BurritoCon4 has gone

You’ve probably heard me go on about BurritoCon4 quite a bit. A small, friendly event held at that most wonderful of game stores, Fanboy 3 in Manchester. Following on from the previous successes of previous BurritoCons, my plan for number 4 started not long after 3 had finished and after asking around I was pleased to see there was quite a bit of interest from previous attendees (many of whom I’ve become good friends with) and gamers that were new to me and the event.

The formula was unchanged with 2 three hour sessions, this time aiming for five tables (I had suggested extending the slot length, but the feedback was clear – 3 hours is just right). I communicated with attendees through a Twitter group, although I’m not sure that’s the most efficient as some folk don’t use it. I found myself repeating key messages on Facebook and email… not ideal, although I’m not sure how best else to do it.

I’d also decided to use Warhorn for sign ups to games, but this meant GMs had to submit their game specs a few weeks ahead of the event. At previous BurritoCons it was much more relaxed with GMs having up to the day to decide what they wanted to run and players trying to get onto games they wanted, a bit more potluck. Based on feedback from the last event I knew players preferred to sign up in advance. All in though there was relatively little to organise – Fanboy 3 are fantastic and make booking tables dead easy, and the GMs were great in getting their specs over to me… then it was just see how it went on the day.

The day was certainly RPG filled with Bud of Bud’s RPG Reviews knocking around at my house and us jumping the train to Manchester, talking RPG gubbins (a close relation to bobbins) along the way. Quite a few folks met up in a cafe across the road from Fanboy 3, but shortly after 10 we were all at the venue, ready to go. Again from an organisation point of view everything was really straightforward as I’d come prepared with a couple of lists, so it was easy to get tables sorted and ensure all the players paid their table fees to Fanboy 3.

Morning session

In the morning session I played A Goblin Quest, expertly GM’d by Joy. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the game; in this instance it quickly became clear as the rules were easy to understand and the setting was delightful. A little microworld where you play a ‘clutch’ of puny goblins out on a crazy mission – in fact, it is the players who decide what the quest is and determine what they need to do to complete the quest. Each quest is split into 3 tasks each with 3 stages and a simple game mechanic determines how you progress through that… features of your clutch such as area of expertise and quirks affect your dice rolls, but the real fun is the narrative bit where players describe what stupid stuff their goblin is doing to move the task forward before rolling the dice. Needless to say there’s lots of chaos and goblins in your clutch get churned through… it was huge fun and is a game I’d recommend checking out.

Our despicable and somewhat useless bunch of goblins plot and scheme to put on a play for a powerful Wizard… a tale of goblins uprising against Wizards. Perhaps not our best decision
My goblin clutch, the Fervent Five who were good at throwing stuff, especially their useless Frisbee. They were pretty useless at everything else.

While we were enjoying being small and highly squishable goblins, there were a number of other games on the go.

Umerican Survival Guide with Griff… it had crabs and vending machines. Mad and brilliant at the same time
Although you can’t see it here GM Tim had a cool 3D printed spaceship interior for his Traveller game. According to Dirk the Dice it was his best Traveller game in 30 years!
Top DCC Judge Bruce skillfully guides his players through the dangerous streets of Lankhmar

Afternoon session

I was running Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells by Old Skull Publishing in the afternoon, having resurrected Who Watches the Watchfires (a Fantasy Age adventure converted to SS&SS), last ran at my first Grogmeet back in 2017. While I love con sessions, I do struggle with time – sometimes a four hour session doesn’t feel enough, so I needed something I knew would fit within a three hour slot and this did the job. A cracking group of players joined me at the table and threw themselves into the adventure; a fairly action and combat heavy scenario involving recapturing a small frontier fort. The SS&SS system did the job fantastically well, offering fast moving action resolution and combat. Again, another game I’d recommend checking out.

I didn’t get a photo of my players (sorry!), so this will have to do. The characters (yellow bases) realise they may have bitten off more than they can chew… or had they?

It was great seeing other players getting stuck into their afternoon games.

GM Craig taking Demon Hunters A Comedy of Terrors for a spin with his homebrew adventure Talentless Hacks. Set in Hollywood, with some talentless hacks. And a demon.
GM Josh shows us older GMs how to do it with a laptop… the giant robot mechs went down a treat
Andy H unimpressed with my sneaky photo. GM Guy is too focussed on bringing Glorantha to life with 13th Age.

After the con we all headed around to a local pub for a few beers and more game talk, before grabbing a bite to eat and heading back home on the train with Bud.

All in I had a fantastic day and was pleased to get positive feedback from the folks who attended – that made it all worthwhile. It’ll be some time before I think about a BurritoCon5, it certainly won’t be until well into the new year. In the meantime if you’re after events with a similar feel and cracking games there are plenty of other events to look forward to, my favourites being:

  • Grogmeet 8-10th November in Fanboy 3 the annual meetup of followers of the Grognard Files podcast and perhaps the best gaming event of the year
  • Go Play Manchester, a monthly gaming at Fanboy 3, next one is 10th November. Their mini-winter Con on 11th January 2020 is a similar format to BurritoCon and well worth getting to.
  • Convergence, a three day con in Stockport over the first weekend of March
  • DevaCon, a one day event in April… no date has been set as far as I know for 2020, but it’s another small one day con well worth a visit

Dirk the Dice has written a piece on BurritoCon4 on his blog – you should check it out and while there subscribe to his podcast.