Grogten 2023

My first big RPG event of the year is done (it’s probably the biggest day with 3.5 days of gaming!), and it was bloody brilliant. Hosted by @davepaters in Tenby, it’s an annual treat where I just get to play games and have no GMing responsibility. It’s a great crowd to hang around with, we got in loads of gaming while finding plenty of time for good food and beer.

Tenby has quickly become one of my top UK locations, up there with Whitby and York, so taking a stroll around the town on most days was a treat and the weather was pretty good to us for the time of year. A week earlier there was a threat of snow, and there was a bit of that at the start of my journey but the weather was otherwise pretty good.

Thursday 19th January

Our gaming kicked off with two sessions of Space Marines with @jaje7406 as guide and arbiter. The first game was myself, @davepaters and @Sam0Vail as the Space Marines against @carlclare, @JimjimTheGrim and @OrlanthR as the evil Genestealers – we had the hardware and they had the numbers. The rules of the game are fairly straightforward once you get going, but for our first game we got our strategy wrong and lost essential team members to complete the mission. It was tough but a lot of fun.

After an amazing Chilli Con Carne from head chef @JimjimTheGrim we moved on to a second game, this time with the roles reversed. It’s far easier to play the Genestealers, although tactically the other team did better, holding choke points and causing us problems, but we delayed them enough that they couldn’t complete their mission on time. I’m sure it’s a game that gets better with repeated plays.

The evening rounded off like most evenings chilling with beer and fine whisky. A promising start to a weekend that delivered on all fronts.

Friday 20th January

Sons of the desert, do not mess with us!

Like the rest of the grogs I’m an early riser so after a hearty breakfast it was on to the first RPG of the weekend, Jackals, GMd by @davepaters. Using the OpenQuest engine from D101 Games it adds some nice tweaks to make combat fast and gritty. The adventure involved an investigation in a temple, treachery, dark magic and battle with a classic mythic monster – great stuff!

The plan had been for Jackals to be a morning game and other offerings in the afternoon, but with us just enjoying ourselves so much we played on into the evening. Overall a fantastic game, I’d happily play it again.

The Grogten company was completed when @dracowie and @KiernanEd arrived later in the day, just in time for a magnificent curry courtesy of @JimjimTheGrim followed by an evening quiz.

@Sam0Vail was quiz master for our 2nd Grogten quiz, 70 questions on RPGs, movies and books. Last year it was a close run thing with me coming second to RPG powerhouse @OrlanthR, this year I was quite a bit further back (it was the non-RPG stuff that mostly caught me out), and @OrlanthR took the title again. Curse you @OrlanthR! It was a huge amount of fun with plenty of laughs along the way, thanks @Sam0Vail for sorting this out.

Saturday 21st January

At Grogten 2022 we had a full day of @Sam0Vail‘s Mythic Greece Pendragon game and it was glorious. We were all happy to see our heroes in action again for another full day epic of investigation, infiltration and monster slaying. In particular I was pleased to play my demi-god Diomedes, a vainglorious, arrogant fighter who sometimes delivers when it matters. Against the odds we all survived and fought one of the titans of mythic Greece (yeah, that one, it appears in a few movies).

Our Saturday evening ended with a visit to a lovely local pub for food and booze!

Sunday 22nd January

Maskwitches with all the bling

Not everyone can stay the whole weekend and so it was that @dracowie headed off early for his long trip back to the wilds of Scotland. For our morning game we split into two groups: there was a MERP game ran by @davepaters and I played in a Maskwitches game GMd by @OrlanthR. It’s always interesting to try a new system; while the rules were simple, this game was heavily narrative with procedures that shape the adventure… an objective, choices of locations and journeys between. Great for a one shot, but I can’t see any kind of campaign structure. After this @OrlanthR headed back home leaving just seven us.

We ventured into the realms of cinematic horror with Dead of Night, another heavily narrative game, but much more free form than Maskwitches. The adventure was set in a modern day where heaven and hell are battling on earth (in London no less) and hell is winning… our objective was to send the big fella back to hell with his tail between his legs. I really enjoyed the fast flowing action and the survival/sin point economy.

Our last game of the weekend was Chariot of the Gods, the adventure from the Aliens boxed set. I was playing the company agent and everyone hated my PC from the start; others played the captain, mechanics and the pilot. The roles were spot on thematically and a lot of fun to play. The adventure was fantastic, it really captured the atmosphere of an Aliens type story – and we only completed the first part.

And that was it. In a flash the weekend was over, but it was brilliant with lots of laughs and great memories. On the Monday morning we all headed home and normal service was resumed.

Huge thanks to @davepaters for putting us all up, to @JimjimTheGrim and @jaje7406 for the cooking and for everyone else (@carlclare, @dracowie, @KiernanEd, @Sam0Vail and @OrlanthR) for just be flippin’ awesome. Not forgetting our MIA colleague @mcookie123, called upon by his nation to teach some brats. Same again next year?

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