Friday News Update – New BEOWULF Products and a Cool New Spin for Handimonsters!

You asked, and we listened.

So, this week, we have brand new Follower cards! In a game crafted for one GM and one Hero, your Followers are not only your combat-support, they’re advice and lore from your Games Master, a layer of tension and humour, and a wonderful opportunity to role-play. And now, you can keep track of them, their gifts and burdens, with our brand new cards.

Follower card – back

There are 50 in a presentation pack (so you’ve got plenty of opportunities for adventure) and they have spaces for everything you’ll need to record. They also come with stickers, to help your visualisations, and to keep track of the cards themselves!

We also have this absolutely beautiful BEOWULF Whale Road poster – A2 size, 350gsm paper, gorgeous matt laminate finish. Each one will be individually numbered and signed by Jon and Paul. Keep track of your travels, show off your journeys, or just stand back and admire.

Whale Road poster

And LOTS of BEOWULF games! If you’re looking to face the Horror at Herrogate, our trusty Hero Blaedswith returns to her adventure this week. With thanks to the Campaign Coins team, this is episode six, The Unwelcome Guest…

Don’t forget to grab the adventure for yourself from DriveThru!

Or, if you’re looking to actually play BEOWULF, co-writer Jacob Rodgers will be running The Serpent of Glinnredin at AlbaCon, on the 2nd and 3rd of October. Sign up to the Con via EventBrite, and head over to the Events Schedule. The Saturday game is fully booked, so jump on the Sunday slot – quick!

BEOWULF at AlbaCon

And our Handimonsters have a new look!

When is a Random Encounter not a Random Encounter? When it’s part of a theme! Many of our monsters now will now belong to a ‘family’, adding plenty of opportunity for a GM to create themed attacks, or whole scenarios and the settings to go with them. We’ve had Phase Elementals, and you’ve seen examples of both Wild Folk and (this week) the Dungeon Construct.

Dungeon Construct: Flammifier

What else would you like to see? Jump on over to our Socials, or let us know on the Discord!

And keep your fingers crossed for the ENnies tonight, 8pm EDT. We’re up for two – for Best Electronic Book for BEOWULF itself and for Best Free Book for our a|state primer, Nicely, Done

ENnies tonight!

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Stickers!

Friday News Update – and BEOWULF is loose in the wilds!

On Saturday September 25th, we’ll be at our first public event since… well, since before BEOWULF, and since before we had our Map Tiles (and that was a while ago). We’ll be at Carronade 2021, the Falkirk District Wargames Club’s annual show – and we’re really looking forward to it.

The Show will be observing Covid safety rules, and we will have LOADS of stuff for you to buy – not only BEOWULF treasures, but maps and mats, dice and minis. Do pop along and say hello!

New banner – how cool is this?!

You should also find BEOWULF arriving at your local retailer. It has adventured its way out to (among others) Forbidden Planet and Leisure Games. And we’re really pleased to see it stretch so far. Please do drop by and show them (and us) your support!

If you are a retailer, you can find a load of assets on our website here.

BEOWULF: Age of Heroes

And great news: US copies have almost landed! Thank you, everyone, for being so patient, they will be with you soon. And please post your parcels and goodies to your socials when they arrive.

All the loot!

If you’re looking to actually play BEOWULF, co-writer Jacob Rodgers will be running The Serpent of Glinnredin at AlbaCon, on the 2nd and 3rd of October. Sign up to the Con via EventBrite, and head over to the Events Schedule to book your game. Anyone can take part and all proceeds go to the mental health charity Penumbra.

Join the adventure – at AlbaCon

And if you’re <still> looking for BEOWULF adventures (honestly, there’s no stopping you) you can jump on over to DriveThru, where there are five individual scenarios to keep your Hero/es out of trouble (or possibly to get them into it), plus packs of digital extras, and .stl files for 3D printing minis.

Travel the Whale Road!

And don’t forget our Handimonsters – this week’s is the first of a series of Wild Folk, the Sly One. With its fox-like frame and twinkling black eyes, its both charming and flamboyant. But we wouldn’t trust it too far…

The Sly One

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Thanks, Lou!

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 – and THE THREE COINS is unlocked!

Our £29k a|state stretch goal, THE THREE COINS, is a game within the game, an in-situ RPG played by the denizens of The City.

If you’ve ever been a concept gamer, or if you love old gaming ‘zines and their style, or if you really want to uncover how your characters think and feel and react, how they interact with the City, and what the setting reflects about the characters themselves – then this is your moment of insight. Fully existing within the a|state campaign setting, THE THREE COINS is our RPG Inception.

The Three Coins
Continue reading “Friday News Update – and THE THREE COINS is unlocked!”

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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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 – 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.