GrogMeet 2019 Con Report

Darran

Level 7 Blingmaster
#1
GrogMeet 2019, Fan Boy Three, 25 Hilton St, Manchester. M1 1EL
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th November 2019
https://thegrognardfiles.com/grogmeet-2019/

So I set off early from Derby on a crisp and foggy autumn morning. There was some confusion at the Railway Station as many northern trains were delayed or cancelled due to severe flooding in Yorkshire.
I he a choice of going either via Stoke-on-Trent or Sheffield, I went for Sheffield and I am glad I did. I ended up being half an hour late, catching a later connection.
I got to Fan Boy Three just as the games had already started.

I like the set up at Fun Boy Three, the main level where the majority of the shop products were on display had five round tables for games. They were great tables (I have a thing about venue furniture) and were a perfect size for running RPGs. There was a ‘hidden’ staircase down to the lower level where they had the store’s game library and six more gaming tables set up, each made up of three good sized rectangular tables, making the tables pretty big; perfect again for RPGs.
There was just a nice vibe to the place and the fact everyone was playing was nice.








My first game was Tunnels and Trolls, ‘Paddy’s 13’.
This was a great fun game! We were all playing Leprechauns that were double crossed by a wizard in the town of Sanctuary set in Thieves World. Now to be fair, he had hired us to steal this little gold idol, but he got us sent to prison on delivery and took the idol for himself.
We all vowed revenge on release from prison so we plotted to steal back the idol and to embarrass the wizard in the process.
What followed were some very silly plans to infiltrate the wizard’s house and steal back this idol, and any other valuables too.



We all had the ‘Wink Wing’ teleport ability and incredible Dexterity (and very poor Strength) to our very small stature.
My character’s speciality was thievery and a very heavy build.
By pure luck we managed to not only gain access to the wizard’s house but also to succeed against the wizard’s might. We even impressed Jubal from the Vulgar Unicorn.

The Tunnels and Trolls system works very well in it’s simplicity and helps to deliver a good game experience.

Some very, very bad puns were delivered and silliness abound during the game but it was fun and very satisfying. A great starter the day.

Credit goes to the wonderful GM and my fellow players.


Lunch was spent at the local pub for a cooked meal and a swift pint before the afternoon session.


I set up quickly for my afternoon game of Fria Ligan’s Alien ’Three’s Company’. I was allocated a table in the downstairs section, nicely in middle of the room. The tables were nicely spaced out so noise from one table didn’t affect to others.

I had a total of seven players, all keen and raring to go. I quickly introduced the characters and let them make their choices, I also showed them how to open their foldout character agendas so that they could see their agendas for each act for later on in the game. I also had their agendas for each act split into two selections; their personal orders and allocations as part of Special Order #10015a, and their personal agenda. There would possibly be conflicting agendas for each character too!

Mike, a player returning to role-playing after a long break, was playing Corporal Carlos Gould. Matthew was playing Lance Corporal Hernandez, the Smart Gun operator. Nick’s character was Senior Hirsch, here to help the squad, “Good Luck Guys!” Ty was playing Captain Decoud who was in charge of the squad. Dr Monygham was played by Johnny, here to act as a medic. Dan was playing Lieutenant Antonia Avellanos, second in command. And finally we had Pookie playing Lance Corporal Conrad Kurze, the tech guy with a Plasma Rifle in the 40W range.

I then took them through the character sheets, describing how they Attributes and Skills work, more importantly how Stress works as well as the Buddy/Rival works too. I also issued a crib sheet with all their Talents described for them to check out as they play.

I then introduced the scenario, in character, as either Captain Joseph Mitchell - Commander of the USS Ribiera, and Sergeant Major Montero. I wore my Weyland-Yutani cap backwards when I played the Sergeant Major and his accent went dodgy Mockney. Captain Mitchell I portrayed with a crisp British accent and I wore the WY cap properly. Of course at one point the players wanted answers from both characters at once so I was swapping my cap around like I was some comic turn!



So the players got plenty of information up front as they did ask lots of questions and they also introduced some of their own plot points. Gould especially mentioned the fact his brother is possibly one of the hostages, first time that has happened during the start of the game after running three times before.

They were also introduced to Guzman Bento, their pilot of the UD-4L Cheyenne Dropship that will be taking them down to planet-side. He is a bit gung-ho but the characters were confident in his abilities - mostly.

A few of the PCs managed to smuggle a few grenades with them as they were gearing up but none were pushing for any other equipment to take with them.
Now Gould was up to drive the M577 APC onto the Dropship, a Heavy Machinery roll, but his first roll failed (Heavy Machinery 2 + Strength 4 + APC bonus 2 = 8 dice). So this was the perfect opportunity to show how the Stress worked as the player wanted to Push his first roll so he gained a point of Stress, gained a extra Stress Dice to his roll, and rolled multiple sixes the second time around. So I described a bit of grinding metal as he tried to straighten the APC up but then he managed to drive up the ramp into the Dropship.

The players were pushing the banter between themselves as they got to the planet-side. They had chosen to go for the main landing pad at the facility, and managed to avoid any of the booby traps.
Hernandez operated the the turret of the APC to bring fire on the figures they spotted in the windows above the main airlock.

They also used their Motion Trackers early on, I provided the sound effects from my iPad, and that showed them where the dissidents were.
They even went after the movement that was trying to circle around them.

After that they went in with extreme prejudice and dealt with the dissidents. Again I had the sound effects of the pulse rifles to play as well, that went down very well as that sound is very recognisable.

The game progressed very well, with the PCs dealing with all the challenges presented. The banter between them continued but they were pushing their rolls and taking Stress early. When things started to go wrong the Stress for all the characters did grow quite fast. The moment that the Alien showed up you could hear a pin drop. I had an NECA Alien toy figurine 9” tall that I placed in the centre of the gaming table. It not only stopped the players around the table in their tracks, but the players on the other tables stopped to see it too I was told later on - it caught the attention of the con.



The player versus player started near the end of the session, though I had hoped that the good Dr Monygham would have taken a few of the characters out when presented with the best opportunity. Though I did realise afterwards that I hadn’t told the players to go to Act III Agendas before the end of the scenario so that would have done some bearing.

A great game with fantastic players, with some interesting actions at the end. Only a few of them survived but they were glorious deaths and fun was had by all the players.


After the game sessions were over it was a short jaunt to Bar 21 in the city centre for after show drinks. That was a nice wind down after the day and it was nice to catch up with people and just talk nonsense about role playing games. I even had my photo taken with a Alien!



With that I headed back home on some more delayed trains back to Derby, taking over three hours to get back.

I would like to thank the organisers and the staff of Fan Boy Three for all their hard work, hospitality and service throughout the day. I’ll hopefully be back next year again!

So a great day with the only downsides being the transportation on the day and the fact I failed to get a GrogMeet badge!

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