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!

Sunday, August 22, 2021



Resisting the urge to just post that music video of Clout, today's #RPGaDAY prompt is SUBSTITUTE. I went through a weird phase in the 90s where I started a game and wanted to continue the story, but wanted to change the system. So I'd continue with the same characters, and SUBSTITUTE the system for the one I really wanted to play. I was a bit fickle I guess, but our epic Mage game turned into a rather scary and dark Kult game, which in turn evolved into CJ Carella's WitchCraft

I kinda miss urban fantasy settings. Though if I went back to those characters I'd probably SUBSTITUTE the game system again to something else - possibly Vortex or Year Zero Engine

Saturday, August 21, 2021


Today's #RPGaDAY is SIMPLICITY itself. What I've certainly found in the years since I started playing that I prefer the simpler rules. The easier the system the better, and then you can really concentrate on getting on with the game and advancing the story. And the real CHALLENGE is getting that balance of just as many rules as you need to make the game playable and yet not too many rules that it becomes unwieldy. I know I haven't managed to let go of the FEAR that I'm trying something new - after all, I was an old school gamer from the beginning, playing from back in the 1980s, but seeing all these easier and simpler games gives me the MOTIVEation to try something new.


I guess for today's #RPGaDAY2021 I should look at the games that were the FOUNDATION of my gaming life? Hmm. Well, I started with Traveller, with those little black books. I had no idea what I was doing, but it sounded cool. Then it was straight onto the other classics, the real foundations of tabletop gaming in general - AD&D and Runequest.

Of course, the game I started with as a Gamemaster was Star Frontiers. But it really was games like WEG's Ghostbusters and Star Wars, and Victory Games' James Bond RPG that really showed me what's cool and have had the biggest influence on me.

PEACE: I mentioned yesterday the lack of death in games, and it's just nice to play something without loads of killing (though my D&D character is a bit of a fighting machine). Probably why I rate Tales from the Loop so highly still. 

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 19: THEME

 Day 19 of #RPGaDAY and the prompt is THEME. I don't know if I have a recurring theme in my games though you could say that I like to write games without too much death in them if at all possible. I know, it's weird, but I was working on Conspiracy X, got all of that done, and the plan was to go onto Extinction - and this was just after my mother had died. All the background of the mass death and destruction as the Saurians returned to Earth and invaded... well, it was all a bit much for me, so I had to walk away from that project. Shame, it will be good whoever takes CJ Carella's vision to a finished product, but it's a bit bleak for me. 

Possibly why I enjoyed playing Tales from the Loop so much, and why I'm keen to make a Harry Potter-esque game. Sure there can be death in these games, but you're not just wandering around slaying monsters. And after the last year or so, there has certainly been too many unnecessary deaths in the world.

Okay, what's next? STORM. I have no idea. Storms really don't appear too many times in any games I've played. 

What's my STYLE? When it comes to writing I guess I try to keep things in a fairly light and easy to read style. Influenced highly by those early days reading Ghostbusters, and fuelled by CJ's writing for Buffy. If it's going to be fun to play, it should be fun to read. 

And finally, PATRON. nope... I don't think we've had many patrons in our games. I mean, there's one in the new D&D game we're playing, but that's about it...

Best progress onto the next one!! I will catch up! 

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 18: WRITE

 Day 18 of #RPGaDAY this year, and the prompt is WRITE. It weird, because I always wanted to tell stories, but I had that duality of wanting to write tabletop roleplaying games, and producing comics. I drew some pretty bad comics while I was at school and in the sixth form, mostly inspired by reading The Travellers in White Dwarf and thinking that our Star Frontiers campaign would make a great comic strip. 

Then I tried writing RPGs, submitting manuscripts to WEG for their Ghostbusters and Price of Freedom games. Then went back to trying to draw comics, evolving those comedic adventures into gritty vigilante and government agents with a couple of others from our gaming group, mostly inspired by the sudden gritty realism of The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. Which eventually lead to me publishing my own comics as Autocratik Press, which lead to me talking to Eden Studios about a Conspiracy X comic, which lead to me writing and developing RPGs with Eden...

They always seem to be running in tandem. Who knows, maybe comics are going to rear their heads again soon...

DUEL: I guess this is more of a question - what RPGs have good mechanics for duels? I remember the old Highlander card game was quite cool with the way it was basically a swordfight as a card game. I don't know if there are any good games out there with cool duelling rules? Pendragon for tournaments maybe? 

Pendragon leads me on to HONOUR. I must admit, I've never played Pendragon and would kinda like to. I know there's a new edition of it supposedly happening this year, which I may have to check out.

And again, I'm running on empty for Rival. Never really had a rival in our games, definitely a Nemesis (see yesterday).

Okay... time to catch up with tomorrow's!!!

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 17: (it's a TRAP!)

A little late, but here goes with Day 17 of this year's #RPGaDAY. 

TRAP: Heck I was never very good at navigating traps in the old days of D&D. I remember I used to pull the levers and trip the traps all the time. However, I do remember the funniest one was us heading into a castle and one of the characters spotted a loose paving slab on the way to the main gates. We spent hours of actual time, not just game time, pondering over what this slab activated, and discovered when you applied pressure, a liquid shot up out of the ground, which we were convinced was poison or acid. Of course, it wasn't, just a loose slab and rain water had got under it, just like they do in the street.

