Concrete Cow 15.5 games

From Milton Keynes RPG Club
Jump to: navigation, search

The games below will be offered at the Concrete Cow 15½ convention on 12 September 2015. 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 15 games page for what was on offer last time.

The link for this page is

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 game sign up 9.40am
Morning games 10.00am – 1.30pm
Afternoon game sign up   2.10pm
Afternoon games   2.30pm – 6.30pm
Raffle draw 6.30pm
Evening game sign up 7.10pm
Evening games 7.30pm – 11.00pm
Close 11.00pm

Sign-up process

Allocating games to players is by sign-up sheets on the day, but with a staggered call to sign up. This should prevent unpleasant, jostling crowds around the sheets while also not penalising those who can't get to the venue at the crack of dawn.

  • Everyone gets a tombola ticket (sealed) when they arrive.
  • Signup sheets go out as-and-when, but without player names on them. This gives people a chance to see what's on offer and decide on preferences.

Keep your ticket! You'll use the same number for all three slots.

Twenty minutes before the game slot starts, we start allocating people in waves.

  • First wave: under 16s and Cow newbies. They can take a friend or two along to sign up with someone they know.
  • Subsequent waves: I call out a digit. If your ticket ends with that digit, you get to sign up in that wave.
  • Repeat until everyone's in a game.

If groups of two or more people want to get into the same game, pick one person to represent the group. When that person's number comes up, they can sign up everyone in the group.

We'll use this system for all three slots.

Whatever the calling order happens to be in the morning, signups will be in reverse order for the afternoon. The evening games will be called in a new, random order. This should insulate people from the bad luck of getting to sign up last for all slots.

Offering games

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.)

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!

Note for GMs

If your game has pre-generated characters, please take a look at their demographics. If the pre-gens are mostly straight white men, ask yourself why. If that's what's required by the scenario, fine. If not, please include more diversity in the characters.

If you game involves content that some people might find upsetting, please note that in the game blurb.

If you don't want someone at your table, you have every right to ask them to leave, at any time. You don't have to provide a reason, but please try to remain civil. Ask an organiser to step in if it's needed.

During a game, if you notice that one person's behaviour is making someone else uncomfortable, please don't ignore it. Do something about it. Take note of the harassment policy.

The GenCon Games on Demand advice and parts of How to Run Safer, Accessible, and Inclusive Game Conventions go into much more detail, even if it is rather US-centric.

The Games

(Please add games in alphabetical order)

Playtest request for The Facility

The Magus's game, The Facility, is getting close to an ashcan. He won't be able to attend Concrete Cow, but would like to know if anyone would be interested in semi-blind playtesting it for him there.

The Facility is specifically designed to be run in a quietish room within a four hour con slot. The game is for 5-7 players. Depending on numbers 3 to 5 players are Clients of The Facility. They have been taken there after concerns have been expressed about them. The other two players are Guardians of The Facility who are charged with assessing the Clients through a variety of tasks. At the end of four hours they will be able to release one Client.

If you're interested, please contact either Concrete Cow or The Magus.

Call of Cthulhu

Bethmoora Awakes

Strangers, living ordinary lives, inexplicably find themselves floating down a dark river into an underground cave. Their memories are fragmented, they've seen and heard some odd things, and strange items are seemingly left for them where they have arrived. That's as much as they know for sure. Where are they? Why are they here? What do they do now?

A Call of Cthulhu adventure set in Lord Dunsany's Dreamlands.

GM: Matt Sanderson
Players: 4 to 6
Slot: Morning

Fugazi! Saigon 1967

As an Operative of the CIA your posting to Vietnam has been everything you hoped and more.

You’re rich men here, no matter how poor your start in life. The Dollar opens doors you could only dream of passing through at home. You answer to almost no-one and you have a freedom with your operations in ‘Nam that you know you’ll probably never have again. You also have air conditioning, cold beer and all the female company money can buy.

Life is good.

Or it was until that older Spook turned up. It was then you realised that there was a price to pay for the good times, and Uncle Sam was calling in His marker.

