Saturday, August 24, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 24: TRIUMPH

A triumphant toast! Hurrah! Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty-Four of #RPGaDAY 2019 and the word is TRIUMPH. I guess this would be the best opportunity at "tooting my own horn" as they used to say - and relating a task I was triumphant at. Rather that turn the focus on me, I'm going to turn the attention upon a most triumphant character - Qedra Kovu - Zabrak Jedi apprentice, and new recruit for the resistance before the real Rebellion had even started coming together.

While the battle raged on upon the planet's surface, Qedra piloted his Aethersprite in the edges of the atmosphere, trying to take out as many TIE Fighters as possible, before they could reach the surface and decimate those who would resist the Empire. The Aethersprite did well, but it was eventually destroyed, hurtling down to the ground. But was Qedra killed? No. Was he defeated? NO!! He stood on top of that burning ship, riding it down like a surfboard. Guiding it with the Force. Aiming the flaming wreckage at the Imperial ground transporters. Jumping off at the last minute as the ship exploded, taking out one of the transporters - Qedra landed on another, fired up his lightsaber and started hacking his way into the canopy...

Epic.

Unlikely, but it's what Star Wars is all about. MOST TRIUMPHANT!!


Friday, August 23, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 23: SURPRISE

Gi Shatta Gasha! Jabba also says that the Autocratik dice are thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty-Three of #RPGaDAY 2019 is a SURPRISE! This one I'm going to leave to the words of wisdom of my wife, Debs -

"You can sometimes surprise your players, but your players will always surprise you."

And Debs is always surprising when she's gaming. Keeps the GMs on their toes!






Thursday, August 22, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 22: LOST

Mr Frodo, sir... Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty-Two of #RPGaDAY 2019 is LOST.

Initially, I thought about writing about the TV series. I was obsessed with that series, so much so I even started working out how LOST could be done as an RPG. This was back when I was doing stuff for Eden Studios, and thought a Cinematic Unisystem version of the game would work perfectly.


Of course, it never happened, and then there was that ending of the series which I won't go into... Such a shame. I really loved that series. Got very into it - read Bad Twin, did the online Alternate Reality Games, followed the clues...  Maybe I'll go back to my rewatch. I started a few years ago after managing to get the set on BluRay at a good price, and the opening episodes were still jaw-droppingly great. I loved every moment except that ending.

Anyway, this isn't really talking about RPGs is it? My amazing wife suggested I should write about the fine line between the characters getting lost and the players getting lost - and I must admit I hate that feeling of simply not knowing which direction to go in during a game. Thankfully, we have a great GM who plants lots of adventure seeds, and gives us the freedom to go off on a tangent.

I think I need more practice before I can do that.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 21: VAST

That's a VAST Heroclix figure! Goliath!
Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
It's Day Twenty-One of #RPGaDAY 2019, and today's word is VAST. I could use this as an excuse to recommend you listen to some VAST (Visual Audio Sensory Theater) - I'd definitely recommend the first album, that features the single Touched, which you may recognise from an episode of Angel.


When it comes to roleplaying games, all I can say is that it is a truly unique gaming experience where the scope of every game is truly VAST. There are so many games out there, beyond Dungeons & Dragons, where you can really experience everything you could imagine. From the wonders and terrors of deep space, to the personal struggles of high-school. From inner demons, to outer demons. Gods, monsters, dragons, down to the most personal dreams. There is no computer game that can come close to the range of stories and adventures you can play in these games.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 19: SCARY & DAY 20: NOBLE

Ardent Zungar - whoever they are. They look a bit cross...
Day Nineteen of #RPGaDAY 2019 was the word SCARY, and I completely failed to write this one up in time. Mostly as I was doing something pretty SCARY and went for a job interview. However, it was (thankfully) nowhere near as scary as I thought it could have been, and far less scary than what I'd originally planned to write for today's entry - which was about Fria Ligan's ALIEN RPG.

I know there was an ALIENS RPG many, many moons ago, but I always wondered why no one had attempted a new version of an RPG in the ALIEN universe. Luckily, it fell into the hands of Fria Ligan, the force behind the awesome Tales from the Loop, and we recently played the introductory adventure you get when you preorder the game.

And it was freakin' tense. We'd stumbled across a ship, adrift for decades, and went aboard hoping to unravel the mystery (and gain some tasty salvage).

Needless to say, no one survived. None of us - alien, infected, human or synthetic. All of us toast. Two whole ship crews went out after three incredibly tense sessions with arms being ripped off, ships piling into each other, and plenty of running down corridors with those flashing yellow lights and the computer alert repeating "WARNING: SELF DESTRUCT ACTIVATED"...

