Episode 20 of the GROGPOD is coming later in April and is all about GOLDEN HEROES: a very smartly produced game that had a dramatic appearance, so I’ve made a short film to demonstrate the material.
I was very lucky on eBay. For £22, I managed to get everything that was produced by Games Workshop (in very good condition too), including all of the counters for all of the scenarios.
The piècesderésistance was the un-billed inclusion of the original A5 rules that were published by Simon Burley and Peter Haines. They would schlep these rules around the convention circuit back in the early eighties where they gathered a strong reputation for the ability to replicate scenes from popular Marvel and DC comics.
The game caught the attention of the Armchair Adventurers thanks to the great Brian Bolland cover for the first scenario pack LEGACY OF EAGLES. I ran the game with disastrous results (listen to the podcast for details). At ConVergence recently, we revived the game and had tremendous fun.
The podcast will be released in soon, until then, enjoy this short film.
Last year, we reached a tipping point where we realised that most of our Armchair Adventuring was taking place online. Our never-ending quest to get more people to play games with continues. To support our endeavours we created virtual GROGMEET to complement the annual event in November.
Some of the GROGSQUAD wanted to discover online play for the first time and have the opportunity to play with the GMGMs that make GROGMEET in Manchester such a distinctive experience.
Squadron members from all over the UK plus others from British Columbia, Australia and North America were joined games of Numenera and Maelstrom and others listed below.
Of course the curse of online play bedevilled it with glitches and interventions from real life, but it was an enjoyable event by all accounts.
Hopefully, new gaming connections were made during the event and this is the beginning of more groups forming, because “play’s the thing”. Dirk
November seems such a long time ago now, but I still have great memories of games played and people met at Grogmeet 17. Organised by Dirk the Dice, host of the Grognard Files podcast, this is an evening and full day RPG meetup in the heart of Manchester. For those who were unable to attend Dirk arranged Virtual Grogmeet, an evening and day of gaming taking place this weekend over Roll20.
The event was arranged well in advance with lots of time to consider what adventures to run. I had thought of running something Pulpish, but ultimately decided to stick to my favourite system, offering to run one of the published Lamentations of the Flame Princess scenarios Forgive Us. Yesterday evening I was joined by Andrew, Graham, Howard, Steve and Tom as they set out to recover a green porcelain demon mask from the Tenebrous Hand.
Limited places are now available for The GROGNARD files first ever online convention
A handful of places are still available for the games listed below:
Friday 13th April (20:00 – Midnight)
Title: Shattered Hope (introduction adventure)
Number of Players: 4
System: Dark Heresy (1st ed)
Brief description: Make ready your chainsword, strap on your bolter, and say a prayer to the God-Emperor, for Warhammer 40,000: Dark Heresy. You as the the closest ‘Inqusitor’ agents are sent to a world to deal with a particular problem. – this quick start is for those wanting to learn the system and explore the dark universe.
Beginner level …. there will be blood shed.
GM: Jon Dawson
Title: Sabeurs & Savant
System: Cthulhu Hack
Brief description: 1800, Napoleon has invaded Egypt intending to become a new Alexander the Great. Accompanied by scientists, he also intends to uncover the secrets of this ancient land. He’s despatched the player characters a mixed bag of scientists and soldiers to uncover an artefact from the desert sands….
Brief description: In the aftermath of the Apocalypse War, life is hard in Mega-City One, even for the Judges in Sector House 170. Widespread desolation, mutie incursions through the Cursed Earth Wall, and a scarcity of resources are making it hard to uphold the Law. But new teams are being put together to ensure the citizens are kept in line, and that law and order are maintained. While fighting crime on the mean streets of the Mega-City, the players will need all their skills and cunning, but can they also find… better living through chemistry?
Now and Then is an occasional series of blog-posts from members of The GROGSQUAD, sharing their stories, hints and tips and images from their ‘thawing out’ after the Deep Freeze. First, is Rog Coe, who you may recognise from the ’18 GROGZINE, he laid out and illustrated the scenarios in the distinctive White Dwarf style, he also wrote the Call of Cthulhu adventure. Find out about his return to gaming:
The realities of real life seem to slowly cripple your gaming over the years.
It’s like being an RPG Gulliver, slowly pinned down by ropes, hammered in by little people; and not just your children; partners (no matter how easy going) work and responsibilities, all cause that time-destroying mallet to swing.
Gaming changed from 90’s Traveller sessions of 8 players round the kitchen table all weekend, down to 3 player D&D games in the 20-teens, crammed in the man-den once in a blue moon; and ultimately to nothing.
Until all you can do is lift a hand clear of the ropes to read an old supplement or click on a certain Bolton-based podcast.
‘Play is the thing’
Like an activation code for a sleeper agent, the Grognard Files’ steady drip of ‘newstalgia’ re-ignited my urge to play. The first ropes snapped, and the idea for the ‘RPG Club’ was born (catchy name I know).
It would have to involve new blood as well as the few old regulars, be in a venue that everyone could get to easily, and (at least until it was fully fledged) involve one shots, so it would feel light and fun, and if people didn’t like a system one time, (especially the first time players), there’d be something new the next.
Most importantly other people would have to step up and run their own adventures after my initial run of four, after 30 years of always being the GM I’d finally get a chance to play again. Grogmeet had whet my appetite.
And it’s worked so far, very well, we’re three games in, and everyone’s having fun.
We meet on the 1st Friday of the month, (be there or miss out), in a stylish games café, (full of everyday people of both sexes, all ages, all gaming), with good food and drink, and in reach of a disreputable pub (for post-game analysis).
We’ve got a core of up to 8 potential players, with a couple of super subs in reserve so there’s been a good number round the table for the first games, and likewise the number drawn to the pub after is increasing, people whose Venn diagrams might not coincide have an excuse to get together to game and beyond. I rolled in at 1.45 after the last game; don’t judge me, there was a lot of adrenaline to counteract!
Games I’ve had sitting on the shelves and never played are being dusted down, there’s fun to be had mashing up, retrofitting and adrenalin-pumping old scenarios, ‘Pimp My Module’ if you will. Like an awful singing show on TV – if they do well as a one shot a glittering campaign may await next year.
I’ve stretched new muscles GM’ing, after playing in a different style to long campaigns, it’s a lot of prep work each time, yes, and more of a workout because of the pace, but the results are worth it. Pre-gen bios for the players for instance, a new thing for me, have led to much fuller interaction, players are bringing relationships and grievances to the table.
And as the one shot is not so daunting for first time GMs there’s more than one player now reading rulesets and putting together a scenario. It’s not just a re-awakening of the group, it’s an evolution, into a many GM-headed beast.
My initial stint is up after our next game, (Marvel Superheroes RPG does Strikeback), and a new GM has the next game ready: ’55-ish Days At Peking’ where we’ll be playing troops of the colonial powers holding out against hordes of Boxers.