Owlbear and Wizards Staff 2018

525d4e50-a112-11e8-81c9-1b431fd718bc-rimg-w400-h400-dc1c1c1c-gmirA day after the events at Owlbear and Wizards Staff, I’m still coming down from the excitement of it all. Set in the welcoming town of Leamington Spa it promised a day packed with RPG goodness with a bus load of games on offer. The weekend started for me on the Friday night with a visit to a local boozer followed by the delights of Warwick Spice (just to be clear it’s a restaurant with amazing food), the whole evening hosted by the affable emcee Matt Broome. With great company all around I had a chance to catch up with some older gaming pals (I’d like to say old friends because it feels like they are, but I’ve only known most of them 12-18 months!) and meet twitter folk face to face for the first time.

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Matt couldn’t believe the size of his poppadom! Great food, great company in Warwick Spice.

The day itself started early with RPG folk descending on The Band Factory, a rehearsal venue not far from the town centre but free of musical aspirants for the day. The space was perfect, well lit with good sized tables and facilities. Drinks and biscuits were readily available with a load of tasty samosas shipped in at lunchtime. I didn’t have to take more than a step or two to bump into someone I knew.

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GM Lee playing us like a fiddle

I was playing Dungeon Crawl Classics in the morning session, expertly GM’d by DCC Judge Lee Nielson. Lee was well at ease with the system and quickly had us up and running through the 0 level funnel. But rather than being the usual fantasy peasants we were ordinary people from the 70’s somehow transported to fantasy land. My characters were a plumber (Mario of course), a taxidermist and a minister… other’s included a corny radio DJ, a drug addled hippy and a retired ex-SAS dude. It was a lot of fun imagining how these characters could rationalise the crazy fantasy world they had been transported to, and how they would feel having seen three of their fellow time travellers slaughtered by alien lizardmen. Lots of scraps and a few traps saw our numbers decimated until we came to the final encounter and bravely won the day. Great game, great GM, great players.

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The Aliquam Martialis – Howard (hidden by my girth), Lee, Turan, Matt and Paul

After a chilled lunch spent chatting to some top gaming folk it was onto the afternoon session where I GM’d my Lamentations of the Flame Princess home-brew The Greater Share of Honour, set on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt. It’s a game I’ve ran a number of times at cons and it always seems to go down well. I had an great group of players who really engaged with the game and took to their characters with gusto – I had little doubt they would be able to carry out the King’s orders. On this occasion I struggled to fit the game into the 3hr 30 minute slot, hopefully we’ll be able to pick it up and complete it on Roll20.

There were a ton of other great games on throughout the day – like with most cons I wish there was some time trick we could do that would allow me to play in every game – I’m certain everyone there felt the same. Some of the other games being run included Mutant Crawl Classics, Startrek Adventures, WFRP, Monster of the Week (with the Hookland setting), Space 1889, Genesys, D&D 5e, Shadowrun, HeroQuest Glorantha, Runequest, Numenera, Call of Cthulhu, Fate, Elite Dangerous.

The day ended with a gathering of DCC/MCC GM’s – you wouldn’t want to bump into this lot down a dark alley!

DCC Crew

Now the countdown begins, only 364 sleeps until the next one!

Grogfight!

Think you’re ‘ard do you? Just ‘ow ‘ard? Up for a Grogfight?

500px-vpzahMyself, Dirk the Dice and two other top GM’s are concocting a royal rumble Old School style for Grogfringe on Friday 9th November from 1pm-5pm at Fanboy3 Manchester. It’s the premier RPG fringe day of the year, a warm up for Grogmeet Eve and Grogmeet the following day.

Four locations, four factions, four quests, four old school RPG systems and load of mayhem just for fun! You can find out more at the Grognard Files.

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BurritoCon

Following on from the success of BurritonCon (formerly known as ImpromptuCon), in this case with success defined as those who said they’d turn up did and had a great day, we’re doing it again. Now three tables with two slots each. If you fancy joining us contact me here or through Twitter @nfbenson

Date & Time: Saturday 20th October, 10:00 to 19:00 (10:00-14:00 and 15:00-19:00)

Venue: Fanboy3, Manchester. FB3 charge £3 per game played.

Games: Dragon Warriors, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Rifts, Traveller, The Cthulhu Hack, The Umerican Survival Guide

BurritoCon

The event formerly known as ImpromptuCon18 took place yesterday in Fanboy3 Manchester, just some great gamers getting together to play some cracking RPG’s.

We had two tables between 10am and 5pm (ish), and by all accounts everyone had a great time.

  • AM: Traveller and DCC
  • PM: Tunnels and Trolls and DCC

Can’t wait for the next one!

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Traveller was GM Tim’s first time running since the old days. The players said he was fantastic, hope to play this myself sometime.
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Morning DCC level 0 funnel. Disappointingly 12 out of 18 peasants survived; they breezed past the first three rooms without a casualty due to some clever play and extreme luck. Didn’t take too long for the bodies to start piling up and the graveyard to fill up after that though.
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The afternoon DCC crew in a thoughtful moment. There are lots of tables in DCC but they add so much too the game. Note the Beholder Satellite over the Tunnels and Trolls table.

ImpromptuCon18

ImpromptuCon18 is nearly here, taking place on Saturday 28th July at Fanboy3 in Manchester.

