UK Games Expo 2010

The first weekend in June is the weekend of the wonderful UK Games Expo, a three day long games extravaganza featuring the best of the UK's boardgames, miniatures, card games, video games and RPGs.

I'll be there with the Collective Endeavour, with copies of Pulp! and Covenant for sale. I'll also be running a game of Covenant on Saturday morning, it's called Ends and Means, but like all such scenarios it's wide open for playroom input.

I'll also be running demos all through the Saturday and Sunday in the trade hall. With a little surprise, if I can get my act together...


This weekend I'll be at the wonderful Conpulsion in Edinburgh. A great weekend's worth of convention, I'll be speaking on a panel on smallpress publishing and manning the Collective Endeavour stall. Come and say hi!

10 Years of Realms

In 1999 I got the domain name free as part of an ISP deal. This site, in its initial form, was created. Uploaded by 56k modem (remember those?), it began as a place to put reviews, articles and game ideas. Some of those reviews look pretty awful now - 7th Sea being one, but some of the other work holds up. That site of course moved to the domain, largely due to wanting server-side scripting, but not being able to free the domain from the ISP...

The eZine went in fits and starts, looking back round about 2002-2003 was that site's high point. I was posting reviews most months, articles and interviews too. The directory was humming along with new entries. I was chuffed to get comp copies of some games to review, kinda felt like I'd landed somehow, somewhere, in RPG land. In those years I had the fun of unreliable hosting, lost database backups, rebuilding the entire site from Google's cache and other trials of the web. I had articles translated into Hebrew and French, I met people online who shared similar interests in game design and play.

There were some good discussions on the forum, I remember a great thread on the burgeoning UK RPG Publishers scene... The forum went through several incarnations eventually using Vanilla's first beta, and then closing down because there were other, better, places for that kind of discussion and anti-span measures hadn't been invented yet. A lot of RPG discussion was going on on Livejournal by then, so I got one of those for a while...

I was active on other forums at that time and helping out other folks who'd just self published by reviewing their stuff or with minor editorial duties. In 2004 I went from helping others to joining in and was one of the authors involved in the Nopress Anthology. That release led to visiting some cons, including Spiel Essen and Dragonmeet 2005. That event was pivotal as I met up with some folks I'd chatted to online like Malcolm and Gregor, and solidified my plan to release a game on my own.

For a while this site just redirected to the eZine, but I eventually managed to free up the domain and so when it came to commercially releasing the games I'd made I decided to move that here. So in 2006 this site re-launched as the design blog and publishing side. Looking back, I probably should have shifted everything here and taken advantage of the eZine's visibility more. It still gets more traffic to this day, even after not having a new article since 2006.

I've not done too bad in three years of self publishing though, Covenant sells steadily and Pulp! has gone from ashcan to final release. Most of my design discussion now goes on at the Collective Endeavour, and that little community seems to have found its niche nicely too. It does mean I don't post about design here though, just cons and news, which leaves it feeling a little empty.

So I'm left wondering quite where to take Realms next. Ten years is a long time to be online and it feels like time for a change. I'm thinking of maybe merging the two sites once more and culling some material that's no longer relevant. Thoughts?

The Pulp Miniatures List

Where to get figures for Pulp!? That's a question I get asked. Fortunately there's a fair few places you can get some pulpy goodness in miniatures from online.

Obviously my favourites are the Copplestone Castings range of High Adventure and Back of Beyond. You've got some great armed archaeologists, assorted dinosaurs, explorers and yetis. Plus the Gangsters range give you thugs and guys with tommy guns. Mark's a nice guy too, so deserves your custom.

Another recent discovery is the Artizan Designs collection of Thrilling Tales minis. There's a great collection of aviators, police, cultists, nefarious villains and even some suitably nasty looking robots. Personally I particularly like the Sky Pirates.

Some of the RAFM Cthulhu miniatures have a suitably pulpy feel. Some of the sculpts are a bit cartoonish for my liking though.

Pulp figures produce a variety of options too. Again, some dodgy sculpts, but they have some unique options like the US Rocket Corps and Agents of Justice that should tempt you.

UK Games Expo 2009

I just got back from UK Games Expo, a wonderful local convention in Birmingham. As always it was a well organised, diverse and entertaining event. A heady mix of board games, card games, roleplaying games and computer games (including a funky retro gaming area). RPGs had a bigger presence this year, and the event as a whole seems to be growing rapidly.

My main purchase of the con were some of the excellent, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang miniatures from Copplestone castings, who have a fun looking game in preparation for the same.

As always I manned the Collective Endeavour stand, where I soft launched Pulp!. This is now in final form (not radically different to the ashcan, but now with coil bind, fixed points calculations and corrected traits). If you fancy trying it, the quickstart demo is available.

Finally, I played a very enjoyable game of Hot War, run by Scott Dorward. If you get a chance to play his con scenario, "A New Covenant", it's a must.