Nerdinburgh – the convivial convention

Last weekend I went to Edinburgh for the small, but perfectly formed convention, Nerdinburgh. Organised by Per Fisher, the con squeezed a lot of cool gaming, drinking and food into three short days.

The venue was The Old Observatory House, a wonderously decorated victorian pile at the top of one of Edinburgh’s hills. Amazing view, great architecture, surprisingly cheap in mid October… It also has some rooms ideal for gaming (big tables) and no so ideal (really weird acoustics). Plus Edinburgh’s best off license is very near by!

We managed to cram in four big games and a host of smaller ones. Roleplaying wise, I managed to play Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, Mechaton, Remember Tomorrow and ran The Agency. I also played Cambria and some Bang!

The game of The Agency I ran involved a dangerous group of 1960s science clowns and a weaponised giraffe. Much more gonzo than usual, but the game was hysterically funny and the group really grasped the idea that the game is a homage to 1960s TV, dodgy sets and all! Plus it descended in a pun-fest of epic proportions.

Do was fun, our game was light hearted and vaguely steampunk anime, though the non-roleplayingness of it was difficult for people, I think. We had some lovely imagery though, as our young flying pilgrims tried to help people and avoid getting in trouble. The second of our stories felt a lot more coherent than the first. Definitely a game that needs replaying.

Remember Tomorrow was a gritty cyberpunk tale of a flooded London, a broken family and a data courier with the Chief Inspector’s memory. A perfect little system for anything noir.

Mechaton was a game of giant fighty robot lego. What more needs said?

UK Games Expo : Anatomy of a convention

This last weekend I attended the 5th UK Games Expo in Birmingham (my local convention!) A couple of thousand people playing board games, card games and RPGs. I was joined by Andrew Kenrick, Iain McAllister and Marku and Eero Tuovinen on a booth full of Indie RPGs.

I’ve been going since the convention started and each year has been bigger and better. I though it would be worth nailing down exactly why this convention goes from strength to strength, from my perceptions at least, and what it might be able to improve.

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GenCon Indy-bound and Pulp!

Next week I’ll be heading stateside to that Mecca of gaming GenCon Indianapolis!

I’ll be feverishly demoing and selling my wares with the Play Collective (booth 2039). The Collective are an enthusiastic group of designers who have a passion for self-publishing, including: Vincent BakerJoshua A.C. Newman, Robert Bohl , Emily Care Boss , Judd Karlman , Tony Lower-Basch , Elizabeth Shoemaker and Malcolm Craig . These are some of my favourite designers, so it’s really great  to be joining them!

The booth is also partnered with the Ashcan Front. Here you’ll find some late-playtest games looking for enthusiastic and constructive feedback.

As ever I’ll have Covenant on sale, grab me if you want a demo or just to chat about the game and where it came from. I’ll also have a limited number of copies of Pulp! which is ready for fast and furious action!


UK Games Expo 08

The last weekend in May/first in June is the second outing for UK Games Expo. Birmingham hasn’t had a big con for a while, so last year’s was definitely a welcome arrival. Expo covers all kinds of games from RPGs and miniatures through to board games and cards. It’s notable for the effort the organisers put into outreach, doing lots of work to get kids and families in. Hopefully there’ll be some crossover into the RPG arena there, they seem to have taken onboard last years comments about the RPGs being hidden away in the basement.

I’ll be running two games, which you can sign up for here. A Covenant taster and a Lost Gods preview. Both will be running start games, so expect to turn up with nothing and then do zero to game in 10 minutes. RPG sessions do cost £2 to book, so I’ll be busting a gut to make it worth your pennies. With luck I’ll also have some freebies…

When I’m not running stuff I’ll be found on the Collective Endeavour Stand, where you can also see a range of UK Smallpress games including some new faces. Keep a look out for the Revenge of the B Movie card game from Iain McAllister and Neil Gow’s Napoleonic story game Duty & Honour

For myself, I’ll have nothing new to sell, but will have an early version of Lost Gods to show off and a near complete version of my miniatures skirmish game Pulp! 

GenCon Indy 06

An Englishman in Indianapolis.

Where to begin? Having published a smallpress RPG, there seemed only one place to launch it, GenCon. Combining it with a holiday and visiting some friends seemed the way to go. We flew out a circuitous route from Birmingham to Amsterdam, Memphis and finally to Indianapolis. Never, ever, do this.Not if you want sanity and luggage to arrive with you, at any rate.

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