[generic] 2019 Gaming Year in Review

This has truly been a standout year for gaming. Where some years I have seen a barren drought, punctuated by the odd convention, this year has been a veritable deluge of games and gamers. It is truly a Golden Age.,

Our Thursday group (Andrew, Tom and Duncan) has been steadily ploughing on through the Throne of Thorns campaign for Symbaroum. I know I go on about this but it is excellent and I hope that in time it gains the same level of recognition as Masks of Nyarlathotep, The Enemy Within and the Great Pendragon Campaign. We're just in the middle of Yndaros: The Darkest Star and I have left them on one of the best cliffhangers I could ever imagine.

On Sundays (Ian, Andrew, Nigel and Gordon) we started the year at the tail end of the Pathfinder 2 playtest. Decent game but not one that will see a vast array of play at our table. The middle of the year was mostly an attempt by me to run an epic scope game of D&D 5e using elves only. It was fun but nothing to write home about. It has ended on a real high though, with Ian running an excellent game of Werewolf using Fate Accelerated. It's brilliant and oozes epic action and drama. Loving that.

I've also had a third irregular group with a core of new gamers from a local theatre group, introduced to me by Tom. I ran a Fate Accelerated game of WW2 supers called 'Brittanics' with them, and then a three-shot Fate Accelerated game based on the Arrowsmith comics and now I'm running a short Monsterhearts ongoing game with them. Its a totally different gaming mechanic and one that is ultimately refreshing. And my daughter has joined in too, which makes it even better!

So that's the current games - Monsterhearts, Symbaroum and Werewolf Accelerated. What else?

Well, for the first half of the year I was running D&D 5e at the D&D club at the college where I worked. It was a completely improvised campaign with mostly new players, with only 90-minute game slots. It taught me loads about pacing games and hitting rapid beats, what works in that time - and what doesn't. The club continues to this day, even though I have left the college. That's great. Oh and I won the Equality and Diversity staff prize for supporting it, nominated by the students. Hurrah for me!

I've also been lucky enough to be invited along to a few house conventions. Hosted by Elina and Simon, I played the Drinklings, Monsterhearts and Call of Cthulhu (honest!) at the initial ElinaCon. I returned twice this year to also be tormented by Steve as he ran us through the Persephone Extraction for Nights Black Agents. At John and Lynn's in Manchester, we played an excellent wushu adaptation of Dresden Accelerated and I ran Blades in the Dark for the first time and absolutely loved it!

More? OK, conventions then!

Started the year with Revelation where I played in Robin's superlative Georgian York setting for Urban Shadows, ran what might have been the best game of Monsterhearts I have ever seen (which had very little to do with me and everything to do with the players) and ran a Masks game called the Nowhere Children that shouldn't have worked but did!

Next up was Seven Hills and its historic theme - so naturally I started by playing an Aliens inspired game of Mothership. I also played a WW2 game of Wild Talents and the Good Society (right up my street) and also ran Operation Thorn, the 1970s version of Liminal.

Games Expo followed and that was all Liminal, all the time. Five games - The Dead, Last Train to Euston, Operation Thorn, The Eyes Have It and One Boggart's Rubbish. Thoroughly enjoyed myself and the pleasure of running one system consistently.

Furnace was a mixed bag this year with me running sub-par games of D&D and Marvel Superheroes, playing in great games of Masks and Star Trek Adventures and resurrecting Duty and Honour for a second edition.

Games Expo was just one game - Liminal, at Indie Games on the Hour - an unforgettable game with two young lads who we simply great as part of the table.

And finally CottageCon - our own little residential convention - had its 12th year. We continued our game of Werewolf Accelerated, I finally really grokked the One Ring and I discovered Zombie World, which is a game I am now totally in love with!

Creatively, I have finished off Pax Londinium and Novocastria for Liminal, put the final touches to my entries into the Gazetter - The Lake District, Lancaster and Edinburgh - and I have two Case Files in the almost done pile. I'm writing The Great Roc Race as an adventure for King of Dungeons. I've also got the skeleton sorted for the revised version of Duty and Honour. That, and an unannounced Liminal project will be my main focuses this year.

Its been quite the year. I sincerely hope 2020 proves to be equally fruitful - although I am going to try to avoid running four games at the same time as I was in the spring!