Friday News Update – June 11th

a|state – the first overview!

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

The City

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

Nicely, Done

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.

BEOWULF!

Jon had a few words to say on the project…

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.

The Meadhall of Goirsala

Watch this space…

And this week’s HANDIMONSTER is another freebie (honestly, we’re so good to you).

Thallian Scout

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…

Thallian Scout with Extras

Plus, upper tier backers get paper minis, VTT tokens and all sorts of additional extras!  

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a|state Second Edition – an Overview

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.

The Game

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.

Continue reading “a|state Second Edition – an Overview”

BEOWULF – A Year On!

BEOWULF!

Jon here!

So social media (follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) tells me it’s a year since we launched BEOWULF Age of Heroes on Kickstarter.

Right now, all my attention is on shipping books, and if you’re following the world of international games shipping you’ll be aware that’s quite a challenge. But it’s important to look up from our daily trials and see the wider picture.

BEOWULF was one of our very first projects as a company. We assembled a small team, and pondered what we were best at, and what we wanted to make. We knew we all loved that mythic early medieval/migration era stuff. And we knew we loved 5e, and felt we could provide something that brought both together.

Beowulf setting and scenarios

We’ve spent a lot of time trying to remember exactly how the idea of a single Hero in 5e came about – which is silly because we could just look back at the Discord logs. But let’s keep to the appropriately mythic story that its origin is a mysterious one, but absolutely a stroke of inspiration (weak pun intended).

Playing with one player and one GM, with a system lots of people already know, modified to shine for just two, makes gaming really easy to arrange. And we made a game that you can pick up and put down with minimal effort. You can run a campaign, one on one, for your whole gaming group and get huge value from the scenarios, and continue them with whoever is available when the squad can’t all meet up. It’s really smart.

It’s amazing to think back a year, and remember wondering how we would get on. Would anyone back us? Were we barking up the wrong tree entirely? I’m happy to say that with over a thousand backers/late pledgers and pre-orderers we were not. And hey, with their support we made miniatures, beautiful tokens and accessories, and now even a dice set from Q Workshop, no less. There’s a wealth of adventure material available now in PDF. I was just hoping that we could make a book with a bit more art than we could really afford.

Chest with Tokens and Compass Coin


At the risk of utter cliche, it’s been an amazing ride to this point, and while the story is far from over we’ve made so many friends along the way I consider it to be an unmitigated success so far. We have a lovely community of BEOWULF players, we have enjoyed working with so many new friends and partners, who have been staggeringly supportive and kind, and I really couldn’t have asked for more. And it’s incredible to think that it’s all down to the support of you – gamers.

It all turned out alright. I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING!

And now back to getting those books shipped!

Friday News Update – 4th June

Lots of new goodies in the news this week!

Our brand new BEOWULF scenario, Seven Stones, is now available at DriveThruRPG.

Written by Elaine Lithgow, with art from Jon and Scott, this adventure takes your Hero/es to a desperate village, living in terror of a gargantuan sea serpent. Find a rocky peninsula blasted by frigid winds, and the genrations old legend of the Stoor Wurm…

Seven Stones

Plus, the original file has now been updated with:

.pdf poster-sized battle maps by Jon

VTT battle maps

VTT tokens for NPCs and adversaries

Kelpie by Scott

Also out this week – our first BEOWULF Digital Pack. Likewise at DriveThruRPG, this contains:

Fetch quests .pdf by Jon

VTT tokens for the first 11 Beowulf monsters

Battle maps – a ship at sea and on the beach

Music – four atmospheric tracks for your games

All the BEOWULF interactive sheets

And a video tutorial from Jacob on how to use the Monster Worksheet, and get the best out of your beasties

Digital Pack

You can also find the worksheets on the Handiwork Games site.

Stay tuned, as there will be more of these to come!

And, with suitable symmetry, this week’s Handimonster is an additional BEOWULF freebie!

Mennbana, by Jon

Meet the Mennbana, the Man-Troll. Not lurking on your socials, but found in mountainous or deep forest areas, and emerging to raid the local farms and settlements. They’ve got a great sense for defensive magical items, but beware the consequences, if you take one of these for yourself…

And, of course, we have our DICE. Many of you sharing some very cool pictures to our Discord (thanks, guys). But hey, they’re not a thirst trap, honest…

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Friday News Update – May 14th

Back to the Table SALE! 

This weekend, we’re celebrating the return of round-the-table gaming with a SALE on our RPG accessories.

