Friday News Update – New BEOWULF Products and a Cool New Spin for Handimonsters!

You asked, and we listened.

So, this week, we have brand new Follower cards! In a game crafted for one GM and one Hero, your Followers are not only your combat-support, they’re advice and lore from your Games Master, a layer of tension and humour, and a wonderful opportunity to role-play. And now, you can keep track of them, their gifts and burdens, with our brand new cards.

Follower card – back

There are 50 in a presentation pack (so you’ve got plenty of opportunities for adventure) and they have spaces for everything you’ll need to record. They also come with stickers, to help your visualisations, and to keep track of the cards themselves!

We also have this absolutely beautiful BEOWULF Whale Road poster – A2 size, 350gsm paper, gorgeous matt laminate finish. Each one will be individually numbered and signed by Jon and Paul. Keep track of your travels, show off your journeys, or just stand back and admire.

Whale Road poster

And LOTS of BEOWULF games! If you’re looking to face the Horror at Herrogate, our trusty Hero Blaedswith returns to her adventure this week. With thanks to the Campaign Coins team, this is episode six, The Unwelcome Guest…

Don’t forget to grab the adventure for yourself from DriveThru!

Or, if you’re looking to actually play BEOWULF, co-writer Jacob Rodgers will be running The Serpent of Glinnredin at AlbaCon, on the 2nd and 3rd of October. Sign up to the Con via EventBrite, and head over to the Events Schedule. The Saturday game is fully booked, so jump on the Sunday slot – quick!

BEOWULF at AlbaCon

And our Handimonsters have a new look!

When is a Random Encounter not a Random Encounter? When it’s part of a theme! Many of our monsters now will now belong to a ‘family’, adding plenty of opportunity for a GM to create themed attacks, or whole scenarios and the settings to go with them. We’ve had Phase Elementals, and you’ve seen examples of both Wild Folk and (this week) the Dungeon Construct.

Dungeon Construct: Flammifier

What else would you like to see? Jump on over to our Socials, or let us know on the Discord!

And keep your fingers crossed for the ENnies tonight, 8pm EDT. We’re up for two – for Best Electronic Book for BEOWULF itself and for Best Free Book for our a|state primer, Nicely, Done

ENnies tonight!

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Two new releases for BEOWULF

We have two new releases for BEOWULF Age of Heroes today!

Follower Cards Boxed Set

With the ENnie Award-nominated BEOWULF we’ve adapted 5e to work perfectly with one player and one GM. As part of our rules additions come Followers. Every Hero has a band of trusted companions that offer more abilities and opportunities to overcome the Monsters of The Whale Road.

The main BEOWULF rulebook comes with example blank follower cards, and you can download them here on the handiwork site. But we love a box of stuff, and so we put together the Follower Cards Boxed Set.

Inside the handsome craft cardboard box, you’ll find approximately 50, professionally printed Follower cards. They’re A5 in size, on sturdy paper stock with a mat finish to ensure ease of writing up your followers.

On the flip side there’s a helpful slice of Follower rules reminders and references, as well as a tracker for the Engaged condition – Followers in BEOWULF can tie up enemies in the background, allowing the solo Hero to focus on the main enemies. If the Hero doesn’t pull them back, they last 3 rounds before needing to take death saves.

Also included are 40 round, 38mm stickers of BEOWULF portraits, allowing you to personalise your follower cards with a face! There are ten individual designs, and you’ll get 4 of each.

Whale Road Poster
We’re also opening up pre-orders for The Whale Road Poster! This lovely map appears across a spread in the BEOWULF rulebook, but we wanted to give it the format it deserves.

This A2 poster is printed on very heavy stock – it’s 350gsm, which is the heaviest poster stock that printers can produce. The art is matt laminated so that it looks it’s very best.

We were planning on releasing this poster today. However when we took delivery of the posters we discovered they didn’t meet our high standards, so we’re having them reprinted. We’ve decided to offer them as a pre-order so that BEOWULF fans can combine shipping. If you chose to get both we’ll send them to you together as soon as we get the new improved posters! They’re now anticipated to arrive in October.

Grab both new releases exclusively at our web store now!:

Friday News Update – and BEOWULF is loose in the wilds!

On Saturday September 25th, we’ll be at our first public event since… well, since before BEOWULF, and since before we had our Map Tiles (and that was a while ago). We’ll be at Carronade 2021, the Falkirk District Wargames Club’s annual show – and we’re really looking forward to it.

The Show will be observing Covid safety rules, and we will have LOADS of stuff for you to buy – not only BEOWULF treasures, but maps and mats, dice and minis. Do pop along and say hello!

New banner – how cool is this?!

