About a year or so after meeting Alex from Thors-Kin Podcast, inviting him to a GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet, even having him join us at a couple, and repeated invitations to join in the podcast and talk about GeekOut, who we are an what we do, I finally got time and opportunity together to join in with Alex and Tom to talk GeekOut, Shropshire Dungeon Master, and… other subjects. (more…)
2018 has been a year in which Joel and I have worked exceptionally hard – And I think every single one of you will have had a similar experience. You’ve all likely done something, or something happened to you in this year, which has changed you or changed the way you do something. This year hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs all the time, but it’s also not exactly been a bad year for us. I’ve got some fond memories from this year, which I hope to use to propel us as a website, us as a group and even myself as a creator further. Today, we’re just going to share what we think we’ve achieved this year – and hopefully you’ll be as proud of us as we are of the work we’ve put in.
Last GeekOut Shrewsbury of the year, last GeekOut meet of the year altogether, and not a bad send off if I say so myself. It also marks our twenty first Shrewsbury Meet, so there’s a pointless little landmark for you. Merry Christmas everybody, whether you celebrate it or not, whether you enjoy it or not, Merry Tuesday at least. Here’s how we sent off the year…
Thank you to the Boiler Room, you guys have seen us through a disproportionate number of pre-meets. Cake, coffee, and environment are always welcoming, and you always seem prepared for us even when numbers are unexpectedly high.
Among this month’s more entertaining pre-meet moments, losing Murray for half an hour as soon as Harley put the Binding of Isaac card game on the table, followed shortly by his amassing a frankly insulting amount of health in a Magic game. We also introduced new-ish member Richard to Love Letter, along with a few other games this month.
But moving on…
What a wonderful way to “wrap up” the year, and the puns were no better on the day! There may have been some minor HDMI issues, because I did not bring mine, and many people were trying to hook up a Nintendo Switch to the projector. Turns out if we want to try that again we’ll need to fetch an extension cable too, the distance is too long to safely stretch from the projector and to the mains ports, and we need both. Ah well.
The pub was busy, and at times a little crowded, but it never slows us down. I brought Robo Rally at Harley’s request, and so lost her and a few others to a game that only lasted for a short while. Also this thing:
At the request of a few of our regulars, I held a short character building workshop, during which Sod’s Law prevailed. I have a collection of quick-start guides to throw together first level characters easily, and of course three members of the party were classes missing the sheet in my folder! Here I thought I was so well prepared. Characters were all created for the setting I am working on for regular play, using a system in which players roll their abilities, and the worse your stats are the better your starting bonuses. So, going around the table:
Alfie will be playing a wood elf ranger, a bit cliche but he randomly rolled the class.
Nicole is a high elf rogue. Her stats were low enough to start with that she could buy an extra level and a magic item, but not a good one.
Jardel is a bard of The Ormud (a human nation), born to the winter caste. He will be playing a failed jester with a mallet that honks.
Hannah rolled so well she had no choice in race or class, and is now a kenku cleric to goddess of the moon, Nuren’Ue. She has already acquired the nickname “Buff Bird” for being crazy strong.
And Kim is a god-born halfling (aasimar) rogue. I owe her a magic item too, and I owe them all some extra information to help them get started in the campaign.
Hopefully this group will gather on the pier at Meadsbridge some time in the new year…
Thanks to those of you who joined in the Super-Secret Santa, pretty sure everyone walked away pleased with what they got, although I have no idea about Julia who accidentally walked away empty-handed. Not to worry, it’s on its way to you, and thanks for the cornflake wreath too, it was delicious.
And thank you Harley and Vinni both for the handmade additions to the Shropshire Dungeon Master accessories, the dice tray from Harley will be making a few future appearances at games, the coasters from Vinni I think will be staying home for the most part, that’s where they’ll see the most use.
January folks! A lot of you (more than I thought actually) committed to some geeky pledges for the new year! I know that at least one person (not me) managed to stay true to theirs, and if you were at January’s event have a look at the cards that were pulled from the box. How did you do? I failed! Although I did have a very productive year either way, so… maybe I’ll get a comedy skit out next year? Along with a Pokenomicon, a book of item enchantments for 5e, and a whole bunch of other projects that are jamming up the proverbial pipeline.
There may be some changes in format next year! Monty’s Tower have other plans in the works that may prove either a boon or a hindrance to us at GeekOut but they want us to keep coming along, so will work with us to keep our events every bit as fun as they are now, and I don’t know about you guys but I’ve certainly been enjoying myself.
As it stands, the next event is booked for the 31st of January, a whopping six weeks away, and provisionally entitled “The Frozen North”. We hope to see you, all of you, more of you, there. And Merry Christmas or whatever.
When was the last time I did one of these? Ok, nothing since September, a fair amount has happened since then. Around the middle of October there was an incident that slowed progress a little, and with Christmas on the way there hasn’t been a great deal of time to advance a few projects that are in the pipeline – in some cases since July – but there has at least been notable progress. (more…)
It’s been a couple of months, and I was waiting on a few more things to come about, but there has been a great deal of progress made in the last eight weeks. It’ll be a short update, but let’s start with…
Ok, so what has taken place since last I talked on the subject?
