20 Nov

Gaelcon 2016 survey

Thank you all for a wonderful convention!

We would love to hear your feedback on what you liked, what you’d like to see more of, and what you’d like changed.

The survey for Gaelcon 2016 is here

28 Oct

Getting to the con

Map to Gaelcon

So you’ve got your tickets or the last minute people are going to buy them on the door. You know the convention starts at 5pm and is in the Ballsbridge hotel. But how do you get there?

We’ve created a detailed post on how to get to the con on our Location page.There’s several different travel options and hints for avoiding the marathon madness.  You can also save or print our handy map above.

See you at the con!

22 Oct

So many special events

special events collage

Gaelcon has been running for over 20 years and so many of you may be familiar with the events. There are riveting RPGs, wonderful Wargames, lovely LARPs, brilliant boardgames, crafty CCGs and terrific tournaments.

We want you to enjoy all your old favourites and the games you like to play. Though this Gaelcon we have a lot of scintillating, sparkling and even spooky special events. Friday night is packed with our Halloween party full of games, decorations, karaoke and costume competition.

Saturday will feature a Gaelcon classic, the pub quiz. It’s also the start of our long con game the Dracula Dossier. There are still a few tickets available for those who want to try to fit a whole campaign into one week.

Sunday is when we ask for you to reach into your wallets and “think of the children” at our charity auction. Then for the night owls Alt events are bringing us an interactive cinema club. This is an interactive gaming experience where the entire audience directs the action. Somewhere in all that activity you can also try to make a great escape with Unlocking Your Potential with Lauch & Ki Marketing, our escape room challenge, running throughout the weekend.

If you still have some energy left on Monday try squeezing in a demo from Catalyst games test your best “make it so” impression with Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator both of which will be running at various times all weekend. Finish it all up with the closing ceremony, where the Fergal wranglers have guaranteed the ceremony will be comprehensive and quick.

Gaelcon has something for everyone even those uninterested or inexperienced in traditional gaming. This year try something old, try something new, borrow some games and you won’t be blue.



10 Oct

Gaelcon Boardgame Math Trade

Gaelcon Boardgame Math Trade


There will be a boardgame math trade at this year’s Gaelcon! A math trade is a great way to trade some of the games which you haven’t played in ages for other games that you are interested in. The trade itself is hosted on Boardgamegeek here. This does mean that you must be a registered member of the Boardgamegeek community to take part but registration is a quick and simple process. The deadline for submissions is the 19th of October.


In a math trade participants first post the board games they are interested in trading to the trade Geeklist. They can do so by clicking the ‘Add Item’ button on the top post of the Geeklist. After the submissions deadline a post will be made by the organiser which gives each of the submitted games a unique code. For example


001soc Settlers of Catan

002sld Splendor

003kot King of Toyko


All participants then submit which games they would be happy to trade their games for. This is submitted to the organiser in the format of


(MyUserName) MyIDName : IDName1 IDName2 IDName3 IDName4


Where ‘MyUserName’ is your Boardgamegeek username (in brackets), ‘MyIDName’ is the list id of the game you are trading and everything after the colon is the list of games you would take for that game in order of preference. For example, if Eoin had submitted Settlers of Catan as a game he would like to trade during the submissions period he would then submit something like the following


(Eoin) 001soc : 003kot 002sld


This signifies that Eoin’s preference would be to receive King of Toyko for his copy of Settler’s of Catan but he would also accept Splendor.


Once all participants have submitted their Want’s List a computer algorithm will determine which trades will occur. It does so by calculating the trades which will maximise the ‘happiness’ of all participants based on their submitted Want’s List. This algorithm is the reason trades like this one are called Math trades. The end result will look something like the diagram at the top of this page.

The algorithm has found that to maximum the happiness of all participants Eoin should trade his copy of Settlers of Catan to Fergal. Fergal will then give his copy of Splendor to Anna who will give her copy of King of Tokyo to Eoin.


