All posts by Newt

Games Designer, Publisher, Web Developer, Dad.

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.

Upcoming releases

Quick note on Progress on upcoming releases from D101 Games

1. OpenQuest Adventures about 50% art complete, hoping to see it out by the end of this month 🙂

2. OpenQuest Online SRD 75% done, eta end of this month as well.

3. River of Heaven: Last Witness in layout, commisioning art.

4. Crypts and Things Remastered: In internal playtest, Kickstarter opens March 1st.

5. Project Darklight: Bad news gone back into design phase after intial feed back identified Wordplay was a bad fit system wise. Good news have already got a new simplier system that fits it like a glove. Rewrite commences,  hope to have it back out to playtest asap.

6. Gloranthan Adventures 2: Red Sun Rising in final stages of layout 🙂

Cowboys vs Dinosaurs

Admist all the writing, layout and the business side of D101 I do get to run a monthly game myself.  In recent years appart from the odd session or two for playtesting purposes, I’ve been using these sessions to have fun.  Mega Gaming Fun 🙂

Last six months or so we’ve been playing a very straightforward game using the Fate Accelerated ruleset (a very nice 60 page condensed version of Fate). Mainly because I wanted to finally run a game of Fate and also because I wanted to run a game of Cowboys, Indians and Dinosaurs…..at the centre of the Hollow Earth.

This season was not the big finale at the evil Aztec City of Doom that I had planned, due to player absense. Instead we played a hugely entertaining two player side quest where the Mexician Bandito and Indian Brave of the group got to go liberate a gold mine and find a spooky Ziggraut in the middle of a dark underground lake and defeat its inhabitants. There were blow dart firing bowl cut hairdo indians, Jaguar Azetc Warriors and shapeshifting Aztec/Serpent Men priests. On the dinosaur front they adeptly avoided the divebombing Pterodactyl and the ancient massive pliosaur, who was in the process of being summoned by the Priest when he was mauled to death by the grizzly bear that was accompanying the party for reasons that it only knew of.

The Fate system is really singing for me now. We’ve really got the hang of Aspects, Fate Point Economy and ticking off damage on Stress Tracks (this session was the first where I’d really been able to bring the pain down on the players)  and I’m itching to take on some of the complexities of Fate Core in my next game.

Best thing about it that I got to run an intelligent Grizzly Bear, who communicated via grunts, and none of the players asked WHY? :)

Off to 7 Hills!

Well in roughly three months time I’ll be making the final preparations to go to 7 Hills, the laid back spring sibling to autumn’s Furnace held at the same venue.  If you live nearby I can thoroughly recommend it (see last years report) .

Here’s my offerings :)

Name of the game: Stainless Steel Providers
System: Project Darklight
Game Slot: 1
Number of Players: 6
Game Description:

They call you the Losers 242, since you come straight out of District 242 and to them you are just yet another street gang. A bunch of suicidal cyborg motorcycle gangers out to make mayhem and die in a blaze of glory.

But they don’t know the story. How you and your comrades from the infamous 5th Mechanised Regiment (Imperial Sterling INC) where demobbed to the **** hole of a planet they call New Oldham after the Galactic War. A burnt out, crashed, cesspit of belligerent idiots who claim descent from the clans of Northern England. You only ‘agreed’ since your Corporate Liaison said there would be a great relocation package. They even agreed to move your families to New Oldham. That’s where it all went to hell. The transport carrying your loved ones burned up in atmosphere – the victim of a terrorist attack- on the way to your new home. How you’ve spent the last year howling in grief fighting off constant attacks from racist hooligan locals.
Now a beacon of hope has been lit. A signal from the transport ship has been detected coming from the wilderness beyond the city.

Time to jump on your steel stead and ride off into the dust!

Project Darklight is a rules light cyberpunk game using the WordPlay system, set in the bright Corporate future of the 23rd Century after a mass exodus from Earth.

