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!
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!
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…
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?
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.
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…
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…
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!
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!
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.
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.
Get yourself in the zone by downloading our free primer, Nicely, Done.
Featuring art by Jon, these come in packs of thirty, with or without a grid, and with digital files included. There are maps for every scenario – underground, overground, adventuring free. There’s fantasy and SF, indoors and outdoors, hillforts and backstreets, dungeons and caverns. Plus we have linking sets, so your adventures can always continue.
The newsletter is the best way to keep up with everything we’re doing – and there are always extra glimpses, previews and offers. Make sure you don’t miss out!
Big thanks to our friend Gareth Hanrahan, author of the Black Iron Legacy series, for this fantastic BEOWULF cover-quote:
‘Hail their work, those tool-forgers and saga-scaffolders,
Rules-kenners, at ease in the dice-hail,
Not meagre their talent, those makers of maps and monsters,
A host of hairy legends on the road of whales, orþanc geweorc!’
And the next time we get to a public event, we may well have ‘tool-forgers, saga-scaffolders and rules-kenners’ on our t-shirts…
Plus, coming next week, a brand new scenario for our BEOWULF setting!
Giorsala’s hall stands empty; her warriors’ gear still in their racks; childrens’ toys scattered on the playfield. All the people are gone but still it feels like something is watching you…
The Elfshot is written by Jacob, with art by Jon and design by Paul. It’s for fourth to fifth level characters and will be going to backers very shortly, and available on DriveThruRPG soon.
Take a look at more a|state artwork!
Plans are afoot for the launch of the second edition, but here’s another sneaky peek at what’s in store (images by Paul)…
And this week’s HANDIMONSTER is the STONEROOSTER, a strange creature that may be an alchemical mistake or some god’s epic jest… but it’s a creation that picks two round rocks and sits upon them, until slowly, slowly, they look more like eggs.
Just DON’T go near it while its nesting…
Find out more about this odd beast – or indeed a menagerie of odd beasts – when you join our patreon. Team our monsters with out Map Tiles, and you’ll never lack for adventures!
And finally! If you haven’t signed up to Ralph Horsley’s ‘An Art Adventure’ – late pledges are open. It’s 140 pages plus of career-spanning artwork, and its absolutely beautiful. Find the backerkit, here!
Yes, it’s the news you’ve been waiting for – we’re bringing the second edition of a|state to Kickstarter. A cult hit, built on Forged in the Dark rules, it’s written by Morgan Davie, Malcolm Craig and Gregor Hutton, with art by Paul Bourne, Jon Hodgson and Scott Purdy. And it’s gorgeous…
Get your first full overview of the The City, here.
And if you’d like a taste of what it’s all about, grab the free primer, ‘Nicely, Done’ from DriveThruRPG.
It’s an astonishing setting and we’ve got lots more to share – can’t wait for this to happen!
This week has also seen the anniversary of the launch of BEOWULF: Age of Heroes – and what a massive adventure it’s been!
From warriors and meadhalls to the foam crests the Whale Road, from followers and faithful to monsters and lairs… we’ve battled our way from The Hermit’s Sanctuary right up to facing the fearsome Stoor Wurm – and we’ve lived (hopefully!) to tell the tale.
A big mug-thumping thank you to those who have sailed with us – and the physical copies of the core campaign book will be with us very soon.
In the meantime, you can grab the .pdf , and a host of surrounding adventures, from Drive Thru. And there’s a brand new scenario, The Elfshot coming very soon.
Watch this space…
And this week’s HANDIMONSTER is another freebie (honestly, we’re so good to you).
Meet the Thallian Scout, a visitor from another reality, securing its safety with a metallic shell and engraved in runes and wards. It wants information, and beware – it may not take no for an answer…
Our HANDIMONSTERS Patreon starts at £2.50 a month, and brings you a brand new 5e beastie every Monday, complete with full stats, artwork, background and lore. Plus loads of additional info including scenario ideas, maps and a dozen ways to add our monsters to your campaign.
And the best bit? Your players will never have seen them before…
Plus, upper tier backers get paper minis, VTT tokens and all sorts of additional extras!
We’re gearing up to bring a|state Second Edition, built on the Forged in the Dark rules, to Kickstarter. There’s a wonderful free primer to the setting here in the form of Nicely, Done.
Today we thought we’d share the opening overview, since it clearly lays out what the new edition is all about. The following text is from the now-completed second edition, written by Morgan Davie, Malcolm Craig and Gregor Hutton. Art is by Paul Bourne, Jon Hodgson and Scott Purdy.
a|state is a game about a circle of troublemakers drawn together to bring hope to one small corner of The City, a dark and threatening place full of strugglers, gangs, chancers, and powerful warring factions. We play to find out if their alliance will bring a better future to the people on their corner.