Sunday, February 28, 2021

Order in the (Marvel) Universe (part II)

 Last post I mentioned that I was distracting myself from the horrors of the real world outside by marathoning all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in chronological order of events, including the TV series. 

Phase One was pretty easy to get through, working through from Captain America: The First Avenger, through Agent Carter, and onto the individual characters' origin stories (including Captain Marvel) building up to the first big Avengers movie.

Agents of SHIELD Season One Promo Image

Then it was onto Agents of SHIELD. Oh lordy had I forgotten how cool that series is. I mean, I watched it all and loved the later series - ranting at people for not watching it from when it started - but rewatching Season One, especially punctuating it with Thor: The Dark World (in between episodes 7 & 8) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (my favourite Marvel movie. It fits between episodes 16 & 17 if you're keeping track), it really hits home how great Agents of SHIELD is. Awesome stuff. Absolutely loved it.

Had that realisation, rewatching it, that the late, great Bill Paxton's character in SHIELD is Garrett from one of my favourite comic series - Elektra: Assassin. Not sure if I twigged that reference first time around. Only shame is they didn't give him the Hawaiian shirts and big shoulder pads, but Paxton is so cool in it. 

After Season One of Agents of SHIELD, it was onto a double-bill of Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Promo Image

I have a distinct memory of going to the press conference and the early screening of the first Guardians movie. I came out of the screening in tears as it was so darn good - that sequence at the beginning with Quill's mother that echoes in the final conflict against Ronan the Accuser does me in every time. It was everything I hoped the Guardians movie could be and more. 

Photo from the Guardians of the Galaxy press conference, before the cast appeared (July 2014)

And the press conference was great too (though it was a shame Vin Diesel was a no-show - Debs was so looking forward to being in the same room as Vin). 

The first one was always going to be a tough one to match when it came to sequels. 

We finished the Guardians double-bill today, and now we're back, firmly footed on Earth, and back in New York for the first season of Daredevil on Netflix. I honestly can't remember if I've watched this twice already, but I do remember loving the Netflix series - especially Daredevil


For those of you who want to keep up, I'm using 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)

--

coming next...

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


Should keep me out of trouble for a bit...

Stay safe everyone. 


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Order in the Universe

Lockdown has been a bit of a strain on everyone, especially mentally. While I've been grateful not to be out in the public, being exposed to the threat of the virus, it has been hard to concentrate on things. Luckily, I've had plenty of writing to keep my occupied, with both WILD and something else (that I'm not sure if I can talk about yet).

But when I haven't been writing, I've wanted as big a distraction from the real world as possible. Thinking about the virus, what it has done to everyone, all the people we've lost, those who deny its dangers. Heck, I ended up with counselling last year from having to go out among people for work.

So, to distract myself from the real world, I've been watching a lot of movies and TV. When I mean, a lot, I mean A LOT...

When Disney+ started, we had this ridiculous idea of rewatching all of Star Wars in chronological order of the events. Okay, so we didn't re-jig the episodes of The Clone Wars into event order, but we watched everything...

Starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars (all seven seasons), Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rebels (all four seasons), Rogue One, Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, The Mandalorian, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Resistance (season 1), Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Resistance (season 2) and finally, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

Was great to watch everything in this order. Took a long time, we didn't marathon it or anything, and after many months, we finished the Star Wars rewatch about a week ago. The highlights were definitely rewatching The Clone Wars and Rebels. Rebels is such a good series. Seriously, why haven't you watched it yet?

Anyway, that was Star Wars done... so what do I watch to distract myself next?

The X-Files is going onto Disney+ in a few days, despite me already having it on VHS and DVD (but not Bluray, much to my disgust... and can you get it on Bluray now without a lottery win? No. Why have they discontinued it? - I know, probably to make you get Disney+). 

After watching the weekly episode of WandaVision there seemed to be one really obvious rewatch to do... the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe... in chronological order. 

