15 Jul

Delian Tomb works again

There is an introductory D&D scenario that has been adopted and *adapted* many times. Matt Colville in his excellent “How to DM” videos describes writing an adventure which he call the “Delian Tomb“.

In his version the Blacksmith’s daughter is kidnapped by Goblins and the players rescue her from a tomb. He did publish notes and so on, but I scribbled and drew as he talked, so my version is variant. I mean, in mine it’s Pete who was kidnapped, his Mum a Lancashire housewife. I have a different cast at the Gorgon’s Grog Tavern and so on.

I ran it today at Travelling Man Newcastle at the LGBTQI RPG day.

So it was time to mix it up again. Whilst Mum thinks Peate has been kidnapped, in fact they have gone off with their goblin pals from the Dreamcatcher tribe to hide them from the rival Magpie tribe.

Trapped in the tomb between a giant toad and undead, Peate was teetering on the cusp of their wild chaos magic emerging and becoming a 1m90cm electric generating afro haired gender fluid sorcerer.

Let’s say it went very well. Thanks to Wulf, Matt and Thomas for their great roleplaying of Raethis, Dendran and Loxley. Your trust and laughter made it. If I have mispelt names I apologize.

I want to play Peate now.. the players unanimously advised him to follow his path with the goblins.

… Kobolds next time…

14 Jul

UCU success, Lords of Waterdeep is great fun, had a good BBQ

UCU wins right to strike for migrant workers

After months of campaigning by UCU, including most recently the threat of legal action, the home secretary Sajid Javid has announced that he will be changing the immigration rules to ensure that migrant workers will now be able to play a full part in legal strike action without fearing the impact on their immigration status.
This is a big win for all trade unionists, not just those in UCU and it has come about as a direct result of our campaigning work. Thanks to everyone who wrote to MPs and in particular to members from overseas who took strike action despite these concerns.

Lords of Waterdeep is great fun

Paul, Andrew, Nigel, Alex and I had great fun playing Lords of Waterdeep on Friday night. It was really nice to boardgame, which is such a prep-free form of gaming opposed to rpgs. The game has just enough bells and whistles and ins and outs to be intriguing but with an essentially simple core engine.  I wanted to play it after I was rather delighted to hear that the new D&D adventure is Waterdeep:Dragon Heista guide to Waterdeep and a city heist adventure creation engine. I love city gaming, so it got me all fired up to explore Waterdeep in boardgame form.

A boardgame and a can of beer

Gaming and Lager

a boardgame

Lords of Waterdeep

BBQ

We had Conor, Kate, their sons Eugene and Tristan with Emmanuel, Catherine and their daughter Farai round for a BBQ. It was a very very hot and sunny day and the BBQ went well and Farai had a dip in the tub, and the boys really enjoyed Super Mario Smash Bros on the Wii. I got a bit faint and dizzy a few times, I need to keep an eye on that.

 

11 Jul

NWG innovation festival, the England world cup exit, and Liminal occult

I am trying to update my blog more often.

Today I went to the Northumbrian Water group innovation festival at Newcastle Racecourse. My invitation had been quite confused and the joining instructions were extremely poor. The infrastructure provided: the tents; the food; the facilities; were excellent. Despite the chaos I think that the “sprint” that I was involved in about transport will come up with some interesting ideas for the main patrons of the event who are largely the utility providers in the north of England. They all run extensive fleets of vehicles from cars, vans, trucks through to heavy equipment. As such there are many different routes to sustainable transport that they need to follow. I made some good contacts and I believe that I will follow up with some of them. #GetNorth2018 #InnovationFestival18

I I have recently started watching football and enjoying it. Anyone who knows me well and though have astounding this is. I think the last time I was actually invested in a football match I was 9 so that would be about 1974. however I have got invested in this world cup and I was really sad to see England being beaten by Croatia. The score was tantalisingly in England’s favour for a very long time. I have promised to not pretend to know anything about football so I won’t say or comment on the result. I am just sad that football is not coming home on this occasion.

