Post Dragonmeet Reflections

So Dragonmeet 2016 was my first visit since I last went in 2006 when it was held in the rather dour and downbeat Kensignton Hall. This time out it was nestled in the heart of Hammersmith at the Novotel. I didn’t initially appreciate shinyness of the venue, since we came up with the stock in the goods elevator and were initially focused with getting set up in the trades hall, where I spent 85% of my time.

In kung-fu fighting mode on the stall, photo by Julian Hayley.
In kung-fu fighting mode on the stall, photo by Julian Hayley.

To any of you who swung past the D101 Games stall, tucked away in the corner next to Leisure Games, and said hi thank you. Apologies if you’ve seen me before at Expo and I didn’t recognise you. There were a few lulls but it was full on from its start at 10am until finally we got the signal from the organisers that we could shut up shop at 6pm. There were audible sighs of relief from the traders around me as people realised (we had originally been told 8 was the earliest).

The Mighty Stall
The Mighty Stall

Overall we turned a profit, as we do at Expo as well,  and I’m finally getting real grip on what sells and what doesn’t. I’ve now got a couple of years of hard data from Expo and with the figures I got from Dragonmeet a very definite picture is emerging that I’ll be taking action on next time I’m out with the stall (Airecon in Harrogate 10-12th March).

Front of the Dragonmeet catalogue
Front of the Dragonmeet catalogue
Inside of the games catalogue, crazy, crazy prices never to be repeated :)
Inside of the games catalogue, crazy, crazy prices never to be repeated 🙂

The con was a ton of fun. Perhaps too much fun for one day. Not only were sales good for us, but I got to talk to lots of customers about the games – especially Monkey which I was letting people know that the Kickstarter starts on Sunday 8th January 2017.  I say quietly, well it was until official Monkey #1 fan Lloyd found out and was busy telling people, including at the “What’s happening in Indie and Story games seminar”.  I wondered why sales of Monkey spiked late afternoon 🙂

Monkey's #1 fan, Lloyd
Monkey’s #1 fan, Lloyd

That vague thing called “Networking” with fellow industry types also worked nicely for me. I’m usually not a big fan of putting myself forward, I prefer to let the work speak for itself, but I had some good chats  with various folk that were inspiring and useful.  Not least with Mike from Leisure Games, Ben and Mark from Airecon (which is having its next outing in March in the Harrogate Conference centre and D101 will be involved heavily on the RPG front so watch this space) and I had the pleasure to meet industry veteran artist Tony Hough and leaf through a folder crammed with gorgeous fantasy art.

Surprisingly there was enough time to be sociable either side of the con. Despite arriving late on Friday me and my driver Steve got to go for a cracking Vietnamese at SaigonSaigon not far from Premier Inn where we were staying before getting stuck in a lift in the apartment block were the rest of our friends from the North had their accommodation. Stoically we waited it out for an hour, heads down reading on e-readers, until we were got out. Then a nice bit of booze was provided by our hosts to calm nerves (cheers Lynn and John).

Helps we are stuck in a lift!
Helps we are stuck in a lift!

After the con I bumped into the London Gloranthaphiles (Colin, Tressey, Dan, Gwen and Nick) and went out for another oriental themed tea, where I discovered the clean tasting delights of Lucky Buddha beer ( with its lovely happy buddha shaped green bottles – which I was too polite to take one) . Then back to the hotel bar to meet up with my Northern mates for more beer and spirits, before calling it a night.  Then a clear run back to the North the next day.

Post con tipple: Lucky Buddha Beer
Post con tipple: Lucky Buddha Beer

Would I be back again?  Yes on balance, it was a fun, profitable and inspiring enough for me for me to come back.

 

Emerging from the Black Hole

Been a good day, lots of things came together nicely.

Crypts and Things is in the final stages of print proof so should be out next week 🙂 Its been a long black hole the final stages of putting that one together, but I’m very happy with the book. It’s a big 248 page book with lovely art and a fantastic cover. A great team of people pulled together to get it done. But its been crunch time on it for what seems like for ever, but we are there now.