Now, I'm not going to be pedantic - I know some of the episodes of Agents of SHIELD involve time travel, but I'm going to stick with the time the team should have been in if they weren't knocked out of time, or in an alternate dimension, alternate future, etc... So we're sticking to the order that DigitalSpy recommended.

So, we started with Captain America: The First Avenger, (my second favourite movie in the MCU... you'll have to wait if you want to know my favourite)... followed by the fantastic Agent Carter (seasons 1 & 2). Why did that ever get cancelled? Great series, and great to watch it again.

Okay, so you know I said I wasn't being pedantic? Well, maybe a little. Agent Carter is followed by the strange 'alternate version' with Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (found on the Iron Man 3 Bluray). Peggy's back in New York and being treated like crap, before Howard Stark gets her to start up SHIELD. The beginning is like a prequel to the TV series, but it definitely ends afterwards with Carter's big new assignment. 

There's a big time-jump in the timeline from the 1940's to the 1990's, as the 'one-shot' is followed by Captain Marvel (may have to look into what happened to the Tesseract between Howard Stark finding it at the bottom of the ocean to Lawson using it to power the lightspeed engine), Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk (not on Disney+ to due rights issues, but it's on Netflix if you want to keep up and don't own the disc), and then onto the 'one-shots' again...

Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant is next (on the Thor bluray), explaining the appearance of Tony Stark at the end of The Incredible Hulk in a great bit of retconning. Along with Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer (on the Captain America bluray). You could so tell they were testing the water for Agent Coulson to get his own spin-off series. This leads in nicely to Thor (The Mighty Avenger), and the big team up movie The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble as it was called over here). A movie I have a bit of a history with as it was my first big press conference (yes, I was in the same room as 90% of the Avengers) but it occurred just as my mother was hospitalised. Anyway, that's another story...

It's been really cool watching these all again, despite us having watched them dozens and dozens of times before. Heck, I can probably recite huge chunks of Captain America and Thor off by heart. 

Topping off MCU Phase 1, we squeezed in Marvel One-Shot: Item 47 (which again, was so setting up a SHIELD spin-off, which can be found on the Avengers bluray) before making a start on Phase 2 this morning. 

We started Phase 2 with Iron Man 3, and the Marvel One-Shot: All Hail The King (which I do think is Ben Kingsley's finest performance, found on the Thor: The Dark World bluray). 


And now we're onto a rewatch of season 1 of Agents of SHIELD. Must admit, I love Agents of SHIELD, though I know a lot of people gave up on season one for it being a bit slow. Did they ever miss out! The whole Agents of HYDRA series and the time travel seasons? Awesome. Love it. Of course, we're starting slow, and stopping at the right time to insert the movies and more from Phase 2. So we're going to keep watching until the end of Episode 7, then onto Thor: The Dark World. We're on Episode 3 at the moment (with Ian Hart appearing, looking identical to a very good friend of mine). 

I'll let you know how we get on. It's been a great distraction from the impending doom of returning to the outside world. 

Stay safe everyone, 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Who Do You Think You Are?

I'm not sleeping very well. I don't know if it's the lack of physical activity in this (third) lockdown, or if my head's too busy worrying about everything, but I spend a lot of time just staring at the ceiling and thinking. Wondering. Wondering why I'm not able to sleep. Wondering if Star Fleet uniforms in Star Trek: Discovery are so comfortable that you don't need socks - let's face it, Burnham wasn't wearing socks when her boots were ripped off by that baddie in the Jefferies Tube.

Anyway, at three in the morning a few weeks ago I had this idea. I wanted to write my autobiography. 

Crazy, huh? First of all, I'm not a great fan of autobiographies. I know a lot of people do get a kick out of them, but they really don't float my boat at all. I've read a few - one of the few I really did enjoy was Wil Wheaton's 'Just a Geek'. There was something about its honesty and the way it was written that meant I actually enjoyed it. 

But secondly, I don't think I'm actually very interesting. I had this conversation in my head at 3AM where I thought...


Why would anyone want to read an autobiography of you?

