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!
This weekend sees Tabletop Gaming Magazine’s epic Spring Showcase, offering the inside scoop to the gaming community’s up-and-coming news. Find announcements, play-throughs and sneak peeks – and find Jon, on the main stage, at 3pm tomorrow (Saturday 27th March GMT). He’ll be talking everything Handiwork, and what we’ve got coming up.
While you’re waiting, you can follow the Whale Road with our trusty Hero, Bald Eadig, who’s finally reaching the end of his adventure. Jump on over to Campaign Coins on YouTube and watch the epic, double-length finale of The Hermit’s Sanctuary – where the foul beast is finally uncovered!
And, if that leaves you in the mood for slaying nasties, then grab Horror at Herrogate, our full-length BEOWULF adventure, from DriveThru. Confront the dreadful dréag, the nightstalker, the breaker of bones, unkillable by mortal hand…
The .pdf comes complete with three poster-sized battle maps, tokens for VTT, new Follower cards and separate NPC artwork.
And, if you love a good monster, and a good RPG fight, then our Handimonsters Patreon is less than the price of a coffee. Start your week, every Monday, with a brand new 5e beastie – each one carefully designed and drawn, and coming complete with stats, lore, background, and all sorts of scenario ideas.
Plus – there’s loads of bonus content, and there’s loads of FREE stuff too!
And don’t forget – we’ve got some new goodies in our RedBubble store. Two of Jon’s best-loved designs are now available as photographic prints!
Written by Marco Rafalà (The One Ring, Star Trek Adventures, Lex Arcana, How Fires End) and illustrated by Jon Hodgson, Horror at Herrogate is a full-length .pdf adventure for BEOWULF: Age of Heroes.
Nightmare lingers at the small fishing settlement of Herrogate, threatening the people and the treasure seat of the lord Thorfinn. Dare you confront the dreadful dréag, the nightstalker, the breaker of bones, the creature unkillable by mortal hands…?
But you’re a Hero. Seriously, how else would you spend your weekend?
The scenario comes with three poster-sized battle maps, tokens for VTT, new Follower cards and separate NPC artwork to show to your players.
Find these in the Handiwork Games store and on DriveThru, and this includes all of our big Tiles Bundles, to bring every kind of adventure to your tabletop. And don’t forget, our Digital Map Packs – ideal for your VTT games – are still on SALE.
Next up – congratulations!
This goes to Simon H J Williams, who’s won himself a print copy of The Hermit’s Sanctuary, complete with original sketch by Jon. Which is winging its way, even as we speak.
If you didn’t win this one, worry not – there will be more competitions soon…
To follow The Hermit’s Sanctuary adventure, join the Campaign Coins team, over on Twitch. This week, the fifth instalment sees our Hero, Bald Eadig, get to grips with ‘Baleful Grief’ – and we hear rumours that the Eadig/Thormund/Saewine love triangle may be heating up…
Stat a Hero of your own, with this week’s podcast! Those all-round-renowned RPG geniuses (genii?) Jon and Jacob talk you through the first part of creating your Beowulf Hero character, so they’re armed and ready to… erm… break benches.
A Hero, of course, needs an adventure. Make your awareness checks for Horror at Herrogate, a new full-length BEOWULF scenario coming up at DriveThru – very soon!
If you backed the original Kickstarter, your Hero gets their Horrors for free – we will send you the .pdf next week.
In the meantime – all you painters! We’re delighted to share the skills of the wonderful Sonic Sledgehammer Studio, making a gorgeous job of our white metal minis. Chosen by Sonic’s fans, the Hero Ibn Uthman is first for the brush. Once a trader and writer, he was exiled for using his prodigious ability with words – and returning to Baghdad was no longer an option.
Check out Sonic’s awesome painting…
Pop over to our friends at GeekNative for a chance to win our Bang & Twang card game. It’s fast and fun and easy to learn, great for kids and an ideal family game – but look out for the Forest Dragon!
Keep up with all the news, when you join us on our Socials:
Grab yourself a cup of tea (or a mug of mead), because it’s been a packed week at HandiworkGames …
First up – join our World Book Day Twitter giveaway. Follow us at @HandiworkGames and RT our tweet to win a print copy of The Hermit’s Sanctuary, our BEOWULF intro-adventure, complete with an original sketch from Jon.
Thanks to our friends at Campaign Coins, you can follow the live play-though of The Hermit’s Sanctuary over on YouTube. This week, Bald Eadig meets… the SEA RAIDERS!
