Friday News Update – a|state funds on Kickstarter!

Fully funded in 78 minutes – so a HUGE thank you to all of our friends, gamers and backers who’ve jumped on the project and have already made it a reality.

Even better, we’ve unlocked all of our original stretch goals and are already adding more – the a|state book will have two lots of additional artwork, a full media appendix by the co-creator of the first edition, Malcolm Craig, plus two new locations, Fogwarren and The Grand Emporium, and Gone To The Dogs, a complete adventure.

Gone To The Dogs

Our next stretch goal is the spot UV design on the cover (like the one we have on BEOWULF) – and we’re very close!

And don’t forget: when you sign up, you’ll get the 132-page preview .pdf, plus downloads links for a character sheet, a corner sheet and a starting situation sheet. And access to our Discord server where you can find ideas, help, players and GMs. And a lot of talk about movies!

Fogwarren

And do grab the primer, Nicely, Done from DriveThru!

In BEOWULF news! Our UK pre-orders are now all fulfilled; your books and other treasures are all in the post. In the EU, they’re going take just a little longer; if you’re in the US, then they’re currently travelling that great Whale Road known as the Atlantic, and should be landing soon.

Treasure!

If you’re new to us, or were not a BEOWULF backer, then you can order the book from our website. Or, if you’re at UK Games Expo this weekend, then grab your copy from our retailer backers, All Rolled Up, at stand 2-510.

And keep up with the adventures – our friends at Campaign Coins are doing another of their wonderful live-streamed games!

After their fantastic play-though of The Hermit’s Sanctuary, they’re taking on the Horror at Herrogate. Follow Alex, playing Blaedswith, the Karelian Amulet Witch as she faces the dreadful dréag… and the mysteries of the village. Stream starting Monday 2nd of August on the Campaign Coins Twitch channel!

New Season, New Hero!

And, of course, a sneak preview of next week’s HANDIMONSTER – the Plasma Phase Elemental!

Plasma Elemental

A magical being, native to another plane of existence, it’s a creature of a superheated gas-like material that burns all that it touches. While intelligent, it can be confused, careless, or simply indifferent to the damage that it causes while on our plane.

Find out all about it, when you join our monster Patreon – with over thirty creatures detailed, it also brings you stats, lore, backgrounds and adventure hooks – and a new monster every Monday. 

Plus – there’s still time (just about) to grab £2 OFF our Forest Dragon games (‘til the end of July). Enter the code ‘Summerdragon2’ to get £2 OFF The Forest Dragon and/or The Forest Dragon Bang and Twang – two award-winning creative/family games to keep the family entertained over the summer. 

Playing the Spoons

Keep up with all the news:

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a|state Kickstarter Launches Today!

The Brit-indie classic, dystopian SF RPG, a|state, updated for 2021 with a unique iteration of John Harper’s Forged in the Dark rules set goes live on Kickstarter today!

The game features amazing and inspiring art by Paul Bourne, Jon Hodgson and Scott Purdy, an evocative updated setting by Malcolm Craig, and wonderful rules work by Morgan Davie and Gregor Hutton.

The game is written, the art and design are done. We need your help to see how much better we can make it in print.

The Kickstarter goes live at 5pm today (UK time): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonhodgsonmaptiles2/a-state-rpg-second-edition

Friday news update – a|state is ready for launch!

Step inside a world both beautiful and baroque, a sprawling urban nightmare – yes, the a|state Kickstarter launches on Tuesday 27th July.

Paul Cornell calls it, ‘An exciting, cutting edge RPG that takes on cyberpunk and noir shapes and moves them on enormously, in ways informed by the future shock we’ve all experienced in the last few years. Playable, prescient and wise.’ 

Ready for launch!

Based on the Forged in the Dark system, and fusing the wine-dark visuals of Dark City with the socially-aware dystopia of Metropolis, a|state is blades and backstreets, footpads and fatalities. It’s Dickensian, anti-Thatcher, sparks-and-knives SF.

Team up to defend your corner from selfish authorities, angry gangs and heartless industries. Fight off threats to your canalside home, and strive to make the grim and haunted City a safe and better place. 

a|state is your story – it’s the story of how you fight back.

Soooooooooooon…

Our a|state sign-up page has passed 350, which is amazing. If you haven’t joined us, please do go and add your name – and tell your friends. That way, we can share everything as it happens.

And do check out Jon’s interview with Morgan Davie, telling us all about the second edition!

Plus, working with our friends at Nightfall Games, we have a brand new 5e setting due! 

Harrowvale

With new rules, new classes and unique monsters, Harrowvale brings a uniquely British spin, with influences ranging from 2000AD and Kes to Dragonslayer and Trainspotting.

Find all the details on the Nightfall games site.

And take a sneaky glimpse at Next week’s Handimonster! 

