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.

New Material for Fireteam Part 3

After watching a video about the Yamato anime it struck me that a huge part of military sci-fi is about the starships, so I'm having some ideas about a sourcebook regarding the vessels of the Fireteam universe and the people that crew them. Space navy campaigns can be fun.

Friday 11 November 2022

New Material for Fireteam Part 2

 ... and then there's Titan Gate, something I still haven't decided on what it's going to be, adventure or sourcebook. It details a central staging area for the Combine war machine which comes under attack. I guess it could be both

There's a lot in the pipeline for Fireteam.

New material for Fireteam

This another project for Fireteam I'm working on - I'm experimenting with short combat missions, to open new ideas, equipment and locations.

This one is a mashup of The Thing and Starship Troopers - at least, that's my pitch to myself. It will end up far different, I'm sure.

FIRETEAM Rules Light Military Science Fiction Roleplaying is now an Electrum Best Seller!

FIRETEAM Rules Light Military Science Fiction Roleplaying is now an Electrum Best Seller!

Thanks to all who got it this far!

Wednesday 9 November 2022

FIRETEAM supplement delayed

I was really hoping to get Invasion finished by Christmas but I've decided to delay it - after rejigging the core book with better art and layout I want to make some changes to this and adjust the focus.

Let's just say I'm changing it so that the title should be LIBERATION and not INVASION.

It's still going to happen.

Anyway, here's a test cover.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Cyber Streets - out now!

 Welcome to Cyber Streets, a future noir setting using the Fireteam Hi5 ruleset.

This game is a rules-light system about story and narrative, so that the group can focus more on the game and less on the rules, allowing for flowing stories that won’t be stalled too much by rulings, tables and charts.


Cyber Streets is a traditional pen-and-paper tabletop roleplaying game designed for a gamemaster and any number of players. It is designed with the future dystopian city nightmare in mind, with dark rain-soaked streets, corporate espionage and dangerous gangs. All soaked in neon, lit by holographic advertisements a hundred feet tall, with lights and laser shows inviting the downtrodden citizens of the Capital into the comforting arms of unfettered capitalism.


Players take on the roles of investigators of the Capital Police Department, Street Detective Teams, groups of cops working for an organisation with an almost unfortunate acronym. Funded by the corporations yet expected to bring law to everyone equally, it never quite turns out that way and limits will be crossed, morals bent and the line between justice and business will blur. Can the players keep their heads in a world where everyone has lost theirs to WorldNet?


FIRETEAM - Rules Light Military Science Fiction Roleplaying out now!

The revised FIRETEAM - Rules Light Military Science Fiction Roleplaying is available now!

This is an adventure roleplaying game designed for quick one-shots of high action and fast combat. Players will take on the roles of Specialists in a Fireteam of the Interplanetary Combine, a government body in constant conflict with the universe.

Threats to the Combine come in all shapes and sizes; insurrection, terrorism, and strange, alien threats that the Combine struggle to deal with. On top of all this they are fighting an ongoing war with the Gene League Separatists, a huge collection of worlds that see the Combine as a threat to their ‘freedom’ and individuality, as well as seeing the rest of the non-augmented human race as inferior. They feel they are fighting a war for the purity of their genetically superior species and their independence, and worlds and star systems continually change hands with the borders shifting every few months. It’s becoming more than the Combine can handle.


- Simple character creation and progress, with just a few minutes for a full combat team to get statted and ready, and more than suitable for one-shots and campaigns.

- Fast, easily modded rules that can be used with most science fiction setting, including rules for vehicles and starships; in fact, the character creation and rules are only 8 pages long, so you can get straight into the action in one sitting! 

- A single-page setting to get you started, and five adventures that fill out the galaxy and cover everything from tactical strikes, secret missions and assaults, to starship battles, boarding actions and all-out war!    

- Can be used as 'Theatre of the Mind' or on a grid battlemat, so you can use your favourite minis.

- Easily adaptable to your favourite military science fiction setting, with lots of room for new rules, stats and expansion.  

If there’s a problem, and if every other route to a resolution has tried and failed, then it’s time to call a Fireteam.

NOW UNDER OGL - You can create your own combat missions, rules and settings and share them with the #ttrpg community, even for commercial purposes! It's an open game and I'd love for everyone to be involved, just make sure to credit and link the original game.

