Friday, 26 May 2023

A DARK STAR TO SAIL BY - A Roleplaying Game of Horrific Encounters in the Age of Sail


A Roleplaying Game of Horrific Encounters in the Age of Sail

The late era of the Age of Sail, which lasted from around 1850 to 1870, was a mighty period of maritime history as great vessels carried trade and war across the globe. As nations expanded and countries were opened to the global market – whether the people of those countries wanted it or not – huge fleets of sailing ships dominated the seas and transported goods, people and valuables. As steam ships became the norm the tall ship began to dwindle until they were nothing more than a romanticised memory.

With the sheer number of ships plying their way across the seven seas there was always going to be tragedies; vessels going missing, never to be seen again. Ships running aground, or caught in storms, or failing due to bad seamanship.

With these missing ships came the stories of their fate. Were the companies who owned them to blame? Were rival companies taking drastic measures to run their rivals? Murder? The supernatural?

The mysteries surrounding these missing ship were most likely more entertaining than the probable truth, but they have endured for decades and have given rise to stories of ghost ships, cursed islands and monsters from the deep. Take, for instance, the fate of the Marie Celeste, a cargo ship found adrift with her crew missing; the stories that arose from her abandonment and subsequent recovery by the Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia grew and changed even in the short time after she was found, changing from a simple abandoned ship to include stories of murder and piracy, with tales being told of still-warm meals laid out ready to eat, as if the people on board simply vanished into thin air. The story of an abandoned and then salvaged ship suddenly becomes much more interesting. Add to this wild tales of monsters rising from the depths, creatures from the sky, madness or possession of a crewmember and even the cruel and uncaring machinations of company men thousands of miles from the incident hoping to benefit from the tragedy in some way...

But… what if there was some truth to these insane tales?

Playtest cover only
Art by Ivan Aivazovsky

A DARK STAR TO SAIL BY is a tabletop roleplaying game that enables players to take on the roles of crewmembers of one of these tall ships, making their way across the vast ocean in service of a company or a government, with nothing more than themselves and the ship they are on for safety. At the mercy of the weather and the winds and with a healthy dose of uncertainty, how would they react when something happens that they can’t explain? How will they survive it? With creatures arising from the depths, haunted ships, unexplained phenomena and a terrified crew, what would the players do to find out what is going on, and survive?

All of the above from WIP introduction

(c) Jonathan Hicks / Farsight Games 2023

Product due 2024

Sunday, 9 April 2023

WEST - A Simple Western RPG


WEST is a simple tabletop roleplaying game about action westerns, based on the movies such as Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, The Magnificent Seven and Young Guns. They’re not realistic or even accurate but that’s not the point; they’re action-packed and a lot of fun.

This is more of a party game as the players are expected to do silly things such as stare each other out, catch a spinning pencil or get a dice into a cup – yeah, I know, but it’ll make sense once you’ve read the rules.

However, you can also play it straight. You can be as over the top as Young Guns, as serious as A Fistful Of Dollars, as silly as Blazing Saddles or as hard bitten as The Unforgiven. It’s up to you.

Heroes, Gods & Monsters - Basic Rules available now


Ancient Greece has provided the modern world with incredible tales of heroism, mournful parables of tragedy and powerful stories of friendship. From Perseus to Jason to Theseus, to all the heroes and warriors of the Trojan War and the Odyssey, the great myths of mortals and their Gods have enthralled and entertained us.

What you have here is a set of tools for you to use to help you run a story-driven narrative game. It’s up to you to fill in the blanks. This isn’t an encyclopedia about Hellenic culture or a treatise on the myths that moulded a nation. It doesn’t even have to be ancient Greece; if you’ve got a culture this can be adapted to then go for it!

One player will take on the task of being the Rhapsode, effectively the game master of a session of Heroes, Gods & Monsters. Like most tabletop RPGs the Rhapsode will let the story unfold, explain to the players what they see and hear and smell, play the parts of the non-player characters and adapt the saga to the decisions the players make. 

