Convergence 2020

Ok, so I’m a bit late putting this out, but it’s been one of those weeks.

The weekend of 6-8 March saw the 4th outing of Convergence in Stockport and my 4th visit. As in previous years I only attended the Saturday, but I know many enjoy the full weekend experience. It’s a great con in the excellent Element Games which has a huge gaming space for all kinds of fun, covering wargames, X-Wing and RPG’s. This year the organiser Kris pulled it out of the bag; I know from speaking to him about it that it was a real challenge to pull together on his own, but it seemed to me to be busier than ever, so huge kudos and thanks to Kris for running it. The great news is that there will be a Convergence in 2021 and I’ve already seen loads of RPG folk on Twitter getting excited about attending.

I love an early start to a day of gaming, so with an hour or so drive from Crosby I arrived at Element Games just after 9. Enough time to meet and greet and grab a coffee before setting up my game for a 9.30 start. Convergence offers generous 4 hour slots which I really prefer (although my own BurritoCon only has 3 hour slots) – it gives a bit more breathing room and if the game finishes early it’s just more time to chat.

The busy RPG tables – @Simplikissimus demonstrating aerobics in his Traveller game, me standing as is my habit when GMing and @squadronuk recreating Blake’s 7 with his Code of the Spacelanes system

Since first grabbing Winter’s Daughter for Old School Essentials I’ve really wanted to run it. It’s an excellent adventure set in the enchanted forest setting of Dolmenwood. Tagged as a romantic fairytale dungeon adventure it’s not my usual fare, but it had a real charm and some elegant touches. Certainly it doesn’t follow the pattern of standard dungeon adventures. I had a great group of players, all of whom I have gamed with previously, and they all dived into the setting and played the odd assortment of characters in the true spirit of the game.

After a delicious chippy lunch and a quick catch up with @DissectingWrlds who I’d not seen for a while, but had brought his lad along for a quick tour of a gaming con, it was on with setting up my second game. A session of the new Fria Ligan Aliens game had been planned for the afternoon slot, but the GM was unable to attend at short notice – Kris had asked me if I could put something together a few days earlier, so I grabbed an old favourite, For the Honour of the Tribe. This adventure is from Imagine magazine issue 2 and was devised to demonstrate the abilities of the new Barbarian class for AD&D, also detailed in that issue. I’ve previously ran it with The Hero’s Journey and Swords & Wizardry Whitebox, but having reworked it for Old School Essentials for BurritoCon3 last year, I decided to use that. It’s a cracking adventure, highly action oriented but perfect for a one shot. Each time I’ve ran it the mortality rate has been quite high, and this time was no exception, with just one character surviving and saving the day. As in the previous session the players were spot on, embodying the barbarian spirit required for this adventure – thanks @Dragongirl74, Simplikissimus, Paul and Tom.

I had planned on staying for an evening game of Call of Cthulhu with @CyaeghaUK as GM. I’d heard great things about @CyaeghaUK‘s games from Convergence last year so wanted to get a game in with him. However, I was pretty knackered from the previous week and after running two games was starting to feel it even more so. I ducked out of the game and my slot was taken by another player. A couple of days later I asked some of my Night’s Dark Terror players who’d played in @CyaeghaUK‘s game how it went – it sounded brilliant and I was sorry to have missed it. But as Logen Ninefingers is wont to say, you have to be realistic about these things.

With cons being cancelled left, right and centre due to coronavirus I was pleased to get this face to face gaming in. As much as Roll20 allows me to play regularly, there really is nothing like getting together in person to go on an adventure. While it’s a good 12 months until the next Convergence, I’m already looking forward to it; if you can get yourself to Stockport I’d highly recommend it, for the weekend or just a day.

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