FARSIGHT GAMES

Friday, 27 July 2018

The Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition adventure 'The Crooked King's Cup' is now available

My new Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition adventure 'The Crooked King's Cup' is available now from DrivethruRPG!

'Welcome, brave adventurers!  You are no doubt walking your way across Titan in search of fame, fortune and more than a little glory, so lend me your ears and I will tell you of a place so foul with the corruption of evil and chaos, and yet so full of the gold and renown you seek, you'll wonder if the risk is worth the rewards.

Do you dare seek out the Cup of the Crooked King, and risk eternal damnation for the chance of more riches than the King of Salamonis himself has ever seen?

Of course, I know what your answer will be.

This is The Crooked King's Cup, an Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition adventure for an experienced adventuring party, although it will be easy enough to adjust the statistics of the foes and dangers to suit any level of skill.

Requires the Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Ed RPG'

Happy Birthday Gary Gygax


Image result for gary gygax futuramaToday is Gary Gygax's birthday, and I usually think about how far I've come in my tabletop roleplaying since I first got involved in the hobby in 1983 when I cracked open a copy of the Fighting Fantasy book 'The Citadel of Chaos' before moving on to the red box Basic D&D.

I like to think I've come quite far, from muddling through the game with little instruction to where I am today. These days my hobby is an amalgamation of all the gaming I've done over the decades, from my initial wonder and confusion to the constant battling to my first ever proper emotional involvement in a character.

So Happy Birthday, Gary.

This year I've been thinking about how much I rely on the dice during a game and it reminded me of some amazing virtually diceless sessions over the years. For example, A while ago my gaming group settled back into a Basic D&D Greyhawk game, the first session of a new year, with a mind to play it for the next few months. The sessions we'd been playing since the previous year have been primarily dice-based, and we've had some fun with a couple of dungeons and a whack of wilderness encounters.

All that changed with the last session. Throughout the entire two hour game there were only two rolls made, one to see what the weather was like and one Charisma check. The rest of the game was rest and recuperation from the adventuring, meeting new NPCs and catching up with NPCs we already new to see what other missions could be done, and impressing the Lord of the estate. It was an evening of roleplaying.

I stepped up and did my part. I love roleplaying, actually playing a character and acting out a role, carefully weighing what to say and do and then acting how I see fit or how best suits the plot of the adventure. That's what roleplaying games are all about to me; if I just spent the evening rolling combat then as far as I'm concerned it's just a boardgame.

Most of my best gaming evenings have been about the roleplaying. Yes, I've had plenty of exciting combats and I remember the cool times but the dramatic, character driven moments are what stick in my mind. I don't ever remember doing much of that with basic D&D - although, to be fair, I was in my early teens when I started playing so smacking stuff in the face with a sword was as cool as it got - and it was a great feeling to know that I could get that level of character involvement out of the game. It's like my 1980s teenage 'kill 'em all!' self has joined with my 1990s 'what is my motivation?' personality. I like it.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

The AD&D 2nd Edition Birthright Campaign Setting

It's easy to see why it was I missed out on this; I'd already fallen out of love with AD&D 2nd Edition long before this campaign setting was published so I let it pass me by, but I know if I had sat and read this when it first came out I would have dusted off my multiple polyhedrons from my Basic D&D boxset and set about running a campaign. I'd have even gritted my teeth and put up with THAC0.

Birthright has everything I'd love to run in a fantasy setting, especially these days with Game of Thrones dominating the widespread fantasy genre, and my own love of gritty fantasy settings. The intrigue, the political wrangling, the looming wars. There were lots of different kingdoms to choose from and plenty of scope with characters, backgrounds and adventures. I have the option of running a straight forward D&D dungeon bash, or a political intrigue game, or a murder mystery, or all three together.

There's plenty to do in the Birthright campaign setting, and I was overjoyed to find the website www.birthright.net that had plenty of versions for download (all fan created). I downloaded them and absorbed the setting, but I'd still love to have the original boxset.

This is probably the only reason I regret abandoning AD&D 2nd Edition. It's a great setting with a fantastic sense of depth and wonder and would make for an amazing 5th Edition setting.

Hey, WotC! Birthright, baby! Birthright!

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

"Tales From the Loop" TV series coming to Amazon

I just had to share this press release from Free League Publishing. Tales from the Loop is one of my top RPGs and to find out that it's going to come to life is simply amazing.

