Some News Everyone! not good, not bad, mostly news that will keep you at the same emotional level you were at.
Due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances on the hotels side, we are moving from the Crowne plaza Northwood to their sister hotel, Crowne Plaza Blanchardstown. Same chain, still on a decent bus route, still more accessible for those of you outside Dublin, Still doesn’t have a Marathon run past the front door.
We’ll have ticket booking and hotel booking up on our website and social medias as soon as we can for those lovely discounted hotel rates, and they are some lovely rates indeed. This has made us have to change around our plans, so things are a bit delayed.
Apologies for not telling people sooner about this but the con director had Covid, and because of that it took us a while to get everything together.
While you’re here reading this announcement, why not submit an RPG?
Hello All, a short update for you all to finish out the Mega Paddies Weekend. Gaelcon this year is planning to be in person as a Hybrid Event on the October Bank Holiday Weekend, the 28th to the 31st of October.
This means that we’ll have events happening both in person and online including RPG’s, Panels, Wargaming, Card Games and of course our classics, the Pub Quiz and the Charity Auction.
The in person section of the convention will be in the Crowne Plaza Northwood. We hope to have ticket sales up and running before the summer and Merch sales sometime thereafter.
A few points on the preparation for the con as it stands;
- The RPG’s form is live! We have gotten some amazing submissions already but more are always a good thing so submit games to run at the con here; https://forms.gle/rZkAPxvQPQrEBx8w8 While the RPG’s team and other con organisers are not adverse to hunting people down as the deadline approaches later in the year, it’s not as fun the fifth or sixth time.
- We are working on the website and overhauling it as part of the wider IGA change to a newer, more transparent organisation, which is part of why you can’t buy tickets right now but it’ll be done soon and we will let you know.
- The con committee are endeavouring to be at as many conventions as we can get to talk about the con. So keep an eye on social media if you are going to a con and want to talk to one of us in person as we will be posting there where we are and what we’re doing
- Aside from RPGs & Larps, the other teams are working their hardest on organising their aspects of the convention but we don’t have big exciting news there yet so we won’t say much more at this point but don’t worry, we’ll update you as we can!
Now you might be wondering what’s the theme for the convention that’s the first Gaelcon in person since 2019. Well we figured it really chose itself when we decided the Roaring 20’s! The glamour, the singing, the cultists, the escapism, The criminal underworld, the absinthe! We shall do our very best to have it all! Please note the con director does not aspire to be Jay Gatsby or similar and comparisons to that vein won’t go down well, all other applicable Baz Luherman films are free game though!
So some in all your pinstriped, pearl bedecked, glittery glory while you ignore the ominous chanting as we sacrifice staff to Eldritch Beings in the hope of things going well!
Eds Note; We expect roughly the same number of sacrifices to eldritch horrors as any other Gaelcon, which is exactly how many you think it is.
Gaelcon is only days away, set on course, full steam ahead and hopefully no icebergs!
The world has had a rough enough year, but this year’s committee have done sterling work in the face of it all to bring together a weekend which should allow everyone to relax and have some fun.
We have many of the usual crop of RPG writers back but also a few new faces, including international contributors with some new and interesting experiences in store.
Dublin Gaymers are back with boardgames, Tony from ReRoll is providing some Magic and Lorcan and the Battletech crew are back (my autocorrect insists his name is Lorca: is there a Discovery there?)*
Joining us this year with two great collaborative mapping sessions is Jog Brogzin: he’s broken new ground in collaborative mapping projects and his sessions provide a chance to play the mapping game in a new way
Also new are the serious historical board wargamers organized by Rob Brennan: this is a first time event introducing people to playing proper wargames and we’re grateful to them for putting this on
We have panels, again, starting with a late night panel Friday with the stars of the Adventuring Party and some IGA old hands to talk about the history of the con. Panels over the weekend will talk about issues on the gaming world: content creation, myths and other topics before we finish Monday with the “Future of the IGA” panel
Saturday night is Quiz night with Graham and Sunday is the Charity Auction hosted again by Brian “Dublin2029” Nisbet with VIP tickets for every con we could nag into donating, including next year’s Gaelcon which will be pitched by next year’s Con Director.
There’s not much more for me to do this week, except thank my committee again for a great year.
*Editors Note: I can’t believe I let him keep this joke in.
Gaelcon 33 is falling nicely into place for the October weekend. We’re taking on the feedback from last year with the goal of making the convention run smoother, but a lot of the core team will be the same. (It being fairly difficult to do the traditional recruitment tactic of cornering people in the pub and asking them to sell their soul.)