You should also find BEOWULF arriving at your local retailer. It has adventured its way out to (among others) Forbidden Planet and Leisure Games. And we’re really pleased to see it stretch so far. Please do drop by and show them (and us) your support!

If you are a retailer, you can find a load of assets on our website here.

BEOWULF: Age of Heroes

And great news: US copies have almost landed! Thank you, everyone, for being so patient, they will be with you soon. And please post your parcels and goodies to your socials when they arrive.

All the loot!

If you’re looking to actually play BEOWULF, co-writer Jacob Rodgers will be running The Serpent of Glinnredin at AlbaCon, on the 2nd and 3rd of October. Sign up to the Con via EventBrite, and head over to the Events Schedule to book your game. Anyone can take part and all proceeds go to the mental health charity Penumbra.

Join the adventure – at AlbaCon

And if you’re <still> looking for BEOWULF adventures (honestly, there’s no stopping you) you can jump on over to DriveThru, where there are five individual scenarios to keep your Hero/es out of trouble (or possibly to get them into it), plus packs of digital extras, and .stl files for 3D printing minis.

Travel the Whale Road!

And don’t forget our Handimonsters – this week’s is the first of a series of Wild Folk, the Sly One. With its fox-like frame and twinkling black eyes, its both charming and flamboyant. But we wouldn’t trust it too far…

The Sly One

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Thanks, Lou!

Inspiration Tokens from a Saxon Atlantis?

In modern day Suffolk lies the town of Dunwich. It’s a small place today but many centuries ago, it was a thriving Saxon settlement of some five thousand souls. But Dunwich’s prosperity was not to last. It was lost to the sea – the whole place swallowed up in a mighty flood.

Whether the inhabitants had drawn the wrath of the God of the Book in their dealings with the heathen northmen, fallen foul of the attentions of some Monster of the sea, or whether Woden himself was displeased by their conversion to the ways of the new faith is unknown. 

But Dunwich was drowned, and lost to memory.

After a millennia beneath the brackish sea marsh a small minding of this lost settlement has come to light: a single hoard of coins, weathered green by their time beneath the water. A portion of this remnant of the Saxon Atlantis can now be yours and aid the telling of your tales in the Age of Heroes. BEOWULF Dunwich coins are available for but a short time, and they are in strictly limited supply. On the 7th of September they return beneath the waves.

(It’s a great tale, but these coins are not really from Dunwich. And we’ve taken heinous liberties with the story of Dunwich, lost to storms in the 13th and 14th centuries. Our “Dunwich Coins” are limited edition BEOWULF inspiration tokens, designed by Handiwork Games’ Paul Bourne, made by Campaign Coins, and hand customised by artist Jon Hodgson)

ENnies Focus: a|state Nicely, Done

We’re delighted to have received two ENnie nominations this year, for BEOWULF Age of Heroes in Best Electronic Book, and a|state Nicely, Done for best free product.

You can vote here until the 27th of August.

Today we’re taking a look at some of what you’ll find in Nicely, Done for a|state.

Nicely, Done is an introductory adventure for the new edition of a|state, which we recently kickstarted with great success. a|state bring numerous developments to the Forged in the Dark ruleset, making your group of characters’ ability to care just as important as their ability to fight or sneak or steal.

The book opens with a series of spreads about the setting of The City. Since the PDF is free, the best place to see this is in the PDF itself. But we’ll run through some of the highlights.

Continue reading “ENnies Focus: a|state Nicely, Done”

ENnies focus: BEOWULF Age of Heroes

We’re delighted to have received two ENnie nominations this year, for BEOWULF Age of Heroes in Best Electronic Book, and a|state Nicely, Done for best free product.

You can vote here until the 27th of August.

Today we’re taking a look at some of what you’ll find in BEOWULF Age of Heroes.

BEOWULF is a supplement and setting for 5e, which centres around duet play – one GM and one player. It presents a host of new rules to facilitate that, including the Hero class, Followers, the defeated condition, and a wealth of setting material. It’s all wrapped up with a ton of beautiful atmospheric art and layout.

Today we’re looking at some selected spreads from the book.

First up, we have a foreword by star of all things Beowulf, Maria Dahvana Headley. Maria was kind enough to provide us with an introduction to our book, since we share some themes, and clearly a subject matter. The foreword is a great read all on it’s own:

Next up, let’s look at the map. BEOWULF’s setting of “The Whale Road” is a highly flexible place. Based on the myths and stories of the people we commonly refer to as the historical Anglo-Saxons, this is a highly modifiable, unreliable map. Each adventure takes place just where the Hero needs to be, every Hero has their own ship, and we don’t spend a lot of time tracking distance travelled. But a map that shows the reader the scope of the lands known to the characters in the game is certainly useful for inspiration, and a useful bridge into the setting for us moderns.

