Sunday, 20 July 2008

Some more Continuum FAQ

A some more of the Continuum 2008 Frequently Asked Questions.

This section deals with Games and game sign-up.

How do I sign up to games?
The freeform games and some of the early bird games will have had on-line booking before the convention. It will be very rare for you to get in one of those games at the convention unless someone has dropped out. It is always worth asking though if you are still interested, may be you could be put down as a reserve?
Most other games will have sign-ups at the convention. In the 'street', the main corridor located through the conference facility building is the notice boards with the sign up sheets for each game. You read through the descriptions, check the times and then write your name clearly in the space provided. If the game is full and you are still interested in it then write your name down in the reserve list. Sometimes people cancel or drop out of a game so you still my have chance to play.
Only sign up for games that you are WILL attend. Watch out for clashes with other events you may be involved with.
If you are unsure about what game to sign-up for please ask a committee member for advice, as we may be able to hook you up with a good game.
Please remember that some attendees just wander along the sign-up sheets with a beer in one hand and a pen in the other so make sure you do get in early at the sheets.

Do I have to pay for games?
For most games, no.
Most games have been organised by volunteers or other delegates so their time to GM has been given free. If you enjoy the game you have played in it is usually good form to buy the GM a drink to show your appreciation.
However freeform games do require a small fee to be paid [either at the on-line sign-up or at registration on arrival] to cover administration and printing costs. Full costings and details for each freeform game will be issued at each game's sign-up.
Also the Guest of Honour games will raffle off places so payment is required to join the raffle. Details about the raffles for each GoH game will be issued on the Continuum website and in the delegate packs.

How do I avoid clashes?
If you are worried about event or game clashes then it is simple. Do Not Worry.
There are going to be clashes, as we cannot schedule every single event, seminar, panel, workshop, freeform, tabletop, war, board, and card game one after the other. Everything has to be crammed into one weekend. Sorry but that is the way it is. 'Your Favourite Game'™ may be on the same time as the very exciting panel on "Armoured Squirrelrats and Their Tales" that is also on at the same time as the other 'Your Favourite Game'™  is being run. It can't be helped though we can try to make things easier for you and get you to the games/events you want to go to. If anyone has any concerns about potential event clashes then please contact a Continuum committee member first and we will try to alleviate your fears. Getting the large freeforms into place correctly is important, as they are the backbone of our programme. Other events can be tailored around them quite easily, either they repeat over the course of the weekend or we can move them to their optimum time. We can be quite flexible with the resources available to us. Just remember that the GMs and people running these events are doing this voluntary. Please note also that as most of the large freeforms are for 30, 40 or 50 players. That is less than 25% of the total attendees at the convention. That means during the freeforms over 75% will be running or available to participate in all sort of other tabletop games, wargames, board games, card games, demo games, seminars, workshops, panels, events, or just wandering along the sign-up sheets with a beer in one hand and a pen in the other.

What are the rules concerning weapons?
The first rule is 'if you are in any doubt about bringing weapons then DON'T!'
No weapons will be tolerated at the convention.
We have to take this stance due to the large number of tragic incidents involving replica guns or other weapons and armed police.
Leicester Constabulary WILL take no chances with weapons and will respond with deadly force.
The final word is if you need a weapon as part of a costume then buy a cheap plastic sword or very obvious brightly coloured water pistol from a toyshop or market stall. It will only cost a couple of quid and it will look just as good if not better.
We will expect you to behave reasonably in this matter but we will take a very dim view if you break any of these rules.

Can I bring my own Character to play a game?
Unless the game description states that your own characters are acceptable and you have agreed it before hand with the GM leave your characters at home.
Many gamers make the classic faux pas of bringing their cherished home campaign character with them to a convention. I will tell you straight that no one will be interested in looking at your character.
The games will all have pre-generated characters provided and if you turn up on time for the game you may be able to chose a character that suits you. Most games will have carefully prepared pre-gens so usually your own beloved Gnome Illusionist/Bridge Player dual class character will not be required.
Some games will have character generation at the start [such as some of the HeroQuest games]. This will allow you to create your own character and give you more of a say in the game.

What are the difficulty levels of some of the games?
Most all games on offer are newbie friendly. Or they claim to be. Much of that depends on the GM!
Always read the descriptions of the games on the sign up sheets. If it says 'Beginners Welcome' then this is a demonstration game that showcases part of a particular game or game world. The GM will either give you a run through of the basic mechanics of the game or will keep the mechanics 'invisible'; that is the GM will do all the working out using the rules and then tell you the result allowing you to concentrate on the role-playing.
If the game description asks for players that have comprehensive knowledge of that particular games rules or setting then you will need to have that knowledge. If you join the game not having the knowledge you may struggle with the mechanics or the rules or not understand even the basic nuances of the setting. This can hold up the game for everybody as the GM stops to explain things to you and some of the player, including yourself, will get very frustrated and the game will not be as fun.
Most games will expect you to have some fundamental familiarity with them although most will be using fairly simple scenarios and settings by their very nature of being convention games.
If you are in any doubt then ask the GM or check it over with a committee member, as we may be able to help you.

Do I need to know the rules for the games I play in?
Some familiarity with the rules for most games will help although for the most part although a lot of games are demo games that showcase the rules or the setting.
If you are proficient with the rules of a game then that will certainly help you. However just remember that the GM may have different interpretation of some of the rules or may be using a different edition. It is bad gaming etiquette to pull up the GM on a ruling or to contradict what the GM says.
If he asks for your help or if you offer to help the others players get up to speed then that will be appreciated and will stand you in good stead.

