Category Archives: Savage North

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.

State of D101 Games 2012

2011 in review
2011 was a strange one in retrospect. I only managed to get a few releases out before a big house extension kicked in ( which is still on going ).

Ye Little Book of HeroQuest Fantasy – the print version of Ye Little Book of HeroQuest Monsters and the very popular Ye Little Book of HeroQuest Dungeoneering (the subject matter and low price point seems to have been the win here).

Wordplay the Big Five (Revised) + Adventures in Wordplay: The Drowned Lands. Unfortunately both these titles were pulled after a month of release, due to me wanting to consolidate my efforts (but Wordplay fans read on for some good news).

The Book of Glorious Joy – Jamie “Trotsky” Revell’s guide to the Gloranthan West, focusing on the Kingdom of Loskalm. A big Gloranthan release for me, that tested me to my limits. This is why there was no issues of Hearts in Glorantha in 2011 🙂 Our first hardcover, which paves the way for similar releases (read on)

Then I moved out of my house, while it is being extended, which put the breaks on. However development work carried on which is why you’ll see a rush of releases in the next couple of months.

Marching on into 2012!!

Crypts and Things – Did very well when it went up for pre-order at indiegogo.com in the last quarter of 2011. We surpassed the $2000 target, eventually reaching $3,435, which means every pre-order will also get the first adventure module The Blood of the Dragon. It also means that the game is firmly established in the area of my brain marked “Profitable and worth doing” as well as “A ton of fun, so I’m doing it anyway” :). Follow up adventures in the work, and ideas for Supplements spinning around in my head. ETA of the main rule book end of this month, with Blood of The Dragon coming in March/April.

The Company – Ready to launch this one. Well pleased with what started off as an idle “lets do OQ modern” conversation. One of the pleasurable things about commissioning other people to do work for you is that you end up with one of your favourite RPGs 🙂 Eta end of this month.

Empires Rising – Back on track after being neglected while the house move was going on. Working on the final layout reminds me why I’ve stuck with what is essentially someone else’s Fantasy house campaign. There’s enough depth in the setting for you HeroQuest narrators to get stuck in, with four excellent scenarios to get you started.

Hearts in Glorantha #5 – Back on track after some of the best Gloranthan fan writers and artists rallied round. Expect previews soon, out April.

Gloranthan Adventures #2 Red Sun Rising & #3 Karia – My book of Lunar adventures and home campaign setting respectively. Both need rewrites. RSR further along with cover and some internal art, so May/June release (Eternal Con?) with Karia up for a July (Continuum) release.

River of Heaven – Just about to hand over to the proof reader after an through edit. Art has been commissioned. Expectations are high over this one and I know John Ossoway has delivered. Now its down to me to get it out so people can enjoy this jem 🙂

D101 remastered
Now that we are in our fourth year, time and money allow me to revisit some of our eariler releases and give some care and attendtion.

OpenQuest 2nd Edition – Not so much an extensive rewrite, more an expandsion and clarification.

Savage North – This was one of the first things that I put out and it was a bit lacking in the proofing dept. Dom Mooney and John Holmes independently sent me very detailed feedback on the shortcomings of this book that will form the basis of the ‘2nd printing’.

Wordplay the Big Six – Working on Project Darklight (see below) made me realise that I still have a great love of Wordplay. So I’ve decided to republish the Big Five, with Dr Mitch’s The Drowned Lands theme (hence the new title), new art to replace the clip art and a revised cover by Jon Hodgeson, all in a story gamer friendly size of 6″ x 9″ (US tradepaper back) in both Hard and Softcover.

In development coming to a gaming table near you this year

Wombat – 2011 was not the Year of the Wombat, but 2012 is ! Expect the free version by easter and the “Little Book of Big Adventure” an expanded version with mini-settings and adventures in October.

Project Darklight – Wordplay Cyberpunk – more on its Blog.

The Book of Madness and Mystery – HeroQuest Lovecraft. Not a HQ conversion of Call of Cthulhu, but a complete relook at how you would present Lovecraft’s stories in the HeroQuest framework. I’m sorting out the rulesy bits while Rik Kershaw Moore and John Ossoway are writing adventures/settings for it.