A spot of proof checking over lunch
A spot of proof checking over lunch

Next thing for C&T is scenario support. Its part of the Kickstarter but I’ve got a plan to land it all in the coming 3-4 months. David M. Wright who did the art for the main rule book and the same team who helped me proof C&T remastered are on fire to kick the adventures into shape. I’ve also plans for dedicated support for conventions/store demos via a program I’m calling the “Graveyard Shift”. Oh and watch out for a special Halloween release 🙂

Project Darklight, my rules light Cyberpunk/Ufology game is now out in both pdf and print, and I plan to get some support drummed up for it. Its had a very low-key release but plans are afoot to raise awareness for it 🙂

I’ve now got a webstore that you can buy stuff directly from me. It was greatly satisfying posting out the first batch of orders today. If you are in the UK post is free 🙂

We’re booked in for Dragonmeet in London in early December, so it will be nice to see folk at this one day trade show.

River of Heaven is getting an outing at the upcoming Furnace convention. I get to run a scenario called Starshine, which if all goes right will be the beginning of a short Living Campaign for River of Heaven.  Stay tuned for details on how that one pans out 🙂 Also its crunch time for River of Heaven Companion, along time promised.

Hearts in Glorantha 6 is on its way in. All the content is in, we have a cover. So its time for editorial, proofing and art. Hope to land both this and the River of Heaven Companion by Dragonmeet.

Oh and the ram has touched the wall on Monkey the 2nd Incarnation – first chapter of the new version has just been completed.   I’ll get it proofed and then post it as an early preview 🙂

So all is good. Glad that Crypts and Things Remastered is finally seeing the light of day, because it’s a great thing in itself and it frees me up to get on with a lot of fun releases 🙂

A moment of reflection

So after calming the fuck down after a triumphant 7 Hills convention this weekend just gone by having a good quiet one with the family, I find myself in the happy position that not one but two of my games are in final proof.

As a publisher I’m anticipating the joy that will come when both are released into the wild soon.  As a writer I’m feeling satisfied that I’ve finally managed to let go of the drafts and they have passed muster with my proof readers.

On reflection its all about sticking my head down and doing the hard work of getting the books out at the moment. Even though these days I make sure my hard work is as relaxed and fun as possible (I learnt that one producing OpenQuest 2 which literally turned me grey), employing Taoist strategies of Awesome & Win to pull rabbits out of hats. Its a nice position to be in.

Right sleep them back to work 🙂

7 Hills 2016

So 7 Hills, the con that snuck up on me.

Everytime I looked down at the clock, I was suddenly much closer to 7 Hills held arround Easter time annually. The fact that Easter was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay early this year and I was focused on other stuff (getting Crypts and Things Remastered the damn deal done and the recent OpenQuest Bundle of Holding) meant that my sense of time was completely off on this one.

So boosch I’m in the car with the esteemed John Ruddy driving me through Manchester commuters rushing to go home for the weekend, the misty tops of the Pennines and then all too soon into the land of 7Hills, Furnace and Sheffield Wednesday Football club, Hillsborough Sheffield.

We arrived early about 5 ish, gassed much to the huddle of other early people and then I ordered the traditional Veggie Burger n chips.  Then talked in to the evening and drank too much as usual (but don’t worry God lets me get away with one night of excess 😉 ). Highlight of the night had to be Declan bequeathing Neil the “Box of stuff” that had been in the attic……(see the pictures below to see why).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After shaking off any hint of hangover over a fresh and frank breakfast which included much chat about the state of RQ/Chaosium/CoC 7th Ed/OpenQuest I was off to get my stuff together for the first slot of the day.

If the wind changes...
Before Breakfast
After Breakfast
After Breakfast

Which for me was me running the New West, for two players (Malcolm and Tom). This is a game of Cowboys and Indians (and occasionally Dinosaurs) at the centre of the Hollow Earth, using Dr Mitch’s straightforward and streamlined Fate variant Fortune (see Hunters of Alexandria for a published version of this rule set).  We had a great time, the small number of players allowed me to focus on the loud and rawkous action that this game tends to produce.  The stars of this Saturday Morning Cowboy, survived a ride by shooting, an assassination attempt during a ballroom brawl (that’s right they kicked off during tea time in the 1st class restaurant) on the steam boat that they were travelling up river on, narrowly avoided an Undefeated regiment of Confederates armed with maxim guns and cannon by use of Egyptology, before facing off with the ancient guardian of an ancient technology that controls the weather (and more). All good fun 🙂

Lunch was the predictable Cheese and Onion pasties, but I was 80% close to getting a salad (honest), from Morrisons just across the road from the venue. A quick set of stretches to fight off fatigue and then back to the main gaming room….

