BEOWULF Layout Design

Work continues on BEOWULF, our two-player game set in Anglo-Saxon myth for 5e, and we’ll have a new designer diary for you soon.

Meanwhile, here’s another look at a sample page layout by graphic design wizard Paul Bourne:

You can download the PDF version here for a closer look!

And if you like the look of those icons and emblems, you can get them on a variety of sweet, sweet merch here.

All Rolled Up Dice Trays now in stock

We’ve just added a selection of compact dice trays from our friends at All Rolled Up™ to the Handiwork store. These feature some classic art from Jon Hodgson, as well as some of his maps. As well as a hugely portable, practical, beautiful compact dice tray, they’re also a compact adventure!


The miniatures shown are available from Red Box Games, Footsore Miniatures, Wargames Foundry, Mantic and Oathmark, the scenery is from Iron Gate, Gripping Beast and Mantic, and they all come highly recommended!

Scarred Lands Creature Collection 5e Previews

We’re working with Onyx Path to bring the best of the classic Creature Collections to 5e!

The first Creature Collection was the very first bestiary ever released for 3rd edition of the world’s favourite RPG, predating even the official Monster Manual. It was also the birth of Scarred Lands as a setting. Other volumes of foes followed, fleshing out the setting and providing a wealth of enemies for Scarred Lands games.

With the success of Scarred Lands Player’s Guide for 5e, we’re aiming to bring a big slice of adversaries to Kickstarter with Scarred Lands Creature Collection!

We really want to show off what you can expect, so before launch we’ve completed an initial 50 monsters. Not just converted them to 5e, but illustrated them with all new full colour art, and laid them out with some gorgeous new graphics. A whole bunch of those will be made available as previews to backers through the campaign. We’ll also be sharing some before we launch.

To whet your appetite, check out these first 3 spreads. We’re running final proofing on our text, so that’s obscured for now. In the coming days we’ll be beginning our full previews with some free monsters to enjoy!

Also to come is the preview of our navigation system. The overriding thing we heard from you, the 5e players, is that you want to be able to find what you’re looking for when using a bestiary. So in addition to several handy indexes created by topic, the Scarred Land Creature Collection will include a handy graphic navigation system to help you find adversaries to fit your needs, be they by terrain or Challenge Rating.

Art by Scott Purdy and Jon Hodgson, layout by Paul Bourne. ©2019 Onyx Path Publishing

Beowulf art and news

Gosh, it’s so busy at Handiwork HQ right now! We’re working on imagery for Runequest, and powering through conversions of all the great monsters found in the various Scarred Lands Creature Collections. We’ve been making art for the ever-awesome Monte Cook Games and doing some print consultancy for Nightfall Games.
We’re also pulling together some really epic work for BEOWULF. Check this one out, which has been developing as we work!

BEOWULF provides epic one-to-one play for 5e in the world of ancient myth. We’ll be bringing it to Kickstarter this year.

We’ll have more detail on all our current projects in our next newsletter – be sure to sign up on our landing page: https://handiwork.games

Conpulsion report

We took the show on the road again this weekend, attending Conpulsion in Edinburgh. 

Conpulsion is a games convention run by the Edinburgh University games club. It’s usually of a modest size, but has a really unique feel. As one of our local shows we’re keen to show Conpulsion some support.

This time out it wasn’t just Jon flying the Handiwork flag – on the booth we had help from Paul, Duncan and Rory. 

It’s always hard to accurately assess exactly how busy or quiet a show is, but there seemed to be plenty of folk about and lots looking to try a new game. 

We broke our previous convention selling record (of precisely one show, Airecon!), and Bang & Twang was definitely our hit of the weekend. That it won the hearts of many of the volunteers running the show was a huge help, with spontaneous games of Bang & Twang occurring around the venue. The Forest Dragon wasn’t far behind, and we brought a tiny fraction of our ambitious stock home with us! Yay!

Conpulsion is in no small part about catching up with friends. It was great to see Cat Tobin, Andy Hepworth, Gregor Hutton, Phil Harris, Shevaun Frazier, Brian Nisbet, and many more friends we’ve duly insulted by not naming here. 