Thálassan

Masters of magic and psionics, Thálassans can be spotted hunting in the ocean’s subtropics, near coral reefs. But beware: their evil is only tempered by their choice to dwell in the deeps.

Catch your own Thálassan by joining our Patreon.

And a couple of reminders:

If you’re at the UK Games Expo, grab your copies of BEOWULF from our retailer backers, All Rolled Up.

Or, at our store, grab £2 OFF our Forest Dragon games. Enter the code ‘Summerdragon2’ to get £2 OFF The Forest Dragon or The Forest Dragon Bang and Twang. This will last ‘til the end of July and keep your kids creative over the summer!

Keep up with all the news:

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The Forest Dragon is trying to get some sleep!

Morgan Davie on System, a|state and Vomit


a|state second edition is coming to Kickstarter on Tuesday July 27th. Jon recently interrupted Morgan Davie’s work on the new edition to ask him some questions about the system, having already bothered Malcolm about the setting last week.

Yo Morgue. 

Kia ora Jon! 

Let’s get right to it:

So you’re in charge of the system side of things on a|state. Tell us about Forged in the Dark games. Why are they good? And if I’ve never played one, what is it like?

Continue reading “Morgan Davie on System, a|state and Vomit”

Friday News Update – BEOWULF arrives!

It’s loose and in the wilds!

And it’s a wonderful thing to see – our BEOWULF rulebook and other treasures all arriving on UK doorsteps! Fulfilment has been completed in the EU, and they’ll be with US customers soon (curse that damned Pond).

We look forward to the pictures, the insights, the comments… and (duh) the gaming. Now you’re getting your hands on the finished product, please do let us know how everything goes!

Three Ogres Map

In celebration, you can download our second pack of BEOWULF digital extras from DriveThru. This includes: – 

Reskinned Follower Gifts .pdf 

VTT tokens for the second batch of monsters from the BEOWULF rulebook

Poster map for the Three Ogre Brothers scenario 

More atmospheric music for your games

A video tutorial for the Social Encounter worksheet (available free here)

The merefixa – a brand new foe!

Digital Pack Two

And if you missed the first pack, you can find that here.

And amazing news! Just in case you missed it on Twitter, our a|state page has now passed the 250 mark, which is awesome.

a|state is coming

Thank you to all who’ve signed up, and if you’d like to join in, please do go and add your name – then we can tell you when the kickstarter launches.

If you’d like to know more about the project, check out Jon’s interview with Malcolm Craig, the co-creator of the a|state campaign setting.

Art by Paul Bourne

We’re also anticipating the summer hols! When you’ve got kids at home, it can be challenging finding stuff for them to do – so we’ve knocked £2 OFF our FOREST DRAGON GAMES until the end of July. 

Enter the code ‘Summerdragon2’ to get £2 OFF The Forest Dragon or The Forest Dragon Bang and Twang. (One coupon per purchase, applies only to core sets, but will apply to the bundle of both, because we’re good like that).

NOM

Winner of the Imagination Gaming Gold Young Einstein Award and the Family Game Silver Award, The Forest Dragon was designed by Rory, aged 9. Both games are great, family-friendly creative games, full of wonderful characters and things to discover and find. And there are lots of add-ons, too!

Plus: Jacob has given us a quick glimpse of next week’s HANDIMONSTER!

The Penny-Snatcher

Meet the PENNY-SNATCHER, a greedy monster that likes to pick pockets. When found out, it hurls coins back at you with supernatural fury – and the more valuable the coin, the more it hurts. Join our Patreon for a new monster every Monday!

We’re sorry not to be making the Expo (though you’ll probably catch us at Albacon – more details abut this soon). To keep up, please do follow us on our Socials…

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Malcolm Craig on the Joy and Pain of a|state

Malcolm Craig, co-creator of a|state, took some time to chat to Jon about the game and his background in RPGs. To those in the know, it was a pleasant surprise to see Malcolm back working on a game, since he’d formally retired from RPG work to concentrate on his career as a lecturer in history. Somehow Handiwork, with the help of Gregor Hutton and Morgan Davie, managed to lure him back to revisit his very first game, a|state.

Jon: You’ve written a bunch of RPG games. What do you like about rpgs in particular?

Continue reading “Malcolm Craig on the Joy and Pain of a|state”

Friday News Update – July 9th

a|state is coming!

Sign up to our Kickstarter page to be updated with all the launch details!

a|state second edition cover

Following the cult hit of the first edition, the a|state second edition will be launching on Kickstarter very soon. And it’ll be a full-colour, hardcover book with the stunning artwork and detailed backgrounds that you’ve come to expect from Handiwork Games. Hopefully, we’ll also be able to include additional art and further setting information through stretchgoals, plus appendices from original a|state co-creator Malcolm Craig.

A 132 page .pdf preview edition will be ready as soon as you pledge. 

