As I explained, Phil-the-Artist and I had a fun morning browsing the expanded trade hall. The outcome of this is best illustrated by the items I bought.
Dice and Cards
Once Upon a Time
This year, I treated myself to a game. Fortunately, this was only a card game, so I was not overburdened on the journey home. Once Upon a Time is a storytelling card game by James Wallis, published by Atlas Games.
However, I did not buy it solely because I am a victim of good marketing. As with so many things I buy these days, I hope this game will help my improvisational storytelling skills. The gameplay is all about improvising a fairy tale to match the cards in your hand and arriving at a nominated ending. As a thumbnail description, this matches the style of RPG game I try to run. This game really should help me improvise better as a GM.
My other intention with Once Upon a Time is to use it as a tool for teaching my two young sons to be narrative gamers. They are still too young for this right now, but I suspect it will not be long before they are telling better fairy tales than I can. As a Geek Dad, I am often on the lookout for useful ways to bring my sons into the fold when they grow up.
Now I have a copy of the game, I can appreciate how beautiful it is. The art by Omar Rayyan is gorgeous. I look forward to browsing through the cards, which may prove to be so delightful as to distract me from playing the game.
I picked up my copy of Once Upon a Time from the Leisure Games stand, where I had pre-ordered it for collection at Dragonmeet. This worked very smoothly for me, and is something I shall consider for next year.
Moving on to the books I bought at Dragonmeet. The first of these was The Nazi Occult by Kenneth Hite, published by Osprey. I also tracked Ken through the trade hall and secured his signature in the book. Once again, this book had featured prominently in several of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcasts.
As the Players enjoyed the one-shot game so much, it seems likely we shall face the Nazis again.
Thus, with a probable use for the book, it made sense to buy a copy at Dragonmeet where I could also have it autographed. The book is up to the usual high standard of Osprey Publishing, full of informative sidebars and some incredible art. The subject matter is dark, and horrific, but it should give me some useful plot ideas for the next interlude to make use of Day After Ragnarok.
Code of the Space-lanes
The next book I bought is the first of a pair of indie publications. This is a super-lite SF RPG by Simon Burley of the UK Roleplayers Design Collective. I was sold this book by Simon when I visited the UKRP stall.
The Code of the Space-lanes is a softcover book, A3 size, 101 pages with a colour cover and line art within. Part of the reason I bought this was to support UK independent designers. However, I am also interested in the rules light, narrative heavy approach which Simon promised when he sold me the book.
So far, I have really only skimmed through the book, so it is too early to tell if this is true. I am sure I shall return to this book, and probably most of the Dragonmeet purchases, and give them a longer review.
Twenty Four Game Poems
I was very pleased to finally meet up with Graham Walmsley at Dragonmeet, after his last-minute cancellation last year. I have found his book Play Unsafe to be a superb introduction to RPG improvisation.
Budget limitations meant I could not afford another of his books, but when I was chatting with him he recommended this book to me. Twenty Four Game Poems by Marc Majcher is a 48 page, A3 booklet with black-and-white cover and art. Essentially this is a collection of short storytelling games, which sounds awesome.
I am always happy to find new narrative tools, and I am hopeful this book will contain some useful ones. Furthermore, the nature of this book should provide me with some quick games I can play with my young sons.
Overall, this was a good haul of swag. I could have spent more, but I sensibly kept to my budget. Once I have had a chance to read through this years’ purchases, I may have a better idea of what I would like to buy at Dragonmeet 2015.
Well, apart from more dice!
So, what did you buy at Dragonmeet? What hot game did I miss? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Something for the Weekend next week: The Top Posts of 2014.