Monday, 24 September 2007

Up and coming RPG Conventions

September Update of RPG conventions.

Can you let me know of any I have missed please?

0 CONcrete Cow '07½. Old Bath House, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, UK.
Saturday 29th September 2007.

0 PSYCHOCON 2007. The Regent Suite, Golden Lion Hotel, Leeds, UK.
Friday 12th - Sunday 14th October 2007.

0 Spiel 2007. Messe Essen, Essen, Germany.
Thursday 18th - Sunday 21st October 2007.

0 Furnace 2007. The Garrison Hotel, Sheffield. UK
Saturday 20th - Sunday 21st October 2007.

0 ODDconUK '07. Quality Hotel, Walsall, UK
Friday 26th October – Sunday 28th October 2007.

0 Gaelcon 2007. Clontarf Castle, Dublin. Ireland.
Saturday 27th - Monday 29th October 2007. 

0 Gamesfest 2. New Mill Social Centre, Tring, UK.
Saturday 10th November 2007.

0 Consequences 2007. Naish Holiday Village, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset, UK.
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th November 2007.

0 Dominicon 2007. N.U.I Maynooth, Kildare, Ireland.
Friday 16th - Sunday 18th November 2007.

0 Grand Tribunal 2007. Cheltenham. UK
Saturday 17th November 2007.

0 Dragonmeet 2007. Kensington Town Hall, London, UK.
Saturday 1st December 2007.

0 Warpcon XVIII. University College Cork, Ireland.
Friday 25th - Sunday 27th January 2008.

0 Conception 2008. Naish Holiday Village, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset, UK.
Wednesday 30th January - Sunday 3rd February 2008. 

0 K2 2008. Killarney Country Club, Killarney, Ireland.
Friday Friday 7th - Monday 10th March 2008.

0 TravCon 08. Redwings Lodge, Sawtry, UK.
Friday 14th - Sunday 16th March 2008.

0 Tentacles 2008. Castle Stahleck, Bacharach, Germany.
Friday 9th - Monday 12th May 2008. 

0 UK GAME EXPO 2008. The Clarendon Suites, Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.
Saturday 31st May - Sunday 1st June 2008.

0 Continuum 2008. John Foster Hall [also known as New Hall], Leicester University. UK. Friday 1st - Monday 4th August 2008.  

0 Gen Con UK 2008. University of Reading, Berkshire. UK.
Thursday 28th - Sunday 31st August 2008. 

0 Game '08. New Century House, Manchester, UK.
Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd November 2008.


Saturday, 15 September 2007

September's EMD&DMUG Monthly Meet Up Report.

September's EMD&DMUG Monthly Meet Up Report.

The East Midlands Dungeons & Dragons Meetup Group September Monthly Meeting
Saturday 8th September 2007
The Brunswick Inn
1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU.

So this was just my second meet of the EMD&DMUG monthly meets and again I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

A few problems at the start as traffic coming into Derby was all snarled up so quite a few people were late arriving, though strangely enough the centre of Derby was very quiet. During my walk from the Assembly Rooms to the Brunswick through the city centre I noticed that there was hardly anyone around on that Saturday afternoon so most of the trouble would have been outside the city.
At the Brunswick we were told that the upstairs room would be used for showing the England football match at 5pm, so we all hightailed it to the Family Parlour before anyone else got in.

As we were still waiting on the GMs of the other games to turn up by half past two I decided to start my game and rope-in some of the players waiting around. I managed to get six players [though I can take a total of seven], more than enough for my games.

The players of the HeroQuest Serenity games ‘The Quick & the Dead’.

I let the players choose their characters and handed out the [little bit of] money and their gun cards. I also explained the HeroQuest rules very briefly and took them through the character sheets.
Most of the players were aware of Firefly or Serenity or Alien: Resurrection and one had played ‘Echoes in the Black’ before so was well aware of my play style and the way I had twisted the ‘verse.
Happy with that I began the scenario.

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Christie’s Mini pistols that are hidden up his sleeves.

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Johner’s Gun-in-a-Thermos.

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The 1 Cred note.

The Quick and the Dead’ is the sequel to my other game though can very easily be played as a one off. I start straight after the action of the first scenario where they have successfully pulled off a massive heist.
I then physically dropped, right into the middle of the gaming table, a copious stack of 1000 Cred notes!
“This is what you have got!” I said, “lots of money. You emptied a whole bank vault and you have made it into the big time!”
“You have enough money here to buy yourselves a small moon if you so desired or buy each of you all a brand new ship each.”
The players all beam up at me, happy that they start on a high note.

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One of the 1000 Cred notes. Shiny!

