Spaghetti Conjunction

Spaghetti Conjunction is a fine one day convention in Birmingham, put together by the stalwarts of the local scene Pookie and Simon Burley. I’ve been to most of them, but realised I hadn’t mentioned them here. Since the most recent (2B) was held just this weekend, I thought I’d rectify that situation.

Taking lots of inspiration from the excellent Concrete Cow in Milton Keynes, Spaghetti Conjunction uses a tom-bola ticket based signup that reverses order between morning and aftenoon sessions. This means everybody has a good chance of signing up to the game they want (and newbies to the con get a golden ticket to pick one game in one slot, which is a nice touch).

As a small convention of about thirty to forty people, it features a fine variety of games. From D&D to Dead of Night, so whatever your RPG tastes there’s something for you. I played one of Neil Smith’s Gloranthan Heroquest scenarios in the morning, which was a great little tale of a peace process between two rival tribes that goes wrong and revolves neatly around the conflicting agendas of the characters. In the afternoon I played a small suburban horror scenario Lamp Posts In Bloom, run by Robin Poole, which I later learned was written by Scott Dorward (an excellent scenario writer friend of mine who also happened to edit The Queen’s Men).

One of the nice things about the convention is the raffle, which thanks to the industry folks involved attracts a lot of good prizes. So you’ve a good chance of winning a giant Zweihander hardback. The raffle also raises money for the local charity of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where any profits over the cost of running the con also go.

So as a convention Spaghetti Conjunction offers a lot in a one day package, and if like me you’re local then attending is an easy yes. It’s not without a few issues though. The venue is Geek Retreat, and as a cafe it does a good line in teas, coffees and sweets, but the food is mostly of the bland burger or nachos variety. Given the many amazing food places in Brum city centre, you might want to decamp for food, but the con only get the venue on the assumption people will buy lots of food and drink, so that puts you in an awkward position. The venue is also beginning to start to strain under the numbers attending the con, which means the upstairs get a bit stuffy around midday. However, too many people is a nice problem for any con to have only a few years in and these are minor quibbles over what is a wonderful little one day convention that you should definitely go to if you are in the West Midlands.

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