M. Harold Page

A middle aged man with short dark hair, pale skin, looking at something off camera.  He is wearing a grey tweed jacket with a grey t-shirt and holding a pint of dark beer.
M. Harold Page

M Harold Page is a writer, swordsman, and has been gaming long enough to have purchased the first edition of Traveller when it was new. He specialises in Historical Adventure, SF and Sword and Sorcery, in which deep themes and psychological conflicts are resolved through the medium of interpersonal violence, preferably involving edged weapons and/or blasters. He is currently writing “The Flying Tooth Garden”, a LitRPG trilogy for LevelUp (https://www.levelup.pub/) . He expects his SF adventure, “I Was A Teenage Space Mercenary”, to come out with a small press later this year. 

Cat Tobin

A young woman with brown hair to her jawline.  She has pale skin and is smiling.  She is pictured agains the backdrop of a sea and coastline.
Cat Tobin

Cat Tobin is the co-owner and Managing Director of Pelgrane Press, a tabletop RPG company based in London, UK. An Irish native and resident, she has been heavily involved with the roleplaying community in Ireland and the UK since the late 1990s, doing everything from writing and design, to marketing, finance, and convention organisation. She likes coffee, hates mornings, and her favourite vegetable is the potato. Cat tweets from @CatTHM.

James L. Sutter

Young man with short  mid-brown hair and beard with glases, and pale skin, smiling warmly, wearing a green t-shirt
James L. Sutter

James L. Sutter is a co-creator of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games. For thirteen years, he worked as a game designer and editor at Paizo Publishing, starting out on Dungeon magazine and eventually becoming both the Starfinder Creative Director and Pathfinder’s Executive Editor. He’s written a wealth of tabletop gaming supplements—most recently an expanded gazetteer of Baldur’s Gate for Dungeons & Dragons’ Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus—as well as video games such as Pathfinder: KingmakerCastle Creeps Tower Defense, and the new Starfinder Alexa audio RPG from Amazon. In addition, he’s the author of the novels Death’s Heretic and The Redemption Engine, plus comic books, short stories, and essays in such publications as Lightspeed and Clarkesworld. You can find him online at jameslsutter.com or on Twitter at @jameslsutter.

Roleplaying – Preparation for Players

First things first get your free ticket https://ti.to/scaled-events/scaledcon . After that you will need to take a look at the technologies we intend to use for the online RPGs so that you are ready on the day since roleplaying online needs a little more preparation by players than playing face to face.

Paper character sheets – Ah that takes me back – to February before everything had to move online

Finding your GM on the Day

There will be general social chat spaces via Discord which is how we plan to link GMs up with players so make sure you know how Discord works (its super simple). The discord links for the social meeting spaces will be published nearer the time.

Our plan is for individual games to run over Webex using the Rolz online dice roller via links which GMs will post into Discord.

When starting the game be sure to ask your GM if you are allowed to buy charity rerolls in contribution to the Grassmarket Community Project

Webex

So that everyone is prepared on the day with the same technical setup, the plan is for all games to use Webex. This is because it is free and you can easily post links to the virtual meeting room. To sign up for Webex visit https://www.webex.com/ and sign up for the free tier. You will also need to download the Webex client which should be available for Windows, Mac and Linux. there are also Android and iPhone clients if you don’t have a computer. There are a bunch of handy tutorials on the site. The GMs will create a meeting and then post the link so that players can join

Rolz

Rolz is a handy free website which lets you create virtual rooms for text chat and more importantly DICE! First create a login at https://rolz.org/join. Your GM will create a “dice room” for your game and share the weblink so that you can join it. There is a useful sidebar when you enter a dice room which explains how to roll dice (basically prefix with a hash like #2D6) The system supports a wide variety of dice and systems with exploding dice and wild dice.

Handouts and Character Sheets

You may get pre-generated characters from your GM to speed play along since everyone has enough to grapple with without trying to allocate those last couple of advancement points

If your GM has maps or character sheets for you these will likely be sent by email. We won’t share your email with your GM lest we anger the mighty gods of GDPR, so you will need to give your GM your email on the day, then check your mail box. The cool kids may also try to share content direct through Webex. Speak to your GM on the day.

Calling GMs- Register your ScaledCon role playing game(s) now and get the necessary software ready

We are now registering role playing games for ScaledCon, the online virtual replacement for Conpulsion. We would love for you to GM at the convention.