Well they wouldn't. But, then there are others out there who have done the same and I didn't know who they were either. Look at that Mark Barrowcliffe chap who did the one about growing up while playing Dungeons & Dragons? 


Yeah, but you didn't enjoy that one did you? 

It's no fault of the author, I'm just not a big fan of autobiographies! I know lots of people who loved that book.

But he was basically saying the same thing. About growing up in the 70s and 80s and playing far too much D&D. What could you bring to the table that's different?

That's the thing isn't it? What would make my boring autobiography different?

I had this idea many years ago about doing some of my Roll Your Own Life entries as some form of webseries - this was back when I used to think webseries were cool and before everything went horribly wrong. Of course, not only did the webseries thing come to a grinding halt, I had that realisation that (in the long run) no one would want to stare at my big bald face for any length of time.

How to make it different? And not boring?

One way of avoiding looking at my boring face is doing a podcast. But then there's editing, recording it without any background noise, adding music and stuff like that. It's doable, but is it the best way forward?

The other option is going for the comic strip. Heck, I used to draw comics. When I thought the RPG writing thing wasn't happening I wrote and published comics back during the UK Indie Comics boom of the late 90s. Admittedly, it has been a long time since I've drawn comics. I've done some drawing recently for illustrations for WILD, but I'm convinced I can't draw. 

But, I may give it a go anyway. 

So here's the pitch. My life, retold in comic strip form, in small episodes from different eras, badly remembered and slightly fictionalised, from the perspective of a long time tabletop gamer who really should get a life. It'll get me away from looking at computers in the evening (when I've spent most of the day looking at them) and it may be a laugh. It may also be rubbish. 

Now... where to start...???


Monday, December 21, 2020

Solstice Greetings and the End of 2020

 


This year freakin' sucked. It's traditional to do a blogpost at the end of the year to discuss what has happened over the last twelve months, and to be honest, it's going to be hard. 

It started badly, losing my beloved cat Marla in January. She really was the most important thing in our lives, and losing her so suddenly hit me really hard, and I'm still not (and probably never will be) over it. 

Then we had a bad case of the flu, I blacked out, and just a month after we'd recovered from that, the rest of the world went to hell as the pandemic swept across the globe. With governments lead by floppy-haired pillocks who wouldn't know common sense if it smacked them in the face, it got out of control. As I write this, the strain in the UK has mutated into an even more contagious disease that threatens to dominate the country. The rest of the world has put us in isolation and our green and pleasant land has become the next Children of Men

While we try to survive the last days of 2020, looking back there were some good moments. They were few, but they were there. My wife launched her awesome Etsy shop, where her hand-crafted and upcycled goth coolness has been really busy in the build up to Halloween and Christmas. 

Lockdown (1 and 2, with a 3rd on the horizon) meant I got to stay home and hide. In between therapy sessions for my worry and stress, I managed to finish off a massive project that'll possibly be announced sometime close to the Doctor Who New Year Special - Revolution of the Daleks (hmmm, I wonder what it could be?). 

I also managed to finish off an adventure for EN's Awfully Cheerful Engine, which will hopefully launch next year.

And, thanks to Stoo and 300+ Kickstarter backers, WILD has been funded and will see print around Easter next year too! Just have to finish off those extra bits that were unlocked as stretch goals. Thank you to everyone who backed it or shared it!

We just have to hope there's a next year. The way this year has treated us, there's still the chance of a zombie apocalypse or rogue asteroid to really finish of a really crappy year.


So, I'm signing off for the rest of the year. I'm hiding in my bunker (when I'm not stuck at the dayjob). 

Stay safe everyone. 


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

WILD Kickstarter - the Final Week

 


It's the final week of the WILD RPG Kickstarter, and I've been completely blown away by the response. Thank you, everyone, who has backed, encouraged, or shared the Kickstarter to spread the word of it far and wide. It is currently over double its intended goal, blasting past the important stretch goal to have fantastic original artwork by Gareth Sleightholme commissioned for the tarot deck, and for these cards to actually see print!!