Outlaws of the Water Margin – adapting the Monkey rules for this Chinese Classic of 108 Heroes versus a tryanical minister.

D101 Games Convention Scedule

Convention wise I and the D101 demoers are definitely confirmed for

Conplusion, Edinburgh Easter weekend
Continuum, Leicester July
Furnace, Sheffield October

So that’s 2012, busy, busy, fun, fun, fun!

The blinding light at the end of the tunnel

Upcoming releases….

After not releasing any thing since Hearts in Glorantha #3 back in Sept 09, suddenly there’s a whole slew of stuff erupting from the Volcano of Love that is the D101 production que.

Monkey (D101-008) Man oh man I’m excited beyond belief. Its in editorial now with the esteemed Mark Galeotti (author of Mythic Russia and ex-HeroQuest line editor, and real life academic journal editor) and going straight into layout once I get it. Master pages are made up, cover is made and I’ve got all my art ready to go once the little monkey boy comes home. Looking at mid-March early April at the latest.

Savage North (D101-07) Same deal here, last of the proofing being done and straight into layout once I get it. Mid March

Wordplay The Big Five (D101-08) A bit of writing to be done on my part, which could hold things up a tiny bit, but otherwise over half the book (Core +2 out of five themes) already laid out. Aiming for a Con-Quest (see below release) but won’t be surprised if it slips slightly. Its a big book at 250+ pages!

Con-Quest! (D101-09) A one day Derby convention (a games day?) at the Assembly room run by old friends of mine.  Headed up by Darran Sims, Mike Mason, Evil Gaz and Dave McAllistar, its one of the most professional teams out there. Which is just as well since I’m feeling very wobbly about shifting gears from Con GM to Con Trader. Yup that’s right we’ll be having a very reasonably priced stall, which will also feature the lovely Tim Gray and his Silver Branch Games (get yer Jaws of the Six Serpents in), which should be selling HiG, OpenQuest and subject to release coinciding Savage North, Monkey and Wordplay:Big 5. Plus we’ll be running games all day; Monkey, Wordplay:BigFive and of course Savage North! Thanks in advance to Tom Zundar, John Ossoway, Andrew Edwards and Paul Mitchener who are going to be running games. Its my first con in ages and its going to be awesome and the win for D101. Pop down and see us 🙂

Beyond Con-Quest!

Con-Quest is a big milestone for us, alot of stuff that has been lying dormant finally sees the light of day. Gloranthaphiles amongst you will have noticed that there’s a serious absence of Gloranthan releases amongst the treasure trove being unearthed at Con-Quest. This is deliberate. Monkey kept on getting pushed aside for HiG and Savage North was already way over due (it was meant to be an Autumn release). Wordplay:The Big Five just came up suddenly and needs to get out asap otherwise some excellent gaming material ( I’m talking about Mark Galeotti’s The Cold Crusade and Charles Green’s Keep Portland Weird themes here) wouldn’t have seen the light of day.  Focus on these books kinda sapped my time to work on Gloranthan stuff. However after Con-Quest is full steam ahead on various HQ releases, both Gloranthan and ‘Gateway’ (Moon Designs term for non-Gloranthan settings). I’ll expand on them later (esp HQ Gateway since I’ve been teasing the community with promises of various things) but for now I shall leave you will a bullet list of stuff you can expect May-July.

  • Gloranthan Adventures issue #1 New Beginnings (A set of four adventures set in Sartar, with Balkoth tribe background from Dr Moose)
  • Hearts In Glorantha issue #4 (Lunar feature, plus first of Trotskys Lords of the West articles)
  • Life and Death(OpenQuest adventure setting book by Newt Newport)
  • Empires Rising (OpenQuest adventure setting book by Nathan Baron)
  • The Monastery(HQ Gateway, Medieval mystery)
  • Lost fools of Atlantis (HQ Gateway, Black Comedy)

More info

Wordplay The Big Five http://d101games.com/wordplay

The Savage North http://d101games.com/the-savage-north/

Hearts in Glorantha issue 4 http://heartsinglorantha.d101games.com/2010/01/25/hig-4-is-go/

Monkey (a rather sparse page which will be updated with previews and images soon) http://d101games.com/monkey

Life and Death http://d101games.com/life-and-death

Empires Rising http://d101games.com/empires-rising

Silver Branch Games http://www.silverbranch.co.uk/

Con-Quest, Derby Assembly Rooms Saturday 10th April http://www.con-quest.co.uk

What is currently being worked on

Cross posted over at the Collective Endeavour, a forum for UK small press RPGs.