…to find my afternoon game of OpenQuest: The Last Retreat had received no sign ups. Nada, zero, natch. Which to be honest doesn’t surprise me.  I’ve over twenty years experience  of GMing at conventions and I’ve seen systems I’ve run come and go as player interest waxes and wanes. I suspected that OQ (which to be honest plays on the simple joy of D100 fantasy) had outstayed its welcome and this confirmed it. I’ve run it numerous times and its now got many more sexy looking competitors, so this time even my energy for it (rejuvenated by the recent success of the OQ Bundle of Holding) wasn’t going to magically manifest players.

So I took the afternoon off and perused the many shiny books being sold by Jim of Patriot Games, and had a good natter about the state of the UK RPG Industry.

Myself and the esteemed Guy Milner snuck off to our usual Top Sekret Saturday Evening Tea time retreat to find that it had been significantly leveled up since we had last been there. Nom 🙂

The it was time for my last GMing session of the weekend: Sorcerer Under the Mountain, my OSR tribute to the Fighting Fantasy Dungeons of my youth like the Warlock Of Firetop Mountain.  System wise I choose The Black Hack, a very simple cut down version of D&D that effectively uses the best rulings from a number of its incarnations and cuts out the chaff to give a complete version of the game in about 20 pages. I playtested it at home with a mix of curious & grognard players, and had pretty much the same here. Both times it went down a storm 🙂 At some point soon The Sorcerer Under the Mountain will be on D101’s release schedule, so look out for it if you are interested 😉

The Black Hack rules!
The Black Hack rules!

I wasn’t going to risk God’s wrath so virtually no booze and an early night on Saturday (11pm!) so I can be up bright and early for Sunday’s shenanigans.

Breakfast was pleasant (and filling) but far less controversal than Saturdays.  A quick freshen up and check out of the room (which was as usual very pleasant and homely for my stay) and then it was back to the venue for slot 1.

Which was Neil Smith’s epic rendition of Tenra Bansho ZeroTHE HyperBlast Asian game.  TBZ for those of you who’ve not come across its gentle charms is a Japanese Roleplaying game lovingly translated into two thick graphic novel sized books – one setting introduction and the other the rules. The setting is  mad as a box of frogs – in that its full on Manga Sci-fi meets Samurai Action Flick. The rules straight forward ( a very clever dice pool system ) with a strong framework of play that allows fast character driven action and plot development.  Neil was using the more sedate Ruined Empire setting, that is less maximum metal turned up to 11 than the default Tenra setting but perhaps better suited to the political game of intrigue he had us six players embroiled in from Scene Zero (the opening scene, were each player plays out a quick intro to put their character into context of the adventure to come).  I’m still not convinced it is something that I run as a con game, despite my rather giddy proclamations in the post-game-glow. I’d probably have to run a successful run at home first. But I enjoyed it immensely. Unlike some other games where it’s all about the collective story of the party, I could tell you six stories about each of the characters as a result of that game.

Quick spot of lunch, then the traditional Raffle! What’s in the D101 Magic Bag?  You’ll have to ask Thomas Lock who was first out of the hat and picked it as his prize 😉

The D101 Magic Bag!
The D101 Magic Bag!

Last game of the con was Guy Milner’s 13th Age  tribute to Village of Homlett. I say tribute because Guy played hard and fast following the scenario as written. But hey that’s ok because 13th Age is written to do that, with its narrative cunning and its clever and fast mechanical bits that work to uplift the bits that tend to drag in normal D&D. A very good game, which had all the players engaged and laughing in what can be a difficult slot due to player fatigue.