Tags: Mad Max, Cyberpunk, Cyborgs, Ufology, Steel, MGF.

Name of the game: Wootz!
System: Monkey 2nd Edition
Game Slot: 2
Number of Players: 6

Your great trek to India from China to collect the lost cannons of Buddhist lore is nearly over. Standing in your way is the great foundry where they make the famed Wootz metal. Wootz metal is famed for its sharpness and strength is misused by tyrants and warlords all over the east. In the hope of spreading compassion you and your fellow pilgrims feel compelled to end this factory of suffering and defeat the Demons of Pain that blight this place.

You are wary of the old saying that even the wise man must melt and dissolve to attain new form of enlightenment.

Come play Monkey, in its second incarnation which features a much streamlined and simplified version of the game system, a game of epic light hearted Chinese kung-fu flavoured adventures. You play an Immortal out of favour with Heaven. Help them cultivate their Te (or personal power/virtue) and amass awesome chi-powers in the process. No prior knowledge of the system or Chinese Mythology required.

Name of the game: Old Steel Ruins
System: Crypts and Things
Game Slot: 3
Number of Players: 6
Game Description:

In days of yore hot molten metal poured from the wounded Zarth. Mighty Sorcerers melded it into buildings of glittering Steel. They enslaved the land and the people. Until the Gods themselves were moved by the evil wizards hubris and buried them and their city under hot scolding sky fall ash! So the Steel Empire came to end, its treasures buried for millennia, its location a mystery.
UNTIL NOW! Brave scouts have discovered the City of Steel and have shared its location. Join the expedition to explore the Old Steel Ruins and discover THE SECRET OF STEEL!

An adventure for up to six 5th Level characters, using Crypts and Things a distinctly British Old School game, based upon the classics from the late 70s/early 80s, of Swords and Sorcery Adventure.

Tags: OSR, D&D, Swords & Sorcery, Foul smelly Khaos, Hair caked with the Ash of Ages, Lightly Gritted Sinews.

Name of the game: The City of Ironsmash
System: HeroQuest
Game Slot: 4
Number of Players: 6
Game Description:

The long lived Trolls of the Queendom of Halikiv have deep memories.

They remember the Gbjai Wars of the Dawn Age. How the men of light came out of the east over the mountains. How they conspired with Dwarfs and build a Forge-City on the Queendom’s borders, spawning iron armed and armoured warriors. If the Night Queen herself had not sent her son Arkat Kingtroll to lead the Black Legions against the city, how the Queendom would have been exterminated. Instead it was the Trolls who did the extermination and how the city is named after their deeds there. Happy memories of victory in the City of Ironsmash.
Now the storm scum are back in dark Halkiv and a small band of Black Legionaries travel to the city of Blackrock to ask for reinforcements from the Great Hag of the city. For they fear the forges of Ironsmash have been seized and once again good Troll hunting lands are threatened.

This is a big straightforward war story of Troll Warriors getting their Darkness on to trash Human barbarians. It requires no knowledge of the system or Glorantha. All will be gently introduced in an entertaining way over the course of the adventure. A Mega Gloranthan Fun game, so no basket weaving, sheep herding or anthropological discussions, only big fun adventure !

Tags: Glorantha , Trolls, Steel, Mega Gloranthan Fun!

 

Enter the Magic – Furnace 2014

This year’s Furnace was a magical experience for me … exit reality and enter its warm rosy glow for lashings of AWESOME and WIN!

Arrived on time for once due in part of missing the Manchester rush hour. Then on to eattings and a well balanced evening of booze and chat. Good start to the con :)

Saturday

Slot 1: Fate Accelerated : Cowboys and Dinosaurs.
A full table of six players who very quickly got into the excitement of being Cowboys and Cowgirls of various flavours and the mystery of the Town of Nowhere. Lots of fun moments, and this scenario will go into the book when I publish it early next year :) As well as a fun game I had a big insight about Fate, which I’m still coming to grips with, and how the fate point economy really is the ebb and flow of the game and replaces Hit Points and other forms of bean counting in older games as a measure of player success.
Esteemed players: Brian….opps sorry Ryan, Sue, Andrew, Andy, Remi and Paul.

