Monday, May 2, 2022

Your Licensed Game Is Awesome!

Been a while since I've posted anything on here, I know. The last post was prompted by some serious backlash against a game I had been collaborating on, and the internet space was all getting a bit nasty. So, I took a break from the internet, focused on my work, and doing stuff in the evenings that wasn't tabletop writing.

I dipped my toes into the internet waters again to see if there was anything good happening, and stumbled upon an article in my feed (which I won't link to) that basically said licensed tabletop roleplaying games sucked. I was angry, hurt, and offended - mostly as the image they used for it was the cover of the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. So, everyone was seeing this article with the headline 'Your Game Sucks' with an image of the game I'd been working on (off and on) for the last thirteen years.

Hard not to be offended!

The actual article itself was basically saying that licensed RPGs were bad, because you (as a player) didn't have the power of a bunch of scriptwriters, and no game could feel as cool as the licensed property it was based upon. 

So I thought I'd take to the blog, and voice my rebuttal. 

Licensed RPGs are awesome.


Some of the best roleplaying games I've played, and the most fun I've had, have been playing licensed tabletop RPGs. The first game I GM'd was Star Frontiers, and I was so obsessed with movies and TV series that I populated the epic star-scape of Star Frontiers with lightsabers, T-800 Terminators, Transformers, and more. However, when publishers started actually making RPGs based on some of the movies and series I was so fanatical about, that was when I started having the most fun with roleplaying.

The first licensed game I bought and played was the, now legendary, TSR Adventures of Indiana Jones RPG. Sure, it didn't have character creation in the basic box, and I spent hours typing up a character creation chapter of my own to allow players to generate their own globe-trotting adventurers. But we had fun with it, playing ridiculous adventures of raiding tombs, punching nazis, and action packed thrills. It was great, and something that sticks with me to this day is the excellent 'Judges Survival Pack'. In that little supplement was, not only the character creation rules I desired, but also some fantastic 'random tomb generator' tools, to ensure the GM (or Judge) had a fresh ancient tomb, filled with traps, on hand.

To top this off, there was the amazing 'Chase Flow Chart' that provided an endless stream of roads, buildings, paths, and obstacles for foot or vehicular chases. It was brilliant, and a fantastic idea that I haven't really seen again. 

Hot on the heels of that in my gaming was another legendary game — Ghostbusters. The 'Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game' produced by West End Games. 

To say this game changed my life is an understatement. It was written with a comedic tone filled with self-referential comments and jokes, that made it an absolute joy to read. I LOVE Ghostbusters. Seriously, I was obsessed with the first film, so much so that I bought the VHS when the film came out on rental, before it was available to buy, so I could watch it over and over again. 

I read the game, chuckling away to myself at the jokes and just how cool the game was. This was fun to read, and I had that moment of clarity when I realised if it was that much fun to read, it must have been fun to write — I want to do that!!

As documented here on the blog, I spent hours sat at an electric typewriter, hammering away to create adventures for Ghostbusters, photocopying the manuscripts and sending them off to West End Games. Waiting months for it to get there, and eagerly awaiting a reply. While it was a "no", it was an encouraging no, and it is the reason I wanted to become a roleplaying game writer and designer.

Shortly after Ghostbusters, the seemingly unstoppable West End Games produced the one game I wanted more than anything in the Universe — Star Wars. I was obsessed with Star Wars from before I'd even seen it, from the moment my dad brought home those first couple of action figures for me. Everything was Star Wars, and nothing could top it for me. When I first started roleplaying, Traveller and Star Frontiers were just Star Wars in my head. So when WEG brought out the Star Wars roleplaying game, using a version of the Ghostbusters D6 system, I was instantly sold.

It was great, and we had many epic games of dodging swarms of TIE Fighters, using force powers, shooting at Stormtroopers, and sneaking around Imperial bases.

The production was cool, and after so many years of black and white illustration in roleplaying rulebooks, to have them punctuated with glossy inserts of full colour, and that "Join the Imperial Navy" advert that looked like the armed forces ads that we were familiar with, was just brilliant. Seriously loved that game.

