Gaming In A Field

This weekend’s experiment of gaming at a music festival was a great success. We fitted in a couple of good RPG sessions (including one for the 6d6 RPG) and several pick-up games. Plus we watched lots of live music, drank beer and talked a lot of rubbish.

The success of the weekend was in no small part down to Jim who not only suggested the idea but made it possible. Jim had a large tent that enabled us to play in all weather conditioners but he also organised a lot of the food and had all the little things that make camping easier (such as a mallet for tent pegs). Thank you Jim for your hard work.

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Left To Right: ‘Other’ Chris, Jess, ‘6d6’ Chris, Kim, Jim, Sam, Jo

Lessons Learnt

As this was our first attempt at gaming at a festival, we learnt several important things.

1. Someone Needs A Big Tent

Very few weather conditions are suitable for outdoor gaming. Even on the Friday, which was warm and sunny, the light wind made our attempt at playing Marrakech outdoors impracticable. During Saturday and Sunday gaming outdoors was unimaginable with heavy rain and high winds. Jim’s large, warm and dry tent, complete with carpets and a bean bag made gaming possible.

2. Pre-Plan You Major Sessions

If you are planning to run multi-hour games, plan ahead. Festival life takes a toll on sleep and intellectual capabilities with a succession of late nights which makes early starts difficult. Bands normal start playing around 1pm and if one or two people in a group will want to see a particular band that stops the whole game.

3. Play Games Suitable for the Gamers

Like any open game session, it is not always possible to know who will drop-in to play at a festival. In our group we had Jo, aged 8, who was there with his Dad. Jo is a great, well behaved kid but there is no getting away from the fact he is is only 8 years old. He coped well with The Savage Island adventure as it was a straight-forward fantasy romp. However the dark horror investigation game run by Jim on Sunday was a lot more challenging. Jo’s presence and behaviour in the game made it harder for the rest of us and, from my point of view, less enjoyable.

4. Enjoy the Music</h4

A music festival is not an ideal place for gaming. If you just want to game there are far better places to do it. The only reason for gaming at a festival is if you are their to enjoy the music and the whole festival experience. The gaming, and good company it brings, is a bonus.

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Jim (left) explains to ‘Other’ Chris exactly how dead his character is whilst Jo looks on.

One comment

  1. Sounds like a fun way to spend a weekend intermixing two mediums of entertainment. I’ve only attempted outdoor play a few times when the weather was perfect. I agree the tent would be a must have. The one picture goes beyond what I imagined as large. Perfect for those rainy days.

    The impact of the diverse age range certainly would change game dynamics and player behaviour. Intermixing an experienced, older group of players with young novices would be extremely challenging for me. Our Convergence (gaming weekends) have been exclusively the older crowd. Having the families attend has been discussed so the topic is one well worth considering.

    Glad you had a good time.
    .-= Mark´s last blog ..DIY meets RPG =-.

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