Your view on our review of our Garrison Conventions

Should we change our Garrison Conventions?

  • Leave the conventions as they are.

  • Keep Revelation, move Seven Hills to April and make North Star a one off.

  • Keep Revelation, stop Seven Hills and keep North Star in April.

  • Keep running Seven Hills in April only.

  • Something else

Results are only viewable after voting.
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First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
We are reviewing our Garrison convention offerings in what is a packed convention calendar. Furnace, in October, is not under review and remains at its usual time.

So, we are checking Revelation (February), Seven Hills (March) and North Star (April). LongCon and other Garrison conventions are organised separately and not in scope. Please complete the quick poll below and post your thoughts on this thread.
My priorities on conventions in spring are Revelation first, Seven Hills second, and North Star last. In theory I'd like to go to all three, but in practice childcare tends to limit my attendance. One day.

So I'll vote for "keep as is" because more choice is better. But if you had to stop one, I'd grudgingly vote for North Star.
Whilst North Star hasn’t run yet, my preference would be to reduce to two cons due to the time and cost involved. Three residential cons in the space of three months is a burden on the pocket. Seven Hills I would definitely like to keep as it’s well established, and between a PbtA con and a sci-fi con I would prefer PbtA. So given the options, I’d move Seven Hills to April and keep Revelation in February.
I know I've been a pain this year (sorry!) but I love the Garrison cons. Obviously Revelation doesn't suit my needs but I'm happy with the rest as they are. Please don't ever ditch Seven Hills. Lose one of the "dedicated" conventions in its place if you must.

FYI my personal convention calendar (when it existed) had nothing in May this year so it might be worth lookng at May next year if you want to spread things out. (Of course there may be cons in May that I don't go to and I'm posting this in a hurry and haven't checked the master list.)
Personally, my preference would be to lose Revelation and spread out North Star and Seven Hills. However that might be achieved. I've tried Revelation twice and I think it's a flawed format for the game in hand. It makes demands of a game system best suited to long play - and multi-slot games just make a con more complicated, less flexible and not as entertaining.
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My safe vote would be "KEEP THEM ALL SO I CAN PICK AND CHOOSE AS I PLEASE!!!" :)

But that's not being useful to you or honest of me.

I would drop both Revelations and Northstar.

Revelations due to the time of year: I'm still hibernating in February so you are very unlikely to ever see me even though I love PbTA :) I'm sure that there are other people are in the same boat.

Northstar, well as much as it excited me to get off my arse and risk the wrath of the missus BECAUSE LIKE RPGS AND SCI-FI, its a case of if you the organisers are having quibbles as the last man on board what chance does it have in the long term? :/

So just keep and focus on 7 Hills :D And move it back to April, because winter is fully over then and I like standing on the outdoorsy smokey bit enjoying the sun :D
I have very complicated feelings about this.

First up, three conventions in three months is just too many for my time, pocket or partner's patience. Especially as we quickly run into Expo/LongCon/Continuum territory in June-July. I realise that's a very personal thing, as other people have more money and flexibility than I do, but hey, you asked my opinion!

Second up, there are the games. I like SF, but not enough to want to play five slots of it. Northstar was the easiest convention for me to miss this year (and I have had to cut others too). I'm finding Seven Hills to be a frustrating affair as the 'theme' seems to have become an annoyance to work around with semantics rather than a cool differentiation. Revelation is a great convention, but I concur slightly with what Paul says that the PBTA format sometimes doesn't suit three hour games (and turns into a blood opera gonzo fest)

Thirdly, there is an issue with saturation. The Garrison is like a second home but it has become an all-encompassing second home. Its such a great venue that it makes it a natural for ALL small conventions in the north of England. And with many Garri-Cons, the space for an alternative becomes less and less. I would love to explore the possibility of a Garri-con style event in Newcastle, but there's just no room in the calendar.

With all that taken into consideration, I voted to ditch Northstar and move Seven Hills to April.
The moving of 7 Hills from April to March has killed off any chance of my participation. Due to all the work I do with China, March is a very busy month for them as things ramp up in their New Year. As for the other two cons, I have no interest in a weekend of pbtA, although I don't think I should be stopping others from enjoying themselves. As for North Star, interesting indeed, but it is Continuum this year for me, maybe next year for some SF.

