I once again had the pleasure of attending Grogmeet after successful trips in 2016 & 2017.
I travelled down with old Scouser roleplaying & pals and the journey flew by. After a swift lunch we were straight into grogfight.
Best described as a superb ice breaker or speed dating for grognards this was a cross dimensional quest to unite an article called the soul forge. Periodically it would send out a pulse and players would swap tables to another dimension where another old school fantasy system was being played.
As such I got to rejoice in playing a shifting thief in Mithras classic fantasy throwing buckets of hot wax on knife waving temple dancers and switched to a T&T fairy rogue (who I decided was voiced by Lisa horrocks by way of Paul Daniels) for impish lunacy.
I’d been a bit skeptical of grogfight especially with the different systems but with the dimension hoping elements the speed dating / ice breaker analogy really works. I think I’d like to see or try it – a similar format could very easily work in say a superhero game or maybe a Star Trek game with mis-firing transporters.
It was excellent fun and I didn’t hear a bad report so hats off to all involved.
The Price of Breakfast
Next up was playing the Price of Freedom with a simple twist. The resistors of Soviet occupation were all characters from John Hughes movie ‘ the Breakfast Club.’
This genius premise was the brainchild and orchestrated by ‘Doc’ who is a venerable, vocal and big presence at Grogmeet. His game was as a big as his personality. The ready meat of occupation gave something to get the character hooks into. It was interesting how in quite a tight timescale the game which was definitely revealed to have a plot felt quite sandboxy and had a lot of soap options. I did enjoy my ‘Thomas a becket’ moment as Alison offering to murder Andrew Clark’s traitor dad.
The game was awesome – and I liked the system so there.
Flashing Blades – The Grand Theatre
After a pleasant evening libation, sleep and breakfast the new day brought Grogmeet proper. I was in the GM seat that morning.
I’d decided to stick to my old favourite flashing blades and a scenario I’d last run at Devacon. It’s a published scenario in the Parisian adventures book. However with 7 players I split the party and made 3 cardinals guards and 4 musketeers.
The rivals were looking for evidence of English actor Jacob latchkey being a spy. All while the actor performed to a full house including the very important Archbishop of Orleans who’s enjoyment mustn’t be disturbed. The king and cardinal had a bet resting on the result so there was quite a bit of pressure resting on the hapless soldiers.
This gave me very little too. Sly Flourish has nothing on me.
- Without going blow by blow we had muscular guardsmen disguised as bo peep,
- sundry interruptions on abs of stage,
- upstaging of Mr Latchkey,
- vicious kicks,
- entanglements and swinging on stage ropes.
- Being trampled by Runaway harpsichord followed by being choked to death by a large woman
- Injudicious use of trapdoors
And many opportunities to show the splendour that is the flashing blades fencing system. Casualties meant to PCs later playing lady spies of Lady Malfleur (for the Queen was in on the bet) so the final scene was three way sword play on a staircase.
Everyone escaped arrest by the city guards thanks to a smoke bomb and the musketeers found the stolen papers. The general mess made resulted in everyone being posted to the Siege of La Rochelle for reflection.
Again the players made the scenario it becomes a full Richard Lester movie grin & giggle fest – what a great bunch.
After a catered lunch (it’s a right posh con this) on to the final games. Fittingly on Greg Staffords memorial weekend it was Heroquest Glorantha run by Ian Cooper the editor behind the line at Chaosium.
I’ve read an earlier edition of Heroquest abs never got my head around it. I have a passing familiarity with Glorantha from some Sun Dome county in the 90s, Dragon Pass and Khan of Khans but was playing with some much more knowledgable.
So I took the naive Orlanthi farmboy and had a blast. I always worry a little bit about lack of peril in storyteller systems but the set up of ghoul haunted forest was suitably horror rich for my tastes. This led to a hateful eight situation with the PCs many of which were daggers drawn sheltering in a besieged inn which had its own dark secrets.
Ian paints quite a picture and it was interesting to see Lunars played as something other than Chaos Nazi Romans which is the vibe I sometimes get (even though they are Persian-Babylonians.) Quite persuasive, quite plausible – of course I was just a simple farmboy.
The scenario built to a action finale but one felt there were ramifications for the politics of our rebel band.
I think heroquest will be a purchase in the near future – I did find FATE quite worked for me and while I have drama system I think heroquest might be handy for super games I want to run. I also think some of my previous stuff might adapt quite nicely so it’ll be a good investment.
A few more libations In excellent company before the train home and reflection. Dirk & Co have done it again. A well run, cordial game event with all the right notes in the right order. It was a pleasure to see Newt of D101 games and pick up the 2nd Edition of Monkey as well as get some dice from the All Rolled Up crew.
Special mention must go to Andy Hemming’s amazing Gaslands dinky car war game which was super impressive.
There was also a lot of love for Tunnels & Trolls – as well as Grogfight two splendid sessions by Doc Griffiths where well received.
Of course having already decided I should miss it one year because it clashes with mums birthday I am already thinking of a Wind in the Willows / TMNT / Very British Civil War / PG Wodehouse mash up game which would be perfect …. just attending Grogmeet eve would be ok right ?