Wednesday, 9 March 2011

My Convention Disaster

It was the UK Games Expo a couple of years ago and I offered my services for the Friday RPG sessions as a GM to help fill a table and demo my SKETCH game. I designed a dungeon, advertised it and got some interest. I was alloted six places and I filled them all.

I got there in plenty of time on the Friday, set up, and watched the eight or nine other tables around me fill up. I sat there eagerly waiting.

And nobody came.

While the other gamers roared and laughed and rolled their dice I sat there with a vast empty table, the seats all pushed under, the spaces filled with character sheets and notes. The dice were piled in the centre of the table in a neat pyramid and didn't move for the two hours I waited. I sat and wrote notes and tried to look busy, but considering the trade halls were not open until the next day I couldn't even take a wander around the show.

As I was also covering the show for two online magazines I was given a free pass for the weekend so it wasn't a total loss. But I never found out why they never came - as far as I can tell they all signed up independantly and they never knew each other, so it's not like they all bailed for the same reason.

The thing I remember the most is the lady DM running a game at the next table looking over at me with a pained expression, like she really felt my pain, and then leaned over and whispered, 'Are you sure you got your times right?'

Yes. Yes, I did.


  1. That sucks. I've been there, dude.

  2. Ouch. I think I would have found a pub after the first 30 minutes and left a note.

  3. I've been to Games Expo for the past three years and never found out where the RPG games were going on.

    I wonder if pre-registering before the event is to blame - I know in my other hobby interest (slotcar racing/Scalextric) when places in an event (race meeting) have to be pre-registered loads of people sign up in order to not miss the boat and then most of them never make it on the day. I think a lot of people just book a place "to be on the safe side" and worry about actually getting there later, if at all.

  4. I remember that day matey, at least we had a decent pint in the bar and a chat before your valiant attempt to bring class and culture in gaming to the masses
    BTW, we are still on for Expo 2011 aren't we? Hope so, always a top day out! When are the LORC t-shirts being made up? :-p