Furnace Furnace 2018 con reports

Furnace 13: Rather Pleasing

- Beers and bullshit with Keary early doors
- Chinese with the Usual Suspects where we entered the Scone/Jam/Cream debate
- I snore a lot and felt terrible about it
- Breakfast and Toast Mountain
- Powder Mage Savage Worlds with Jordi, Pete, John and Gaz. Love the setting and a great short and snappy early con adventure. Good stuff.
- The Last Fleet playtest with Josh, Steve, Robin and Elaine. BSG-style PBTA action. Very much a playtest but nice to see something coming together. There were some really cool ideas being shown here. Watch out for it.
- Had a bit of an impromptu Liminal Q&A with Mitch. Funny
- Running Star Wars Tachyon Squadron with Mark, Peter, Declan, Glen and John. Post TFA X-Wing battles, bit of Tatooine fun. Lots of dead TIEs. The middle section needed more work and the enemies needed more punch. The star was the dogfight system in Tachyon Squadron. Its excellent
- Deep, silent, guilt free sleep
- Breakfast and Toast Mountain
- The Ancient Qin Sect in a hack of Dresden Accelerated with Lynn, John, Elaine and Newt. OMG, what a bloody game. This was great from start to finish and much scenery was chewed
- Won another Golden Ticket, this time for Seven Hills.
- Got home and watched Dr Who

I've pretty much resigned myself that my time restrictions mean that I can't prep as many games as I used to so running one game a con seems to be how it will progress from now on. Its brilliant to get to play more games and see new things and new people! Furnace continues to be excellent and a consistent standard of convention smoothness. Props to the organisers who must do loads of work but never really seem that flustered!

Next stop ... Dragonmeet and ALL THE LIMINAL


Staff member
Furnace XIII - fun, fun, fun

Arrived for slot 0 after a somewhat panicky week brought on by the fact that the convention was week earlier than I had it in my head. I'd started preparing at the end of July and when I came back to it in late September, it suddenly seemed a million years ago. Stayed a lot later in the bar than I planned but it was fun.

Made breakfast as it opened and caught up with friends, and then we went into prep mode. Graham (First Age) went a little wild when he did his speak in a different place to usual. Unfortunately ARU couldn't make it, but stalwart's Patriot Games were there. Also joined by the Sally from the Crafting Jones for the first time with a great store.

I sit out slot 1 to do front of house, so after an hour or so I went to get my head a bit more around Cthulhu City, which involved lots of index cards to try and get a 192 page sandbox into my head. The plot coalesced, more or less, and then it was time for lunch.

Slot 2 brought my first game - the Sword, the Crown and the Unspeakable Power (SCUP). This is a PbtA game that seeks to emulate the blood opera of things like Game of Thrones, something right up my street. In preparing, I'd had some good chats with the creator on the soon to be defunct G+ group and in the end decided to do the world creation in a structured way at the table. This was a little crazy, as it was a 3 1/2 hour slot and even the guy who wrote it usually preworks the setting and mythology. I bought a self adhesive flipchart for this and also laminated the character sheets so that we could dry-wipe. The background generation resolved around a series of questions that I had made about the setting, and the players really got into it. We spent about an hour building the background and finalising the player links, and then went for it. Double crossing and front and back stabbing happened and it came to a satisfactorily messy ending where no-one really won. Learnings from this was the the generation really brought in ownership from the players and having the links on the walls around us really helped me for ideas. But really, the game just ran itself. I couldn't have asked for a better group of players for this. I had been nervous, as there were some great GMs there, but it proved unnecessary.

Slot 3 brought the traditional trip to KFC at the start with Keary and John, and then I was playing a fun 1980s Savage World game using Realms of Cthulhu. We were the band Blondie. Who just happened to be agents for the SOE Q division (aka The Laundry). We had great fun, dealing with high tech hotness like the Sinclair C5 and Spectrum. I loved that Paul Lawrence, the GM, had cut out Spectrums and tapes for the spells they could load and cast!

It was a bit late so I went to bed. Woke up at 06:15 so pushed on with Cthulhu City. Breakfast with the full committee (all three of us!) and then the Slot 4 and the second game I was playing in. Keary Birch ran a great backwoods Delta Green scenario. Now, I ran a DG hack of Stranger Things at North Star, so I knew the system was great as a Handler, but it rocked as an Agent too. We managed to kind of address the issue, but didn't solve it. It was a fun game.

Slot 5 was the Cthulhu City game using the Cthulhu Hack. I was full, which I didn't expect, thanks to the cancelling of Paul Mitchener's Liminal game. We did character generation at the table and ended up with a mix of Miskatonic University lecturers and non-teaching staff. All of a sudden, they found themselves in a different reality, in Great Arkham, and had to find a way home(*). Investigation, robberies and other capers ensued, and they came up with two plans as they searched for Dr Henry Armitage, a wanted criminal and seditionist, to try and break out of the reality bubble they found themselves in. Fortunately, it worked, and they all escaped except one character, a perpetual student who joined the Witch Cult!

And then it was over, and time to go home. A great weekend. Thanks to the GMs, players and the Garrison...

* This is what they decided, not me.