Cold City: Hot War

About Cold City

In the divided city of Berlin, things hide in the darkness. Things that must be destroyed.

Those that seek out these horrors are riven by suspicion, mistrust and political ambition. The four occupying powers of Britain, France, the USA and the USSR all have their own agendas.

In Cold City, characters are defined not just by who they are and what they are like, but by the views of the other characters and the trust that they have in them.

About Hot War

London. Winter. 1963.

It is a year since the Cold War went hot.

And this was not just a nuclear war. Far more sinister, darker weapons were deployed.

Survival and re-building are all that matter now. But human nature and tragic circumstances mean that everyone has their own ambitions.

Into this maelstrom steps the Special Situations Group, a motley band of men and women tasked with the jobs too dirty or dangerous for anyone else.

Originally published in their first editions in 2007 and 2008, we’re honoured and delighted to announce our plan to publish new editions of both Cold City and Hot War in 2024.

These won’t just be new editions of these cult UK indie games: designer Malcolm Craig, now a senior lecturer in history at Liverpool John Moores University, will be working with Handiwork Games as an integral part of his research work into the history of nuclear war in roleplaying games.

These new editions will form part of an impact study – a look at how historical research in combination with roleplaying games can affect the understanding of history and affect the wider culture. Not only will the games be brought up to date in these new editions, but they will contain additional fascinating contextual information about the history of the post-war 20th Century. This is intended to enrich the settings of both games, providing a whole new level of verisimilitude and sheer playable information. It will also be an experiment in ground-breaking presentation and the contextualisation of roleplaying games within our wider culture.

As part of the process we’ll be publishing regular updates as free PDFs, videos and web updates, introducing some of the new concepts, and talking about how they bring history and gaming together. These will provide a fascinating insight into both the design process and the history of the periods covered in both games.

This promises to be a unique endeavour, and we’re really looking forward to bringing you more!

The free PDF Cold City Hot War Reports contain vital information on the upcoming new editions of Cold City and Hot War.

Author Malcolm Craig provides a series of insights into the aims of, and mechanical changes in, the new edition, alongside inspirational ideas for your reading.

The Reports also feature artwork and graphics by original Cold City/Hot War creator Paul Bourne.

As well as free PDFs, the first six reports are now available in a handsome 24 page, A5 booklet, presented in glorious full colour.

Malcolm and Jon were delighted to be invited onto the Smart Party RPG podcast to talk Cold City and Hot War. Check it out!