or by cheque and as a single transaction. We can not offer any discount on tickets already purchased or include them in as part of the group ticket. They are not available from the Assembly Rooms Box Office.

Feb. 22nd, 2013

Con-Quest 2013 Promo Video

Feel free to share!

This year's cheesy promo video for Con-Quest 2013 on Saturday May the Fourth 'be with you' 2013.

Con-Quest 2013 promo video

Feel free to share!

This year's cheesy promo video for Con-Quest 2013 on Saturday May the Fourth 'be with you' 2013.

Nov. 23rd, 2012

My RuneQuest Game at Dragonmeet 2012

Dragonmeet 2012. Kensington Town Hall, London.
Saturday 1st December 2012
http://dragonmeet.co.uk/

This is the game I'll be running at Dragonmeet 2012.
A Gloranthan game set in Second Age Ralios using RuneQuest 6e as the game system.


Wilderness Throne-01

Jul. 26th, 2012

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Authors' Seminar

The good people at Yog-Sothoth have recorded one of Continuum 2012's seminars.


Paul Fricker & Mike Mason, authors of the upcoming 7th edition of Call of Cthulhu recently gave a seminar on what's new and what to expect in the new version of Chaosium's game.

The seventh edition certainly isn't just a simple reprint of what has gone before but has been thoroughly revised and features mechanical changes to the system.

To find out more, listen to YSDC's recording of the event held at Continuum 2012.

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Authors' Seminar

Recorded at Continuum 2012, Leicester, UK. Saturday 21st July, 2012, 9 AM.
Apologies for the occasional sounds of a mobile phone signal. Mike had a dirty, dirty (audio leakage) iPhone on the desk during the seminar.


Mike holds up the new set of Call of Cthulhu rules. Some thinning down of the core book has been made...

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