A Call of Cthulhu adventure set in the World War Cthulhu: Cold War environment.

GM: Anthony Lee-Dudley
Players: 4-6
Slot: Afternoon

Into the Darkness of Night

The congregation of the Church of the Redeemer in Millwall have been doing what they can to help those left injured, bereaved or homeless by the relentless onslaught of the Blitz. No matter what they do, however, it is never quite enough.

Recently, some of those the church have been helping have disappeared, and others tell strange stories of well-organised animal attacks or shadows that talk. Overworked authorities can’t spare the resources to investigate outlandish stories. Only the volunteers of the church are in a position to make a difference. Will their faith and determination be enough to see them through when faced with an ancient and incomprehensible evil?

This scenario uses the World War Cthulhu: London setting.

GM: Scott Dorward
Players: 4 (adults only)
Slot: Afternoon

Code System

X.1 RASP – Retired And Superpowered

Set in the mid 21st century, two decades after a devastating war with an invading alien species, New London exists in a world of Superheroes. Earth is almost back to normal and mankind is rebuilding its shattered cities. However, the legacies of The War remain. Super-scientists, mutations, Super-soldiers and aliens walk the Earth.

Many of these are using their abilities to forward their own agenda and only those equal in ability – Superheroes – stand a chance of foiling them. The world has come to accept and revere these saviours because of their role in saving the Earth from invasion and preventing its fall into barbarism in the decades following The War.

After fighting in the war, and labouring to rebuild the world, you were finally able to retire last year. Handing your beloved city into the protection of your protégés and replacements, you stepped away from the constant battles. At last you had time to rest, recover and heal, both physically and mentally.

Only now, those self-same protégés are being murdered one by one and evidence is being planted to put the blame onto you and your erstwhile team-mates. And those that are still alive are reluctantly coming to take you in. It’s time to come out of retirement, pull on the old costumes and reform the team for one last adventure.

GM: Simon Burley
Players: 3-5
Slot: Morning

X.2 Bark of the Daemons

Arestia is a Sword and Sorcery setting. It is a world of many races, but two main warring forces. Many of the planet’s species have six limbs sporting four digits – for example the Gool, giant four-armed blue trolls who roam the wilderness preying on the unwary. Others sport a mere four limbs which carry five digits a piece, such as the Humans that sit in their walled cities – sallying forth in armies or armoured caravans to conquer or trade.

Gifted scions amongst both paradigms of lifeform have the ability to manipulate a free-floating energy force known as “manna” to perform miracles though, to be honest, it is the “four arms” who seem more adept at this.

You’ve been raised in the human city of Foruthia, a marvellous and invulnerable metropolis spanning hundreds of square miles. Within its many impregnable walls exists all a race would need to survive – dwellings, farms and mines. You have only rarely been outside the walls.

But when a Caravan – a huge caterpillar of hundreds of armoured and defended land leviathans – was put together, you were only too keen to sign on. You’d get to see the wilderness outside the walls of Foruthia and, even, her nearest neighbour Stillartha. So you signed on as caravan guards.

Things have been going well. The few attempts by the Gool and other wilderness creatures to deflect the Caravan have been repulsed. But then, the lovely Cyrintha – daughter of Lord Droog, the Caravan Master – allowed her pet Thamba to escape into the forests. Droog, of course, cannot halt the Caravan for such a petty reason and has despatched a small group of guards to enter the wilderness, retrieve the beast and catch up with the Caravan later in its course.

Guess who?

GM: Simon Burley
Players: 3-5
Slot: Afternoon

X.3 The Forests of the Mind, the Thickets of the Heart

You and your friends are crammed into your aging hatchback on your way home from the coolest festival ever! As you rattle along the dark country roads, arguing as to which acts had truly nailed it over the weekend, you see a car stopped in the road ahead. There’s some debate about whether to stop and offer help, but something on the sallow expressions sported by the figures caught in your headlights is disturbing, so you drive on by.