You can also follow Pellam’s Wasteland on YouTube for a solo play campaign.
And, of course, you can join Jon and Jacob over on our own YouTube channel, for our BEOWULF podcast. This week, it’s all about the 5e rules!
Gaming for good, and launching Tuesday 9th March – a fantastic charity offer, sold in aid of The Trussell Trust. This mini-deck and map pack will fuse Jon’s bestselling Map Tiles with the fantastic RPG encounters of Venger’s Decks, offering you the perfect backstreet package, ideal for any campaign.
And every sale is for a good cause. Find out more, here.
In more news: Handimonsters! Our 5e monster Patreon is now at a new price, with easy-to-understand tiers. And this week’s monster is FREE! Add some giantish romance to your adventure with the Hölingean, tattooed and magical. They like summers of idle dalliance, and keep human mages as pets.
And catch Jacob, talking Handimonsters, over at d20 radio!
And finally – we’re very pleased to be involved withHeinzcon! Offering a wonderful programme of gaming related events and panels, this will take place in Twitch – and you can catch Jon (again – he’s been a busy fella) talking everything from BEOWULF to a|state.
Keep up with all the news, when you join us on our Socials:
Jump on over to DriveThruRPG, where our JON HODGSON MAP TILES are 20% OFF. These include our best-selling Dungeon Tiles, plus SF Tiles (Uptoian and Dystopian), and Tiles offering Forests, Caverns, Desert, Hillforts, and everywhere else you can escape to roll dice. And all of these come with free digital files.
You can also find all of our digital scenery packs, featuring everything from walls and posts and logs and sticks, all the way up to fireplaces and furniture.
Perfect backgrounds for all your lockdown gaming adventures!
And, taking you down the Whale Road this week, we have two brand new BEOWULF videos. Join Bald Eadig in the third instalment of The Hermit’s Sanctuary adventure, presented by our friends at Campaign Coins. This week, The Search…
Join Jon and Jacob, discussing the first chapter of our BEOWULF setting in this week’s podcast, over at our YouTube channel.
And it’s LOOSE! The BEOWULF: Age of Heroes .pdf is now available, at DriveThru RPG!
Francesco Nepitello, designer of The One Ring RPG, describes it as “…a vast treasure-hoard that shows how you can hone the rules for 5e to make them cut like the edge of a long-seax and sing like a Scop.”
Called by Lou Anders ‘a magnificent accomplishment’ and featuring a foreword by Beowulf translator Maria Dahvana Headley, BEOWULF: Age of Heroes is 276 pages of breath-taking, mythic artwork, of potents and tables, of fables and folkore, of meadhalls and monsters, all carefully crafted to evoke a legendary age.
And find our of our beautiful BEOWULF merch at our Handiwork store! Now available for pre-order are our real metal minis, and our Compass Coins and Inspiration Tokens, plus we have dice trays and ARUs featuring artwork by Jon Hogson and designs by Paul Bourne. All so you can immerse yourself completely in the BEOWULF story.
To find out more about the BEOWULF experience, The Hermit’s Sanctuary, our ENnie-Award nominated intro-adventure, is available for download.
It’s the news you’ve been waiting for: the BEOWULF: AGE OF HEROES .pdf will be finished this month.
And it really is a monster. It’s 256 pages of glorious gaming goodness, featuring breath-taking artwork and a fully detailed setting, both steeped in Anglo-Saxon lore, plus all the characters, encounters, monsters, locations, maps, treasures, traps and tables that you’d expect from a top-quality RPG manual. It’s truly been a labour of love, and the finished product is pretty stunning (even if we do say so ourselves).
A sneak peak at some of the artwork, from Jon Hodgson, Scott Purdy and Jan Pospisil…
And have a peek at Jon’s painting!
If you backed the project on Kickstarter, then there’s a full update over on the site.
Or, for a taste of BEOWULF: AGE OF HEROES, have a look at the intro-adventure, the Hermit’s Sanctuary, over on DriveThruRPG.
And don’t forget – our Handimonsters! This week’s 5e monster is The Screamer, featuring art by Scott Purdy, and (as ever) a full set of stats and skills, and all the necessary lore and background – enabling you to drop him straight on top of your unsuspecting PCs.
Join Handimonsters on Patreon for a new beastie every week, and sign up to our top tier for all sorts of extras – including additional content, digital art prints, VTT tokens (portrait and top-down) and paper minis.
What a year, eh? Jon here, with my look back at 2020 at Handiwork Games.