Maximum thanks to the organisers Paul Mitchener and Graham Spearing. Thanks to every  one who I played or talked to.

Already looking forward to next year’s installment which has the theme of Urban Legends.

The State of D101 Games Address 2016

Gather round Ladies, Gentlemen and Wild Things of all ages!

Here is my annual State of D101 Games at the beginning of 2016, address.

2015 in review

As far as putting out books 2015 was a good year for Releases 🙂

  1. Reunion (River of Heaven, Jan)
  2. Last Witness ( River of Heaven, March)
  3. OpenQuest Adventures (OpenQuest, May )
  4. Hearts in Glorantha Collected (Glorantha, HeroQuest, RQ, May)
  5. Gloranthan Adventures #2 Red Sun Rising (Glorantha,HeroQuest, May)
  6. Hunters of Alexandria (Fate/Fortune, November)
  7. The Company (re-release) (Powered by OpenQuest, December)

Convention wise as well as my local cons, Furnace (which celebrated it’s 10th Year) and Seven Hills, D101 did  UK Games Expo, which is the nearest thing we have to US Gen Con, which was a huge success for us. We came out with a profit and had a great time meeting new people, catching up with old friends and generally bringing D101 to a whole new audience. To top it all River of Heaven came third in the new RPG category of the UK Games Expo Awards, behind the mighty Mutant Year Zero & Mindjammer RPGs from Modiphius Entertainment.

D101 @UK Games Expo 2015, L-R Guy Milner , Me n Kevin Kthulhu, and Graham Spearing (Wordplay Games)
D101 @UK Games Expo 2015, L-R Guy Milner , Me n Kevin Kthulhu, and Graham Spearing (Wordplay Games). The humongous Travelling Man stall was to our left in the photo, hence the TM banner. Photo by Julian Hayley.

Kickstarters, we completed the River of Heaven Kickstarter by March with the release of the pdf of The Last Witness, and in March I launched our most successful crowdfunding project ever for Crypt and Things Remastered.

Things for 2016

Crypts and Things Remastered is going to be our big first release of 2016. Its written and illustrated, and the additional content (never mind the revision of the existing 1st edition) doubles the size of it. Currently I’m at the stage of getting the main rulebook extensively edited and proofed. Once that’s done I’ve got a stream of  adventure modules ( 2 reissues, 1 conversion and 3 New) to release over the coming year. Then we move on to doing supplements for the game and “Oh what sights I have to show you” 🙂

We’ve Companion books and further adventures planed for River of Heaven and OpenQuest (see my earlier post for details) .

Monkey the 2nd Incarnation is coming along nicely. Its in playtest and writing phase, and I hope to make some form of announcement on Monday February the 8th which the start of the Chinese Year of the Monkey about its immediate future 🙂

Monkey by Peter Frain
Monkey by Peter Frain

Despite its low key release Hunters of Alexandria really did well. This is Paul Mitchener’s Monster Hunting in Ancient Alexandria game, using his Fortune rules which is a version of Fate siting somewhere between Fate Accelerated and Fate Core with influences from Jadepunk, which are simple and written straight to the point (the core rules are only 10 pages of A4). So I’m currently planing more Fortune  books for 2016.

The return of Wordplay! First off Project Darklight is currently being tweaked to fit in with Graham Spearing’s new Wordplay 2.0 rules (which will be out shortly via his Wordplay Games ). Then I’ve also got a Wordplay version of The Empire of Gatan (the setting that’s included with OpenQuest Deluxe) and Infinite Loop (an expanded version of Infinite War, which was last seen in Worlds of Wordplay) in the works. Both these titles will have a striped down version of the rules, which I’m dubbing Wordplay lite, and be self contained and pick up and play like Hunters of Alexandria.

Glorantha is Go! Hearts in Glorantha #2 (aka vol2 #1) is being assembled as we speak, Gloranthan Adventures #3 Defenders of the Dark is coming along nicely and I’m even planing a Mega Adventure for Gloranthan Adventures #4.

OpenQuest – Forward into 2016 and beyond

Just to let you know that after the last six months of wobbling about OQ I’ve made a firm and positive decision about its future.

