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The Gonnes of Nava Rûn

One of the nice things about prepping for conventions (in this case the excellent UK Games Expo), is it gives you time to focus on a single scenario.

I’d been considering a more detailed introductory scenario for The Filthy Dozen since its release and the result is The Gonnes of Nava Rûn. And yes, this is inspired somewhat by The Guns of Navarone. It’s for 6 players, though you can tweak it for fewer. It contains enough side-tracks and random extras to keep your goblins entertained for a few hours.

Download The Gonnes of Nava Rûn

The Filthy Dozen

Sometimes things work out weirdly. You spend ages on one game, only for a delay to hit it unexpectedly. So another is unleashed faster than you expect.

The Queen’s Men done, but awaiting art. It’s from the very cool, David Michael Wright, so it’s worth waiting on. He’s a talented man, so has a queue.

Meanwhile, I managed to finish off a side project called The Filthy Dozen. A dark and amusing game of goblin commandos, trying to survive in this here army. It’s inspired by World War 2 movies like Guns of Navarone and novels like Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe’s Rifles and Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment. It take some mechanics from the excellent 3:16 and twists them in new, and hopefully entertaining, ways.

It’s full of quirky goblins, comedy and tragedy. It features choices like sacrificing a comrade or your very impressive hat, serving a lord who cares little for you or forging a new path. It has rules for Violence and Other Stuff.

Update on The Queen’s Men

I’ve been chased about this at various conventions, so I thought I’d give an update on where we are with The Queen’s Men.

It’s done, or at least the main text is finished. It has also been edited by the wonderful, Scott Dorward, who you may remember from such podcasts as The Good Friends of Jackson Elias. Scott found my typos, corrected the ordering and generally made it a much better text.

I’m very pleased with the results. It is now a fully fledged piece of multi-layered fiction gaming, with rules for cast DVD commentary, lots of pre-gens and comedy 70s haircuts.

So now it just needs layout and art. Which, if all goes well, means a release as PDF some time in the new year.

A Trip Down Podcast Memory Lane

Once upon a time, back when I was far more active online and busily debating new techniques in rules design and game structure over at The Forge, there were a number of Podcasts which I used to listen to. My favourite was Sons of Kryos. It was a nicely balanced mix of anecdotes of games played, playing advice and general chatter. Jeff and Judd (and later Storn) were personable hosts whose enthusiasm shone through. It had interviews recorded at conventions and dammit, they made GenCon sounds so much fun! So much so that I resolved to visit it myself (I actually got to game with them there in 2008 while helping out on the Play Collective booth).

A few years ago their old site dropped offline, and I feared the archive of this seminal gaming podcast was lost. Then, only a few weeks ago Judd announced that they’d uploaded the early episodes to the Sons of Kryos YouTube channel. You should go and listen, though some elements have dated, they’re a wonderful snapshot of a certain era of RPGs in terms of play, culture, ideas and events. I’m glad they’re back online.

They never did end up interviewing me about that Larp at King John’s hunting lodge though…

Terry Pratchett’s Rules of Life

Today I saw with great sadness that one of my favourite authors, Sir Terry Pratchett, had passed away.

To say that he was a massive influence on my teenage years is something of an understatement. His books kept me sane when I moved from a bustling metropolitan area to a remote corner of England. I eagerly awaited each new volume, from about the publication of Mort onwards I devoured his output, with the assistance of the local library.

I was lucky, when I was 17 he visited my school. He gave a talk at the library, but also did a small session with a number of students keen on writing and his work. He told anecdotes about his time as a local reporter, and how those skills helped him as a writer. He told us about the time, during the great D&D scare of the 80s, he ran a roleplaying game for a group of 70-year old grannies to show them how it was harmless entertainment. He was inspiring, insightful and patient, even when we all wanted 20-odd books signing because we were stupidly obsessive teenage geeks.

He did it all for a reasonable donation to the campaign to save the orang-utans.

Towards the end of the event we mentioned we were producing a newspaper for our year’s graduation and would he write some wise words for us. He did, and what he wrote in my hastily proffered notebook I still have today. A scan of it is shown below, it seems appropriate to share his rules of life with others on this sad occasion:

Rules of life: 1 - never trust a dog with orange eyebrows. 2 - consider you may be wrong. 3 - there is such a thing as too much cheese. 4 - Duck!

He will be missed. My thoughts are with his friends and family.

“A man is not dead while his name is still spoken”