Category Archives: The Company

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.

Furnace 2013 a big box of FUN!

I’ve done 7 out of 8 Furnaces, missed one due to birth of Newtlet #2 did 1-3 as Games Tzar, and its all now so familiar its like a day or two before I turn up a big box of fun with the Furnace logo materialises in the air before me with a big red button on its side marked “Fun”. I press it then I’m pulled into a vortex of last minute printing off, gathering of books, dice and clothes and then off with my designated driver (the sublime Mr Guy Milner) from the wilds of Oldham via the beautiful bleak of the Pennines to the urban hillplex of Hillsborough in Sheffield where the venue The Garrison hotel sits proud on a hill.

Friday
Slot 0. A Game of BEEEEEERs!
Arrived in good time for once and after booking in at the Garrison it was time for an evening of chat after food. A feeeeeeew too many beers, but nothing the Gods of Gaming wouldn’t let me get away with (well until I got home and the adrenaline wore off 😉 ).

Saturday
Mmmmn Breakfast was a bit slow arriving,  We sauntered down at 8:15 to find the breakfast room well packed, and the kitchen was struggling to fulfil orders.  Good chat with AndrewW and the GowBear as we waited.

Slot 1. The Company: Project Camphor
Fast furious and D100 🙂  This was everything I had hoped for. Kinda Call of Duty the RPG. A fast moving thriller, with twists, that thundered noisily (with stealthy bits) to a satisfying ending.
Big thanks to the players: Barry, Martin, Jemma, Michael, Andy and Tony

Then PIE TIME! courtesy of the annual pilgrimage to Morrisons across the parade ground.

Slot 2. Project Darklight: Take me to the Moon.
Project Darklight is my Wordplay powered Cyberpunk game. It works on three levels. First its a straight forward Punks in the Sprawl game (think Cyberpunk 2020). Then it opens up into a Punks in Space game as the players encounter some of the more out there aspects of the setting (23rd Century with officially no FTL or nano-ware, but it gradually opens up that the Corps are a bit more advanced technologically). Finally it all could go a bit over the top gonzo as the deeper secrets of the setting open up. Take me to the Moon is deliberately a Level 3 PD game, since I wanted to test if the game worked at this concept level, and the players really played along with it swimmingly (although there were some great moments of role-playing the utter shock and disbelief that the characters were feeling as they went ‘further down the rabbit hole’).  The ending caught me a bit on the hop. After an hour or so of relentless weirdness I felt a bit like the ending of 2001 where Dave touches the Monolith, but with the players indulgence I managed to pull it back. Thanks to Ravi, Andy, Richard, Keith, Jason and Garry for bringing it all to life so magnificently.

Slot 3. Warriors of the Dragon Empire
This is my ‘hack’ of my own game Monkey: The Journey to the West. When Baz announced that he was going to be running four slots of Dungeon Crawl Classics, I decided to drop my traditional OSR Saturday night game so not to clash. But part of me didn’t want to drop the Dungeon Bashing (I don’t crawl) action and I’ve wanted to use Monkey to power a more straight forward Wuxia Kung Fu heroes game for some time now. So why not combine the two? Hence this ‘hack’. As well as rules for mortal characters Warriors WDE has a more striaghtforward central card mechanic, which I’ll be writting up for Monkey and making avialble for free. Pig Faced demons and Serpent men were fought as the Underworld beneath the 23rd Emperor’s tomb was explored and Bad Monkey was stopped in his nefarious plot to steal forbidden lore.  Thanks to Barry, Tony, Martin, Jules, Steve(?) and Another who’s name I’ve forgotten (bad Newt!), for bringing the Kung Fu action and graciously allowing me to finish the game early as I was beginning to flag.

Sunday
Its official Furnaceers break the Garrison’s breakfast system! Spotted by Elaine on the wall by the kitchen: “Furnace Gamers will all come down all at once 35 at a time!” 😀 Lesson learnt from day before we got the 8 before the rush and delay.

Slot 4. Angry Ducks
I was showing the new lovely OpenQuest 2 full colour hardcover off, so it made sense to run a game of it. I wanted to inject a bit of fun since I know from experience its all getting a bit fuzzy by Sunday Morning. So into the culturally rich milieu of Duck Swamp, with its detailed culture, myths and religions, came the intelligent Ducks of the title (the player characters) pig faced orcs, lost human catapults and other fantastic elements inspired by my four year old son’s obsession with the tablet game Angry Birds. It worked swimmingly. It could have been so badly a crass comedy game (and it did have elements of that), but it also had the grit of old school RQ (streamlined by OQ’s modern approach to that hoary old ruleset) which got me buzzing 🙂

Lunch = MOAR PIE! Thank choo Mr Morrison 🙂

Slot 5 Slack time
After running 4 games back to back time for my traditional lazy Sunday afternoon. Chatted about the state of the industry with Jim from Patriot games, enlightening as usual 😉

Then humped the remaining stock from the D101 Magic stall which popped up on my table between games. The stall had done very well, since I had brought a modest amount of everything (no more than 5 of each item was the rule). Sold about half which is a nice lump sum into the D101 bank account 🙂

Had a fantastic time. Lovely to see all the familiar faces and get to meet some new people 🙂

Big thanks as ever to the committee: Elaine, Graham and Dom.