Fab. Looking forward to seeing how it'll work in campaign play as the xenomorphs are TOUGH. I know they are in the movies, but they're one hit killers. Nasty! Also want to see how the stealthy sneaking around rules work that Fria Ligan were talking about on the podcasts.

Awesome stuff.

And that brings me up to today.

Another one of those custom Dr Who Micro Universe figures I made, this time the Donna Noble "Runaway Bride" mini,
custom Autocratik dice made by www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty of #RPGaDAY is the word NOBLE. The only thing I could think of talking about when it comes to nobility was my go-to character class in AD&D, which was Paladins. But as I'm sat here writing this one, I thought maybe this is a good chance to mention Nobilis again. I know, it's a slightly off-centre interpretation for the day's word, but I did want to say how much I love the 2nd Edition of Nobilis.

The cover of 2nd Edition Nobilis - The "Great White Book" as it's known.
It's so pretty, a marvel of graphic design and layout, and one of the first narrative-driven games I've owned. The sad thing (or should that be scary, to tie in with day 19's post) is that I've still never played it.

It is one of the benchmarks of RPG design and production in my opinion, and something I can only aspire to achieve with WILD.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 18: PLENTY

Plenty of Batmans... Batmen... something...
Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Eighteen of #RPGaDAY 2019, and I had PLENTY of opportunities to write a cool blog post today about something. I had some notes somewhere about how having PLENTY is not a motivating factor in games - it's more the absence of having something that gets people going...

Sure, I had plenty of opportunities, but then BBC1 was showing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and before I knew it, it was over and sleep beckoned. Sorry...

I'm hoping to do better tomorrow, but I know I have a big day ahead on Monday so it may not happen until later...

I'll catch up! Honest!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 17: ONE

Clea, singing - "I can't remember anything, Can't tell if this is true or dream..."
Day Seventeen of #RPGaDAY 2019 is "ONE", and rather than break out into singing Metallica (which I've been known to do on many occasions), I thought I'd briefly take this opportunity to go solo in a different way...

I guess this is a continuation of yesterday's DREAM as well. I've been working on WILD, my RPG of dreamshare technology, for so freakin' long now you wouldn't believe. I've been doing research into dreams, and dreaming... and most of the books on dream interpretation and lucid dreaming advise that one of the first steps is to start keeping a record of your dreams - a dream journal.

I didn't get very far, but recently I've been told about a form of solo RPG where you keep a journal - the game itself is almost guiding you through storytelling, creating a work of fiction inspired by (sometimes random) events or prompts. I have no idea how it works, and I really want to check some of these cool solo RPGs out, and part of me is really intrigued to see if I could make an offshoot solo WILD game merging the solo journalling RPG with dream journalling.

Definitely need to check out some solo RPGs like this. Any good suggestions where to start?

Friday, August 16, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 16: DREAM

There could only be one choice of figure to go on the DREAM space -
Dream, or rather in this case, Daniel, of the Endless.
Custom Autocratik Dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Sixteen of #RPGaDAY 2019 and the word is one that resonates closely with me - DREAM. After all, I've spent my spare time off and on for the last eight+ years working on an RPG of Dreamshare technology - WILD.

I've always been fascinated by dreams, and tried early on to incorporate them into my games. I distinctly remember trying to re-play the entire of A Nightmare on Elm St as a Call of Cthulhu adventure... And when I was trying to get into game writing, I was eagerly writing Ghostbusters scenarios and sending manuscripts to West End Games. After Spooky Science (Weird Science with yogurt gods) and Back to Transylvania (time travelling with vampires) I started mashing up John Landis' "Into the Night" with Elm St, but didn't get very far before WEG decided to move on to different game lines. Into the Nightmare was going to be a scenario with the Ghostbusters venturing physically into the dream realms to face dream demons and night terrors.

Hopefully, in the future, I'll be able to continue my desire to game in the many worlds of dreams...


Thursday, August 15, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY FIFTEEN: DOOR

Some sort of Hook Horror, with custom Autocratik Dice supplied by www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Fifteen of #RPGaDAY 2019. Blimey, it's catching up with me faster than I can write these things! At least we're nearing the half-way point - it's all downhill from here!

Today's word is DOOR...

Stock photo of guy looking at three doors - just like that VAST record...
I have a sneaky suspicion that some people are going to use this as an excuse to talk about doorways into the hobby, and that's brilliant. The door into our hobby is always open, as it should be.