From BEOWULF Age of Heroes:

On Maps
A good look at a modern day map of the North and Baltic seas is highly recommended for inspiration. The boundless archipelagos of islands that throng these waters are very inspiring. It is rightly called the Mediterranean of the North! If we mentally remove all modern national boundaries, and consider the possibilities of countless fiefdoms, the avenues for adventure are endless!

The people of the Whale Road have no clear idea of geography in the way we do in the modern world. They lack satellites and planes, and indeed accurate means of measuring distance. They navigate by the stars and by lodestones, and with information handed down over generations, knowledge kept safe in place names rather than in bird’s eye view maps.

And so it is we can explore a shifting, unreliable geography without fear of contradicting any tyrannical map. The mysterious island fiefdoms in need of a hero’s help are always right where they need to be.

The Whale Road is measured less by miles and more by the skill of the sailor, and the craft of the shipwright, and the needle of the sailmaker. A sailor of average skill might cross from one point to another in three days. A famed Hero, deft in the ways of sail and swell, might be able to shave that travel time to just a single day and night. This is something to be encouraged. Heroic voyages are best not measured by modern day means nor modern ideas.

Next up, here’s one of our favourite spreads from the book. It just looks so crisp in the flesh. The compressed jpeg here doesn’t really do it justice. BEOWULF Age of Heroes presents a raft of unique backgrounds for your Hero characters. Noble’s Blood is probably the most traditional and most like “Prince BEOWULF”. There are many others, including Adrift, Avenger, Chosen One, Foundling and more!

BEOWULF also presents the unique Hero class, that enables duet play – one GM and one player, which is at the heart of the supplement. There are subclasses built around each ability score. In this spread we see the Council Caller and the Honey-Tongued. There’s also two of our favourite pre-generated characters – Blaedswith, the Karelian Amulet Witch (now appearing in Campaign Coins Twitch stream!) and Ibn Uthman, who routinely wins any popularity contest among BEOWULF fans. You may recognise his inspiration from either The Travels of Ibn Fadlan or the movie based upon those travels, The Thirteenth Warrior, which brings Ibn Fadlan into the world of the Beowulf poem.

Perhaps because we’re known for our artwork, we hear a lot about the art in BEOWULF. But there’s so much more to the book. There’s a whole appendix of really useful tools for the GM and player, enabling you to create backstories for Monsters, tables to generate the appearance of background NPCs, useful setting appropriate names and more. Don’t tell anyone, but while BEOWULF superficially appears to be about monster slaying, really it’s about the human beings that surround the monster, and how they relate to it, and the Hero who appears to save them.

The Hero needs some skill at arms to defeat the inevitable beast at the heart of a BEOWULF story, but without some smarts and people skills they won’t get far in unravelling how to defeat it.

The Foreground NPC Generator provides a system for generating an interconnecting web of NPCs in which to hide the clues of how the Monster can be defeated:

You can buy BEOWULF in PDF here, and order the book here. It’s also available from selected stockists.
You can vote in the ENnies here until the 27th of August. BEOWULF is nominated in Best Electronic Book and we’d really appreciate your vote!

We’ve Been Nominated!

Handiwork Games has been nominated for TWO Awards in this year’s ENnies.

The ENnie Awards are an annual celebration of excellence in tabletop role-playing games. They are peoples’ choice awards, voted upon by YOU, our online gamers, and they give well-deserved recognition to designers, writers and artists.

Handiwork Games’ campaign setting BEOWULF: Age of Heroes has been nominated for BEST ELECTRONIC BOOK, and our a|state RPG primer, Nicely, Done, has been nominated for BEST FREE GAME/PRODUCT.

In 2020, Handiwork Games’ The Hermit’s Sanctuary, a free sample adventure for BEOWULF: Age of Heroes 5e campaign setting, was nominated for two ENnie Awards – Best Electronic Book and Best Free Game.

Based on the Blades in the Dark system, and with its second edition now funding on Kickstarter, cult hit a|state has also seen previous success – the first edition was nominated for Best Game and Best Graphic Design in 2004.

Handiwork owner and team leader Jon Hodgson says, “I’m bowled over that we’ve been nominated for more ENnies. It’s a real testament to the hard work and creative commitment that everyone working at Handiwork Games puts in, and we’re really delighted to be nominated. All our games are an absolute labour of love, and it’s wonderful to see that recognised. Congratulations to our fellow nominees, and thank you to the judges and ENnies organisers. We really appreciate it.”

Congratulations to all our fellow nominees, and a great big thank you to all of our GMs, players, followers and supporters – you’ve all helped make this happen. Voting open on the 18th!

ENnies Nominee!