Sign up to our newsletter for your SALE code, and you can save precious gold on mats, maps, dice trays and our award-winning family card game, The Forest Dragon. Almost everything you need to get back to dungeoneering (apart from the biscuits).

Dungeon Tiles – just add Adventuring Party (and monsters)!

Signing up for our newsletter will also give you regular extra peeks from Jon and the team – including exclusive info, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and early warnings when cool new stuff hits our stores.

This week, though, the big news: BEOWULF has arrived in Germany!

The Eormenultur has landed!

If you’re a kickstarter backer, or you’ve pre-ordered your copy: – 

From the UK, then the books should here any minute, and we will ship them to you, along with your UK rewards

From the EU, you should receive your book in the coming weeks.

From the US – more info as we have it.

You can follow our updates on the Handiwork site.

If you haven’t yet ordered your copy, the book is available to pre-order in our STORE. In the meantime, you can download the .pdf from DriveThru, and have a good look through our BEOWULF scenarios and adventures!

The Whale Road, by Jon

And on the subject of adventures – have a cheeky freebie!

In proud celebration our Scots language and people, Jon and Paul bring you BEOWULF Scots portent tables:

BEOWULF Scots Portents Tables

If you’re not a native speaker, then have fun looking these up on Google!

We also have a new BEOWULF quest coming very soon! This one is written by Elaine Lithgow, comes complete with Jon’s always-gorgeous maps, and is suitable for a Hero or Heroes of 4th/5th level.

From the opening paragraph: Our Hero is approached by a desperate young woman who begs them to come with her and save her village from a gargantuan sea serpent known as the Stoor Wurm. The village lies on a rocky peninsula blasted by frigid winds to the farthest-north. Here, people have lived in fear of the Stoor Wurm for generations…

Seven Stones, written by Elaine Lithgow

Plus, this week’s HANDIMONSTER is one of our favourites.

Jacob and Scott have truly outdone themselves. Meet the Lord of Ambition, wanderer of the multiverse, unstuck in time and space. He may offer you knowledge, but beware…

Lord of Ambition – art by Scott Purdy

Join our Patreon for a new, fully detailed monster every Monday, plus all sorts of adventure and scenario ideas.

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BEOWULF Limited Edition. We may have squeeed a little.

Friday News Update – May 7th

Updates for BEOWULF – and a|state!

We now have have FOUR full adventures for our BEOWULF setting. These include our ENnies-nominated intro, The Hermit’s Sanctuary, The Three Ogre Brothers, which comes as part of the main BEOWULF rulebook, plus two adventures more recently released – Horror at Herrogate and The Witches and The Wyrm. And, thanks to feedback from our backers, we’re delighted to release some updated content!

Horror at Herrogate Player-Facing Map
Continue reading “Friday News Update – May 7th”

Friday News Update – April 30th

A brand new scenario for our BEOWULF setting!

Now available at DriveThru, The Witches and the Wyrm sees your Hero face the serpent undying, in the hope of restoring time…

The Witches and The Wyrm

And, to go with new scenario news – our BEOWULF page proofs have arrived!

Jon and Paul have a good look through them, and we should have the finished article very soon. If you’ve got one on pre-order, then your wait shouldn’t be much longer.

In the meantime, the .pdf is also available from DriveThru, and we’ll update you about the physical book as soon as we can.

And a huge thank you to the mighty John Kovalic!

Quote from John Kovalic!

And, just in case, you haven’t heard us shouting – we have DICE. Gorgeously coloured, proper outsize, click-clack d20 maths rocks, made by Q-Workshop for BEOWULF. We still have a few of the limited edition sets left, so grab yours quick!

BEOWULF Dice!

For more adventures, try this week’s HANDIMONSTER!

The Flesh Fungus is a larder keeper… but it’s not going to hang about until you die of natural causes. You can find out all the gorgeous, gruesome facts, plus full stats and lore, when you join our Patreon. Starting at only £2.50 a month, it’ll give you a whole manual of monsters and all sorts of suggestions for adventures, including maps and scenario outlines.

Flesh Fungus! Nom nom nom…

And this week’s bonus content takes you to Magisterio College, Kardoshevk City, where you can learn all about the Primordial Realms…

Sign up for our newsletter and you’ll get extra offers, insights and snippets of info.

To keep up with BEOWULF and all our other news, please follow us on our Socials!

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Jon Hodgson Map Tiles

BEOWULF Print Proofs Have Arrived!

It’s happened: print proofs of BEOWULF Age of Heroes have arrived!

We’re almost there – our print proofs have arrived and Jon and Paul have given them that all important read-through. They’re looking absolutely beautiful (as you can see).

