During our trip to Wales, we were lucky enough to drop in on our friend Nimrod on his one-off day at the Cardiff FLGS Rules of Play.
There were about four tables playing, and the participants were mostly students and 30-something. A fairly young crowd! The whole day was really relaxed. People could just show up whenever and Nimrod would take some time to get them into a game. A bit like Gencon Games on Demand (or so I imagine).
Hardly the environment for a super-immersive roleplay experience, so we just played a relaxed game of Qin with four other players, two of which were actors in a play about roleplay games who had come down to see what it was like (they’re the hipster looking people in the photo).
Other tables were playing Fiasco, Babylon 5, and a game I couldn’t make out. The shop downstairs had a nice little collection of indie rpg’s.
It was interesting to see how the Cardiff gamers have built quite a nice community that’s welcoming to new people.
- They have open gaming events that feature several campaigns of maximum 6 sessions. Long enough to tell a cool story, not so long that new people can’t jump on or wait for the next campaign to start
- GMs can’t GM two campaigns in a row. When a campaign slot ends, they have to sit out the next one. I love this rule! It ensures new GM’s get their time in, and keeps things fresh for everyone.
- Once every few months they have a One-off Day where everyone can come and try out a session. This seems to work well in attracting newcomers
Not to say that their community building is perfect. Nimrod had plenty to say about the usual muddles and drama that come with groups. But they’ve kept the entire thing open for everyone and the community stands. Awesome!