Crying Wolf

This year I celebrated the rare intersection of Halloween and a full moon by releasing my first ever self-published, standalone, tabletop RPG. Crying Wolf is a short, sharp, violent survival horror game, about Cassandra truths and monsters hidden in plain sight, inspired by the Aesop fable. It’s my contribution to the “kids vs the horror” genre Stranger Things and It have popularised in recent years, with a specially designed simple system, perfect for one-shot online play as the nights grow darker sooner.

Continue reading

End of 2019

Six months since I last posted! Unlike last time, I’m not going to make the mistake of promising to restart regular blogging again. I should have known better than to tempt fate.

As before, I’ll present evidence of the RPG work I’ve been doing instead of blogging, by way of an apology. Continue reading

I Still Exist

Long time since I wrote anything substantial here. Other than promotional posts, I haven’t blogged since 2018. But it’s for the best possible reason really – I haven’t been writing about roleplaying games on my blog, because I’ve been too busy doing paid design gigs for roleplaying games instead. Continue reading

Risky Things to do in Dramatic Sequences

After last month’s start to my 7th Sea Explorer’s Society series, “Risky Things to do in a Duel”, I’ve now gone live with the second instalment: “Risky Things to do in Dramatic Sequences”. This one concerns itself with slower paced scenes – arguments, parties and new-in-town “downtime” – but I challenged myself to produce ideas for Consequences and Opportunities that would provide just as much exciting roleplay as combat, even if the stakes weren’t quite as immediate. I’m happy with what I put together, and if page count is anything to go by, I’ve been able to pack in even more content than I managed in “Duel”. Continue reading

Mini-Review: Follow

When discussing his design goals on Kickstarter, Ben Robbins characterised Follow as “the game I wanted to have in my bag” – a go-to game that’s simple, replayable, good for one-shots and friendly to new roleplayers. It’s a manifesto both modest and quietly revolutionary. Follow might not be my favourite RPG, but it could be my desert island pick if I only played one game for the rest of my life. As staggeringly adaptable as Microscope was purposefully specific, Robbins’ new entry deserves just as much praise as his landmark setting generation epic. Continue reading

Mini-Review: 7th Sea

I was lured to 7th Sea by the Stories. Every PC in this swashbuckling epic gets to pre-define where adventure is taking them next, and where they’ll ultimately end up – an incredible power over the shared narrative, doubling-up as a character advancement system. It’s so unlike the traditional player/GM relationship, but also antithetical to the indie principle of “Play To See What Happens”… something new, provocative, exciting. Honestly I’m more enthusiastic to see how future designer iterate on this idea than I am by 7th Sea itself: a nucleus of a great idea that needed more percolation. Continue reading

KeyForge Genesys Part 2: The Skill List

Part 2 of the KeyForge Genesys Series.

Part 1: Introduction and Character Creation

The Crucible’s melting pot of cultures and habitats lends advantage to adventurers who can master a diverse array of skills. The wide disparity of technology between the Houses, combined with a history of cross-pollination, have resulted in the specialties of one civilisation finding adepts amongst the ranks of all cultures. At the same time, communicating with aliens remains a struggle to all except the Archons, and even masters in their field may struggle when presented with entirely unfamiliar materials.

Keyforge uses a sub-set of the Genesys skill list, with two notable exceptions: three new Knowledge skills have been created to reflect the unique challenges of understanding the Crucible and its inhabitants; and 11 skills have been designated as House skills, which imposes additional difficulties when interacting with peoples or technology from Houses beside your own. Continue reading