It was towards the end of the 'golden age' of my roleplaying gaming (before I had a bit of a break from gaming) that I delved into the realms of Victory Games' James Bond 007 RPG

Again, another perfectly executed game, with brilliant rules to make your character the suave and educated spy that you'd expect from a Bond movie. I loved Bond movies, from my first trip to see The Man With The Golden Gun, so to get the opportunity to run games with cool gadgets, powerful villains, and dangerous henchmen, I couldn't pass it up. After picking up the main boxed set, and one of the adventures, I saw how fantastic the production values were on them, especially the amazing handouts, and saw the awesome chase rules, I just couldn't stop until I had the complete collection (a collection I only really managed to complete in the last few years).

However, the James Bond 007 RPG is often regarded as being the first game to employ 'Hero Points' — a revolutionary development that has continued into games even today. Fantastic.

I'd taken a break from gaming, and returned to the scene in the early 90's when Vampire caught my eye, but many years later I became obsessed with the TV series The X-Files. As there wasn't a roleplaying game for The X-Files, a friend of mine recommended the closest thing, in the form of Eden Studios' Conspiracy X. This got me reading Eden's games, and got me my first real writing gig in the gaming sphere... I was busy working on Terra Primate when Eden got in touch about another of my favourite TV shows of the time...

Eden Studios' Buffy The Vampire Slayer RPG is another one of those brilliant licensed games that actually felt like the source material. Using a lighter version of CJ Carella's Unisystem, the Buffy RPG cleverly meant that you had to fight vampires to weaken them, before you could stake them. Just that little element meant that you had to punch and kick those pesky bloodsuckers until you could stake them, which meant it felt like an episode of Buffy. You did research, you went on patrol, you beat up some vamps, and dusted them. 

And the whole book was written in that lighthearted and accessible way that Ghostbusters was, filled with pop-culture references in the way the Buffy series was, and the way the Buffy characters talked. Just fantastic.

Filled with full colour glossy images, it was freaking glorious, and perfect for a group of vampire hunters, witches, watchers, or even slayers (if you continue from the end of season seven). I loved working on those books, and watching episodes over and over to get the floorplans for locations. 

When it comes to licensed RPGs that do things brilliantly, and perfectly reflect their source material, it's hard to ignore Leverage, published by Margaret Weiss Productions. Utilising a streamlined and modified version of their Cortex system (that was so brilliantly employed in their Smallville RPG), it boils stats and skills down to their core components, and the roles the characters have in the heist - hitter, hacker, thief, mastermind, and grifter. Everyone can do everything, but some are specialists in their field. 

Add to this the brilliant way they construct the anatomy of a heist, it's just a revelation. It was really one of those games where I read through it and kept saying 'I wish I'd thought of that' over and over again. 

Mentioning Smallville though, the relationship mapping when you're creating the game — how everyone knows each other, and significant places and events, is just brilliant. Seriously, you should check it out if you can. And it's a great supers game as well, where the characters don't feel impossibly overpowered.

Okay, you're probably getting bored by now, so I'll just do two more before I wrap up.

One of my favourite games of the last ten years — heck, one of my favourite games ever — is a licensed game. Based upon the artwork and artbook of Simon StÃ¥lenhag, Tales from the Loop is an amazing game, and an absolute revelation when I read it. In an alternate 1980s, where robots are common, and weird experiments at the Loop have resulted in time travel, weirdness, and mutation, Tales from the Loop allows players to return to school days and investigate strange goings on. 

Not only does it perfectly capture the feel of the era and the paintings, but it was a complete revelation in rules design for me. The size of the rules section was so small, with an emphasis in the book on the setting and story, constructing mysteries and investigations, it just opened my eyes to how minimal the rules of a game could be. 

We had some fantastic games of Tales from the Loop, one so epic the characters aged to enter the Things from the Flood, failed to stop the Loop going horribly wrong and sending the world into a post-apocalyptic setting of Mutant Year Zero - then time travelling back to Tales from the Loop to try to stop it! Awesome.

And I guess you can't talk licensed games, and mention Fria Ligan, without bringing up the awesome ALIEN RPG. Using a modified version of the Year Zero Engine that powered Tales from the Loop, ALIEN added new stress mechanics that really made you feel like you were in an ALIEN movie. The couple of games I've played have been some of the tensest I've experienced, with a real sense of panic from the players and characters, feeling like your character could meet a horrible fate at any moment. 

The 'acts' of the cinematic play, adding motivations that change as the acts of the story progress, are a brilliant addition, meaning you're never really sure of the other player characters' motivations, and it perfectly reflects the feel of the movies. 

