Summer Sale Spotlight Day 2 Hunters in Alexandria

Following on yesterdays’ spotlight, which featured Project Darklight, here’s one about one of our quietly best selling game, which was released with out much fanfare early Autumn 2015.

What is It?

A self-contained game of monster hunting in the cosmopolitan city of Ancient Alexandria during the Roman occupation.

Although it is based on the Fate game system, it uses a variant called Fortune, which sits somewhere between Fate Accelerated and Fate Core regarding complexity.

How it Came About

Paul Mitchener (Age of Arthur, Starfall, Crucible of Dragons), the author, released it as a standalone game via his Historical RPGs Patreon. I liked the straightforward version of Fate that he used with it, called Fortune. While it retains the meat of the Fate system, there are differences. It uses Professions instead of Skills, (Fate Core), or Approaches (Fate Accelerated).  Extras are used as standard to define anything that isn’t directly part of the character such as magical items, martial techniques or advantages due to some form of social status (the Legionary extra is a good example of this).  I also liked the premise of the characters being monster hunters in classical Alexandria, since I’m a big fan of Roman Epics.

While I liked the Patreon version and I thought with some more work on it, It would be a nice small pick up and play the game. Paul agreed with me, so we started work on it.

The Development Processes

I did a small bit of editorial on the game, asking Paul to clarify a few bits and expand in a few areas (the section on Alexandrian Religion is new). The main aim here was to keep it short and to the point, including lots of gameable stuff without either being vague or going over the top.

After Paul had done his bit of creating this tightly focused game, I rounded off proceedings with an adventure called Saviour Gods. This adventure focuses on a plot to pull down the Lighthouse of Alexandria, which unknown to anyone is a magical ward dedicated to the “Saviour Gods” of the title

I commissioned the ever-talented Peter Town (Mythic Russia, Hearts in Glorantha, The Book of Glorious Joy) who actually relishes the ancient period, to do the art.

Peter Town’s Egyptian Sorcerer

Another Peter, Frain (Duty and Honour, River of Heaven, Monkey), did the cover, a scene straight out the Saviour Gods, with a Roman Centurion battling a mummy before the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Peter Town’s cover

I also re-used Stephanie McAlea’s (Stygian Fox owner who produce beautiful Call of Cthulhu scenarios) fantastic map of Alexandria, which she had originally done for the Patreon version on the back cover.

The Finished Product

An A5 11 Page self-contained game. It’s designed to be read quickly and then run with the adventure or scenario seeds straight out of the book. The game even comes with four ready made characters.

Currently available in the D101 Summer Sale with 25% off until Sunday 16th in print with free pdf, selling at £9 (usual price £12).

Also from DriveThru in Pdf/Print 

And LULU in print.

 

Summer Sale Spotlight Day 1 Project Darklight

I’m currently holding a 25% off sale at the D101 Web Store, until this coming Sunday. For the next 5 days, I will be highlighting one of the books in the sale.

First off is my Cyberpunk/Conspiracy Thriller game, Project Darklight.

Day 1; Project Darklight

What is it?

Project Darklight cover by Steven Austin

Project Darklight is a rules-light story game of Cyberpunks in space in the 23rd Century. They are fighting the Corporations who abandoned their world during an economic crash during the first Galactic War, who have recently returned covertly to retake control. Behind this façade of a Corporate Conspiracy is a deeper mystery that stretches back to the origins of humanity and beyond. A mystery that is fuelling the secret black labs of Project Darklight, that makes faster than light travel possible and mass mind control a reality.

How it came about

Mainly, I wanted rules light Cyberpunk game. Something that quickly factored in all the big overpowered cyberpunk special effects. Such as the cyberware itself, the character’s supernormal experience, the effects of important technology (where everyone has the equivalent of Dirty Harry’s Magnum .44). Then put them in one big hand of dice and counted up the successes and turned that into a rapid measure of success or failure, with room to show up huge successes or failures. Graham’s Spearing’s Wordplay system does exactly that, so I very quickly had a prototype that I took to the table.

The Development processes

I ran lots of convention games, and a home campaign where we played with the whole setting co-creation system (inspired by games like Burning Empires and Fate Core) that features in the book. For my home campaign, we created a small self-contained planet called New Oldham, with about 3 other significant satellites. The players wanted a game that took their punks from Street Level gangbanging to the lofty heights of corporate takeover, and that’s what they got. Mission accomplished for my fundamental goal for the game.

When I came to develop the background, I pulled heavily on what is called UFOLogy, since various theories connect our real-world corporations with the machinations of off world powers. I love this sort of stuff. I know it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, so it’s a fundamental part of the setting creation rules that if you don’t want to deal with the Alien Agenda part of the background I present, you never need to go there and the game runs just fine.

The Finished Product

It’s a 198-page book, in A5 softcover format. It has seven chapters that cover setting creation, character creation, technology, game rules and even has time to include a short introductory adventure.  Cover by Steven Austin, with internal black and white art by Steven Austin and Jeshields.

Project Darklight is currently available in D101 Web Store’s 25% off Summer Sale until Sunday 16th July. Free Postage and Packing for UK orders. Free PDF included with purchase.  Further information and to buy a copy visit the Project Darklight product page

It is also available in print and pdf via Drivethrurpg.com.

Also via Lulu as a printed book.

 

Hangout Games

Taking inspiration from erstwhile D101 Colleague Paul Mitchener who dumped his wish list of games he’d like to play over hangouts soonish the other day, here’s my list. Some of it less navel-gazing, because they are D101 releases that need playtesting, some of it is.

