ENnies Focus: a|state Nicely, Done

We’re delighted to have received two ENnie nominations this year, for BEOWULF Age of Heroes in Best Electronic Book, and a|state Nicely, Done for best free product.

You can vote here until the 27th of August.

Today we’re taking a look at some of what you’ll find in Nicely, Done for a|state.


Nicely, Done is an introductory adventure for the new edition of a|state, which we recently kickstarted with great success. a|state bring numerous developments to the Forged in the Dark ruleset, making your group of characters’ ability to care just as important as their ability to fight or sneak or steal.

The book opens with a series of spreads about the setting of The City. Since the PDF is free, the best place to see this is in the PDF itself. But we’ll run through some of the highlights.

Continue reading “ENnies Focus: a|state Nicely, Done”

We’ve Been Nominated!

Handiwork Games has been nominated for TWO Awards in this year’s ENnies.

The ENnie Awards are an annual celebration of excellence in tabletop role-playing games. They are peoples’ choice awards, voted upon by YOU, our online gamers, and they give well-deserved recognition to designers, writers and artists.

Handiwork Games’ campaign setting BEOWULF: Age of Heroes has been nominated for BEST ELECTRONIC BOOK, and our a|state RPG primer, Nicely, Done, has been nominated for BEST FREE GAME/PRODUCT.

In 2020, Handiwork Games’ The Hermit’s Sanctuary, a free sample adventure for BEOWULF: Age of Heroes 5e campaign setting, was nominated for two ENnie Awards – Best Electronic Book and Best Free Game.

Based on the Blades in the Dark system, and with its second edition now funding on Kickstarter, cult hit a|state has also seen previous success – the first edition was nominated for Best Game and Best Graphic Design in 2004.

Handiwork owner and team leader Jon Hodgson says, “I’m bowled over that we’ve been nominated for more ENnies. It’s a real testament to the hard work and creative commitment that everyone working at Handiwork Games puts in, and we’re really delighted to be nominated. All our games are an absolute labour of love, and it’s wonderful to see that recognised. Congratulations to our fellow nominees, and thank you to the judges and ENnies organisers. We really appreciate it.”

Congratulations to all our fellow nominees, and a great big thank you to all of our GMs, players, followers and supporters – you’ve all helped make this happen. Voting open on the 18th!

ENnies Nominee!

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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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.

Friday News Update – June 18th

Map Tiles special offer!

Sign up to our newsletter for a cheeky, subscriber-exclusive special on our Map Tiles!

Evil Forest Tiles in use

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!’ 

At ease in the dice-hail…

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!

The Elfshot – cover

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!

a|state – The City

Plans are afoot for the launch of the second edition, but here’s another sneaky peek at what’s in store (images by Paul)…

a|state – The City

For a taste of The City, try the free Primer, Nicely, Done.

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…

The Stonerooster

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!

Late pledges are open!

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a|state – downtime

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!  

For more, please do follow us on our Socials!

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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”

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.