There will be three RPG slots on Saturday 4th April

  • 10.00-13.00 for the early risers
  • 14.00-17.00 for the mere mortals
  • 20.00-23.00 for the night owls

GM Registration – NOW CLOSED

Friday April 3rd – GM REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REGISTER MORE GAMES.

Player registration is still open. You can also arrange pickup games on the day

Registering your game is easy. Go to the signup for ScaledCon at https://ti.to/scaled-events/scaledcon and select the GM and other hosts ticket type

Then you will be led through registration and receive a confirmation like . This step should look like the picture below (if not you may have selected the General Admission ticket type, just hop back and start again)

If you see this, congrats you have mastered our signup page like a mighty wizaard

After you register we will contact you

Once you register watch your email (and your spam just in case) since we will email you a Google Form to get details for each of your games. The form will need:

  • Your email – so we can link this up with your registration
  • A title for your game
  • What time slot you want the game to run in
  • The name you wish to GM under (this will be public)
  • The system of your game
  • The number of players for your game
  • A description of your game
  • A link to the Webex call you will use to host your game (see below)
  • A link to the Rolz dice roller you will use to run your game if needed (see below)

If you don’t get the email, please contact us at scaledcon@scaledevents.co.uk

Finding Your Players on the Day

There will be general social chat spaces via Discord which is how we plan to link GMs up with players so make sure you know how Discord works (its super simple). The discord links for the social meeting spaces will be published nearer the time.

Our plan is for individual games to run over Webex using the Rolz online dice roller via links which GMs will post into Discord.

When starting the game be sure to let your players know if you are allowing charity rerolls in contribution to the Grassmarket Community Project

Webex

So that everyone is prepared on the day with the same technical setup, the plan is for all games to use Webex. This is because it is free and you can easily post links to the virtual meeting room. To sign up for Webex visit https://www.webex.com/ and sign up for the free tier. You will also need to download the Webex client which should be available for Windows, Mac and Linux. there are also Android and iPhone clients if you don’t have a computer. There are a bunch of handy tutorials on the site. As a GM you will need to create a meeting and then save the link so that you can share it with your players (and with us so we can try to keep things organised)

Rolz

Rolz is a handy free website which lets you create virtual rooms for text chat and more importantly DICE! First create a login at https://rolz.org/join. Then create a “dice room” for your game and get the weblink so that you can email it to us and share it with your players. There is a useful sidebar when you enter a dice room which explains how to roll dice (basically prefix with a hash like #2D6) The system supports a wide variety of dice and systems with exploding dice and wild dice.

Handouts and Character Sheets

If you have maps or character sheets for your players these will likely need to be sent by email. We can’t sharepeople’s emails lest we anger the mighty gods of GDPR, so you will need to get your player’s emails on the day, then send them and handouts. The cool kids may also try to share content direct through Webex.

Since things will likely take a little longer to set up than face to face RPGs its likely a good idea to pregenerate character sheets for your players to speed things along.

Get Ready For Boardgames! Register for sites now

We plan to have a boardgames “room” available at ScaledCon to let people meet up with players and arrange to chat while they play. The games themselves will go on at Tabletopia.com and BoardGameArena.com

In order for things to go smoothly on April 4th it would be a good idea to go online and register for both of these sites beforehand. Both sites have both free and paid tiers. Then you can host a game and advertise it to other people at the convention so that they can join you for an online tabletop game. Or you can look in the convention chat and join someone else’s game.

As you can imagine these kind of sites are snowed under with people trying to play at the moment. Please be patient with them, they are doing their level best! You may have to try a few times to get online or get registered. To be safe we have chosen to suggest two sites so that if one is unavailable on the day there will still be boardgames available at ScaledCon.

If you know of other good solutions, please do let people know about them. We are suggesting these two currently so that hopefully people will have compatible platforms to play on the day. See you on Saturday April 4th.

The First Big Event – Emergency, Mistakes and the Value of Preperation

What could possibly go wrong at a confrence?

Conferences are one of these things where being prepared for anything really matters.  I learned this spectacularly at my first time as event lead for anything bigger than the weekly team meeting. The conference in question wasn’t even supposed to be my job, so how did I end up with it?

