This weekend just passed found us trading at Duncarron Medieval Village – our local recreated medieval settlement, educational facility, and movie set! It’s a really impressive site, which has been widely used in TV and film, including Outlander, Norsemen, The Bruce and many more.
This was a viking-themed weekend, for which we just about qualify with our BEOWULF RPG, and we took a gamble on whether our games would appeal to the general public attending a family viking day. And the gamble paid off! We were surprised just how many people are into D&D these days, and our dice and tokens were a big hit! We also we’re very pleased that several people invested in everything they needed to play BEOWULF, so in straight-up trade terms it was well worth the visit!
I read a forum thread the other day about humans in RPGs. Do fantasy settings have to have humans? I was a little unsure about the framing of the question, but the core thought made me realise something.
Our games seem specifically to be all about humans and the human condition. That’s expressed in a ton of different ways, but it’s a common thread running through all of them. We only make one game where there’s any possible doubt that you play a human, and that’s Maskwitches, which has an option that your characters not even real in the routine sense, but are as imaginary as the evil spirits they battle, both sides being conjured up by a community in crisis.
Here’s a thing – so a lot of people have been asking if they can help out with the loss of stock from our pallet theft. I’m not sure things like Gofundme are right for us – I’d rather work our way out of it by making and selling games and art – but! that does mean we’re happy to offer a bunch of exclusive new items on a special section of our web store which will directly go to helping out. A couple of notes on these.
1: We have the KING BEOWULF kickstarter coming up – hopefully this very month, which is a fine way to help us out. Don’t rush to spend all your silver here. It’s simply an option.
2: Also, I don’t have any expectation of anyone’s help. These things are there specifically because I’ve been asked, and so it would seem churlish not to offer something.
3: There’s some high end items here. I don’t want anyone to feel bad if these are a bit too rich for their blood. They have a very specific purpose, and are tailored as tokens in return for the kind of support people have asked to give.
4: More original art will get added as I get it removed from the various battered and “archived”* sketchbooks in which it currently resides, and photographed. I have pencil roughs for most of the big pieces and characters found in BEOWULF Age of Heroes. So keep an eye on the site if that’s your thing.
FiveEvil Playtesters – check your email! The first chunk of playtest content has been sent to you! The first 30 page rules PDF is with you now so that you have a chance to familiarise yourself with the concepts before we send out the short playtest adventure next week!
FiveEvil is a set of new roleplaying rules from Handiwork Games, slated for release later this year. FiveEvil is designed to evoke the horror genre via a set of clever twists on the underlying fifth edition ruleset. The primary focus is modern day horror, inspired by the work of Stephen King, and moody, character-driven horror films like The Ritual, The Descent and Jacob’s Ladder, alongside mini-series like Midnight Mass by Mike Flanagan, and the scariest of Twin Peaks episodes.
Rather than seeking out evil in order to vanquish it, or investigating clues to battle malign influence, characters in FiveEvil are regular people trapped in a terrifying situation where fighting isn’t likely to help.
There are also plans afoot to cast a wider net with scenarios set in different eras: a key feature of FiveEvil is the ease with which it creates settings and scenarios woven together.
FiveEvil was created and written by Morgan Davie, features art by Scott Purdy, Jon Hodgson and friends, and boasts graphic design and layout by Paul Bourne.
Soon you’ll be able to sign up to be notified when the KING BEOWULF kickstarter goes live. In the meantime here’s some of the art you can expect to find in the book if we’re lucky enough to fund. These two pieces are by Jon Hodgson, and will underlie pages detailing the seasonal festivals during which time your people will bring their gifts to the treasure seat. How you choose to spend this wealth will be vital for increasing the prosperity of your people, and getting through the difficult winter months.
For a preview of what to expect in KING BEOWULF download the free 4 page OF KINGDOMS AND RING-GIVERS pdf:
OUT NOW at DrivethruRPG: Strange Little Girl vs Cheesed Off. Two scenarios for a|state adapted to second edition by Gregor Hutton (3:16 Carnage Among the Stars, Remember Tomorrow) from first edition material by a|state co-creator Malcolm Craig.