“However,” I begin to quash their hopes, “this money is hot. Very hot in more ways than one. Not only is this money easily traced, so trying to spend this money is going to be very difficult, but it is also radioactive, its readings go off the scale on a Geiger counter.”
The players sat there dumbfounded.
“You are also wanted by the Alliance for doing the heist in the first place, a wave has gone out all over the cortex describing you as the culprits. Spending this money anywhere will get you spaced, a common punishment for this kind of thing.”
A collective “Oh!”
“Now you need to get this money uncontaminated, laundered by some organised crime syndicate so that you can spend it. You need to find a well connected fence to do this for you. The trouble is you are currently cut off from any of the boarder worlds where you would normally ‘remove this heat’ so you need to find someone new.”

One of your contacts has pointed out there are two fences capable of dealing with this kinda heat in Nightlife City on Thucydides. He doesn’t know their names but you should be able to find them easy enough as Nightlife City is quite small.

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Thucydides. Note the city in the large crater at the terminator between night & day.

Now Thucydides is a tidal-locked planetoid, it doesn’t rotate about its axis [apart from very, very imperceptibly] so one side is always facing the burning sun and the other is eternally night. Right on the terminator is a huge crater that is cast in deep shadow. In the crater is Nightlife City, once a mining colony it has been transformed into a tourist attraction with the bright lights of casinos and all-night clubs. Visitors from all walks of life but especially those from the core worlds come here because of its ‘rough & ready’ reputation; it’s a little bit naughty to come here and try to win some money and do the things they can’t do back at home.
The casinos run the city and nothing happens in the casino’s district, called the Tourist Trap or more simply ‘The Trap’, without their say so. They keep the Alliance law enforcement out but also ensure that every tourist is kept safe. It is also a good place to launder money if you find the right people.
Now Nightlife City is under a death sentence. In ten years time Thucydides would have rotated enough that the sunlight would stream over the crater wall and burn the city up. Hence everybody parties like it’s the end of the world [it will be!] so all and sundry turns a blind eye to some of the more dubious deals that carry on. Already part of the city has been evacuated, and is now a slum area, as the sunlight has crept over the crater wall and burnt the top of the towers there.

The crew of the Betty decide to give it a go and get their money cleaned up.
They land on the sunny side of Thucydides, bypassing the customs checks they would have had to go through if they landed in The Trap. They then walk across the burning desert in their spacesuits heading for a tunnel in the crater wall. Inside the cool tunnel they stow their spacesuits and meet with the guard who was under the employ of their contact. He quizzed them on who they were, my little trick to get the players to introduce their characters to each other, and to issue them their Idents.

So they head out into Nightlife City, through its suburbs. They see the top of the towers burning in the sunlight and the rest of the area looks derelict; for the most part it is desolate and deserted. They can see the bright lights of the Trap in the distance so head that way down one of the main thoroughfares. They see signs of battle damage to some of the buildings and grenade craters in the road. There has been a fire fight here, though by the looks of it, it was some time ago.

As they travel deeper into the slums they notice more and more signs of past conflicts, usually at intersections. They also notice more and more graffiti; different gang tags that have been ‘erased’ and covered by just one gang’s tag; the Black Panthers!
There must have been a large gang war and the victor, the Black Panthers, has seized all the territory.

As the players realise this they notice that they are being shadowed by two people following them. One is a little eight year old girl skipping along and the other is an old lady pushing a decrepit shopping trolley.

The players duck into alleyways and catch the two shadows following them to see who sent them. They reveal ‘the Boss’ has sent them to watch over them to make sure they are not up to no good. It also keeps them safe from the over-zealous patrols that wander the streets. Elgyn is incensed that they are being followed by just a little girl and an old lady. He wants to be followed by ‘proper’ gang members as benefits their status as wanted criminals!
He spanks the little girl while Johner struggles to avoid being chatted up by the old lady.

This brings them to the attention of a patrol of Black Panthers, toting submachine guns. Call ducks into a doorway for cover and Elgyn insists that they take them now to see the Boss. Obligingly and under gunpoint the Black Panthers escort them all to the Boss’s tower near the Trap, shadowed by Call keeping an eye on them.

As they get to the Boss’s tower they see an identical one across the road opposite, patrolled by different gang whose colours where primary red. Each side of the street was mirrored on the other, the Black Panthers on one side and as one of their escorts revealed, the Red Lotuses on the other side. The only people to cross the road where the tourists; oblivious to what was going on.

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Nightlife City, Thucydides.

