Gaming Until 4AM

Have you ever been on a serious gaming holiday? You and a bunch of friends in a caravan or a rented house or something that has some combination of beds and a table that gives you space to just play some games, somewhere that isn’t home.

It sounds counterproductive, what’s the point of going somewhere different to do the same thing you do at home with the same people you game with every week? If you’ve allocated time off work already, is there much point to spending money on a change of surroundings as well? At least at a convention there’s an event, friends who have travelled across country to see, strangers to meet and chat to, shows and panels. Going on holiday should usually be an opportunity to go out and see somewhere new, experience different things, things that break the monotony of life at home and give you a change of scenery, scenery you’re not going to see if you’re playing board games inside.

Plus if you stay home you get to sleep in your own bed.

This weekend I was in a hostel less than half an hour from my house with a bunch of friends, most of whom I see once a week, many at least once a month, all compressed into bunk beds with a small kitchen/diner with limited parking and sat on the side of a hill that made moving stuff from our respective cars hard work… because I’m a nerd and spend most of my day in a computer chair not walking up and down hills. There were ten of us with little to no room to breathe, let alone cook bacon and pancakes for everyone.

Sincerely, I would advise everyone go on a gaming holiday with friends. It’s not my first either, many years ago I went to a caravan in Wales to do the same thing but heavier on the Dungeons & Dragons, and there are plans on the table to do the same thing again soon. There were hill and valley walks available to us, a small town within a half hour’s walk, but the main attraction by far was the collection of games we’ve all played dozens of times before, but there is something about the change of scenery, the geographic distance from day-to-day life, and in my case, distance from my computer, it all makes you appreciate and enjoy your hobbies so much more, and at the risk of sounding cheesy, it makes you appreciate the people more.

It gives you the time to settle into the larger-scale games that may not be played all that often because of the investment of time. Robo-Rally and Arkham Horror, things that can take hours, or take obscene amounts of setting up. I would say that taking a holiday with ten people and only one six-person table between us was perhaps not ideal, and as an astonishing majority of games cap at eight players, it’s an awkward sized crowd when you really want everyone at the table.

I also advise taking coffee because you’ll need it the morning after playing Mao until 4AM and only stopping because every card you play is giving you a panic attack.

GeekOut Bristol Meet – February 10th: Castle Crashing Gallery

Ah yes, Castle Crashers is truly an awesome game which gave us some truly great ideas. We need to make a theme where people can come along and crash some castles. But how would people do this? Easily: They would simply draw their sword, wield their shields and march into the gate of the castle. This was a relatively quiet month for us, so it was great that we got so many creative entries out! However, check it out for our monthly GeekOut Bristol Meet Gallery!

Ah yes, Castle Crashers is truly an awesome game which gave us some truly great ideas. We need to make a theme where people can come along and crash some castles. But how would people do this? Easily: They would simply draw their sword, wield their shields and march into the gate of the castle. This was a relatively quiet month for us, so it was great that we got so many creative entries out! However, check it out for our monthly GeekOut Bristol Meet Gallery!

Continue reading “GeekOut Bristol Meet – February 10th: Castle Crashing Gallery”

A DM’s Tale

Today one of my oldest gaming friends left town, and it looks like he’ll be gone for a long time.

This is a friend who I have spent the last fourteen years casually talking to about games, films, philosophy, one of the people who got me into Warhammer, and one of my favourite D&D players. Here is someone who became a verb, one that will stay with us for many years to come as new players come and go, and to openly mock and criticize one another over poor behaviour in games. Continue reading “A DM’s Tale”

Top 10 – NOW That’s What I Call The Worst of Christmas!

Not all of Christmas is all that it’s made out to be. In fact some of Christmas is positively insane. We’re here to dispel what we believe are the Top 10 worst things about Christmas in our first ever:

NOW! That’s What I Call The Worst Of… list.

Christmas time is peace and goodwill to all men and women on the planet. It’s a time of rest and relaxation, festive cheer and plenty of food and drink. It’s a time where we get together with those that we care deeply about, to remember the year fondly and to reflect upon the coming years. We’re thankful for a lot of things at this time of year: Good health, fortune and wealth, love and family. We’re keen to share in our holidays with those who we are endeared to and sometimes to that old crazy uncle that you know will bust out a dance move or two. Forget the fireplace and mistletoe, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.

Continue reading “Top 10 – NOW That’s What I Call The Worst of Christmas!”

GeekOut Bristol Meetup 10/07/15

We’ve now had our monthly meetup for July. The next day we had Bristol Pride. It was a long weekend. It was a very long week for me… But, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat! Pictures of last meetup are here.

