Spaghetti Con Junction 2a

I went to Birmingham yesterday for Spaghetti Con Junction 2a, a one day RPG con held at Geek Retreat in the city centre. It’s a dead easy trip for me: 1.5 hours on the train, then a 10 min walk from Birmingham New Street. When I arrived there was already a group of RPGers huddling from the rain in a shop doorway, and we chatted and shivered until the Geek Retreat guys turned up and let us inside. Technically speaking they weren’t open for another 15 mins, but they took pity on us. I warmed up by ingesting many, many calories in the form of an oreo cookie milkshake and a tuna melt panini.

I’d decided not to run anything, but just to be a player this time round. The sign up system works well, is speedy and - fortunately - I got into my first choice of game in both the morning and the afternoon.

Tales From the Loop, run by Darren was the morning session. It was set in Derby and we found some odd carnivorous plants which appeared to have escaped from an MOD facility. And discovered that our science teacher was a lesbian. It was all very entertaining, and Darren was using characters from Grange Hill as reference photos for all the schoolkids and teachers, which was a nice touch.

The afternoon game was a science fiction hack of Hot War. We were a survey team investigating a planet, when a duplicate of my character turned up. Lots of paranoia, and fun arguments between me and the other me as to which of us was the original. No-one could tell the difference between us until our pilot shot the other me “because he wanted a blood sample”. WTF? In light of the other people being deranged, me and the other me formed an alliance to achieve our agenda, keep the place tidy and drink the last remaining can of beer! The other players abandoned us on the planet, we found the alien machine which could make more copies of us and happily set about creating the perfect society. (Very tidy, lots of geological research, all rocks accurately catalogued).

I also won a Pelgrane press voucher in the raffle, and had the best cheese burger I’d eaten in aeons. The Geek Retreat cafe is a great venue. Hopefully the next Spaghetti Con Junction will not clash with Dragondaze or Bristolcon.


I’ve heard good things about this, though I get the impression that (like Concrete Cow) it’s fairly indie-focused. Must make some effort actually to get to one at some point.

I haven’t managed to attend any of the Spaghetti ConJunctions held thus far, usually due to work commitments (those ales won’t pour themselves!). I think it does lean towards indie games somewhat, but the venue itself holds regular RPG evenings, usually the Big 2 (D&D and Pathfinder) but perhaps there’s room for more.
I’ll stop now before I end up talking myself into running something there, my referee skills are so rusty they need shotblasting and repolishing!

The games are a mix of indie and trad - it depends who volunteers to run. This time round there was some RuneQuest, D&D and Judge Dredd for the trad fans, as well as small indie publishers running their own games (Manifold, I Love the Corps).

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