Concrete Cow 14 games

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The games below will be offered at the Concrete Cow 14 convention on 8 March 2014. If you have something you'd like to offer, please drop us a line via the UK Roleplayers forum or any of the other places where we publicise Concrete Cow. See the Concrete Cow 13½ games page for what was on offer last time.

The Bit.ly link for this page is http://bit.ly/eiw4wQ.

Game Slots

To keep some sense of organisation about the day (ha!), this is the approximate timetable for the day.

Doors open 9.00am
Morning games 10.00am - 1.30pm
Afternoon games   2.30pm - 6.30pm
Evening games 7.30pm - 11.00pm
Close 11.00pm

Allocating games to players is by sign-up sheets on the day, on a first-come-first-served basis. You can download blank sign-up sheets as sign-up sheet (MS Word) or sign-up sheet (PDF). (If you're offering a game, please note that you're still responsible for writing your own sign-up sheet; we don't create them for you.)

No sign-up sheets will go out before 9.30, so that people who aren't there at the crack of dawn still have a fair chance at getting in the games they want.

Note that, depending on circumstances, not all of these games may run on the day.

Send us your game blurbs via the UK Roleplayers forum or any of the other places where we publicise Concrete Cow and we'll put them here!

(Please add games in alphabetical order)

Barbarians of Xoth

The Daughters of Rahma

There are many depraved cities in the land of Susrah, such as red-walled Zhaol where children are burned as sacrifice to Maggash the fire-god, and the cesspool of vice that is the harbor city of Ghazor. But Yaatana, at the headwaters of the Ophrat river, is said to be the most wicked city of them all, and so all manner of debased folk flock to it, like insects attracted to a greasy torch.

A Barbarians of Lemuria (Mythic Edition) game set in the World of Xoth

GM: Murgh Bpurn

Blood & Water

The storygame of Being Human; all the PCs are unusual beings who once had human lives and now find themselves bonding together in the face of adversity. Everyone shares a house: the house and the mythology of the creatures who live there is created in the first hour of play and the remaining time is then dedicated to exploring the situation and seeing how far the PCs can push their friendships before they break.

GM: James Mullen
Players: 3 or 4
Slot: Afternoon

Call of Cthulhu

Catland, Sometimes Called Pussydom

It is said that in Croydon, which lies beyond the river Wandle, no man may kill a cat…

Something ancient and hungry is stalking the streets of Croydon. Bodies have been found stripped of flesh and mutilated in the most hideous ways. Glinting eyes watch from the shadows, looking for fresh prey.

And underneath it all, the internal battles of the Croydon and Sutton Cat Fanciers Association are tearing the lives of its members apart. Will anyone be left in Croydon be left alive to tell their epic tale?

GM: Scott Dorward
Players: 5 (adults only)
Slot: Afternoon

The Dreaming Ward

The advert appeared in the newspaper, but it was unlike any other that day:

SUFFERING FROM NIGHTMARES? UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL SEEKS WILLING PARTICIPANTS IN DREAM THERAPY STUDY. Successful applicants will be paid $5 a night (3 nights – accommodation and meals provided) to participate in a study of their dreams, leading to possible treatment. Group therapy involved. Confidentiality assured. Please contact the Office of Dr Randall Thorne to arrange an appointment.

What can go wrong in three nights in the psychiatric wing of a university hospital?

GM: Matthew Sanderson
Players: 4-6 (adults only)
Slot: Afternoon

Hell in Texas

The Leland Free Evangelical Church is on the ropes. They are losing parishioners to the megachurch in nearby Lufkin, and the financial future of the church is anything but secure. The upcoming Halloween haunted house , or Hell House, will give them a chance to spread the Gospel, increase the congregation and raise some much-needed money. It has to go ahead, even despite the suicide of that poor Landrom girl…

The other volunteers at the Hell House are feeling the strain. Some are seeing and hearing strange things, even going so far as to say Satan himself walks its halls. Protesters are gathering outside to draw attention to what they say is the homophobic message of the church. Townsfolk are asking awkward questions about Kelly Landrom's death. Despite all of these tribulations, Pastor Weaver will make sure that this is a Halloween that no one ever forgets.