We’ll be despatching your pre-orders in a couple of weeks’ time – ready for you to lose ourselves in the ultimate 5e adventure!

In the meantime, you can grab the .pdf on DriveThru!

Whether you’re a follower of god, or of the old ways, whether you’re a lone Hero with your trusty followers, or a part of that party of intrepid and courageous adventurers, this is a world of great legends and old lore, of mysteries and monsters, and of true, high-hearted heroics…

Find out everything you need to know about the world of BEOWULF!

Friday News Update – April 16th

Coming soon – The Witches and the Wyrm!

The Witches and the Wyrm

The Witches and the Wyrm is a  brand new, completely extra, BEOWULF scenario – and coming very soon. Written by Jon and illustrated by Jon and Scott, the tides of this adventure carry your Hero away from the Church and The Hermit’s Sanctuary, and back towards the Old Ways and the mysteries of the Goddess.

Heroes are divided by alignment – and in BEOWULF, that’s by the Church and the Old Ways, rather than by the ones you know – and in episode 2, Jacob and Jon talk you through how that works.

This week in the BEOWULF podcast on YouTube, as Jon brings us up to speed on everything going on, and as he and Jacob talk FEATS, character improvements for your Hero. 

Speaking of Heroes, you can now download all of our Hero miniatures as single character .stl files, enabling you to print and paint them at home. As well as Blaedswith and Ham Anfaeld, you can also find Bald Eadig, Ibn Uthman, Alys, Cwenhild, Waelwulf and – of course – Muthbona.

All available at DriveThru!

They also available to pre-order in metal, in a lovely boxed set at our store.

And we’ll have more BEOWULF treasures in the next couple of weeks. Brand new accessories, just to please the goblins among you (you so know who you are)…

Plus: more news from Handimonsters!

Jacob’s been busy plotting (we worry when he does that), and his JUMP RAT ENCOUNTER is now available to patrons. These rodents may be little, but they’re fast, they’re fierce, they’re feisty, they’ve got long legs, and they can cause all SORTS of trouble for your 5e party. This encounter comes complete with map, index, and pointers for GMs – and it’s available when you sign up to our Handimonsters Patreon

JUMP RAT!

And don’t forget – when you sign up, you’ll get the full manual of all our monsters, a new monster every Monday, and a whole heap of extra content to play with – starting at only £2.50 a month.

Sign up for our newsletter and you’ll get extra offers, insights and snippets!

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Follow the Dice of Advice

Friday News Update – April 9th

It’s all about free monsters!

Big thank you to DriveThruRPG: our Handimonsters mini-manual is the FREE .pdf of the week – and has already seen almost a thousand downloads. Head on over to the site, and grab half-a-dozen of our fabulous 5e monsters, drawn and designed by our top team of gamers and gaming experts.

Meet the Knacker, and it’s knack (sorry) for digging blind tunnels, ready to upset dungeon-builders and confuse adventurers everywhere. Meet the Spell-Thief, who has a perfect way to upset your mage, and the Holingean, who has one even better. And meet our BEOWULF critter, the Briar Goblingas or Heópapúcan, with all his special rules, allowing you to craft something really clever for your Hero/es to face.

A trouble-causing sprite!

Our Handimonsters Patreon is only £2.50 a month. It gives you a new monster every Monday (best way to kick off your week), plus a load of additional content – scenario suggestions, facts, maps and insights.

It’s less than a high-street coffee, and it’s definitely more fun.

Also now on DriveThru, individual Beowulf minis. If you have a 3D printer, you can download the .stl files for Blaedswith, our Witch of the Old Ways, and for our warrior Ham Anfaeld, who lives for the sea – and for the treasure.

Both these characters can be found in The Hermit’s Sanctuary, our Ennie-Award nominated intro-adventure for our beautiful and legendary BEOWULF game setting. Whether you know your Anglo-Saxon lore or not, BEOWULF something truly special, taking you and your players to another place, to another time, and back to a world of legends.

The Wrath of the Old Gods?

You can find all of our BEOWULF character .stl files here.

And, as you travel, don’t forget your sampler of our Jon Hodgson ‘Evil Forest’ Map Tiles, all in ‘fuzzy-edged’ .pdf and perfect for your virtual tabletop adventure.

Evil enough for ya?

Of course, we all hope that we can escape the virtual and return our own Whale Road very soon – whether it leads to the tavern, to the marketplace, or to meet our mates at the Mead Hall and to roll dem bones. But, wherever we game, it’s always fun to be a Hero!

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