The players are escorted up to see the Boss, with Call crawling through the air ventilation system to check on the Boss’s cronies.
The Boss offers to launder their money for them for the fantastic price of 4 cents to the dollar. All the players protest loudly and try to push up the percentage.
The Boss then offers 8% but only if they carry out a little job for him.
A job that involves a certain luxury liner called BHS Orisis and the removal of six attaché cases from its vault. He also offers to pay them 8% of any money they take from that vault, a very fair price, no? No one else can offer a better deal in the ‘verse.

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The BHS Orisis as compared to The Betty.

Call in the mean time has discovered that the Boss’s men are getting their weapons ready to burst in on the players if they reject the Boss’s offer. Call manages to lock them in and warns the rest of the crew via their hidden comms link.

They mull it over but decide to take the job, though they expect a double cross somewhere down the line. The Boss is pleased and explains that all the planning for the job has already been done; all that The Betty’s crew have to do is play their part, walk in and pick up the goods. Easy in, easy out as they say.
The Boss explains that he was going to use his own boys to do the job but he is worried that his rival may notice them missing and his ship whilst on the job. The Betty’s crew will be so much better.

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Side view of the BHS Orisis.

“The BHS Orisis, a 20,000 capacity luxury liner, will be travelling towards the Spectrum Corridor in the Major Asteroid Belt. The Spectrum Corridor is a clear path through the belt, originally done for the space miners but is a chosen destination of the liners as the tourists love the play of the rainbow colours in the dust cloud of the belt. The corridor itself is kept clear of all hazards to navigation by two unmanned stations at either end. You will dock The Betty with the Beta Station and you will pose as maintenance workers checking out the station.”
“Right on cue the BHS Orisis will develop engine problems when about halfway through the corridor. Also by clever ‘coincidence’ all the engineers on board will be incapacitated by a stomach bug, both shifts, so there will be no one else to fix the problems. They will call for help and you will negotiate with them for a good price to come over and fix their engines as if you were a real maintenance crew. You will then go over, fix their engines and at the same time empty their vault!”
“The engine problems will just be their compressor coils, they have the same ones on the station, so it will be just like changing a light. You can control all the ships systems from engineering so you should be able to open the vault and disable the security systems. However there is a secondary security system in the vault with its own power source. You will have to disable that as well but I haven’t got any information on it so you will have to sort that out in situ so to speak. Shouldn’t be a problem for you lot with your experience now should it?”

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The deck plans of the Engineering Section of the BHS Orisis.

“I’ll give you the coordinates of BHS Orisis, blueprints of the engineering deck, the access codes for the stations in Spectrum Corridor, the spare parts including the compressor coils, boxes of tools, the paperwork for the maintenance crew, six attaché cases identical to the ones you are going to steal, and even the proper hazmat suits the maintenance crew wear.”

So they took the job, got into position and waited for the BHS Orisis to arrive and for its engines to fail.
They got on board and carried out the heist [and the repairs!]. I hit them with several dilemmas at once that had all the player squirming in their seats as well as hitting them with the shocking ending.

A great game with some great players!

More photos at:


Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Serenity:HeroQuest game in Derby Saturday 8th September 2007.

As part of The East Midlands Dungeons & Dragons Meetup Group September Monthly Meeting I will be running one of my Serenity:HeroQuest games as detailed below. The meet up starts at 13:00 on Saturday 8th September 2007 at the Brunswick Inn, right next to the Derby Railway Station.
Anyone interested should reply to me.

The Brunswick Inn
1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU.

The game is based on the series FireFly and the film Serenity by Buffy's Joss Whedon. The crew will be the crew of The Betty from Alien: Resurrection; Joss Whedon's first stab at a misfit crew of smugglers onboard an old, broken-down ship. Each game is a one shot with pre-gen characters. There are seven player characters and the game should last four hours.
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Saturday 8th September 2007 14:00 – 18:00.
'The Quick and the Dead' by Darran Sims narrated by Darran Sims.
Serenity: HeroQuest adventure for 7 players.
Newcomers very welcome. Maturity preferred.

"Emergency! Emergency! This is the Passenger Liner 'BHS Orisis'. We have lost all power, our engineering team is incapacitated and we are adrift in space. Any available craft please respond. Emergency! Emergency! This is the Passenger Liner 'BHS Orisis' ... ... ..."
<Sometime later>
"Oh thank the gods! How shiny you look. Civilian vessel, ... err? ... 'The Betty' please dock in our main hanger deck, you may be able to assist us in restoring power to our engines. Do you have an engineer on board?
"It is fortunate that you are in this empty, quiet sector of the black, we thought we were lost for good. Hello? Hello? Are you there?"


For a report on August's game click here and for details of this months game and RSPV click here.