Phil’s Declassified Con Survival Guide

Hey guys! This is Phil’s Declassified Con Survival Guide, as I explain what exactly goes on at a gaming convention. Since it’s been two years since the last in-person con, and there are going to be new people attending as well, I figured we could all do with a refresher.

First, RPGs. RPGs are organised into blocks of 3 hours, during which certain RPGs and LARPs will be played (see the RPG timetable for more detail). If you are interested in a game at, say 2pm on Saturday, you go to the RPG registration desk and register for that slot. There is a €2 fee (it’s to cover the cost of printing, sorry), and the person at the RPG registration desk will note you down as attending that game, and tell you which break-out room your game will take place in. Then, come the time of the slot itself, you go straight to your table where you will meet your fellow players and your GM/game writer. The writer will have pre-made character sheets, which you will use to play. If you’ve never played the system before, that’s fine: the writer/GM will be more than happy to guide you through it. You can bring your own dice, but there will be dice available as well. Then you just play, and once the time slot is up you go back to the main hall, and can either register for a new RPG or play something else.

A small aside about LARPs: LARP stands for Live-Action Role-Play and is a variation on RPGs. The difference is that a LARP involves no dice and rarely even involves stats, and is instead far closer to improv theatre than RPGs like D&D. Also, just due to their nature, combat is, uh, frowned upon in LARPs unless expressly and explicitly permitted, and even in those cases there are always strict rules in place to ensure people don’t get hurt.

For board games the situation is quite simple. Firstly, you are fully allowed to bring your own board game and play with friends and bond with new people over a board game you love. The second, and more common option, is to borrow a game from the library that Leprecon has. This library includes classics like Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne, to quick one-and-done games like Coup, to mammoth games like Twilight Imperium that could take an entire weekend to play. To borrow a game, you go to the board games desk, and pay a deposit. Your name and the amount you paid will be noted down, and once you return the game, your deposit is returned in full. Nice and simple, and a great way to chill with some friends.

For card games we have two con-run tournaments: the Yu-Gi-Oh! National Championships on Saturday, and the Magic the Gathering Pioneer tournament on Sunday. Yu-Gi-Oh Nationals are unfortunately sold out, but registration is still open for the Pioneer tournament, which can be done online (and in doing so you buy a ticket to the con!) or on the day. Outside of that you are more than encouraged to bring your own cards anyway and play Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon TCG, or whatever you want, in a casual setting.

War games! We have those too! Basically, for war games we have some tables set aside in the main hall for people to come in and just play some Warhammer 40k, BattleTech, Age of Sigmar, Bloodbowl, just whatever floats your boat really. There will be more tables available on Friday or Sunday than on Saturday (look I’m sorry but when you are hosting 128 Yu-Gi-Oh! players tables become PREMIUM) so your best bet for war games is Friday or Sunday.

Finally, we have our special events. Firstly, there is the Battle for Arkanthos IV, an Only War campaign written and run by Jack Carey. That will be open on the main floor all day Saturday and Sunday for people to drop in and out. Jack’s chill, you should play this. Secondly there is the Pub Quiz on Saturday evening. That will be taking place after the last RPGs of the evening finish (i.e. 9pm) and in the lovely Moss Lane, and we can promise some real head scratchers for questions. Finally, there is the Closing Ceremony, Sunday at 5, where we say a forlorn goodbye to the SS Leprecon, prizes are given out, etc.