What I wanted to talk about is how tabletop roleplaying opens doors in the real world. It opens doors to friendships - a lot of the people I used to game with as a teenager I'm still friends with now, but I probably wouldn't have socialised with otherwise. They were in different house groups, and while we all knew each other we may never have become the tight-knit group that we were, and the close friends that we are, without gaming.

Gaming also opened my first door to employment, getting me my first job working as a cartographer for the local county council's nature conservation department. The boss told me later that it was a close thing between me and one other candidate and I got the job as I'd put that I played AD&D on my CV. He said it showed that I could laterally think, problem solve, and work in a team (he hadn't seen the way I played D&D...)

It's a doorway to storytelling, to creative writing, to the best of friendships, to careers, and above all, fun.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 14: GUIDE

Ewoks! Yub Nub!! Cool custom Autocratik dice by www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Fourteen of #RPGaDAY 2019 is the word GUIDE. It could refer to anything! A Guide you've had in one of your adventures, your old copy of the Dungeon Master's Guide... what do you think?

Well, I never had the Dungeon Master's Guide as a kid. It was an unwritten rule in our group (which was really three groups that morphed and merged multiple times) that if you weren't going to run AD&D you didn't need a DMG... in fact, a couple of the DMs even said we weren't allowed to look in them (and I didn't mind - the game was better if we didn't know how many hit points the monsters had, or how they'd put the game together). I didn't really look in a DMG until 3rd edition!

Nope. I ran other games. Never Dungeon Mastered in my life, but I GM'd loads of other games. The"GUIDE" that had the biggest impact on me (and probably got more use than any other book I had) was this...

Zeb's Guide - a massive revision of the Star Frontiers rules
Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space (Volume 1) was a bit of a shock to the system (or rather, to the game system). After years of playing Star Frontiers, along comes this new Guide that changes the game system to add weird colour coded result charts to be more like Marvel Superheroes and the Indiana Jones RPG. It added new species to play, masses upon masses of new tech, and our heroes were quickly suited up in powered armour like Gavin the Walking Battleship... (10pts to those of you who got that reference).

Without the internet, I didn't realise that Star Frontiers fans worldwide were generally unhappy with the changes to the rules. Personally, I loved it. Star Frontiers was my go-to game for most of my teens, and any new material was read until the covers went bendy. I kinda miss my old copy... I wonder if it's aged well?


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 13: MYSTERY


Doctor Strange Heroclix. Cool custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk

Day Thirteen for #RPGaDAY 2019 is "MYSTERY", and that word conjures up one game in particular in my mind - Tales from the Loop. It's all about solving and uncovering mysteries. So much so, the setting for your campaign is called the Mystery Landscape, and like a great episode of Scooby-Doo you discover that strange things are going on in your neighbourhood. Whether this is the original setting of the Swedish Loop, the US version in Boulder, or one designed around your hometown, the kids discover cool robots, time-travel, dinosaurs, odd technology and weird devices that weave together to make an awesome setting for any RPG.

The games we've played of Tales from the Loop have been great - we've done the whole of the campaign from the corebook - and I'm looking forward to continuing our characters (somehow - one was locked up for his violent tendencies, another ran away) in the darker and creepier Things from the Flood. Same setting, but the experiments at the Loop have let "things" into our reality, and it's all going horribly wrong. 

Fantastic. Love it.

I love the game system so much, and its brilliant simplicity, that I started working out how it could be used to play Harry Potter - after all, that's kids and teenagers uncovering mysteries... You can read about it here.

Monday, August 12, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 12: FRIENDSHIP

Red Spartan vs Blue Spartan (HaloClix) - custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twelve of #RPGaDAY for 2019 is FRIENDSHIP. I've been pondering what to write for this one, and my amazing wife suggested that I talked about character friendship, rather than player friendship. After all, I've mentioned many times on my blog about "The Eight" - the group of friends I used to game with from my school days who have remained the most awesome friends I could imagine to this day.

But there are some friendships that are formed in game between characters that are pretty powerful too. I remember our Mage game when one of the characters was killed, it was a truly devastating moment for the other two players and their characters. While that game has finished, we've found that the friendships formed between the characters can be just as strong - the sense of connection our apprentice Jedi had was almost as close as those Mage characters. And despite any disagreements our characters had during our Aegean game, we'd gladly leap to each other's side when our little village came under threat.

Powerful stuff. You don't get anything like that playing Risk...

