Category Archives: Fate

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

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.

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.

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? :)