johncoxon: (Default)
This is my Constitution con report. Constitution began with me having to run across Peterborough railway station to catch a train, then find a seat, then copy [livejournal.com profile] aeglefinus' number out of my Mac and then ask a stranger to let me use his phone to text him. Rather surprisingly, it all came together and I made it to the convention in time for the opening ceremony, which was good!

More convention behind the cut )
johncoxon: (Default)
Right then. Firstly, I'll be writing and editing the newsletter at LX... I also plan to be spending some time on [livejournal.com profile] zz9's table in the Dealers' Room and I want to gopher for an hour or two (probably on the Friday or Monday) if I get bored, but here are the seven panels you'll be able to see me on during the convention:

Saturday

14:00: Fanzines 101
"Find out more about the mysteries of fanzines. Some current editors tell you how easy it is to publish within the fannish community." [Guess this means I really do have to write the seventh issue of Procrastinations in time for LX, then...]

17:00: SF, technology and games
"Almost every SF trend, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality, was embraced by the gaming industry first (or at least that's what some gamers like to think). But what has the gaming world really been like over these last few decades? How did it compare to what SF promised us it would be? Which are the noteworthy games in this regard, past and future? And where is the industry really heading to?"

21:00: Adapting comics for the big screen
"What makes a good adaptation of a comic book - faithfulness to the text, or willingness to change it for the screen? Can you film the unfilmable? What makes The Dark Knight so good, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen so bad?" [I'd have several interesting things to say on this subject but given I'm moderating and there are some very loud people on the panel already, I reckon I'm going to spend most of my time desperately trying to maintain a pretence of control on a sinking ship... Ought to be a whole lot of fun!]

Sunday

11:00: Twitter: Ego boosting, or information busting?
"Twitter has recently hit the news and is the latest internet fashion. Is it full of trivia, rubbish and egotistical nonsense, or is it a useful tool for collecting information and communicating? This panel takes a look at how Twitter is developing and it's potential impact on the Internet."

20:00: Couldn't I just waste him with my crossbow?
"What if books were more like games, with no need to take into account pesky things such as plot lines and narrative coherence? What alignment would Gandalf be? How many hit points does one give Sauron? Couldn't Bilbo just jump on Gollum's head? A humoristic look at how famous (and not so famous) works of fiction would have played out."

Monday

11:00: Conventions and breaking them, or lifting up your game!
"Does a role-playing group have to be fun with dice and pizzas, or running around the woods with a plastic sword? Can your game feel more like a literary masterpiece? A comic? A screenplay? Our panel discuss techniques and experiences from their own gaming groups."

12:30 Battlestar Galactica
"The much-praised show has come to an end. Did it live up to the promise of the early seasons, or lose its way in the end? How will it be remembered?" [Note to self: watch last three episodes of BSG before Easter.]
johncoxon: (Default)
The last time I updated this thing properly was Christmas. That's possibly a bit of a long time, since then it's just been 15 or so entries on not a lot, so I'm going to give you guys an update here.

I went to several comedy shows during the Leicester Comedy Festival - Jim Smallman, Tim Minchin, Ed Aczel, Ed Byrne. Minchin did his new show, which I believe is touring Australia at the moment before coming back to the UK later this year - see it if you can, it's got some really good songs in it (as anyone who saw my Twitter during the concert will already know!). Ed Byrne's set was also really, really good - it's coming back to Leicester later this year, so I assume it's still touring elsewhere in the UK. I recommend seeing it if you can, I really enjoyed it. Ed Aczel was weird (as I was expecting), and two or three people walked out of his show, but I was laughing so that was fine. And Jim Smallman is a comedian I've seen a few times, but his set was as funny as always.

Tonight was the Geek Quiz. I've just received a text telling me that my team didn't actually win (it went to tiebreak, but apparently an answer has been discovered to be inaccurate since the end of the evening so my team lost by two points), but it was a good evening. And we won the competition to get most kicker questions (really hard questions at the end of every round designed to sort the men from the boys).

What else has happened? Not a whole lot. Had a friend from home visit recently, and shortly afterwards I also went home - saw all my brothers which was awesome, and celebrated my grandparents' wedding anniversary. I've been doing uni as usual, and it's been going averagely. I'm now social secretary of the Game Society, and I was elected president on Monday, so I'll be president next year. We're having a twenty-four hour board gaming social in a fortnight's time which ought to be epic.

On the subject of Gamesoc, I've been playing more Warhammer 40,000 - I'm getting better, slowly but surely. I beat my friend Ash the other day, and I've won one lost two in the doubles tournament that's running (I confidently anticipate placing in the middle somewhere). We also played a 6000pts/side game of Imperial Guard vs Necrons, which was good fun. We Necrons won, but by the skin of our teeth!

I'm also now on the committee for LL3, which is absolutely definitely probably happening in summer 2010. Unfortunately, someone decided that during exams was the best time to hold a convention, so I can't go to Plokta, which is annoying. I also couldn't have gone to Redemption, even if I'd remembered it was happening, due to family commitments. I should be at Constitution this summer though, so I'll see some of you there. I'm also (obviously) still going to be at LX and Odyssey 2010.