I haven't seen how extended campaign play works out yet, so that's something to look into, but for a short, sharp, shocking trip into the terrors of space, it's brilliant.

Saying that I'm always in awe of Fria Ligan games is putting it mildly, and with their licensed RPG of Blade Runner launching on Kickstarter this week, you can count me in.

So there you go. I love licensed games. I want to play more of them, I want to write more of them. It's in my blood, and has been for a very, very long time. 

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Where Do We Go From Here?

Screenshot from Buffy: Once More With Feeling

 It's been a long time since I posted anything on my blog. Are blogs even a thing any more? 

After a particularly brutal weekend of comments over on social media, I thought I'd finally do something I've been meaning to do for a very long time and step back from that addiction to doomscrolling that is Twutter and Facebork. It's an addiction, and I know it's going to be hard - I mean, what else do I do?

A couple of months ago, I deleted a couple of apps from my phone (both themed 'candy crush' clones). I was on, like, level 2500 on one of them, and I used to constantly play in the background while I was watching TV and stuff. Probably a sign of something - my lack of being able to concentrate on anything for any length of time, and getting bored with everything incredibly quickly. Deleting these apps was a big step - I found myself actually paying more attention to what I was watching or doing, and taking in more information. 

So that was stage one.

Stage two, I haven't been able to bring myself to delete my social media presence - after all, I may want to do something on there to promote a book coming out, or to launch August's ninth #RPGaDAY. Heck, I may skip it this year, or leave it in the hands of the mighty Runeslinger. We'll see when it gets a bit closer. Getting rid of social media is something I've been thinking about for a long time - it just seems to be a terrible waste of my time (Twutter has become my replacement for moving coloured gems around the screen sometimes when I'm getting a little distracted). Most of the people I'm connected to on both major platforms I don't actually know - and I still get friend requests from people I've never heard of before. 

I want to use Facebork to keep in touch with my friends - the ones I actually know, used to go to school with, family, things like that. But instead, it quickly became a marketing tool for myself as a 'brand'. I shudder at the thought of that. And yes, I did it to myself. The whole "Autocratik" thing. 

On the subject of AUTOCRATIK, I see a lot of comments about Autocratic governments and dictators - that was never what the name was about. Originally, I wanted to do something for myself, and I created the comics brand "Autocratik for the Masses" as a pun on R.E.M.'s album "Automatic for the People". Then the comic publishing kinda died off, and I thought nothing of it. 

I'd formed a creative collective with some friends to produce a webseries and other comedy sorts, and when that fell apart horribly, and I wanted to disassociate myself from it all, I thought back to the old comic publishing days, and the name Autocratik leaped out. It wasn't because I was a dictator, it was just that I wanted to do things my way. I wasn't going to force people into my way of thinking or doing things, especially as the only person working for me was me. 

Anyway, the upshot of this ramble is that my social media presence is going to be minimised, but I've just paid to renew the domain on this site for a couple more years - so what do I do with the blog? I've kinda neglected it for the last couple of months, but I've been crazy busy. 

So I hope to post here a little more often, not expecting people to actually read it, but I'll still use it to post about what I'm working on, what I'm writing/drawing, what movies I've watched recently, and so on. 

Meanwhile, if you need to get in touch, you know where you'll find me.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

2021 - A Year in the Rear View

Wow. Two months since my last post. 

I've been really neglecting the blog. Sorry! Well, not that I've had much excitement to post really over the last couple of months - busy working and stressing and working... But as it's coming up to the end of the year, I figured I may as well do my update along with a review of the year (such as it was).

2021 was really more of a continuation of the horror-show that 2020 was, starting the year in lockdown. A time I can safely say was tough on us all. Virus figures were high (though looking back on them now, when you see the figures over the last couple of weeks... jeez) and everyone was worried. I've been accused of worrying too much, and becoming paranoid about the virus, but hell, if I've learned anything from those post-apocalypse movies it's that you can't be too careful. 

Just as things were starting to improve, and things started opening up again, there was that impending worry that I'd have to go back to the outside world - to head back to retail and the stresses of interacting with the public. When luckily, I was saved...

April this year I left my job in retail after many, many, many years and went full-time writing tabletop roleplaying games, becoming a full-time Producer at Cubicle 7 Games, looking after the Doctor Who line. 