It is always useful to reflect on the year gone by, so here are my thoughts on what we’ve done in year two, 2020. (It’s sort of year two. More like 18 months but let’s call it year two for easy maths and a good story!)
The headline is (predictably) that while Covid has put plans on a slightly different footing than expected, we’re doing really well.
Year one accounts came in and I was flabbergasted by our turnover. With my head firmly in projects at the time, I genuinely had no idea we’d done as well as we did in 2019, and that shook me into taking the accounts a bit more seriously! The day-to-day can be a procession of fires to put out and rocks to roll uphill. It’s easy to lose sight of just how much we’ve achieved as a team.
Things we did in 2020:
Map tiles 2 Kickstarter. Map Tiles was an unexpected project we just tried out to see what would happen, thinking it might fund, and the two Kickstarters to date have raised about £40k, and Map Tiles have become “a thing”. They’re very popular on our web store: Dungeon tiles in particular have proved to be a really good seller. Shamefully they’re out of stock right now! We’ll need to fix that in January!
We faced some Map Tiles challenges early on in the pandemic with printers closing, and shipping becoming briefly impossible. However, I take heart that these were only physical delivery delays, rather than delays in making the things on our side. Shipping delays seem to increasingly be a fact of life, and we’ll need to account for that heading forward.
It was great to find a UK printer to complement our US side of things. I’ve been very happy with Drivethrucards, and they’re incredibly helpful to us. But the Atlantic is not kind when it comes to shipping, so being able to print on both sides of the ocean is a win. Thanks to working with a UK printer on Map Tiles 2, we also have a printer for our miniatures boxes (which turned out really well!) and future games. Nice!
Speaking of Map Tiles, one of the first things we did in lockdown was refocus on providing tools for online play. If we had to be stuck inside, then some useful virtual scenery seemed like a cool thing to provide.
We delivered the Creature Collection for Onyx Path. I’m really proud of that book. It’s a great collection of some high-quality content from a solid team. I’ll be forever grateful to Rich at Onyx Path for letting us loose on the book. It really allowed us to flex what we can do.
We did tons of other stuff as a studio in 2020, much of which has to remain unsung – some secret things forever!
The Hermit’s Sanctuary for BEOWULF came out as a free pdf and then by popular request a print book. It was nominated for two ENnies which was truly unexpected and really welcome. We didn’t win any, but for once I can genuinely say that didn’t really matter. Being “there” was amazing. And the timing for the BEOWULF Kickstarter was impeccable.
We spent a great deal of time designing, writing and making art for BEOWULF. And when we took to Kickstarter, it hit my “happy” number (insider info: £30k was the minimum for acceptable funds, £40k was “happy”, £50k was “awesome”). We got well into awesome with late pledges, and we’re a whisker off 1000 backers. That’ll do!
We made miniatures! How cool is that? I’m still somewhat amazed we achieved this, but it all came together so nicely. It is great to be working with old friends on this. I’m really happy we made everything in the UK too.
Of course we still enjoy working with colleagues further afield. We had a really great time working with our friends at Campaign Coins in 2020. Mark and Andre are so madly supportive, and I love working with them. We’ve made some truly gorgeous things and I can’t wait to ship them in this coming new year. The BEOWULF tokens and compass are really gorgeous, and represent exactly what I want us to be producing.
We also helped out some friends behind the scenes, and that felt good. There’s a loose little grouping of companies in the UK who just help each other out when they can and all ships are definitely rising as a result. And I really like the people involved. A special shout out to Fil, Paul and David of All Rolled Up/Just Crunch Games. We’ve done loads of projects with these folks and it’s always a pleasure, whichever direction the help is flowing.
We did the Slay the Spire livestream on Steam, and it was amazing seeing our company name on the front page of Steam! Thanks so much to Tomas for inviting me, and Anthony for being so cool.
That opportunity came about because of the BEOWULF Kickstarter, and it’s very reassuring to see some other people working in related fields recognise what we’re doing. I also did a bunch of podcasts, and I must make time to do more. I love it, actually. It’s a nice way to break out of working invisibly on stuff, and I sometimes forget there’s a lot to talk about.
We started work on a 5e setting we haven’t announced yet, with a partner company. We’ll get to work on that in earnest in the new year but it’s already looking pretty cool!
We’re also helping long time friend and colleague Ralph Horsley with his art book. More on that in 2021!
