Sunday, 8 December 2019

RPGs with the family

Image result for alien rpgI've had a few games of the new Alien RPG - not with a group but with my 12-year old son Bruce. This is his first proper introduction to roleplaying games (we have experimented before but this is the first time he's taken it seriously) and because he knows I have a huge love for Alien he was very attentive.

We did three games - escape from an infected colony to a waiting ship, deal with a rogue synthetic who murdered the ship's crew to obtain an alien specimen for transport, then deal with the alien on the ship. As the games progressed he got more and more into it, and now he's always asking, 'When is the next game, when is the next game?'

We had a long conversation about gaming today and now he wants to try Cyberpunk. I'm going to use the Mini Six system, for ease of use and adapt my Cyber Streets game to it, and he's already designed a character named Pin and designed her background and motivations. Set in a future London where commodoties and resources are scarce - except through the Corporations - it's a rough-and-tumble action game with streetwise attitude and cool concepts.


If the games go well I'll adapt the D6 system and release Cyber Streets as a Mini Six sourcebook. I tried it once before as a 'To The Stars, Stellar Cadets!' book but it wasn't great, and I'm a little more creative with my PDF layouts these days.

I'm looking forward to these games with Bruce. Hopefully I'll branch out and get other people involved, do some online gaming. Most of all, it's great to be creating a world with my son.

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Saturday, 7 December 2019

WEG Star Wars RPG - The Rancor Pit


The Rancor Pit Forum Index

When West End Games released 'Star Wars - The Roleplaying Game' in 1987 it hit the hobby, and Star Wars fandom, in many ways; a huge new RPG was on the scene and was immediately accessible, it added lore and history to the Star Wars universe (it was the seed of the Expanded Universe, after all) and it created a huge following. This following went from strength to strength and with the advent of the internet it just got bigger.

More than twenty years after WEG stopped producing material for the game the fanbase is still strong and the game is still widely played, with fan sourcebooks and new versions avaiolable across the web. Even Fantasy Flight Games got in on the action with the 30th Anniversary edition of the game, in a gorgeous slipcase with te Sourcebook included.

Many WEGSWD6 websites have come and gone, but one of the best has always been The Rancor Pit. It's mainly a message board, now, but the conversations are regular and informative, with a lot of fan-created material that will keep you in games for a long, long time.

The Rancor Pit Forum Index

If you still play Star Wars D6 - and I do - then The Rancor Pit is a great place to visit, talk, swap ideas and opinions and get hold of some great material. Check it out.

Monday, 2 December 2019

WEG D6 Star Wars RPG

I was reading a thread about which games we miss from our youth.

I'd say WEG Star Wars RPG for me, not just as a great game but as an amazing group experience. It was the most played game in my groups and overshadowed all my other campaigns. I've not played a proper campaign for 20 years, just the odd game here and there.

I really miss it.

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Saturday, 30 November 2019

Games just for me!!!!!

The Alien RPG is out soon. There's a Dune RPG coming out in a few months.

Have I fallen through a wormhole into 'RPGs-I've-wanted-for-ages' world? It's exciting, and the perfect time to start getting a whole new gaming group together. New worlds, faces, adventures, and friends.

ALIEN RPG Interview with Tomas Härenstam

I've made no secret of it - ALIEN is my favourite movie of all time and the fact that there is an ALIEN RPG hitting the shelves makes me excited in ways I can't describe.

Having played the Coriolis roleplaying game and enjoying it immensley, knowing that the new ALIEN game would share the same mechanics was great news. When I got my hands on the Cinematic Starter Kit earlier in the year I was more than happy; the tone, the design, the atmosphere the game was creating. I was satisfied that the whole thing was in safe hands.

I grabbed a few words from Tomas Härenstam, the game's director and rules designer.

The ALIEN franchise is a huge one; how did you manage to land that license? Was it something you actively sought out?

ALIEN is really a dream franchise for us to work on. It started as a brainstorm about which licenses we would like to work with if we could wish for anything. We ended up with a list of five an ALIEN was definitely on the list. Shortly after, I got in touch via Joe LeFavi at Genuine Entertainment via a mutual acquaintance. Joe works with licensing in Hollywood and has all the right connections - and it turned out he's also a big fan of Free League games, particularly Tales From the Loop. We started discussing ALIEN, Joe took it to 20th Century Fox, negotiations followed and a few months later the agreement was signed. It's really been an amazing journey, and Joe and Fox have really been great partners.