These cards will be in the book as well, which was always an important part of the way the game works. All the rules and a reference resource for the cards all in the first book, which (once you've played through the simulation) can become effectively a 'player's handbook' as further books expand the way dreams work and delve deeper into the collective unconsciousness. These are more aimed at the DreamMaster.

The extra pages that have been unlocked in the Kickstarter are a great opportunity to explore further, and open up the game beyond the 'training dive simulation' - giving advice for the DreamMaster for how dreams work, dream stability, and what you can expect to do and experience within the dreamscapes.

With just five days to go on the Kickstarter, I'm stunned at how successful it has been, and thank you all again. I hope you enjoy it when it heads out to you in April 2021.

Until next blog post, stay safe everyone. It's crazy and scary out there, and if I had the choice I wouldn't leave the house - but the dayjob means I have to. 

Take care, stay safe, and stay multi-classy.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

WILD - Kickstarter update

 


First of all, many, MANY thanks to everyone who has backed, shared, and supported the WILD Kickstarter. It's been going so much better than I'd ever dreamed, and we're edging ever closer to the important stretch goal to get Gareth Sleightholme to do the tarot art for the book (and then it's just a little further to get the cards printed too!)

The Focused Diplomat card
art by Gareth Sleightholme


Gareth's artwork will make the game so much better, and he's already been putting extra research into the imagery and symbolism of the traditional tarot cards to incorporate into the new WILD versions.

The Kickstarter has already blown past a few stretch goals, meaning the game is going to grow by another 20pgs, which is great because I woke this morning with a new clarity (if you pardon the pun) of all the extra stuff that needs to be in these pages, which will open the game up to many, many more dreamscape adventures. 

There will also be digital tools which mean you can play online with a digital version of the tarot deck, so you can draw cards, get additional information about the cards (and hopefully audio description of the cards for those who would like it). 

There will be some other cool extras as well including a user manual for the dreamshare device, and an additional adventure of corporate espionage written by Stoo, who has helped bring WILD to life as well as running the playtests.

It's been an exciting week and a bit so far, and another couple of weeks of WILD lay ahead. Hopefully we'll raise the extra funds required for those cards and the art. Fingers crossed. 

If you haven't already, please check out the Kickstarter here - spread the word!

If you want to hear Stoo and me talking about WILD, check out this livestream that aired with The Dark Orb last night. 


Until next time, stay safe.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Coming SATURDAY 14th NOVEMBER - WILD: Training Dive Simulation

 

Mock up cover for WILD - Art by Qistina Khalidah - 3D Mock up by Will Brooks

It is just a few days away, but WILD is heading to Kickstarter. I mentioned in the previous post, that the Training Dive Simulation - a starter into the world (and dreamworlds) of WILD would be heading to Kickstarter soon, and soon it is! Saturday to be precise. 14th November 2020.

It's a bit like that bit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail - "People said we were mad to launch a Kickstarter in November" but if this year has proved anything - we still need to dream. And to have dreams of something better.

With the American Presidential Election producing such a *hopefully* positive result (c'mon man, just concede, it's embarrassing) those dreams of something better seem to be making their way into reality. And the hopes of a vaccine against this awful virus means there's a little light at the end of this horrible tunnel of a year. 

Anyway, enough rambling. WILD is coming. As I said before, it's a great introduction to the game and can be played solo, or in a group with or without a GM. And it's different every time you play. If this one is successful, I've got expansions planned that will build upon this to reveal the dreamscapes, dreams within dreams, the collective unconscious, the incursions into the waking world... Oh the plans... 

But first, we need to get this one launched and funded! If it's successful enough, there will be a dedicated WILD Tarot set to go along with it! So, even if you're not keen, or can't afford it right now, please spread the word when it launches on Saturday.

Head over to the Kickstarter page, and you can be notified the moment it launches.

And head over to WILDRPG.com for more insights as the Kickstarter (hopefully) progresses. 