Of course, while my days were spent stooped over a computer working away on the Doctor Who RPG's Second Edition, my evenings were spent stooped over a computer working away on the WILD RPG.

We'd Kickstarted the initial book for the WILD RPG (Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming) back in November, but it had been successful enough to expand and require a little more wordage - in addition to this, we were working closely with Gareth Sleightholme to get the art polished off for the cool Tarot cards that were designed to accompany the game.

By May, WILD was complete and released, and Stoo started the huge task of packaging up the books and cards to ship off to the backers. It's still available through Drivethru and Gamefound, just check out the WILD Website for more info.

The rest of the year? Well, we've continued our rewatch of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (in chronological order) - and we're just in the middle of Season 3 of Runaways, so there will be an update on that in the new year, but otherwise it's just been work, work, work...

Doctor Who has progressed nicely, with a great adventure (available for free) called The Einstein Engine, and there's the fantastic Starter Set as well. Everything's coming along nicely, with the Second Edition corebook and the Starter Set at the printers. All exciting!!

I'm working out what to go in a sequel volume for WILD (WILD Book 2 - Even Deeper) and more about dreams within dreams, and I've had this weird idea for a smaller book RPG...

You remember I have this thing about small books - I don't know why, but I had this idea for doing a set of small books, like the old classic SF game of the late 70s, but for a modern day magic game, like Harry Potter, The Magicians, or something similar. 

I'm still pondering about that. I got as far as creating a cover to inspire me (see right), and to remind me of how little we needed as teens in the old days to create years of adventure in pocket-money priced books.

But with the dayjob in writing, and doing an evening class, my time has been limited.

What has 2022 in store? 

Who knows? If the last two years have taught me anything, they have just reinforced my feeling that anything can happen, and it is foolish to plan too far in advance. I hope to continue in the dayjob, do more there, hopefully expand my range a little. I hope to do some more WILD, and maybe the magic thing, and there's my weird desire to write / illustrate my autobiography in a partly exaggerated and humorous way.

Above all, I just hope that things improve globally for everyone. 

So, until my next post, next year, take care of yourself and yours, stay safe, and always be kind.


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Order in the (Marvel) Universe (Part VIII)

It's been a while again, been a hectic month! But in between work, trying to keep sane, an evening class, and continuing my rewatch of not only every episode of Doctor Who, but also another couple of series, I've managed to squeeze in a few more stages in my rewatch of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in chronological order.

Last post we got as far as the second and final season of Netflix's The Punisher, which brought us to the final series in the Netflix run - Jessica Jones Season Three.

Really odd series. With the introduction of the very strange choice of a villain with 'Foolkiller' Salinger, and building up the Hellcat Patricia Walker storyline, it was a bit of a low. Such a shame. Acting was great again, and they even had Benjamin Walker in it (who really should be cast in a young Qui-Gon Jinn TV series for Disney+). But Salinger was so utterly hateful, you were on Trish's side and wanted him out of the picture. Sure, she went too far, but it was really one of those 'Someone had to do it' moments. 

Add to this Hogarth's storyline, which was just a wreck of her making terrible choices, and I think Jessica was the only character to come out of this unscathed. Here's hoping they can incorporate her (and the rest of the Defenders) into the Disney+ MCU and not discount it entirely.

Strangely, we watched Black Widow next. While it's technically out of order, it kinda fit, as it takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, which is where we are. I hadn't seen this on initial release, being extremely cautious with the pandemic, so we were very eager to watch it the moment it became accessible on regular Disney+.

I have to say, the opening two thirds of Black Widow were brilliant. A great action, spy drama, with some really great scenes. The big disappointment was Taskmaster's great reveal, as that was blown by the opening credits for me seeing the actor's name come up. By about half-way through the movie, realising we hadn't seen them yet, I put two and two together and... well. On the plus side, as many have said, is Florence Pugh. Brilliant again, and really hoping she gets her own 'Black Widow' movie in the future, along with appearances in Hawkeye...

Next on the list, chronologically, we return to the movies with Ant-man and the Wasp. I think I'd only seen it once at the cinema so it was great getting to watch this again. Great stuff again, great acting, exciting scenes, really funny at the right times without going over the top (I'm looking at you Ragnarok), some scarily good de-aging CGI for Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. And great to have Laurence Fishburne and Hannah John-Kamen in the MCU. 