I've been a fan of ALIEN since 1982 - it's my favourite movie ever - and it has influenced me in all kinds of ways in my gaming. What is your history with the movies, from ALIEN to ALIEN: COVENANT and everything in between?

All of us at Free League are huge ALIEN fans as well, and the movies have influenced our work in RPGs for sure, particularly Coriolis which is also a sci-fi game. For the ALIEN RPG, we brought on sci-fi author Drew Gaska who has been an ALIEN franchise consultant for Fox and is a true expert on the universe. Working with Drew and diving deep into this universe has been great.

The different movies, games and other media vary in their approach to the source material and universe of ALIEN. Was there a specific atmosphere you wanted to create, or did you just want a huge melting pot where groups could bring their own preferences? Was there a specific movie you focused attention on?

For the tone and style of the game, we have focused on the first two movies, and the game also takes place a few years after ALIENS. That said, we do bring in source material from the prequel movies as well as from novels, comics and other games. The core rulebook really works as a huge resource book for the entire ALIEN universe, useful also for people who are not roleplayers I think.


What was the support from 20th Century Fox like? Were there strict conditions or were you given free reign to include/create what you wanted?

It's been great to work with them. We have to stay within canon of course, but I wouldn't say they gave us very strict conditions, no. They have of course examined and approved everything we have done, but I must say it's been a smooth process. I think it also helps to have Drew on board, as they know him from before.

The system has been widely discussed and showcased in the Cinematic Starter Kit released earlier in the year and everyone has their favourite aspects to the game. What is your personal favourite part of the game, and what are you most proud of?

Hm, as the rules designer I'd have to say the stress mechanic with the Stress Dice. I think they help create the right mood at the gaming table, in an easy and accessible way that doesn't slow the game down. Beyond that, I'm super proud of the work that the others in the team have done on them game, particularly Drew Gaska, Martin Grip (lead artist), John R. Mullaney (vehicle and ship art) and Christian Granath (graphic designer).


The timeline covers the key moments of the ALIEN universe. Are there any plans to expand beyond that timeline? How much leeway do you have to add whole new material to the lore?

For now, we're staying around the year 2183. We might move forward a little bit in time in future supplements. As for new material in the lore - we're adding new stories and storylines for sure, but we're doing this in synch with Fox and their other licensing partners.

I have heard rumours of a few tasty sourcebooks; what do you have planned for immediate future releases to support the main game?

Yep! First up is actually a boxed Cinematic starter set, that we aim to launch in late spring. Then, in August, we plan to release a Colonial Marines sourcebook and a new Cinematic scenario, Destroyer of Worlds by Drew Gaska.

ALIEN is my favourite movie of the franchise and my preferred sequel is ALIEN ISOLATION. There will be a lot of attention on the primary sequels, such as ALIENS, but are there any plans to release material for these smaller stories and locations, such as the Seegson company or the Sevastopol Station? How much material will you include from the multiple sources, such as the novels and the comics? 

We do have quite a lot of references to material from novels, comics and other games in the core rulebook, including mentions of Seegson and Sevastopol station. There will surely be more of that in coming supplements. We want to be part of developing a larg, shared ALIEN universe!


You must have had access to a lot of, if not every, piece of material in the ALIEN vault so, on a personal note, what was your favourite thing about working on the license? Did you discover or realise things about the franchise you didn't know or consider before, and how will you include those discoveries in the game? 

Oh, for sure - diving deep into a franchise like this really means you'll find lots of information you were not aware of. Even fairly basic stuff like how space travel really works in the ALIEN universe - I don't think I had a very clear idea of that before working on the game and creating rules for it - that required a lot of research!

What was the hardest part of working on this license?

Hm, probably that we need to make sure we truly hit the right tone and style for ALIEN, and meet, or hopefully even exceed, the expectations of the community. That can sometimes be hard, but also very rewarding.

This game must be one of the most anticipated games of the year. How excited are you about releasing the ALIEN RPG out into the gaming community? 

EXTREMELY exited! I'm personally going to PAX Unplugged on December 6-8 in Philadelphia to launch the game, really looking forward to that!


Friday, 29 November 2019

Action heroes need love too

Do you know which action hero doesn't get enough attention?

Rick O'Connell.

Yeah, the guy from the three Mummy movies.

He's a great action dude in a great trilogy of movies, fights when he has to, has one-liners, really takes some beating and is just as cool as heckers. I mean, look at his fight on the riverboat in the first film, he just totally kicks arse and even has time to be funny about it. He's the kind of character I'd like to play in a pulp adventure game.