Friday 21 October 2022

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Cyber Streets Development Blog #2

One of the first things I wanted to do with Cyber Streets was to give it it's own identity. It has cybernetics and net surfing, sure, but I didn't want to give it the 'cyberpunk' identifier. It has the trappings of the cyberpunk genre but the content is definitley not cyberpunk; there's no rebelling, stickin' it to the man or wild street fashion and style. It can be played that way for sure, but I wanted to focus on the delicate lawkeeping side of things and create moments of drama and moral difficulty instead of focusing on the flash and the action.

There are cybernetics but this is just for easy bonuses for the character (it's a heroic action game at it's core, like it's parent game 'Fireteam') and things are more likely to go wrong or get damaged and it's very, very costly. It seemed a shame to create a world such as this and not have these options for players, but body mods are not the driving force behind the game; the players are. The rules are light enough for the group to play it as they see fit.

The game focuses on the players being in a Street Detective Team - the acronym isn't lost on the public and many jokes have arisen from this - solving crimes for the Capital Police Department, the CPD. There is a way an investigation can be handled with a short example in the book and it goes like this;

Like a police procedural on TV, players play acts and at the end of every act they get a Lead - each Lead moves them to the next act, and gives them a die to add to their Case Pool. At the end of the investigation, if they have made an arrest they roll the total they have in their Case Pool as a die pool and success means they get a conviction - and they get paid. Their experience as detectives can help them find Leads, and the longer the case the more chance they have of securing a conviction.

That is, if the corporations let you secure the conviction. They pay for the police service, after all, and they'd rather the police not arest the 'wrong' person, or embaress the company in any way. It's a delicate line.  

The rules are light and fast with plenty of room for modifying or adding your own ideas.

Sunday 25 September 2022

Cyber Streets Development Blog #1

 I thought I'd keep a record of my work on Cyber Streets, and go over the 12k words I've already done for the game as well as chat about how I got here and what I intend to do next.

First of all, altough the game is called Cyber Streets and there are cybernetic options in the rules, that isn't what the game is focused on. First off, I chose the name Cyber Streets because it's kinda cool and rolls off the tongue nice and easy, and secondly I feel it grabs the attention. What I have tried to do is keep the 'cyberpunk' description out of the game as even though it shares those trappings I'm trying to avoid the whole street-gangs-attitude-style-rebellious nature of those games. In fact, I wanted to leave the 'punk' out of it all together. Can the players still play those kinds of characters? Yes, absolutely; the game doesn't restrict anyone from playing whatever they want, but the primary focus is on playing detectives.

So what makes it different? Well, I'm focusing on the natur of the game, what the players do in the setting, and that's the legal side of things, or at least legal from their point of view. Think an episode of Law & Order or CSI but in a futuristic setting, a cop procedural in a Blade Runner-inspired city where the players hunt down the people abusing this technology, but at the same time they are funded by the city-controlling corporations so their investigations can only go so far, or perhaps they are pushed in directions the corps would rather they go.

That's my aim with Cyber Streets; to make it more focused on investigation but still leave room for some good old fashioned action adventure. It's based on the Fireteam rules, after all, which were designed for fast combat games.

It started out as a basic setting for Fireteam - if you look at my original cover page test below, it was simply going to be a straightforwward cyberpunk game using the orignal core rules. However, it's now morphed into it's own thing, and I'll cover that in my next blog entry.

Friday 23 September 2022

CYBER STREETS - Future Noir Roleplaying game coming soon

Cyber Streets is a dark sci-fi roleplaying game coming soon. Expect a game in a future noir setting where you play detectives dealing with crimes of all sorts in the Capital...

... from genetic manipulation to cyber crime to ethically questionable technology to random scum and gangs.

Simulacrum hide among the people, corruption runs rampant in a corp-controlled government and a citizen is only worth what they can give to the big businesses.

There's the opportunity to play other elements of society by - freelance STS offices tasked with exposing the simulacrum, Street Teams coming together to do illegal jobs at night, or just citizens in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On top of all this are the detectives of the office with the most unfortunate acronym; the Street Detective Teams. Funded by corporations but expected to be the holier than thou face of a public institution, these investigators are under a lot of pressure to do the right thing, whilst trying not to upset their paymasters.

Oh, and there's flying cars, too.

Sunday 30 January 2022

Those Dark Places: The Gamma-Sigma 12 Report - available now!

'The Gamma-Sigma 12 Report' is an official adventure for 'Those Dark Places Industrial Science Fiction Roleplaying' published by Osprey Games.

Well, this doesn’t sound good. Listen to this message we received.