I also played an online game of Paul Mitchell’s new role playing game called Liminal. it’s a game based on those who exist on the boundaries between the magical world and the mundane world. So very much like the books of Ben Aaronovitch or Charles De Lint, and many others. it seems to be a very light system essentially a variant of The Traveller 2D6 Roll High system. As such a Fade Into the background very quickly and is easy to understand. the value of the game when it’s published will be in the very large amount of material and source books written by an awful lot of my gaming friends. I look forward to the novocastrian supplement from Neil Gow.

05 Jul

ERTICO H2020 Workshop

The UK is still in the Horizon 2020 programme until Brexit happens. So we have a short window of opportunity when we can still participate in Research and Innovation projects.

The university is a member of ERTICO which is the ITS Europe organisation. I and my colleagues Paul and Simon attended the workshop brainstorming potential proposals and I think we both found it very productive.

The dinner for the event was very early so I was able to return to my hotel and play in Paul Mitchener’s Liminal game online. we are using the tavern discord server and I have to say I’m slightly disappointed in the audio quality of discord.

29 Jun

Final NOVELOG project review

I have been attending the final review of the Novelog project by the new project officer. I think it went well but of course you never know until the final ink is dry and the cheque has cleared the bank account.

I ate in the hotel bar and enjoyed the World Cup football in the background.

12 Jun

The Fall of Peace and Unity

I have for over 2 years now look forward to running a mashup science fiction role-playing campaign. in early June 2018 I managed to start and it’s set in the Andromeda galaxy and has the working title of the Fall of Peace and Unity. It’s setting a dark time for salvation space as humanity is threatened on all sides in the Andromeda Galaxy.

In truth it’s best read about further on the Tavern, my RPG BBS

https://www.gamingtavern.eu/tavern/index.php?threads/the-fall-of-peace-and-unity.795/

04 Jun

Lovely Weekend

I have had a lovely weekend. I spent Friday night in the green room at the People’s Theatre drinking lovely day with lovely people and my lovely wife. They’re a great crowd at the theatre and I think I may have made a few new friends.

On Saturday I realised the perhaps the lovely beer had been too lovely and I drank too much of it. So I spend Saturday largely in bed holding onto my head and then eating a very lovely large Domino’s Pizza. In the evening we watched the film: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The film was very good and deserved all the plaudits it had received.

On Sunday after a night of heavy rain the garden was cool and wet: perfect weather for gardening. I have largely neglected the garden during the period of PhD writing up. It was an absolute Delight working in the garden, reminding me how much I enjoy it. Ann made a lovely Bolognese and we then watched the last episode of the excellent docudrama about Norman Scott and Jeremy Thorpe: A Very English Scandal.

All in all a cracking weekend. Poor Amn got a bad cold..

Ttfn.

 

 

30 May

May!!

I have been ill most of May. Just as I was celebrating my birthday and Ann’s new amateur career as a thespian, I got a virus that was to my mind a proper ‘flu and that took 2 weeks out, as well as stopping me going to chair a big conference I had helped organise in Brussels 🙁

Then I got myself together well enough to go and do my duty at a project event in Cyprus and just as I was about to go back I got a cold that has progressively attacked my chest until now I have a chest infection and am on antibiotics.

It’s true to say that I have also tried to keep up with family commitments and visits, and that probably hasn’t helped my immune system in fighting the bugs buy hey ho, you can’t just give in, can you?

So what did I manage to do? Well I had 3 lovely days in Cyprus before the 2nd bug got me. I got to run a starter game of D&D for a family friend, their son and my grandson, at the end which the virus decided to take away my voice for 4-5 days.. Olly, Amy and Mike came and stayed. We played Obama Llama and Machi Koro. Steve and Tree came and we drank beer.

Ann as Mrs Northrop in "When We Are Married"

Ann as Mrs Northrop in “When We Are Married”

We saw Matt in his home in Cambridge and caught up with him and Alaa and met his chums at his place of work, a lovely Italian café.

But now, all I want to do is take my antibiotics, ease back into mainstream work, and REST..