At the time of writing, I’m about an hour away from publishing the dates for next year’s games at Oswestry Library, currently my most dependable source of income, and at this point places are so hard fought for that I am going to be disappointing more people than I will be entertaining… which is nice… I think.
By the time this article is published, this will already be plastered all over the local Facebook pages:
Here’s a quick rundown of the plans:
Wizards Only, Fools: January 11th, under 16’s D&D, and it’s an all-wizard party. Currently I’m thinking level 6 so we have lots of spells to play with but not so many that we’ll be overwhelmed. And of course with everyone playing as students of the arcane, something magic is bound to go wrong.
Bury Me Deep: January 11th, over 16’s D&D. An odd stipulation to find in someone’s will, a ten foot deep grave and a lead sheet over the coffin. Players will be a standard team at level five, and they might need a few extra magic items to get to the bottom of this mystery.
End of the World: A three session D&D game for the under 16’s, 8th and 22nd of February, and the 14th of March. Over three sessions a group of level 5 players will witness the beginning of the end, and maybe there’s nothing they can do about it.
Bear Hunt: A three session D&D game for the over 16’s, 8th and 22nd of February, and the 14th of March. Mighty hunters (level 4) will face a pack of bears that cooperate too well, fight too ferociously, and threaten a local settlement with complete extermination.
Sci-Fi Month, Era the Consortium: 11th of April, and yeah, I think April will remain sci-fi month for the foreseeable future. Another team of expendable mercenaries take up a job for one company in order to screw over another.
Night of Demons: 9th of May under 16’s systemless game. From the pit arise a new host of demons, insubstantial wisps of malice barely capable of influencing their surroundings, but bent on causing chaos however they can, in order to grow in power and return home stronger than ever.
The Train Heist: 9th of May, over 16’s systemless game. Flat caps a must, because a band of gangsters are hopping a train to lift something priceless on board. Screw this one up and you’ll end up on the wrong side of the next train going through, capeesh?
Dungeon: Now with Real Dragon! A three session D&D game, 13th and 27th of June, and the 11th of July. It’s a straight forward dungeon crawl for level 6 characters. Light on the story, heavy on the monsters and traps, possibly a dragon, I guess we’ll find out! You might even make it to the end.
Character Building Workshop: Twenty spaces in the morning and twenty in the afternoon, 25th of July. We’ll spend some time creating characters for roleplaying games, but easy on the rules, heavy on the roleplay, psychology, and creative writing.
Improv Month: 8th of August, D&D. Who wants to see me winging a whole game? Utilising some limited random writing prompts and a few suggestions from the players, I’ll be pushing my DM skills to the limit, with zero prep-time and all made up on the spot. Coherence is not guaranteed.
Dungeon Master’s Guide: Twenty spaces in the morning, twenty in the afternoon of the 29th of August. Ever wanted to do what I do? Good, everyone should at some point, you’ll finally appreciate how much furious paddling is going on behind the screen. Everyone will leave the room with an idea for an adventure, ready (or nearly ready) to run!
Weird West: 12th of September for both the over and under 16s, let’s dabble in Savage Worlds and the Weird West, a jaunt into a version of nineteenth century America, but we’re not just talking guns and gold. This frontier is crawling with stranger things than scorpions and bandits.
The Thing in the Ice: A three session D&D game for the under 16’s, 10th and 31st of October, and the 14th of November. Humans will raise a town just about anywhere, and while you’re stuck in a frozen port town in the middle of nowhere, strange occurrences surround the iceberg that’s floating in the middle of the bay. Characters should be 4th level.
Grave Dirt: A three session D&D game for the over 16’s, 10th and 31st of October, and the 14th of November. The death of a senior in the church hierarchy starts arguments about who is best to bring spiritual guidance to the people. Players will be required to keep the peace, as society begins to crumble during the “debate”. Level 5 characters most likely.
Christmas Special: 12th of December, another D&D game with a shameless seasonal theme because good goddamn I love Christmas and I love writing Christmassy games. Character levels tbd.