We’ve now had our monthly meetup for July. The next day we had Bristol Pride. It was a long weekend. It was a very long week for me… I had been working all the way in Newcastle for this past week and then I came back to run my meetup on Friday, followed by attending Bristol Pride yesterday. It was a long, arduous week, but hey – We’re back and we’re ready to roll on towards Kitacon, the next GeekOut meetup and Cardiff Anime Convention. Yeah, next month is packed too.

I didn’t manage to get any pictures of Bristol Pride, but it was a very loud, happy kind of day. People were celebrating as to be expected and I took Oskar out for a little walk, without his scythe. I thought the scythe might be a tad too much. Plus, it is somewhat broken, so I’ll need to fix that back up before Kitacon! The more that I think about it… I’m beginning to wonder how I’m going to fit the scythe into my car for the journey to Kitacon, along with all of the other costumes I’m taking! Time will tell… Of which there’s not much time left!

The GeekOut Bristol meetup saw a few new faces, as well as some of our regular friends. We had pictures taken by Frank Street, so please do check out his work. The pictures he took off his phone, but his portfolio is seriously impressive and he’s an all around awesome person. Very friendly, easy to chat to, so if you are in Bristol and are looking for an accessible photographer, please speak to him.

Next GeekOut Bristol Meetup will be published later today and the front page will reflect this! As always, thanks to all of those who came along and we’ll move steadily along to the next event! If you can think of extra things we can do, let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you

Thank you to the social-event goers

This is only a small post today, as I’m a bit lost for words.

I just wanted to do a post for the social group side of GeekOut South-West.

Last night, we went to a pub called The Bag of Nails. By 7.30pm, we were bigger than the pub could properly handle. We had around 20-24 of us in all that night. Geeks, sitting in a pub together, talking geek all night long. We were told there will be an upstairs section soon enough.

Meets, geeks and fun. That’s what matters to me and its paid off.

We then took over a whole row of tables at The King William Ale House, followed by taking over outside of The Griffin. So for all of the social event goers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Now to thank you, the readers!

We’re making great progress with the little group and equally as great progress with this little blog, too. Since I started posting on here back in September 2013, I didn’t think there’d be any reason for anyone to follow the group. I thought I’d give it a try as hey, it’s free to do so and if you make a mistake, you’ve simply made a mistake and you can move on.

I started to invest a bit more time into the site and it’s been worth it. The message of sharing geekdom is getting out there, at least around Bristol. I’ve heard the groups name pop up in a random conversation a while back! That’s quite flattering, really.

We’re nearly at 300 followers on Twitter and we’re now beginning to get some likes on Facebook (I really am bad at using that Facebook thing!) We’ve made great progress and I’ve made some great friends on the way here.



I just want to give a special shout out to Jay Stewart – He has an excellent blog called Nostalgia and Gaming and he does great videos too. It’s worth taking your time to go and see what he’s up to!

Two more shout outs:

I rant and rave about them and I write for them! 1001-Up continue to do exceptionally high quality articles and are always fun and friendly. You guys rock!

The Otaku Judge – He invests a lot of his time into reading what others have to say. He runs an exceptionally high quality blog with superb reviews. Check him out anime fans!


That’s it for today, folks! Tomorrow, I must get back onto working on my costumes! So many things to do, so little time!


Roll20 is a Virtual Tabletop. So, grab a hold of your virtual coffee. Or virtual beer… Or virtual cola… And come find out what this amazing platform is virtually all about!

What is Roll20?


Click here to Roll20 now!

So, as mentioned, Roll20 is a Virtual Tabletop, which can be used to play a plethora of table top Role Playing Games. What is the point of a “Virtual tabletop”? Well, in Role Playing Games, it’s sometimes hard to get people to agree to a set time and place, especially if you’re grouped with a few random people.

So, if you are a DM/GM (Dungeon Master, Game Master, whatever you call yourself!) then Roll20 might be a cool new way to get your friends to come join in some campaigns you have planned. But enough about that, what about the interfaces?! Observe!

Oh no! Not the dreaded Mecha-Spidlings!
Oh no! Not the dreaded Mecha-Spidlings!

The above picture is from a scene that I made from the tiles that can be found in the tile viewer. The tile viewer takes tiles that have been found (That are legally usable, I might add!) around the net which can be used to build up your game world. There are 3 major layers to work with: The Maps & Background, Objects & Tokens and GM Overlay. The point of these three layers are all different. The Maps & Backgrounds are there to put tiles down so people can’t “Interact” with them, instead just walk over them in game.

The Objects & Tokens can bring up extra information. For example, those Mecha-Spidlings have information on each of them.

