Thursday, 23 July 2020

Expo Awards - Judging in a time of Social Distancing


In previous years, it hasn't been quite so much of a problem to be able to judge the awards, as getting them to the individual groups hasn't required that we be aware of protocols including not being able to meet up in person.

So what, I hear everyone ask, there's always PDF's of the product to look through, not seeing the problem.

Historically, the expo awards have been judged on several different criteria, and many of the products submitted can't be judged objectively by a PDF (or indeed, don't have PDFs of them), so meeting up was agreed to be the best way forwards.

For the last two weeks, I've been journeying up and down the country and taking all submissions to the judges, or they've been coming to me and we've been doing the judging out in a garden with whatever lights we could find to make the best of things when the daylight started to give in.

As always, the judges are appropriately bribed for their services with a good meal and as much as they can drink, and as always, we never name the judges, except to be clear that none of the judges have worked on any of the awards submitted, and range in age from low teens to mid fifties to get a good range of different perspectives on what has been put forwards. 

As Expo has grown in popularity, so too have the awards, and we had to split them into categories a few years back.  For these reviews, we won't be giving the judges marks or making comment on how well the product did, but we will be noting what was particularly noticed about it and if there were particular positive/negative things said about the submissions.

After six hours of judging, even the coffee couldn't keep us at it.
With that, a big thanks to all the judges for all their work in this, we couldn't do it without you.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Corona’s Virus Adventurers Guild Briefing - Messiah's and Morons



Morning Everyone

Busy weekend, good weather contributed to a whole bunch of idiots buggering off down the docks to sit on the beach, thanks to all of you who gave up the Easter Sunday to work crowd control, and of course, the announcement that our glorious leader has managed to fight off the virus and has risen again to lead us in our time of need…

Risen again… On Easter Sunday…

I don’t pay much attention to what politicians get up to most of the time, but when someone’s constructed a narrative that has him as the Risen Lord, I have to ask one thing…

What was he doing in the previous 40 days…? What had he give up for Lent?

Oh yeah, he’d given up caring about everyone but himself, good job there.

Still, we’ve had a report from the brewing house, there’s a lot of beer that about to be spoiled and we’re going to need volunteers to…

Sit down Lebowski, I’m not finished yet…

We’re needing volunteers to take the beer that’s nearly gone and get it over to the baking guilds, turns out that if you mix beer and flour, add a little sugar, you get bread, and we’re needing bread more than beer at the moment.

That’s not heresy Lebowski, that’s facts, there’s more than a thousand barrels down there, and that’s enough to make bread for most of the city and then some.  We’re running low on a number of supplies, so until the relief ships get here, we’re going to be prioritising keeping essential services running and repurposing buildings as they’re needed.

I’m glad to see that most of you didn’t take the caravan north to rejoin the army, can’t say that I’d have relished losing you all to that, and as we figured, the local criminals took the announcement to mean that they thought you’d all take the chance and get out of here.  City watch reports that it’s had some of their uniforms lost, nothing else taken, but it means that we’re going to be getting a lot of fake watchmen out there for a while.  We’re circulating advice on flyers delivered by the air elementals about not letting watchmen in the house, but there’s only so long that’s going to hold, so we’re going to be called in for more and more domestic matters as this goes on.

Never thought I’d say it, but I miss being in dank dungeons covered in entrails and fighting for my life, that was easy compared to this.  Zargolds president has reported that he’s got it all under control, but remember that the last time he recommended anything, it was household bleach because “It’ll clean all the Germs out…”  In the meantime, you all know the score, Messiah’s and Morons all around, Just remember.

Let’s be careful out there…

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Corona's Virus Adventurers Guild Daily Briefing - Mogs and Moguls


Morning Everyone

We’ve had word from Rashenjot that they’re mobilising the army to keep the capital safe, all reserves are ordered to report there as soon as possible.  I know several of you were reserves once and may wish to go and help those who were your comrades, you owe this place nothing, so if any of you wish to go, take my blessing for safe travel and be out here tomorrow, there’s a caravan heading north to the capital with supplies enough for everyone to make it there well fed and rested.