Slot 2: Project Darklight: Neon Knights.
Another full house +1 (we had an extra player in Malcolm who very quickly created a character and got stuck in) and what could have been a very dull “you are a Street Gang defend your Territory” game, was spiced up by the players who quickly groking Wordplay and running it with it. Two waves of attackers then taking it to the villian in his cyber fortress at the end of adventure with style and flair. Playing PD reminded me why WordPlay is one of my favourite games ever :)
Thanks to the players: Malcom, Peter, Harriet, Martin, Barry, Tony and Dom.

Slot 3: Tenra Bansho Zero: Lotus Blosum’s Bridal Path.
Ok this one could have gone really wrong. This was the “see that game you’ve never played before, but really want to? Spend a month or so learning it and then just run it!” game. I was working from a pre-written adventure, quite a straightforward Travel capper, with pre-gens and the basic system is reasonably straightforward ( a dice pool system ), but what I hadn’t groked during my quick run through 300+ world background and a 400+ rules book that the setting is basically Ninjas, Samurai and Sorcerers but each character type is a monster with Awesome Aweful Powers which they are fighting the use of to stay human. Take Keary’s character, on the surface it just another Ninja….but come combat the “worm” that has been implanted in his chracter turns him into Hulk like monster with a laser cannon on his shoulder. So character powers where the bit I hadn’t read and needed a bit of quick referencing/working out during the game. I had a very humble GM moment when I realised how well everyone round the table had pulled together to help me run the game. The best bit was when players asked me to run the game again :)
Many thanks to Barry, Tony, Martin, Neil, Tim and Keary.

Sunday

Slot 4: Mediyfal: Bad King John pt 1. Murder at Theford Priory.
Yet another satifyingly full table of players, playing ex-soliders, christian mystics, pagan beserkers, pole axe wielding witches and the most pious woman in England. A game of two halves with the first being a lot of really good roleplaying as the players found their feet in medieval Thetford and then the second shorter half when they tracked down the murderer and a short but viscous dungeon crawl ensued. I was especially happy that the players groked the 4 page d100 varient I was using, which allowed me to have all the character info on two sides of A4 and that they took to the weird fantasy 13th C England like ducks to water :)
My thanks go to Simon, Helen, Andrew, Richard, Keith and Simon H.

Maximum thanks to Elaine, Graham and Dom for organising and running, and to the rest of the attendees for making it such a lovely weekend :)

What I did in my Holidays

*Sigh* August seems so far away now. I spent a glorious two weeks in the Cotswolds (aka Fairyland or “wot Jonny Foreigner thinks England is like”) in a cottage so picturesque its on the local post cards and frequently had Japanese Tourists outside the gate taking photos.

I made a conscious decision not to do any d101 work with me. That means officially no OQ2 stuff or River of Heaven. But seeing as I took the laptop and we had high-speed broadband I got on with a couple of other things for fun.

Dungeon World: Crypts and Things Hack.  This really is a personal project at the moment an exercise in working out how DW fits together. Its one of my fave systems but the paradigm shift is so large that I need to experiment with it.  Got quite into the experiment though (but not as far as I thought when I looked at my write ups last night).  Highlights for me was seeing the Decadent Noble playbook take shape which is basically an Elric type character with magic in the form of Demon Summoning and Elemental pacts. Also a couple of other character types and ideas that DW covers better in my opinion.