Thank you everyone. Stay safe, and keep dreaming.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Coming soon to KICKSTARTER - WILD

 


It's been a few years since my last post - at least it seems like it. What a year. As I type this, millions of Americans are casting their votes, millions of Brits prepare for another lockdown to keep this virus under control, and the world seems to be going crazy.

In the middle of all this, I've been writing the new edition of Doctor Who for Cubicle 7, and my good friend Stoo Goff has decided that he's going to Kickstart WILD - my roleplaying game of dreamshare technology. The game I've been working on for the last eight or nine years... Finally... 

Yes, it's filling me with equal amounts of relief (for finally getting it out there) and terror (what if no one likes it?) But it's moving. And sooner than you think. Hopefully, all going well, the Kickstarter will launch this month. 

The Kickstarter will be for WILD - Training Dive Simulation. It's the full rules you need to play, with simple character creation. You can use these to do whatever you like with the game - however it comes with a scenario where you play as a new trainee at ClarIT, the company behind the dreamshare technology. As part of your training you get to experience the first dreamshare experiment - when the creator of the device went into the dreamstate of his comatose daughter with the hopes of waking her. 

In the narrative of the game, he failed, and was trapped in the dreamscape with her - only when his ex-wife entered the dreamrealms did Clarity wake and everyone was freed from their unconscious state.

This simulation can be played traditionally with a group and a GM (or DreamMaster), without a GM, or even solo as a journalling game. The scenario unfolds through the draw of tarot cards (as does any conflict resolution), so you can play the simulation multiple times and every one will be different. 

Of course, as the system is all in here, imaginative gamers can take those concepts and run with it - creating dreamscapes and worlds of their own.

I just hope you all like it. 

Head over to the Kickstarter page here and you can sign up to be notified the moment the Kickstarter launches. Thank you for taking a look!

Head over to www.wildrpg.com for more, and stay tuned for updates.

Above all, take care of yourselves. Stay safe. Vote if you're able.

Dream of a better future.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

System Update

 

Promotional image from Hickman's comic 'Feel Better Now'

It has not been a good year for many of us, and it has certainly taken its toll. I hope that #RPGaDAY proved to be a slight relief from the horrorshow that is our world at the moment. 

I realise, it has been a while since I updated the blog. There have been many reasons for this. Some good, some not so.

On the good side, I've been working hard on the new edition of Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game. Hopefully there should be an announcement about that later this year, but I'm really happy with the way the game has evolved and developed, and regenerated into a faster version. I'm excited to see how it comes out. 

Front cover image of the WILD starter game by Qistina Khalidah


This has kinda meant that WILD has been a little delayed again. The main rules and abridged character creation are all done. Most of the game is ready, and laid out, I just need to finished the guide to the tarot cards which can be interpreted to create endless scenarios. The time consuming bit is drawing the cards!

There's another project I was asked to write as well, which I'd started but has had to be filed to the backburner until these commitments are met. Sorry!

All of this with a highly stressful dayjob where I spend most of my time worrying about my contact with the public - this has lead to counselling, and more CBT, in an attempt to avoid just freaking out, quitting, and hiding at home for the next two to three years. 

Is it working? Not sure yet, but I'll keep trying. 

In the meantime, stay safe everyone. Wear a mask. Protect others. Look after yourself and your friends and family.

May the Force be with you.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

#RPGaDAY2020 - Wrapping it all up!


Hi again! It's the end of #RPGaDAY2020 and time I caught up! And then, wrapped it all up in a fitting way.

Right, day Twenty-Four was HUMOUR. You know, games always need a little humour in them. I know that sometimes our old D&D games used to devolve down into a string of Monty Python quotes - usually "run away!!!" but it's always good, especially in these gloomy and miserable times. And one of my favourite games of all time (Ghostbusters) is definitely a game played for laughs.