Recent interactions with the fans on G+ have shown me that there is still a great love and more importantly from a publisher point of view, demand for new OQ books. Thanks if you had any input on calling me on this one. All I can say I was in a very low place and you prevented me from throwing away 8 years of work, both personal and collaborative.

Taking step back and looking at it that 8 years of work is very strong and something to be proud of. OQ in one form or another has been a consistent  steady seller, with a few peaks . So I think we have a market for it 🙂

So my plan in 2016 is to quietly get on with OQ.  Monkey and Crypts & Things are my priority, but there’s room for the odd bit of OQ in the pipeline 🙂

First off there will be no OQ3. I may be adding a bit of art to OpenQuest Basics – so its more appealing for direct sales at say UK Games Expo – but that’s as far as tinkering with the main books goes.

I ran two polls over on the G+ D101 community and over at BRP Central and the two clear winners for what people wanted to see were an OQ Companion and new adventure/setting books.

OpenQuest Companion – I’ve got a striped down “One Magic System” I wrote for my abortive OQ3 (I had some spare time at the day job before Christmas) and a few other house rules that came out of those writing sessions, which I’ll polish up as start for this book. This will be a slow burner of a book, which I’ll invite contributions to. Its focus will be alternative rules and extra bits of gamey stuff.

I’ll be writing and commissioning new OpenQuest Adventures, both the adventure/setting books and shorter standalone adventures (anything from 10 to 40 pages long).
On a personal note I’ve got lots of little fragments in notebooks of OQ adventures and setting ideas so I’ll be working on pulling those together as a break from Monkey/C&T (which are my MUST do things this coming year).

I’ve also got tentative plans to do a simple OpenQuest Living Campaign for Conventions/Online play – but that’s still formative in my head at the moment.

On the OpenQuest related games front, we’re currently working on a River of Heaven Companion and The Company is coming back into print 🙂

So in summary:

  • No new edition in 2016
  • New Adventures/Settings
  • OpenQuest Companion

So I’m reinvigorated on this one. D100 is in my blood 🙂

If you have any ideas for books, get in touch (newt@d101games.com)

OQ is GO!

Tis was the post before Christmas

I know that the readership of this blog is rather small, but this is primarily to get me up to date with what we’ve got on. You see I’ve got two weeks off the day job and there’s been a blur of activity in the off hours with various projects being worked on.

Crypts & Things – This is the biggy that has to be delivered next.  Good news is that all the art is in and we are doing a big edit of the text. When I say we…yes this means someone else as well as me 🙂 Next up is sorting out the adventures, working out what work needs to be done and some sort of realistic release schedule for the first half of 2016 after the main book comes out.  C&T is going to be one of our BIG things for 2016 so I’m preparing myself for that.

Project Darklight – After the wheels came off rather spectacularly at public playtest stage (Feb 2015), I revisited the project back in October and laid out an “Ashcan” version, a rough pre-production version in time for Furnace. I figured that I could at least present it in its Wordplay version at least once, before porting it over to Fate. Thing was that once it was laid out I could see it more clearly, warts n all, I realised that actually I’m rather fond of it and with a bit more tweaking it will be ready for a quick playtest and then release! So if you’ve been watching this one look out for the second call for playtesting in very early 2016 🙂

Monkey 2nd Incarnation. Slow and steady is the name of the game at the moment. I’ve a solid base with the 1st edition, and I’m making lots of tweaks and changes that need to be properly playtested with my home group. Also I plan to do a more comprehensive guide to the non-player characters that feature in the book, which will take time.  Fingers crossed though for a summer release 🙂

River of Heaven. Working on the River of Heaven Companion at the moment with John Ossoway and Paul Mitchener. Then a small break and reassess on what comes next. RoH was huge for us in 2015 and we’ve definitely got options for where we go with it next.

