Grogfight Dredd Vikings Blades

This last week and a bit has given me quite a few great gaming moments; initially I had planned on writing individual articles on each, but as time has been against me I decided to bundle them up into one neat package.

Grogmeet

I have been looking forward to Grogmeet for ages – it is the highlight of the gaming calendar (Expo comes a close second IMHO) offering an opportunity to run and play RPG’s with fantastic GM’s and players and catch up over a few pints with the great folk who are part of the community.

Dirk the Dice had asked me to organise something OSR/Old School for the Friday afternoon, so after much brain wracking and ideas backwards and forwards we ended up with Grogfight! A four table, four system, four GM, table hopping bar room brawl with added dungeon to fill the hours of the Friday afternoon. The GM’s were all great (buying into this ludicrous idea) and in the run up we had a few online meetings to tie things down. I had chosen to use the Advanced Fighting Fantasy system, while  was running Tunnels & Trolls, was running Classic Fantasy and himself running The Fantasy Trip. As Grogmeet weekend coincided with Chaosium’s call to play a game and honour Greg Stafford, we decided to put the Stafford Rune in as a puzzle at the end of the dungeon… I believe it was a bit of brain teaser, although my group didn’t quite reach it.

Stafford Puzzle

I thoroughly enjoyed GMing for great players and everyone seemed to enjoy it – as an experimental multi-table thing it worked well and was a good ice breaker. The table hopping element of the game was a bit of a pain as I had to interrupt all the games to swap players around – after a couple of hours I gave up on that and everyone just got stuck into their own tables.

I’ve used Advanced Fighting Fantasy before and it was nice to take it out for another spin. I couldn’t see it being my daily driver but it’s great for one shots – it’s light and fast with some nice options to personalise characters and the Fighting Fantasy angle means it’s generally familiar to most players of a certain age.

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The Grogfight GM’s… smiles of relief?

Once Grogfight was finished and following a quick hotel check-in and chippy tea it was time for the evening session. I was lucky enough to get onto the Judge Dredd Savage Worlds table GM’d by @DailyDwarf  and a grand job he did as well. The whole session oozed original Dredd with comic book frames pinned to the wall as the game progressed, a really nice touch. I was one of the MegaCity Judges hosting two Brit-Cit Judges, and from the start we played out the tension between the two factions while trying to complete the missions in front of us. It was great fun! Savage Worlds was a great fit, a simple system that captures the energy of Dredd comics.

We rounded off the Friday evening with a good few beers in a nearby pub; it was great to catch up with gaming friends, particularly because my old gaming mates from a long forgotten time (the 80’s),  and , were there.

Unfortunately my Grogmeet weekend was cut short so I didn’t get to run Carnival of the Damned, but I know everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Saturday events. There are write ups here:

Vikingr

spends most of his time in the sunnier climes on the west coast USA, so while he was back in Blighty we took the opportunity for more face to face gaming. A game was planned at short notice and I offered to run Vikingr, an OpenD6 game also by Arion Games. I’d picked it up in their Kickstarter earlier in the year and it had really caught my imagination; at the time I had cobbled together a few notes for an adventure not knowing when I would run it. This presented an ideal opportunity.

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The players all grabbed one of the pregens provided with the game (actually they are templates based on archetypes – the Berserker, Gothi, Warchief etc that are easily converted into pregens), and in no time were off on an adventure in the wilds of Norway. I thoroughly enjoyed running the game and the system held up really well – even though I was quite rusty with it. I’d love to run it again.

Blades in the Dark

Dirk the Dice was running Blades in the Dark at 24 hour RPG, a charity event that runs this time each year in Southport. Games on offer also included WFRP 4th Ed, WOIN, Numenera and D&D, but I’d selected Blades in the Dark as I knew I’d get a great game with Dirk, had wanted to try the game and the 12 hour slot was more within my current endurance limits…

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Even with two players we had a cracking game, in fact I’d suggest there were certain benefits to having just two ambitious sneak thiefs… our plans were quickly formulated and generally uncomplex. Blades in the Dark is a great system, very intuitive with some clever narrative tricks that are perfect for the genre. Dirk kept us on our toes with lots of turns and twists, with NPC’s based on number sequences given by Grognards who had donated to MIND, the charity supported by the event.

The flashbacks mechanism is pure genius; during a scene, particularly when things aren’t going your way you can jump to a flashback. Maybe you planted a dagger under the table earlier in the day, or as we had done blackmailed the bodyguard of another gang leader to plant an item in the gang leaders room. There’s a different rhythm and style of play to most other RPG’s, but once you get into that the game just flows.

Dirk has written a cracking session report on his blog here.

Donations to MIND, the charity supported event, can still be made here:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/24hr-rpg-challenge-2018

That’s lots of great gaming behind me, so it’s on with the regular Roll20 games now until the con season kicks off again next year with Convergence in early March. Can’t wait!