Just as your conscience kicks in and some of you suggest you turn around to go back and offer help, your engine coughs and dies. As the car comes to a juddering halt, all the lights slowly die, leaving you in the dark.

The Dweller in the Dark is a scenario of mystery and terror. It will last exactly two and a half hours – to allow me to run for my train – making it ideal for those who – like me – have to leave early. Two hours of dread followed by half an hour of torment – unless……….

GM: Simon Burley
Players: 3-5
Slot: Evening

Dead of Night

Nothing in the Woodshed

Rural England in the 1920s, a place for bright young things to argue with staid old landowners and for ambitious underservants to gossip spitefully about their employers and superiors. Trevithick Manor is just such a place, but all is not well as the harvest season approaches and the family must return to their nest when they receive telegrams telling them that their father is ill.

With mysterious disappearances of the locals, an eccentric ghost hunter seeking proof of the afterlife and a stranger found comatose on the manor's grounds, it is up to the family and their servants to unearth the truth, but down at the bottom of the garden lies something ancient & impossible, waiting to be woken up...

A Gothic Science-Fantasy Horror Story with plenty of twists and turns.

GM: James Mullen
Players: 4 to 6
Slot: Morning

Deadlands (Original Weird West)

Silver Mining Mountain

The Silver Mountain Mining Company is looking for a posse of troubleshooters.

Some of their miners are missing in tribal lands. All should have been fine, but the two clerks in the local office are good at pen pushing not using a six shooter, so need help. Find them and the reward's good.

Feeling brave?

GM: Mark Steedman
Slot: Probably morning
Players: Up to 6


vs. Pirates

You were half-way through the Imperial Ninja Instruction Course when the Empire declared that it no longer needed ninja, and you were reassigned. Then the Empire decided that it might need ninja after all...

An increasing number of subjects of the Empire are insisting on travelling abroad, and enterprising merchants have built vessels to convey them in comfort. But now, word has reached the Ministry of Undermanaged Provinces that certain maritime bandits of the Islands may be contemplating an assault on one such vessel.

It seems most unlikely, but the Department of Despicable Necessities may take no chances with the lives of even foolish subjects. Which is why your ninja team is getting a free cruise on which to be one with the shadows. But remember, if the rumours are true, you may have to prove that "Kiaaaah!" is superior to "Yah, me hearties!"

GM: Phil Masters
Number of Players: 5
Slot: Afternoon

Dungeons and Dragons

Snow White and the Seven Samurai

The Silver Dragon Emperor Takagawa Hikaru is dead, and darkness has settled over the kingdom. You are a group of exiled Ronin, who believe that your master’s death was not from natural causes. Now Princess Yuki has sought you out with evidence that her stepmother’s family have indeed usurped the throne. She plans to break into the shrine of the Silver Dragon and steal back her father’s magical sword, but will need the help of his loyalist samurai to do so. Intrigue and espionage abound as you infiltrate the capital city in a bid to restore the princess to her throne.

GM: Alex Barrett
Players: up to seven
Slot: Morning


Victorian researchers are on the hunt for the truth. What exactly lies behind the myths and mysteries? You may come face to face with dark secrets, loathsome beasts, and outrageous local customs. Delving into the hidden you may meet more than you bargained for.

This is a playtest of a new game by Pedro Ziviani, author of Mythic Iceland.

GM: Mike Mason
Players: 5
Slot: Afternoon

Golden Sky Stories

Golden Sky Stories is a heartwarming, non-violent role-playing game from Japan. In this game, players take on the role of henge (pronounced hen-gay), animals that have just a little bit of magical power, including the ability to temporarily take on human form. You can be a fox, raccoon dog, cat, dog, rabbit, or bird, and each kind has their own special magical powers. Players will then attempt to solve problems around a small enchanted town with ingenuity, co-operation and friendship.

GM: Epistolary Richard
Players: 2-4
Slot: Morning and afternoon until James and Neil have a chance to play. [Ha ha, chance would be a fine thing - James]


Dinosaurs on an Adventure with Scientists

You have worked in this island lab for over 10 years; but now your research, the specimens, all your life's work is in trouble when your data is stolen and a nuclear device threatens the island itself...