When submitting your boardgames to this trade you may request that trades only occur at Gaelcon. The deadline for submissions is the 19th of October and the deadline for your Want’s List is 25th of October. Much more information can be found on Boardgamegeek.com.


This is a great way to reinvigorate your boardgame collection for free! See you all at Gaelcon!

07 Oct

Why costume?

Committee costumes

So what is the definition of costume? According to Wikipedia it is defined as follows.

Costume is the distinctive style of dress of an individual or group that reflects their class, gender, profession, ethnicity, nationality, activity or epoch.

The term also was traditionally used to describe typical appropriate clothing for certain activities, such as riding costume, swimming costume, dance costume, and evening costume. Appropriate and acceptable costume is subject to changes in fashion and local cultural norms.[1]

As a member of the gaming community I can clearly see how costume makes an impact on adding texture and richness to the games we play, from descriptions used in RPG’s to visual representation of your character in a LARP. How many of us have been told for example by the GM detailed descriptions of a non player character so we get an understanding of who they might be and what purpose they fulfil?

“ He was a tall gentleman, richly dressed in midnight blue velvet. A nobleman’s garb indeed, embroidered with golden threads. The colour  provided a beautiful contrast to his well groomed blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He also had an exquisitely made rapier hanging from a finely made leather belt at his side. Your eyes fall upon the crest emblazoned on his doublet. If his physical description alone wasn’t enough, the crest confirmed it. You know who it is that stands before you and what his mere presence here means for you and your party.”

As a LARPer and someone who has always had a keen interest in costume, I embrace the opportunity to use costume as a visual expression of the characters I currently and previously played. From my half-Orc who mainly wore mud brown clothes and faux fur and generally looked like she had been dragged backwards through a hedge each morning, to a political larp where I played a well-to-do lady in a black satin dress and heels. Or even the U.N. delegate who looked like a businesswoman on a mission.

Costume is not just the clothes you put together, it’s an ensemble of items to create an overall visual effect. Everything from face paint, make up, accessories, wigs and props can be added to your clothing for richness and texture to the character you are trying to portray. And it’s really fun! Gamers are awesome for complimenting each other when they appreciate the work you have put into your character. Your efforts often help others to get more into the headspace of a game and make it more immersive.

Some people find patterns scary and daunting to work with (myself included!), but there is a great sense of achievement and pride in making your own character kit.

That’s why so many choose to make their own costumes. It doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg and no great skills are necessary – it’s all about creativity, ideas and fun! I recently made a norse style apron dress from a tablecloth which I had picked up in a charity shop for three quid – talk about a bargain!

When comes to looking for inspiration, I really like this pinterest page. It is a visual feast of medieval style clothing.

Gaelcon 2016 will kick off with a Halloween Party including a Costume and Cosplay competition. If you have a costume or cosplay in your closet or want to pull something together in the next few weeks – Go ahead! Give it a go! There are prizes to be won and fun to be had. Whether you want to get your glam on or rock some creepy rags or gorey garb, do it!  Break out and have some fun!  I will be there in costume and up to no good, you can be sure of that! And as you can see from our pictures the rest of the committee will be joining in too.

For more information check out our website.

30 Sep

Boardgame Passports

boardgamesSo I recently volunteered at the UK Games Expo. It was a bigger event than ever this year with attendance up 80% and most if not all of those people wanted to play board games. To help people play as many games as possible, and to encourage try before you buy, the Expo arranged for a board games Library, run by the wonderful Thirsty Meeples Board Game Café.

I volunteered in the library all weekend, as I did last year, and hundreds of board games were borrowed. Seriously games were coming in and out so fast they had skid marks, and not just Formula D. With hundreds of board games and hundreds of people we needed a system to track lending and encourage people to actually bring our games back.

Last year we used a Board Games Passport. People at the con paid a £10 deposit and received a passport. They were able to borrow 1 game at a time and when they returned the game they got a stamp from passport control and could borrow a new game. This system meant people working in the library didn’t have to take a deposit for every game and generally involved less money handling. Reducing the risk of losing people or the con’s money is always a bonus, and it makes it more difficult for the con Director to “mind” the cashbox next to the bar.