Day Twenty-Five was LEVER. I mentioned this in my video introduction to #RPGaDAY this year - I have fond memories of being so freakin' stupid in my old D&D games. I remember we did a dungeon where there was a room with a lever on the wall and, being the clueless 1st level thief that I was, flipped it to see what happened. The gravity in the room reversed, and everyone flew up to the ceiling (taking damage - especially those wearing full plate armour). Seeing what I'd done, I flipped it again to bring everyone back to the ground, and everyone fell (and took damage again). I was such a dufus. I remember the next time I triggered a trap it teleported me a mile above the building we were in... 

Day Twenty-Six was STRANGE. I like the weird. You know that already. I adore Twin Peaks, and the weirder things are the better. I guess that's why I've been writing WILD. I just like the potential of doing the weirdest stories. 

Day Twenty-Seven was FAVOUR. I suppose this one should have been the first on the list, as my big favour was really asking you to get involved and to spread a little positivity in the world about tabletop gaming. And it seems a lot of you have already done this, thank you.

Day Twenty-Eight was CLOSE. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've had games come to a satisfying close. The plots wrap up, there's a big finale, and we go onto a different game altogether. It's a new thing for me, most of the games I used to play in the past just kinda fizzled out as circumstances changed, and players moved away... It's great to have a conclusion, an epic battle, a heroic action, and a proper conclusion to the story you've been building over the previous months. And maybe to leave things a little open for a sequel if you fancy going back to the game in the future.

Day Twenty-Nine was RIDE. Vehicles are always tricky in tabletop games. The best vehicle rules I've seen have both been in licensed games that were properties that had a lot of chases in them - James Bond and Indiana Jones. The James Bond RPG by Victory Games was a work of genius, and the chase rules in there were simple and brilliant. And then there's the Indiana Jones RPG (the old TSR one) and that one had the coolest chase flowchart I've seen, allowing you to have randomly generated and endless chases whether this was on foot or in a vehicle. Brilliant stuff!!


Day Thirty was PORTAL, and if RPGs are anything they are a portal into the imagination like no other media. They're a truly interactive and imaginative story building exercise. All you have to do is to step through...

Day Thirty-One is EXPERIENCE and I'm going to wrap up #RPGaDAY2020 by asking another question...

What was your experience with #RPGaDAY? Did you enjoy taking part? Were the prompts okay? I know there have been some negative comments about the single word prompts lacking something - I kinda hoped that they'd free things up and enable you to interpret the prompts in your own ways without it being a single question (which, after so many years, are tricky to come up with). There are so many of these monthly prompts things going around, does the world need another one?

Anyway, I hope you DID enjoy #RPGaDAY this year, and I hope it brought a little distraction in this crappy world at the moment. I'd just like to finish by thanking Anthony Boyd again for doing 99% of all the work this year with #RPGaDAY as I've been a bit swamped. Without Anthony's help there would not be an #RPGaDAY. And thank you again to Will Brooks for designing the cool graphic, and to Simon Miles of Dunromin University Press for the cool dungeon map alternative graphic that has inspired so many this year. And thanks to those of you who took part, and kept it positive, and spread the word of RPGs. 

We now return you to your scheduled viewing...

Stay multi-classy, and above all, stay safe.

Take care.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

#RPGaDAY2020 - Catchup (again) - Days TWELVE to TWENTY-THREE

 


#RPGaDAY2020 has gotten away from me a bit, like the Doctor says in Blink (one of the best episodes of new Doctor Who in my opinion - well, certainly one of my favourites). A combination of being incredibly stressed through the dayjob (people seem to have forgotten there's a pandemic), which has left me incredibly drained physically, and just a bit gloomy. My only respite has been writing for some awesome and exciting projects on my days off...

Anyway, let's try and catch up a bit before #RPGaDAY heads into its last full week...

Where were we? Oh, yes... Day 12 was MESSAGE. There has always been a message behind #RPGaDAY, and that has been to spread some positivity about tabletop gaming. I hope that message is still continuing. RPGs are great, and I've said before I can attribute RPGs as being the reason I know some awesome friends who have stayed in my life for forty-plus years. I can also thank RPGs for getting me my first job, and for introducing me to my wife. See? RPGs can be good for you!