Here’s to 2014! 🙂

Coming back to life

Hit the wall big time at the end of March. The big move back to D101 HQ from our rented accommodation, was as nasty as me and my wife had predicted it would be. Lots and lots of boxing up, shifting boxes up and down stairs, cleaning, then some more cleaning, dealing with unfinished bits and glitches in the house, adding to which  my Dad died after a brief but ugly battle with Lung Cancer.

Conpulsion at Edinburgh University Teviot House over the Easter weekend really lifted my spirits. I’ll make a fuller report of this awesome weekend later, but it really invigorated me and put my head in a bright and happy space.

With things sorting themselves out at home and my dad’s funeral next week, I’m finally coming back to life as a person and as

Coming at you down the pipe:

The Company – literally preparing this one today, should be out tomorrow.  The follow up adventure “Operation Camphor” should be out in the next month or so.

Empires Rising – Just about to go into final layout check 🙂

Crypts and Things: The Blood of the Dragon – about to be proofed and remaining art commissioned.

Here Be Dragons – in editorial with yours truly, for a summer release.

The Worlds of Wordplay – which is the new name of the reissued, revitalised and resized Wordplay The Big 5 + The Drowned Lands.

River of Heaven – John Ossoway’s D100 magnum opus.

…and a whole bunch of stuff for Glorantha, since Continuum ( a traditional hot bed of UK Gloranthaphiles is upcoming ), including Hearts in Gloratha issue 5.

Oh and not to mention a little thing called..OPENQUEST 2.

Man its great to be alive 🙂

 

Wildly happy, but frustratingly restrained

Crypts and Things has been unleashed and in its first week it has sold as much as the pre-order did!  There’s a nice little buzz about the game, both on various blogs and via private emails.  Both my Games Designer and publisher side are happy 🙂  Lots of nice little bits for C&T in the pipeline. In the short term modules galore. More long term a Companion and a spinoff self-contained game that you can use along side C&T.

I’m especially glad that C&T has found a following esp since its joining an increasingly crowded area of Old school D&D Weird Fantasy/S&S games. After looking at the insane number of OSR adventures out there (75 + for OSRIC alone) I’m glad I gave C&T a branding  (which John Ossoway’s logo design helped great guns with) and feel all of its own.

If C&T was me reimagining D&D  and OpenQuest is me doing RQ my way, then the upcoming Project Darklight is me doing Cyberpunk.  I’ve settled on using Wordplay as my base system and its going to be my next serious writting project once I’ve finished off Blood of the Dragon for Crypts and Things.

Add to this my publishing commitments. Pre-orders for the Company have been ordered and once they’ve shipped, its time to press the button at Lulu/DriveThruRPG to make it a general release. Empires Rising is going to the next product out the tubes, all the pieces are in my hands.  Blood of the Dragon will be simultanous with ER and touch wood I’ll squeeze out Hearts in Glorantha #5. Then there will probably be a break of a couple of months.

As much as I don’t  want it D101 will go on a slight hiatus in April/May as I move back into our house and adjust to a new and extended life there.  The slowing down and focusing more on home maters actually starts now, as we prepare to move out, but I’m praying that it doesn’t have as big an impact on D101 as the move last August did.

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!

Steady, Steady, Steady…..Fire!

Life is a bit up and down at the moment. We’ve moved house into a rented property, getting reconnected to the digital age (t’internet and telly) pretty painlessly within the first five days. Meanwhile D101 HQ looked like the D-Day landings, which the demolition team in full flow, with a huge hole in the ground where our Garage used to be that stretches into the Garden. Saying that I’m smug that we moved out is an understatement. However its had a huge impact in slowing the impetus of D101. Notice the words ‘slowing’ not ‘stopped’ 🙂 Even though time is even more tight than before I’m still getting D101 stuff worked on, usually at crazy o’clock at night!

Milestones this month

River of Heaven first draft complete and cover completed!  Congrats to Jon

Empires Rising – half way through layout, on for a Oct release (Furnace woohoo!)

The Company – Final check in progress, early Oct release.

Crypts and Things -Final stages of production entered 🙂

Monkey and OpenQuest are now available in print over at DriveThruRpg.com – Much better quality than Lulu ever produced, and better shipping costs and times.  Moving d101’s catalogue over will continue over the next couple of months, but all new books will be via DriveThruRpg.com.

Book of Glorious Joy is done and dusted, release any second now 🙂

My overaim is to have all the D101 developers in a big group shoot with big grins clutching their books at Dragonmeet, where you will be able to buy these new books.

This batch of releases is quite significant for D101. It should effectively double or even treble the steady baseline of sales that we get from our current crop of games.  Which means the dream of me going full time with this (there’s a D101 office in the new extension 😉 ) takes one huge step forward.