I think he's even up there with Indiana Jones as that exasperated action hero who isn't afraid to be terrified of the things he faces off with. He just gets past that and gets on with what he knows ie: shooting and punching lots of bad guys.

It helps that Brendan Fraser is a hero of mine, just an all-round decent dude and a great actor.

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Alien RPG thoughts

I've made some notes on the kind of game I want to run with the new Alien RPG, and most of them have nothing to do with the creature at all but the machinations of the companies trying to profit from them.

Also, I've decided that the 'big bad company is bad' angle doesn't work for me, and I'm looking at creating secret organisations within the firms, or just really ambitious individuals trying to line their own pockets using company resources, to add a layer of threat. I think it will add depth to the story and dissuade the players from going after the big guy to expose  their lies in some misguided cyberpunk/Shadowrun mission.

The Alien itself will have a showing, but as the finale to a campaign. I'm imagining the game building up to a huge adventure with the monster, like a build-up to the events on Sevastopol where everything comes together.

I've also created a new company called Omega Centauri, who buys patents and copyrights decades out of date and produces them at cut prices - 'Reliable Technology From A Reliable Time'. They're looking to make the big time...

All notes. I need to get a game on!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Pandorum

Picked Pandorum up today for 50p, and it's the cool 3D cover one with some decent extras. It's not a bad film, a little silly in parts, but it's pretty solid scifi horror.

I do like the way it's shot, apart from the monsters - the way they're filmed is annoys me a bit, but not enough to ruin the whole film.

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Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Dune on my tabletop

I am so excited about the upcoming Dune movie - after the stunning Blade Runner 2049 I listed Denis Villeneuve as one of the (many) directors who I'd be happy with directing an Alien movie, but Dune? Damn it, that's gold.

I love the Lynch movie but I think I love the design more than the way it treated the story. If the new film has that sense of skewed reality that's fine by me.

I'm also excited about the upcoming tabletop roleplaying game from Gale Force 9 and Modiphius, as gaming in the Dune universe has always fascinated me.

Dune is coming to my two favourite mediums. It's an exciting time!

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Friday, 22 November 2019

One Page RPG

Can't remember if I shared this or not - it's a single page RPG I might put to use at some point in the future.

I just wrote a quick adventure for it, too.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

The War of the Worlds - new ideas

This is how much I'm thinking about 'The War of the Worlds' at the moment; 5:00am condensation art, while I was waiting for a bus. I'd previously drawn the Alien, but this time I had a bash at a Martian Fighting Machine.

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And now I'm having game design ideas...

I'm toying with that Fighting Machine design, and I did this on my phone's Sketch app on the bus back, based on the sketch I did in condensation. I'll do some proper sketching when I get the chance.



Also, Audible's 'The War of the Worlds' adaptation is excellent. The Jeff Wayne music, of course, is great even if the rock opera feel kind of intrudes on the period, but the new arrangements are exciting and really good listening.

Sheen is amazing - the drama is just wonderful and it's really creepy to listen to. Great stuff.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Tiny Frontiers

Look at what arrived!

It's a great game with really cool content. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with this and I already have an old scifi action campaign setting that I designed in mind.

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Sunday, 17 November 2019

Tilda Swinton as Elric of Melnibone

I'm still pushing for Tilda Swinton to play Elric of Melnibone.

Could you imagine that as a TV show? Jesus, it would blow minds clear out of the water.

'Game of Thrones was brutal!'

'Hold my beer'.

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Saturday, 16 November 2019

Interlude #1: The Take - From Gallant Knight Games

My new mini adventure for Aliens & Asteroids has just been released. It was an absolute pleasure working for Moebius, and there's more to come!

Interlude #1: The Take
From Gallant Knight Games

Once in a while, every campaign needs a small adventure that can be run between other adventures in an ongoing campaign. The Take from Jonathan Hicks offers a glimpse into the gritty, criminal underworld of the Aliens & Asteroids universe and introduces us to a new threat from within the Dominion: The Black Circle.

This is an adventure for the Aliens & Asteroids RPG and requires the A&A core book. It includes information about the Dominion Defense Service (DDS), which is the Dominion's version of the FBI, including a couple of new professions, new traits, and a background!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Alien Fanboy Thoughts

I have huge love for Alien Isolation and it's my preferred sequel to Alien, my favourite movie. Sadly, though, I feel Amanda's character has been kind of ruined by subsequent stories. She wasn't so bad in Alien Blackout, but Alien Resistance turned her into a gun-toting action hero, fighting against 'the nasty bad corporation who are nasty and bad'.

