The Making of Maskwitches Continues!

Jon’s dedicated Maskwitches Redux blog is the place to find all the latest new and articles about the progress of the upcoming new edition of Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland.

Check out some of the latest posts:

Making Tools:
Lots of images, lots of text about the making of tools for the new edition, and some of the contextual issues arising.

Work continues:
This post has a selection of the latest photographs and images made for the new books. Check out the covers for To The Ice Caves and The Meat Spoiler Redux

A Journey out of niches:

A long form piece considering why we make things, and what matters.

The a|state Risk/Reward Grid free at DrivethruRPG

One of the many useful innovations in a|state second edition is the Risk/Reward grid. 

This grid, is a useful tool for tracking the manipulations of risk and reward.

When the GM sets the risk and reward, put a marker of some kind on the appropriate square.

It is easy then to move the marker around to reflect changes from special abilities, pushing, teamwork, or going bigger or smaller. After making a roll, take the highest die result and put it on the appropriate reward square. This ensures the result is clear to everyone, making the resolution (rewards and consequences) easier to work out.

In this free download you’ll find the Risk/Reward grid as a printable PDF, an ink saving version, and a single page PDF with the above instructions for your reference.
The grid is compatible with other Forged in the Dark games.

Wayne Reynolds’ RPG Saints Sketchbook available now

With all the backer copies of the RPG Saints Sketchbook by Wayne Reynolds on their way to backers, it’s time to make our small stock available!

This book was printed without any intention to hold large stocks after the campaign. It will not be in game stores (unless they backed the campaign, but even then it’ll be available in small quantities)

You can secure your copy right now at our webstore. We do recommend that if you’re in the US or Canada you wait for our fellow retail backers in those places to put their stock on sale, and buy local. We are however the sole stockist in the UK and European region.

Pick a flavour

You can read the latest posts in order below this post or, if you prefer, you can hit a button to filter posts about your favourite topic.
(We’re working on tagging all our old posts right now, so bear with us if not everything appears right away when you click a button!)

Conpulsion in Edinburgh: Talks and more!

This coming weekend (March 30-31st) it’s Conpulsion in Edinburgh, Scotland, and we will be there with our stall, as well as taking part in a bunch of talks. We have a long history with Conpulsion, even before Handiwork Games was a thing, so it’s always a delight to be in attendance and to be able to contribute to the show!

Innovation in Games Design
Saturday 13:15—13:45:
With: Tanya Floaker and Jon Hodgson

A panel looking at how you can innovate in games design to create better and more playable games, with insights from two experienced designers and publishers.
Jon Hodgson is a games designer, artist and writer, as well as the owner of Handiwork Games.
Tanya Floaker is a games designer active in the indie gaming scene and has successfully crowdfunded several innovative RPG projects.

See and https://floaker.itch

History and Gaming
Saturday 12:15—12:45
With: Aleksandra Brokman and Malcolm Craig

A panel about projects exploring gaming history and applying multimedia approaches from two celebrated ENnie-nominated games designers with strong links to Conpulsion.
Malcolm Craig, acclaimed author of a|stateCold City and Hot War who is now a senior lecturer in history at Liverpool John Moores University. Malcolm is working with Handiwork Games as an integral part of his research work into the history of nuclear war in roleplaying games.
Aleksandra Brokman, acclaimed author of Wise Women and host of the Lamias actual play stream, has a series of Vampire the Masquerade essays on YouTube deep diving into the evolution of clans over the editions of the game.

See and and

History in Games/Games in History: Live!
Saturday 14:15—15:00
With: Jon Hodgson and Malcolm Craig

Come and be part of a live recording of the History in Games/Games in History podcast. Not only listen to Jon and Malcolm like you can on the internet, but see them live and ask them questions too.
Dr Malcolm Craig is a senior lecturer in history at Liverpool John Moores University.
Jon Hodgson is a games designer, artist and writer, as well as the owner of Handiwork Games.
Together they fight crime talk about history in games and games in history!


20 years of a|state: Ask Me Anything
Sunday 13:15—14:00:
With: Malcolm Craig and Paul Bourne

Malcolm Craig and Paul Bourne, the creators of a|state, launched the first edition upon the world at Conpulsion 2004. Now available in a beautiful, full-colour Second Edition, Conpulsion 2024 gives you the chance to ask them anything about the game and their reflections of a|state’s 20 years.


Get your tickets for Conpulsion in Edinburgh here:

Cold City Play Test Two

Cold City/Hot war creator Malcolm Craig is playtesting the upcoming new edition. Here’s his report of the second session with his new play test group:

Play Session 1

Content Warning: Self harm

If you’ve read the first blog post about playesting the revised version of Cold City, you’ll know how things are starting. If you’ve not read it, then follow the link!

For this session Harvey was sadly absent because of unforeseen circumstances. However, Connor and Amy decided to press on regardless (incorporating the absence of Harvey’s character Edward Richthofen into the story. Nice work).

We got through six significant scenes before the act’s conclusion. We open with a chase by Amy’s character Dr Julia Whitely into the U-Bahn and the capture of a mysterious man (who had a stolen document that gave them some insights into who they might be looking for – a mysterious, though-to-be-dead-in-1945 Nazi scientist called Karl Geissler). Then we had a flashback scene to how the chase started and Connor’s character Kyril Kantarin being left in an apartment with a dead body.

Continue reading “Cold City Play Test Two”

Cold City Hot War Report Five is out now!

In the fifth free Cold City Hot War Report, designer Malcolm discusses the fruits of the first playtests of the new edition, and the history of the so-called “Malayan Emergency”.

These regular free reports bring you behind-the-scenes info, extra historical inspiration, and ideas on things to read to learn more about the Cold War period: the setting for both Cold City and Hot War. 

These reports are also available for free download at, where they will be added to your DrivethruRPG cloud library at no charge, for easy access from all your devices.

Cold City Play Test One

Cold City/Hot war creator Malcolm Craig is playtesting the upcoming new edition. Here’s his report of the first session with his new playtest group:

1: Situation and Character Creation

Cold City – an RPG of trust, hidden agendas, and monster hunting in early Cold War Berlin – is changing a little. That’s why we’re (re)playtesting a game that came out a long, long time ago. Well, there’s that and the fact that some mechanical elements have changed significantly.

The first thing you do in any Cold City game is decide on the situation. This involves nailing down the tone, who the antagonists are, what the characters are doing, scenes everyone would like to see, and so on. I’ve been very lucky to be accompanied in this playtest by three of my students: Amy, Connor, and Harvey. They all enthusiastically volunteered to playtest the game.

Continue reading “Cold City Play Test One”