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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I think we all have different wants in the games on offer at various conventions and sadly not everyone likes the same games.

For me personally, Seven Hills remains ace (especially having themes) and my newest addiction is sure to be North Star because it is strictly a Science Fiction convention. Yes, yes, yes!!!

My collection of RPG books from Star Wars, to Star Trek, to Warhammer 40,000 to my foray into Traveller, makes me yearn for a Science Fiction convention like North Star.

Plus, like Ezio said, Revelation is too game mechanics specific. And not everyone likes Powered by the Apocalypse.
"Not everyone likes PbtA"
"Not everyone like science fiction"
"Not everyone likes themes"

I love an exercise in public consultation, but I think its important to remember that this isn't about our personal preferences or moreover, some sort of race-to-the-bottom popularity contest. Now I didn't know Mitch was stepping down from running Seven Hills, which makes this all a little more transparent so its a little different.

There's clearly a market for a PbtA/FitD convention, although it is never going to be rammed to the rafters. Revelation was an excellent convention.
There's clearly a market for 'themed' conventions, like North Star, but again its never going to be packed to the rafters.
There's clearly a market for general conventions, and they generally are packed to the rafters.

Conventions don't have to be massive to be successful. LongCon sits at around 30 people and John is very happy to have it run (I think)

Maybe the answer here is not what we can get rid of, but how can we help to facilitate these three fine conventions? There doesn't seem to be one that is so hated as to be cancelled but clearly there is a need to rationalise the strain on the organisers of running, essentially, three conventions in three months to an overlapping (but not homogenous) crowd.

Maybe, Seven Hills should have been retired gracefully, without asking fans to make hard choices in the vote. Voting can be a traumatic experience, since for one party to win, another must lose, thus, not spreading the dopamine high all round.
By the way, I didn't want to make a big deal about stepping back from organising Seven Hills, hence no announcement. I've not done it because of any bad reasons; just that after five years I was starting to burn out. I'd love it if Seven Hills continued under new management. I'd also be perfectly content if the way forward was seen as small specific conventions, with Furnace as the major general Garrison convention. The landscape has changed since Seven Hills launched, with more variety out there (even just in Sheffield) and that's a good thing.
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The Guvnor
Staff member
I think that this thread has got a little squirlee, and I have made inappropriate and unhelpful comparisons and posts.
I apologise and have deleted as appropriate.

The GowBear had it right
how can we help to facilitate these three fine conventions?
When I stood down from Furnace to move to Newcastle, it was part of my realisation that I needed that time and mental headspace for other things, family things and also gaming things. I went further and realised that the stress of running games at cons was the bigger problem for me and I now don't run cons nor run games at them and I am much happier. I run workshops and conferences at work, and I didn't need that in my hobby, however qualified I was to do it. [as an aside: talk to me why I don't write rpgs sometime..]

Running 3 cons in rapid succession must be hard, running one alone is hard. So maybe we could forget the poll or the hard choices, and maybe the need here is [like all cons] for some fresh blood, for a [small] changing of the guard?

30-40 people mini cons are viable, so is it time for some people to step back from some of the 3 and others to step in and take up the burden for a while? All 3 cons do not need to have exactly the same committee, finances and team..

Maybe that's not a public discussion but a call for volunteers and a private process for the committees?
From a community perspective, the more conventions the merrier. Sure, not everyone will be able to attend them all and people will have different "favourites". But having too many great events is a lovely "problem" to have.
From an organiser perspective, you need to choose the number that you can handle without a burnout. If there is a willingness for others to take over one of the cons or help with the organisation, then that is an option too.
From a personal perspective, I am not crazy about sci-fi, so North Star was the one I decided to drop, as three visits to Sheffield in three consecutive months was too much for my busy calendar. If I had been busy for the Revelation or 7 Hills weekend, I would have happily gone to NS and I am sure I would have had a great time too.

I think the two big conventions- Seven Hills and Furnace and make the games assorted and not themed. You could decided spontaneously yearly if you wanted to run a one of themed special convention which be placed in between and you can make it PbtA or Science fiction, or Cult horror etc but essentially it doesn't necessarily have to be a yearly thing. I prefer two big cons with lots of game choices myself. :-D


Staff member
Worth chiming in here based on two earlier posts:
  • Furnace, Revelation and North Star aren't run to make a profit (generally any surplus will be put back into a raffle or food, although some does get held a reserve for the next year). I can't comment on Seven Hills as I'm not involved in organising or attending due to personal reasons.
  • Furnace has always been un-themed. Seven Hills has themes but - as an interested observer - they often get subverted very cleverly when I look at the calendar.
  • Revelation has a significantly different mix of attendees to the others. Which is interesting.
The process of running the Garrison cons is pretty well established. Graham is the front man, Elaine does the heavy lifting on games bookings and I do badges and what I'm told. ;-)
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