I much preferred her character when she was determined, resilient and clever in the face of danger, as she's depicted in the game and the novel, but now she solves problems with pulse rifles and tough Colonial Marine friends who have been shoehorned into her story.

I suppose I had other ideas as to where her story would go after the bleak horror of Isolation, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they chose this path. The ass-kicking heroine was profitable for her mum so there's no reason why they wouldn't try to duplicate it with her. It seems to be what the audience wants, or at least expects.

I'm probably just having a fanboy entitlement moment.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Alien Blackout

So Alien Blackout, the sequel to Alien Isolation as... a mobile game.

Okay.

Look, it wasn't a bad game and had some decent atmosphere - watching the crew on the cameras was creepy - but it just got repetitive, a little boring and really frustrating. I know that sometimes games make you angry and there's a part of you that says 'That's not fair!', but there's moments in this game that really weren't, and it felt like the Alien just turned up randomly, no matter how you planned it.

And as a sequel to such a great game? Really lazy. It's not what I wanted, and not what many other fans wanted, either.

Still, it killed an hour or two and it's really cheap on Google Play right now.

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Sunday, 10 November 2019

Simply6

In my quest to find fun rules-lite games I can do something with, I just picked up Simply6 - it's a cracking system that's so fast that I knew how to play it before I actually read it.

The presentation is excellent, too, and there's enough material to keep a group going for a long while.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Observations From A Gamer's Chair

I've written a lot of gaming articles about different things over the years; my first one was accepted for publication in 'Arcane' magazine (who sadly closed their doors before it got published), some appeared in my old e-zine 'ODDS', I tried to self-publish a book about them and I featured them on my blog.

Right now they're appearing in a serialised column on RPG.net and they cover detailed thoughts to simple observations; in fact, once I realised that my articles were just me talking about what I've experienced in the hobby, and conclusions I've come to because of those observations, that's what I named the column; 'Observations From A Gamer's Chair'. They stopped being about hints and tips and became more about me sharing my experiences.

There are 48 articles available to view at the monent with another ten to come. It'll be a shame when the column is finished, but I've had a great time writing them and venting/sharing/exorcising my thoughts and feelings on all kinds of gaming subjects. I have no intention of writing any more as I focus more on game design and creating adventures rather than writing about playing them.

Maybe there's a game design column in there, somewhere. I need more experience first.

Simply6 Campaign Setting - 'TITAN GATE'

I've just released this under the WOIN Community Publishing Syndicate using the Simply6 system. It's an old setting of mine I never found a home for, but then Simply6 reared it's head and I found it to be the perfect fit; I could create a setting and not get too hung up on the rules.

I'm rather pleased with it, and hopefully it'll do well enough for me to be able to give the setting more support.

TITAN GATE

'A galaxy on the edge of civil war...

The stirrings of revolution...

The rumours of persons with incredible powers who will lead the oppressed to salvation...

A simple science fiction setting for the Simply6 roleplaying game, including:

A future history of the human race up to year 4799.

Information on the the Prime Gate Houses and how they are slowly bleeding the known galaxy.

Life under the Gate Houses.

Player and GM guidelines.

Adventure hooks

A short adventure 'Rumours'.

All things must change, for that is the nature of the universe.

The Risen are emerging.

Requires the Simply6 core rules and the Spaceships supplement for play.'

What am I writing? Take a guess.

I had a really productive week of writing adventures for dark science fiction adfventures.

I think my desk layout tells you what kind of writing mood I was in...

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Thursday, 7 November 2019

Not doing my own art

I'm working on a D12 thing and it involves lots of scifi fighting. I'm having a go at some basic illustrating (I have no intention of illustrating it myself) but liked the roughness of this.

The game Mothership has some fantastic art in it, I love the look of that game. I'm wondering if that style would work for mine.

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Blade Runner RPG - in Spanish

A lovely gentleman contacted me recently and asked if he could translate my unofficial Blade Runner game into Spanish. Well, I wrote it about 10 years ago and I don't own the IP, so I said hell yeah, go for it, as long as he's not making money off it.

I wrote it using my fledgling SKETCH System and it was designed to be played using the basics of the Blade Runner universe. I'd still love to see an official Blade Runner RPG - although there are dozens of games that could emulate it easily - and this was my first step in visualising it.

BR_ESP

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Alien Isolation novelisation

This was a good book. It gave Amanda Ripley an interesting background and gave a bit more depth to the events on the Sevastopol.