When the Grogmaster calls…

Dirk the Dice, master of all things Grognard and anchor stone of the Grognard Files collective kindly asked me to write an item for his blog about my resurgence back into the amazing world of RPG’s.  Chuffed, nay honoured to be asked, I put my metaphorical pen to paper and scribbled down some stuff which you can read on his blog here.

If you don’t already read the Grognard Files blog and listen to the podcast I’d heartily recommend you do.  Right now.

After the cold and dark months of winter

As Grog’s slowly awaken from their long hibernation, it’s not only the fresh air of spring and the promise of summer that offer glorious days ahead, but also a quick scan over the convention calendar.  April is shaping up to be a great month for gaming.  On top of my regular games I’m been looking forward to these events with great enthusiasm (and you should be too).

DevaCon

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It’s only two days until we head off to histrionic city of Chester for a glorious 12 hours of gaming in the rather posh Crowne Plaza for DevaCon.  I know there are still tickets left so if you fancy it, get yourself along.  I’m going to be running my Lamentations of the Flame Princess homebrew adventure The Greater Share of Honour, set on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt.  My recent gamer pal Andrew Clark (@DissectingWrlds) is going all out and running three games; La Comedie Francaise for Flashing BladesThe Liverbird has landed for Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes and Sabeurs & Savants for The Cthulhu Hack.  The battle_of_agincourt_by_wraithdt-d948orfguy is a machine.

There are loads of other great games on offer including The One Ring, Chivalry and Sorcery, Mistborn, Firefly, Cthulhu by Gaslight and World of Darkness Glorantha.  Full listing here.  Also checkout the DevaCon Facebook page.

 

Virtual Grogmeet

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Last November a bunch crusty old gits bearing the proud title of Grognard descended upon Manchester for Grogmeet 2017.  The gaming was great and I met some fantastic folks.  The organiser of Grogmeet and host of the amazing The Grognard Files podcast, Dirk the Dice (@theGROGNARDfile) has arranged a virtual version taking place 13-14 April as an way for those who were unable to get to Grogmeet to play some games with other followers of the podcast.  Although I’m not playing any games I am running Forgive Us for LotFP, really looking forward to that.

Lunchtime Lairs

Who wouldn’t want to spend one lunchtime a week playing RPG’s?  A friendly city centre game store, a light and easy system, great gamers.  Every Wednesday between 12pm and 2pm starting 18th April at Just Play in Liverpool, we’ll be running short sessions using the Black Hack; alternating GM’s, a pool of characters, each session must be complete, no carry over to the following week.  Fingers crossed we’ll get enough players to make it worthwhile.

Lunchtime Lairs

 

 

Really, another RPG Blog?

The world needs another one of those like it needs another clueless leader with their fat finger over a big red button.

But, hey, I’m feeling a bit left out and as I’m fairly opinionated about a few things RPG wise (and with life in general), I thought why not join the fun.

What then can anyone who can be arsed reading this blog expect? A great question, which I’ll answer in a totally non-committal manner, on the grounds that I don’t really know myself.  The blog title may gives a hint of my ‘angle’; I’m a big fan of Old School games, particularly D&D retro-clones (I’m loving Lamentations of the Flame Princess at the moment and am getting into Dungeon Crawl Classics), so there may be some blog pages on those.  I quite like some of the newer light modern games as well (rock on Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and The Black Hack!).  As for story games, you may want to look elsewhere.

Some of the things I might choose to do:

  • Review RPG stuff, most likely the games I’m interested in. This probably won’t happen too often as I’d only review material I’ve thoroughly read and have taken the time to form some opinions on.
  • Report on game sessions.  Most likely for players in the games I GM rather than to entertain you lot, but if I can make them worth reading I will.
  • Now that I’ve started going to more conventions I may write up some reports on games played, people I have met and other related foolery.
  • I’d like to say analysis, but more like ramblings.  Things I like about games, why I might consider one thing better than another.
  • Tell you about podcasts, other blogs and other websites that I’m excited about.
  • Whatever else I feel like.

That’s it for now.  If you’ve stuck with it this far, thanks for your patience.

And the blog name.  I put a post on Twitter and got loads of suggestions, thanks everyone who joined in, but I’d had this idea of doing something with OSR and had previously come up with Old Scouser Roleplaying. It was a bit longer than I’d have liked, but I liked the ring of it.  To those who know me it will make sense, and to those who don’t it will mostly make sense apart from the Scouser bit, so a Scouser is a person from Liverpool; there are some great definitions on the Urban Dictionary

Until next time, do one la!

A good place to wash your hair, Liverpool – good, soft water.  John Lennon 1971 George Harrison 1977