Project Darklight. I took the time off to shift gears and get back at the hard graft that PD currently needs. I know the format of the book, the framework of the rules and I need to do is pound my piggy fingers against the keyboard to get the damn thing out of my head and onto paper.  Fun work which means I’m nearer goal of having a playtest document done. Currently looking at before XMAS 🙂

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition. The pdf preview of the Core Rulebook (the Keepers book) and the Investigator’s handbook (an additional player’s book) arrived while I was away and they sure were pretty. The content inspired me too, and a couple of Scenario outlines were rattled out. Something tells me I’ll be playing this one quite a bit when the physical books land 🙂

Starting a new hobby! Well I thought I could take an occasional break all this roleplaying nonsense and the Toy shop where we were staying had the Warhammer 40K starter box Dark Vengence. Really excited at the time (I even bought paints) but its sat in a corner since we got home ;/

 

 

 

Mr Newt does 7 Hills

7 Hills was a laid back, but strangely perky con and everything I wanted out of my first con of the year, banishing the last of the winter blues. Paul and Graham had efficiently organised the con, which ran like clockwork and purred like a satisfied pussy cat 🙂

Friday Night
I arrived straight from work, courtesy of Guy Milner. Despite being stuck behind red lorry and driving through thick fog over the tops we would not be stopped. Quick check-in then food, booze n chat at the social. Perhaps bit too much booze, but ooooooooh the Bombardier was on form [For real ale lovers despite being a hotel the Garrison has a decent selection now]. Note to self: “can no longer drink like its my 20s”. Awesome to see friends old and new, but don’t ask me to remember what we talked about 😉

Saturday
After a typical but satisfactory Garrison full English with concessions to veggies breakfast it was time to game. I was expecting the lack of numbers compared to Furnace to really show, but everyone was up for it so their natural exuberance spilled out all over the place during the very quick opening speech by Dr Mitch.

Then on to game.

Sat Morning: Operation Mudbrick (The Company)
A game of two Johns (Ruddy & Ossoway) who along with the rest of Assault Group Maximum #5 hub nobbed with archaeologists from the British Museum, dug out ancient secrets in the Mesopotamian city of UR, and when confronted with the ‘strangeness’ at the heart of the adventure decided a tactical withdrawal was in order. Classic moment alone in the desert “Where is everyone?”. Great stuff. There was always a chance with this scenario it would turn into a bad Cthlulhu adventure, but the players helped me keep it on track for being a good little Ufology mystery, with the Company’s trademark Military action underpinning it. Which is exactly what I wanted. I’ll stop there since its a contender for a re-run at Furnace. Big thanks to the two Johns.

Sat afternoon: Out of Step (River of Heaven).
This was a “big ideas” type of sci-fi scenario and thanks to the players for running with it and making it work. The adventure is very much an ensemble piece, but I ran out of time to write up characters that I had originally intended to use who were tightly bonded to the adventure. So I used a group of pre-gens from one of John Ossoway’s scenarios, who had a very tight group relationship but no ties to the place were the adventure is set. Which meant part of the player’s entertainment was watching my face as I reacted unconsciously to them taking the adventure in different directions to what I had intended. John was also tickled by who the scenario went, which seeing as he created River of Heaven is a good thing for me.

Saturday evening: Zarth Wars (Crypts and Things).
This was me pulling inspiration from John Carter from Mars, Flash Gordon and even Prometheus (watch it with the attitude that the characters are a typical D&D group and you’ll get where I’m coming from). There’s always a chance with OSR stuff that players won’t take to the setting assumptions or nature of the rules, but Alex, Andrew and Richard took it and ran it out of the ball park. A game that was never in danger of dragging and had some excellent fun Roleplaying. It will definitely get a write up and be published in the near future 🙂

Post gaming there was more chat and booze, and perhaps a bit too late to bed.

Because…..

Sunday
…I was spent, so I had a nice restful morning pawing though my pressies from Patriot Games (who were nice enough to run a stall, even though the number of customers was so small), before gleefully floating back over the hills with John O back to the ample bosom of my family unit.

Definitely up for it again next year. Well done organisers and attendees for such an Awesome con so full of Win!