Wasn't sure what to expect but hey, it was local (30mins drive tops), parking was £2 a DAY (joys of being out of London) and there was a D&D game to be played. It appeared this was going to be more of a games con rather than a wargames show which was cool. Indeed there were lots of games to be played/demoed, a few tournaments on the side and did I mention... D&D. Don't think one would go for the traders to be honest (about 10 of them in the top room with not a polyhedral dice set to be had - which was all I wanted ) but to be fair it was a 'fest' not a 'show'.
Anyway, after parking and going on about how much it didn't cost for a bit we made it to the hall via some breakfast. A quick registration for the D&D game and we looked up stairs at what was on offer.
Now, I haven't really played D&D since this was all new and shiney :
And that was in the seventies... Which means I was a little apprehensive to say the least, no matter how much I had giggled away and enjoyed watching Critical Role this could be very different and maybe a let down (I'd already had my childhood vaguely destroyed by most of the favourite tv personalities ending up being pedos - didn't want my favourite game memories wrecked as well).
Our DM for the day was a bloke called Glen who was running an convention adventure written by a published D&D author in the states.
That Elf ranger at the top left was yours truly - Winda who had grown up on the surf battered tropical coastline of Pengu Island - yeh yeh I know had to be a surfer, had no choice!
But this was the reality...
Joys of role playing no less.
Will not bore you with the ins and outs of the adventure in its entirety but more of a 30 secs highlight reel:
- Group of eclectic youngsters (due to the island being populated through the survivors of shipwrecks over the years) are pissed off as they have been overlooked for the ceremony to become 'adults' called ascension.
- Warning conch shell sounds and there appears to be an attack on the island.
- Said youngsters decide that they will 'show' the adults and head for the area where trouble is a brewing.
- Only one of them (me) have a clue about the sea and one of the two canoes gets swept off - splitting the party.
- One half end up finding out the 'attackers' are refugees escaping, it seems, a civil war on the volcano island.
- Other half of the party end up slaughtering a group of 'attackers' and then getting lured by sirens on another island - who then tell them the world 'as they know it' is in danger from a green dragon with a large ego.
- The sirens mistake the half party for Heroes and give them the means to side track the dragon for ever and ever. Basically a mirror compact which makes the beholder become obsessed with their reflection.
- Party can't get back to Pengu so head for the island with the volcano and dragon (via having to stop at an island inhabited by cannibals - allegedly).
- Other half of the group (with me) get a better canoe and head off for the island via surfing through an area of rock stacks and shallows.
- Cannibals attack and almost kill the half party.
- Rock stacks full of monsters but my half of the party breezes through (well not breeze but by shooting lots of arrows).
- Both bits of party meet up to kill more cannibals - we went back to rescue them (not my idea).
- Go on to the dragon island and dupe the dragon into looking into the mirror.
- Head back as heroes and get to become adults !
- The barbarian wanting to rage and kill anything he came across, getting half the party into LOTS of trouble but always ending up smelling of roses !
- First time I heard the phrase, 'Well how do you want to do this?' in the flesh and directed to me - my ranger had parkoured off a tree, drawing an arrow and shooting it to kill a cannibal !
- LOTS of fun seeing things pan out, go wrong and then being fixed.
- Barbarian and human 'royal blood' female arguing ALL the time (I think they seriously needed to get a room when the party got back... ).
- My character basically not failing a roll all day :)
- Me actually persuading (in real life) the rest of the group to sing the Hawaii 5-0 music as we rolled to 'surf' through the atoll !
Glen put one down of the best moments as :
The moment when we duped the dragon (rousing speech from the halfling rogue) into looking into the mirror only to hear the barbarian say,
"see told you he would be stupid enough to look."
After a couple of quickly passed re-roll coins it was decided the dragon didn't quite catch what he said... We persuaded him that the barbarian had said,
"no one could be stupid enough not to want to look at that dragon".
All in all an absolutely brilliant time was had by us all - my memories were added too, not diminished, my favourite ever game survived the tests of time... Thanks to all at Gamesfest and a MASSIVE thanks to Glen for running the day and putting up with us.
Post-script - We were playing 5th Edition (the new one) of Dungeons and Dragons which apparently has left the micro management of the middle editions behind and put back the role playing in the Role Playing Game... Can't wait for our adventure at the club to start on Tuesday !