OpenQuest. Bit of a strange one. Recent developments with a revitalised and reinvigorated  Chaosium, who are focusing on RQ, means I’m tempted to say “my job here is done” as far as carrying the torch for Old School D100 revival and put the whole line into what I call POD Stasis, i.e. the books will still be available on Drivethrurpg.com/Lulu.com but nothing new will be worked on. But I had a bit of slack time during my day job’s lunch hour recently, and was able to quickly work on what I’m calling “OpenQuest 3 Hacked”. I took the whole OQ2 SRD document and blitzed through it making the changes that I wanted to the system, and bringing it much more closer to the vision I originally had for the game when it was called SimpleQuest. Briefly – Random Character generation as standard, cleaned up and simplified Combat, Variable Armour points (eg. Chainmail is 1d8 Armour Points), One Magic system with no variable magic ( Healing for example now heals 1d6 Hit Points per casting) and no magic points, using the Goons system for stating out quick npcs and monsters.  Whether I go anywhere with this is still at the planning stage and other things have priority.  Saying this OQ has been good for me over the last eight years and it would be sad to see it gradually disappear.  Fans of OQ2 don’t despair since I plan to keep it available via POD even if I go forward with OQ3.

Empires of Y – Dr Mitch’s epic tribute to 2nd Ed AD&D Multi-planar gaming, is currently in editorial with a batch of rewrites to do.

That’s it for now, I’ll be making a more formal State of D101 in 2016 post here come the New Year 🙂

Three for Furnace X

It’s that time of year again where I dutifully get my arse in gear and submit my games details to Elaine the reigning Games Tzarina at Furance Games convention which is being held for the 10th year in Sheffield.

Insurgency

System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

GM: Newt

Players: 6

New Cairo 2271 AD

As part of the United Earth Federation’s (UEF) Interstellar Colonial Marines (ICM) your mission is to act as military advisers to the local Government forces on New Cario, who face an uprising from a religious minority – the Seti – on the edges of their society.

Your UEF superiors suspect that the New Cairo Government has goaded the Seti into insurgency as an excuse to commit genocide. You are instructed to tread lightly, protect the innocent and collect any evidence of war crimes committed by either side.

You are to be dropped right into the heart of Seti territory where the leaders of the independence movement are besieged by Government forces in one of their holy of holies, the Temple of Set.

Good Luck Marine!

Fancy a bit of fast paced 7th Edition Cthulhu in the morning? Then come put yer boots on the ground and sign up. Doesn’t matter if you are a fresh recruit or a hoary old Veteran knowledge of the setting or system not required.

Tags: Call of the Cthulhu 7th Ed, Military Sci-fi, Aliens, Cthulhu Rising, MGF!

Slot 2 Saviour Gods

System: Hunters of Alexandria (FATE)
Description:

The year is 753AUC (1 AD) in the great bustling metropolis of Alexandria. This jewel of Africa was established by order of Alexander the Great and his great work was continued by his Macedonian heirs the Ptolemies after his untimely death. The first of this great dynasty was General Ptolemy the First, or Sotar I as his Egyptian subjects called him when he passed sacred tests of Maht and became their Pharaoh. One of his first acts was to complete the Great Light house of Alexandria which towers above the mouth of the Great Harbour. The great fire in atop the tower reflected by great mirrors across the sea guiding all manner of ships to trade with Alexandria. Even the arrival of the brutish Romans thirty years ago, whose Caesar ordered the Great Library to burn, could not dim the light and diminish the protection of the Saviour Gods who look out across the sea.

Such things are important to you since you are members of the Venatores, a small and secretive group dedicated to hunting and destroying the beast’s that lurk in the shadows. While the great fire of the lighthouse shines across the sea you know that no great evil can come into the city from that direction. Unlike the ghoul infested Necropolis outside the walls to the west of the city or the haunted Palace of Cleopatra. Now you stand in the burning midday sun at the Great Docks awaiting the arrival of one who needs your help.

Hunters of Alexandria is a self-contained game of Swords and Sandals monster hunting action in Ancient Alexandra during the first thirty years of the Roman occupation using a rules light system known as Fortune, a concise version of Fate, developed by our very own Dr Mitch. Both setting and system are straightforward and require no prior knowledge.

Tags: Ancient Rome, Swords and Sandals, Monster Hunting, Mitchenator Magic, MGF!