Sunday, August 11, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 11: EXAMINE

Examine closely those amazing Autocratik logo dice, thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk 
Day Eleven of #RPGaDAY 2019 asks us to EXAMINE. I'm not entirely sure where this one is going to go, but let's start rambling and see what happens! When I think of EXAMINE when it comes to tabletop roleplaying games, I immediately think of the old "Spot Hidden" Skill from Call of Cthulhu, and how some of the earlier games I played had a real tendency for characters going into a location and rolling dice to see if there was anything hidden there.

Sure, it's a skill. You can search a place and find something. But I have to admit, it was a real eye-opener when someone bought me a copy of Fear Itself, a game that uses the GUMSHOE System designed by Robin Laws. Instead of going into a location and searching for a clue, which you may or may not find depending upon how well you roll - the clues are there and if you say you search for them you find them. It's more what you do with those clues, following them to the culmination of the adventure.

It's kinda like the game theory that you should try to let the players succeed at things as much as possible, and even if they fail, they fail forward. "You didn't manage to do that, but you discovered..." and it pushes the adventure forward. There will still be outright failure, especially in a combat situation, but failure shouldn't prevent the plot from developing in exciting ways.

Clever stuff. All far smarter than me.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 10: FOCUS

Is it ironic that the ship's in focus, but the word at the bottom isn't?
Custom dice with the Autocratik logo on them thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Ten of #RPGaDAY 2019 is FOCUS. I have to say I'd be nowhere without my focus group. Back when I started work on Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game as it is now) we had a lot of playtesters who helped shape the game to become what it is today (at time of writing). One bit of advice I got while I was trying to work my way through all of the feedback from playtesting has stayed with me ever since - "You can't create anything good by committee." A small group who you trust and can rely upon to have brilliant ideas to feed back, with constructive criticism. I needed to go small.

Since then, and especially while working on WILD, I've had a small core group of trusted individuals who I occasionally bounce ideas off of. They're brilliant at making simple suggestions, pointing me in  a new and unseen direction, and thinking outside of the box.

Back when Doctor Who was in its formative stages, there were three individuals who I credited as "The Heart of the TARDIS" - Robin, Derek and Charles. Thank you! Now, with WILD, the focus group has grown a little to eight (technically ten, but two avoid social media), but without them I'd be stuck, have given up, and totally quit game writing and design, relegating myself to becoming a checkout attendant at a filling station.

I'd just like to thank them for their continued help and support over the many, many years of me working on WILD. Maybe one day it'll see the light of day.

Friday, August 9, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 9: CRITICAL

WOTC D&D Mini from the early 2000's
Amazing custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Nine of #RPGaDAY 2019 is CRITICAL. I'm sure most people out there will recount their most amazing critical hit in a game (I honestly can't think of any, but I do remember the fumble tables from MERP being pretty harsh), or talk about their love of internet webseries phenomenon Critical Role.

There is a danger with today's prompt and that's of being critical of other people's work and of games you don't like or get on with. And that's not what #RPGaDAY is about - it's about positivity and being encouraging. Spreading the word of how great RPGs are and their benefits.

I'm going to be CRITICAL of something - I'm going to be CRITICAL of today's word, and criticise myself for putting this one in there. In my head I was hoping people would go the Critical hit / or Critical Role route, but I know it's opened the door to people being critical of other things. So I'm going to ask you to do the opposite.

In my introductory video for this year, I suggested if you didn't like a word you should go with the exact opposite, and I'm going with that. The antonym for CRITICAL is COMPLIMENTARY. So I'm going to ask the ten or so people who read this blog to do something for me.

Write your blog, post your pictures, and so on for your #RPGaDAY entry for today as normal, but if you read this blog do me one favour - pay someone a COMPLIMENT. It could be one of your players, your GM, a writer of an RPG you play, an illustrator who did a particularly amazing and inspiring piece in a game, anyone. Just tweet to them that you think the work they do is great if they're not part of your group, or tell them they're awesome if you know them at your game table.

Thanks everyone.

I'd like to pay a compliment to everyone who takes part in #RPGaDAY, and spreads the word of how great our hobby is. I'd also like to particularly thank Anthony Boyd for his immense help again this year, and Will Brooks for his graphic design skills.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 8: OBSCURE

The "Sir Glorious" miniature from Wizards' short-lived Dreamblade game. I never played it, and just bought the starter.
The amazing Autocratik custom dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day eight of #RPGaDAY 2019 - look we're already into the second week! Today's prompt is OBSCURE, so I thought I'd post a little about the most obscure RPG I own. Back in early 2000's (must be 2002-3) in the UK the SyFy Channel (Sci-Fi Channel as it was then, before the rebrand) announced that they were going to start showing an anime series called Neon Genesis Evangelion. Randomly, it was on fairly early in the morning and I set the video to record it. A friend of mine did that "You've never heard of Evangelion?" and figured it must be okay.