Players can be given “Cards” with information on, for example:

Well, that's a lot of information...
Well, that’s a lot of information…

You can subscribe to Roll20 like I am to follow the progression of the site and to get extra features, like dynamic lighting, tablet support and more.

The one thing to note is that this site works best with Chrome/Chromium (For us ‘Nixers).

Perhaps I should organise a great big Roll20 play session with some people from here at some point in the future..? That’d be very far into the future, but it’s comforting to know you can play a table top game with people all around the world in the comforts of your own home.

So, to sum up what this site does:

  • Webcam Support
  • Microphone Support
  • Interactive tabletop
  • Information Cards
  • Resource manager
  • Virtual dice

Much more… I’m pretty bad with figuring the whole list of what this site does, but please note: although you can become a “mentor” (Sponsor) you can sign up… For free. For realsies. Consider that, guys.

Please note, it doesn’t support any particular RPG, so you have to make it work for your RPG of choice. For the techy inclined, you can also do a bit of coding wizardry to create events that happen automatically, in case you don’t want to DM fully… What? I’m the only one? Okay.

This is what happens when I decide to take on the Mecha-Spidlings alone.

Let's get them!
Let’s get them!

Oh dear, that is quite a bit of d20 destruction there…

That's just how I... Roll.
That’s just how I… Roll.

You can make your campaigns public to let random people join you, or you can make them private for you and your friends. You can make new friends, new RPG friends and even discover some awesome campaigns for yourself this way.

What do you all think of Roll20? Is this the future for tabletop gaming? The internet? Or is this a step in the wrong direction?

I think it’s very exciting. A lot of my closest friends have upped and left Bristol, thus it’s hard to get RPG gaming with them now-a-days. Roll20 will keep us able to do our RPGs without the need for us all going to theirs, or them all coming to mine and having potential intrusions. Also, whilst many gather in a good pub, for me, RPG gaming is a personal affair and as such, I’d like to sit down with close friends and just enjoy a game together. In the past, I’ve spent a good 10+ hours on a session of DnD (3.5 edition).


Well, look at all them campaigns. Very mature looking, aren't they?
Well, look at all them campaigns. Very mature looking, aren’t they?

Next GeekOut session

So the next meet-up for the social group will be Friday 21st February at 7pm.

Once more, we are meeting at the King William Ale House and we’ll discuss whatever the night takes us to discuss. As all geeks, the GeekOut crew will talk about anything geeky, play some card games (Heck, that can become a common thing if we get people into more card games!) drink some good ales at reasonable prices and come away from the event knowing there are more of us out there.

Want to come along but are a bit scared about meeting up with some guy who sits at his desk writing posts for a tiny little blog and his friends? Want to get some confirmation that things are still going ahead as planned? Simply pop me a message via the below contact form and I’ll make sure to e-mail you back personally. Whatever you post in that contact form will come straight to me, so your message won’t be displayed on the site.

I will warn people though, if anyone abuses the contact form, I’ll post the silliness in future posts. However, if you want to talk to me about something crazy, such as crocodiles roaming around Bristol or generally want to say something silly with the hopes it might make it onto this website, more power to you: Do it! My geeky senses are tingling.

Bristol based geeks, you are hereby invited to come and GeekOut with us! 7pm, upstairs at the King William Ale House. Be there, or don’t I guess, nothing stops you not being there. :(

Social meet-up today!

Good afternoon all,
If you’re in Bristol and can get to the centre, why not pop by the King William from 6pm, for a friendly chit-chat about anything that makes your geeked out days go by!

We’ll be at the back of the King William Ale Pub (20 King St  Bristol, Avon BS1 4EF). Look for a guy wearing a fedora and you’ve found me! I hope to see at least one or two of you come by!

At the very least, just make yourself known and that’ll be a great turn out to me! I hope to see some of you there!


Making acquaintances

Hello once more!

Meeting new people makes the world go round for someone like me. On the one hand, you can meet someone who positively impacts your life. On the other, you may meet someone who wants to cause nothing but grief. This said, meeting people is a gamble. An important gamble we all should take.

This is partly why the idea of GeekOut was brought to fruitition. To meet fellow “geeks” while lowering the risk associated with the gamble to your favour, somewhat. This doesn’t mean you will necessarily meet your best friends at GeekOut, but darn it, we certainly will try to make that happen.

Everyone is welcome to attend, everyone is welcome to share their passions. After all, GeekOut is here to allow you to express yourself in an open environment. Are you an avid anime fan? Comic reader? Gamer? Why? What got you on your path?

If you cannot attend a GeekOut session, but want to chime in with your passion and your story, please comment or send me an e-mail via the Contact Us page. With your permission, I will share great posts with the meet-up group, as it’s great to know you’re not alone!