"Tales From the Loop" TV series based on the art of Simon Stålenhag coming to Amazon

Free League Publishing - Jul 18, 2018 12:05 BST


The retrofutristic art book and tabletop RPG ”Tales from the loop” will become a TV series. Amazon Studios is developing the show, which is based on the internationally acclaimed artist and author Simon Stålenhag's art. Stålenhag's paintings blend elements of futuristic science fiction with images of rural life in Sweden. Free League Publishing is the publisher of the art book and of the award-winning “Tales from the Loop” tabletop RPG, based on Simon Stålenhag's universe.

“Simon Stålenhag's paintings are renowned for their vision of a not-too-distant, futuristic landscape. We are looking forward to bringing that to life and sharing it with our Prime Video audience,” said Albert Cheng, co-head of television at Amazon Studios.

The retrofutristic “Tales From the Loop” explores the town of people who live above "The Loop," a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe, making things possible that were previously relegated to science fiction. In the fantastical, mysterious town, poignant human tales are told that bare universal emotional experiences while drawing on the intrigue of storytelling.

Amazon's eight-episode drama is based on Simon Stålenhag's art is a co-production between Fox 21 TV Studios and Amazon Studios. The series will debut globally on Amazon in more than 200 countries and territories. Legion's Nathaniel Halpern will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) will direct the pilot and exec produce alongside Halpern. Matt Reeves (Netflix's space drama Away, Felicity) will exec produce via his Sixth & Idaho banner alongside Adam Kassan and Rafi Crohn, who is working with Reeves on Fox drama The Passage, also will exec produce.

Swedish production and management company Indio, founded by Mattias Montero and Johan Lindström, also will exec produce the project, which is its first U.S. foray. The company's Samantha Taylor Pickett also exec produces.

Quotes about Tales from the Loop

“Incredible paintings of sci-fi suburbia will make you wish you were Swedish” ~ THE VERGE (art book)

“RPG Tales from the Loop lets you channel Stranger Things and ET” ~THE VERGE (tabletop RPG)

“Tales From The Loop could very well be the RPG phenomenon of 2017.” ~Geek & Sundry (tabletop RPG)

TALES FROM THE LOOP- ROLEPLAYING IN THE '80s THAT NEVER WAS

[The Tabletop RPG was Awarded five Gold ENnies - among them Best Game and Product of the Year 2017 ]

In 1954, the Swedish government ordered the construction of the world’s largest particle accelerator. The facility was complete in 1969, located deep below the pastoral countryside of Mälaröarna. The local population called this marvel of technology The Loop.

Step into the amazing world of the Loop, encounter the mysteries that evolve around strange machines and weird creatures that have come to haunt the countryside after the Loop was built. Escape your everyday problems and be part of something meaningful and magical – but also dangerous.

Acclaimed scifi artist Simon Stålenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts, have spread like wildfire worldwide. Stålenhag’s portrayal of a childhood against a backdrop of old Volvo cars and coveralls, combined with strange and mystical machines, creates a unique atmosphere that is both instantly recognizable and utterly alien.

ABOUT SIMON STÅLENHAG

The acclaimed artist, concept designer and author of Tales from the Loop (2014) and Things from the Flood (2016) published by Free League. Simon Stålenhag (b. 1984) is best known for his highly imaginative images and stories portraying illusive sci-fi phenomena in mundane, hyper-realistic Scandinavian landscapes. Tales from the Loop was ranked by The Guardian as one of the ‘10 Best Dystopias’, in company with works such as Franz Kafka’s The Trial and Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca. Not only have Stålenhag’s unique and cinematic images earned him a worldwide fan base, but have also made him a go-to storyteller, concept artist and illustrator for both the film and computer gaming industry. Simon Stålenhag’s work can be seen in films such as Searching for Sugarman (2012), directed by Malik Bendjeloull, and in games such as Ripple Dot Zero (2013).

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Inspiring art #10 - 'Mos Eisley cantina standoff' by Ralph McQuarrie

To me, Ralph McQuarrie will always be the artist of Star Wars. His unique style and the amazing atmosphere he manages to invoke in his paintings captured the world of Star Wars before Star Wars was even released. In fact, much of his concept art is being used in Star Wars today.


