Chaosium Monthly Meet-up - 4th January 2020



I can’t get to every convention or event. And I don’t usually report on small local meet-ups. But my friend Matthew Pook - games reviewer extraordinaire - attending this event and kindly let me copy his report:

“The UK calendar is filled with gaming events up and down the country, with nearly an event every weekend, and often multiple events taking place on the same weekend. Nevertheless, it was a surprise to start 2020 with a gaming event quite so early in the year—a claim which was previously held by Contingency and Spaghetti ConJunction—but the first of the Chaosium Monthly Meet-ups took place on January 4th at Dark Sphere. This is a cavernous games shop—both because of its size and it actually being underground—in Shepherds Bush, London. Primarily dedicated to war gaming and board games, the venue not only hosted Chaosium Monthly Meet-up #01 on the day, but an event for Armada, Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars battleship miniatures combat game. Plus other gamers were playing board games and card games.

Organised by Chaosium’s David Scott, there were five games run on the day. David Scott ran demonstration games of both King Arthur Pendragon and RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha; Ben Smith ran ‘When the Cut Fails’, an all-Morokanth HeroQuest adapted from Waha's Beast Quest taken from the Book of Drastic Solutions: Prax to RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha from Dissolution [CHECK]; and Jim Mozely ran ‘Darkness at Runegate’, an investigative scenario set in Runegate for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, twice.

The venue proved to be good. Although there was plenty going on, and the roleplaying being located at the back on three tables, the size of the shop meant that sound did not impede our play. So we could all hear each other. The venue’s facilities are decent, there is disabled access via escalators, and toilets. Dark Sphere sells cold snacks and drinks, but there is a coffee shop within two minutes’ walk and a supermarket within thirty seconds’ walk of the venue. Note that it mainly caters to war game and miniatures players, board game players, and CCG players, so it stocks very little in the way of roleplaying games. Hopefully this will change as the Chaosium Monthly Meet-ups grow in size, because it does mean that Dark Sphere is unlikely to make any money from us role players.

There were fifteen attendees. In the two games I played in, ‘When the Cut Fails’ and ‘Darkness at Runegate’, there was a good mix players—old hands familiar with RuneQuest II, but not RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha; those new to both Glorantha and RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha; and those familiar with RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and just about familiar with Glorantha to know that they do not know a lot. (I am in the latter category.) Both scenarios over ran, but proved to be hugely enjoyable with some good roleplaying by everyone and big showdown set-pieces in which everyone got to be heroic and be useful. This is in the main because in convention games, players tend to splurge their characters’ Rune Points, but this in no way detracts from the play of a scenario. Surprisingly, I ended up playing a beclawed martial artist or brawler in both games purely by letting everyone else choose first! This meant that at times I was ripping off limb after limb.

Although the majority of the games at Chaosium Monthly Meet-up #01 were for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, this should not put off anyone planning to attend. Games are announced ahead of time and future events will include sessions for Call of Cthulhu, 7th Seas, and King Arthur Pendragon as well as RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. My advice is to sign-up, plan ahead, and that way you will know what is on offer and can keep the travel costs down.”

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