Let the games begin - Hunstanton role play festival

PUBLISHED: 18:30 14 January 2020

The Hunstanton town sign (photo: Chris Bishop)

The Hunstanton town sign (photo: Chris Bishop)


Around 500 people will be defeating dragons, defending the world, and bringing dice-throwing, card-wielding heroics to Hunstanton later this month.

Games at Contingency, Hunstanton   Picture: Carol TierneyGames at Contingency, Hunstanton Picture: Carol Tierney

Anyone up for a board game, or cards, or some horror, dark forces, steam-punk or cute furry creatures?

For the past four years games lovers have travelled to Hunstanton for five days of games.

People come from all over the country, and from continental Europe and the USA too, for the annual Contingency event.

"We have loads of board games and card games but it's mostly tabletop role-playing games which are collaborative storytelling," said Carol Tierney, who is one of the organisers. "The players each have a character in the story, which they direct, and the games master contributes the setting, the other characters and oversees the plot.

"We had over 200 different role-playing systems last year so there is a huge variety."

The most popular games include Call of Cthulhu, a horror themed game where players try to save the world from dark forces, and Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder, which are set in a fantasy world similar to Lord of The Rings with quests for the players to take on which could be anything from exploring a dungeon to freeing people captured by pirates. Other games have themes including space exploration, superheroes, steampunk, even cute furry creatures trying to save their favourite tree.

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"It really is as varied as the imagination of the games masters," said Carol. "A lot of the games masters write their own scenarios, including some really special multiple table games."

Contingency is organised by volunteers with proceeds divided between charities including the Alzheimer Society, Cancer Research UK, East Anglian Air Ambulance and Mind, based on a vote by attendees. There is no admission fee for the overall event - players simply buy tickets for each game, signing up for anything from Best Friends to Wings of War.

And why Hunstanton? Carol said a similar event elsewhere in the country had finished and people were really keen to be able to continue to meet up and enjoy games together. Contingency is based at Searles Leisure Resort, Hunstanton, from January 22-26, with most players staying on site.

Carol said: "I love the atmosphere, everyone is really friendly and there to have fun together. We have worked hard to make the event inclusive and welcoming and it is fabulous to see how well the attendees have embraced that."

For more information, and a full list of games and details of how to join in visit

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