Virtual Grogmeet 2023

Is it really that time of year again? Pardon me, but where the fuck has the last year gone?

With a couple of great gaming weekends behind me, as well as being a top notch gaming weekend Virtual Grogmeet signifies the start of the 2023 convention season, with lots of great gaming to look forward to.

The Tolkien vs Moorcock Quiz

Having been on the Tolkien side of the quiz at the Tolkien/Moorcock Weekender it was my turn to be quizmaster along with @Lintillaz on the Tolkien table while @theGROGNARDfile took charge of the Moorcock table. There’s a great delight to be had being a quizmaster, having the answers before you and the Tolkien team really pulled out the stops with a strong performance across both the Tolkien and Moorcock questions. To say the victory was comfortable would be rubbing it in…

March of the Modrons

At past Virtual Grogmeets @theGROGNARDfile has ran a three parter adventure across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings – the last couple of years it’s been The Persephone Extraction for Night’s Black Agents and this year was The Great Modron March, a Planescape adventure originally specced for AD&D 2e, but converted to Old School Essentials. Right up my street.

As always the challenge is expressing how good the adventure was without giving spoilers. The title is a bit of a giveaway, so I can say we were a disparate group of adventurers pulled together to do something related to The Great Modron March. Our pregens were diverse and interesting – I played Oswald Addercapper, a knight on a journey of self discovery and a bit of an outlier amongst a generally more rogueish group. Oswald saw himself as the leader of the group, although whether the rest of the group saw him that way was often unclear.

@theGROGNARDfile compressed the adventure into 3 three and half hour sessions and hit all of the highlights of this meaty module, with us saving the day through a bit of ingenuity, a dashing of bullshit and a smattering of lucky dice rolls. The GM and players all did sterling jobs, thoroughly enjoyed.

The Curse of Castle Ravenhold

This is a homebrew adventure for Index Card RPG, a game I have taken to over the last few months. The adventure started as a “write a dungeons and dragons adventure” request to ChatGPT which generated a number of seeds; this one seemed the most interesting and developed into this one shot adventure. ICRPG has many of the traits of other RPGs but introduces a few clever ideas to move play along, such as targets being set by the scene (so it wouldn’t matter whether you were trying to jump over a pit or smash a goblin in the face, the target number is the same), and using turns throughout most of the game (not just in combat).

Again I can’t go into detail about the adventure as I’m running it at UK Games Expo and spoilers. What I can say is that the players were fantastic, engaging with the system and the adventure, throwing in suggestions and ideas with some of the looser rules of ICRPG. Definitely lessons to be learned from running this.

The Lost Citadel of the Scarlet Minotaur

ShadowDark has been getting a lot of attention recently with a successful kickstarter funding a few weeks back. I didn’t back it as I couldn’t see what it offered over other OSR games or ICRPG, but was keen to play it. The Lost Citadel of the title is a big complex, it was obvious would we would only complete part of it, and Shannon the GM did a great job running the adventure, letting us explore and be creative in dealing with challenges. My thief certainly felt more capable that a first level OSR thief, but the adventure was still deadly and we lost one of our party towards the end of the session. Overall a great experience… I don’t think I’ll be grabbing the ShadowDark system, but I’d happily play it again.

Tale of the Manticore

The Sunday morning interview is always a Grogmeet and Virtual Grogmeet treat, a chilled, entertaining chat with an RPG celebrity. I was looking forward to the interview with @ManticoreTale from Tale of the Manticore podcast, one of my favourites over the last few years. I’ve been listening to the podcast from the start so was keen to get involved with this. Unfortunately daylight savings timezone differences caused some issues and the interview was rescheduled for the following Sunday. Like a dope I completely forgot the interview was on and missed it – I believe it’ll be on a future Grognard Files podcast though.

And so like that, Virtual Grogmeet was over. There’s still plenty to look forward to this year and where I’ll get to hang out with the usual crowd and meet some new people. Next stop, UK Games Expo, followed by Owlbear and Wizard’s Staff and ending the year with face to face Grogmeet. Bring it on!

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