By Paul Bourne

Step inside a world both beautiful and baroque, a sprawling urban nightmare, the world of a|state. Fight off threats to your canalside home, and strive to make the grim and haunted City safer and better. Team up to defend your corner from selfish authorities, angry gangs and heartless industries…

Download our primer, ‘Nicely, Done‘, for free!

Nicely, Done

And a word from Jon about the UK Games Expo:

Games Expo is happening at the end of this month, and we had planned to be there again as exhibitors. We were very much looking forward to seeing everyone again. However, with the sharp rise in Delta variant, and looking at the timetable for having our team fully vaccinated with the necessary two doses, a couple of weeks ago we quietly took the decision to cancel our attendance. 

We don’t want to make a fuss about this, and we certainly hope the show is a roaring success for those who choose to attend. While this will impact us financially, with many of our team living with unvaccinated teens or vulnerable older families members, with the prior cap on attendance, the recent announcement of the lifting of all COVID restrictions and safety measures, and with other exhibitors similarly withdrawing, we just don’t feel it’s a risk we can take at this time, neither financially nor for our collective health. 

Hopefully we’ll see you at a show later in the year: we’re very much looking forward to sharing all our new things with you! And if you do attend the show, we hope you have a marvellous time.

We do miss events, and we do miss all of you – so please do follow us on our Socials…

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Friday News Update – July 2nd

All the monsters you can handle!

Our HANDIMONSTERS Patreon has been steadily gathering followers since we launched it last year – and is still bringing you a new and completely original monster every single Monday. (Best way to start your week, seriously). It’s now up to THIRTY individual beasties. And that’s a full menagerie, right there!

Glass Spider

Created by the Handiwork team, Handimonsters come in every size and shape, in every alignment, and to suit every adventure, setting and level. They’re made for the 5e system, and they come with all sorts of scenario ideas and suggestions, with gorgeous artwork from Scott, and with all their stats, background and lore. They’re not just for fighting, they’re for your whole campaign.

Join up, and you’ll get the FULL beastie backlog – every monster we’ve made!

Heartwood Guardian

And next Monday, you get to meet the AMORPHIC, a magical creature that holds its physical form by force of will alone… but is always look to spread.

And what do monsters need, but LAIRS?

Featuring art by Jon, we have a brand new VTT Barrow Builder up on DriveThru – which includes a grassy base map and full set of .png tokens. Tunnels, chambers, pillars, niches, cists, altars and bones – everything you’ll need to bring the place to life.

Barrow Builder Kit

Just add your monster of choice!

And – just to prove we haven’t forgotten – a little more amazing a|state art. The Kickstarter is coming very (very) soon, so hang onto your pocket money… because it’s going to be gorgeous.

The City

Get yourself in the zone by downloading our free primer, Nicely, Done.

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Friday News Update – June 25th

BEOWULF is on the move!

On the move!

Our BEOWULF books have travelled the Whale Road and have arrived at Handiwork Games. All eight hundred and fifty KILOS of them!

We’ve already sent a shipment to the US. If you’re in the UK, it may take us a little while to pick and pack your orders, but fear not, the task is underway. 

Full details here.

Them’s a lot of books

If you’re in the EU, there’s a little more useful information up at our store.

To keep you going, have another fantastic BEOWULF cover quote, this one from the mighty John Gwynne!

Thanks John!

And have a brand new scenario!

The Elfshot is written by Jacob, with art by Jon and design by Paul. It’s for fourth to fifth level characters and it’s now available at DriveThruRPG.

Pages from The Elfshot

‘Giorsala’s hall stands empty; her warriors’ gear still in their racks; children’s toys scattered on the playfield. All the people are gone but still it feels like something is watching you…’

An entire settlement has gone missing. Can your Hero/es discover the truth?

Pages from The Elfshot

We’ve also got some sneak info about next week’s HANDIMONSTER!

This coming Monday, journey to the Caverndeeps and discover the Deepsail, a subterranean creature that absorbs heat from geothermal vents, subsists on fungi, and is well-equipped to defend itself against other underground monsters. 

HANDIMONSTERS is our creature-feature Patreon, and EVERY new beastie comes with all the things you’ll need – stats and background, art and lore. The monsters are a huge assortment of sizes and shapes, alignments and levels (not to mention fun and games), and they come with scenario and setting suggestions, sure to keep your PCs hopping.

Half a dozen Handimonsters

If you’d like to give them a try, there’s a free sampler on DriveThru. And the VERY best bit – your players will never have seen them them before. So every monster is a new adventure, and every adventure a new discovery. 

Also coming up next week, we’ll have a cheeky extra from Jon’s Map Tiles. Watch our Socials for our Barrow Builder Kit!

Barrow Builder Kit

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Some more of Paul’s fabulous a|state art. Because we can.