Friday News Update – February 26th

And it’s time for a SPRING SALE!

Jump on over to DriveThruRPG, where our JON HODGSON MAP TILES are 20% OFF. These include our best-selling Dungeon Tiles, plus SF Tiles (Uptoian and Dystopian), and Tiles offering Forests, Caverns, Desert, Hillforts, and everywhere else you can escape to roll dice. And all of these come with free digital files.

Digital Map Tiles

You can also find all of our digital scenery packs, featuring everything from walls and posts and logs and sticks, all the way up to fireplaces and furniture. 

Perfect backgrounds for all your lockdown gaming adventures!

And, taking you down the Whale Road this week, we have two brand new BEOWULF videos. Join Bald Eadig in the third instalment of The Hermit’s Sanctuary adventure, presented by our friends at Campaign Coins. This week, The Search…

Join Jon and Jacob, discussing the first chapter of our BEOWULF setting in this week’s podcast, over at our YouTube channel.

If you’d rather just listen, you can find it on Spotify and on

Beowulf Minis, painted by Jon.

If you’re on Pinterest, we have a brand new profile showcasing our artwork, minis, monsters, forthcoming titles and more. Please go give us a follow!

a|state playtest version – coming soon!

And if you’re waiting for a|state, then watch this space – we will have news of the playtest version, coming soon!

Get the news about a|state and everything else, when you join us on our Socials:

Twitter @GamesHandiwork

Facebook @HandiworkGames

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And you can keep up with all of our Portents and Inspirations, when you sign up for our newsletter here!

Beowulf Character Sheet – grab your dice and start rolling!

Friday News Update – February 19th


YOU DID IT! The day after its release, BEOWULF: Age of Heroes was an instant Top Ten bestselling title on DriveThruRPG. Give yourselves a good round of table-thumping and a big ol’ flagon of mead!

Needless to say, we’re over the MOON – really, really pleased to see our Hero doing so well.

Beowulf: Age of Heroes at DriveThruRPG

But the tale doesn’t end there!

In the Handiwork Games store, we have all our beautiful BEOWULF accessories for pre-order – so if you missed these on Kickstarter, you can place your orders now. Find our Compass and Inspiration Tokens, both from Campaign Coins, plus the real oak box.

And find our specially-made, white-metal minis, along with wolves (who doesn’t need wolves), and the full digital minis pack that allows you to print your own.

Minis in the Snow

And don’t forget to place your pre-order for the print book version, coming very soon – because books are always the best. (You’ll get your .pdf download free as well).

Beowulf Print Books

And still, the tale continues…

Jump on over to our YouTube Channel to find our newest RPG panel. In this one, Danie talks to Jon about BEOWULF, and to author Lou Anders about his Viking Age 5e Kickstarter Norrongard, Thrones and Bones. Jon and Lou shed their insights on the recent rise of role-playing, on adapting the 5e system, and on who they’d like to game with, if they could. 

You can also catch Jon and Jacob Rodgers in the first of our BEOWULF podcasts!

Which is also available as audio from and Spotify.

And still, the tale continues…

Thank you, too, to the lovely guys at Pellam’s Wasteland for an amazing overview of the BEOWULF setting (genuinely worth watching all of this)…

And don’t forget to follow the adventures of Bald Eadig, as he finds out the truth of The Hermit’s Sanctuary…

Beowulf Twitch Playthrough – The Hermit’s Sanctuary

Follow the Whale Road, and join us on our Socials:

Twitter @GamesHandiwork

Facebook @HandiworkGames

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And you can keep up with all the Portents and Inspirations, when you sign up for our newsletter here!

Beowulf Pages


And it’s LOOSE! The BEOWULF: Age of Heroes .pdf is now available, at DriveThru RPG!

Grab it now!

Francesco Nepitello, designer of The One Ring RPG, describes it as “…a vast treasure-hoard that shows how you can hone the rules for 5e to make them cut like the edge of a long-seax and sing like a Scop.”

Beowulf characters

Called by Lou Anders ‘a magnificent accomplishment’ and featuring a foreword by Beowulf translator Maria Dahvana Headley, BEOWULF: Age of Heroes is 276 pages of breath-taking, mythic artwork, of potents and tables,  of fables and folkore, of meadhalls and monsters, all carefully crafted to evoke a legendary age.

You can also place a pre-order for a physical copy.

Inspiration Tokens in Oak Box

And find our of our beautiful BEOWULF merch at our Handiwork store! Now available for pre-order are our real metal minis, and our Compass Coins and Inspiration Tokens, plus we have dice trays and ARUs featuring artwork by Jon Hogson and designs by Paul Bourne. All so you can immerse yourself completely in the BEOWULF story.

Beowulf Books

To find out more about the BEOWULF experience, The Hermit’s Sanctuary, our ENnie-Award nominated intro-adventure, is available for download.

We have print copies of these too, plus a very limited number of sketch editions, featuring Jon’s artwork. But snap these up quick!

Sketch edition

Find everything you need to know about BEOWULF: Age of Heroes, the setting, the system, the adventure and the characters, on our BEOWULF page.