Neil mentioned the 7 Hills theme, yeah, I only go with it if I like it, it is hard enough for me to try and write something interesting, without having to work something else into it. So, probably best I am not there this year, as I could have been barred.
The spring Garrison convention calendar does feel very full at the moment. My slightly selfish view is to ditch Revelation and keep Seven Hills and North Star, as the latter two interest me personally more (and certainly this year there are plenty of PbtA games at Seven Hills). I also don't want to suggest ditching North Star before it has even run. It's also attracted some faces I don't know from other Garrison cons, in the same way (but different faces) Revelation did.

But that is selfish and Revelation does seem to fill a useful niche. The alternating years suggestion between Revelation and North Star is a nice compromise.

I also like the idea of "pop up" conventions on tight themes....they run once, and that's it. If people are asking for more, that's a good thing, but it still doesn't mean repeating something so tight.

On Seven Hills, I agree about theme dilution, and the theme could be quietly dropped or made tighter (I still want the History theme), but I didn't do the latter through being in an evident minority.
For personal reasons I've not been able to attend Seven Hills this year. For this reason I'm very happy that North Star popped up so I could get my Spring gaming convention fix. Revelation doesn't interest me - not because I am against PbtA in any way - mainly because I like the opportunity to try a variety of systems and settings when at a convention.

I've voted to keep things as they are. I'm hoping that one year my suggestion of "romantic comedy" will get picked as the theme at Seven Hills. ?
With regards hybernating in February - I couldn't disagree more. We need to spread the Garrison cons out and we already have a four-month gap over Christmas which means all 6 cons (Revelation, 7 Hills, North Star, LongCon, ShaCon, and Furnace) are squeezed into an 8-month active period. We do not want to expand the gap!!

I would suggest if you are not used to activity in Feb you invest in a long-sleeved shirt and a winter coat.

As for which cons to keep. I hate to kill a con before its born. It like all those TV shows canceled before they're aired a single episode. Anyone who's been lucky enough to view the single episode of The Dictator ( or the eight episodes of Drive ( will know what a complete travesty this can be.

Having said that, if I had to choose a Con to go, it would be North Star. It's a tough choice, but North Star is the con which excites me least. I would probably then move 7 Hills into the North Star timeslot to spread things out a little.
I also like the idea of "pop up" conventions on tight themes....they run once, and that's it. If people are asking for more, that's a good thing, but it still doesn't mean repeating something so tight.
I agree, and just to confirm, that is what ShaCon was : a 'one and done' deal. There was never a plan to run it again, we did get carried away from all the positive feedback, and did say, "OK, go on, we will do another one." Then we woke up. So, just to confirm, it ain't happening folks! ?
Jeez Declan, I was only being light-hearted in saying that I've got family/financial commitments in Feb :D

I would suggest if you are not used to activity in Feb you invest in a long-sleeved shirt and a winter coat.
I've got a fine winter coat, with a hooded top, and a robust pair of Hi-Tech Leather walking boots, which I've been out in trudging through the deep snow here in the Pennines - not once but twice today walking my four-month-old sprollie pup. So don't tell me I'm not used to activity or need adequate winter clothes :p


Staff member
My view would be to run Seven Hills in April, move North Star to February and ditch Revelation.

Seven Hills is well established and my favourite of the three. I think Paul runs a great con, and for me it always feels a bit more relaxed than Furnace. I like the theme thing, and I'd certainly be up for a historically themed con.

I'm a big fan of SF games, and dabble very lightly if at all in PbtA, so choosing North Star over Revelation is an easy call for me. I'm surprised the poll didn't offer that as an option, forcing me to vote for the nebulous "Something Else". I know a number of people who are Garrison regulars but who skip Revelation. It seems to me to be the most niche of the three, and the obvious choice to go if something needs to be sacrificed. With North Star you have a range of games, that could well include a PbtA game, whereas if you don't like PbtA, then Revelation is just a wasted slot.
I'd let market forces be your guide. Which of the conventions is the least profitable? Ditch that one.

I can't see that many people (given the cost of a room at the Garrison is almost £50 a night if you share) will go to each convention so you'll not likely have the same core audience (and if you have anyone who goes to all three and stays at the Garrison can you ask them to get me a job where they work ;))


I strongly associate Seven Hills with Dr Mitch and he's stepping down from organising after this year; and what a fantastic con it's been to be as excellent as Furnace and yet distinct in its own way. It is/was a fave of mine.

As far as the future is concerned you should organise the cons you want to organise as organisers and let that be both your poll and measure of success.
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