Slot 3

If you see Buddha on the Road

System: Monkey

Description:

Five pilgrims on their way to India to pick up the lost scrolls of Buddhist cannon to bring enlightenment to a China beset by social ills, find their way blocked by a mountain range. Their only way through is a mountain pass which goes through a huge statue of Buddha himself! A winding stair leads up from a village nestled by Buddha’s feet, through temples and chambers carved out the rock in Buddha’s Lungs and heart, all the way up to the deity’s brow where the road continues onwards to India.

The pilgrims stop and gaze up at the giant statue:

Tripitaka, the Priest who leads the expedition wants to pay his respects at the many temples that line the winding stairs to Buddha’s brow.

Monkey is restless and after a long boring journey looks for opportunities for mischief.

Sandy is worried that all is not what it seems and despite the smiling local people and happy monks.

Pigsy hungry and thirsty after the trek through the desert just wants to gorge himself on food, wine and introduce himself to the pretty local women who live in the village built at Buddha’s feet.

Horse, being a shapeshifted Dragon Prince transformed into a stead for Tripitaka by the Goddess Kuan Yin momentarily wishes that he could transform back into a dragon and fly over the mountain, but is quietly resigned to plodding up all those stairs.

Come play a quick story inspired by the Chinese classic “Journey to the West”, using the four main characters from the book. Knowledge of the system, a straightforward fun set of rules using a deck of playing cards, or setting not required. Help celebrate 10 years of games of Monkey at Furnace, which saw the first convention game in its inaugural year!

Tags: Monkey Magic!, Comedy, Kung-Fu Action, MGF!

 

Going back to my roots

Last night was a trip down memory lane.

I uploaded Hearts in Glorantha Volume 1 Collected,to Lulu.com, so I can get a softcover copy for proof. These days I favour DriveThruRpg.com as a POD printer, for various reasons, but you can’t beat Lulu for ease of use. A quick set of wizards to fill in the basic detail and a one shot cover creator. Upload pdfs and order a proof (which arrives in 3-5 days for a softcover). Bingo! Unlike DriveThruRpg (who use Lightning Source as a printer) which is getting increasingly finicky about the set up of your PDF,  Lulu is lovingly forgiving. If you bork any aspect of your layout it still pumps out a proof and sends it to you, unlike DriveThruRpg who make you wait 3-7 days (and sometimes more if they are all at GenCon/Thanksgiving etc) before telling you your file has been rejected (which to be fair is a good idea, but a tad annoying when certain things like colour bleed aren’t checked as part of the process).  In short I’d recommend it to any beginning publisher who just wants to crank out a small print run for a con and make the book available to the world via Lulu’s adequate storefront. Which is where I was 7 or so years ago when I did D101’s first proper release “Hearts in Glorantha issue 1”. Hence the massive nostalgia wave that hit me last night.

Perhaps I should just hit up a stock art site, get lots of free Black and White images and write a crazy A4 sized book of RPGings and release it via Lulu.com just for old times sake 😉

State of D101 in 2015

Happy Year of the Goat!

I can’t believe its February already, things are moving on so fast. I’m using the fact that it’s the Chinese New Year to do the State of D101 Address today, for reasons that will become clear below.

But first a quick report on the year just gone.

2014 Overall

Last year overall was a year of sticking my head down and getting the last bits of OpenQuest 2 done and pushing River of Heaven out. It also was year of getting D101’s house in order, of pulling up bootstraps and of streamlining my working procedures so that I’m not up to silly o’clock doing layout and other D101 stuff.  I also went back in time and looked at what made D101 exciting and fun in the first couple of years and how the heck I had managed to pump out so much. I realised a lot of it was my attitude and so I had a ‘reset’ of my head to put me back in that zone of excitement again…..wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

River of Heaven Kickstarter

This took up the majority of my time this year. It was more than worth it on both for personal satisfaction and for restoring faith and confidence in D101 as a fun business adventure. It set a nice achievable template for future Kickstarters, which I’ll be using for all D101’s big releases. Releasing the main rulebook just before Christmas was a satisfying way to end the year.