Technically, you should stop watching the movie just before the mid-credits sequence at the end, and come back to this scene after Infinity War

But that's as far as we are at the moment. Next up is the biggie - Infinity War!

Until next time, stay safe!


If you want to catch up and keep up with the rewatch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we've been following the order that DigitalSpy produced a little while ago. If you want to join in, here's the list we've worked through so far...

1 - Captain America: The First Avenger

2 - Agent Carter (Season One)

3 - Agent Carter (Season Two)

4 - Agent Carter (Marvel One-Shot - on Iron Man 3 bluray)

5 - Captain Marvel

6 - Iron Man

7 - Iron Man 2

8 - The Incredible Hulk (on Netflix)

9 - The Consultant (Marvel One-Shot - on the Thor bluray)

10 - A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Thor's Hammer (Marvel One-Shot - on the Captain America: The First Avenger bluray)

11 - Thor: The Mighty Avenger

12 - Avengers Assemble (the first Avengers movie)

13 - Item 47 (Marvel One-Shot - on the Avengers bluray)

14 - Iron Man 3

15 - All Hail The King (Marvel One-Shot on the Thor: The Dark World bluray)

16 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 1-7)

17 - Thor: The Dark World

18 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 8-16)

19 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

20 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 17-22)

21 - Guardians of the Galaxy

22 - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

23 - Daredevil (Season One)

24 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 1-10)

25 - Jessica Jones (Season One)

26 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 11-19)

27 - Avengers: Age of Ultron

28 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 20-22)

29 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 1-4)

30 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 1-4)

31 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 5-11)

32 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 5-8)

33 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 12-13)

34 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 9-13)

35 - Ant-Man

36 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 1-10)

37 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 11-19)

38 - Iron Fist (Season One)

39 - Captain America: Civil War

40 - Black Widow [New Addition to the Time Line!!]

41 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 20-22)

42 - The Defenders

43 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 1-6)

44 - Doctor Strange

45 - Black Panther

46 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 7-8)

47 - Agents of SHIELD: Slingshot (Episodes 1-6)

48 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 9-22)

49 - Spider-man: Homecoming

50 - Thor: Ragnarok

51 - Inhumans (Season One)

52 - The Punisher (Season One)

53 - Runaways (Season One)

54 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 1-10)

55 - Jessica Jones (Season Two)

56 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 11-18)

57 - Cloak and Dagger (Season One)

58 - Cloak and Dagger (Season Two)

59 - Luke Cage (Season Two) 

60 - Iron Fist (Season Two)

61 - Daredevil (Season Three)

62 - Runaways (Season Two)

63 - The Punisher (Season Two)

64 - Jessica Jones (Season Three) 

65 - Ant-Man and the Wasp (credits after Infinity War)

Next up is...

66 - Avengers: Infinity War <--We Are Here!!

67 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 19-22)

68 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 6)

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Order in the (Marvel) Universe (Part VII)

Many, many moons ago, right in the middle of one of the UK lockdowns, I tried to keep myself sane and distracted by rewatching all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including the TV series) in chronological order of events.

Just because the world (well, certainly the UK) seems to think the pandemic has ended, I'm still keeping as safe as possible, and keeping myself as sane as possible by continuing this massive Marvel rewatch.

Last time I posted about the Marvel marathon was back in July, and we continued our watch through in the order that DigitalSpy recommended. We finished that section with a back-to-back rewatch of Seasons One and Two of Marvel's Cloak and Dagger. So what was next on the list in order of events?

We head back to Netflix and return to Luke Cage for Season Two. Another excellent series, though I spent most of my time frustrated by the villains again. I know you're not supposed to like Mariah, but I really hated her in this series. Luckily, she is so completely hateful, and does such absolutely horrible things that her sidekick, Shades, eventually turns on her, and she's eventually killed by her own daughter. 

Once again, Mike Colter is freakin' awesome, as is Simone Missick, and the music is just brilliant again. One episode really stood out (Episode 4) where Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram performs on stage in the club, and... man, can that guy play. 

There's a little video of his 22nd Birthday concert. He's 22. Wow... 