GM: Scott Dorward
Players: 5 (adults only)
Slot: Evening

Cinematic Unisystem

King Morris' Feast

Every year, good King Morris holds the Feast of Accord. Delegates from the Nine Realms are invited to sit and eat as brethren, setting aside their old differences in the hope that peace can be preserved for one more year. Each nation's haute cuisine is represented, faithfully reproduced by the castle's expert kitchen.

YOU are members of the Brigade de Cuisine who will pull together to make the Feast a success! Will you play the doughty friturier haunted by her past, the sly and stealthy entremetier, the mysterious plongeur with arcane tattoos, or the happy-go-lucky tournant who regales his fellows with a song as they work? Choose carefully, and remember: if an ambassador has any cause for complaint, it could mean war!

GM: smiorgan
Players: 4-6 (pre-generated characters)

The Comics Code

The brand new “lite” Superhero RPG where the story is more important than the battles. Five minute character creation, ten minute combat. The rest is all role-playing and story-telling. These scenarios are playtests of a developing rules-system.

From Simon Burley, the author of Squadron UK.

Lost Origins

Washed up on a beach amongst the ruins of a crashed airliner, gifted with amazing powers and cursed to live through a litany of lifted plotlines*, become the world’s newest Superhero.

* Lost, Green Arrow etc. etc. see how many you can spot.

GM: Simon Burley
Slot: Morning

Superheroes Assemble!

It’s a month since the meteor hit and the world went to Hell. Alien creatures roam a country under Martial Law and people from all walks of life are developing strange new abilities. Some of these are turning to crime. The authorities simply can’t cope and a new type of group is needed to safeguard the public. Are YOU up to the task?

This scenario can be linked to Lost Origins if players want to play a developing storyline.

GM: Simon Burley
Slot: Afternoon

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

You’re the famous official British Superhero team. Let’s see what a typical day in your life is REALLY like...

This scenario can be linked to Lost Origins and Superheroes Assemble! if players want to play a developing storyline.

GM: Simon Burley
Slot: Evening (limited to 2½ hours)

Day After Day

A player-lead storygame about the short and long term consequences to be dealt with in the aftermath of an inexplicable event in a small town; part Microscope, part Dogs in the Vineyard, in a sci-fi/horror genre. Everyone plays a character with a connection to the town from before or after the unexplained catastrophe: you might be a resident returning home, a relative of someone affected or an official representative who has been sent in to contain the situation. Through play, we explore the consequences of the event and the impact it has on these characters and possibly the rest of the world. Please note that this is NOT an investigative game about finding out what happened, or even a survival-horror game, but a game about dealing with the aftermath of something huge and traumatic: you can download the full rules of play from the above link.

Un-GM: James Mullen
Players: 4 or 5 (plus me)
Slot: Morning

Dead of Night

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Stars shining bright above you,
Night breezes seem to whisper 'I love you',
Birds singing in the sycamore trees.
Dream a little dream of me…

"Sharing someone's dreams a concept that isn't completely new to us." The soft timber of Dr Goodman's voice reverberated from the Dictaphone sat on the very old and very dusty oak desk that hadn't had an occupant for at least three centuries.

"We can all share someone's dreams, their desires and hopes. We can go so far as to help them realise those dreams. But that’s not what I'm discussing here. I'm talking about sharing someone’s actual dreams. Exploring those magical places we visit while we are sleeping. I can only imagine it's a euphoric sense of really connecting with someone. Being completely open and revealing the true person behind the masquerade of conscious thought. That is what I'm describing here, a way to really be inside someone else’s head and sharing something beautiful."

"Jesus!" The strained high pitched voice combined with a metallic edge broke the slow tones emanating from the small device. "I've found it!" The female metallic voice gasped in excitement.

A bright yellow rubber gloved hand reached down and pressed the stop button. Lifting the device like a new born baby the room's only occupant placed it carefully within the small canister she carried. "No rips, no trips and no spills." She repeated the words over and over, the words she had learnt since she first wore the bulky hazmat suit and fearfully stepped into the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

The year is 2353, the world destroyed and the few remaining people living in underground vaults. Technology and culture stuttered and stalled. Life is like a flickering candle in a dark cave fighting desperately to light the way. But at any moment could be snuffed from existence nothing but a wisp of smoke on the wind.

However in this dark time a miracle has taken place. Evidence of what lead to the apocalyptic disaster and maybe, just maybe, the secrets to rise from the ashes of a broken civilization has been found.