PassportThe passport also allowed people to borrow games over night and take them up to their hotel rooms because the library could keep track (roughly) of what games people had out. People at the expo really liked the system, as much as the English admit to liking anything that isn’t tea, football or imperialism.

This year we went more high tech and our simple stamped passports become barcoded Library Cards, that could be scanned. Oh the technology. Although there were some differences and we encountered some inevitable IT issues it was again a roaring success. People really seemed to like that they didn’t have to repeatedly mess around with money, or find change.

A variation of the board game passport was also used at Leprecon. We’ll be using our own boardgames passport at this year’s Gaelcon. For only a fiver you can borrow games overnight, take them out of the boardgame area and save yourself a lot of hassle. You can buy your passport at the convention or on our website.

30 Sep

Volunteering – Why bother?

Volunteering – Why bother?So your all excited Gaelcon’s just around the corner. You’re planning which RPGs to play, which decks to bring, which figures to paint. Somewhere in all that plan think take a minute to think about volunteering at the con.

The 3 big excuses

1. It’s Gaelcon it’s running for over 20 years, they don’t need me.

That statement is Donald Trump levels of untrue. This convention is run by volunteers and the only way it happens is if people, people like you, help out. Sure there’s work involved but you get to help the convention happen, see old friends and make new ones. You get to be part of an amazing group of people who work hard and play hard. If being charitable for its own sake isn’t enough for you, we’ll throw in free attendance at the con, a snazzy free t-shirt and plenty of snacks. And you get the privilege of bowing to the will helping our awesome staff coordinator Ana. Email her (staff@gaelcon.com) if you want to volunteer or have any questions.

2. You are new to games and conventions and don’t feel you know enough about them.

The absolute best way to join a community and become a real member is to volunteer at events. It’s a great way to get to know people and get a taste for different kinds of gaming. I remember walking into my first convention not knowing where to go or what to sign up for. There were goths, nerds and cosplayers and it was the most amazing and terrifying thing I could have imagined. Thankfully someone in a brightly coloured t-shirt swung passed me said, grab this box and I was roped in to helping out. It’s been over a decade since then (I was very young at my first con) and I still volunteer and help run gaming events. Warning! Volunteering may be addictive. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s not enough sleep, too much sugar and being part of the weird and wonderful community we call gamers. You don’t need to know your 40K from your Firefly. You just need to give some of your time during the convention to help make it happen.

3. You have a life, you’re busy you don’t really have time to volunteer for anything.

That’s fair, we’re all pretty busy but being a volunteer at a convention is signing up to have fun. That said there are other ways you can help out rather than staffing the full convention. If you have GMing experience volunteer to GM by e-mailing rpgs@gaelcon.com. Run enough games and we’ll refund your membership.
You can also help the con a lot by letting people know about it. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter too it’s easy to share one of our updates or ugly puzzles.

Gaelcon is going to be great this year and think about how smug you’ll get to feel by knowing you were part of making it happen whether it’s letting some friends know about the con or staffing for the weekend.
My name is Rachel and I am a convention volunteer addict, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

24 Sep

Tickets are Live!

Lightning hits the old tower, a deranged man in white shouts at electricity revives that which was dead moments before, he shouts “Tickets are alive!” 

Check out our shop. Con passes are up.

RPG and Larp tickets are live! Check out our sweet bundles! Currently some RPGs have a table limit, but we will open these up as we confirm additional GMs based on demand. While we will be monitoring the situation, If a product is out of stock, don’t hesitate to inform us at web@gaelcon.com

Pathfinder will be up soon! Just finalising the time table with the great people at the Pathfinder Society Ireland.

Wargames are live! 40k and the Irish Guildball Championship are ready for players! Please ensure to contact the relevant person about your participation. Guildball is password protected and there is a player limit.

Passwords! You’ll notice that some games (Higher Powers – Returning Players, Guildball) are password protected. You can get these passwords by contacting the organisers directly, they should inform you once you have confirmed participation.

