Sunday, 30 March 2008

My Games at Tentacles Déjà Vu.

Here are my games that I’ll be running at Tentacles Déjà Vu, Catle Stahleck, Germany on Friday 9th - Monday 12th May 2008.

A centrepiece part of the convention in the form of a multi-player Freeform game as well as three different HeroQuest games – one Gloranthan, one a Firefly plus Alien: Resurrection hybrid and one based on the Sit-Com Dad’s Army.

Gloranthan Freeform

This game draws upon one of the oldest stories of the Holy Country and an on going theme of Gloranthan mythos , the Tournamet of Luck and Death. Even before the game RuneQuest, there has always been the Masters of Luck and Death, mooted as a boardgame, It has also been the title of TWO Gloranthan supplements and the official name for the HeroQuest demonstration team.

Now it is back, using Greg Stafford’s original notes as reference as well as a strong hint of <<cough!>> X Factor.

I am really looking forward to running this with Simon and Colin though this is only the second time I have ran a freeform game. Freeforms seem to run very well in Germany. It most be the fact we actually play inside A CASTLE!


'The Masters of Luck and Death'

by Simon Bray, Colin Driver and Darran Sims

A Gloranthan Freeform Game.

The God-King is dying, his corporeal body falls into decay, but do not fear - instead rejoice!

From across the Holy Country come the greatest heroes of the land, fiery warriors from Caladraland, wise earth-women of Esrolia, stormy and passionate Heortlings, sea-blessed islanders of Pelaskos, the soulless sorcerers of God Forgot and the dark and brooding trolls of the Shadow Plateau. Each comes to take part in the greatest challenge in all Glorantha, a series of contests, trials and quests that stretch across this blessed land. They shall be watched by the God-King's fearsome judges and tested by their gods, friends and enemies alike. The victor will receive ascension to the hero plane - they will be worshipped and loved, whilst their useless flesh shall give the glorious God-King new life. So come one, come all to the Masters of Luck and Death!


[HeroQuest] Serenity / Firefly

These are games based on the series FireFly and the film Serenity by Buffy's Joss Whedon. The player characters 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.

The first game, 'Echoes in the Black', has been run twenty times now at various conventions and has always been over-subscribed.


'Echoes in the Black' by Darran Sims narrated by Darran Sims.

Serenity: HeroQuest adventure for 6 players.

Newcomers very welcome. Maturity preferred.

"Ta Ma Duh! Why can't we stick to the gorram plan!

I wanted simple, in and out and everything shiny.

The job was good, the idents were perfect and the feds were away from the Skyplex.

Then everything has gone south.

Something has been following The Betty.

They are keeping their distance, so they aint purple bellies and everytime time we avert course they disappear like echoes in the black. The question is who are they, what do they want and why are they messing up my gorram job?"


'[HeroQuest] Dad’s Army.'

This is a new game based on a very popular TV series in the UK. A role-play heavy game though very much a 'beer & pretzel' game played for some laughs. The session will involve recreating an actual episode of Britain’s best ever Sit-Com.


'We are the Boys...' by Darran Sims narrated by Darran Sims.

HeroQuest adventure for 6 players.

Newcomers very welcome. [im-]Maturity preferred.

“Excuse me, er, attention men. If you kindly all fall in, that would be rather nice. Thank you.”

“Right men, GHQ has organised a series of military exercises, under the watchful eyes of Colonel Pritchard, to test the Walmington-on-Sea platoon’s ‘fighting fitness’ and to see if we can use diverse tactics and strategies in the field.

“Well, that is a given of course with my experience, but there is a little nuisance in that we are paired off against the Eastgate platoon. We must deal with their Colonel Blimp mentality...”

“His name is Captain Square, a Rotarian you know?”

“Thank you Wilson!

“Well men, I think that you will not let me down? Corporal Jones get the platoon to fall out. Wilson, WILSON come with me!”


[HeroQuest] Glorantha

The return of some of my Gloranthan games to the convention scene.

Lots of Orlanthi themes to run with as there are raids, counter raids, clan moots and clan rituals to contend with. Though ‘Raid upon Hellbreak’ has some strong martial elements there is plenty of mystery and dilemma to this story as well.

This episode is an old favourite of mine due to the fact that most players panic near the end of the dilemma and do not know what to do.


'Raid upon Hellbreak' by Darran Sims narrated by Darran Sims.