Just one episode down and I was hooked. I jumped online and discovered it wasn't released on DVD in the UK, and I headed over to Ebay and managed to import the whole series as individual volumes from Australia (whose DVD release was Region 2 and 4). I watched the lot, then the movies, bought the figures, the EVAs, the soundtracks... Ah, those days when I had a disposable income.

I loved it. It was more than just a "kids in mech suits fighting monsters" - it had serious psychological depth.

Safe to say I loved Evangelion
One of the weird things that popped up on my Ebay searches for cool Evangelion stuff was an RPG. It was in Japanese, but that wasn't going to stop me. I ordered it, and...

The Evangelion "The Descent of ANGEL" RPG.
It's pretty, but I can't read Japanese to play it. It has a summary of the last half-dozen episodes with full colour inserts at the beginning...

Summary of episodes, I know just how you feel Shinji.
At the back of the book are loads of cards and card-standees to represent the characters that you punch out (I haven't because I'm a sad purist)...

Character sheets on NERV ID cards! Nice!

Some of the cards for actions or something. Dunno. Cool though!!
The middle section of the book is black and white with cool illustrations of the EVAs, the characters, and plot points in the scenarios.


EVAs!!! Awesome.

But my favourite part is that dotted around in the book there are illustrations of the characters from the series as if they are playing the game. Like you could get Gendo to play a game at all...

Rei, that die is a bit big for the table...
And I certainly wouldn't trust Gendo to GM...
I still love Evangelion. Never tried playing a mecha game though. One day...

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 7: FAMILIAR

Luuuuuuke - Awesome custom Autocratik dice by www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day seven of #RPGaDAY for 2019 is FAMILIAR. I haven't really played a fantasy game in many, many years. And even when I did, I usually played Paladins. I know, I'm sad like that. I did play a couple of magic-users, but they never really lasted very long (the problem with very few hit-points) and ended up looking a bit like that Orko from Masters of the Universe (only with feet).

The closest thing I've had to a Familiar in a game has been fairly recently. We played a long running campaign of FFG's Star Wars RPG (Force and Destiny, mostly) where we were all apprentice Jedi during the Clone Wars. Then Order 66 happened, and we joined the very beginnings of the Rebellion.

My character, Qedra, was a Zabrak that looked just like Darth Maul. Once dark side, hoping to redeem himself and become a Jedi. He did, and in the end was so light-side that when he finally died in the second to last session he made a comeback for the finale advising the remaining characters as a Force-ghost.

He was ridiculously over-powered with a lightsaber, and did some epic and heroic things, but one of his skill-trees meant that he could bind himself with an animal to become a "force familiar". There was only one choice...


I loved Loth Cats from the moment they appeared in Rebels, the animated series. The whole series was phenomenal, and I loved it even more than Clone Wars (that's saying something) but I did love those Loth Cats. So I adopted one, bound myself to the little minx, and we adventured together for ages. She was called Katniss, and my character's final words before dying in the game were "feed my Loth Cat!"...

Somewhere out there, Katniss is helping the Rebellion by biting the ankles of many Stormtroopers...

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 6: ANCIENT

A particularly ANCIENT Morbius HeroClix figure,
with awesome custom Autocratik dice by www.chimericdesigns.co.uk 

Day Six of #RPGaDAY for 2019 is ANCIENT. How to interpret that one? I thought I'd look at the oldest thing I have when it comes to gaming. Before I bought my first RPG (Star Frontiers), or bought by first RPG rulebook (AD&D Players Handbook), I did what every budding gamer does when they first get into RPGs - I got my own dice.

Back in those days, getting gaming supplies was something you had to be indoctrinated into. It wasn't just available everywhere, or in big book stores like it is now. Like The Matrix, you had to see it for yourself. I was taken to Hull, the nearest big city and the only place nearby that really had gaming supplies. It was an hour on the bus, and strangely we got off before we got to the city centre. Half way up George St was an odd framing shop called Kingston Galleries. From the front it was just that - an art shop. Not one of these art supplies and paint shops - no. It sold art and frames. You went up a small set of steps to the front of the shop (as it was above street level), but instead of going into the shop itself, you continued up more stairs to the vast, open room above. There was a single counter, with a till on it. A few spinners were dotted around the room, but the main end wall was tiered shelving for roleplaying games. It was from here that I would buy most of my games until I moved away from my home.

