Category Archives: Gaming

Off to 7 Hills

Spring has sprung, and a couple of weeks in its finally energising me.

A small weekend break away for me beckons, at the 7 Hills Gaming Convention in Sheffield. I drive down with Lynn and John from my home group later today, after a couple of catch up meetings with my new Web Support team (what a surprise eh, me a web developer transfered in to that team as part of the IT restructure) which should be fun.  Fingers xed there will be no traffic jams as we go over the hills via Snake Pass, that would be less fun. Really looking forward to seeing a bunch of folk I only get to see at cons a couple of times a year. Hang out, waffle on and drink a few beers.

Looking forward to giving my four games an outting. I’m cursing that I ran out of time to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, but they are all more than functional and half the fun is letting things emerge through play 🙂

This is what I’m running:

Name of the game: Stainless Steel Providers
System: Project Darklight
Game Slot: 1
Number of Players: 6
Game Description:

They call you the Losers 242, since you come straight out of District 242 and to them you are just yet another street gang. A bunch of suicidal cyborg motorcycle gangers out to make mayhem and die in a blaze of glory.

But they don’t know the story. How you and your comrades from the infamous 5th Mechanised Regiment (Imperial Sterling INC) where demobbed to the shit hole of a planet they call New Oldham after the Galactic War. A burnt out, crashed, cesspit of belligerent idiots who claim descent from the clans of Northern England. You only ‘agreed’ since your Corporate Liaison said there would be a great relocation package. They even agreed to move your families to New Oldham. That’s where it all went to hell. The transport carrying your loved ones burned up in atmosphere – the victim of a terrorist attack- on the way to your new home. How you’ve spent the last year howling in grief fighting off constant attacks from racist hooligan locals.
Now a beacon of hope has been lit. A signal from the transport ship has been detected coming from the wilderness beyond the city.

Time to jump on your steel stead and ride off into the dust!

Project Darklight is a rules light cyberpunk game , set in the bright Corporate future of the 23rd Century after a mass exodus from Earth.

Tags: Mad Max, Cyberpunk, Cyborgs, Ufology, Steel, MGF.

[I decided to change the system I was using and throw in a new homebrew system. Might be a bit shakey here, but I’m confident enough to pull it through]

Name of the game: Wootz!
System: Monkey 2nd Edition
Game Slot: 2
Number of Players: 6

Your great trek to India from China to collect the lost cannons of Buddhist lore is nearly over. Standing in your way is the great foundry where they make the famed Wootz metal. Wootz metal is famed for its sharpness and strength is misused by tyrants and warlords all over the east. In the hope of spreading compassion you and your fellow pilgrims feel compelled to end this factory of suffering and defeat the Demons of Pain that blight this place.

You are wary of the old saying that even the wise man must melt and dissolve to attain new form of enlightenment.

Come play Monkey, in its second incarnation which features a much streamlined and simplified version of the game system, a game of epic light hearted Chinese kung-fu flavoured adventures. You play an Immortal out of favour with Heaven. Help them cultivate their Te (or personal power/virtue) and amass awesome chi-powers in the process. No prior knowledge of the system or Chinese Mythology required.

[Early days for Monkey 2nd ed, small changes in how the main mechanic works, and a few tweaks.]

Name of the game: Old Steel Ruins
System: Crypts and Things
Game Slot: 3
Number of Players: 6
Game Description:

In days of yore hot molten metal poured from the wounded Zarth. Mighty Sorcerers melded it into buildings of glittering Steel. They enslaved the land and the people. Until the Gods themselves were moved by the evil wizards hubris and buried them and their city under hot scolding sky fall ash! So the Steel Empire came to end, its treasures buried for millennia, its location a mystery.
UNTIL NOW! Brave scouts have discovered the City of Steel and have shared its location. Join the expedition to explore the Old Steel Ruins and discover THE SECRET OF STEEL!

An adventure for up to six 5th Level characters, using Crypts and Things a distinctly British Old School game, based upon the classics from the late 70s/early 80s, of Swords and Sorcery Adventure.

Tags: OSR, D&D, Swords & Sorcery, Foul smelly Khaos, Hair caked with the Ash of Ages, Lightly Gritted Sinews.

[Rar! Playtested this a couple of weeks ago and it was Maximum Game Fun ! 🙂 [

Name of the game: The City of Ironsmash
System: HeroQuest
Game Slot: 4
Number of Players: 6
Game Description:

The long lived Trolls of the Queendom of Halikiv have deep memories.

They remember the Gbjai Wars of the Dawn Age. How the men of light came out of the east over the mountains. How they conspired with Dwarfs and build a Forge-City on the Queendom’s borders, spawning iron armed and armoured warriors. If the Night Queen herself had not sent her son Arkat Kingtroll to lead the Black Legions against the city, how the Queendom would have been exterminated. Instead it was the Trolls who did the extermination and how the city is named after their deeds there. Happy memories of victory in the City of Ironsmash.
Now the storm scum are back in dark Halkiv and a small band of Black Legionaries travel to the city of Blackrock to ask for reinforcements from the Great Hag of the city. For they fear the forges of Ironsmash have been seized and once again good Troll hunting lands are threatened.