After Luke Cage's final season, we head over to Iron Fist's last — a shorter season of ten episodes (and it really shows that most of the Marvel series on Netflix may have worked better as ten episode runs rather than thirteen). It's a good season again, plenty going on in it. It introduces one of my wife's favourite characters from Daredevil with 'Typhoid' Mary, and once again Jessica Henwick steals the show as Colleen Wing. After a climatic battle, Wing ends up with the Iron Fist powers, channeling them through her katana, though Danny Rand can still manifest the power in some way through guns? Weird. I'd have loved to have seen where this would have continued. 

Continuing the watch through in order, we move onto another of Netflix's 'Defenders' series, and the final season of Daredevil.

Can't believe it's been so long with the world thinking Matt Murdock was dead. This series Matt is hiding for most of it under the church, his suit having been stolen by Kingpin's goons and given to Bullseye. Some amazing scenes in this again — there's the 'filmed as one shot' sequence in the prison, where Murdock foolishly goes in to get info and as trapped in there, drugged, while a riot breaks out. And then there's the intense Karen Page / Kingpin scene in Kingpin's 'home arrest' luxury apartment. Fantastic as always. Brilliant cast, and I'd love to see the actors continue these rolls in future. Will Murdock be in Spider-man? Is Kingpin in the Hawkeye series? Who knows... only time will tell.

Next in the viewing order we head back over to Disney+ for Season Two of Marvel's Runaways.

I don't know what happened. I really enjoyed Season One when we rewatched it. I remember enjoying all three seasons first time around (though the main villain in Season Three was a strange choice). But this time around, rewatching Season Two was a bit of a struggle. Maybe it's because it was longer (thirteen episodes rather than ten), and the 'big bad' is kinda stopped by the seventh or eighth episode. After that it flounders a little as they try to establish the alien possessions storyline, the AWOL storyline, and just try to get to grips with what's going on... and then it just kinda stops. 

Oh well. Onto something completely new to me - 

Season Two of The Punisher. Now, I'm going to confess, I really liked Season One, despite it being one of the most violent series I've watched in a long time. But when Season Two dropped, I didn't quite get around to watching it straight away. And then the reviews started coming in saying it wasn't as good as the first, so we never quite got around to sitting down and actually watching it. So this was the first time for us, and we were pleasantly surprised! I thought it was going to be bad, but (again helped by some great supporting cast) it was rather good again. My only complaint is the end scene with Frank gunning down a load of drug dealers. Part of me was kinda hoping he was going to go back to that roadhouse and see if he could make up again with Beth Quinn, but alas. Billy Russo met a fitting finale, and 'John Pilgrim' was scarily brutal. 

And that's as far as we've got!!

Next up on the list is another Netflix series we haven't seen before — Season Three of Jessica Jones.


If you want to catch up and keep up with the rewatch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we've been following the order that DigitalSpy produced a little while ago. If you want to join in, here's the list we've worked through so far...

1 - Captain America: The First Avenger

2 - Agent Carter (Season One)

3 - Agent Carter (Season Two)

4 - Agent Carter (Marvel One-Shot - on Iron Man 3 bluray)

5 - Captain Marvel

6 - Iron Man

7 - Iron Man 2

8 - The Incredible Hulk (on Netflix)

9 - The Consultant (Marvel One-Shot - on the Thor bluray)

10 - A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Thor's Hammer (Marvel One-Shot - on the Captain America: The First Avenger bluray)

11 - Thor: The Mighty Avenger

12 - Avengers Assemble (the first Avengers movie)

13 - Item 47 (Marvel One-Shot - on the Avengers bluray)

14 - Iron Man 3

15 - All Hail The King (Marvel One-Shot on the Thor: The Dark World bluray)

16 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 1-7)

17 - Thor: The Dark World

18 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 8-16)

19 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

20 - Agents of SHIELD (Season One, Episodes 17-22)

21 - Guardians of the Galaxy

22 - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

23 - Daredevil (Season One)

24 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 1-10)

25 - Jessica Jones (Season One)

26 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 11-19)

27 - Avengers: Age of Ultron

28 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Two, Episodes 20-22)

29 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 1-4)

30 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 1-4)

31 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 5-11)

32 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 5-8)

33 - Daredevil (Season Two, Episodes 12-13)

34 - Luke Cage (Season One, Episodes 9-13)

35 - Ant-Man

36 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 1-10)

37 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 11-19)

38 - Iron Fist (Season One)