Day 13 was REST, and I saw someone post online that maybe it was time to give #RPGaDAY a rest? What do you think? I read this, and the response agreeing with it, and I was disheartened. For an initiative trying to spread positivity, surely stopping would be giving in to negativity? Hell, in these troubling times shouldn't we be grabbing even the slightest bit of positivity with both hands and hanging on for dear life?

Day 14 was BANNER. If these last couple of weeks are anything to go by, I'm very like Bruce Banner... 


Very angry... and tired. Always angry and tired. Which is a shame because it's really impacting my games. So tired I find it hard to concentrate during the games...

Day 15 was FRAME... I'm sorry. I got nothing. I'll come back to this one later when I'm not so tired... so angry and tired...

Day 16 was DRAMATIC. I love game systems (and a GM) that allows things to get really dramatic. Nothing like running along the top of a train, or surfing a crashing starfighter as it plummets into the atmosphere. I mean, RPGs are great escapism so why not do something really dramatic and exciting? 

Day 17 was COMFORT, and a chance to reiterate that everyone should feel comfortable at the game-table.  Everyone should feel safe, and over the last few years there have been a number of safety tools like the X-Card, and Lines & Veils, that have made it easier to feel safe at the table. They are brilliant, and a positive way to stay comfortable while stretching the imagination.

Day 18 was MEET. A lot, if not most, of the good friends I've met over the years has been through tabletop gaming. And those who I knew before the gaming quickly became involved. We battled the hordes together and forged bonds that have lasted years, if not decades. I've met some brilliant people through gaming, and through the game industry. I dread to think what my life would have become (or who I'd have met) without it.



Day 19 was TOWER. Many, many moons ago I suggested that it would be great to produce a tabletop RPG of the worlds of Stephen King - and at its heart would be the RPG of the Dark Tower, just like it is the heart that connects most of King's works. How cool would that be? It could be all out horror, gaming in Derry and Castle Rock, or more like the fantasy worlds of Eyes of the Dragon, and the realms of Mid-World... I reached out to King's lawyers, but I think it was bad timing just as the movie deal was happening for the seriously bad adaptation. Maybe one day...



Day 20 was INVESTIGATE. Which kinda brings us to my favourite RPG at the moment (and of the last few years), Tales From The Loop. It's not about going out and killing things - it's about investigating mysteries and weird happenings. Especially as you're playing kids and teenagers - it means you're not going into places all tooled up with guns and weapons. I love it.


Day 21 was PUSH, which kinda ties in with the INVESTIGATE one from before because I really like the Push mechanic in Tales from the Loop. I know it's appeared in many games beforehand, but it's just great that you can try to reroll an important task if you fail (or fail to do well enough) - it's just that you're going to take some form of condition from pushing yourself. Either injuring yourself in the process, or becoming exhausted. 

Day 22 was RARE, and I know a lot of people have been using that prompt as a way to talk about particularly rare RPGs. I think the rarest ones I have are the Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium RPG that people keep listing on Ebay for silly money. I love Dune, and I'm really excited to see the new one from Modiphius, but this was the first attempt at a Dune RPG. Rather lovely it is too...


Probably the rarest thing I have is the prototype 'pitch' that was printed to show the BBC what we had in mind for the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. I think only ten or twenty were printed. 

Day 23 is EDGE...   Hey dude, you inspired a prompt! (Edge will get this, and maybe three other people).

Okay, that's it for now. I need sleep. Lots of editing to do tomorrow.

Take care and stay safe everyone.

And stay multi-classy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

#RPGaDAY2020 - DAYS FIVE to ELEVEN - "CATCHUP"


I knew this would happen. I've a big writing project on (or three) and I just don't have the time to put the effort into #RPGaDAY that it deserves. I'm really sorry. Anyway, I can't concentrate on the writing just yet, as I sit at home waiting my phone appointment with my therapist. (Always hate that hour or so before a scheduled phonecall where you're all antsy and just can't settle until it's over) So this seems like the perfect opportunity to try my best to catch up.