This is a big straightforward war story of Troll Warriors getting their Darkness on to trash Human barbarians. It requires no knowledge of the system or Glorantha. All will be gently introduced in an entertaining way over the course of the adventure. A Mega Gloranthan Fun game, so no basket weaving, sheep herding or anthropological discussions, only big fun adventure !

Tags: Glorantha , Trolls, Steel, Mega Gloranthan Fun!

[An oldy and goody originally run for RuneQuest 3 back in about 1997-98, now updated to hot of the press HeroQuest Glorantha system. ]

Here’s a picture from Crypts & Things to get you in the mood 🙂



This is where I and my immediate family especially are at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if you said you were too. You could argue that we are always in Transition but its especially acute at in this particular time frame.

Globally you can see it on the news as the Head Less Chicken Collective makes its final desperate play to exert Total Control over us all.  Truly amazing sad stuff, which if I had not seen the Gentle Infinite that is coming to us all I would be totally freaking out now.

Henry and Evie even had their own “Transition Day” at infant and junior school respectively a couple of weeks ago. Henry is loosing his baby talk and becoming quite a cheeky little lad. Evie is blossoming into quite a mirthful razor sharp girl. I’m going to have get my self in shape to keep up with this pair 😉

Which is kinda where I’m at the moment. Too long have I neglected my body and its now limiting what I can achieve. Plus there’s a very real possibility of life threatening disease that could hit me any time in the next 10 years. I’ve a family history of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes type 2 and dofus here is half again his ideal body weight over or as my mate Keary says “How are the two of you” 😉  So slowly and steadily I’m getting a grip, its early days and the changes are barely perceptible at moment. More a gathering of the forces with a increased amount of hydration 🙂

The Day Job is about to change big time or small time since we are going thorough an organisational Transformation. Might be good, might be bad, but the team I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the last 5 years will slowly dissolve over the next year or so. Time to leave the glided cage that I’ve sat out the early days of both my children, the house extension and the death of my father.

D101 Games morphs as I come to the end of its initial waves of games. This has been worrying as some collaborators and allies have left the little collective and new dancers take the stage . I know overall its got longevity, a  future and most importantly remains ball dropping fun. Currently bringing OpenQuest 2 to a glorious close and putting together River of Heaven a truly inspirational sci-fi rpg written by my mate John Ossoway, with a sound track by my old mate Keef Baker (which is basically the bright optimistic electronic album I always hoped he would pull out of his creative hat some day) and illustrated by rising star Peter Frain.  As far as my old muse Glorantha goes I’m finishing off a couple of unreleased books, but I’ve come to the reason I’m ok with the fact that I’m on hiatus on running in the setting even at conventions. I’m also working on a confusing amount of stuff which I’ll work on some sort of plan to bringing into being on my upcoming two weeks off work. Then I can at least mention it to the outside world to start getting interest up 🙂 Had fun updating the website over the last couple of days, so its responsive and works on all these new fangled smart devices 🙂

Perhaps we are all going into space.

In which case here’s the theme for River of Heaven by Slipdrive



Metal, RPG Geekery and Fatherhood, i.e. business as usual

Been a while since I updated but here’s a summary of what I’ve been upto (… come the bullet points).

Beating off the Winter Blooz, lets face it kids its still cold out there. Doesn’t mean it has to be in here 😉

Metal!!!! Went to see Metallica at the MEN Arena last night with Nice Andy. Had tea at the Marble Arch, a real ale pub and microbrewery coming out of Manchester. Really nice grub and serveral of their lovely beers left me a bit worse for wear later.  Best of all though discovered that their head brewer, James, is a mate from Leeds who left in the mid 90s to learn the art of brewing in Sheffield. Had a very quick catch up and it was damn nice to see him again 🙂  Then onto the souless concreate bowl that is the MEN Arena. Don’t get me wrong Metallica was on form, but the venue really didn’t do it for me. I guess I’m getting too old and grumpy to stand in enormo domes looking down at a group of ants on the stage.

RPG – steadly working away here. Infinte War my Theme for gspearing ‘s Wordplay was delivered. 7000 words of Timetravelling Weirdness inspired by Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time and Micheal Moorcock’s Jerry Cornellius stories. March’s big thing is going to be SimpleQuest, which dispite some last minitue quibbles over the rules is on track for completetion this weekend. Then the rest of March editing by gspearing  and layout by me. Hearts in Glorantha 3 steadly comes together, with an underwater feature being on the cards with 18 pages of Ocean Monsters by Nick Davison and a 20 page epic Dwarf adventure set in a brass submarine 🙂 Also things are afoot so I’ll be able to get HiG available via a couple of UK shops who also do online for the rest of the world, so you can get a print version without paying the riddiclous P&P charge.