39 - Captain America: Civil War

40 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Three, Episodes 20-22)

41 - The Defenders

42 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 1-6)

43 - Doctor Strange

44 - Black Panther

45 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 7-8)

46 - Agents of SHIELD: Slingshot (Episodes 1-6)

47 - Agents of SHIELD (Season Four, Episodes 9-22)

48 - Spider-man: Homecoming

49 - Thor: Ragnarok

50 - Inhumans (Season One)

51 - The Punisher (Season One)

52 - Runaways (Season One)

53 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 1-10)

54 - Jessica Jones (Season Two)

55 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 11-18)

56 - Cloak and Dagger (Season One)

57 - Cloak and Dagger (Season Two)

58 - Luke Cage (Season Two) 

59 - Iron Fist (Season Two)

60 - Daredevil (Season Three)

61 - Runaways (Season Two)

62 - The Punisher (Season Two)

Next up is...

63 - Jessica Jones (Season Three) <--We Are Here!!

64 - Ant-Man and the Wasp (credits after Infinity War)

65 - Avengers: Infinity War

66 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 5, Episodes 19-22)

67 - Agents of SHIELD (Season 6)

[I have noticed that DigitalSpy's page has updated to insert Black Widow as Number 40 in the sequence, but we're way past that now - I haven't seen Black Widow yet, but will rectify that as soon as it hits non-premiere Disney+]

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 31: THANK


And so we come to the end of another #RPGaDAY, and there's a definite reason why I picked this as the prompt for the last day. I really just wanted to take this opportunity to THANK everyone for taking part again this year - there have been so many brilliant blogposts, videos, podcasts, and tweets about what everyone enjoys about tabletop roleplaying games. 

I'd also like to take this opportunity to THANK Anthony Boyd again (the illustrious Runeslinger) for helping to coordinate this year's #RPGaDAY initiative. 

Thank you everyone. Eight years of this we've been doing and it's still going strong. Maybe we'll do something special for the tenth? Maybe a charity fundraiser or something? 

Thanks everyone, stay safe.


Monday, August 30, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 30: MENTION


Day 30 of #RPGaDAY2021 and it's the last couple of days. Just one prompt today, and that is MENTION. The main idea for this is to give everyone the opportunity to mention anything they like - want to recommend a game, a stream, a designer, an accessory, a website, a podcast? Now's your chance to mention them and get some recognition. Spread the word. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 29: SYSTEM


Day 29 of #RPGaDAY2021, and we're into the last few posts (and all of which are single prompt entries). And today we look at SYSTEM! I must admit, I'm old and lazy, and reluctant to learn new systems unless they are very simple. I used to love reading a good game system, but after reading Tales from the Loop, I think I've been spoiled by its simplicity. You could take in the entirety of the game system in half an hour and be good to go for your first game so quickly! 

I tweaked with the Vortex system that powers Doctor Who recently, making it faster and quicker to learn and use. I just hope people like it. Good thing is, it's still compatible with the original version for those who prefer the First Edition. My head is currently thinking of adapting it for another use... we'll see.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 28: SOLO


I remember when we were putting together the list of prompts for #RPGaDAY2021 I really wanted to include the word SOLO. At my decrepit age, it's tricky to schedule games and the idea of a good solo game you can play alone is really important. I love the idea of those Journaling games, and those and some great solo games really inspired me to make WILD something that could be experienced alone.

If you can recommend any great solo games, I'm always on the look out. Ironsworn is the obvious choice, and when I heard that the new version of The One Ring had a solo mode, that was what really tipped me over to back it.

What about the other prompts? I think this is the last day of multiple prompts, so I guess I'd better do them all! DREAM - oh blimey, that's too obvious again isn't it? I'm swamped at the moment, but I'm hoping I can go back to the dreamrealms of WILD in the near future to DELVE even deeper into the dreams-within-dreams. I hope to crack OPEN the notebooks again...

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 27: FRACTION

 Friday, and it's day 27 of #RPGaDAY2021, and the day is FRACTION. And I must admit, I don't have an idea of what to post for this one. The first thing that comes to mind is that I have far too many RPGs. So many of them that I don't need to refer to, and I keep thinking I should sell a load of those and keep the FRACTION that I really need. The essentials. I mean, when am I ever going to need those 20+ GURPS books, or the 3.5e & 4th Ed D&D rules? 

