On a rainy day in early February a few dozen roleplayers gathered above a Birmingham cafe and comic book shop. They spent some ten hours rolling dice, arguing over rules and breaking into spontaneous laughter – a good result for the very first Spaghetti ConJunction.
Portraying itself as Birmingham’s only dedicated RPG convention, the event was limited in scale but big on enthusiasm. There were no publisher or merch stands lining the walls and the entire thing felt gleefully non-commercial.
Similarly, the crowd that found its way to the Birmingham franchise of Geek Retreat was small but fiercely dedicated to the art of tabletop gaming, and this was reflected in the range of systems and scenarios on offer. While there were a couple of tables running the staples – D&D, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, etc. – most of the games on offer were a little more esoteric.
If you wished you could roleplay in the Firefly universe, race tripods across the dusty plains of Mars or fight your way through a futuristic military base. In fact, if anything there were too many interesting games on offer and some of them ended up having to be cancelled or amalgamated in order to make big enough groups.
There were a few organisational blips here and there, but nothing beyond what you would expect for an event running for the very first time. There are already talks of a second convention (Spaghetti Conjunction 1b) later this year, and hopefully there are many more to come.