Friday, 20 February 2015

A new Roleplaying Convention in England

So last year I started planning something that might change the way some of us play, or at least take us back to the days when we had the time to play.  Some Fifteen years back, before career demanded eighteen hours a day and you could plan weekends in advance without having to worry that you’ll get called in for something else at zero notice, I (and I suspect quite a few others) took weekends out once a month to catch up with our friends and play for the whole weekend.  When I put this idea together, I got a few groups and worked on the idea that it might still be something that people were interested in, now that jobs have mostly got to the point where you either know your shift, or you can plan in advance and have reasonably confidence that your work won’t mess you about.

Of the groups that we got, there was an overwhelmingly positive response, the chance to have a game that wasn’t under time pressure, that you could build the plot on and have players work through it at their own pace rather than having to throw hints and tips all the time to move the plot on, and of having time to plan the game, get the characters right, have everyone know each other before they got to the game, these things all worked very well.

Some will say cliquey...

I hate cliques, I hate it when people hog all the things that others want for no better reason than the fact that they can, I hate it when you go to a convention and you can’t get a game in because everyone else has mugged all the excellent games well in advance, I hate it when some people have “Special” knowledge that they hoard above everyone else, all those who knew the “truth” about SLA and held it on everyone else, all the people who knew that Mornington Crescent wasn’t actually a game and when you asked about it, the only thing that they’d say was “Ah, well, I can’t tell you that.”

I hate that...

That isn’t what this is about, this is about getting a group of people together that want to have fun, this is about the GM putting the game together in advance, it’s not the fastest clicker on the entry form when the games go live, and the players have to put in work too, it’s not going to be any good if you’re expecting to turn up and wait for the film, you’ve got to be ready to work at this to make it a good experience for all, we’re not looking for people who spend half the time checking their emails and the other half being semi involved.

We’re looking for players, not passers by.

I’ve got a couple of GM’s standing by already, Simon Burley’s offering a two day game, Paul Mitchener is going to be running a two day campaign, Neil Gow’s up for it (details to follow), I’ll be running two single day campaigns, and I’ve got space for between two and three more GM’s for each day.  Full details of the campaigns being offered will be up by the end of February and we’ll open the board for players at that time.


Well, it’s going to have some costs because we’re hiring out the Garrison up in Sheffield, it’s familiar to many and we know it’s a suitable venue for the event.  We’re not going to be using the lower levels, only the isolated areas up top, a thing that we found in the testing stage was that one of the things that most killed atmosphere was listening to the games all around you, so there’s only going to be six games running on each day, and those games will run as long as they have to, meaning that if you’re playing something and you want to keep at it till they close the place, you’re able to do so.  We don’t want to make money off this, but we do need to cover the costs, so we’re offering the day entry at £10, £15 for both days.  Anyone running a game gets in free for the weekend, which would normally be a problem if it was multiple games per day, because every GM runs once and plays several times and you end up making no money, but on one game a day, that GM is earning their pay, only fair to give them chance to enjoy the games as well.

If it ends up that we don’t get enough people, lesson learned and we don’t do it again next year, I don’t think we’ll have that problem though...

Keep an eye out here (, full game details by the end of the month, players register their interest for each game and we build the games up from there.

Any questions?