Who is the girl? Is she the same little girl who disappeared years ago, and has now come back in the same dress, clutching the same doll? Or is this a cruel trick played upon her still grieving parents?
People on your corner are being poisoned. The first victims are the weak and the infirm, but within days even healthier sorts are falling ill. The blight grows in severity and soon leads to loss of life. Can the source of the poison be found and the mysterious plague stopped?
Get your copy of Strange Little Girl vs Cheesed Offhere
Strange Little Girl Vs Cheesed Off for a|state releases next week! (a|state backers already have it!) This is a double feature of two scenarios penned by Gregor Hutton, based on some original first Edition Malcolm Craig goodness. And it of course features more amazing art by a|state co-creator Paul Bourne.
Paul’s artwork really brings The City to life, and makes it the unique setting that it is.
KING BEOWULF is coming to Kickstarter soon – just as soon as we’ve dispatched the last few rewards for our long-suffering US Twin Seas backers. In the meantime you can grab this 4 page introduction to this supplement of Kingdom stewardship absolutely free.
We’ll also have some print copies of this booklet available to attendees at Tabletop Scotland this weekend in Perth, Scotland.
KING BEOWULF empowers your BEOWULF character to take the step from Hero to Ruler. They’ll inherit, found, or conquer their own kingdom, and take up the treasure seat, becoming the ring-giver responsible for their land and people.
(Helmet shown by Wyrmwick Creations, Fuller brooch by Glitterbeard Viking crafts. Both used by kind permission.)
This morning we were struck by the volume of ABSOLUTE LEGENDARY POWERHOUSES of Scottish role-playing games that will be right there in the halls this weekend!
Dave Allsop and Jared Earle will be on the Nightfall Games booth. SLA Industries is an absolute legend of Scottish roleplaying – the quintessential Glasgow-informed splatterpunk gorefest, where something way more intelligent lies underneath it’s mega-violent outer trappings. As well as creator of SLA Industries, Dave is an iconic contributor to Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering. In addition to writing on SLA, Jared does layout for a variety of hit games, including recently Carbon Grey, nominated for an ENnie award for its production values.
SLA, Demon Dog and Terminator RPGs will all be at their compact and bijou booth. So packed with good stuff it’s like a black hole of talent wait what
And SLA was in many ways one of the guiding lights for a|state – arguably the RPG Falkirk to SLA’s Glasgow. Malcolm Craig and Paul Bourne, the creators of first and second editions of a|state, Cold City and Hot War will be at the Handiwork booth. Malcolm was a founding member of The Collective Endeavour in the early 2000s, which paved the way for much of what we find in the current UK indie scene.
These four characters have a massive depth of industry experience, and are always happy to chat and share what they’re up to right now.
Also around will be me, Jon Hodgson. Of course I’m way too humble to mention it, but I’ve twice been invited as an Industry Insider Guest of Honour at US Gen Con, I know a thing or two about making games and I’m probably best know for my art in The One Ring first edition, Dragon Warriors, D&D and all that jazz. While sadly born in England, I’ve been living in Scotland 20+ years, so I guess am tolerated as “part of it”. I run Handiwork Games, publishers of a|state, BEOWULF, Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland and other fine gaming books. We’ll have (almost) all our fine gaming products available at the show!
Next door to Handiwork Games are Pelgrane Press, and Cat Tobin has a long connection to Scottish RPGs, in fact a very early contributor to a|state! Now of course uses her time much more fruitfully running the mighty ENnie awards-hoover that is Pelgrane Press, out of Ireland. Cat is a legend, and a guiding star to anyone looking to run a values-led publishing games company.
Legendary games designer Gregor Hutton will be around too- Gregor was instrumental in the second edition of a|state – the very initial conversations about making it happen, and bringing it to Forged in the Dark occurred right at Tabletop Scotland! Gregor is perhaps best known for being awesome, but also for 3:16 – an absolute smash hit RPG coming right out of Edinburgh.
There’s a vast depth of talent hidden in the TTS trade hall, be sure you don’t miss out if you’re looking for advice on publishing games, or want to catch up with what’s new.
Anyone from Tales of Gargentihr, the other big Scottish RPG of legend in attendance?