Before we get into the article, I just want to say a huge thanks to Tabletop Gaming Magazine for issuing us Press passes for the event.
Despite the drizzly London weather, I turned up to what I believe was the second year that Tabletop Live took place. The location was the beautiful Alexandra Palace in North London. I thought it might be a smaller and more intimate version of UK Games Expo, and I was not wrong.
A single-day ticket cost £16 for an adult, £11 for a young adult and a family ticket was priced at £41 (2 Adults and 2 Young adults). Two-day tickets were a pretty good deal if you wanted to attend both days at £26 for an adult, £11 for a young adult and £66 for a two-day family ticket. During the expo, there was plenty of opportunities to grab a bargain, and there were some interesting workshops and talks, including one by Ian Livingstone CBE.
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.
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.
With a “Ni”, our knights gathered around for an evening of fun and games, a hugely crafty competition and a lot of games across the board. From our typically large selection of games, through to a special drink presented to our noble warriors, we had a blast. September’s a strange time of year; a lot of folk are back to the grind after the summer holidays, the weather doesn’t quite know what to do with itself, it’s all a bit muddled. Thankfully though, we were there for another month, hopefully allowing people to get some much needed geeky familiarity within the Old Market Tavern.
This may have been our biggest GeekOut Shrewsbury ever. I’ve given up on counting these days because with people flowing in and out it’s all I can do to keep an eye on the games to make sure the library stays intact – you guys make that job easier, but a jam packed August has made entertaining a bit of a stretch, but I think it fair to say everyone had a good time.
This GeekOut Meet was not without bad news… but more on that later.
Pre-Meet – Off The Square
Thanks to the good people at Off The Square opposite Shrewsbury’s new Games Workshop location. We’ve never been to Off the Square before (well I have, we haven’t been as a group). We were well fed and fluided, a nice casual get together before the grand migration and a good turnout for the pre-meet. Increasingly we use the pre-meet as a way to get trades of cards out of the way, a quiet space to peruse folders and make exchanges. This time Murray walked away all the happier for a Gen Con exclusive Star Realms card, a benefit of having friends in geeky places.
Those of you who know me from these events know that I like a nice, natural photo, and that I prefer these galleries full of people who look engrossed and engaged in their games. So to say that I repeatedly yelled “Goddamit Nicole!” you’ll understand the fight I have on my hands with certain individuals who simply refuse to ignore me! Still, we’ve had another great meet, with more faces, new and old.
Now to the sad part of the tale.
The Tragic Cancelling of The Big Geek Pub Quiz
No projector means no quiz. The picture round is entirely dependant on being able to see pictures, and as Monty’s tower is currently unable to use their projector, and as I didn’t know ahead of time, a tragic pun is all but lost to us.
The theme for this month’s event was streaming services, so questions about Netflix, YouTube, and Twitch were high on the order of business… along with this:
… for which I am not sorry. Uploaded at Grace’s request amongst others. Send your answers to us here for the chance to recapture all the stress of secondary school geography.
And the quiz would have ended with a small nod to my plans for Friday and yesterday:
Next month, September 26th: Wizard Club… keep your eyes on Facebook and Meetup for details, and watch the new countdown timer on the homepage.
Bristol-based knights, on your horses, for this month’s event we’re getting all defensive. Gather your best steed, steel your swords and let’s take on those bad guys… Over a board game or two!
Hey all, without lying about it, I had nothing planned for today as I’ve been out with our friends at Later Levels this weekend. Was awesome catching up with them all, so this post is literally just going to be a very short update on the website, what sort of directions we’re heading in and over to you. Basically, this is just a short catch up post, so I can also catch up with sorting other bits of the website out.
Ok, last article about Gen Con* or I’m not coming off the subject until October and frankly I’ve got some other stuff wants writing sat in my to-do pile, but this one’s a big deal for me.
Regulars here know I have a particular fondness of the works of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, more specifically The Gamers film project and it’s miscellaneous spin-offs (like Human’s and Households, Natural One, and so on) and Journey Quest which has just had it’s fourth season renewed via kickstarter. The fan supported studio creates comedy for nerds, and I’ve been watching and supporting them since I got into the hobby over ten years ago. The chance to get to meet some of the faces who have inspired my passion for the hobby was something truly incredible. (more…)
Foreign from another English speaking country, but I had to get on a plane and go over real water. Still, you take my meaning, America – to me – is a strange country with no mountains, straight roads, and personal injury billboards. Your food does strange things to my stomach, and you don’t appear to have trains. To your credit, only three people out of the countless I spoke to got my accent wrong, and in most cases not by much, but on the other hand some of you seem to think that Brexit is all done and dusted, and that made me cry.
So based on my one and only experience, here’s what I’d tell anyone coming from outside of America headed to Gencon, and some advice I’d give to any first-timers. (more…)