And if you’d like a feel for real, 5e Whale Road adventure, follow the ongoing travels of Bald Eadig, over on Twitch.

The Hermit’s Sanctuary on Twitch

Just, whatever you do, don’t miss the adventure!

Contents Page

Friday News Update – February 12th


YES! From 16th Feb, BEOWULF: Age of Heroes will be available on DriveThruRPG, and honestly, this is a 5e game setting like you’ve never seen. Offering 276 pages of breath-taking artwork, of tables and locations, of monsters and meadhalls, and of Portents and Inspirations, it travels the Whale Road holding true to the lore and feel of the original poem. 

Beowulf Characters

BEOWULF: Age of Heroes features a foreword from Maria Dahvana Headley, and has already been called ‘something really magical’ by Will Hindmarch, and ‘a vast treasure hoard’ by Francesco Nepitello. We’ve shared it with our author friends, as well, and Snorri Kristjansson says it’s , ‘brimming with brutal authenticity’.

Beowulf Pages

Play our specially-designed ‘Hero’ class, and choose from six sub-classes based on your ability scores. You can be the mighty Bench-Breaker, the wily Riddle-Reaver, or the sturdy Ox-Blooded. And you can come from a range of backgrounds: you might be the Chosen One, or Adrift and seeking answers. You may be an Avenger, or of Noble Blood. 

And don’t forget that BEOWULF is designed for duet play – one GM and one PC – though it can still be played in a group!

Beowulf Backgrounds

Finding out about role-playing in the world of Beowulf, here’s Danie, speaking to our own Jon Hodgson, and to Jonathan Green of Fighting Fantasy who’s just launched his own Beowulf Kickstarter…

Please do check out our BEOWULF store, with Viking-pattern dice, and dice-trays featuring Jon’s distinctive artwork and designs from Paul Bourne. And, also from Tuesday 16th, it will be open for pre-orders of our gorgeous Tokens (thank you Campaign Coins) and real metal minis.

Snow Compass

Follow the Whale Road, and join us on our Socials:

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Beowulf Contents

Beowulf Panel

We chatted to the lovely Jonathan Green about Beowulf games. Check it out:

Our own BEOWULF: Age of Heroes PDF is released on the 16th of February, accompanied by a pre-order for the print book and accessories. You’ll be able to get the PDF free with a pre-order of the rulebook.

Friday News Update – February 5th

Happy Friday – and it’s BEOWULF DAY!

The saga is complete – BEOWULF: Age of Heroes went to backers in today!

Jon and the team have been working (almost) round the clock to get this finally done, and we’re over the moon with the result. Thank you to all our lovely backers for waiting, and a special thanks to those of you who said you wanted to wait, because you knew the finished product would be worth it.


We hope it is. Please do share it with us – your reactions, your likes and your games. We’d love to know how you do, as you travel the Whale Road. 

The formal launch of BEOWULF: Age of Heroes will take place on Feb 16th– look out for the full book on DriveThru. We’ll also have pre-order links in the Games Handiwork store, where you can discover our Beowulf merch. Find our Inspiration coins and real metal minis, plus the map tiles and dice trays to really bring your campaign to life!

The Spell-Thief!

And we have a FREE Handimonster this week! Head on over to to meet the spell-thief: a whisper, a rumour, a lingering shadow, a creature incomplete. He comes with full stats, and with all his background, plus gorgeous artwork and suggestions for scenarios. And top tier backers get all the extras.


On the subject of gorgeous artwork, you may have seen Ralph Horsley’s exquisite book, ‘An Art Adventure’, his career retrospective. We’re delighted to say that this backed on Kickstarter in 27 minutes flat. You can still pledge, and it’s well worth it!

Every Monday on Twitch

You can also follow the further adventures of a|state on Twitch every Monday. Join the intrepid band of characters from ‘Nicely, Done’ as they venture out into more of The City. This isn’t the official second edition – not yet – but it’s a great taster. So thank you to GM Colin for making this happen!

To keep up with, Beowulf, Handimonsters, a|state and everything else, please follow us on our Socials:

Twitter @GamesHandiwork

Facebook @HandiworkGames

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Find us on YouTube, and sign up for our (spam-free, promise) newsletter here!

Monster, by Jon

Friday News Update – January 29th

Happy Friday – and happy Wolf Moon!

Wolf Child Moon!

And before anything else, a thank you to our BEOWULF backers for their patience. We had intended to release the .pdf this week, but decided to err on the side of caution and ensure the work was complete and fully polished rather than rushing it. It will come to you next week, and we really hope you like it!

Those of you who didn’t back the project, you can give our intro-adventure a try, and grab a couple of sneak peeks, all up on DriveThru – plus we have some gorgeous Beowulf Zoom backgrounds, to add some adventure to your online calls and games.

Arriving very soon!

Look out for the full BEOWULF launch in February, complete with download links and details as to how you can pre-order the print copy of the book, as well as our real metal minis, gorgeous Inspiration tokens and all of the supporting merch.