But then I look at the other topics, and I'm drawing as much of a blank. I need more PRACTICE coming up with prompts for #RPGaDAY!! Ha!!

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 26: THEORY


It's Day 26 of #RPGaDAY2021, and Thursday is a "TH" day, and so the word for today is THEORY. There are so many books out there on Game Theory, and I'd love to have time to read them all. But the greatest theoretical piece of advice I've been given when it comes to writing tabletop RPGs is "What do you do?" 

I spent ages working on WILD, and about half way through the design process where I had a game system, and a setting, and so many ideas in my head, someone came up to me at a convention and said "So, what do you do?" And I was floored. I had no answer to that. There was no simple 'The players do this'. So I had to go and re-evalutate everything. 

Now, going into any game idea that surfaces (and I usually have a dozen or so bubbling under the surface) the first question I ask myself is "What to you do?".

If the players don't have a definite idea of what they are PLAYing, then the GM won't have a definite idea of what the story is going to be.

After that, I went back to the ORIGIN of WILD, and tried to work out what you do, going back into the writing with a RENEWed vigour. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 25: WELCOME


Day 25 of this year's #RPGaDAY and we WELCOME those new to #RPGaDAY! Hope you're enjoying taking part in this annual celebration of all the great things that RPGs can bring. It's all about positivity, acceptance, and welcoming gamers into the community. 

TRADITIONALLY, I would produce either daily videos where you could stare at by gormless face while I prattled on about stuff, with very little preparation or knowledge. However, I've struggled to keep up this year and have slipped over to these blog posts. Wow, editing videos can take forever, and there were only a dozen or so people actually watching them. Maybe I need to do something FRESH to bring in the viewers?? Ha! Doubtful.

Sorry, it's not a great blog post today. I'm so tired! Hopefully tomorrow's will be better and tick more BOXes!! Ha!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 24: TRANSLATE

Day 24 of #RPGaDAY and the main prompt is TRANSLATE. Hmmm... I guess I could talk about games I'd love to see translated. Initially I would have said that Neon Genesis Evangelion RPG that I bought many years ago that was in Japanese (oh, how I love Eva!), but that has been 'fan translated' (and an excellent job of it too).

I guess the RPG I'd like to see translated is the Valerian RPG. Lovely bit of graphic design, and using the artwork from the cool comic strip, I've always been a little disappointed that it hasn't been translated into English. 

Still tempted to pick up a copy though...

On the subject of cool French RPGs, as a bit of a completist I saw that there's a great French sourcebook for Tales from the Loop. And you know how much I love Tales from the Loop. My sub-par French could probably make out a bit of it, but it'd be cool to add to the Loop collection...

Okay, next prompts are... SHARE. What more can I share? I can share a photo of an ANCIENT artefact - 

That's my first d20, from when I started playing D&D back in the early 1980s. I still have it, and it's safe in a makeshift display case! Now the only thing I have to do is SOLVE the problem of not having enough time to write all of these blog posts!!

Monday, August 23, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 23: MEMORY


And we're still going! Onto day 23 of #RPGaDAY2021, and the main prompt is MEMORY. A lot of what I write on this blog is remembering the old days of gaming. Although a lot of it is a bit fuzzy. I've had a weird urge for the last couple of years to write a proper 'Memoir' of my old gaming days, but then I've never been a fan of 'memoirs' or 'autobiographies'.

Maybe one day. 

INNOVATION: I wonder if everyone will talk about the biggest INNOVATION you can think of in gaming? Not sure what I'd suggest. I'd be tempted to go with James Bond again, as I think that was one of the earliest (if not the first) to incorporate Hero Points. I find it hard to imagine a game without some sort of hero point/bene/fate point. 

I'll try to keep this blog post QUICK, but I have to admit I've only recently discovered really quick games - you know, the ones you can play in one session. It's strange to think that I've been a long campaign person most of my gaming, but we did have a really cool game of Fiasco last year (the Mission to Mars set-up) which was hilarious. Really good fun which involved smearing strange meat paste over our spacesuits to lure the giant mutated rat creatures. 

And finally, a SURPRISE... I have no idea how I can surprise anyone anymore. I have so many ideas for a new RPG, I'm hoping when or if that finally surfaces it'll be some sort of surprise...

Ho well. Onto tomorrow!!

Stay safe!