Events, spoiler free

London MCM Comic Con Report – October 2019

event report

Better late than never right? I attended the Sunday of London MCM Comic Con at the end of October and I thought I should finally get around to writing a report. For the first time in years, I didn’t take loads of pictures and I didn’t vlog at all so I just got to enjoy the con as it was which was lovely and I found I actually got a lot less stressed. That being said I’m debating not going next year and attending Thought Bubble instead but we shall see, anyway on with the report!

Having originally planned to go on my own I managed to persuade one of my friends and my mum to come along with me. My mum has just got back into Dungeons and Dragons and basically, I wanted to essentially take her dice shopping. This was fun and not only was the journey a lot better with company and by car but it was fun having others to chat to and generally geek out excitedly at things.

As I have done the past few years I started off and spent most of my time in the Comic Village/Artists Alley section of the convention. I wanted to place a couple of commissions and decided first thing was probably a good idea. We came back here a lot because this is easily my favourite part of the convention in recent years. A lot of things in the con are mass-produced and easy to find and buy online and are there year after year so it tends to become the same thing every year. In the comic village, although a lot of the artists are the same this actually works in their favour I think as I go in knowing exactly what stands I want to check out because I know I love their work and almost every convention they have something new, whether it be a new issue of their self published comic, or new prints, accessories or the like. Walking around this area of the con just really feels the most friendly and I adore it.  As you can see below too, pretty much my entire haul of goodies is from here too!

We trawled the usual stands like Magic Madhouse, Critit and Firestorm Cards etc that sell the most dungeons and dragons items such as miniatures, books and most importantly DICE. We all brought at least one set of dice each (with most of us getting two), my mum was pleased to find some mini’s that would represent her character in our game nicely and I did my best to resist all of the Descent into Avernus blind box minis because I have a problem.

We stopped off for a late lunch (we didn’t even get in until just gone 12) and a break outside where the weather actually wasn’t bad for an October con which was a pleasant surprise. Returning inside, at last, we swung back around to pick up our commissions and a few last-minute items before heading to the PS4 area where they had playable demo’s for the new Final Fantasy VII remake. Initially, I had gone to rub it in my husbands face that I had got to play it while also reassuring him that it was good but after getting into FFXV recently I was actually quite excited to play it just for me! The Demo was actually really good and I love what they’ve done with the combat system. Not to mention it was so nice to hear everything being voice acted. We were the second from last group to get to play so I’m glad we headed over when we did. Queue getting my picture taken with an 8kg replica of Cloud’s buster sword next.

The Con was then drawing to a close, I managed to meet up with a friend who I play D&D with online which was really awesome and we all made a collective dash for the chocolate stand we had all been eyeing up over lunch and got hot chocolates and chocolate-covered strawberries (this has been a con staple for me for the last three years) which we then devoured in the car park while waiting for it to empty out enough for us to leave.

We then played Dungeons and Dragons for three and a half hours once we got back. I slept very very well that night. It was a good convention but as I mentioned earlier I think I might try a different convention next year like Thought Bubble which is a lot more art-based. Did you attend MCM London Comic Con this year? If so what did you get up to? Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here for Six for Sunday in a couple of days!

Bookish Discuussions

Dungeons, Dragons and the (not so) new art of Story Telling

As many of you who follow me on Instagram or Twitter know, I absolutely love a bit of Dungeon and Dragons. I grew up around my parents and their friends playing the game but didn’t play until the fourth edition of the game and its ruleset was released in 2008 when I was nineteen. I completely fell in love with the game which is a mix of roleplay, dice rolling, maths (groan, I’m still bad at this part), using your imagination, puzzle solving skills, battle tactics and so much more. I’ve always had, what I consider to be quite a vivid imagination and the game helped to feed into it more and to rediscover my love of medieval era fantasy, especially in regards to reading which I hadn’t done since over reading the Hobbit as a child.

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For a long while, playing games like Dungeons and Dragons was something only stereotypical “nerds” did, made fun of for years in film and literature you could almost always bet that the token uncool or “nerdy” character would be a pasty white male who lived in their mothers basement and played Dungeons and Dragons.  Now, in 2019 the role-playing game is finally having its time! Millions of players across the world and gender spectrum and from all walks of life and it feels blooming fantastic if you ask me. Not only does Dungeons and Dragons bring people together and help them to explore outside of themselves and for some, from their comfort zones, I feel it’s brought a different kind of storytelling than the conventional novel  back into the spotlight thanks to shows like Critical Role, High Rollers and Dice Friends as well as the magic of social media and Wizards of the Coast knowing how to use it, not to mention services like DnD Beyond that take away the, sometimes daunting, task of the paper character sheet and delivered a digital system where you can cast spells, check stats and more with a touch of your finger so it’s so much more accessible to more people.

With Dungeons and Dragons, you can be a player and let your Dungeon Master weave a story around you where the actions of you and your party will determine the story. Feel like playing a Dragonborn Barbarian from a gnome run orphanage who’s searching for the secret to immortality? Or an argumentative hill dwarf paladin who sold everything they own to attend adventuring academy? Go for it.  I’ve got a few reviews of some “Choose your own adventure” style books etc coming up soon and if you enjoy those trust me this is a whole new level. Your group gets attacked by a party of goblins? Want to fight them? Great! Want to try and talk them round peacefully? Also great! Want to deceive them then shoot them in the back and steal their loot? Brilliant. This interactive storytelling that reacts to you and your choices is the reason I play video games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age but nothing beats a few friends (or even complete strangers!) sitting around a table (IRL or digital as that is an option as well now!) and going on a damned adventure. Books are great, I love them but now I’ve dabbled I know that I need my weekly dose of Dungeons and Dragons to placate my story needs.

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Want a bit more control? Have great ideas for stories but have a bit more trouble executing them or physically getting them down on paper? How are you with improvisation and on the fly storytelling? Sound fun? Thrilling and terrifying perhaps? Then the role of the Dungeon Master could be the one for you! This past weekend I came up with a three and a half hour session in an afternoon purely based on a loose premise and player interaction, when asked about the layout of the keep we were in I suddenly found myself sketching this place I could see in my minds eye but would have trouble perhaps describing it in words on a page but here I was with my players interacting in it. I was blown away and those moments where you can surprise yourself as well as your players is one of my favourite things about being a DM.  It’s such a freeing feeling and as someone who likes to consider those of super detailed ins and outs but tends to be unable to make a choice half of the time this forces me to make a choice on the spot and stick with it and make it good.

There is so much more to discuss about D&D but I really just wanted to focus on the storytelling aspect of it and how it brings another dimension to the entire experience and can nurture the storyteller in all of us. Do you play Dungeons and Dragons or a similar role-playing game? Do you find that kind of storytelling exciting and liberating or daunting? Let’s discuss!