But before we go any further, a disclaimer. It’s not a Con and it’s barely impromptu. It came about because my daughter had called upon dad’s taxi service to take her and some friends to the big ComicCon in Manchester Central on that day. I had a choice – after dropping them off I could either drive back home to Liverpool and pick them up later or find something to do for the day in Manchester. Thus an idea was born…

I know there are a few Grognards in the Manchester area so I made the suggestion on Twitter and now we have two tables with 12 seats. The plan for the day is:

  • 10am start 5pm finish
  • Two tables, two 3 hour sessions with an hour for a pie and pint in between
  •  is running Traveller
  •  is running Tunnels & Trolls
  • I’ll run Dungeon Crawl Classics (maybe a two slot depending on other GM’s)

If you are in the Manchester area and are interested in joining us we have a couple of seats left, or if there’s enough interest and enough GM’s could book a third table – just let me know  if you’d like to join us.

There is a small charge payable to Fanboy3 for the table – £3 per game.

Finally thanks to  for booking the tables and offering to run Traveller,  for offering to GM and  for the amazing logo.

Lunchtime Lairs 9a: The Death of Blegrim

Andromeda and Blegrim find themselves in the court of King Lorkay Longtoes, ruler of the Varks, a race of lesser dwarves who despite being marginally degenerate are still excellent miners with vast underground quarries. Gold seems to be a readily available commodity in the underground city of Varkon.

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However, the Varks have a problem. Zinjo the troll has recently invaded their caverns, killing many of their kinfolk and has asked for two gold bars to be delivered each day, otherwise it will go on another rampage. Unlike regular dwarves the Varks are not a warlike people and ask Andromeda and Blegrim to kill the troll; if they succeed they will be given three gold bars and an escort to the above.

Our adventurers agree and after resting are taken to the cavern where the gold offering takes place. Hiding at the back of the cave they watch the troll and see that he appears subdued by a collar. Suspicions already raised after Andromeda recalls that trolls do not value gold, they follow Zinjo and discover that he is controlled by a group of humans; in some way iron collar allows them to overcome the Zinjo’s free will. While deciding how to handle the situation Blegrim charges in, Leroy Jenkins style (again) and soon finds himself in too deep. The leader of the group, a conjurer, casts a Web spell to stop Blegrim moving then blasts him with a series of Magic Missiles. Despite decapitating one of the other humans, he is taken out of action*.87006a4c0c953b82abadba868e5faa26

Wisely Andromeda hangs back during this encounter, but before Blegrim is dispatched permanently, approaches the group who she discovers are explorers from the Guardians of Antiquity, an organisation sworn to recover and protect ancient relics, but not averse to acquiring wealth through devious means to fund it’s expeditions. Andromeda tells their tale to the leader, Jens Abram (with small amendments to the truth). Blegrim awakes, it turns out he was only knocked out, and now the leader of the Guardians needs to decide what to do with them.

* The Black Hack rules state if a character is reduced to 0 hit points in combat they are ‘Out of Action’ and not yet dead. After the combat they roll on the Out of Action table with results ranging from ‘Just knocked out’ to ‘Not alive anymore’.

Find out how the other Lunchtime Lairs adventurers got on.

 

Lunchtime Lairs 8a: Dead Gretch caverns

Following last weeks session Clarky had masterfully split the party and between sessions we discussed how it would work out. After the tree came crashing to the ground, and before anyone could react the ground opened up beneath Blegrim and Andromeda who were both on the same side of the tree. Faqual and Hector continued their adventure to get the Dragon’s treasure horde.

They plummeted deep down into the ground and after an indeterminate time plunged into an underground lake in a cavern faintly lit by some kind of fungus. It didn’t take long for them to clamber to the visible shoreline and determine that they were in a vast underground cavern with two passageways heading off in the same direction. Andromeda could faintly hear a very faint repetitive tinking sound far in the distance.500px-gollum27s_cave_view

After a brief rest the adventurers picked a passage and moved on, before too long entering another cave, not as big with a fairly narrow chasm across the top end. The discovered a Cavern Crawler, an unpleasant insect like creature, which following a failed backstab attempt by Andromeda resulted in them legging it for the chasm. Andromeda deftly leapt across the gap, but Blegrim failed and was tumbling into the chasm when the thief grabbed his arm and helped him clamber to safety.  The Cavern Crawler tried to climb the walls next to the chasm, but Blegrim acted quickly and knocked it into the unknown depths.

Moving on they followed the passageway for some distance before clambering onto a ledge high above the floor of another cavern.  Both of them could see at least two dangerous looking lizard creatures with two tails each. While pondering on what to do next, two sets of eyes were spotted in a recess next to the ledge and the adventurers ended up bargaining with to two small goblin like creatures known as Gretches. The Gretches, Danzig and Potrig, offered to help them get past the lizards if they could get the ‘crawlies’ gold for them. Oh, how they love gold!

With a significant drain on their brainpower the adventurous duo realised they needed to go back to the cave of the Cavern Crawler and see if it had any gold in it’s nest. They headed back and found themselves in a desperate fight with two of the creatures, however, they were victorious and returned to the Gretches with the gold and some other nice items, giving Danzig and Potrig half the gold now and promising the other half when they were safely past the lizards.

Good to their word the Gretches showed the adventurers a route past the lizards. By now the tinking sound was much louder; Danzig said this was as far as he would take them and asked for the rest of the gold. However, Blegrim was in a nasty mood and killed the two poor creatures, taking all the gold for himself. Andromeda now started to worry a bit – honesty seems to be a trait Blegrim is lacking, and she is also starting to doubt his loyalty. Would he betray her for gold?

2d51dab73355dfcb509c74c05567e393The session ended with the PC’s entering a huge cavern, an underground quarry being mined by small, dwarven creatures. As they approach the cavern floor a squadron of poorly trained lesser dwarven soldiers comes to challenge them… surely these intruders are up to no good.