“Is anyone out there? This is Resource Station Gamma-Sigma 12, we are under attack from a life form…


Our escape ships have launched only half-filled – cowards! - and there are no vessels left here to get us off the station – there are about twenty of us here and we’re scattered all over, requesting…

(static, crashing sounds, an inhuman screech)

Ben! Ben, they’re through! Get the gun! Patricia, take this and get ready! They’re through!


Just shoot! Fire! Fire!

(gunshots, screeching, a cry of pain)

Dan, no! Keep firing! Keep…

(static, transmission ends)”

The nearest warship is two weeks out – you’re six days away on your route. We’re sending you as an advance team to get on board and secure and extract civilians before the big guns show up because Resource Station Gamma-Sigma 12 sent that mayday on every channel available, unencrypted, to make sure someone heard. That means any other company or private enterprise could be on their way there right now to claim the station and take the Calium-3 for themselves. So time is of the absolute essence.

Review the information included, including the station layout and statistics. We don’t know the condition of the station, who is there or what the threat is so go in hot...

... and expect trouble.

CONTENT WARNING: This adventure contains physical, psychological and body horror, so be sure to check with your players if they're good for that kind of game and use any safety protocols you might have, especially if it is being used in a convention. 

Tuesday 25 January 2022

FIRETEAM - Rules Light Sci-Fi Action Roleplaying now OGL

FIRETEAM - Rules Light Sci-Fi Action Roleplaying now OGL


January 25th 2022

Northampton, UK: Jonathan Hicks of Farsight Games has made the rules-light sci-fi action roleplaying game 'Fireteam' available with an OGL for gamers to create their own material for the game, as well as use the rules system for their own settings and campaigns.

Using the WotC OGL, the game engine -  the 'Hi5 System' - is now available for gamers to utilise in their own games, to modify and adjust as they see fit, and also enables them to release their onw material for profit. The Hi5 System is a dice pool engine that uses D6s, and any roll of 5 or 6 on a single die is counted as a success. It is fast, light and intuitive and suitable for fast-action games of combat. The original book is written by Jonathan Hicks and illustrated by HodagRPG.

Jonathan Hicks: 'The roleplaying game community has been more than kind to me so I wanted to give something back. The game engine is simple and fast and I want gamers to take the rules and run with them. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with, and how they can improve on the original!'

The OGL has already been added to the PDF and is available now.


Jonathan Hicks is the designer and writer of many RPG games including Those Dark Places, Advanced Fighting Fantasy and Against the Darkmaster. Born in the historic city of Lichfield and now residing in Northampton Jonathan has been at the gaming table since 1983, and has more than a decade of gaming articles, reviews, interviews, and designs across multiple genres under his belt.

HodagRPG creates Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Superhero RPG Illustrations. Mostly for fun, although occasionally he takes the odd commission.

Monday 3 January 2022


One thing I'm excited about as I write this sourcebook and supplement for Those Dark Places (10k words and counting!) is that I finally get to share my ideas and rules for extended campaign play, so that your PCs can improve over time and longer stories can be told.

TDP is great for one-shots but the more I design adventures the more I want to try and create an extended campaign that players can experience. I hope the new campaign and experience rules help with that, without compromising the simplicity of the core rules.

Saturday 1 January 2022

Happy New Year!

So, let's talk about what I've got planned for Those Dark Places in 2022.

Now that my commissioned work is all but done I can spend more time focusing on TDP. There are three projects on the go right now:

- 'The Gamma-Sigma 12 Report' is finished and pretty much fully laid out. I'm missing a single piece of art but still deciding as to whether I need it. That will be out later this month.

- 'Darker Places' (working title) is the 15mm skirmish game and is still in design/playtest, though the basics are designed and just need to be put through the paces. I have no idea when this will be available; I don't want to release it myself and would rather it be a physical rulebook. I might be opening it up to public playtesting, but that's a work in progress.

- 'A Future History of Those Dark Places' is a sourcebook I have just begun work on that will detail a timeline leading up to the game's present time, details of the major corporations and prominent personalities, life on Earth, new rules for vehicles and starships, and a guide on character development and experience, so that you can improve your TDP PC over a campaign. TDP is designed with the one-shot in mind so this will help gaming groups enjoy a full campaign, or a 'tour'.

I've got lots of other ideas and plans but these are the three main projects I have. I won't be commiting to a timeline or a release schedule but I will be giving plenty of notice before release.

Have a great 2022!

Art by Nathan Anderson