Category Archives: Project Darklight

The State of D101 Games 2019

The Last couple of years (2017-2018)

If you are a regular follower of D101 Games you’ll have noticed the last State of Address was back in 2016, and that things have been a touch wobbly since then.  Monkey was kickstarted in the first couple of months of 2017, followed by its mega-adventure the Mandate of Heaven, which was a great payday for D101 and put enough money aside to get the books done. All plain sailing from here you would think. In June I left full-time employ to go full time with D101 working from home (cynics would say that I was becoming a House Husband 😉 ). All good and I was just settling in, when the wheels came off the bus. In July my mother in law was suddenly hospitalised and did not get home until the end of the year. During which time my family, was my priority and D101 became an occasional concern. It wasn’t until almost April 2018 that things had settled down at home and I could seriously work on Monkey, other outstanding books (see below).  All in all, I lost a good year of work and pay. If you bought a book or supported me with kind words during that period, you have my thanks for helping me through that difficult period.

2018 in review

I spent much of last year playing catch up with Monkey, the last of the add on adventures for Crypts and Things Remastered Kickstarter and making steady progress with the long overdue River of Heaven Companion, To the Stars.  It was also the year that after a five-year hiatus Hearts in Glorantha made a reappearance.

Monkey the RPG

After a wildly successful Kickstarter in 2017 the main rulebook and the free Pdf Quickstart was released in towards the end of the first half of the year.  This was an auspicious and fantastic moment for me, since its very much a niche game, as far away from D&D’s troupes as you can possibly get, and a project that is very close to my heart. So it was awesome to see it out in the wild, and hold the hardcover, crammed with lovely art from Peter Frain and Dan Barker.

I’m now catching up writing the supplements; the mega adventure the Mandate of Heaven (which is at first draft stage), the short mini-campaign The Ministry of Thunder (which is the final stages of writing), The Golden Book of 101 Immortals and the Monkey Companion (a book of extra rules and adventures), all of which I’m getting out this year.

Monkey cover by Jon Hodgson

Glorantha Fanzines

Two issues of Hearts in Glorantha were released in 2019. Issue six was the resurrection issue after a five year hiatus and issue 7 was our tenth anniversary issue   We featured scenarios and articles for all the published systems; Guy Milner provided his Beard of Lhynkor Mhy for 13th Age Glorantha, Stewart Stansfield provided an Anti-Hero Lunar Duck for RuneQuest Glorantha and I wrote a duo of RuneQuest Classic adventures Duck Hill in issue 6 and The Temple of the Golden Gorp in issue 7.

It was heartening to see the surge in interest in Hearts in Glorantha, due to the availability of new Gloranthan games and material from Chaosium Inc, and new names alongside the familiar contributors to the magazine.

On a sad note Glorantha Creator Greg Stafford passed away at the end of the year. Greg was a firm supporter of Hearts in Glorantha, who contributed a few one pagers on magic (featured in HiG 1-5 collected) in the early days as encouragement, and his warm words of support will be missed.

HiG 6 cover by Stewart Stansfield

Tournaments of Madness and Death

Want to try out Crypts and Things in a quick 3-4-hour scenario? Have your adventurers race to save the world of Zarth from a great evil? Then this book that came out in September, which features two such scenarios and a guide of how to write C&T convention scenarios is what you want.

Tournaments of Madness and Death, cover by David M. Wright

The Road to Hell Kickstarter

In the last quarter of 2018, D101’s coffers were in need of filling and I struck upon the idea of doing a quick Halloween Themed adventure, and the Road to Hell (which was previously an OpenQuest adventure published in OpenQuest Adventures) was 80% of the way there, bar conversion to Lamentations of the Flame Princess (a horror-themed OSR game based of B/X D&D). Currently, it’s in fulfilment to the backers, but will soon be available to preorder via the D101 Web Store.  Best way to know when its out Is to subscribe to the D101 newsletter.

The Road to Hell, cover by Jon Hodgson

Conventions in 2018

Despite being free of the concerns of leave allowances, I cut back on my convention attendances. I made a conscious decision not to go the trade shows that require outlay up front, so UK Games Expo and Dragonmeet were dropped from my schedule.

7 Hills (April) and Furnace (October) at the Garrison Hotel in Sheffield continued to be a ton of fun as ever.  This year they were also joined by new kid on the block Northstar in May, a small convention dedicated to Sci-Fi RPGs.   Outside of the Garrison cons, there was Continuum (Leicester) in July which I’ve not been for a good six years due to family holidays, and it was a good show to launch Monkey upon the gaming masses.  I also made an appearance at Grogmeet 2018 here in my home city of Manchester, were I ran Crypts and Things and the D101 Games Magic Stall made its most minimal appearance ever (see the photo below)

The micro Magic Stall at Grogmeet

2019 Plans

Catch up of outstanding books

As noted above I’ve a good chunk of Monkey books to release, and the Great Crypts and Things Campaign aka Under Dark Spires to get out. Rest assured while I work and release the new shiny things I’ll be announcing

Talking of which…

Coming to Kickstarter in 2019

I have two firm dates for your diary.