This particular piece is a concept of the cantina in Episode IV: A New Hope. Luke apparently goes for his pistol as an armed figure looms from the shadows. C-3PO and R2-D2 stand in the corner while a stormtrooper, who honestly doesn't seem to give a hoot about what the locals get up to, stands and watches. Aliens of varying types with varying levels of interest sit around, probably used to this kind of thing, and a seeker hovers overhead.

Luke stands in the light while the alien stands in the shadow - whether done on purpose or not it's great symbolism - and two worlds are reflected in the painting. When we were running Star Wars RPG games in the 1980s and 90s we predominantly played in the underworld of the galaxy and I always used this painting as a jumping-off point to get me in the mood. I based more than one adventure off of the image.

I find it a wonderful, evocative image that really captures what I loved about running RPGs in one of my favourite settings.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Inspiring art #9 - 'Game of Thrones Map' by Francesca Baerald

Francesca Baerald has done some amazing work for some big publishers but it's her maps that really caught my attention, specifically her 'Game of Thrones' map.

Game of Thrones Map

I love old maps and the design and layout of this one really struck a chord with me. I've only ever read the first three books, up until the Red Wedding, and I'd recently watched the TV show as well as read the Guardians of Order RPG, so I was pretty high on all things Westeros. As I was trying to visualise the whole world, this map appeared.

I find this the most amazing map of one of my favourite settings ever; the detail of not only the landmasses but also the surroundings give it such depth and atmosphere I feel like taking a boat and a compass and sailing to the Seven Kingdoms right now. This is exactly the sort of illustration that not only honours the source material but also has my creative synapses firing off all at the same time.

I interviewed Francesca back in November of last year.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Inspiring art #8 - '2001: A Space Odyssey' Album Cover by Robert McCall

I do like the movie - I'm not in love with it but it is an incredibly visually stimulating movie - and the soundtrack is excellent. However, one of the reasons I got hold of the album was the cover art by Robert McCall.


McCall is an amazing artist that has done work for all kinds of things. His NASA work is amazing and he also worked on images for another favourite sci-fi film of mine, 'The Black Hole'.

I love this work because there's a lot of energy in it, with the shuttle blasting from the space station, and the station itself seems under construction with plenty of work that needs to be done. What do they still have to finish? What machines do they use in it's construction? I used to ask myself all kinds of questions like these whilst staring at this image. And in the background is the movie's next destination, the moon.

It's a great painting and it's the perfect cover for the album.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Inspiring art #7 - 'Castle on a Rock' by Karl Friedrich Lessing

When I was running lots of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay games in the 1990s I needed visuals beyond what the books were giving me. As good as the game's illustrations were, I wanted to give a new visual style to the game, and I found that in the work of Karl Friedrich Lessing.


Lessing did a lot of landscapes but my favourites were the ones in which he included castles and other buildings, and his 'Castle on a Rock' is excellent. His lighting and overall mood is somewhat mystical and the landscape is wonderful. This whole place tells a story; I interpreted it for a game where the PCs had to reach the castle via boat (as in the picture) and the castle was abandoned and had been built to keep incredibly dangerous people imprisoned.

If you put Karl Friedrich Lessing into Google Images you'll get lots of amazing pictures. There are some really inspirational paintings that will get your imagination going and you'll be able to give each location a story you can use in your game.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Inspiring art #6 - 'Middle-earth Roleplaying' by Angus McBride

One of my favourite historical illustrators is Angus McBride, and his work spanning all areas and eras of history and the realms of fantasy dominated my shelves. When MERP hit stores I was still trying to get a visual cue and it was McBride's work that really gave the realms of Middle-earth life for me.

Image result for angus mcbride

His painting for the cover of Middle-earth Roleplaying was a feast for the eyes and really encapsulated the story of The Lord of the Rings for me. I think my favourite part of the piece is the look on Sam's face; while everyone else is looking to the journey, Legolas and Gimli look back at something that may be a threat; after all, Gimli has his axe at the ready. Sam's face is concerned and bewildered, which is fitting.

The feel of the painting, with it's epic overtones coupled with a sense of reality (Aragorn there on the right is ready for travel instead of just standing proud with little to show for his ranger ways), is excellent and managed to get my imagination burning. It will always be one of my favourite Middle-earth illustrations, even though the rest of his Tolkien-inspired work was stunning.