You are the team who discovered the breadcrumbs that lead to the answers. Your reward for finding this?

You get to enter the dreams of a homicidal maniac who has been dead for over three hundred years looking for his darkest secrets.

...sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you.
GM: Mr Toad
Players: 4

Disco World

In 1970s New York, something is moving that will change the world. This is an Apocalypse World hack that lets you play through the history of disco. Play four outsiders as they decide whether they are real or fake, women or men, controlled or free, in or out or something in between.

GM: Graham Walmsley
Players: 4
Slot: Afternoon

Discworld

Undiplomatic Incident

Trading Gate Watch House Patrol no.1 get given a lot of special cases, or somehow manage to trip over them. It's nice when the Commander trusts you that much. It's worth a couple of extra dollars a week. But this latest case looks fairly straightforward; find a foreign diplomat or whatever-he-is who seems to have got himself lost, sort out any trouble he may be in, and look after him for a few days.

The only thing is, it's not clear how legitimate he is. After all, can anyone actually be the ambassador from an upside-down mountain that's probably a figment of someone's imagination these days?

GM: Phil Masters
Players: 3-6

Dog Eat Dog

A game of colonialism and its consequences. As a group, you work together to describe one of the hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean, defining the customs of the natives and the mores of the outsiders arriving to claim it. One player then assumes the role of the Occupation force, playing their capable military, their quisling government, and whatever jaded tourists and shrewd businessmen are interested in a not quite pacified territory. All the others play individual Natives, each trying in their own ways to come to terms with the new regime. The game begins when the war ends. Through a series of scenes, you play out the inevitably conflicted relationship between the two parties, deciding what the colonizers do to maintain control, which natives assimilate and which run amok, and who ends up owning the island in the end.

GM: Leo "catty_big" Marshall
Slot: Evening

Dogs of W*A*R

As Officers and Crew of the MCRN Conrad you are confident in your beliefs that the flagship of the Martian Congressional Republic Navy, a quarter-million ton Battleship, is more than a match against the rag-tag ships of the Outer Planets Alliance. Conveying a United Nations envoy (an elderly Earther) back to Mars, the Conrad has given the closing OPA ships a two hour deadline to change course or be dealt with accordingly.

When the feel the vibrations of the point defence cannons open up you register mild surprise that the OPA ships might actually be posing a threat. When the gravity suddenly drops away, indicating that the engines have stopped or been destroyed you start to feel worried. Then the lights start dimming, burning bright, dimming, burning bright, as the gauss turrets start firing - Close Quarters Battle! The Conrad starts to ring like a gong being struck by a massive hammer over and over. Return Fire.

The Earther VIP must be saved at all costs, and you must make haste to the hanger deck, whilst the rest of the crew of the Conrad attempt to repel boarders, or ensure that the flagship does not fall into enemy hands…

GM: Murgh Bpurn

FATE Core

V

The Visitors arrived in 50 gigantic motherships, which stunned the world with their monumental size and power. A Visitor Youth program was formed, encouraging teenagers to join their ranks. The Visitors were quickly assimilated into our culture. But there were some who were sceptical, too inquisitive,they began to quickly disappear... media was controlled, military law became a reality - the Resistance Movement has begun. What will you do to bring down the Visitors, and what is the cost to humanity?

Based on the 80's TV series "V"

GM: EvilGaz
Players: 4

Kingdom

(Designed by Ben "Microscope" Robbins) Kingdoms are all around us. They are the communities that unite us.

Our Kingdom can be any group or organisation that interests you and we'll decide what at the start of our session. We could play a Wild West frontier town, a colony ship crawling to a distant star, or a sprawling Empire holding conquered peoples beneath its thumb.

As we play, we'll confront our Kingdom and our characters with Crossroads, critical decisions that may change our community forever. What will our Kingdom do? What will it become? Strive to make our Kingdom live up to our ideals... or watch as it burns.

The Kingdom is in our hands. The question is: will we change the Kingdom or will the Kingdom change us?

