Grand Tribunal UK - report from the front 2008

I'm hoping Erik will write an account of the US con. I'm exhausted and just finally off to bed, but the barest facts - Matt and Alexis are still here, but everyone else has departed. The con had 31 attendees, including 5 locals who acted as staff as well as playing- Lloyd, Kev, Lorna, Luke, Tom and CJ.

Many thanks to Atlas Games for their immense generosity in assisting us, and to all the delegates who represented between them Japan (David Chart), France (Fruny), Norway (Hakon and Leif), USA (Matt Ryan & Alexis) and the UK (many...)

We played many games, but special thanks to Simon White, Camo Coffey, Mark Shirley, Neil Taylor, Sheila Thomas, Tom Nowell and Matt Ryan for running games for the delegates pleasure, or offering to in Sheila's case, and to Andrew Sceats for his very popular card game which I sadly never go tot see (housework called!)

We achieved exact break even on running costs, to within a pound or two profit, and raised £274.28 for the International Red Cross and RSPCA. This may increase by a few more pounds if a couple more people get their t-shirts late, making the total t-shirts produced 32, including ones to be sent to John & michelle Nephew as a thank you. :slight_smile:

I'd like to thank everyone who came, Erik for the excellent live link up with GT (USA) which I hope becomes an annual event and our Guest of Honour David Chart, and John & Michelle Nephew for making it all possible. Next year will NOT be Cheltenham probably, and plans are affot. :slight_smile:

Full report tomorrow.

cj x

I know the plaudits are flowing on the dedicated GT 2008 mailing list but I just wanted to add my thanks to CJ on this forum. I think all present had a great time at the UK GT and what an incredible effort to have two GTs on two different continents at the same time. Well done guys.

And I'm hoping that Erik stages another one in California next year so I can find out what a GT in at least passable weather feels like.

The weather in the San Francisco area was lovely... although we didn't see much of it, stuck in our sanctums as we were.... On the other hand, we wandered through: The Black Forest, Andorra, Damascus, a regio in the far north of the Levant, and the glorious mountain valley of Semita Errabunda. The weather was fine!

I myself have been entranced by the spirits of the Bay :slight_smile:

It was the best time! The games were fabulous, the players were magnificent, Erik is a fantastic host, Games of Berkeley is a fantastic store, and everyone was just so wonderful!

I has T-Shirt :smiley:

It sound like you had a great time!

OK, here is the UK report - you possibly caught a brief glimpse of me on the live link up, and possibly Erik mentioned me and his time here last year in passing? As I know a couple of our chaps want to make it to California next year, I'm hoping some of you can make it here... :slight_smile:

Thursday saw out first guests arrive, Matt Ryan and Alexis arrive from New York, (they are still here tonight, wishing them a safe flight back tomorrow) and Pitt Murmann all the way from Bavaria. Matt and Pitt both attended last year, so it was great to see them back, though we missed Erik!

Friday was really hectic -- Leif and Hakon arrived from Norway, then we picked up Fruny fresh in from France at the station and then Leon (they were both especially courteous and especially helpful through the event as many here have noted - thanks!).

By 5pm we had Neil Taylor, Sheila Thomas and Special Guest David Chart here too, and with Camo Coffey, Mark Shirley, Andrew P Smith , Kirstie and Andrew Sceats arriving within a short while it started to look very busy! Marl Lawford then got in, and -- look if i name every one of the 32 delegates it will take all night -- it was so busy the basement in the pub where we met to socialise was juts not big enough really. :slight_smile: About 20 of us then headed for a huge meal at an Indian restaurant, with a lot of chat about - well badgers mainly as far as i can recall. Best like of the con goes to Mark Shirley, but i had best not repeat it here... (but it involved badgers who doubtless shad very interest alien abduction and probing stories when released back in to the wild!)

We arrived back in the basement of the pub, which was nor pretty impressively full. Ars Magica players do not drink beer, so I tried, which just rendered me fairly incoherent, (I don't drink) and David Sivier entertained us with a short paper on Medieval Flying Ships. I'll have to ask him tomorrow if i can put it up on the convention wiki.

There was much chat, and i recall drunkenly whittering at Simon White, and planning to make him lead sheep through London, and insulting Lorna while whittering at David and Laura a bit. I also vaguely recall the walk home, and the fact no one wanted to go on my offered ghost walk. :frowning:

Saturday morning, 9.10am. I unlock St. Peter's Church Hall only ten minutes late, and distribute the pre-ordered special con t-shirts that John and Michelle had granted us very special permission to make. We then have a session of general discussion of our sagas and gaming styles hosted by David Chart for an hour, then break for three games, run by Simon White, Matt Ryan and Neil Taylor. Almost everyone played here apart from Tom, Alexis, Lorna and I who were doing other stuff. It was a pleasant morning, and at one pm we moved to our second venue for the day.

This years Freeform by me was "House of the Four Doors" I'll pick up the story there tomorrow as too tired now...

cj x

OK, a very quick report on the 17th Grand Tribunal of the Order of Hermes, aka House of the Four Doors the freeform (Erik, if you want to run this i can send you the files for next year mate.) I therefore won't give any major secrets away...

Thirteen Primi and a handful of other invited guests gathered at Durenmar for Midsummer 1228. By the end of the game we had four funerals and a wedding, a mysterious smell of sulphur and a flapping bat where moments before another Primus had stood, and complete chaos. The roughly 50% of survivors of the three hours of intrigue, mayhem and magical meltdown were still squabbling about whether or not to end the Tribunal when we concluded, with the Acting Praeco, a VERY distinguished lady, pushing the vote through.

It was all good fun, and a bit hectic. I'd love to hear the players comments. It had to be staged at a level of frenetic action to get the game to fit in three hours, and ended with several bangs, but that was because as I say I needed to get it finished on time!

cj x

I had a good time at Grand Tribunal, and it was great to meet so many people I only knew via the internet. People should go to the next one (even though I probably won't be able to.)

The freeform was fun, with far too many plots. We managed to successfully resolve one, and then all the others blew up in our faces (literally, in one case). I'd say that was a feature contributing to the fun, in that it was always clear that there was lots going on that I really didn't understand...