And it was here that I must have bought my first set of dice.

The one that I still have, and was probably the most used (thanks to years of playing AD&D). I don't remember buying it from Kingston Galleries - you never know, it may have been donated to me by another player as it's a funny colour (I mean, who really wants a flesh-tone die?). Or it may have been the only D20 they had. Anyway, it's the first die I remember owning, and I still have it. I even keep it in a dice box like a little shrine because I'm a little sad like that...


Yes, it's the most ANCIENT thing I have when it comes to gaming...


Monday, August 5, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019: DAY 5 - "SPACE"

Aethersprite from one of the old Wizards of the Coast Star Wars games.
Very cool Autocratik logo custom dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day five of #RPGaDAY for 2019 is "SPACE" - I was thinking about talking about spacey games, but I figured I do a lot of that anyway. Never really been as into Fantasy games, but sci-fi? That's me all the way. After all, the first RPG I bought was Star Frontiers.

Anyway, I talked to Debs about this, and she suggested that I talk about the space in which we play. I used to game around a table all the time. At Pete's and Milo's, we always had a big table to play around, and when we moved to the bungalow in my home town we took over the spare room with a big dining table that used to come out whenever we played.

But after a break, and when I started gaming again after moving to go to University, we found that we'd play anywhere. Some of our best games (the old Kult and Mage games) were spent just sitting on the floor of our bedsit on piles of cushions. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, those were some of the scariest and tensest games I've been involved in. Great stuff.

Now, in fact tonight even, we'll be playing in a relaxed atmosphere again - sat on the sofas, small table in front of us for dice rolling, with the GM on a little computer screen Skypeing from miles away.

The point of this is you can play anywhere. Just need to know the rules, have some dice if you need them. On a train, sitting in the park. Anywhere you feel comfortable playing. Looking at Invisible Sun (a game I'd love to read but could never afford) there are even elements that encourage playing away from the table, sitting in a cafe or something.

Get out there and play!!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 4: "SHARE"

Lando!! Very cool custom Autocratik dice by www.chimericdesigns.co.uk 
Day four of #RPGaDAY 2019 is "SHARE". I've been talking for months, years in fact, about what I've been working on - what I hope to work on, and any projects that are underway. But when it comes to actually showing off the actual project - the words on the page, so to speak, I get a little protective and reluctant... What if it's awful? What if no one likes it?

I have to keep reminding myself of David Lynch. Did he care what people thought of the Twin Peaks revival? No - he made what he wanted to, told the story he wanted to tell. I loved it, but it was certainly experimental.

Last year, for Dragonmeet, I created a pitch for my ongoing project - WILD (Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming) - the tabletop RPG of dreamshare and weird dreaming. I wanted to explain what I hoped to achieve with it, and how it was written. I made a 40-page book: part pitch, part example, and had just three copies printed with a lovely hardback cover, so I could give copies to publishers I thought may be able to help.

I've put photos of the finished thing online, but none of it has really been readable. So, for day four of #RPGaDAY - the day of SHARE. I thought I'd share a couple of pages.

Please bear in mind that the final game may be completely different, but it'll give you an insight into the way my brain is working at the moment.

The first page of Chapter Two. Click to enlarge.
The second page of Chapter Two. Click to enlarge.
Both are copyright (c)2019 David F. Chapman, and both may change dramatically. They haven't been edited or properly laid out, but it gives an impression of what I had in mind.

Who knows, maybe I'll get back to WILD very soon.

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 3: ENGAGE

Some of the old Wizards of the Coast Star Wars minis
Awesome custom dice with the Autocratik logo provided by Chimeric Designs
Day three of #RPGaDAY 2019 is "ENGAGE" - I don't know about you but when anyone says Engage I don't think of how I can engage with other players, or engage with people online. All I think of is Star Trek.

See, despite me being exposed to Star Wars at a very young age, I don't discriminate between my "Stars" - I love Star Wars, and I love Star Trek. But that's not what I wanted to talk about.

What I wanted to say for today is "Reach for the Stars".

Basically, many years ago I posted a video about small books, inspired by Traveller, and posted some ideas about how I'd tackle creating a new Star Trek RPG - this was before the awesome Star Trek Discovery aired, and I was watching the 2009 movie at every opportunity.


I mocked up some books, made a video, and thought nothing more of it.

But that video did get seen. It got noticed, and months after posting the video I was talking to the awesome people at Modiphius and became the line developer (albeit for a brief time) for their RPG Star Trek Adventures.