HeroQuest adventure for up to 7 players.

Newcomers very welcome. Maturity preferred.

Having been constantly attacked and raided by the Hruling clan the Elders of the White Ram clan now seek vengeance and gather their warriors to launch a counter-raid. The sacred village of 'Hellbreak' is the chosen target and the brave band of raiders set off to deliver retribution, however things do not go as planned.

They have to deal with roving guards, an Iphara mist and the enigmatic Lord in the Tower before even getting to the village.


Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Alt-Fiction, workshops with Sci-fi writers.

Alt Fiction Day

Saturday 26th April 2008 12.00 noon.
The Assembly Rooms - Darwin Suite.
£20.00, concessions £16.00.

Alt.Fiction returns in 2008 with another superb line-up of talent from the worlds of science-fiction, fantasy and horror writing.

30 authors, publishers and agents will be coming together for a great range of workshops, readings and panels including Brian Lumley, Michael Marshall Smith, Charlie Stross, Mike Carey. Graham Joyce and many more. Alt.Fiction presents a fantastic day for readers and writers alike, with access to all session for one price.

Alt Fiction Blog

Monday, 17 March 2008

Brewing my first batch of Homemade Mead

So I have decided to brew my own mead.
I have always liked mead though it is very hard to get hold of. I managed to get a bottle of mead while I was at Conception 2008 in Dorset and another bottle when I was in York last week.

So I got a recipe of the t'internet and got all the ingredients and utensils together and started my first batch. Hopefully it should be ready for bottling in time for Tentacles 2008 so I will take a bottle with me to Germany. I will keep the rest of the batch for Continuum 2008.

I am excited about it and I can't wait to see if it works or not!

How I brewed the mead is under the cut.

Brewing Mead.
My first batch of my homemade mead. The ‘must’ was made on Saturday 15th March and was added to the demijohn with yeast ready for fermentation on Sunday 16th March 2008.

Rowse Blossom Honey 454g x 4 jars.
Tesco Pure Pressed White Grape Juice 1Ltr.
1 x Jaffa orange.
Tesco Scottish Mountain Spring Water.
Young’s U Brew Wine Yeast Super Compound 7g.
Young’s U Brew Yeast Nutrient.
Milton sterilising Tablets.

1 x one gallon cooking pot.
Pint Pyrex Jug.
Citrus jester.
Large draining spoon.
Large cleaning brush.
Siphon Tube.
Plastic funnel.
Rubber bungs.
Fermentation locks.
2 x one gallon demijohns.

Starting the Mead.
First off I cleaned all the utensils and then sterilised them using the Milton tablets. Two tablets in each demijohn and two tablets in the sink for the other utensils. Left them for over twenty minutes and then thoroughly rinsed them all off.
I boiled three litres of the Scottish mountain spring water in the one gallon brew pot and left it to boil for five minutes. During this time the four honey jars were opened and the jars placed in some warm water to make the honey less viscous. I reduced the heat and added the one litre of grape juice first giving it a stir. I then added the honey to the water/juice mix making sure all the honey drained out the jars. I even rested the jars over each other so the honey drained into each other so I was finally able to get every last drop. I then added the zest of the whole Jaffa orange directly into the mix and cut the orange in half and squeezed the juice directly into the mix also.
The resulting mixture is called the ‘must’.
I let the must simmer for about half an hour to pasteurise it stirring it occasionally. Near the end I used the draining spoon to scoop up some of the foamy scum the collects on the surface of the must. This may contain impurities that may harm the mead during fermentation though I also collected some zest as I did.
I removed the must from the heat and put the lid on the cook pot. I also cover the whole pot with a clean tea towel. I left the must to cool over night and then continue the brewing process the following morning.

I allowed the must to cool overnight so it remained at room temperature. I also left the yeast out so it would also be at room temperature.
I siphoned the must into the demijohn, the whole mixture fit into the demijohn perfectly. I then warmed up [not too hot] 50mLr of spring water in the Pyrex jug and allowed to cool for five minutes. I added the 7g of yeast and a pinch of yeast nutrient to the water and stirred. I then I shake the demijohn to aerate the mixture, though the siphoning would have added some oxygen anyway. I then add the jug of yeast mix to the demijohn, shaking it again. I seal the demijohn with a bung and fit the fermentation airlock into place.
I placed the demijohn in a nice dark and cool place in my kitchen cupboard and wait for the fermentation process to begin!