Father hood – continues to be one of the most vindicating and enjoyable experiences of my life. Evie is growing up fast and continues to be a bright and sparky little girl. Shes well on the way to being fully potty trained after a week of trying and her talking is coming on strong. Oh and she doesn’t walk anywhere, she runs! Just like her late Great Grandmother Ethel 🙂

Further information

Furnace highlights

Seeing the mass of faces both old and new as I stumbled in from registration and realising that they weren’t going to eat me alive despite registration being a tad chaotic. Thanks folks for bearing with us.

Realising that after helping run it from its inception that the unique vision we had for Furnace pretty much runs itself with the help of the attendees (give yourself a pat on the back). Believe me this was an epiphany of no small importance to me and a moment of great joy and relaxation.

Playing HeroQuest 2 Rumble in the Rumble, and finding out that the new system works fine & smooth with Gloranthaphiles both new and old. Another epiphany of no small importance to me which led to a feeling of great joy and relaxation. HeroQuest 2 may still smell of wee for some folk (and to be honest I’m not convinced by 75% of the new edition) but I can run a game of it that I’m happy with and I can successfully entertain people with. Thanks to Doug, Dave, Andy, Jane and a couple of others who I forget presently, for putting up with the Gloranthan wackyness and bad puns and letting me entertain you with one of the most fun scenarios I’ve written in a long time.

Being nearly killed by Demon possessed cows in Reign. Big thanks to Paul Mitchener for expertly guiding us through a system that has intrigued me greatly since I rushed out and pre-ordered it on the strength of the internet buzz

Hearing the reports back from the SimpleQuest game that I wrote ‘Tomb of the Empty Emperor’ which Neil Ford ran. Lots of good feedback that will go into the final game and glad to hear that despite me writing an over-long scenario you had a great time. Big thanks for Neil for running this, Tom, Jane, Nathan, Doug, and Ginger Matt for playing it. I especially liked the idea that rather than using DEX combat order was determined by Social order Smile

Walking the streets of Serris with the players in Escorting the Goddess. Many thanks to Jane, Otto, Doerte, Doug and Malcolm for vividly bringing to life characters, situations and places that have previously existed in my head!

Thanks to Malcolm, Neil F , Neil G and Andy for giving Monkey yet another glorious outting. One thing I’ve learnt from all the playtest games is that Monkey is really a game that lives or dies (not that it has yet) on the strength of the player’s going for it, and despite it being Sunday afternoon you went for it!!! Neil was nothing short of spectacular for his reprisal of the role of Scribe the Celestial Administrator who downs Tiger Demons with a combination of index card flicking and poetry!

Overall having person after person come up to me and the other committee members and say that Furnace is their favourite con Smile

Provisionally booked in the Garrison 10-11th Oct next year

Getting excited about Furnace

Personally I can bearly contain my excitement behind a serene laminated exterior.

Got Friday off work so I can drift down. A box of HiG to sell, five copies of Monkey printed off and I’ve just finishedoff the high level death fest that Tomb of the Empty Emperor (think a Dara Happan version of Snake Pipe hollow) for neilf  to run. I get to see Ginger Matt which is a rare treat now that he’s down in South Wales, and the rest of the Tavern gang. I’m not running anything Sat morning so I can meet and greet people.

Its going to be ace 🙂

Last call for Furnace 2008…..

Only seven places left at this RPGing extravaganza 18th-19th Oct.  Just putting together the timetable from the 50 games that people have offered to run over the weekend, these are the systems on offer.

Unknown Armies, Don’t Rest Your Head, Call of Cthulhu, Bleakworlds , Savage Worlds (of many flavours, Pirates, SLA Industries, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, Star Wars), Cthulhu Rising, Fate 3.0, Monkey, Best Friends, Pathfinder (new OGL 3.5 game from publishers of Dungeon/Dragon Magazine), Mythic Russia, Space Ship Zero, D&D 4th Edition, Wordplay, HeroQuest 2nd ed, Duty and Honour (Sharpe the rpg, being released at Furnace), , Lacuna, Continuum, Reign, Posion’d, Trinity, SimpleQuest, Six Bullets for Vengence, A Dirty World, Traveller, Conspiracy of Shadows, Mob Justice, Hot War, Og Unearthed Edition.

We’ve also got four tracks of games,which means you can play one type of game all weekend if you want;

  • Cthulhu of various flavours (WW2, Hard Sci-fi, Modern day, 1920s)
  • A Gloranthan track (Old skool d100 dungeon crawling, HeroQuest 2 Pavis and the Big rubble, HQ 2 Lunar intrigue, RQ3 Dragon pass action).
  • Savage Worlds  which is fast becoming the system of choice for con games.
  • Lots of Indie games, both run by the Collective Endeavour (UK Small press group) and by individual GMs.

So if you’ve not registered yet and want to get your skates on an pop over to our website,