Headline news is that Brian Nisbet has agreed to lead the auction to new heights of taking your money (for charity), Graham Turner will be our quiz master again, and Colm Lundberg will be running a new version of Radio Gaelcon with a surprise twist which we’re not releasing yet.
The call for RPGs is out, and if you have a game you want to run you can submit it here; https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfSOdFcgIw0W4v5DKx8jVXwLVn1A5TVOkXr0kVvxpDfUQhkGQ/viewform
Isabella Storey-Cosgrave is RPGs Czar again, with two new assistants. New fresh RPGs are coming in through the submission form, and we are also happy to have people who simply would like to run games – games written by others, games from the archives, even published scenarios which you just fancy running for folks. People willing to run entry level games for new players are particularly welcome, as we would like to have some of those in the programme. If you have specific questions about RPG’s or LARPS you can always Email RPGs@gaelcon.com,
Rian Boyle is back leading special events – quiz, auction and panels – which all went excellently last year. Rian is also in charge of CCGs; we will run at least 1 tournament because while face to face CCGs may be back in many local game shops, not everyone will be able to get to those so online events will be important for people. Card games is an area where we also would welcome more hands:- people who can judge and can drive tournament running software well are going to be needed during the con so please do shout if you have those skills.
There are teams working on other areas like staff, trade and logistics – we’ll introduce them as we get closer to the convention. The call for staff for the weekend will come out in early September, but in the meantime folks who want to help out with any part of the con can give us a shout – email email@example.com
In the lead up, some things are happening during August. Colleagues at Octocon have an online panel on writing RPGs on Wednesday 28th July which is obviously of interest to gamers. Gaelcon have two events coming up: Xander Cosgrave will lead a short session on writing a programme blurb for your convention game on August 5th and then we are working on a longer Gaelcon workshop on developing a full convention game on August 12th. Both will be on the IGA Discord. – links and more promo will appear closer to the event, but if you want to get in the IGA Community Discord right now, click here https://discord.gg/pXAx7zZRqZ
Our hopes for Gaelcon 33 changed as the news changed from week to week, but we have decided that we must have an online event. Various things influenced our decision:
- The news about the pandemic and the vaccination rollout changes from week to week
- We don’t know when we might have certainty about the numbers possible in the venue – we can’t predict when we might actually have solid information on which to base a plan for a physical convention.
- Our intended venue is now part of the hotel quarantine system, and no one can predict when that might end. There is a plan for the civil service to have a team managing the process for 12 months, so that doesn’t bode well for us.
- Given the rising cost of venues and the uncertainty about the pandemic and its aftermath, there is a significant financial risk if our numbers were to be limited – in fact, this cost is going to be an issue in the future, venue costs are the bulk of the cost of running Gaelcon, and and if they continue to spiral as they have, we may have to bump up the weekend price in future years
- A hybrid event is technically possible, but in practice complex, and we weren’t willing to gamble the success of the convention and the enjoyment or accessibility of it trying to make major event of the year on making hybrid work successfully. That said, hybrid is the next challenge to overcome, and we might run some smaller, experimental hybrid events when we have enough people with the skills and time, without detracting effort from Gaelcon.
- Several other events in the Fall have already opted to go online; the broad consensus seems to be that in-person events won’t be possible before December.
We have two main threads of ideas for themes, and we need to pick one soon, but I’m open to suggestions. Two strands were suggested: Resurrection/Rebirth/Renewal/Renaissance and Gaelcon with some sort of digital/online theme like Gaelcon-nected? Gaelcon Matrix, or Gaelcon Infinite. The VIP ticket holders lead on this choice, but your opinions and ideas are welcome.
I have some people already “volunteered” for the committee, and I will be approaching some other folks, but I am open to offers of help with preparing the con, whether on the committee, as writers or simply as staff. I have a form here for folks who’d like to get in the loop early, whether you want to help out form now, or just put a name down for helping on the weekend
In other news, the formal company registration to register the IGA as a Company Limited By Guarantee has been filed and accepted. Obviously, something which would in normal times have taken an hour in an office was stretched out over some time, and we have a few things to do yet like new bank accounts, but we will be able to have a genuinely open body with a wider membership. This wider membership means that we can move forward with more events and a broader range of things happening than we’ve been able to do in the past with our limited committee.
Finally, if you want to stay in touch with the IGA Community, don’t forget to Join our Discord