Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Estalia Needs You

Open call for editing for the Estalia guide for Warhammer 1/2, by editor-in-chief Steve D.

I have a bit of a vested interest here, as I wrote the body of the Kingdoms chapter, creating and fleshing out assorted countries, building conflicts and adventure hooks, and making an entire country for an extended Don Quijote joke. So I would like to see it out in the world.

My destiny calls and I go!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Firefly RPG

From MWP, former producers of the Serenity RPG.

Independent genre reading search

Spare some strange?

Can a container of milk save the universe?

Neil Gaiman’s next children’s book contains time travel, aliens, interstellar dinosaur police... things that may be of interest.

Gorey Story

Another Google Doodle today, for what would have been Edward Gorey’s 88th birthday, which depicts cute animals in his style, and not hideous death as in his most noted work. Like Charles Addams, his influence can be seen in light-hearted horror across gaming, from Monsters And Other Childish Things to Gloom.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Neil Gaiman's Calendar Of Tales

Twelve free short Neil Gaiman stories, anyone? Sponsored by phone makers, to be given art by volunteers, then to be published for charity. Explained and downloadable from here.

A new daily comic... from Warren Ellis.


One panel so far, so a bit early to say what it’s all about...


Legendary 60s spy action comic strip found!

Well, okay, not really...

Art gets a bit more nipple-y on the Kickstarter itself in case of NSFW.

Monday, 18 February 2013


From the makers of HALO

Well, they seem ambitious...

Living world, somewhere between co-op and MMO FPS with hefty story, in a big pretty post-apocalypse world with a broken space civilisation and a single city sheltering under a giant ball of alien mystery.

And some music by Sir Paul McCartney.

Doesn’t yet hint at the emotional oomph of advertising for the later Halo games, the terrible-price-of-war, or any clear characters to engage with, but we shall see. If nothing else, it looks set to be a treasure trove of space opera and post-apocalypse concept art...

Saturday, 16 February 2013


What is the most inclusive RPG setting on the market?

Prompted by the Pathfinder comic writer, unsurprisingly, saying Pathfinder.

From direct experience, I’d go with Trinity - some national identities are still significant because of the weight those nations’ leaders give them and some cultures are somewhat isolated, but race, gender, orientation and capacity aren’t in any way a thing. Eclipse Phase makes a bigger point about inclusion, but that’s natural in a game about transhumanism.

What about other features? Does the art include or exclude, encourage or discourage?

Want poster now please.

The original Star Wars poster redrawn by Arthur Adams.

And this is why I look at Comics Alliance’s art threads.

Coming soon to a galaxy near Derby

Con-Quest, Derby. May The Fourth (be with you). By then I’ll be through Conpulsion and out the other side.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Free pdf of Hollow Earth Expedition anyone?

Offer good for today only.

"To celebrate its ten-year anniversary, Exile Game Studio will be giving away electronic copies of it's flagship product, Hollow Earth Expedition.

That's right, anyone will be able to download a free PDF of the core rulebook on February 14th. Just follow this link. The link is only good that day, though, so don't forget!

If you or someone you know is interested in feeding Nazis to dinosaurs, this is the perfect opportunity to join the adventure. So be a hero and "like" and share this message so we can reach as many people as possible. Thank you!"

Love Potion Number Nine From Outer Space

Valentine’s Day gets a Google Doodle, combined with the birthday of George Ferris, inventor of the Ferris Wheel, for some comically inappropriate connections. Like that Warner Brothers cartoon where Bugs and Elmer would fight or fall in love depending on which hats landed on their heads.

Falling in love at random caused by a paranormal outside force is one of those older-than-dirt plots, a variation of The One Where Everybody Acts Out Of Character that you see in Greek myth, Shakespeare plays, many long-running genre series and at least two brands of deodorant adverts.