Day Five was TRIBUTE, and if I could pay tribute to anyone it would be to a whole host of people. First of all to Anthony Boyd (aka Runeslinger) who, for the last five years, has stepped in to do most of the heavy lifting for #RPGaDAY when I've been too busy. Without his help #RPGaDAY would have faltered by the wayside many, many years ago. Thank you! Also, thanks to my gaming groups for keeping me playing, and for getting me started all those years ago. 

Day Six was FOREST. I love forests. Almost as much as I love the sea. My fondest memory of my childhood was a holiday we had in the borders of Scotland with my parents, in a little cottage in the middle of a forest. I could let my imagination run wild and pretend to be anything I wanted to be (though at that time, all I really wanted to be was Luke Skywalker). I reminds me that you don't need masses of technology or props to let your imagination take you to any place in the universe. Tabletop gaming does that brilliantly. With just a rulebook and a couple of dice you can be transported to places you can only dream about, and experience adventures that can surprise you.

Day Seven was COUPLE, and again I have to thank tabletop RPGs for introducing me to my wife. I met Debs at university, but started socialising with her through tabletop gaming. It was all Vampire: The Masquerade's fault...

Days Eight and Nine were SHADE and LIGHT. I must admit, I've always played Light characters. Horribly good. Sickening really. I just can't play the darker elements. When we started to play FFG's Star Wars RPG a few years ago, I statted up a cool Zabrak character because I really liked Darth Maul. We were playing apprentice Jedi, and my character was very dark-side but wanting to turn to the light through his training and renounce the dark. In the end he became a veritable paragon of the light, even influencing the events after he'd sacrificed himself to save the others through the power of the Force. 

Day Ten, and I've nearly caught up. Day Ten was WANT. If I could have anything regarding tabletop RPGs it would be to earn enough writing them to quit the dayjob. I can want this all I like, but it isn't going to happen. Especially the speed I write and my messed up brain. 

Which brings us up to date and today's prompt is STACK. I'm in a really lucky situation where I have stacks of things I should be writing. Two of which are achingly close to completion. I really have been lucky to get to be in such a situation. 


Right, I'm sorry they were a bit brief, and not very well thought out. I'm always amazed and happy to see that so many people are joining in again this year. Thank you for getting involved and spreading the word. 

In these difficult times, stay safe, and stay multiclassy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

#RPGaDAY2020 - DAY FOUR: "VISION"



#RPGaDAY2020 and we're already on Day Four, and I wish I had the VISION to have prepared all of this in advance. The dayjob is incredibly anxiety inducing thanks to having to deal with the public, and I'm spending my days off working on an incredibly cool project (or three) that I'd much rather be doing - but it's meant every moment of my day has been taken up with work in some shape or description, and I've not had the FORESIGHT to prepare for #RPGaDAY in advance.

What a dufus. Not the first time I've called myself a dufus today either.

While I'm not getting much of a chance to write entries for each of the month's prompts, I do take a little time to SEE all of the cool posts that have already been circulating the internet with regard to #RPGaDAY, and loving everyone's wide and varied interpretations of the prompts. Thank you everyone for taking part and spreading a little love of the hobby in these trying times.

Stay safe everyone.

Monday, August 3, 2020

#RPGaDAY2020 - DAY THREE: "THREAD"



#RPGaDAY2020 is now on Day Three, and the prompt is THREAD

We're playing a couple of games at the moment (Things from the Flood and Changeling: The Lost), both with different GMs, but both of them are running the games with a brilliantly open-world way of managing the plot-threads. Both of our GMs have said that plots are ticking away at their own speed, progressing and advancing with or without our intervention. Something I really love in these games.

Of course, I'm sure our GMs thought we were a lot smarter than we really are when they started weaving all of these plot-threads through the games. There have been a few occasions where we've missed something completely, a plot has been resolved by an NPC because we've become distracted by a different element of the setting, or just gone off for a meal or a date - accidentally forgetting about the coming apocalypse in one case!