So if you have dreams, ideas and hopes, post about them and you never know what may happen.

I'm still hoping someone reads my many posts about Harry Potter and calls me up to offer me the chance to design an RPG...

We can hope.

Until then, be sure to ENGAGE!!

Friday, August 2, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 2: "UNIQUE"

Custom made Rose Tyler figure I made for the Dr Who Micro Universe range.
Awesome dice with the Autocratik Logo made by Chimeric Designs
Day two of #RPGaDAY 2019, and today's prompt is the word UNIQUE.

What can I post about that's Unique?


I could go with the Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space pitch book we printed to show the BBC what we had in mind when we were pitching the concept of a tabletop RPG to them. Great fun to create, and after a stressful pitch meeting, it seemed to work... But it's not exactly *unique* as there are about 10-20 copies of this circulating around...  What is more unique?


Maybe I could go with the WILD pitch book that I had printed for last year's Dragonmeet? I took a page out of the Dr Who pitch, and created a whole hardback pitch for the WILD RPG to get people interested. However, while I only have one, there are two other copies out there in the wild (so to speak)... so it's not unique...

I could go with the Rose Tyler Micro Universe figure in today's header, but again, I made a second one for a friend (though I'm sure I saw that in a collectable's store somewhere)... So again, not unique.

I guess the only thing I can go for is the WILD Tarot deck created to playtest the WILD RPG. There is only one of those - it's all drawn in fine Sharpie on a blank Tarot deck, so it's a bit rough, and now is covered in red pen as I make notes and adjustments to the way it works. In fact, it's all going to change again soon as the rules move into a new development phase, but that deck is a one of a kind...


Thursday, August 1, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 1: "FIRST"

The figure is a customised version of one of those Dr Who Micro Universe figures to look a bit like me...
The dice are awesome and created by the amazing Chimeric Designs 

And so it begins - welcome to August, and the start of another #RPGaDAY. Unlike previous years where each day had a question to answer, this time we're just given a single word prompt to inspire us to write, draw, paint, blog and vid anything we like to spread the positive word of tabletop RPGs.

The first word for #RPGaDAY 2019 is (aptly) "FIRST".

But first what?

I figured I'd go with the basics and post the first RPG I ever played. I'd gone 'round to a friend's house in the early 80's, expecting the usual Saturday afternoon of playing games on the ZX Spectrum, trying to program our own version of light cycles, when he greeted me at the door with, "We're going over to JR's to do something different..."

I had no idea what was going on, but went along with it. At JR's I was introduced to a whole new concept of playing games. Some very interesting and confusing little black books, and no clue what I was supposed to do...

Traveller, 1st Edition. Not my books from the 80s, but a good friend's (Mole's)
who left them under my care when he moved to the other side of the planet
(Don't worry, they're still being looked after!)
I don't think I said much, just sitting there absorbing what was going on for most of that first session, and it was only a week later that I was joining JR's group for playing AD&D. The rest, as they say, is history...


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Launching #RPGaDAY 2019


August is looming ever closer, which means it's getting close to that time when #RPGaDAY returns! Once again, throughout August, we're asking you to use the daily prompt to talk about, illustrate, photograph, blog, tweet, instagram, or anything, all about tabletop roleplaying games, and how they make your life better.

As always, keep it positive - this is all about spreading the word about how great our hobby is.

Check out this little video for more information -



The prompts this year are a single word, giving you the chance to interpret it in your own way - get creative!

If you'd prefer the prompts in plain text, for easier readability, here are the daily words:

1. First
2. Unique
3. Engage
4. Share
5. Space
6. Ancient
7. Familiar
8. Obscure
9. Critical
10. Focus
11. Examine
12. Friendship
13. Mystery
14. Guide
15. Door
16. Dream
17. One
18. Plenty
19. Scary
20. Noble
21. Vast
22. Lost
23. Surprise
24. Triumph
25. Calamity
26. Idea
27. Suspense
28. Love
29. Evolve
30. Connection
31. Last


If you don't like the word, pick an alternative like...

Greedy, Artificial, Magic, Light, Incredible, Stunning, Emotional, Dark, Hint, Map, Trophy, Fury, or Companion.

Or take the word and do the opposite. Or roll a D6 and scatter off in different directions to a new word - if you've done it before, interpret it in a new way!

As always, #RPGaDAY supporters around the world have been translating the prompts, the first to do so is Roberto "Sunglar" Micheri who has translated it into Spanish - thank you!