You escaped from your confinement 10 years ago and now live on a peaceful beach; but now there is noise from the other side of the fences, and a strange device threatens your island home...

Will the data be recovered?

Will the island be saved?

You might have to team up to find out.

GM: Ashley Munday and Katie Bennie
Players: 8
Slot: Afternoon

Hot War

Death to El Jefe!

Revolution has come to the Caribbean island of Corto Maltese, again. The forces of the hated despot known as El Jefe -- a former revolutionary himself -- are on the run. This time things will be different. This time the people will be free.

Amidst the chaos, four men are thrown together by circumstance. Each is very different, but tied to the others in a way none of them could have imagined. The turmoil of the revolution presents an opportunity for each to shape events in his own image, but who will prove the strongest?

This scenario uses a modified version of the Hot War mechanics and a different setting.

GM: Scott Dorward
Players: 4
Slot: Morning

Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess

King Connolly IV (really more of a minor lord) ruled over a small fiefdom of several thousand, his knights barely numbering two dozen. It was a fairly boring and mundane farming community with a small side industry in timber. There was also a fairly large halfling community (several hundred) under his rule. But the townsfolk accused them of thievery, foul practices, and curdling goat milk. Of course far more importantly, King Connolly found their beady little eyes unattractive so he called a pogrom to burn their holes and drive them from their apple orchards. They fled as refugees into the great forest to the north.

Later King Connolly realised their apple brandy and other luxury goods made up a good portion of his revenues. As his own inbred peasants were far too daft and unskilled to take over the orchard he has promised a reward of 1000 pieces of silver to any who can bring back the halflings to work their orchards and pay their taxes.

Warning: Mature & Graphic Content
GM: Oli Palmer
Players: 3 - 5
Slot: Morning

Something Stinks in Stilton

Something stinks in Stilton, and it's not just the cheese. Travellers are disappearing amidst a conspiracy of silence. A long-forgotten evil stirs, fed by eager acolytes. Black magic and murder riddle the town with veins of corruption.

Welcome to Stilton! We'll make sure that no one leaves hungry.

Warning: Mature & Graphic Content
GM: Oli Palmer
Players: 3 - 5
Slot: Afternoon

William Shakespeare's 'The King in Yellow': The Tempest

Prospero, erstwhile Duke of Milan, has been stranded on a remote island for many years. Here he has raised his daughter, Miranda, assisted by the loyal spirit Ariel and his brutish and rebellious slave Caliban. Over time, Prospero has hatched a plan, using magic to draw those who betrayed him to the island using a sorcerous tempest. Once they are in his clutches, he will put everything right, building a new life for Miranda and restoring himself to his rightful position.

Something has gone wrong. The storm has not brought the bounty that Prospero expected, bearing nightmares and unwanted revelations instead. Who amongst them will survive, identity intact, when strange winds blow in from Carcosa?

GM: Scott Dorward
Players: 4 (Adults only)
Slot: Evening

Memories of a Love

An emotionally focused world building game about a relationship. We play out scenes jumping back and forth through time to build up a picture of two characters and their relationship. It’s aiming for indie romance movies like Blue is The Warmest Colour or A Separation. You will walk away from the game feeling involved in the characters lives. And maybe really angry that they broke up.

NB: Playtest but I've run it a number of times already so (hopefully) shouldn't fall apart.

GM: (facilitator) Michael Such
Players: 3 to 5 (adults only)
Slot: Afternoon

Network Notes

A game of tv pilots and the souls crushed in their making. Cards, Creativity, Humour, Light roleplay elements Network Notes is a game for three to four players (or, if you have more players, it works even better with teams). You play talented TV writers with a hot new show to sell. Your aim is to have your show taken on by a studio and then bought by a network. Trouble is, at each stage you'll have to change your show to meet their demands. The other players will act as your potential Studios and Networks and you'll do the same for them. At the end, you'll have a new tv pilot fully financed and ready to go, but will you still want to make it?