News for this morning, we did the inventory on the city councils warehouses, seems that the only thieves we should have worried about were those that had the money to buy everything in advance.  More Iron rations than I’ve seen in many years, and enough clean water to wash the whole of the city.  I’ve sent a runner to the safe haven that the council are all using to report our failure in managing to protect their goods from the thieves guild, and promised that retribution and justice will be swift and merciless.

Which it will be…

To the crime of hoarding while pretending to be righteous - Guilty
To the crime of running away when you should have stood with your people – Guilty

Sentence to be redistribution of all hoarded items to the places where they should have been in the first place, the people.  By our reckoning, there’s enough here to feed every household in the vicinity for more than a week, volunteers for handing things out would be appreciated.

In other news, widespread reports of animals carrying the virus have come to us, we’ve had a word with the shapeshifters who in turn have reported back that there’s nothing going around the animals they’ve spoken to, beyond a complete bemusement at how most of the two legs are behaving.  Reports of a gang of cats on the west side terrorising their way into a butchers by climbing up on the window sill and then sneezing are to be discounted, the shapeshifters have spoken to the Feline Fellowship, who deny all such practises and condemn them as deplorable.  That the shapeshifters smelled a quantity of fresh beef in the back of the Fellowship halls is also to be discounted.  You catch any cat guilty of sneezing with intent, bag the furry fraudster and bring them in, we’ll see what strenuous disinfecting does to dampen their antics.

Things seem to be quietening down a little, hopefully we’ve done enough to make the difference and things might soon start getting back to normal, I know I prefer a bit of straight forwards crowd control to all this social engineering, and I’m sure all of you do too, just remember…

Let’s be careful out there…

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Corona's Virus Adventurers Guild Briefing - Idiots and Ironworks.


Corona’s Virus Adventurers Guild Briefing

Morning Everyone

City watch has thrown us a number of reports of large groups of people breaking lockdown, they’ve requested our help in making sure people stay in and observe the rules.  I have to say that for once, I’m not inclined to help and here’s why.

In the beginning, there was doubt, everyone thought this was just the flu and that it’d roll over soon, gatherings continued and it’s likely that a whole lot of us caught the damn thing before the council made a decision to keep everybody locked down.  Can’t say as I blame them, Balion citizens are notoriously independent, or “Stubborn” as most other continents call us, so responding to calls to stay inside when it wasn’t seen as anything dangerous was never going to happen.

Now we know it’s lethal, and there’s still people going outside, knowing what’s out there. You’ve all seen the junior adventurers on their first run charging into fights with Minotaurs that are going to use their head for Doomball practice, they do it because they believe that they can handle whatever’s out there, and that’s why a whole bunch of them don’t make it through their apprenticeship.

Because there’s no training room for the real world, and when you find yourself out there, calling time out just means it knows it’s got you.

And that’s what we’re going to get here…

Can’t threaten them with jail, just turns the cells into a breeding ground for the virus, and there’s more of them than there are of us, so sitting outside their house with a meaningful stare isn’t going to help either.  It’s clear they only care about themselves, so we’re going to work with that…

After apprehending Oldarov yesterday, he’s offered to help us in return for not being put in jail with magecuffs, so tomorrow there’s going to be reports of Air Elementals wreaking havoc in public areas, and we’re going to ignore them.  The following day we’re going to put out an apology that we were too busy trying to police the lockdown to deal with the Air Elementals, and that if people stayed inside, we’d be doing a lot better at dealing with actual threats, rather than truculent tossers…

In other news, the Flame sisters forge just announced that they’re doing a special on custom weaponry and armour. With the virus going around, they haven’t been getting the usual repair trade that they rely on, so if you get chance, put something their way rather than ordering from Zomaza up in Desel.  We don’t support them now, they’re not going to be around when this all lifts, and I like having competent smiths on my doorstep rather than having to wait for a giant workshop to get around to delivering what I ordered three weeks ago.  That’s everything for the morning, Idiots and Ironworks, just remember…

Let’s be careful out there…