The Shropshire Dungeon Master Update V – British Ironwork Centre

So, it’s a busy week at the moment, and not looking likely to get quieter for some time. Part of the mad dash has now been and gone as of this Saturday, Dungeons & Dragons played at the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry, in support of Hope House and Severn Hospice, a pair of local healthcare charities.

This is an event I’ve been working towards for some time, in fact there have been a lot of elements of setting up the business that have rather fallen by the wayside alongside the preparations for this, this week’s GeekOut Shrewsbury meet, and UKGE, and fighting off the classically bad-timed mental health episode. Interest in the event was incredibly high, although actual engagement was low, and attempts to fill up the table for the day were tough, and while a few people who secured spaces were sadly unable to join us, those who played were truly fantastic.

I couldn’t really have hoped for a better location. A sizeable room open onto the front courtyard looking out over the showgrounds, had I known I’d be sharing the room with a pair of metal giraffes, gorillas, and a tiny elephant, I might have prepared something more tropical in theme. Instead I revamped a couple of old games, and wrote a few new games in preparation, not knowing what, or who to expect, I endeavoured to prepare for anything, except my surroundings.

The Ironworks could not have been more supportive, before, during, or after. I had help preparing the poster (my efforts were laughable compared to theirs), regular advertisement on their facebook page, when I arrived I was provided with all the furniture I could need, plied with drinks, and even given a free sandwich. Before I left I was also thanked for bringing in visitors who otherwise would not have been there, and for fostering such a great atmosphere.

Now to thank the groups…

First group, a slightly over-full table, but playing a fast paced game that saw everyone take a moment to shine, from the rebellious dwarven barbarian – whose enraged destruction of a cabin resulted in a clue that could have taken the single scenario into a far longer campaign, to the tiefling fighter – the only character to ever get a magic carpet in this scenario – and the bard – without whom so many lives might have been lost to panic. Never have I ever seen anyone land a griffin on a boat.

Second group! A family who have never played before who took to the role of circus performers-turned-unintentional-heroes with skill, creativity, and some amazing dice rolls, including our youngest player – who took the roll of magician – who rolled two consecutive “3”s on a single performance, I couldn’t help myself but give her some gloriously Tommy-Cooper style act that expertly combined blunder and skill. Thanks for the photos guys.

The third and final group of the day was supposed to be a full table, and ended up as only two players, to whom I owe one small apology. The scenario you played benefits more from having at least four people playing, where the level of chaos only escalates. In retrospect I had a game with me that could have lasted more than the hour we actually played, a little work and we’d have had a more interesting game… perhaps. We had fun anyway, but sadly did not get as many photos.

And the grand total raised for charity:


to be divided between the two charities. I have left the money in the very capable hands of the Ironworks, who keep a running total of money raised for their main charities, and as I was there running the event by their leave, I felt it only right that I attribute the funds to their efforts. I was there to garner business, quite shamelessly so, and I am pleased to say that I walked away from the day feeling like this… whole ridiculous idea can be successful.

Which means more work, more effort, more days like Saturday, and actually being organised with money, finances, and planning. After six months since declaring the Shropshire Dungeon Master an existent business, I’m realising that so many of my efforts have been slow and ponderous. June is the month to knuckle-under, advertise proactively, and ensure that I have a dedicated plan on where I go next.

Watch this space.