UnGM: Epistolary RIchard
Players: 2-6
Slot: Evening (note approx. 1 hour run time)

Primetime Adventures

Star Wars: Rebels of Mos Eisley

It is a period of civil war. Rebel freedom fighters, operating as a secret cell in Mos Eisley, have won victories against the evil Galactic Empire. But when their mentor is arrested by Stormtroopers, can they free her before Imperial interrogation droids extract their identities from her? Are these Star Wars rebels guardians of the galaxy, or nothing but a wretched hive of scum and villainy?

Primetime Adventures is the classic indie game of television melodrama. It's a mechanics-light GM'd game in the same general vein as Fiasco or Hillfolk.

GM: James Torrance
Players: 3 to 5
Slot: Afternoon

Ribbon Drive

"We tell stories of letting go on the open road." An indie road trip movie story game driven by music. A game about real people.

Each character has something big looming in their future. Be it drugs, their failing marriage or the direction in life which is always just beyond the horizon. We find out how the road trip affects their decision or makes them let go and alters their life path.

The game is driven by themed music playlists – you're very welcome to bring your own. Will be run as a larp if all players are comfortable.

GM: (facilitator) Michael Such
Players: 3 to 5 (adults only)
Slot: Evening


Using the Flow (Diceless) system.

Black Dog Dérive

Thirteen years ago the aliens landed, throwing humanity’s carefully-erected delusions of grandeur into disarray. The world’s economy is in freefall, its physical laws in doubt. Only the facts of the Visit remain – six Zones containing alien artefacts of unknown provenance and application.

Now two Stalkers, two Fixers and two Scientists are tasked with entering Zone France to locate a stranded stalker called Professor and bring back the results of his research. The mission has three parts:-

  1. Enter the Zone via the Door provided by Little Awful Annie and locate Professor.
  2. Verify the results of Professor’s experiments.
  3. Return Professor and the results of his experiments to Elf Occitan without being observed.

Black Dog Dérive is GMed with player narration.

Most of the time I’ll say, “Yes, but…” in reply to something your character wants to do but sometimes I’ll ask you for a detailed narrative response to a challenge I've set up:-

  • The Idea is how applicable your solution is to the challenge.
  • Roleplaying covers how well your course of action meshes with the scope of your character.

The creative agenda of the game is existential tragedy. Its theme is entropy. It’s also cool if you just want to hit things with your angst.

GM: Mathew (Abstract Machine)
Players: 3-6, pre-gens provided
Slot: Morning


Troublemakers is a game inspired by films, TV and books, including but not limited to:

  • The Goonies
  • ET: the Extra-Terrestrial
  • The Monster Squad
  • Ghostwriter
  • Eerie, Indiana
  • Dark Season
  • The Famous Five series
  • Johnny and the Dead
  • Elidor

It’s a game about children who go on remarkable adventures and save the day despite the intervention of the adults around them, in the process uncovering things secret & wondrous and maybe even growing up a little in the process. The first 30-45 minutes of play will be dedicated to choosing characters and defining the world around them, including their relationships: the remaining time will be spent exploring a mystery they stumble onto in their neighbourhood.

This will be the first playtest of this game, so bring the expectation that not everything will go right the first time and be prepared to have fun!

Troublemakers is Powered by the Apocalypse.

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


Emotional Train Wreck

Our story begins in the city of Corroded Scorn. Its busy, noisy and if you had more money you'd probably be somewhere else. Luckily for you, the army is offering you far more money than you'd normally be able to make in a regular living. Heck maybe it's not the money. Maybe the Punks invading from the west just disgust you completely and go against your metal beliefs.

Whatever the reason. You've got possibly a one way ticket to Decapitated Cinder to enlist. Time to strap on your guitar, pocket your drum sticks and head butt anything that stands in your way... especially if its the upper class.

GM: Daniel Charlton
Players: 3 to 5
Slot: Afternoon