Our friends over at Level Up! are back again, another huge Cosplay Clubnight is taking place on October 19th, so be sure to check them out. If you’re not sure who Level Up! are, or what they do, then read on for some more details, including the where and when of the event. If you’re a fan of cosplay and in/around Bristol and the surrounding areas, then be sure not to miss this night of cosplay, dancing and fun. Sounds like your sort of party? Yeah, mine too – Here’s a bit more information about the event.
In shadow, we find the light
Safely sealed in darkest night
So make sure y’all keep it tight
Wizards only fools!
Do you wanna beef in the eye of Glob? Do you wanna reach the highest initiation of the secret schools? Well too late, we already disbanded Wizard Club and we’re not supposed to talk about it. Magic was on the table, in the air, magic was in the fudge cake! Or maybe that was chocolate? Certainly wasn’t in the ice-cream, that was… fine I guess.
Anyway, here’s how GeekOut Shrewsbury went this month.
Premeet – Palmer’s
Six of you voted… about a dozen turned up. Dear Palmer’s, apologies for dominating half the room, but hey, at least people were eating and drinking, and at least Gemma brought her dog in for a while to say hi and steal some panini. Oh and thanks to Chris for helping me complete my Omnath commander deck, because as per usual we took the opportunity of the pre-meet for a grand card swap and social session.
I think it’s official, we now average thirty people per event, which means we’re occupying more and more of the pub. This month we were, quite literally wall to wall, expanding further and further. Some of you may recall that – when we began – I was offered that entire half of the pub, and I thought to myself “Yeah, sure, if we get enough people, on a Thursday, sure? Maybe in a decade!” but we are two and a half years of GeekOut Shrewsbury and… well suddenly that doesn’t look quite so unreasonable.
Oh, and if you’re looking at the projector and thinking “Hey, didn’t Joel say that there’ll be no quiz on the projector anymore because of a projector issue?” and yeah… yeah I did…
Magic, experimental chess variations, and EPIC SPELL WARS OF THE BATTLEWIZARDS: ANNIHILAGEDDON (still not available in the UK, thanks Gen Con). Suzie rightly pointed out that towards the end of the evening GeekOut abandons the board games and descends into a casual chat-group… and… good! That’s a sign we’re a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Winners included (in reverse order), a spell that slightly overboils an egg, a spell that guarantees a full and bad night’s sleep, and the winner, a spell that turns a beloved animated film into a live-action remake! Potent, terrible, useless, and yet there are people in this world who would cast that spell all day long!
Lost and Found
The headphones have been claimed by their rightful owner, but does anyone recognise the umbrella? It’s with me and going nowhere until someone asks about it. You can claim it from me next month, and on the subject:
Next month is the Bad Costume Competition!! Moreover it’s on Hallowe’en itself, October 31st (in case there was any uncertainty). Keep an eye on Facebook and Meetup for more information, and watch the countdown timer at the side of the page.
Space: the final frontier that we’re aware of, but among hypothetical frontiers, barely breaks the top 10. Oh and while we’re on the subject of top 10s…
Games, be they video or board, are so often inspired by the big black void that engulfs us and the possibilities that may await beyond, opportunities, horrors, exploration and adventure. While we had options beyond counting, we somehow managed to drill down to a mere ten games themed in and around space.
Matt Groening’s foray into fantasy dropped its second season this week.
Wow do I wish I had more to say. Usually when I review something I’ll be watching it again on the other screen while I write, but Lego Batman’s on Netflix now, so is the Between Two Ferns movie and those are two things I would rather watch! It’s nothing against Disenchantment… no, wait, it is, it’s definitely something against Disenchantment because so help me I do not recall anything that happened in the series that I watched three days ago!
Continuing the storyline that began in the first season and wrapping up the cliffhanger we left in in which Princess Tiabeanie “Bean” leaves Dreamland with her evil mother, oblivious to the fact that said mother is evil. Elfo the elf is dead, Luci the demon is stuck in a bottle, and all the people of Dreamland have been turned to stone, leaving King Zog alone to go mad. All of the above is wrapped up within a couple of episodes, and we learn who the shadowy figures were, Bean’s aunt and uncle.
We now get new plot threads, an elf conspiracy that goes nowhere except now all the elves have moved into the kingdom despite the fact that the city is a terrible place for them, and there’s an ever growing mess with the mother’s side of the family. But… I mean we’re not here for the story, right, we’re here for the comedy? Not sure what happened to that either to be honest.