Monkey: this is the game that will probably interest you lot the most. Its my slim & focused 70 page take on the Chinese Classic Journey to the West, better known as MONKEY! over here (thanks to the Japanese TV series that aired in the 80s). Players play errant immortals chucked out of Heaven and the adventures revolve around them trying to earn enough virtue to re-enter Paradise despite their weakness and failings. A simple card mechanic models the action, which is fast furious and comedic while ultimately enlightening. Literally 2 pages away from completion, then a bit of polish, editing, layout and out Feb/March (at the very latest).

The Savage North: Last year I released a game called OpenQuest. I took the bull by the horns and produced a totally Open Content game from the Mongoose RuneQuest OGL SRD, which reflects how I like to play D100 (BRP, RQ ) these days, i.e in a very streamlined storytelling manner. The Savage North is a collection of four scenarios set in a Conan like setting. Very trad dungeon bashing/wilderness trekking from the glory days of White Dwarf in the early 80s. A fun little project which I’ve got to work with my mate John Ossoway (author of Cthulhu Rising) who wrote the adventures (for a RQ3 Conan campaign originally), did the copious number of maps and all the art. I’ve been responsible for writing a setting, converting it to OpenQuest and generally gluing together what was initially just a quick fun write up for John’s home group.

Wordplay: The Big Five This is Graham Spearing’s D6 dice pool narrative game. Think HeroQuest and Burning Wheel in the front, with a few indie games and WEG’s Star Wars D6 in the back, all in a car crash. Put back together by a games designer with an eye for simplicity and common sense. When Graham initially started the game he put a call out for people to write mini-settings called Themes for inclusion in the book. Four authors, my self included, answered the call. Graham published a plain text version , which included his Epic Fantasy theme, last year. His plan was to do a fully illustrated version with the remaining four themes. Unfortunately he hasn’t got time to do this due to other commitments, so I’m picking up publishing this. As well as Graham’s theme it will have; The Cold Crusade by Mark Galeotti (De Vinci code meets Heroes), Flashpoint by me (think Traveller redone as a story telling game), Infinite War (gonzo time travelling game, part satire of current war on terror, influenced by Jerry Cornelius and Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time), Keep Portland Weird by Charles Green (Charles calls it Urban Fantasy, but I think its very much World of Darkness done right with a lovely bit of surreal social commentary running in the back ground). “But Newt I notice only three authors there in your list” you cry. That’s right, Dom Mooney was originally going to be submitting ‘Singularities’, an epic Hard Sci-fi theme in the tradition of Iain Banks, Alistair Reynolds and a host of other modern writers, but is now developing it as a standalone Wordplay game. Apart from quickly writing Flashpoint, which is the replacement for Singularities, this is very much a quick layout job. I’ve already got alot of free/lo cost art from my regular stable of artists 🙂 Release then April.

Dark Corners of the Empire: This is my own fantasy heartbreaker, written using Wordplay. Take the adventure and setting from OpenQuest and mash it up with the Wordplay system and see what comes out the other end.
Its really intended for people who want to try Wordplay out, but are put off by its ‘hey make everything up yourself’ approach or just want to play it in a familiar fantasy setting. Release?? This one is coming together very quickly, so could be March or Feb.

Hearts in Glorantha & Gloranthan Adventures: HiG was my starting point as a small press publisher almost two years ago. Its done me proud, providing me with a basic cash flow to pay for art for other projects. As a commited Gloranthaphile I’m still chugging away putting togehter the twice yearly HiG (issue 4 is being worked on now) and Gloranthan Adventures is an irregular spin off publication brought about by the realisation that I still have alot of my own material (which is mainly adventures) that is too big to fit in HiG.

This is the tip of the ice burg, since I’m a hyperactive sort whose creativity has been well and truly been liberated by self-publishing via lulu, but this is stuff I definitely know is going to get released in the next six months.l