Monkey! I’ve got to figure out a way of adapting/streamlining Monkey to run over hangouts. At the moment the card based mechanic really shines at the table, because you get to see the opposition’s cards laid on the table before you draw yours. This is especially relevant when you are facing down multiple extras (mooks) and their bad ass boss, and you have to decide which cards in your hands are getting played where. BUT once that crease is ironed out I reckon it should shine because its already fine tuned to be a quick action packed fun fest with most adventures lasting a single 3-4 hour game session. I reckon I should be able to pack lots into a 5-8 sessions campaign. I reckon the Ministry of Thunder, a

OpenQuest: Green Hell. I want a weekly/bi-weekly game of OpenQuest like some folk run D&D. Good old classic FRP, but finely tuned to cut out the time wasting. OQ already does it Face to Face (it was my go to when my kids were very small and I only had 3-4 hours dead to run game), no reason why it shouldn’t online. I want to immerse myself in the setting I’m putting together for the adventure book Green Hell, a big bad ass Fantasy Swamp. Aspirant pseudo-Medieval Knights and Wizards vs spiky plant based horrors sounds good to me 🙂

River of Heaven. I’ve run a couple of RoH games at conventions and always had a good time. Now I want to do a short campaign. Either a continuation of the Starshine adventure , which is basically “you are fugitives on the run with your own ship, GO!” or a short focused sand boxy campaign on ‘Red Mars’, with the the characters being on the wrong side of both the Imperial Chinese and the US Military who both have colony’s on the planet.

Crypts and Things: Underdark Spires. This is one of the adventures I’m spitting out as part of the C&T Kickstarter as an addon. I’ve played bits at conventions, and I could easily playtest the remaining bits as standalone, but I want to stress test it as a whole. I want to see characters ground into the dust, driven mad or warped by corruption. Or (more likely) see a clever bunch of players heroically overcome all the weird madness this mini-campaign chucks out at them.

Moving onto games that I don’t publish, to show I’ve got a bit fo depth to me 🙂

Tenra Bansho Zero – run once, played once at conventions. Would love to explore this gem some more. It hits my dials for batshit oriental Gonzo, plus the play framework of startup-scenes-intermission-more scenes + simple d6 system really hits my sweet spot for game design too.

Dungeon World: Megadungeon Ran this as my first series of Hangout games, and for a while, it was my go-to hangouts game. Then suddenly it stopped and I didn’t play via hangouts until my recent game of Beyond Dread Portals a game written by and run by +Paul Mitchener (look out for this one when D101 publishes it later this year). I was running the mega-dungeon I wrote when I was 15-16 from memory and it was working out most excellent, providing great improvisational nuggets under DW where it never really holds water for as an overly complex logical AD&D adventure.

Feng Shui This is more of a wish list game, one I’d possibly like to play, but that lovely 2nd Edition sitting on the shelf gathering dust needs to get some use and be made part of my gaming landscape once more.

HeroQuest Glorantha I’ve been away too long. HQ is a great pick up and play game, quick flavoursome character generation, and is the ideal way of running zero to EPIC hero in about dozen of more adventures. I know HQ Glorantha is quite a niche game, but I may seriously look at this as being my first game to run via hangouts.

Me and Fate

Fate was a game that I tried for the longest time to get, in its Spirit of the Century incarnation – seeing as it was similar to HeroQuest ( a game I learnt out of necessity when I was a die hard Glorantha fan ).

I guess  I was put off by the writing since I like short direct rulesets. Then I jumped on the Fate 3 Kickstarter, went “aha I’m beginning to get this now” after reading Fate Core but was put off a bit from its Tool Set approach ( a style of gaming which I had I came to hate from playing a ton of HeroQuest).

But through sheer bloody mindedness, I sorted out a “Cowboys vs Dinosaurs” game using Fate Accelerated (which for me cut the crap and got down to the bare necessities of the system) and with a group that was a bit more knowledgeable about the base resolution system from playing it at conventions. Finally saw it sing in play after about 5 sessions! I started at this point to want a bit more flesh on the bones – especially about having Powers and Talents.

The Hollow West, cover by Jon Hodgson

So I started eyeing up Fate Cores Extras rules. It was at this point my friend Paul Mitchener came up with his 10 page version of Fate called “Fortune” (which in itself borrows some key ideas from a game called Jadepunk, with permission from its author) for his Historical Gaming Patreon . Fortune has Professions, broad skill groupings which sings out to my old Chaosium Basic Roleplaying side , which replaces FAE ‘s Approaches and Fate Core’s Skills, flattens the Stress track (so no more fumbling about thinking “I’ve taken 3 wounds, which box do I tick off” now it’s a more deadly “‘I’ve taken 3 wounds, tick off two boxes”) and an Extras system that handles not only mundane talents and supernatural powers, but also advanced professions (so, for example, you might have a Soldier as a profession then Legionary as an Extra, which gives you bonuses for the extra training and superior equipment. System wise it sticks to the core Actions & Challenge systems and doesn’t over expand from there (I can look to Fate Core or makeup stuff if I want more). Overall it helps that Paul sees Fate as a much more traditional game than some of its fans present it as.

I liked the system so much I teamed up with Paul and we released “Hunters of Alexandra” together, a A5 sized pick up and play game (literally you could be reading it on the way into work and be playing in the evening (it has a straightforward adventure + pregens).

Hunters of Alexandria cover by Peter Frain
Hunters of Alexandria cover by Peter Frain

Fortune has become my go-to system for Storytelling games, and I’ll be publishing more for it next year – for example, I’m currently putting together my Cowboys vs Dinosaurs game as the Hollow NWest , a small game about Modern Day Conspiracies called Lost Fools of Atlantis and Paul’s working on something for it too.

Lost Fools of Atlantis cover by Jon Hodgson
Lost Fools of Atlantis cover by Jon Hodgson

Further info:

Hunters of Alexandria

Upcoming Fortune games from D101 Games

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).

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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!