It has been an interesting few weeks, that has thrown a couple of new challenges my way.
It started when government Covid restrictions relaxed enough permit large outdoor events, which meant that I could go re-enacting again. The first thing I was able to attend was Military Odyssey in Detling, a multi-period military extravaganza, although WWII is very heavily represented. I went down with the Wimborne Militia, to represent an opposition for the Pirates – so lots of cannons, musketry and sword fighting, all backed up by a Living History camp that lets us talk about the history of the time. That was quickly followed by another event at Mount Edgcumbe, for a living history camp, with beautiful views across the River Tamar towards Plymouth and the sea.
It is only in the last few years that I have moved away from re-enacting battles, towards the living history side (age catches up with all of us), but I have never really established a LH role for myself. I have been re-enacting for a long time, I do a long of research – but I am a bit of a butterfly, and I jump from subject to subject, which means I have a lot of interesting knowledge, but I am not a specialist or expert in any of them. Certainly not knowledgeable enough to set out a stall and demonstrate. However, I have worked out that I can play a ‘man in a pub’, with historic pub games, beer and conversation. I have quite a lot of experience of the ‘Man in a Pub’ role, so I should be OK with that. Sounds daft, but it will be a serious vehicle to get people to sit down and talk to me.
But then we (The Wimborne Militia) got invited to take part in a Games Convention, in February next year. Apparently, they often invite Living History displays to set up inside the convention. Possibly for LARPers, possible for the Cosplayers – possibly just to fill up space. Who knows, but having been to a few conventions, I am used to seeing a wild and wacky range of stands, stalls and displays.
Long story, short – it made me think about writing a board game. So I did – well I have a prototype, anyway. It might be rubbish, but I won’t know until people play it. Militia Vs Pirates (Yeah, it needs a catchier name) that features …
Team and individual play. Twin boards (slightly different) one for Militia, one for Pirates. D6 to move (I guess about 20 rounds per game) collect coins as you go, with penalties and rewards on board squares. Cards to boost your game and disrupt the opponents. Game finishes as first player hits Home – but winner is the one with most coins.
… Not one for serious board gamers, but while it has randomizers (Dice & Cards) there is plenty of room for strategies and tactics – and it could well be fun for half-an-hour. Which left me printing off game boards and card fronts – then sticking them to a second hand scrabble board, and a deck of card. *grin* I enjoyed the process, and we have something for the gamers to ‘play test for me’ when we are at the convention. And, let’s face it, if it is any good, I will be in the right place to find a small games company to sell it to.
To make it worse, everything seems to have slowed right down. Stolen Lands is slow, the games I play in are slow – one is so slow that I think it may well be dead in the water. So I applied to join a new game. It is a long story, but I finished up getting accepted into a game that I didn’t really apply for – which just happens to be set in a part of Varisa that I know well and enjoyed playing in. Just as importantly, I had a ‘interesting’ character who was based in the region, and I thought it would be interesting to write up one of his children, and explore that background in a bit more detail.
Gagak helped settle a village, Skids Landing, on the very edges of the Sandpoint hinterland – but that grew when I used the village (later) as a base for some adventures that I DMed for that playing group. So the first thing was to roll the village back to something that doesn’t impinge on the new DMs game. So I finished up with a village based on Dwarf quarrymen, lumberjacks and hunter trappers – and a suitable rough and ready place it is too. Just right for a semi-civilized barbarian and his three wives.
Then it was onto family life – how d one half-orc barbarian, three wives and seven children get on with each other? And what do you get when the kids grow up?
Find out at Raven’s wiki page.