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…)
Another month has gone by and another gallery post! Yes, we got together, we spoke all about anime and we shared our love for the medium. There were people who travelled from far and wide, as well as a couple of costumed people to accompany. We also had a competition where we saw some incredible art drawn by the friends of GeekOut. With a good gathering of geeks, drinks were a-flowing and of course, we had plenty of games to play. So with all that said, let’s take a look at the images that makes up yesterday’s GeekOut Bristol Meet.
Oh boy do I have a lot to talk about, but I’m going to try and keep my week of experiences brief, which means I’ll only be talking about it for a couple of weeks*, and for this article in particular I’ll be painting in broad strokes.
Getting to Indianapolis was a saga in its own right, a screw up with booking the flight cost me a grand more than it should have done, I missed out on a couple of the opportunities I’d have liked, and learned a few other lessons about how Gencon works differently to other conventions, but I’ll save a lot of that for another article. For now here’s a quick summary of my experiences. (more…)
By the time you read this I should… hopefully be on my way to GenCon (assuming you’re reading this on day of publish, I may already be there, I may have left). After a disastrous and costly mixup with the flights, the only thing I have to be nervous about now is being on my own in a foreign country… and everything afterwards.
I’m booked in to a hotel almost an hour’s drive away from the convention, and I missed booking to see Critical Role live. This journey has been problematic to say the least, but…
It’s quite possibly the biggest gaming convention in the world, with only Essen and UKGE to present any real competition. I’ve got chances to meet some of the most famous faces in the business, the same business that technically I’m now in. I’ll also be watching the Gamers perform live on Saturday, the only event I’ve actually booked a place at, for the rest of the event I intent to wander the con floor and see who and what I can find.
I plan to bring games, anyone who wants a quick D&D one-shot, I will be carrying a few on me, and I know it’s not too hard to land a game at GenCon, but that’s not going to stop me preparing. I’ll also be packing a couple of Magic decks, seriously, seek me out.
And while I’m trying to meet new people, anyone else going who DMs/GMs for hire? I’d love to meet other people in the same field, talk about your experiences and share some of my own. If any other pros are out there and want to chat, give me a shout in the comments, or on the Shropshire Dungeon Master Facebook page.
Otherwise, this ends my work at GeekOut for the next week or so… hopefully see some of you in Indianapolis.
We shouldn’t cancel GeekOut during heatwaves, no matter how tempting it might be. Who’d go outside in that? No one should have to endure those kind of temperatures but… y’know if I start down this path, the discussion gets dark. There were cold drinks and board games, ultimately that’s what’s important here.
The Pour House
I recently found out that The Pour House is about the change hands. Here’s wishing the previous owners the very best of luck in their future endeavours, and hoping the new owners uphold the legacy. We like the Pour House, I mean, I don’t drink so a place that does interesting things without alcohol is always high on my priorities list.
Thanks Tom for bringing in an old rendition of Jumanji as a real-life board game… not as immersive as the original. I managed to settle a score in Magic… that is a blatant lie, I had my ass handed to me by Kim again! Time to raise a deck with a higher pace to it, or maybe raise the Super Soldier deck from the archives.
It should no longer be a surprise for me that our events these days get busy early and stay that way pretty much throughout, especially at this time of year, no doubt things will change come October or something, but in either case Monty’s Tower started out being pleased to see us, then asked us nicely to start using the other bar for a while after everything got a bit hectic. Fair ask, cheers guys.
Highlights of this month’s Shrewsbury Meet, Julia fetching out a 3D camera to play with, we did, shamelessly, an improvised chessboard, and the time it rained for about two minutes and it was… just so great.
Half an hour to design a poster for the best convention you can imagine! A theme, an event, and a special guest star are the minimum requirements, and design talent not… strictly necessary, although apparently an unfair advantage was granted to those who understood – or at least shared – my personal sense of humour, which is almost certainly how Murray won. Milencon would be a bleak affair of staring blankly into our respective hands as we despair over the world we live in and the unhealthy coping mechanisms we use to handle it.
Second place Cluedo Fest appealed to my bloodlust, love of the noir, and I liked the ambiguity of… literally every component. Vanitycon takes third place for it’s cynical approach to internet based narcissism. Other events were beautiful in their own regard, except Joelcon, which had the hubris to assume any relation between me and colours outside of grey.
Next Month, August 29th, Netflix and GeekOut, a celebration of Netflix and internet streaming original content. Attendees are not required to chill… if it’s anything like this month, it may prove impossible.
You know who loves anime? We do.
We love anime so much that we’re dedicating this event to anime. Join in with our anime-themed competition, wear your favourite cosplays and let’s chat anime over a board game.