It is all down to an accident on a dry ski-slope.  My colleague, Bob*, who should have been organising it broke his wrist and was having problems working and so onto my to do list the conference arrived.  I will admit to being very, very excited.  I had a whole pile of conflicting emotions, sympathy for my colleague, nerves about what if it all went wrong, hope that I would make it all work, but over it all was that bubble of excitement, because here was my chance to put into practice all of the events theory I’d been reading up on.

This particular event was part of a larger group of conferences on regulations changes being held at various locations across the UK, and, as the result of an unfortunate accident, I’d been handed the Scottish segment to organise.  There would be hundreds of people from various stakeholder organisations and a team joining us from London to explain how the changes were going to affect operations in Scotland.

With the delay caused by the broken wrist I had to hit the ground running.  There was the venue to arrange, the stakeholder organisations to invite, the catering to arrange, the accommodation for the speakers on as well as name badge holders to order and other small details work out.

Name badges, the confrence staple

By the time the conference rolled around I was still excited.  I’d checked the printing, got the name badges ready to go, confirmed the catering, the conference facilities were checked, and the projector and microphones tested.  The London team arrived and we caught up for dinner the night before to nail down the last few details and go over the final arrangements and double check what connection cables etc they’d need for the AV system, all the little things that can go wrong if you’re not paying attention.  I had it all nailed.  Yeah.  About that.

The morning of the conference arrived and I go to reception to meet the London team only to find one of the three, Brian*, looking extremely ashen faced and ill.  It turns out he’d put his back out getting out of the taxi at the front door and was in a lot of pain.  Oh!

A stream of panic threatened to well up.  This was something I hadn’t planned for.  Remembering that panicking never helps, I called one of the other team members downstairs to take the rest of the London delegation to the conference facilities for set up while I escorted Brian to the first aid rooms to get him someplace to lie down while we figured out what to do next.

The events organiser’s best friend

Five minutes and some hard thinking later, I had a plan.  To be accurate I realised that I had a plan already.  I’d made contingency plans for what if somebody was off sick or missed a flight! I had this covered.  I might not have planned for this particular incident, but I had plans that added up to covering this with some minor tweaking.

The first thing was to check on the set-up then get cover for the sign in desk, I borrowed one of the admin team, Terry*, for that and handed him the instructions I’d created and printed out in case I was somehow unable to be there that day.  The instructions gave Terry all of the details of how the sign in desk was to be laid out and the timings for the breaks and the catering etc.

Next, I took another copy of the agenda to my colleague, Suzanne*, who was helping with set-up so that she knew what the break timings were for refreshments and that she had all of the notes for chairing the conference.

Once I had handed over these tasks, it was back to dealing with Brian.  Brian’s pain killers had kicked in, he had an ongoing back problem and this wasn’t an uncommon occurrence so we didn’t need an ambulance, he wanted to get back home and get to his chiropractor.

Right.  Home to London, I could manage that. He wasn’t due to fly out until late that evening which was awkward, but he had his laptop and case having checked out of his hotel that morning.  Safe in the knowledge that with a quick briefing and some comprehensive notes that my team had this, I got onto the corporate travel provider for Brian’s organisation and booked him on some flights, specifying assisted boarding. 

Sometimes one has to miss out on coffee

Then it was the taxi, and the roadworks.  All of the roadworks.  Every jolt made Brian wince, every pot hole, every uneven surface and time was ticking by.  In a case of pure luck rather than planning we made it to the airport in time for the flight.  A quick word with the people at the airport and Brian was in a wheelchair being rushed through security and I was in a taxi back to the office in time for the afternoon break session with the conference going well and Brian got back to London and on to his destination safely. 

Despite the success of getting Brian home and the conference going well, I had made mistakes.  I should have checked the travel time from the venue to the airport before booking the flight to avoid any rushing and minimise the chance of missing the flight.  If I had a slightly bigger team, I may have been able to leave the matter of getting Brian on another flight to another team-member, so always make sure that more than one person can do any given task in an emergency.

That day I missed tea, I missed coffee, I missed lunch.  I made mistakes.  I ended up stressed, tired and felt as if I was out of my depth, but I wasn’t.  It turned out that I had it and that even when things go wrong that a good plan will be robust enough to handle that. I even managed not to panic thanks to my training kicking in.  A few years of martial arts practice definitely develops the skill of staying calm under pressure.

I also learned to always keep a few snack bars with me when running an event.  One never knows when one is going to miss lunch.

*All names have been changed.