It was also a treat to make new friends! Paolo Grecco is making some fabulous books through his company Lost Pages. We thoroughly urge you to check out his beautiful little books.  

The fine folk from Murphy’s Vault sold Rory (the designer of The Forest Dragon by Rory Age 9) his first ever Magic starter set, a copy of adorable card game Kodama: The Tree Spirts, and the D&D starter set. Which is all pretty exciting for Handiwork HQ! We’re a family business and the next generation of gamers is coming along nicely! The Murphy’s Vault team also picked up some trial packs of our games, so fingers crossed they enjoy them and stock loads!

Throughout the weekend Rory produced unique cards for The Forest Dragon which was pretty special. Hopefully he can remember what he made because there were some great ideas being spontaneously generated, and we probably have an expansion’s worth!

We donated one of each of our games and a set of coins to the charity auction, and they raised £90. Not too shabby!

There was amazing news at the annual Griffie Awards, hosted at the show. Bang & Twang won best new card game! Yay!

And then during the closing ceremony there was a display of weapons grade awkward as Jon was awarded the Banquo Award for the Spirit of Scottish Gaming. Jon has promised to make a better acceptance speech which contains some… content, in a video. 

Looking ahead to next year we really hope to see more game makers at the show – it’s an ideal venue for small Scottish companies to share what they’re doing and make connections.

We had a great weekend, and we very much look forward to the next Conpulsion!

Our next show is Carronade in Falkirk! A surprisingly large games show for a small town! There’s a small but mighty contingent of boardgame and RPG stuff in amongst every last miniature or piece of gaming terrain you ever wanted to buy, spread across three or four halls. It’s bigger than you think! Maybe if you’re lucky enough to live within travelling distance of Falkirk we’ll see you there?

Airecon Report

We had a great time at Airecon! Jon headed down from Scotland to Harrogate in Yorkshire for two days this weekend.

Our kind hosts were our old friends Travelling Man, and we demoed dozens of games of Bang & Twang and The Forest Dragon on their booth. It looks like we have a good number of new Forest Dragon fans!

We also got to chat to folks about our RPG plans for Beowulf and Hellenistika, and were pleasantly surprised by how many people have heard about what we’re up to!


Jon gave his talk to an unexpectedly full seminar room, and it seems to have been well received! With lots of experience there were three sets of slide on hand depending on what people wanted to hear about – games design and publishing, art direction or art creation.  Jon delivered a bit of a mix, and thank you if you came along. We hope it was useful!

We also got a chance to catch up with our friends Wotan Games, All Rolled Up, artist Ralph Horsley, rpg writer Steve Emmott, gamer and TV presenter Marty Jopson, baker extraordinaire Kim-Joy, our friends from Yog-Sothoth and meet fellow designers from just down the road in Scotland, One Free Elephant.

As ever there wasn’t time to catch up with everyone we saw in passing or in the distance! Sorry if we missed you!

The show has a really wonderful family atmosphere and we enjoyed gaming late into the night. If you can get to Harrogate then Airecon is well worth the trip!

Thanks to Ben and Mark for inviting us down!


If you weren’t able to get to Airecon, you’ll soon be able to find Forest Dragon by Rory Age 9 and Bang & Twang in Travelling Man stores.

And if you can’t get to a store, then you can mail order copies from our shop right now.

Ropecon 2019 Guest of Honour

We’re delighted to share that Jon will be a guest of honour at this year’s Ropecon in Helsinki.
https://2019.ropecon.fi/eng/program/guests/

Ropecon is a really well thought-of convention and we’re excited to be involved – from the Ropecon website: 

“Ropecon is the largest non-commercial role-playing convention in Europe. The three day event offers a diverse program schedule suitable for all ages from tabletop and live-action role-playing games to card games, miniature war games and board games. In addition to tournaments and other gaming related programs Ropecon also features lectures, panel discussions and workshops on a wide variety of topics.”

Find out more here: https://2019.ropecon.fi/eng/