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"Anyone familiar with Raven's Nest ( Australia)?" Topic

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1,213 hits since 22 Jun 2010
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komradebob22 Jun 2010 9:07 p.m. PST

Hi all:

I'm looking for info about a series of convention miniatures games played at Australian conventions some years back. These were apparently multiplayer skirmish/rpg games set in a fantasy city called Raven's Nest.

My understanding is that sadly the gentleman originally putting thes games together and running them as since passed away, and the models that comprised the city and minis have gone missing.

I'd like to hear from anyone who may have helped work on these games, designed scenarios for them, or played in them.

I'm mostly interested in the following things:

1)The evolution of the rules and models over the time these games were being run.

2) The general play culture involved. From discussions of gameplay on another site, it seems like there are some definite differences in Australian multi-form style gaming from the sorts of minis-skirmish gaming I'm familiar with over here in The States.

3) I'd like to hear from anyone who may hae acted as assistant refs for these games, telling me a bit about what sorts of things they did, and how they interacted with one another to keep the game going.

4) Heck, really anything else you can think of, especially how these games differed from simple skirmish bash'em-ups.

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2010 2:12 a.m. PST

was that Greg Rickards who died..? I was at uni with him back in 1973..and later was an umpire, if you could decribe it as that , in one of his Raven nest Games at a Tin soldier convention in 1984..I don't remember any rules at all..sheer creative chaos..

komradebob23 Jun 2010 6:02 a.m. PST

Yes, Greg Rickards is the name I have.

Here's a pdf related to the game I found onlin:

Some other folks are listed in the credits as well, and this would have apparently been put together from much later versions of the game.

I'd love to hear about this early version you acted as an umpire in, however.

Really, I'm _more_ interested in early versions that have an emphasis on "sheer creative chaos" than later ones with more mechanics outlined ahead of time.

I'm trying to dissect what went into the designer and umpire ends of things, and how that changed over time. That pdf is for players in the games.

I'm interested in doing something similar to Raven's Nest, but I haven't run into anything that was really very similar over here in the States.

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2010 5:38 p.m. PST

It had a number of incarnations grew out of straight role play with a group mostly Macquarie uni role play people .I was drafted in for one game that was at a convention as I knew was creative role play mayhem with about 30 players a session that is all I can remeber.. I can't open that PDF I am sorry to hear that Greg has died, quite a character even as a 19 yeard old first year student..I shared both a history and education tutorial with him and can still see his rather dishevlled figure wandering the walkways deep in though, his trademark leather coat quite new at the time..last time I saw him it was very ratty and sad to say so was he..

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2010 5:45 p.m. PST

I found rhe document but can't open it plays havoc with my version of firefox crashed the whole browser..
Mark Schrader was one of the other involved

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2010 5:49 p.m. PST

if you joined here
and then asked on the appropraite forum you may get an answer..

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2010 5:52 p.m. PST

jst treid a serch on the warmerau site but nothing came up. what are your sites?

chromedog23 Jun 2010 6:28 p.m. PST

I played it a couple of times at various MacquarieCons in the late 80s (when Phillipa the dragon lady ruled the roost)

The "get Mike Wells" invitationals were very chaotic and quite fun (he was one of the GMs and had a reputation as a 'compelete and utter bastard' (in the gaming sense).

Greg died back in 2004 from memory.
Reading that pdf brought back some memories. I'm not sure how many of those people are still around and/or gaming. Though I do remember Richard Prior, and others.

I'm also pretty certain that WAU was a post-Greg's death creation. While the posts go back to 2004, they seem to start in late 2004 and from memory, Greg died in the first half of the year.

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2010 11:35 p.m. PST

do you know what killed him? He would have only been around 50 in 2004

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2010 5:37 a.m. PST

I found this

komradebob26 Jun 2010 10:54 a.m. PST

From doing a bit further reading and question asking around, I've gotten that in some ways the ame is a bit like a big multiplayer, non-physically fighting LARP, at least in terms of handing out pregen characters with some connections across factions and individual goals.

I also get an impression that there are hidden events and "stuff" that the referees have secret info on and reveal during play either as events or as players interact and run across it.

From the referee end, how did that stuff work? Did you all meet up well ahead of time? Was there brain-storming sessions ahead of time during which you helped flesh out the scenario?

I also am under the impression that the actual model grew over time ( following the history of the setting from the PDF). Was anyone involved with that part of things?

One last thing: I think I saw mention of models of interiors of important locations for scenarios (including the sewers/underground). Did those change from game to game?
What I mean was, were those modular in some way, and might be switched out from year to year as different ocations became important to the following scenario?

Also, where were they physically placed around the main model? At the edges or on seperate tables or…?

( Sorry if those questions seem a bit simple-minded. Again I find the concept of this pretty inspirational, and I'm trying to replicate what worked well avoid what didn't)

chromedog29 Jun 2010 2:32 a.m. PST

Yes, that's a pretty good description.
"big multiplayer, non-physically fighting LARP,". It was a chaotic teams event fantasy roleplay mass combat thing.

I knew some of the refs, and they did have secret events and so on should pcs or groups try various things – but I was never in a group that got that far -we usually just tried not to get killed.

One game (I didn't play that year due to lack of time) was split over two adjoining rooms with separate (but connecting) map layouts (AFAIK one was the sewer network) – so this might answer your question on that.

I loaned Greg one of my vinyl gridded battlemats for that one, though (he was quite thankful for it).

komradebob29 Jun 2010 7:42 a.m. PST

chromedog, mind if I ask you about your character a little?

What kind of info and goals were you given?

My current understanding is that the game would hae been diided into say five teams of players, but individuals might have goals that were more specific. Or even several goals, and they could choose which to pursue.

I'm also guessing that some of those goals might put them at odds with their own team, too, or just make team co-operation difficult if pursued.

Also, did the character info give you any roleplaying tips, even of the "He's a gruff mercenary that doesn't respect these soft city living types" type ideas?

Giathyn Inactive Member25 Feb 2011 6:15 a.m. PST

Sorry to respond to this thread so long after the last posting, but I've only just come across it and signed up to TMP.

Greg Rickards was indeed the originator of Raven's Nest, and he did indeed die in 2004 March 9th, to be precise. He was something of an eccentric genius, as anyone who participated in one of his role-play games or free forms could attest.

Most people who knew him through gaming would probably not know that he had been a comedy writer in the early 80s, and that he spent the last 16 years of his life working on a four volume fantasy-mystery series, entitled The Last Safe Seasons. I was his comedy writing partner, and his co-author in the fantasy project. Sadly, Greg died before the series could be completed, and it took most of the next six years to get it ready for publication. The first volume Trail of Deceit is coming out in April. If anyone is interested in buying it, I suggest you go to the official website or to any bookshop in Australia. It's also available as an e-book. (The website is not up yet, but should be by mid March.) The book is definitely worth a read, even if you don't like fantasy. If nothing else, it'll give you an insight into Greg's genius, and into what his role-play games were like. They were simply brilliant.

The website also has extensive information on Greg's life and death. You could write a book on the circumstances leading up to and following his passing. Exactly what happened is almost as big a mystery as The Last Safe Seasons.

Anyway, best wishes to anyone out there who knew Greg. I can be contacted at, if you want to pass on some of your memories of him.

Tiberius06 Mar 2011 12:20 a.m. PST

the link does not work?

Giathyn Inactive Member09 Mar 2011 6:07 a.m. PST

Tiberius, the webpage isn't up yet (as I said in my previous post). It should be up within the next two weeks.

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