However, unlike most other RPGs the Rhapsode will not roll any dice for the foes and dangers the players will face. All die rolls will be handled by the players as they are the Heroes of the story and it is up to them to try to control fate. The players are, after all, the centre of the fantasy world; this is their adventure.

PHAUNT'S TOWER relaunched

Phaunt's Tower, my Copper Best Seller OD&D adventure, now relaunched with new layout, art and a couple of extra encounters.

Suitable and easily adaptable for most versions of the D&D game, and can be dropped into any ongoing campaign with little effort.

Available now!

Wednesday, 18 January 2023


Well - the synth-cat is out of the bag!

I've written a sequel to Those Dark Places - PRESSURE: INDUSTRIAL SCIENCE FICTION ROLEPLAYING, written by me & illustrated by Nathan J. Anderson.

It's a slightly different beast - it uses the original rules but has expanded skills so that you can more define your PC as well as use them in campaign games, options to play the game grim but less lethal, vehicles, starship rules, a complete setting from life on earth to the outer stars, expanded information on the companies, optional rules for cybernetics, an adventure, and the original game is fully compatible.

It's out October/November of this year. How very exciting!

Art by Nathan J Anderson

Sunday, 1 January 2023

Welcome to 2023, and Farsight Games!

Farsight Games is a small indie publisher producing official material for the Those Dark Places #rpg from Osprey Games, and new #ttrpgs for the rules-light Hi5 System.

All quick, cheap and easy to play. Perfect for one-shots and convention games!

Friday, 23 December 2022

Happy Holidays!

That's pretty much me done for 2022, so all that remains is for me to wish you all a very Happy Holiday and a fantastic New Year! 

Friday, 9 December 2022

COSMIC QUEST - A supplement for the Those Dark Places RPG AVAILABLE NOW!





Those Dark Places was conceived and written as a dark sci-fi roleplaying game, where players faced the dangers and horrors of working in deep space. I was emulating my favourite dark science fiction of the 1970s and 1980s.

However, I also have a deep love for other kinds of science fiction, especially the kind where adventures take place on treks into unexplored space (wink wink). Where heroes can fight against the darkness, or bring hope to those who have none, or further the boundaries of mankind. These characters and adventures bring light to the dark places of the universe.

This supplement contains rules and ideas for your Those Dark Places games if you 
don’t want to explore the bleak corporate-ravaged future of the core rulebook and prefer to travel the stars in brightly lit starships to experience the adventure, excitement and thrill of exploring new worlds, strange or not (nudge nudge).

Cosmic Quest is a handbook to help you use the core rules of Those Dark Places for exciting games of stimulating exploration, exciting combat and heroic deeds.

You can create characters exactly the same way as you normally would using the core rules, but there are some adjustments to make. As this is more of a high adventure game the PCs will be tougher and more capable, as well as be able to shrug off danger and possibly cheat death.

This supplement doesn’t come with a setting, but a galaxy where a collection of like-minded worlds exploring the frontiers of space comes to mind.

Thursday, 24 November 2022

'Horror at Harris Station' - Out now!

SITREP – Harris Research Station on the moon Prague Six has sent out an emergency distress call. It is a standard beacon with no other information. Harris Research Base is a medical facility specialising in battlefield medicine. The aim is for soldiers to be able to inject a compound into their body where the organ or limb is damaged beyond repair, and have it grow back in a matter of hours. Other than that we have no information as its a closed secure facility.

MISSION – Enter the research station, ascertain the situation and report. A fully equipped follow-up vessel will arrive within 24 hours of your arrival.

'Horror at Harris Station' is a complete adventure for FIRETEAM - Rules Light Military Science Fiction Roleplaying. The rulebook is required for play.


NOTICE – This game contains scenes of body horror and violence. Use whatever safety tools you wish to make sure that the session is fun and exciting for everyone.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

New possible WIP - WEST RPG

I'm not saying I'm going to write it - yet - but I've already figured out adapting the Fireteam rules to make it specific for the genre as well as making it... a bit weird.

It's the fault of The English.