Special Events! Boardgame Passports.
Our special events will be up soon! We are really excited about the Dracula Dossier and Escape Room. We are also launching Boardgame Passports.

Basically you buy a boardgame passport for five euro and you can rent out boardgames all weekend. You can even keep them overnight. At the end of the con, you’ll have a list of all the boardgames you rented, which is both a valuable memory, but also hugely helpful when trying to remember what that great game on Monday Morning was.

So go on and get shopping!


Higher Powers tickets are back in the Store. Higher Powers Players will be contacted by the Higher Powers Team with instructions on how to purchase their tickets.

23 Sep

Special Event: The Dracula Dossier by Gareth Hanrahan



Gaelcon 2016 is delighted to announce the first of our special events line up this year. We have the honour to have a long con scenario being run by renowned writer Gareth Hanrahan. And to add to the horrifying wonderfulness. Gareth has arranged that anyone who pre registers for one or all of the slots can receive a discount off the PDF version of The Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press!


Game Title: The Dracula Dossier

Longcon Format System: Night’s Black Agents

# of players: 6-8 per slot

Rating: M.


In 1894, British intelligence attempted to recruit a vampire as an asset. The attempt went horribly wrong. As part of the cover-up, they released an edited, redacted copy of the operation’s notes as a novel. In 1940, in 1977, they tried again, and failed again. In 2005, they succeeded. In each case, officers involved added marginal notes to an unredacted copy of the Dracula Dossier. Now it’s in your hands. You’re burned spies, out in the cold. And the Un-Dead are hunting you. With the Dossier, you can turn the fight around, and maybe track down and destroy the King of the Vampires. Enter freely, and of your own will, into the domain… of Dracula.



15 Sep

Gaming – A Sense of Community


Recently while having a conversation with a friend I realised I have been playing RPG games for 18 years. That realisation was harrowing because firstly it makes me feel old, secondly though it reminded me how many wonderful people I have met and played games with over that time. As I look around the internet at various groups, events and organisations for our little island it makes me very proud to be a member of this tribe we call gamers.

It’s so much easier to find a gaming group to join and have fun with these days.The convention scene is still going strong sure, but it’s nice to know that I can get a social gaming fix in between. With the likes of groups such as ALT Events Dublin running games days in Fringe Labs, Girls Get Gaming who run /tabletop Tuesday in The black Sheep pub and the IGA’s very own Games nights in Robert Reades on Thursday to mention but a few. Lets not forget there are many other groups besides all over this little country.

Having spent a number of years in and around the gaming scene I see the dedication that we have for our hobby as a community. Game Writers staying up to Silly o’Clock getting the game ready for it’s debut. Convention committee’s working all year round to put on a great event for their fellow gamers. Volunteers giving up their time to provide the con go’er with an excellently fun time. We should be proud of our contributions of time effort and energy we give to our community.

And of course it would be a disservice not to mention how the gaming community have raised vital funds to support many worthy charities. We have caring hearts deep down inside all that LARP armour and chainmail. I am so looking forward to seeing many of my con buddies at Gaelcon this year. I love how you can sit down to a table and play an rpg for three hours and many years later still reminisce the epic mentally mind boggling antics you got up to with the then strangers, who are now your good friends.

So l sit and reflect the fond memories I have had over those 18 years, The friends I have found. The games I have loved. The costumes I prepared for characters, the props I made.

And the dice bags I have sewn. Oh so many wonderful discussions I  have had and the stories I have collected. Gaming has enriched my life, it has let my imagination soar and put many a smile on my face. These aren’t wrinkles I am cultivating they are the result of gaming grins, you know the one when you have that glint in your eye and a mischievous action planned out for your next move.

So I say my sincere thanks to you my fellow gamers, let us continue to invest in our hobby and community. I look forward to adding many more wonderful, fun memories to my collection. I am honoured to be your special events coordinator for Gaelcon 2016 fingers crossed I can help you have an excellently fun time. Until then roll the dice, flip the cards and may the odds be ever in your favour.