We’ve been working on the new edition of a|state. There’s a really great team on that one and it’s really coming together. We released “Nicely, Done” as a free PDF and lovely print book that includes a gorgeous primer to the setting. A new round of a|state playtest will happen in the new year, with the new edition itself is almost entirely complete. There’s still a bit of artwork needed. Bit of extra setting stuff. But it’s “there” at the core as a playable new edition. It’s been a very smooth process, and I’ve been delighted to be in a solely admiring, occasionally overseeing role.
We worked with two projects that use games to involve the community in history and environmental issues. Covid scuppered the first, with no chance of doing workshops in the community, but the second has advanced to the next stage of funding.
Similarly, we attended no events this year. That was a challenge, given how much we’d invested in stock and equipment for shows for 2020. We were fighting fit and ready to go for a super convention season. Which never happened. Ah well.
On a vastly more positive note, we brought Danie on board to help with marketing and social media. That’s worked out really well, and if you’re reading the his you’ll have seen lots of Danie’s work online. It’s been incredibly helpful to have another brain able to focus on social media and marketing. And one with so much experience!
We also moved from my now-way-too-small home office to a much larger garden office, which includes dedicated areas for stock storage and mail order processing, as well as a photography booth, reference library and creative work areas.
Moving everything was hard work, and getting it built in the first place was a trial for us and the builders during a global pandemic. But it’s done, we’re in and I love it. It’s brilliant.
In December we launched Handimonsters. This is a subscription service that offers new monsters every week, along with something free each month. Based on prior experience, that won’t hit its stride as a patreon for a couple of months – the back catalogue patrons gain access to is currently building to a nice collection of stuff. From a process perspective that’s been great. Absolutely zero drama in that project.
Right at the end of the year we sent out the first chunk of BEOWULF to backers. It’s been very well received, which is lovely. You just never know how things will fare once they head out into the wide world, but BEOWULF has been an absolute labour of love, and that seems to be communicating.
We managed, through some amazing timing and me managing to be extra brave, to secure a foreword from Maria Dahvana Headley, who’s so hot right now in the world of Beowulf translation. I’m still a bit boggled by that too. What an honour.
As ever, pulling this ad hoc list together I’m reminded why I was pretty tired at the end of the working year. But looking back for the first time in a little while, it’s heartening to see how much we’ve done! There are some notable absences from this review – Hellenistika is something we get asked about a lot. It’s going to be one of those projects that happens when it happens because you just can’t rush magic.
We have two new Forest Dragon games ready to print. We just need some time to tell people about them, and maybe do a cheeky Kickstarter to gather the faithful once again. Both Hellenistika and FD games are still very close to our hearts, even if they don’t have news headlines to share from 2020.
Overall, we have faced the same challenges as any company in startup in 2020, and it certainly hasn’t all been a bed of roses. There’s been plenty of sleepless nights along the way, and we’ve made our fair share of missteps. Such is life! Looking back on what could so easily have been a disastrous year, I think our whole team can be very proud of what we’ve achieved, and we’re coming into 2021 with a lot of… “2020 experience” under our belt.
And so, from everyone at Handiwork Games, I’d like to wish you a very happy new year, and hope that 2021 brings good things for all of us.
But fear not! We’ll be taking UK orders, for Christmas delivery, all though the weekend – our last posting date is Monday 21st. If you’re Questing for presents for yourself, for your family and friends, or for your gaming group – we have a whole treasure-chest full of beautiful and original gift ideas.
We’re also running December Daily Deals – each day, every day, a new chance to grab a bargain. Today (Friday 18th), it’s £10 OFF our 36” SPRING BATTLE MAT. Each deal is only active for the day – so don’t miss out!
Handimonsters is our brand new Patreon, bringing you a whole menagerie of monsters, all ready for your adventure. And every one is original, designed and illustrated by our RPG experts, coming with artwork, a complete run of stats, and a full outline of its background and lore. Add some surprise to your 5e campaign!
If you head on over to our Patreon page, you can grab your FREE monster, plus some extras for patrons only. Including the Bonus Bog Bug Battle Map – complete with a rotten surprise…
And some BEOWULF news! The Hermit’s Sanctuary, the intro-adventure to our 5e BEOWULF setting, is once again available as a print book, over at DriveThru. Rooted firmly in the Anglo-Saxon legend, and rich with artwork, tables, characters and content, it’s the ideal escape.
And just for this week, we’re offering an extra-special sneak peek at one of our favourite ongoing projects. If you subscribe to our newsletter (spam-free, we promise), we’ll give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at something we’re VERY excited about…
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas from the team here at Handiwork. Stay safe, play games, and enjoy the break!