I still don't like other characters from other stories being shoehorned into Amanda's story or her going on to be an action freedom fighter revenge hero, but this is a solid book.


THE OFFICIAL VIDEO GAME ADAPTATION—AND MUCH MORE!

From birth, Amanda Ripley’s life is riddled with hardship. Her parents live on the edge of poverty, so her mother—Ellen Ripley—seeks off-world contracts that lead to a position aboard the commercial hauler Nostromo. Then when the deep-space vessel disappears, Amanda passes into adulthood focused on discovering one thing.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ELLEN RIPLEY?

Amanda’s quest pulls her into the underbelly of society, where few can be trusted. On Luna she meets someone who seems the exception—Private Zula Hendricks of the Colonial Marines—but their relationship is short-lived. Just as Amanda appears to hit rock bottom… a lead appears.

To follow it, she must travel to the remote Sevastopol Station. There she hopes to find the answers she seeks. But the station is in ruins, and death stalks the corridors in the form of a deadly alien the likes of which she never could have imagined.


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Moons of Madness

This looks like my kind of game. Science fiction and cosmic horror? Yes, that's ticking a few boxes already.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Mad Max.. IN SPAAAAACE!

I'm trying to envision a post-apocalyptic Mad Max style universe but spread across a dead stellar empire, so instead of cars people are getting around on starships and trying to exist across hundreds of dead and dying worlds, moons and stations.

I'm trying to find an art style that suits it but other than straight forward wacky out-there standard Mad Max weirdness IN SPAAAAAACE! I can't put my finger on a specific style.

Do I really want that Mad Max look, or just desperate survivors in a sci-fi hellscape looking to survive? Do I decide on an aesthetic first and then break it down to how it would look after a major collapse? How about Star Trek but all screwed up? Or a devastated Expanse?

I just can't get a visual. I know what I want to from the rules for the skirmish wargame, the starship battles game and the tabletop RPG side of things, but I just can't get a visual design down.

I've only just designed the game, to be fair, but I usually come at these things with a specific design in mind. This is what happens when you have a bonkers dream on the Saturday night and get up at 6:00 on the Sunday morning to get 4,000 words down to exorcise the ideas I had. I rushed into it, I think, and thought more about the concept and the game mechanics than I did about the overall package.

I want to complete the rules and get them playtested, and for now I'll use the 'Mad Max IN SPAAAAACE!' tagline to get my basic idea across. I'm sure the overall design and look of the game will come later.

Friday, 6 September 2019

On hiatus

Farsight Blogger is taking an extended break, but should return some time in the future.

Feel free to peruse the site and read some of the older articles. Most of my gaming related work is being serialised in a regular column called 'Observations from the Gamer's Chair' over at www.rpg.net, so feel free to visit.

Thanks for popping by!

Sunday, 23 June 2019

OSPREY GAMES LAUNCHES ROLEPLAYING GAME SERIES

Image result for osprey gamesOsprey Games is delighted to announce the November 2019 launch of Osprey Roleplaying, a new series of beautifully illustrated, hardback RPG rulebooks that transport players to incredible worlds and extraordinary adventures. The series debuts with two titles: Romance of the Perilous Land: A Roleplaying Game of British Folklore, created by award-winning designer Scott Malthouse, and Graham Rose’s Paleomythic: A Roleplaying Game of Stone and Sorcery.

In Romance of the Perilous Land, players take on the role of brave knights, fierce warriors, and other heroes as they fight evil, right wrongs, and create their own legends in Arthurian Britain.

Paleomythic sees players attempt to navigate their way through the harsh prehistoric land of Ancient Mu – a world where hostile tribes, otherworldly spirits, ferocious beasts, and other monstrous creatures threaten their survival at every turn.

Speaking about the new series, Philip Smith, Head of Osprey Games, said “I’m thrilled that we are finally able to announce the first titles in our new line of RPGs. We’ve been working with some great designers and artists on games from a range of genres, and there’s more to come – watch this space!”


Romance of the Perilous Land: A Roleplaying Game of British Folklore

Designer: Scott Malthouse
Illustrators: John McCambridge, David Needham & Alan Lathwell
ISBN: 9781472834775
Format: Hardback
Price: £20 / US $30 / CAN $40

Created by award-winning designer Scott Malthouse, Romance of the Perilous Land is a roleplaying game of magic and adventure set in the world of British folklore, from the stories of King Arthur to the wonderful regional tales told throughout this green and pleasant land. It is a world of romantic chivalry, but also of great danger, with ambitious kings, evil knights, and thieving brigands terrorising the land, while greedy giants, malevolent sorcerers, and water-dwelling knuckers lurk in the shadows. As valiant knights, mighty barbarians, subtle cunning folk, and more, the players are heroes, roaming the land to fight evil, right wrongs, and create their own legends.