Can't think of much else happening in my life. Didn't win the lottery tonight, that was a shame! I am now going to shower, buy peanut butter from the twenty-four hour Spar down the road, and hit the hay, as I'm up at something ridiculous like 07:00 tomorrow morning for Picocon. I plan to read Watchmen for the first time on the train, in anticipation of the film on Friday. See some of you there!
johncoxon: (Default)
Do any gamers reading this know of good gaming shops in Nottingham, Mansfield or similar? I am going to visit a friend next week and we'd quite like to visit one to look at RPGs. I already know about Forbidden Planet, btw.
johncoxon: (Default)
So, this week I went to Plymouth with friends from GameSoc. It was good fun - Ash, Nic, Ben and I roadtripped from Leicester to Plymouth, and met up with Sam and Suzy whilst we were there. The first day was fairly uneventful, because we were all knackered and just went to sleep fairly soon after arriving, but the second day was far more interesting, as it involved Dungeons and Dragons )

Other than D&D, we went to see some nifty fireworks, ate donuts and Chinese food, and eventually roadtripped back via Bideford, which sells some nice sandwiches, let me tell you. We arrived in Leicester a touch too late for the last trains to Chester and Peterborough, so went to get kebabs from Bluepoint before crashing for the night. I caught a train yesterday morning and arrived in Peterborough, wrapped my mum's birthday present and wrote her the card I got her just in time!

Last night, we went to something called Rock with Laughter at Elton Hall. It was a really good mix of comedy and music - the comedians were Lenny Henry, Jo Brand and Jasper Carrott (brilliant!) and the bands playing were the Bootleg Beatles, Elkie Brooks and the Manfreds, as well as the Blockheads with guest vocallist Phill Jupitus! All in all, a fantastic night.

And now, I'm awake, after some drama last night, and wishing that I could go back and play more D&D.
johncoxon: (Default)
From one of the veteran GMs in the Leicester uni Games Society talking about Dungeons and Dragons:

3rd Ed: "Morning squire, castle ye seek is tree miles yonder tho ye wouldn't a want to go there, it be haunted."
4th Ed: "The castle is 3168 squares away. It requires a four man party and its approximate challenge rating is 10. You will gain 1500xp for slaying the ghost."

I love uni. In other news, I'm roleplaying Shadowrun and Mutants & Masterminds next year! :)

My Week

Jun. 17th, 2008 11:30 am
johncoxon: (Default)
So, this week's been mental. I haven't actually blogged properly since my D&D2 post, so I reckon that's probably something I ought to do! On the subject of exams, I reckon they all went OK, and I think I passed most of them, except possibly electromagnetism. I am definitely confident that I passed all the second-year advancements, so I am hopeful about them, but we'll see what happens. Hopefully I won't have to come and resit anything!

On the Monday of last week, I played Shadowrun (fourth edition) with friends in the afternoon, which was fun - it's a game that's sort of half magic, half cybernetics, and so my character can drive vehicles with his head. That evening a friend from home stayed over, and as a consequence I was up very early on Tuesday because they had to go to work. The Tuesday saw me nip into town and hang out at Josh's watching him pack for a while, but the Wednesday saw me going to Alton Towers with Tom, Ash, Nicola and Lianne, which was made of Win. It was really, really good fun. I have two of the ride photographs at home, which I haven't uploaded to Facebook yet - we went on both water rides, and five or six rollercoasters. Great day out. Incidentally, the time elapsed between the point at which I started queuing for Nemesis and the point at which I went on the ride is somewhere around six years - we went in Year Eight but the ride broke down before I got to go on it. The Wednesday night saw me going home for a couple of days, which was good.

I got back to Leicester on the Friday, and was instantly playing Fireborn with my broodmates. They raided a brothel without me! :'( We beat up a demon with our l33tness, and rescued our old boss, who had previously been assumed dead (apparently just checking for a pulse isn't enough in this game - who knew?). It was a lot of fun, and straight after that it was time to set up for the end-of-term game of Warhammer 40,000 - around 14,000 points, give or take a couple, on each side. My personal tank detachment included ninteen tanks and two superheavy tanks. We kicked Terminator arse with the big guns.

The end-of-term game ran 10:00-18:00 on both the Saturday and the Sunday (we eventually lost because they had one more objective than we did - it was very close, though) and on the Saturday evening was the ball. Feeder came out and played, saw Right Said Fred with their only good song, and Zane Lowe DJed. Imagine someone giving the kid who never lets a track stay on for more than twenty seconds a mic and a mixing deck, and you have Zane Lowe. Pendulum also did a DJ set, and there were fairground rides and suchlike also. We ended up staying til around four in the morning - we could've stayed to be survivors, but I had to get into uni fairly early the next day and one of the people I went with was also a gamer.

Monday, I played badminton for two and a half hours in the morning (I will be playing a lot more next year, I think) and went along to GameSoc in the evening to finish constructing a Tech Guard list to play against the Dark Angels whilst watching a D&D group attempt to slay the dragon. The group is very political (they have a few lawyers in there) and so it's interesting watching them play because most of the games I've played in have been far less politics-based!

And now I must be off, I am en route to a friend's to do more geeky stuff. Adios!

I win

Jun. 7th, 2008 04:10 am
johncoxon: (Default)
Today, I played D&D for the first time ever. Most people playing the game for the first time in 2008 would learn by playing in 3.5 or fourth edition... I learned by DMing a second edition game. It was great fun - I had graffiti scratched on the walls of the crypt, and a cursed scroll, and everything.

In other news, today I won at computers, UNIX, milkshakes, women, roleplaying, torrenting, shopping and life. I will proceed to go to bed, I think.
johncoxon: (Default)
The chairman of my school's old boys' association used to play a game of D&D DMed by Terry Pratchett. How cool is that?

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