The Sign-up Boards
There's a huge number of games on offer this Continuum. There's a lot of you, a lot of space and a lot of time. It's going to be good.
We aim to keep it simple both to run and play in a game at Continuum. For the vast majority of games you simply need to post up your game on the sign up boards at reception to allow potential players to sign up to play. Spare sign up sheets are available at the boards. We run a simple slot system. Games will run during one of the slots to help you plan your convention. Games are neither required or expected to fill up an entire slot, but should happen during it and finish by the end of the slot, as players may well have other things to do next.

What are the Gaming Slot timings?
To ensure that most games do not clash or overlap unnecessarily they will take place in designated gaming slots.
Most games will be filled by sign-up at the convention. We will print out all the sign-up sheets [in full colour!] for Continuum games that we get notice in advance. Pop over to the website to check out the ones we are aware of. We'll keep a close eye on the sign-up boards as they fill throughout the convention so that we can help people find a game.

Here are the gaming slots:

14:00 -18:00 Game Slot 1
20:00 - till late Game Slot 2

10:00 - 13:00 Game Slot 3
14:00 - 18:00 Game Slot 4
19:30 - till late Game Slot 5

10:00 - 13:00 Game Slot 6
14:00 - 18:00 Game Slot 7
19:30 - till late Game Slot 8

Some special demo games will run throughout the convention. These will also be advertised on the boards and also in the programme.
The programme indicates where you can game. Any room that is allocated to 'open gaming' and coloured light blue on the main schedule is a place where you can run your game. There's no booking, just find a space, there is plenty of it. The accommodation blocks also have spaces in the kitchen areas to game. Fingers crossed for good weather and you can set-up outside too. Players are usually collected at the sign up boards
So, if you want to play, just go to the sign-up boards and sign up for a game or more. They'll be sorted by time so you should quickly find games running in a slot that you have free. If you're struggling to find a game then look me up and I'll help you out.

Games, space, time, Continuum. It can't be that easy can it? Oh, hang on, it can!

How do I run games?
You will need to contact Graham Spearing as soon as possible at:
If you'd like to run an Open Module, freeform, board game, miniatures game, wargame, boardgame, or whatever, then please let us know so that we can try and schedule and publicise these. Ideally we will want to know the following:
Here's the template to use when you post up your game:

The name of the adventure
The system that it uses
GM Name
Max number of players
Any qualifiers on players
(optional - if this is left out then I'll assume the default that anyone can play - but you may be looking for a narrower section of the convention, perhaps people experienced in a particular game or setting, or it may be unsuitable for younger players - there could be some.)
Your preferred time (this is also optional and anticipate that this will be included later)
A teaser trailer description of the game Around 500 words max to sell your game to prospective players.

The sooner you let us know, the better the chance is that we can fit you into the schedule.
The deadline for inclusion in Continuum's Programme Book is Friday 18th July 2008.

I would like to run a game of XXXXXXXXX. Can I do this?
Of course. All games for all systems are welcome. You can turn up at Continuum Control and just ask for a sign-up/game information sheet and fill in the details and post it on the main notice board.
Blank sign-up sheets will also be available at the sign-up boards.

What is the 'Orange Cone Manifesto' thing I have heard about?
Unfortunately some games do not fill up and yet some players are looking for game once the gaming slot starts.
Small orange cones [the type for football training] are put on gaming tables if the game isn't full to mark that players can drop into the game. The cones sit in the places where the players would.
So if only 4 players are signed up for a 6 player game, the GM can have two orange cones sitting on the in the two empty places. If a player joins the game they just remove the cone and sit in its place. After a while if no players are really available to join, like half way through, the GM just removes the cones and puts them under his chair.
Put Out A Cone When... 
* You start a game that needs players and/or can add more players. A demo or a game anyone can join anytime may always have a cone out, or 
*  You are in open gaming, have a game(s) in front of you, and are willing to play with new arrivals, or 
* You're in the last few minutes of a game which you will restart soon (less than 5 minutes), and can add more players at restart.
Remove The Cone From The Table Promptly When... 
*  All possible game positions are filled, or 
*  Game play advances to the point where you can't add new players.
Cone Protocol and Hints: 
*  Put cones well out-of-sight, under your chair or table, and a gopher (or another GM who needs one) will come and pick them up. Do not set them on adjacent tables! 
* Please ask your players to refrain from playing with the cone. Just leave it on the table. 
*  Don't assume that your game is full simply from the sign-up sheet. People tend to over-subscribe, so count bodies, not sign-ups. You do not need to hold positions open for late sign-ups if they are not there. 
*  Please do not remove cones from the room or use them to mark boundaries, as decorations or as game components. 
*  If there is someone hovering around your coned game, ask them if they want to play. If someone sits down at your coned game, assume that they are playing!

Can I download Sign-up Sheets before the convention?
Yes you can at:

I want to organise a Seminar/Panel/Event that is not strictly gaming?
If you have an idea for a Seminar/Panel/Event you'd like to host, something our esteemed guests should be hosting - or any other theme for a panel you'd like to see happen, contact Colin Driver at:
and we'll see what we can do.

Tell about the 'Podcasting' recordings of the seminars and panels?
Paul Maclean of 'Yog-Radio' and Darran Sims of 'One Man and his Dice' will be recording many of the seminars, panels and even a few of the games. These will be broadcast over the internet, exact URLs will be posted on the Continuum 2008 Yahoo! Group
We would like to ask you bear that in mind in regards to language and excessive noise. Avoid talking over any current speakers and make your questions clear.
Those that do not want to be recorded can make that known before the seminar starts.

How do I find a gaming group or other gamers in my area?
At Continuum Control you'll find the Continuum Contacts Board, where other delegates are encouraged to post their contact details, and information relating to games they run, or want to run, or want to join, after Continuum's finished. A large map of the UK will be displayed and you can even put pins in it to mark your location.
Take a look: you may find someone or a group that's not far from where you live, and this may lead to new friendships and gaming experiences.

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