What We Do
What We Play
CURTS primarily acts as a hub for tabletop roleplaying, wargaming, strategy and trading card game enthusiasts. For those unfamiliar, these terms can conjure up a whole range of associations and mental images. For the benefit of the interested but unsure, these terms are clarified below.
Roleplaying Games (RPGs)
RPGs are best described as a unique hybrid of board game and improvisational theatre. RPGs are generally played in groups of 3-6 players, though other group sizes are possible. Typically, one player takes on the role of Gamemaster (GM). The GM constructs and controls the world in which the game takes place and acts as a conduit between the other players and the game world. The other players take on the role of Player Characters (PCs) who exist within and can interact with the game world. When interacting with the game world, players are encouraged to act as their PCs woud, hence the term “roleplaying” game.
A typical RPG sessions consists of the GM presenting the players with a scenario and then allowing the players to proceed in whichever way they see fit. Unlike a video game, an RPG does not typically constrain a player’s actions to a set of limited commands; a player can have their PC attempt anything they can imagine. Players tell the GM what they would like to do and the GM arbitrates the action through the game rules and tells the player the result. This continues as each player interacts with the game world and the other players, resulting in a steadily unfolding freeform story created by the players’ decisions and actions.
The bulk of our membership play RPGs, and our bi-weekly one-shot sessions typically involve a wide range of RPGs, mostly Dungeons & Dragons due to its popularity.
During Fresher’s Week at the start of the academic year, Cambridge’s student societies hold introductory events known as “squashes” so freshers can explore their options and determine how they wish to spend their precious free time. CURTS is no exception.
Our yearly squash is open to all students of the University, fresher or otherwise, and is generally our most popular event of the year. GMs new and old host RPG one-shots using a variety of game systems, so it’s an excellent place to start with something simple or, if you’re already experienced, start branching out into something new.
As with all our events, entry is free, so if you’re interested in seeing what CURTS has to offer this is your best place to start.
One-Shots / Guild of Heroes, Rapscallions and Allied Trades
Each term we host four bi-weekly one-shot sessions on Saturday afternoons in the Boys Smith Room at St John’s College (and also online if that’s what you prefer). These sessions comprise of a number of different RPG systems and are connected by a loose “canon” that culminates in our 24hr game at the end of the year.
Players carry one character between sessions, and go up in Guild rank for each session played even as a GM. The one-shots are usually self-contained or loosely linked, and there are also mechanics in place to stop players falling behind, so there’s no pressure to turn up to every single session. For more details, join our discord, or just turn up to a session!
People are also welcome to organise other types of games entirely such as wargames or trading card games.
We welcome players of all skill levels, members and non-members, and are especially keen to see new GMs in action.
Pub nights are hosted at The Grain and Hop pub on Hills Road near Parker’s Piece on Thursday nights, and occur on alternate weeks to our one-shot sessions.
Pub nights are laid-back events where our members can chill out and get to know one another away from the gaming table. Conversation ranges from stories around the gaming table to political discussion, so it’s a great way to unwind as the university working week comes to a close.