I also have an interview I must transcribe from UKGE, seems like an era ago at this point. I found that a lot of people with whom I discussed the matter were actually very interested in the idea of a GM for hire, not just prospective future customers, but RPG companies curious to see what suggestions they could offer on how to further the idea and how I might diversify my genre portfolio. Expect more sci-fi from me in the future, I’m starting to toy with some ideas using Era: The Consortium rules and lore, at least one game of Honey Heist.
A rather substantial number of my business cards vanished from me over the weekend, so a new design is required. On the subject…
A New Logo
Tim worked closely with me to produce a logo for the company, coming up with a core concept that I liked the sound of, and working with me to develop something to which I could refer. The coat-of-arms like template has been toned down from the initial vision which included swords and dice bags, both to keep it simple as a good logo should be, and to make Tim’s life easier as my own graphic design skills are rather lacklustre.
Then, opportunity arose for a professional graphic designer to produce a logo for me for free. So I sent along an abridged version of the conversation with Tim, his original design, and the font he found. This was what I got in return:
Still waiting on a higher-resolution version, and I’m definitely keeping both on hand. There’s no reason why – if everything goes well – I couldn’t commission variations of the logo for various genres, and dare I say animations? I do. I do dare say it. Either way, expect new business cards.
“But Joel” I hear you shout, I have rather spectacular hearing and can hear people shouting my name from great distances. “Where can I get one of these wonderful new business cards?”
Ok, well, first of all, they haven’t been printed yet. Second, that’s a weird thing to want, but… fine, I guess? And three, CoxCon! CoxCon is a convention for YouTubers and Livestreamers running from the 21st to the 22nd of July at the International Centre in Telford, that is itself Livestreamed on Twitch. I anticipate the standard array of traders, stage shows, meet and greet opportunities and the like, but I also expect to be surprised, paradoxical as that may be. If you’re going to be in Telford on the 22nd I will be there too, either hastily cramming in games and some casual advertising, or walking around enjoying myself and chatting to folks. I might see you there in some capacity or other.
This will be crammed in between GeekOut Shrewsbury on the 19th, Amecon on the 26th, and shortly followed by…
The Oswestry Library
This was originally going to be advertising, but two of the four games I will be running are all but full.
On the 4th and the 18th of August I will be running pay-per-head games, from 9:30 – 12:30 for the under 16s, and from 13:00 to 16:00 for ages 16+, hosted by and in cooperation with the Oswestry Library. If all goes well it might become a regular event, and I’ll be taking the idea to libraries around the county. If you would like to see me in your local library, and if you’re interested in getting a game in, ask them to get in touch via my Facebook page.
Side note: In addition to the thanks I already owe the Library, thanks too must go to 2-Minute Table Top, who is content for commercial use of his maps and art packs so long as he gets proper accreditation. This is it, thanks, love your work.
Now, the under 16s games are not attracting the interest I would have hoped for, although I admit there was a serious delay on my end getting posters prepped and ready to go into schools in the local area. I’m hoping that my recent tour of town might raise some business on the day, but still, I remain optimistic about the future of the endeavour as a whole.
And by “whole” I also mean this entire endeavour. The push to turn my hobby into a job is taxing, and fraught with the possibility of hating the driving force of my life. As it stands, I’m remaining hugely positive. But all of this merry banter is not finishing the write-up for A Parade For Thieves.
See you all soon.
So, it’s a busy week at the moment, and not looking likely to get quieter for some time. Part of the mad dash has now been and gone as of this Saturday, Dungeons & Dragons played at the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry, in support of Hope House and Severn Hospice, a pair of local healthcare charities.
This is an event I’ve been working towards for some time, in fact there have been a lot of elements of setting up the business that have rather fallen by the wayside alongside the preparations for this, this week’s GeekOut Shrewsbury meet, and UKGE, and fighting off the classically bad-timed mental health episode. Interest in the event was incredibly high, although actual engagement was low, and attempts to fill up the table for the day were tough, and while a few people who secured spaces were sadly unable to join us, those who played were truly fantastic. (more…)
This is about as close as I may ever come to an actual diary, this catalogue of my efforts in attempting to turn my hobby into something productive, something that entertains and educates, and allows me to make a living and leave a lasting mark on the RP community.
A little of the future and a little of the present, while I work on tomorrow’s GeekOut… (more…)
Would you believe that’s the shorter title?
Shrewsbury has just had a busy weekend, pouring into the growing geeky community we have played host to a Steampunk festival for which I rearranged some booked holiday time to ensure I’d be free to attend, and then I foolishly organised an all-day Dungeons & Dragons marathon for the sake of advertising the new business on the same weekend. So I squeezed a couple of hours out of the festival on the Saturday before D&D on the Sunday, let’s talk about that one first.
It’s been a month or two since I discussed this last. “What are you up to?” you may ask, and I might shift my feet a little and not quite catch your eye when you say “You haven’t done anything have you?” which has a question mark but is not in fact a question.
Side note: This isn’t the only article from today, if you’re not in or around Shropshire, or just don’t want to listen to me talking about myself, I have another article today about Magic: the Gathering’s recent comedy set, Unstable. Check it out here. (more…)