Last week a small contingent of Machinators made it to Dragonmeet 2023 in London, armed with stacks of our regular machinations, our still shiny Capes and Cloaks and Cowls and a Parks, and a preview printing for the upcoming The Eternal Grind Café, which proved to be most popular!
Because of space constraints (Frank flying in from Berlin) we didn't have our usual array of banners, posters, and plaques. But we did have a big background banner, and one standing banner courtesy of Zach from SoulMuppet Publishing who'd been storing it for us since the UK Games Expo—thanks Zach! We bought a new frame for the background banner, which worked out pretty nicely actually.
Here are a few shots of our stand, at various stages of setup.
Our upcoming machination The Eternal Grind Café was penned by Olga Patijn, and will be her first published RPG (though likely not the last)! Olga and her partner traveled from the Netherlands for the con, and she was excited to sign the book for several customers, something I (Frank/Mottokrosh) always struggle with as I'm never quite sure what to write. 😅
The book is not quite finished yet, but I wanted to have something for the show, so I printed a run of preview copies, which are unedited, missing a few pieces of art, and will get some more graphic design treatment, but are perfectly playable. And anyone who purchased the preview copy will get the finished zine posted to them free of charge.
With just the two of us manning the stall ("manning" used intentionally here, being as we're both old men), we didn't have too much time individually to explore the con, which was a shame. We each had a quick run-through of both trader halls and the awesome stuff on display, whether books, accessories, art, or more. Sadly we missed all the events, podcasts, seminars, and games.
But it was great spotting some of my books out in the wild!
Another thing I neglected to do was take decent photos. I suppose we were busy pitching our books to customers. But here are a couple of shots of us at our stall at least.
One of the great things of RPG cons is that you get to chat with your fellow creators. And of course it's extra fun and humbling if self-said creators introduce themselves to us! Among all the great people we met, we also finally met Eric Nieudan of the Merry Mushmen in person, which was a treat.
Evening Party Town
Having finally packed everything away again after a hectic day (and a long one, if my aching body was to be believed), we got ready to hit the town. Except, as mentioned before, we are old and we were knackered, so we hung out in the hotel instead. This was awesome though, as we got time to wax lyrical with our French publisher friends Jean-Christophe and Jack, as well as meeting acclaimed artist and all around nice guy Andrew Walter.
A Final Puzzle
One of the things I miss from the UK, following my move to Germany, is relatively modern banking, and accepting cards like everywhere. So it was with some head-scratching that I noted that all the bars in the hotel were card-only, yet they printed out every till receipt, stapled the printed card reader receipts to them, and tucked them away. I struggle to think of a sillier cash-less bar, or a less efficient one.
Anyway, Dragonmeet 2023 was great fun, though not exactly a resounding financial success. One message is clear though: you folks want brand new books! 😄