All welcome, even if you are not ticket holders to join us for the Social Friday night: come see what Grand Tribunal all about! Unlike previous years we have not organised a formal sit down meal this year - prioritising playing games and informal chatting instead, but food will be available at the Brewhouse :)
These events are entirely optional, and timings are just a guide to the earliest time they might happen. Feel free to turn up fashionably late. Follow hashtag #gt18uk on Twitter to check the exact time that we leave the pub to head to the hotel bar.
16:00 CHANGE TO YEARS PREVIOUS TO 2017. This year the Meet, Greet and Eat is at Brewhouse & Kitchen, Henrietta Street,GL50 4FA (opposite the Holiday Inn Express, behind the Premier Inn).
20:30 Card games, boardgames and socializing in the bar of the Holiday Inn Express, 33 Dunalley Street, GL50 4AP map
10:00-22:00 - Gas Green Community Centre, see venue page for details. Please bring a packed lunch. Fish & chip supper can be delivered, optional. The nearby supermarket & corner shop both sell sandwiches.
10:00 Game Slot A
10:00 Introduction, setup, prep time (30 mins)
10.30 This years freeform Coombe Hill by Andrew Oakley. It is in a sense a sequel to Mop Fair which ran in 2014 and is Ars Magica based. A freeform is a game played walking about the venue, in costume (ask if you want to borrow something, and don't feel you have to dress up if impossible for travel reasons!) It's a sort of non-combat larp, and I think most people enjoy it even if this is REALLY NOT your thing. It is assumed everyone will play, but if you aren't, just drop CJ a line to let me know
Lunch (please bring a packed lunch or visit local shops. In deference to our hosts no alcohol please in the venue. (30 mins). The Freeform wrap-up discussion and debrief will occur over lunch. Last orders for evening fish & chip supper will be taken here, so make sure you have spoken to Andrew if you would like to be in the order. Andrew goes and collects the food to save time for playing having phoned in orders from a limited menu to an excellent local chippy.
13:00 Game slot B (3 hours)
A Magus or two and thier companions are heading out from their Levantine Covenant to investigate the ruins of an ancient city. Architecture and magical stuff is what they seek but they may also find other things. 4-6 players
It is the year 2064. World Space Patrol ship Fireball XL5 has received an urgent message from Space City. Patrol ship XL14 - responsible for patrolling sector 24 - has been lost with all hands. Before being destroyed, the crew were able to send one last Neutroni radio message. The planet Plytus has been obliterated by a fleet of Granitoid Warships. Granitoids are a race of virtually invincible robots. Their only weakness, the rare mineral, plyton, was only found on the planet Plytus. With that gone there is nothing to stop them wreaking havoc across the Milky Way. And now they’re on their way to Earth. Your mission is to do anything you can to slow delay their invasion fleet to allow the World Space Patrol to call in the other Fireball craft from their assigned sectors to defend Earth!
Innsworth is a small English town just a few more from the tidal waters of the Severn Estuary. Yet those more can prove quiet a barrier when you are a party of Deep Ones sent by dream commands of Great Cthulhu to bring one of your own, the young man Daniel Marsh, home to the city under the sea. Dan is just experiencing the change, and he may need explanations as to what is going on, and convincing to join you. Play a group of five Deep Ones (to say nothing of the shoggoth!) tasked with discretely rescuing the lad. What could possibly go wrong?
16:00 Game slot C (3 hours)
- "The Chosen" by Jonathan Elcock Unknown Armies 3rd Ed. 3-6 players. Set, July 2017, UK. Once they were cosplayers, acquaintances more than friends. About 18 months ago they were doing a cheesy Buffy the Vampire cosplay as an ironic joke at a cosplay event. Something happened. Now they are obsessed by cos playing Buffy, and only Buffy. "Giles" believes (from doing a divination ritual) that if they can get to an International Buffy the Vampire slayer convention, happening in June 2018 on Honolulu they can find answers to what happened. But anyway it would be great to be there, Joss Whedon is a special guest and he has an exciting announcement for all fans of the show.
- The Strange Case of Georgina Blenkinsop by CJ 1827; the Season is at its height and the six Blenkinsop daughters have left their remote Norfolk rectory to take the waters in fashionable Cheltenham Spa. With Papa in India, and mama indisposed it has all become Utterly Horrid. Sister Georgina has to begun to act very oddly, and the Blenkinsop girls must use all their gentle good breeding and find a way to avert a terrible scandal. Designed to be played straight faced, this is a (very) black comedy of manners inspired by Jane Austen and the Brontes.
- Subverting the Wizards Ars Magica 5th edition by Anna 930 AD: How demons got a foothold in House Tytalus and House Bonisagus, and why deals with demons became explicitly forbidden.
You are cordially invited to the party to end all parties. The acclaimed inventor, Cicero Mordaunt, is hosting an exclusive New Year's Eve party at his family estate in Vermont. This is no ordinary celebration, however. Mordaunt is also unveiling his latest creation, an invention that he claims will change the world. This will be a night to remember, assuming anyone survives to do so!