Today’s article is late, that is a fact. Which is not to say that I’m sat staring at a blank page in desperation trying to reach a deadline, no I’m being quite productive. Folder after folder is filling up with 5e character sheets ready for this Summer’s Insomnia, at which I will again play ten games in four days, and as each session is only two hours long, better to get the character sheets ready than to have people prepare their characters at the table.
With such efforts comes practice, and better yet comes an abundance of other characters from which I can copy and paste important content like class features that require a certain amount of abridging to be made palatable to new players who might be daunted by enormous blocks of text. It’s now very little effort to actually fill in the basics, but with that comes a freedom to get experimental, and at I65, I’ll be bringing a few experiments, because we’re playing a few Plane Shift games. And so as not to give away too much, I’ll only be introducing you to one team…
Khef Crop: Amonkhet
Welcome one and all to the trial of strength! Pulling a few rules from the guidelines set out in Plane Shift: Amonkhet article, the group will step into the sandals of the surviving members of Khef Crop, each bearing the cartouches of both the trials of solidarity and knowledge, now they fight their way along the Luxa river, the mighty god Rhonas looming nearby as a beatific tutor and pitiless judge. For these heroes, there is only one class, Initiate, but in each case I have multiclassed like mad and modified a hell of a lot. I’ve also been going by a slightly more old-school approach to character creation, rolling stats in order having already decided on the race. Here are some of the characters I’ve come up with…
The Naga: A mixture of the cleric of strength and a worshipper of Rhonas himself, and a fighter battle-master. The character has spells to lend a degree of utility outside of combat, much of which is healing but still potentially useful, and I added the maneuvre Sidewind, which allows the Naga to make a heavy hitting attack and immediately disengage from combat, allowing him or her to evade the worst of retaliation, or perhaps land somewhere to threaten someone new. The cleric elements reflect the Naga’s ability to overcome the trials that came before, but here is where he or she is most desperate to shine.
The Devotee: Revering the God Pharaoh first and foremost (hey, it’s not their fault he’s a manipulative dragon planeswalker), and borrowing some inspiration from these warlock invocations that I absolutely adore, this character uses the one listed as Blades of Demogorgon and makes it Horns of the God Pharaoh. I also added Torment of Scarabs because this pdf doesn’t have invocations for Xanathar’s Guide to Everything cantrips, this makes Infestation a concentration spell that consumes your bonus action to maintain. The Devotee has a little bit of rogue in them to add greater potency to their weapon attacks, and lend a bit of evasiveness to the famous glass-cannon.
The Khenra: Khenra come in pairs, it is very rare for the jackal-headed folk to be born as anything other than twins, so hey, let’s stay in-lore shall we? Both are a classic blend of barbarian and fighter, and I added an element of an Amonkhet card I liked and threw in some mechanics I knew would work. Consuming Fervour (fervor in the American spelling) steals a little from the Scourge Aasimar, upping the damage of the barbarian Rage, and taking some extra damage back in kind. Well that’s fine, right? You can just end the Rage whenever? Well not if you’ve got a mean spirited DM who decided to make it impossible to end a rage unless your doused in water.
I might change one of these two subtly, possibly lending a complimentary variation of Rage, or perhaps shifting the balance of classes more in favour of fighter than barbarian… TBD.
The Aven: The Aven might end up as the only pure-class character in the crop, but lately I have been making a lot of wizard subclasses, so expect some homebrew materials no matter what. Having an Aven in the Crop makes my designs a lot more three-dimensional, so there should be a few options to make other people fly in there as well so that everyone can enjoy.
And that makes five… leaving one more. So far I have characters reflecting four colours, leaving only white to go…
Well I have to leave something a surprise for the day. And I still have two more planes to work on.
Every month I like to do these roundups, as a way to show people that hey, there are people out there who like to game. This month was a quieter affair for us, but it’s just as well as it was also the day before Bristol Pride, meaning the bar was pretty damn busy at points. Nevertheless, we had a great night out with plenty of games. Lots of people interacted with us, discussing games and getting involved in the quiz which had 14 entries – All in all, a successful night. Here’s how the day went and a few quick bits of information about next month’s event.
So these are exciting times. Three people today have sent me an article about other professional DMs around the world (many of whom charge a damnsite more than I do), and this hobby that was just barely sticking its nose out from its niche back in the mid 2000’s when I was learning to play is suddenly an industry that’s riding the growing e-sports and game-streaming trend to prosperity and greatness, spurred on by the likes of us who dare to charge the uninitiated into the ranks of character creators and story tellers.
And it’s not just Bloomberg who have sat up and taken notice. (more…)