  1. Primer
  1. Único
  1. Involucrar
  1. Compartir
  1. Espacio
  1. Antiguo
  1. Familiar
  1. Oscuro
  1. Crítico
  1. Foco
  1. Examinar
  1. Amistad
  1. Misterio 
  1. Guía
  1. Puerta
  1. Sueño
  1. Uno
  1. Abundancia
  1. Aterrador
  1. Noble
  1. Vasto
  1. Perdido
  1. Sorpresa
  1. Triunfo
  1. Calamidad
  1. Idea
  1. Suspenso
  1. Amor
  1. Evolucionar
  1. Conexión 
  1. Último

The prompts in French, translated by Sébastien Allard - many thanks!!

1. Premier/Première
2. Unique
3. Engager
4. Partage
5. Espace
6. Ancient/Ancienne
7. Familier/Familière
8. Obscur/Obscure
9. Critique
10. Focus
11. Examiner
12. Amitié
13. Mystère
14. Guide
15. Porte
16. Rêve
17. Un
18. Beaucoup
19. Effrayant/Effrayante
20. Noble
21. Vaste
22. Perdu/Perdue
23. Surprise
24. Triomphe
25. Calamité
26. Idée
27. Suspense
28. Amour
29. Évoluer
30. Connection
31. Dernier/Dernière

The German translation, translated by Michael L. Jaegers - awesome, thank you!

1. erster/erste/erstes
2. einzigartig
3. engagieren
4. teilen
5. Raum
6. historisch
7. vertraut
8. obskur
9. kritisch
10. Fokus
11. untersuchen
12. Freundschaft
13. geheimnisvoll
14. anleiten/Anleitung
15. Türe/Tor
16. Traum
17. eins
18. reichlich/Fülle
19. gruselig
20. großzügig
21. gewaltig
22. verloren/verschollen
23. Überraschung
24. Erfolg
25. Katastrophe
26. Idee
27. Spannung
28. Liebe
29. entwickeln
30. Verbindung
31. letzter/letzte/letztes

The translation into Polish, with many thanks to Maciej Jesionowski:

DZIEŃ ENG PL 1 First pierwsza, pierwszy 2 Unique niepowtarzalny, unikatowy 3 Engage zaangażowanie, udział 4 Share dzielić się, udostępniać 5 Space przestrzeń, kosmos 6 Ancient starożytny, antyczny 7 Familiar znajomy, chowaniec 8 Obscure niejasny, niezrozumiały 9 Critical krytyczny, istotny 10 Focus skupiać, ognisko 11 Examine badać, rozpatrywać 12 Friendship przyjaźń 13 Mystery zagadka, tajemnica 14 Guide przewodnik, kierować 15 Door drzwi, brama 16 Dream sen, marzenie 17 One jeden, jedyny 18 Plenty dostatek, obfitość 19 Scary straszny 20 Noble szlachetny, dostojny 21 Vast ogromny, rozległy 22 Lost zaginiony, zagubiony 23 Surprise niespodzianka, zaskoczenie 24 Triumph zwycięstwo, sukces 25 Calamity klęska, katastrofa 26 Idea pomysł, myśl 27 Suspense niepewność, zawieszenie 28 Love miłość, kochać 29 Evolve ewoluować, rozwijać się 30 Connection połączenie, związek 31 Last ostatni, trwać

For the Prompts in Portuguese, we recommend you check out this fantastic site:
http://www.dungeongeek21.com/rpgaday-2019-trivia-do-rpg-deste-ano/?fbclid=IwAR1VvGa9-u1rsLaAcH2Z1QByJRpD9W0cy3_XkkJoBLbgfaKzdhCk_QYj-E8

And into Swedish, thanks to Richard Falk:

DayOriginalSwedish
1FirstFörst
2UniqueUnik
3EngageSysselsätta
4ShareDela
5SpaceRymd
6AncientGammal
7FamiliarBekant
8ObscureObskyr
9CriticalKritisk
10FocusFokus
11ExamineUtforska
12FriendshipVänskap
13MysteryMysterium
14GuideGuide
15DoorDörr
16DreamDröm
17OneEn
18PlentyMånga
19ScarySkrämmande
20NobleÄdel
21VastEnorm
22LostBorta
23SurpriseÖverraskning
24TriumphTriumf
25CalamityKatastrof
26IdeaIdé
27SuspenseSpänning
28LoveKärlek
29EvolveUtveckla
30ConnectionKoppling
31LastSist

I'll keep posting new translations here as they arrive. 

Thank you everyone - see you in August!