Into the Shroud #2 (now until Feb 25th)

On Kickstarter now at time of writing until Feb 25, as part of the ZineQuest initiative. This is your chance to get both the new second issue, which has been gathering dust on my hard drive for a year or so, and the first issue in print.  Its already funded, and the first stretch goal (10 new monsters) has also been met.

Beyond Dread Portals (2nd April)

This is Paul Mitchener’s post-D&D game of fantastic exploration of a series of dimensions by inhabitants of the Empire of Ys. This one has been in development for a couple of years now and it’s a true gem of a D20 game, whose system we’ve christened the Beyond 20 system. Well be getting the whole pool of recent D101 artists on board to illustrate this book, and Glynn Seal (aka MonkeyBlood design, 2018 Golden EnNie Award winner for Cartography) will be doing the many maps that show the worlds that Empire interacts with.

Read more on the Sorcerer Under Mountain blog.

Beyond Dread Portals, Cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest 10th Anniversary

OQ is ten this year in September. I’m currently playtesting a new version of the game, and gathering a host of talent to illustrate the 10th Anniversary edition, which I want to be the best illustrated version I’ve put out. Once the main rulebook comes out I want it to be quickly supported by a regular release schedule of adventures.  Tentatively the Kickstarter to fund OpenQuest 3 will this coming summer Jul/Aug.

River of Heaven, To the Stars!/Revised Rulebook

The long-delayed Companion book is done and to go with its release I’ve revised the main rulebook slightly to take into consideration the small but significant system changes I made to the OQ system in 2016’s OQ Refreshed Edition and another proof-read.  Both of these should be out the end of this month or by mid-march latest.

To the Stars, cover by Peter Frain

Hearts in Glorantha/Gloranthan Adventures

After last year’s return to Glorantha, I’ve got more than enough enthusiasm to carry on. Call for contributions for HiG #8 will be made soon, with the aim of getting two more issues out this year. Also one or two issues of Gloranthan Adventures, including Defenders of the Dark (GA #3). I’m currently assessing how to do this given 13th Age Glorantha and RuneQuest Glorantha are now out.

The Further Adventures of Dr Dee’s Associates

I’ll be doing more adventures set in the Jacobean Period, and the sequel to The Road to Hell has already been partially written (look out for it

Blue Skies Development Department

These are things that I’m either thinking about doing or have a rough outline or even a partial draft, but they are not 100% done yet.

Project Darklight will return, as Reboot. Not 100% on the system yet (strong contenders are Fate or Yin/Yang or even HeroQuest OGL) . At some point, I’ll be sitting down and working it out.

I shall be doing something with the soon to be released HeroQuest OGL SRD, starting off with a self-contained version of the Ye Little Book of HeroQuest Fantasy (which was made up of two pdf releases Dungeoneering and Monsters).

Beyond Monkey. Once the backlog of supplements coming out of the Monkey Kickstarter is done and dusted, I’ll be doing something more with the Yin/Yang system that features in the game.  Front runners are The Water Margin, but that requires me to sit down and do a TON of research so don’t expect anything more than a con game this year, or something else Kung-Fu/Wuxia related.

Some thing for D&D 5th. I’ve recently taken the plunge as a 1st Ed/Basic/Expert D&D Dungeon Master and run the game and liked it very much.  It’s straight forward for me to run, and even at first level there were lots of fun things for the players to do with their characters. I’d go as far as there were points where the players were running the game themselves!

Isle of Death for Mythras. I’ve long been a fan of Design Mechanism’s D100 game Mythras. I’ve now got a framework for releases using that system, and a starter adventure that is full of drama and action. When I sit down to do this, I’ll be previewing and gathering my thoughts on the Sorcerer Under Mountain blog.

Crypts and Things. After Under Dark Spires is out I’m going to have a pause and look at what/where I’m going with Crypts and Things. There’s still a lot of adventuring to be had on Zarth 😊

The return of Fortune. This is our small Fate variant for which we released two-pickup and play small RPGs (everything you need in about 100-150 A5 books) Hunters of Alexandria and The Hollow West.  Me and principal author Paul Mitchener have started discussions/planning to get the other various game books we have on our hard-drives out into the wild, and the (strong) possibility of an expanded Hunters of Alexandria.