Un-GM: James Graham
Additional players: 2-4

Mouse Guard

Night of the Long Teeth

Bonnie the Innkeeper, Really Tiny Tim, and fan-favourite abortionist Granny Smith have been enslaved and transported in bondage to Quetzalcopitan, the volcanic seat of the Plumed Weasels. Rescue 'em? Eh, if you like. More important is for your Patrol to finish the mission Gwendolyn gave to you last summer... one that will wash the Territories in rivers of blood!

A tasty mission for Mouse Guard with a side order of volcano!

GM: Indie Pete
Players: 3-4

My Life with Master

Fashionista

Tommy Vincent's in rehab currently, so instead I'll shine a spotlight on the dysfunctional team at the women's fashion magazine Ciao Baby, presided over by its increasingly unhinged editor, Evie Strickland. Hey! Watch out for that flying stapler. Wow, that was close. Er, is that pain au chocolate for Evie? You know how she hates it when they crumble and flake all over her Roland Mouret dress. What's that you say, it's a cheap knock-off? Ooh, don't let her hear you say that. And is that capucchino you're taking her absolutely piping hot? No? Oh well, I'm sure you know what you're doing...

GM: Leo "catty_big" Marshall
Slot: Afternoon

Numenera

The Harvest

The clave of studious Priests in the fortress city Jyrek have heard worrisome stories carried by travellers. They say phantoms threaten the people and livestock of Briary, three days ride to the north-east. But, idle tales of ghosts cannot divert the Priests from the more pressing demands on their time. Therefore, they request your assistance, as good and loyal believers in the purpose of the Order of Truth, to sally forth and disperse these troublesome rumours; restore order, before it interferes with the impending harvest.

What harvest? Didn't I mention that Briary lies at the heart of the 500 foot tall Tree of Knowledge, of which its very leaves carry the enciphered wisdom of the ancients?

GM: Paul Baldowski
Players: 3 - 5 (pre-generated)
Slot: Morning

The One Ring

Strangers in the Night

It's mid-spring and you and your companions have decided to spend a night of food, drink and song with the Bracegirdles in the Easterly Inn. Darkness has fallen and food and drink are flowing when Fluffy, the 'adopted' guard dog starts to growl lowly. Somebody or something is approaching the inn.

This semi-introductory adventure (it introduces the system elements etc, but is played with slightly more advanced characters), has had succesful outings at both Conception and Indiecon - however I tend to play around with it after each con, particularly the encounters so should be fine for all to play.

GM: Ben Cole
Players: 4 (pregen characters provided)

Over the Edge

[we are]

This house looks like your house. But you’re certain it’s not your house. Are you you, and in the wrong house? or are you someone else, and in the right house? And who is that chap staring through the front window and making notes on a clipboard?

GM: smiorgan
Genre: modern, fringe, speculative fiction.
Players: up to 4 people.

ReStructured Play

A Family Affair

A Family Affair is a structured freeform game for four players that examines the dynamics of relationships within small, close groups. It has very few rules, but it does have a rigid structure.

Unlike many story games, the aim is not to find out what happens: we already know that. The aim is to explore how what happens affects the relationships between the characters.

Un-GM: Ashley Griffiths
Additional Players: 3

Ribbon Drive

Tags: Story telling, GMless, no conflict resolution, small scale stories about normal people, may contain adult themes, needs full player buy in.

Ribbon Drive excels at tight, gritty, testing social interaction between the characters in play. It is about creating a road trip where all of the meat is in the interaction between the characters and not so much about the outside world. This will not be an action adventure chase movie. The game is GMless with full shared narration and needs involved players who want to really explore the relationships between the characters in the car, during the game players will explore the possible future dreams of their characters and decide if they will ever be resolved.

The game is based around the mix tapes/CD's/playlists that you build for long road trips. Feel free to bring your own CD if you've made one (must be a normal CD I'm afraid, I won't have the technology to play playlists on MP3 players or MP3 CD's) but don't feel you have to, I will have plenty of premixed CDs with me.

If you want to make a CD, the suggested mix CD length is 40-80 minutes (i.e. at least 40 minutes and as much as you can fit on a 'normal' CD rather than an MP3 filled one.) From experience that's going to be between 16 and 21 songs. The CD should run with some sort of theme. i.e. Happy Relationships, Suicidal Tendencies, Coming Home, or whatever you fancy rather than just 'here's 20 songs that I like'. The latter could work, but it may make the game run more eclectically than it's intended to. You need to come prepared with a print out of the lyrics for the first two tracks on your CD. That's all the prep you need.