Now, I mention character levels for a reason, a lot of you have been asking about bringing your own characters. I’ve planned out as much of the year as possible because I’m usually happy for people to bring their own sheets but I rarely knew this year what I’d be running from month to month. If you want to bring your own character, talk to me first, I reserve the right to make alterations or outright veto a character but I’d still prefer you had characters that you really wanted to play.
And on the subject of reserved rights, a couple of important notes: All of the dates and game titles are subject to change and availability is extremely limited, in fact in the last hour and a half since I started writing this piece I’ve sold most of the under 16’s places for the year.
Hey Joel, you’ve published your articles a little late this week.
Ok, so what has taken place since last I talked on the subject?
I also have an interview I must transcribe from UKGE, seems like an era ago at this point. I found that a lot of people with whom I discussed the matter were actually very interested in the idea of a GM for hire, not just prospective future customers, but RPG companies curious to see what suggestions they could offer on how to further the idea and how I might diversify my genre portfolio. Expect more sci-fi from me in the future, I’m starting to toy with some ideas using Era: The Consortium rules and lore, at least one game of Honey Heist.
A rather substantial number of my business cards vanished from me over the weekend, so a new design is required. On the subject…
A New Logo
Tim worked closely with me to produce a logo for the company, coming up with a core concept that I liked the sound of, and working with me to develop something to which I could refer. The coat-of-arms like template has been toned down from the initial vision which included swords and dice bags, both to keep it simple as a good logo should be, and to make Tim’s life easier as my own graphic design skills are rather lacklustre.
Then, opportunity arose for a professional graphic designer to produce a logo for me for free. So I sent along an abridged version of the conversation with Tim, his original design, and the font he found. This was what I got in return:
Still waiting on a higher-resolution version, and I’m definitely keeping both on hand. There’s no reason why – if everything goes well – I couldn’t commission variations of the logo for various genres, and dare I say animations? I do. I do dare say it. Either way, expect new business cards.
“But Joel” I hear you shout, I have rather spectacular hearing and can hear people shouting my name from great distances. “Where can I get one of these wonderful new business cards?”
Ok, well, first of all, they haven’t been printed yet. Second, that’s a weird thing to want, but… fine, I guess? And three, CoxCon! CoxCon is a convention for YouTubers and Livestreamers running from the 21st to the 22nd of July at the International Centre in Telford, that is itself Livestreamed on Twitch. I anticipate the standard array of traders, stage shows, meet and greet opportunities and the like, but I also expect to be surprised, paradoxical as that may be. If you’re going to be in Telford on the 22nd I will be there too, either hastily cramming in games and some casual advertising, or walking around enjoying myself and chatting to folks. I might see you there in some capacity or other.
This will be crammed in between GeekOut Shrewsbury on the 19th, Amecon on the 26th, and shortly followed by…
The Oswestry Library
This was originally going to be advertising, but two of the four games I will be running are all but full.
On the 4th and the 18th of August I will be running pay-per-head games, from 9:30 – 12:30 for the under 16s, and from 13:00 to 16:00 for ages 16+, hosted by and in cooperation with the Oswestry Library. If all goes well it might become a regular event, and I’ll be taking the idea to libraries around the county. If you would like to see me in your local library, and if you’re interested in getting a game in, ask them to get in touch via my Facebook page.
Side note: In addition to the thanks I already owe the Library, thanks too must go to 2-Minute Table Top, who is content for commercial use of his maps and art packs so long as he gets proper accreditation. This is it, thanks, love your work.
Now, the under 16s games are not attracting the interest I would have hoped for, although I admit there was a serious delay on my end getting posters prepped and ready to go into schools in the local area. I’m hoping that my recent tour of town might raise some business on the day, but still, I remain optimistic about the future of the endeavour as a whole.
And by “whole” I also mean this entire endeavour. The push to turn my hobby into a job is taxing, and fraught with the possibility of hating the driving force of my life. As it stands, I’m remaining hugely positive. But all of this merry banter is not finishing the write-up for A Parade For Thieves.
See you all soon.