Peter Town’s cover

Convention appearances for 2019

The Magic Stall shall be materialising at…

  • 7 Hills (Garrison Hotel, Hillsborough, Sheffield)
  • Northstar (Garrison Hotel, Hillsborough, Sheffield) – A science-fiction rpg con that I’ll be running River of Heaven
  • Furnace (Garrison Hotel, Hillsborough, Sheffield)
  • Grogmeet (Fanboy 3, Manchester). Get on the Grogpod and you’ll get an invite to this awesome one-day event at the end of the year.
  • GoPlayManchester (Fanboy 3, Manchester) – this is a monthly meetup I run in Manchester @Fanboy 3. While I’m not trading as D101 there, I do run and run D101 stuff there.

I may add more to that list as the year goes on, but the above are dead certs.

Others flying the D101 flag are:

  • Neil Benson (aka OldScouseroleplaying on twitter) is running The Road to Hell at UK Games Expo and at Deva Con (Chester).

The D101 Games Newsletter

Stay up to date with all the new releases and news from D101 Games, by signing up to our monthly newsletter. Also, I’ll be running regular competitions, prize draws and giving discounts (this month there’s a code for Hunters of Alexandria).

In conclusion

I’ve weathered a rough patch over the last couple of years, and D101 Games has proven surprisingly resilient despite me feeling stretched thin at times. This is in no small part due to our supporters and contributors. You have my thanks.

Now that I’m refreshed expect a more frequent and aggressive release schedule as the year goes on 🙂

Summer Sale Spotlight Day 1 Project Darklight

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

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

Day 1; Project Darklight

What is it?

Project Darklight cover by Steven Austin

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

How it came about

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

The Development processes

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

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

The Finished Product

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

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

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

Also via Lulu as a printed book.

 

Emerging from the Black Hole

Been a good day, lots of things came together nicely.

Crypts and Things is in the final stages of print proof so should be out next week 🙂 Its been a long black hole the final stages of putting that one together, but I’m very happy with the book. It’s a big 248 page book with lovely art and a fantastic cover. A great team of people pulled together to get it done. But its been crunch time on it for what seems like for ever, but we are there now.

A spot of proof checking over lunch
A spot of proof checking over lunch

Next thing for C&T is scenario support. Its part of the Kickstarter but I’ve got a plan to land it all in the coming 3-4 months. David M. Wright who did the art for the main rule book and the same team who helped me proof C&T remastered are on fire to kick the adventures into shape. I’ve also plans for dedicated support for conventions/store demos via a program I’m calling the “Graveyard Shift”. Oh and watch out for a special Halloween release 🙂

Project Darklight, my rules light Cyberpunk/Ufology game is now out in both pdf and print, and I plan to get some support drummed up for it. Its had a very low-key release but plans are afoot to raise awareness for it 🙂

I’ve now got a webstore that you can buy stuff directly from me. It was greatly satisfying posting out the first batch of orders today. If you are in the UK post is free 🙂

We’re booked in for Dragonmeet in London in early December, so it will be nice to see folk at this one day trade show.

River of Heaven is getting an outing at the upcoming Furnace convention. I get to run a scenario called Starshine, which if all goes right will be the beginning of a short Living Campaign for River of Heaven.  Stay tuned for details on how that one pans out 🙂 Also its crunch time for River of Heaven Companion, along time promised.

Hearts in Glorantha 6 is on its way in. All the content is in, we have a cover. So its time for editorial, proofing and art. Hope to land both this and the River of Heaven Companion by Dragonmeet.

Oh and the ram has touched the wall on Monkey the 2nd Incarnation – first chapter of the new version has just been completed.   I’ll get it proofed and then post it as an early preview 🙂

So all is good. Glad that Crypts and Things Remastered is finally seeing the light of day, because it’s a great thing in itself and it frees me up to get on with a lot of fun releases 🙂

A moment of reflection

So after calming the fuck down after a triumphant 7 Hills convention this weekend just gone by having a good quiet one with the family, I find myself in the happy position that not one but two of my games are in final proof.

As a publisher I’m anticipating the joy that will come when both are released into the wild soon.  As a writer I’m feeling satisfied that I’ve finally managed to let go of the drafts and they have passed muster with my proof readers.

On reflection its all about sticking my head down and doing the hard work of getting the books out at the moment. Even though these days I make sure my hard work is as relaxed and fun as possible (I learnt that one producing OpenQuest 2 which literally turned me grey), employing Taoist strategies of Awesome & Win to pull rabbits out of hats. Its a nice position to be in.

Right sleep them back to work 🙂

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.

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 🙂

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 🙂

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!

 

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 ;/