Ever done it in a game? It’s easily played for laughs, and that would probably be the best way to contain it in a single adventure and not have big emotional fallout following it. A serious version where the effects aren’t brushed under the carpet next week would have to be approached with more care.

Monday, 11 February 2013


The creators of Merlin and Misfits join forces for Atlantis, a new BBC Saturday Teatime Adventure Show coming this autumn.

“The city of Atlantis is a mysterious, ancient place; a world of bull leaping, of snake haired goddesses and of palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants. It’s into this strange, compelling realm that the young Jason arrives and an amazing adventure begins, bringing to life the vast store of Greek myths and legends re-imagined for a new generation in an action packed 13-part series.”

So a strange fantastical city to be explored as a main setting, Could be of interest to followers of Cavaliers Of Mars, or China MiƩville, or Fallen London, or The City State Of The Invincible Overlord, or...

Friday, 8 February 2013

Sapphire And Steel: Not actually elements

Via the Mary Sue: Superhero-y characters for the entire periodic table, influenced by uses for them, who or what they're named after and more.

Mystery Versus Certainty

Star Wars standalone spinoff films are on their way, besides the central Episode VII, focusing on things like Han’s origin, a Boba Fett adventure, and perhaps the story of Yoda.

On one level, that could be fun, depending on how they’re done. Space adventures with beloved characters, and all. (Although unlike Iron Man et al leading to The Avengers, they’re leading to films that already exist...)

But we don’t need to know Han’s origin, and I don’t really want to. More adventures with Han, sure. An origin, no thanks. Not because he’s particularly mysterious - he’s not, really, I know all I think we need to.

Boba Fett, on the other hand, was a lot cooler when he was this mysterious guy we knew next to nothing about. He was a bounty hunter, he was good at it, he looked really cool, he may have worked with Darth Vader before and he treated him like a peer (!) and that was a recipe for mystery and coolness. (Particularly before Han knocked him into the Sarlacc by accident.) I could get behind crazy action adventure stories about a laconic bounty hunter IN SPAAAAACE. But hopefully no origin, because after Attack of The Clones he’s already origin-ed out.

Yoda is still somewhat cool (despite what he got up to in Attack of The Clones) because he’s still got some mystery to him.

I understand wanting to go with popular characters for standalone movies, but how much is too much?

(For the record, in my opinion “Yippee!” is too much.)

Some characters are enriched with origin stories and flashbacks, some don’t need them and some are actively weakened by them.

Looking back in an ongoing narrative, affecting how the other characters see them as well as the audience, is also different from a standalone spinoff that only the audience is privy to. The learned mentor facing demons from his past is more interesting if his students get to see the results, to pick an example purely from Buffy. That might be the basis of an interesting adventure, which is part of the ongoing story rather than a moment in the past.

(Dedicated to Robin Sachs, who brought those demons and so much other great fun.)

Space Mareeeeenz

Seriously, guys.

Thursday, 7 February 2013


Congratulations to Gareth and Edel Ryder-Hanrahan on the birth of their twin sons!

They share a birthday with Eddie Izzard, Chris Rock, Pete Postlethwaite, Deborah Ann Woll and Buster Crabbe. Which is a pretty cool selection, I think.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Mary Leakey, the British palaeoanthropologist who lead the Olduvai Gorge excavation for many years, was born 100 years ago today.

Monday, 4 February 2013

A Game Based On A New Whedon Show? Hmm...

For my next trick, deciding on a rules system for S.H.I.E.L.D. An actual superhero system doesn't really work, although some superpowers should perhaps be available.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Forged In Steel

Ever play Vampire: The Masquerade and wonder what Gary, Indiana really looked like?


Friday, 1 February 2013

Need some creepy witch character designs?

Apparently Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has plenty to spare.

Suggesting various places Hansel & Gretel might go to hunt witches, these characters (who might be minor at best, or might have never gotten past concept art) could slot into fantasy, horror, Star Wars in some cases, Warhammer in others...