About the Author

Scott Malthouse is a roleplaying game designer and folklore enthusiast who was born and bred in Yorkshire, where he currently lives. His work includes the award-winning Quill (Best Free Game 2016, Indie RPG Awards), In Darkest Warrens, and Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying.


Paleomythic: A Roleplaying Game of Stone and Sorcery

Designer: Graham Rose
Illustrators: John McCambridge & Mars Oosterveld
ISBN: 9781472834812
Format: Hardback
Price: £20 / US $30 / CAN $40

Paleomythic: A Roleplaying Game of Stone and Sorcery, written by Graham Rose, sees players face all manner of challenges as they try to survive in the prehistoric land of Ancient Mu. Taking on the roles of hunters, healers, warriors, soothsayers, and more, they will navigate a world of hostile tribes, otherworldly spirits, prehistoric beasts, and monstrous creatures lurking in the dark places of the world. Players have a huge scope in sculpting the game experience that best suits them, whether it’s a gritty survival story without a trace of the mystical or a tale of grand adventure and exploration in a mythic setting.

About the Author

When Graham Rose discovered roleplaying games, he was hooked. He designed his first home-brew RPG in the 1980s and has continued tinkering with games ever since. It was whilst roleplaying that Graham decided to acquire as many of the abilities listed on his character sheet as possible. This quest has led to a wide range of interests, from archaeology to competition fencing, a career in the fields of intelligence and law enforcement, and has also resulted in him crashing a snowmobile in the Arctic Circle, enduring serious illness in Kathmandu, coming face to face with a silverback gorilla in Rwanda, and walking Hadrian’s Wall during a storm. Graham lives in the UK with his wife, Nicola, and currently works as a cold case homicide investigator.

About Osprey Games

Osprey Games is the dedicated games division of Osprey Publishing (part of Bloomsbury Publishing plc) and publishes a wide range of wargames, card games, and board games. Launched in 2014, the company has produced an array of critically acclaimed titles, including Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City, Bolt Action, Odin’s Ravens, Wildlands and The Lost Expedition.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

ADVANCED FIGHTING FANTASY Bundle of Holding

Lots of Fighting Fantasy goodies over on Bundle of Holding, including 3 of my adventures! Some great offers from some amazingly talented people.

'Adventurer! We've resurrected our March 2017 Advanced Fighting Fantasy Bundle featuring the Arion Games tabletop roleplaying game based on the phenomenally popular Fighting Fantasy gamebooks by Steve Jackson (the British one) and Ian Livingstone. Originally published in 1989, and presented here in its handsome 2011 Second Edition, Advanced Fighting Fantasy is a complete RPG set in the classic Fighting Fantasy world, with a fast and adaptable system ideal for beginners and well suited to long-term campaigns. This revival accompanies an all-new companion offer, More Fighting Fantasy, with recent supplements and adventures.'

Advanced Fighting Fantasy Bundle

More Advanced Fighting Fantasy

Saturday, 15 June 2019

UK Games Expo 2019

On Saturday 1st June I took a trip top the UK Games Expo, the annual tabletop show at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.

The show this year was huge. I mean, really huge - sadly I could only make the single day but the event lasted from Friday 31st May to Sunday 2nd June, three days of games, demos, shows, talks, and pretty much anything else you can think of that would get you tabletop blood pumping.

This is this year's official figures, direct from the UK Games Expo website:

Unique visitors totalled 25,704 (i.e. all individuals at the show. Up approx. 18.5%), and repeat visitors 45,097 (i.e. all people whether 1 day or 3 days. Up approx 15%). 3 days of gaming or 74 Hours of UK Games Expo from start to finish, 97 brand new game releases, 27 games crowd funding,
3.5 km of table cloths, 5 Tonnes (est.) of gaming boards, 800 T-shirts to launder and repack post event, 975m of large format printing, 311 street names stuck down, 900 stand number stickers, 25k lanyards and pouches, 32k square metres of floor space, 2 1/2 Halls of the NEC plus 1 Hilton Hotel, 430+ Exhibitors, and 121 companies from outside of the UK.


Blimey. That's a big show, and the hard work and dedication from the organisers and volunteers really, really paid off.

So, here are a few of my highlights of the show. I went with my son Bruce as there's plenty there for a 12-year old to do and he loves the day out.