CRIME: Haven't really had much to do with 'crime' themed RPGs, though we did play Judge Dredd for a bit (the old Games Workshop RPG in the 80s that is). They did a great line of RPGs that were nicely produced and about the size and thickness of a Christmas annual - like Judge Dredd, and their version of Runequest. Not a bad price either. Anyway, Dredd was fun. We played it very much like NYPD Blue. Didn't play much of it though.

NEMESIS: Our greatest nemesis in our RPGs (sorry Stoo, it's not Inquisitor Vane in our latest Star Wars campaign), had to be the one from our old Call of Cthulhu campaign. He was based on our Geology teacher from school (who I'm convinced had it in for me) but he quickly became a servant of the old ones, and gained mouths in the palms of his hands. He kept turning up when we least expected it, and really became a brilliant foil to our characters.

And finally, FOUND. I have no idea for this one! And I've about five days to catch up on! Onwards and upwards!


Monday, August 16, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 - Day 16: MOVE


So this is the first day I move over from the daily video format to the blog-posts. I'm sorry, I just haven't got the time to record and edit videos - doesn't mean I won't do them eventually, they may just be a little late. To keep up with the daily posts, I thought I'd have a go at doing them here where it's a little quicker and easier... and then I saw the prompts for today.

MOVE: I remember, I started trying to record a video for this one and I couldn't think of what to discuss. So I stopped recording and gave up, and now I'm still back in the same boat.

I guess I could use this as an opportunity to talk about my favourite movement mechanics - the chase rules from Victory Games' James Bond 007 RPG

I mean, I talk about the game a lot on here as you know, but that game was bloody fantastic. (Typically, just as I'm typing this, the late, great Chris Cornell has just started up on the music channel on TV singing the absolutely fantastic 'You Know My Name' from my favourite Bond movie of all time - Casino Royale). 

Anyway, the chase rules (much like most of the rules in the James Bond RPG) are great and really capture the feel of the books and the films. It's all about how risky you want to get, and whether the opponent can match your risk - but if you set the stakes too high, you could crash and it could all come to an end pretty quickly.

In fact, this whole post could quickly evolve into becoming a TRIBUTE to how good that game is. And it wouldn't be the first time I have when it comes to the Bond RPG.

However, continuing the TRIBUTE to it, we can look at one of the coolest ideas for a supplement you could imagine for the James Bond RPG, and that is Villains. After all, what is a good Bond book or movie without a spectacular VILLAIN to act as the dangerous threat that Bond (or your hapless agents) has to face and stop?

The Villains supplement, much like 80% of the supplements for Bond, was another glorious boxed set that presented seven new nemesis... nemeses... nemesises... Villains, along with the structure of any organisations that they controlled, any henchpersons in their employ, and just what they are scheming. It also included an adventure that introduced SMERSH.


Of course, this is all a great addition to any James Bond game, because, while the core boxed set and core rulebook provided all of the stats for many of the major villains and characters from the movies, the one FIEND they couldn't include was Ernst Stavro Blofeld. This was due to the weird copyright and legal battles that plagued the Bond movies for years as the ownership of Blofeld and SPECTRE was put into dispute. It was only during the Daniel Craig era that these problems were put to rest and Blofeld could return.

Of course, with Modiphius announcing a SPECTRE boardgame coming very soon, I'm very intrigued and will be watching their future announcements very closely. I've been itching to get my hands on a new Bond RPG for decades (and been wanting to write one for just as long). 

That's it for today's #RPGaDAY post for #RPGaDAY2021.

Until tomorrow, stay safe and stay multiclassy!!


Sunday, August 15, 2021

#RPGaDAY2021 so far...


Hi everyone!

First of all, thank you everyone who has been taking part in this year's #RPGaDAY — the global initiative to try to get the world talking in a positive way about tabletop roleplaying games.

This year, I foolishly thought I could try to go back to the olden days when I used to do daily videos. Ah, what a truly ridiculous idea. And not only that, I challenged myself to actually tackle not only the topic for each day — but also every 'alternative' topic that we've listed just in case you didn't like the main prompt.

It's a bit of a foolish undertaking, but I made it a little way before one of the sub-categories completely stumped me.

If you want to catch up with my videos you can find them all here in one playlist: 


Or individually here!!

If you want to join in and catch up, you can download all the graphics and see all the prompts for the rest of the month on the earlier #RPGaDAY2021 post here.

However... when it comes to the daily videos, I think that may be the end of them for me. I'm bloomin' exhausted. I've been recording them and editing them all for the next week at the weekend, so I'm not hunched over a computer all day for the day-job and then in the evening editing videos. However, this weekend was dominated by some day-job overtime and not getting the opportunity to film any responses for this coming week. 

I may try and finish them off, but I may resort to writing quick blogposts instead...

Or doing 'live' videos... oh god, perish the thought. You'll get bored of all the 'erms' and weird pauses as I stare off into the distance wondering what I'm going to say...

Until I post something here (hopefully tomorrow), stay safe and stay multi-classy.