Inspiration Tokens in Real Oak Box

And check out this week’s Handimonster! A personal favourite (Danie), this sly beast is not your average combat-monster. The rumourvine is subtle and filled with questions, an ideal way to weave a theme of espionage and mystery into your 5e campaign. Who planted it? Why? What do they want? What does it carry, what does it see – and what happens if you touch it? 

The Rumourvine

Our Handimonsters are not just stats. Every one comes with scenario and deployment suggestions, and with all the lore you’ll need for your game. Many overlap with other Handimonsters, or with terrain from our Map Tiles, plus there are all sorts of extras for top tier backers, including exclusive content, VTT tokens, full digital art, and discounts at the Handiwork store.

Handimonsters Extras

Start your week right – with a new Monster every Monday!

In other news, we’re delighted to be working with Ralph Horsley on his new book, ‘An Art Adventure’, a career retrospective covering thirty years of illustrations. Absolutely beautiful, and launching on Kickstarter!

Magic Chapter Spread

Plus: watch this space for news on the a|state second edition. Coming soooon…

To keep up with, Beowulf news, Handimonsters, a|state and everything else, please follow us on our Socials:

Twitter @GamesHandiwork

Facebook @HandiworkGames

Insta @HandiworkGames

Find us on YouTube, and sign up for our (spam-free, promise) newsletter here!

Handimonsters: The Rumourvine

The Spymaster’s Friend!

Every great RPG has monsters. Big monsters, toothy monsters, fire-breathing monsters, monsters that chomp you, and that claw you, and that scare you out of your armour.

But a good RPG also has something else – and that’s subterfuge. So today’s Handimonster is the Rumourvine, which manifests that subterfuge in physical form. 

The Rumourvine

Use the Rumourvine to add a creeping growth of both threat and suggestion to your campaign. Who planted it? What did it grow from? Why? Who tends it and helps it grow? What has it collected – and what form does that information take? What happens if you touch it? All these questions and more can weave a great story of espionage and tension.

To find out more about the Rumourvine, jump on over to, where Jacob Rodgers talks you through scenario suggestions, themes and imagery, and how to use a Rumourvine to its best effect.

As ever, all of our Handimonsters come with, not only a full stat block, but with professional art (this one by Scott Purdy), and all the details you’ll need to add them to your game. And top-level patrons also get full digital art, paper minis, VTT tokens (portrait and top-down), lots of exclusive content, and more.

Bonus Content

And the best thing about Handimonsters? Your PCs will never have seen them before. 

And that sounds like an adventure…

Friday News Update – January 22nd

Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about BEOWULF, and about the imminent arrival of the .pdf…

…but not as much about the story behind the game, or about the detail and attention that have gone into making it happen.

Calling the Hill Giant by Jon

Lots of this can be found on the BEOWULF page on our website. There, we talk about how we’ve used and adapted the 5e system – including character classes, abilities, alignments, and equipment. 

But we also talk about the things that make BEOWULF unique, and about how we’ve tied the game to the original poem.

Things like the ‘Portent’. Before Beowulf goes to face Grendel, he asks permission of King Hygelac, and seeks out omens of the road ahead. In the game, we represent this with a series of random rolls, each generating the next part of your hero’s journey. These Portent rolls tie in with the 5e inspiration rules – they may favour the hero, bringing them inspiration tokens, or they may give those tokens to the monster, which brings a very dark omen indeed. They also give the GM some strong ideas and imagery, which can be woven back into the story. However the Portents turn out, they map your hero’s adventure, and show them the road ahead.

Beowulf Tokens in Oak Box

We have beautiful, specially crafted tokens just for this purpose. For those of you that missed the Kickstarter, these should be available to pre-order next month. They’re made by Campaign Coins, and they’re a really gorgeous prop.

There’s also our use of ‘Followers’. Our game is specially designed for ‘duet play’, one PC and one GM (though it can be played with a group), making it not only true to the poem, but the perfect game for a new player, or to play at home. And this means, like faithful Wiglaf, your hero will have followers!

The adventure!

While those followers may only turn up rarely in the story, they’re always in the background. And in a duet game, where there’s less engine noise and no need to ‘take turns’, they offer huge potential for personal role-playing, dramatic interactions and ‘theatre-of-the-mind’ scenario development. They support your hero in times of tension, and they offer the GM a good way of feeding information or clues. If you’re playing with a larger group, the followers may not get quite as much air-time, but they can still be fun to have around!

Like our tokens, we’ve made special Beowulf minis – all eight pre-generated heroes plus one monster – which will be arriving on our website very soon.


If you’d rather not wait, then please have a look at the intro-adventure, the Hermit’s Sanctuary, on DriveThruRPG

And you can find out more about Beowulf, and how it all goes together at Handiwork Games.

And – a quick and cheeky footnote! If you’re an a|state fan, please be aware that our printers are discontinuing the staple-bound copies of the intro adventure, Nicely, Done. Instead, copies will be in ‘perfect bound’ format – but that does mean the stapled versions will soon become very rare!

Nicely, Done

Grab yours at DriveThru!

To keep up with more Beowulf news, a|state and Handimonsters, and some general RPG chat, please follow us on our Socials:

Twitter @GamesHandiwork

Facebook @HandiworkGames

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