19:00 Raffle & Supper
This is the point at which the charity raffle occurs: sadly we haven't got as much from Atlas Games this year because of higher international postage rates, so if delegates can bring something - food, delicacies, second hand rpg stuff, interesting pebbles etc that is very welcome - to add to the raffle that is great, but by no means compulsory. CJ is putting in a still shrink wrapped copy of the Grand Tribunal boardgame and there will be some unique goodies.
Every attendee receives one ticket, and more can be purchased for £1 each.
Andrew will fetch the fish and chips people have ordered, and those who prefer can walk to one of many nearby fast food outlets or prepare food in the kitchen: we have a full size TESCO superstore 5 minutes walk away.
20:00 Game slot D (till late)
- Babylon Recall - A Blakes Seven adventure by Simon Burley An "adventure that never was", based on the classic British TV Space Opera. The freedom fighting crew of the powerful, enigmatic, alien spaceship "Liberator" soon won't be the only ones with access to the unbelievable technology of an ancient race .Now - it seems - all the stories may have been true. "Something" has been unearthed on Mars. A secret so powerful it threatens to tear The Federation apart with infighting, with the victor gaining the ability to grind the galaxy under their heel. (Probably the spiked, white, leather heel of Supreme Commander Servelan.) What's needed is a brave, mad (suicidal) dash into Earth system - with its defence systems and fleets of Federation pursuit ships - to seize or destroy the enigmatic discovery from under the noses of the various Federation factions before it can foment a conflict that would envelop and kill millions of innocents. Seven against the Federation. What else is new?
- The Romance of Durenmar: The year is 1228 and the Order of Hermes have gathered for the Grand Tribunal meeting that occurs at Durenma in the Black Forest every 33 years. A group of teenage apprentices have been brough along by their masters and mistresses; unable to attend the sittings of the Council who are deciding weighty matters, they have the opportunity to explore this ancient covenant and the surrounding forests. Will they stumble upon a mystery? Will their new magic prove strong enough? And can they get over their past meetings and prejudices,and work together if needed? An Ars Magica adventure by CJ for 5 apprentices and one magical cat.
- Lamp Posts in Bloom by Scott Dorward Unknown Armies (5 players) A warm summer evening in middle England. Four old friends gather for a barbecue and drinks. Secrets will be uncovered. Betrayals will be laid bare. Innocent people will die. And the lamp posts will come into bloom.
9:00-16:00 - Gas Green Community Centre, see venue page for details. Sunday may involve re-runs of games that were booked solid on their first run on Saturday too. Please bring a packed lunch. The nearby supermarket & corner shop both sell sandwiches.
9:00 Game slot E (4 hours)
- The Drawing of the Sap by Scott Dorward Cecil Sharp has dedicated his life to preserving the history of English folk music, travelling the land and documenting every song he could find. Facing imminent death, Sharp's only regret is failing to track down a fabled song known as The Drawing of the Sap, shrouded in strange legends. Maybe a small group of investigators can succeed where Sharp has failed. And somewhere in the woods of rural Oxfordshire, echoes of a haunting refrain may be heard, hinting at ancient secrets that defy death itself.
The Case of the Haunted Quarry, Ars Magica adventure by Anna. Sequel to the Hazel Grove & Nimue's Sleepers, though it is not necessary to have played either game. The covenfolk of The Hazel Grove are asked to investigate sightings and sounds at the quarry which are delaying work, to the chagrin of the abbey and amusement of Sir Phillip
- Chariot of the Gods A Code of Warriors & Wizardry adventure by Simon Burley A sprawling fantasy saga in just one single session. Starting in an impossible situation with their backs against the wall your brave and cunning adventurers will claw their way to victory using just their wits, courage and willingness to spit into the winds of Fate. There'll be epic battles, struggles for survival, political wranglings, ancient magicks, evil villains, monsters and madness.
13:00 Game slot F (3 hours)
- A Covenant Awoken Ars Magica by Lloyd Graney Towards the end of the Schism War a Diedne covenant sealed itself away from the world. Now two centuries later the protective magics have failed and the covenant is restored to a world that has changed...
- We Had Faces by Scott Dorward -- Unknown Armies (4 players) It was supposed to be a simple deal: in, out and sell the goods. Sure, it wasn’t exactly legal or risk-free, but it wasn’t supposed to get you killed. The world is now a much more confusing and frightening place. Your memories of the last few days are a mess. There is something really urgent you need to do, but no one seems to know exactly what it is. You’re not sure if you can trust your friends: some of them may be planning to kill you. Hell, for all you know, one of them already has. And your problems are only just beginning.
- The Peculiar History of Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane by CJ being a Magickal Entertainment explaining the origins of the well known haunting that hath enriched the sellers of broadsheets throughout London town. In our humble performance, for 5 personages learned in the Occult arts, you will see revealed the deep mysteries that underlie that notorious haunt back inthe Elizabethan era, and play them out by the ruleset known as Magnomia. A most excellent diversion for ladies and gentlemen...
Close and wrap-up. People who need lifts are helped to station, and rest of us wander off for beer, an Indian meal and socialising for delegates who are able to stay till Monday, which we do every year. Highly recommended to sat Sunday night for the meal if you can; I'll post last train times to Bristol, London and Birmingham on the Venue page.