I think I've only missed the UK Games Expo twice, once when it first began and one of the NEC dates - watching it grow from those small halls into the huge event it is now has been amazing, the guys in charge and everyone involved do a marvellous job. I once signed up to run a game many years ago - none of the gamers who had signed up actually turned up an I had to sit in a hall filled with excited gamers at a huge table on my own. That was an experience. The organisers were really good about it and we all had a laugh, but I never ran a convention game ever again, and it almost put me off conventions, but I'm so glad it didn't.

A cool part of the day is the journey there on the train - to spot fellow gamers on their way! I saw a Warhammer AoS t-shirt and a guy with a bag with what I think was a board game sticking out of it, but he wass too far away to tell.

When I got there at just after 10:30am it was rammed - I only had to queue for ten minutes, I picked up the free programme and in we went!



Modiphius has a cracking stand, plenty of games going on.


The Fria Ligan stand is busy. Some amazing books on show. There's a game of ALIEN on the go set in Hadley's Hope. I think they managed to nail a beast but one of the players is toast. Had a lovely chat with the guys about the game and especially the art. They're passionate about it and there's confidence about the release.



Now, Alien is my most anticipated RPG this year - this is my favourite franchise, favourite movie and favourite hobby, and the fact that ine of my favourite RPG publishers is working on it has me giddy with excitement as it's almost the perfect hobby storm for me.


The Chaosium stand has plenty on show, the Runequest game is positively gorgeous.


Quick tip - if you're going to have a standing conversation, try not to do it in the middle of an aisle! The show is really busy and crowdsare constantly on the move, and the main cause of delay was small groups of people standing on the floor blocking traffic. It made it especially difficult with people with mobility issues.

Mindjammer Press have a great crew manning the stand - Capharnaum and Chronicles of Future Earth look like excellent games.


Mantic Games has high quality stuff and some great licences  - their Hellboy board game is a hefty beast!


Then I had a good look at the Modiphius stand - I'm not a miniatures guy generally but their new models were really impressive.

Fallout Wasteland figures - great detail and really well painted.


Star Trek figures are as gorgeous as always.


But it's the Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms figures that have me excited. These were excellent figures, the poses were cool and the detail was really good. I love the design of Elder Scrolls and these figuess caught the mood really well.



I then caught up with Jonathan Green on his stand - always a pleasure to chat with the man and more than excited about Fighting Fantasy Fest 3 in August. Also tried whispering Fighting Fantasy ideas, but I'm rubbish at subterfuge.


There's some great stuff on the Cubicle 7 stand - the Warhammer and The One Ring books are stunning.



I'm gutted I couldn't stay longer or do any extra days.


The massive turnout and the sheer number of things to do kept us busy all day, and if circumstances had been different I would have spent the entire three days there. The venue is easy to get to via any means of transport; we went by train and getting off at Birmingham International station meant we only had a 10 minute walk to the show. Drivers have easy access via the UKs main road network so it's pretty much a straight drive there, and international travellers can travel into Birmingham airport which is right next door - a quick five minute monorail ride from the airport gets you to the train station, and again it's just ten minutes from there. Easy.

The demos in the main halls were amazing and down at the Hilton Hotel, another ten minute walk away, the games were taking place with masses of gamers gathering and gaming into the small hours.

Hall 1

14000 sqm of trade space. Some of the key attractions included the Haba Family Zone, Playtest, Children's Roleplaying and the Games Quest Shop and Drop.

Hall 2

11,000 sqm. Half of this Hall is filled with even more exhibitors as well as a huge open gaming space and one part of our board game library. 

Many of the tournaments and championships take place in here.

Hall 3a

Using circa 2000 sqm. Home to our Bring and Buy as well as more tournaments and championships taking place in here.

Toute Suite (Just outside Hall 1)

Home of most of our Profantasy Seminar Track activities.

PIazza Suites (between Hall 1 and Hall 2)

Used for most of the Cartamundi Publisher Designer Track activities.

NEC Lakefront

The Viking living history village will be here.

Hilton Hotel

3500 sqm of space at the Hilton Hotel will remain the focus of the Roleplaying Game sessions, live entertainment and more open gaming space; with the entire Palace and Kings one huge open gaming space, allowing 2000+ gaming enthusiasts to sit and game. Also the UK Games Expo Food Festival will be here.

The organisers should be proud of their show this year. 


Friday, 14 June 2019

'World of War' for Stellar Adventures released

My new adventure for Stellar Adventures has been released. It has a tiny bit of detail about the AstroNavy from 'Starship Traveller', and it's a taster of things to come!

