Nerdinburgh – the convivial convention

October 12th, 2011

Last weekend I went to Edinburgh for the small, but perfectly formed convention, Nerdinburgh. Organised by Per Fisher, the con squeezed a lot of cool gaming, drinking and food into three short days.

The venue was The Old Observatory House, a wonderously decorated victorian pile at the top of one of Edinburgh’s hills. Amazing view, great architecture, surprisingly cheap in mid October… It also has some rooms ideal for gaming (big tables) and no so ideal (really weird acoustics). Plus Edinburgh’s best off license is very near by!

We managed to cram in four big games and a host of smaller ones. Roleplaying wise, I managed to play Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, Mechaton, Remember Tomorrow and ran The Agency. I also played Cambria and some Bang!

The game of The Agency I ran involved a dangerous group of 1960s science clowns and a weaponised giraffe. Much more gonzo than usual, but the game was hysterically funny and the group really grasped the idea that the game is a homage to 1960s TV, dodgy sets and all! Plus it descended in a pun-fest of epic proportions.

Do was fun, our game was light hearted and vaguely steampunk anime, though the non-roleplayingness of it was difficult for people, I think. We had some lovely imagery though, as our young flying pilgrims tried to help people and avoid getting in trouble. The second of our stories felt a lot more coherent than the first. Definitely a game that needs replaying.

Remember Tomorrow was a gritty cyberpunk tale of a flooded London, a broken family and a data courier with the Chief Inspector’s memory. A perfect little system for anything noir.

Mechaton was a game of giant fighty robot lego. What more needs said?

The Agency – Revisited

August 30th, 2011

Over on the Collective Endeavour and Google Plus I’ve been chatting a bit about a project I never expected to happen, a revised version of The Agency.

It came as quite a surprise to be revisiting the game, it was originally written some time in the early 2000s and was one of the first games I put up on Realms. The simple premise of extending 60s spi-fy series into a more supernaturally slanted world was always pretty grabby for gamers and its one of the freebies I always got most actual play from. People liked it enough to translate it into Italian.

In 2004 it appeared with many other great games in the Nopress Anthology. That was a project I was really proud to be part of (look at the authors list, it’s a veritable who’s who of Indie games!) When Nopress went out of print, I put the PDF version of that up on the site and considered it done. It had its flaws but I didn’t have time or inclination to fix them…

Flash forwards to April 2011 and I’m reading Gregor’s excellent 3:16 and it suddenly hits me that the mission structure of that game would fit The Agency like a glove. It would also solve one of the nagging things about the original version of the game – that the adversity is arbitrary in a very traditional Gm-led way.

So I started re-writing and everything seemed to just slot into place. The current text is undergoing some pre-reading and stress testing, but expect to see more about it in the coming weeks. If you fancy playtesting, please do get in touch.

The current version will stay online until the new one is released, at which time I’ll be removing it.

UK Games Expo : Anatomy of a convention

June 12th, 2011

This last weekend I attended the 5th UK Games Expo in Birmingham (my local convention!) A couple of thousand people playing board games, card games and RPGs. I was joined by Andrew Kenrick, Iain McAllister and Marku and Eero Tuovinen on a booth full of Indie RPGs.

I’ve been going since the convention started and each year has been bigger and better. I though it would be worth nailing down exactly why this convention goes from strength to strength, from my perceptions at least, and what it might be able to improve.

Continue reading UK Games Expo : Anatomy of a convention

A New a Design in Progress

January 23rd, 2011

Over at the Collective Endeavour site, I’m starting to post a few details about my “new” project, Enlightenment & Entropy. It’s a setting intense story game, that meshes together influences from what I see as the best of the fantasy city sub-genre. So it’s the kind of thing you’ll like if you’re a fan of Michael Morecock, China Mieville, Mary Gentle or Gene Wolf. It’s a game about characters pushed too far by greater powers and conniving factions, thematically it has a lot in common with Film Noir.

This project has actually been ongoing for some time, I had an abortive draft for play test in 2007 that didn’t work. I’ve heavily reworked it since then, and it’s really starting to feel like it’s own thing now. Anyhow, take a look over at The CE

RPG Promo

December 3rd, 2010

If you fancy getting a great deal on a variety of rpgs, including Covenant, Coyote Trail and Tales from the Floating Vagabond, then you should head over to RPG Promo while the deal lasts. 40% off for 28 days and counting!