Saturday, December 02, 2006


Dragonmeet 2006 - I spent how much?

Dragonmeet, again, went well. It's so sad that the event only lasts 8 hours. But the time was well spent. Yet again, I started in a Cthulhu (by Gaslight) game run by the Phoenix Games Club. In a strange twist, Sue jumped into Team 8's Paranoia session (which I had enjoyed last year).

Steve Knott - Cthulhu By Gas-Light "The Last Voyage of the Plutonia"
- "In the autumn years of Queen Victoria’s reign, with the approaching new century, signs & portents foretell of the coming of an Agent of Fortune. Nothing will ever be the same again, a time of change is upon us, when only a motley group of faded, burnt out Investigators can hope to save the Empire…or not."

We managed to complete the game within the 3 hours without losing too much Sanity. Only one character lost their body but apparently in the epilogue we find that they will be getting a new one, which is always encouraging. Steve ran a reasonable game although it seemed he was having to think up content on the fly at times - the adventure was mapped out from a GM's perspective but there was not necessarily as much preparation for what the players might ask about.

I played my first Settlers of Catan - one of those simple games where the rules take a few minutes to learn but tactics take a whole lot longer to pick up. I'm not sure if I'd want to play it a lot as it didn't leap out at me as being
hugely appealing. This is not just because I didn't win - maybe I need to play a few more games. Note - The polystyrene tile set below is NOT what you would be able to buy in the shops!

Settlers of Catan

In complete contrast was the Dungeoneer card game which started off looking really, really complicated but after an hour or so it all started to make perfect sense. Also, unlike Catan, I didn't feel that my initial choices were going to screw me up for the rest of the game. Dungeoneer is like an advanced version of "Sorcerer's Cave", reference to which brought blank expressions from the other players. There is a connecting network of locations (cards) which covers all the places you can go to. The turn system has 2 different phases which is novel to me - you first act as the dungeon master and use monsters to attack other players' characters and then you take on the role of your own character to try and complete a few quests (which revolve around some of the locations). Of course, an alternative win condition is Last Man Standing - I did manage to kill another player's character but died ended up dead at the hands of another player later. Failing to complete one quest with 6-7 consecutive dice rolls where I had a 50-50 chance of success did not help at all.

Dungeoneer card game

Shopping was performed - it is difficult to go to any games convention and NOT buy something. As I enjoy making up weird and wonderful monster/character combinations for D&D, I bought "Savage Species" for £17 from Leisure Games - actually cheaper than from Amazon, which was a surprise.

One attraction of the convention is the Charity Auction. Whenever I am at an auction, I try and pick off something cheap as I am not too interested in giving to charity. If I had loads of money to spare then this might be different. Usually, though, there is someone else more charitable and richer than me that is willing to part with their hard-earned cash so I usually come away with nothing. I didn't win the pseudo-leather bound core D&D books, for example - I already had those in non-fancy covers and that would just be too indulgent. I did, though, bid highest on two lots of D&D books and ended up parting with £110. The books were brand new, donated by the game shops to the auction.

That averages out at £14 each which is less than retail but more than through the outlets on Amazon. I have since sold off half of them for £40 to some friends (two of the eight books I had already and another two went because I'm not into Eberron) which leaves 2 books I definitely want to keep (PHB2 and FC1) and 2 that I'm not sure. So, overall, the charity did "OK", I added to my growing collection and my friends got some cheap books - winners all round.

Dragonmeet auction


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