WORLD OF WAR

The players are instructed to take a starship to the Bakk solar system, land on the primary planet of Bakk-Alpha-Four, and pick up supplies for Beta 1-8-6 Stellarstation. Whilst they are there, things start to go wrong...

Can they make it across the war torn city of Calappa to freedom?

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Rocket Age RPG adapted for 5th Edition!

Here's a thing - one of my favourite RPG games is being adapted for my favourite edition of D&D! The Kickstarter is already off to a great start, take a look!


The Kickstarter is here

'We love Rocket Age and we want to bring it to everyone.  5e allows us to invite more people into the Rocket Age. From the beginning we did not want to do a simple conversion, we knew that to make system and setting work best we would have to adapt both. Where possible we have kept the core of the 5e engine, you can use Rocket Age (5e) with your full collection of 5e products. We have species (instead of races), classes, armor class, hit points and dice, proficiencies, and so forth. Rocket Age (5e) has a plethora of alien creatures to interact with, but we want you to be able to pull any monster out of whatever 5e compatible monster guide you might want. Where something had to be changed in the setting, most notably the availability of psychic powers, we made small changes as needed. The result is a merging of system and setting, not just a welding of one to another.'

Sunday, 26 May 2019

ALIEN RPG report - Cinematic Starter Set

'In celebration of the official 40th Anniversary this Saturday, Free League will offer a meaty 168-page Cinematic Starter Kit for their highly-anticipated Alien RPG – debuting their first Cinematic module Chariot of the Gods written by Alien RPG setting writer and sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska – as a complimentary bonus gift for anyone who pre-orders the Alien RPG Core Rulebook at alien-rpg.com. The Cinematic Starter Kit will be available for download as soon as the pre-order purchase is confirmed.'

I'm reading the ALIEN RPG Cinematic Starter Set from Frial Ligan - this game is going to be amazing; It's got a history, from Weyland's TED talk to post Fiorina 161, and it not only covers the alien but also the governments, corporations and factions.

It's giving the players a chance to play the horror of Alien, the action of Aliens or the mystery of Prometheus. If you wanted to do something that doesn't involve the alien and stick to some corporate craziness - like Outland - then that's cool, too. There are plenty of options for all kinds of games.

I'll be starting the rules soon, but up to yet I'm loving what I'm seeing.

Also, the GM is called the 'Game Mother'. Brilliant!

More thoughts and reactions soon!

Friday, 24 May 2019

UK Games Expo - less than a week to go!

In the next few days gamers, traders and publishers will be preparing for three days of some of the best tabletop gaming the world has to offer. That;s right - the 2019 UK Games Expo is on us!

I'll be there on the Saturday mixing it up with games, gamers and gangs of gaming gamers. Yes. It's all about the games.


ABOUT UKGE

Now in its 13th Year, UK Games Expo (UKGE) is the largest Hobby Games Convention in the UK. A fun event appealing to families and the general public as well as the enthusiast.

Held in the NEC and Hilton Hotels, Birmingham.

OPENING HOURS

Friday. Trade Halls Opening: 9.30 to 6pm.

Saturday. Trade Halls Opening: 9.30 to 6pm.

Sunday.Trade Halls Opening: 9.30 to 4pm.

LOCATIONS

Hall 1

This has at least 14000 sqm of trade space. Some of the key attractions include the Haba Family Zone, Playtest, Children's Roleplaying and the Games Quest Shop and Drop.

Hall 2

11,000 sqm. Half of this Hall is filled with even more exhibitors as well as a huge open gaming space and one part of our board game library.
Many of the tournaments and championships take place in here.

Hall 3a

Using circa 2000 sqm. Home to our Bring and Buy as well as more tournaments and championships taking place in here.

Toute Suite (Just outside Hall 1)

Home of most of our Profantasy Seminar Track activities.

PIazza Suites (between Hall 1 and Hall 2)

Used for most of the Cartamundi Publisher Designer Track activities.

NEC Lakefront

The Viking living history village will be here.

Hilton Hotel

Meanwhile, 3500 sqm of space at the Hilton Hotel will remain the focus of the Roleplaying Game sessions, live entertainment and more open gaming space; with the entire Palace and Kings one huge open gaming space, allowing 2000+ gaming enthusiasts to sit and game. Also the UK Games Expo Food Festival will be here.

Getting between the Hilton and the NEC. The two venues are very close. It is about a 10 minute walk.