The game will probably fill the whole slot.

Un-GM: Mik Reed
Additional Players: 2-3

Sci-Fi Beta Kappa

(which Leisure games have begun stocking, so copies will be available to purchase from their stall of awesomeness), scenario to be negotiated with players on the day. Possibles include Xeno Brothers (my Blues Brothers hack), Life on Terra: Plenty To See Here Folks, where the aliens get taken on as tour guides at the College, and JobCentre Minus, where, after finally graduating (having passed their finals despite geting close to zero grades all year- a bit suspicious that, if you ask me) they end up getting jobs in the town.

Un-GM: Leo "catty_big" Marshall
Slot: Morning

Shadowrun (3ed)

A Simple Raid Mr Johnson would like a job done in Puyallup. It's supposed to be simple enough and in the barrens, what can possibly go wrong... Well given he seems to think he needs some Shadowrunners all cannot be as simple as it seems...

GM: Mist77
Players: 5-6
Slot: Afternoon (and it probably won't finish early)

TimeWatch

¿Quién disparó a Kennedy?

Your team have just had the unfortunate task of intervening in the timeline of John F. Kennedy, ensuring his demise at the hands of a sniper in Dallas, November 22nd, 1963. Resolute in getting the job done right, the whole team hunker down behind the grassy knoll and await the inevitable. The shot rings out... but you're the target, as an enraged farmer scurries across an ill-tended field to hurry you off his land - damned poachers.

It's still 1963, but ramshackle buildings and near subsistence living makes it look more like the middle of the Old West. What just happened - did you miss something? Has someone else meddled with the timestream? And, why is everyone speaking Spanish?

GM: Paul Baldowski
Players: 3 - 5 (pre-generated)
Slot: Afternoon

Torchbearer

The Sevenfold Syzygy'd Sphere

Adventurer is a dirty word. You’re a scoundrel, a villain, a wastrel, a vagabond, a criminal, a sword-for-hire, a cutthroat.

Torchbearer is a dungeon crawl role-playing game and love letter to Basic D&D. In it, you take on the role of an adventurer seeking his or her fortune. To earn that fortune, you must explore forlorn ruins--a Dyson Sphere!--, brave terrible monsters--a frikkin' Owlbear!--, and retrieve forgotten treasures--ZOMG, the Mask of Mullen!

GM: Indie Pete
Players: 3-4

World War Cthulhu

Lift Not Thy Hands

For the commandos of Network N, a pre-dawn wakeup call and a hectic drive to a secret airstrip? Sure, all in a day's work. Risk a daylight parachute drop into Nazi-occupied Belgium? That's a bit odd. But exploding graves? Now *that's* just outright weird.

What the blazes was on that downed aircraft ?

GM: Andy Nicholson
Players: 5 (adults only)

Stowaways

October, 1943. A carrier is taking German POWs to Barcelona, to be exchanged for allied prisoners. The repatriation will conducted on neutral soil. It is a rare moment of optimism in a dark time, and a potential diplomatic minefield.

N has received intelligence that one or more persons on board is infected with an alien parasite. Little is known about the entity, but N is determined that specimens should be taken alive for study.

Your mission is to isolate and collect the parasites and return them to N without causing panic or creating a diplomatic incident. Simple enough, as long as there are no other complications. Surely luck has to be on your side for once!

GM: Scott Dorward
Players: 5 (adults only)
Slot: Morning

The Angel of the Abyss

November 1942. The fate of the SOE depends upon the success of Operation Harling currently underway in Central Greece. Working with the rival factions of the Greek Resistance, the SOE hopes to disrupt the major supply lines to the German Army in North Africa. However, odd activity in the mountains threatens to draw the attention of the occupying forces, which could jeopardize the operation. A new team is being sent to Greece to ensure this does not occur. N fears that dark forces may be at work in the mountains that need to be stopped.

GM: Matthew Sanderson
Players: 4-6 (adults only)
Slot: Morning

We Will Remember Them

Early 1942. The SOE send a team to occupied Norway to sabotage a hydroelectric power plant. Of course, once N gets involved, there is more to it than that, and the team will soon find themselves lost in a nightmare of mad science and eldritch machinations.

GM: Paul Fricker
Players: 4-6 (adults only)