OpenQuest 2 Indiegogo campaign

Being overly generous it has gone on longer than anticipated, but once the additional stretch goals are done in early 2015 it represents a body of work that I’m very happy with. Two new books were released, Crucible of the Dragons, OpenQuest Basics and two old books were expanded and tidied up (Savage North and Life and Death). I’m currently working on the last two stretch goals OpenQuest Adventures and the Online SRD.

Coming in 2015

This year I seriously up the ante. 2015 should go down as our most Mega Gaming Fun year EVER!

Crypts and Things Remastered

MARCH 1st 2015 mark this date in your calendar. This is when I launch the Kickstarter to fund the remastered version of our popular Swords and Sorcery RPG, Crypts and Things. Remastered means that all the art is being replaced, the rules are being tided up and streamlined and if the campaign funds there will be extra content. More rules, monsters, spell and setting information.

Read the previews over at the Sorcerer under Mountain blog.

Empires of Ys

Dr Mitch’s (Crucible of Dragons, Drowned lands, Age of Arthur) take on OSR D&D from a multi-dimensional point of View.

More information on the game’s page.

Infinite War

An expanded version of the Sci-fi setting that first saw light of day in Worlds of Wordplay. This is a game of two rival conspiracies fighting each other, for the fate of the time stream itself. It is inspired by Fritz Liber’s Big Time and Moorcook’s Jerry Cornelius stories.

Lost Fools of Atlantis

April 1st mark this date in your diary. The Grand Ascended Masters demand it! On this day they will transmit information about the game that was previously sighted in the 2000s and is now finally making it’s descend through the ether into manifest reality. A rules lite humorous look at occult conspiracies vying for control of everyday reality.

Both Lost Fools of Atlantis and Infinite War are the first of a line of FATE-Lite game books, which will blend a quick and concise version of the FATE rules (codenamed FORTUNE and written by the esteemed Dr Mitch) with Setting and Adventure(s), in a 6” x 9” Black and White illustrated book, in MGF way 🙂  Dr Mitch’s Drownlands will also make it into this line eventually.

Hearts in Glorantha & Gloranthan Adventures

Hearts in Glorantha will be coming back in a new and improved format later this year and Gloranthan Adventures #2 is in its final stages of layout now (tentative release March/April latest). Life is returning to the lozenge after too many years away.

River of Heaven

Currently working on the next scenario release Last Witness and then onto the River of Heaven Companion, which will be a collection of scenarios, rules and setting material.

OpenQuest

I plan to support OQ with smaller module releases, but the next big thing for this year is the Return to the Savage North, a follow on from our popular Savage North Setting. This 90-120 page supplement will feature more fun adventures and a deeper look at the lands and the personalities from this D100 Swords and Sorcery setting.

Project Darklight

My rules-lite Cyberpunk game recently got to playtest stage, only to go straight back to development. Good news is that I’m already working on new system for the game, so it will be out later this year.

…and last but not least!

MONKEY! The 2nd Incarnation

I’ve started work on an expanded and revised version of our fun game of the Chinese Classic “Journey to the West”. Art duties are very capably being handled by Peter Frain. The game is in development this year, and if things go swiftly I intend to Kickstart it at the end of the year. If you are interested in helping out contact me at newt@d101games.com.

Convention attendance

As well as our local cons of 7 Hills (April 18 – 19 ) & Furnace (17-18 Oct Sheffield ), we’ll be pushing the boat out and attending UK Games Expo (Birmingham 29- 31 May) . Come drop by and see us in the Monarch Suite 🙂

What we won’t be doing in 2015

It’s better to aim high and miss, but sometimes reality sets in and you realise some projects have run their course or really shouldn’t proceed. Here’s a list of stuff I’ve previously announced but won’t be going forward with.

Ending in 2015

The Company, Worlds of WordPlay, and the Book of Glorious Joy (for Glorantha) have all run their course and are being retired at the end of this month. Last chance to buy over at DriveThruRpg.com.

Cthulhu Rising

Me and John came to the realisation that we have both moved on from the idea of doing Cthulhu Rising as a standalone game, since I first announced it. We’ve both got busy schedules and the required excitement to get Cthulhu Rising out the door just isn’t there.