The Owlbear and Wizard’s Staff update- September 18th 2021

I thought I’d offer a brief update as to where I’m up to with OBaWs.

I am hoping to host the 4th Owlbear and Wizard’s Staff mini-con in Leamington on 18th September. This is a very difficult decision given that although the Covid-19 restrictions have been discontinued, there is ongoing concern as to the number of cases and the spread of the virus.

At present, I aim to have an in-person event at The Band Factory with some parallel on-line sessions. For those interested, I’ll arrange a curry the night before the con in a local restaurant. The con itself will open at 9am on 18th, with the first game slot 10am-1.30pm, a break for lunch and samosas, and then a second game slot 2.30pm-6pm. We can then retire to the pub.

To make the event as safe as possible, I’d like all attendees to have had the double vaccine, to be negative on lateral flow test, and to not be suffering any symptoms of the virus at the time of the event. I’ll try and maximise ventilation and provide hand sanitiser gel. I’d like all attendees to wear masks when moving around, but will not insist on people wearing them during games. Of course, people are very welcome to wear masks during the RPG sessions and I’ll support that decision.

There are a couple of other caveats. The most obvious is that if the pandemic situation worsens and/or the government re-introduces restrictions, then it may be the case that the whole con may revert to being wholly on-line. The second caveat is that a given GM may become unwell or need to isolate/quarantine – so may be some last minute re-arranging of players into other games. Of course, I’ll try and accommodate preferences where possible.

For those who are intending in-person I’ll ask for a voluntary donation of £10 (via Warhorn) to cover venue hire and refreshment.

I’ve asked GMs to check the entries of their games on Warhorn this week, and to have a think as to whether would like to run in-person or on-line, and then intend to open bookings more widely on Friday 30th July.

The OwlBear and Wizard’s Staff (#OBaWS) 2021: September 18th, Leamington Spa

Many thanks for all the interest and enthusiasm for the 4th OBaWS event. Last year we were wholly virtually, this year I am hoping to offer both face-to-face gaming as well as online, with the caveat that if restrictions do not lessen in July/August, and the delta variant causes more problems, the whole con may move to being a virtual event.

The plan is roughly the same as previous years. For those who would like to, I’ll book a restaurant for a curry for the evening before (Friday 17th) so we can meet up for beer and food. Saturday will be the main day of gaming and will be in The Band Factory again http://www.thebandfactory.org/contact . I’ll open the venue at 9am and we’ll have the first gaming slot 10am-1.30pm, break for lunch and samosas, and then second session 2.30pm-6pm. I’ll book a pub in the evening for us to gather after a day of RPGs.

We managed to get 13 tables running in 2019 (26 games in total) and perhaps was a little cramped so will cap at 11-12 tables this year and some great GMs have submitted games already. At the time of writing we have 21 games on offer (11 morning, 10 afternoon), and getting close to closing for submissions.

Current games on offer in the morning include: Liminal, Gamma World, Deadlands, Sentinel Comics, Vampire, Questworlds Nightbane, Zweihander, Vaesen, Traveller, Hellboy, and Barbarians of Lemuria.

In the afternoon we have: Genesys Harry Potter, Questworlds Glorantha, Advanced Fighting Fantasy, Swords of the Serpentine, Call of Cthulhu, Liminal, Smithy of Sacrilege, The King of Dungeons, The Dee Sanction, and Dungeon Crawl Classics Lankhmar.

I’ll probably charge £10 entry to cover venue hire and refreshments and won’t open the Warhorn site for at least another 2-3 weeks pending on developments with the pandemic and social restrictions.

A massive thanks to Paul @spookshow71 for the fab art (which we’ve dubbed ‘Owlbear Victorious’). If people are interested, I can add both of Paul’s #OBaWS designs to Redbubble if shirts would be popular.

I’ll keep everyone updated via the blog and Twitter and give good notice before ticket release. I’ll be keeping a close eye on all COVID-19 updates and the safety of the event.

The Owlbear and Wizard’s Staff II – The Wizard’s Revenge. Warwickshire RPG mini-con, September 21st 2019

We are going to reprise our one-day RPG day in Leamington this year and have pretty much gone for the same Saturday as in 2018 https://asakosoh.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/the-owlbear-and-the-wizards-staff-warwickshire-rpg-mini-con-22nd-september-2018/ 

I did look at other dates as know this isn’t ideal for everyone – 14th September is the Leamington Ale Festival (come for both and make a week of it!) and 7th felt a little close to beginning of school term/end of school holidays. Twitter pals suggested later Sept/early October was busier and wanted to leave a gap before Grogmeet 2019.

We’ll use the same venue as last time, The Band Factory. But this time I’ll see if I can hire the 1st floor too to give us a second bathroom and potentially more gaming space. We ran 10 tables AM and PM last year – I’ll plan initially for 6 tables for GMs to offer games for, and keep 2 for a D&D stream. Last year I stupidly underestimated the requests for D&D so will plan for this a little rather than react! It will then give us two more tables to bring on stream if numbers suggest we need them. To give you a flavour, last year we had games of Star Trek Adventures, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e, D&D, Mutant Crawl Classics, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Space 1889, Elite Dangerous, RuneQuest Glorantha, HeroQuest, Feng Shui, Monster of the Week, Numenera, Genesys, and FATE Eclipse Phase.

As in 2018, I’ll arrange a curry for the night before and samosas on the day. My other ‘do differently’ item is to book a venue for post-games drinks as last year the pubs were busy leading us to all being rather scattered. I’ll set up an Eventbrite page for ticket booking.

If you are interested in GM’ing (or helping organise) do get in touch!