In season one, Bean was a troubled and rebellious teen, she seems like she’s lost a lot of her zest, becoming a wooden peg on which the plot hangs. Elfo’s incredibly upbeat attitude has been tempered by cynicism with an upbeat delivery, which suits his character progression but loses his naive obliviousness. And Luci, who had been the main source of cynical comedy suddenly takes a backseat. King Zog is beaten down and humbled and clashes less with Bean which was half of his schtick. The first season was rife with jokes that didn’t so much subvert fantasy expectations as shine a massive spotlight on them, mixed with some excellent wordplay, with comical situations and characters.
This time around the jokes are few and far between, and the watering down of the characters only makes the whole thing more bland, and that’s the worst of it, it’s just underwhelming. Secondary characters are thrust forward to negligible effect I felt like Disenchantment was building to something, and I feel like it burned through a lot of the interesting questions pretty easily and left us without much to drag us into season three, if such a thing is coming.
And the worst part is… if it does, I still think I’ll watch it. There’s a cliffhanger, a mystery or two, and a likeability to the cast of characters that makes viewing all too easy. This is passive viewing at its most passive, while the humour is weakened, fewer laugh out loud moments, but it remains watchable and vaguely entertaining, especially if you watch both seasons back to back because there are a handful of running jokes that are forgettable but still kind of humorous, and there’s enough interesting narrative to keep you just barely engaged while I do something else on the other screen… like complain about what I’m watching!
It all nets to somewhere around “watchable”, or perhaps “bearable” but given the legacy it’s come from that makes it something of a disappointment. From the creators of Futurama and the Simpsons comes “more of the same”. Enjoy it if that’s what you want in life.
Not too long ago, I had the pop up to officially say that GeekOut UK has been active for 6 years. In that time, we’ve gone from me and one friend in a pub, to making friendships that will last a lifetime. We’ve gone from two people, to hundreds upon hundreds of different faces, all of whom have left their mark on us. To everyone who has ever looked at the website, or been to one of our events, thank you. There’s not much more for me to say than that. Your continued support and friendship has meant a lot to us.
And Diary XIV
Last time I talked about life as a DM for hire was only July, but hotdamn have these last two months been full of stuff!
Insomnia 65 shortly after Gen Con, three games a day in which I had to shout over the e-sports stage about a hundred feet away with whooping and cheering Overwatch fans and the commentators talking over the action, it’s a hard life but ultimately worth it. Not only are the games booking out, but extra games are having to be laid on, and we’re in the process of inducting another GM to help ease the burden and get a few more people to the tables.
Huge thanks to the photographer who sent me some of pictures he took mid-game, some of your work will end up on a roller banner at some point in the future:
Following a short break in Machynlleth it was straight back to the library, and this week just gone, Staffordshire, specifically a charity event with the Staffordshire Wargaming Guild in support of PWSA for Prader Willi’s syndrome, and military charity SSAFA. I was invited by Harriet who I met very briefly at UKGE in June, and while my communication was slow over the busy summer, I went, I ran a couple of games, I did so far faster than I intended because my players proved to be ruthlessly efficient. Also, I apparently won some dice in the raffle! Thanks everyone, hopefully see you all again.
Ok, so, the future. I am most definitely up to something, for a start I have another Hallowe’en game in the wonderful surroundings of Whittington Castle, and the interest has already been so incredibly high that I’ve added a second day of play! The first event on the 30th of October, the second on the 1st of November (with obvious exception for Hallowe’en itself it being GeekOut Shrewsbury’s Bad Costume Party). In my last horror spectacular I killed everyone in the first hour… this time around, they’ll wish I had.
I’m not offering links for the event because at this point they look set to sell out some time this Saturday.
Finally, I’ve been up to something… I’ve been up to something for about three months, maybe longer, and I still can’t talk about it in full but much of it will be a continuation of the DMing 101 series from when I first started here many, many years ago, and requires learning how to turn all of this long winded rambling into vocal rambling, I ranted about this the other day, but now I can show you that it’ll look something like this.
Ghouls, ghosts, monsters and foes, no matter what type of horrific creation you are, this month’s meetup is for you. For the night of All Hallows’ Eve is fast approaching, so let’s get together for a night of board gaming and of course, fancy dress.
Throughout my life, I haven’t been the best at rhythm games. I’m able to make a pretty good run at them when I’m in the right frame of mind but even then, my reactions to the on-screen prompts can be a bit off. Which, considering one of my favourite games of all time (The Binding of Isaac) has the potential to train lightning-fast reflexes into you, is a bit odd.
Nonetheless, given a flash sale and some Steam Wallet funds laying around – Thanks Joel – I decided to pick up a game that had caught my eye on visuals alone: Melody’s Escape.
Behold, the mighty myths of Britain. Whether they originated in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales, we’ll be looking at some important myths that have become more well known not just here, but further afield. From simple spirits, through to heroics that have been told throughout the ages, this week, we’re checking out our Top 10 British Myths.