Tag Archives: roleplaying games

Report from Grand Tribunal UK 2012

Grand Tribunal is the Ars Magica and Atlas Games convention held annually in the UK and USA. This year the Sixth Grand Tribunal (UK) took place on the weekend 17th-19th August, and featured 37 delegates and 3 authors from the line, but … Continue reading

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Review: Continuum 2012 Roleplaying Games Convention

OK, so I am back from Continuum, which was a marvellous experience. In fact the best weekend I have had a in a long time! For those who don’t know Continuum is a UK games convention held bi-annually in Leicester, where people play roleplaying, board, miniatures and freeform LARP games. Continue reading

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Playtest Review: HeroQuest 2 RPG.

I’ll be back to my usual stuff soon, but I have been meaning to post this for a while. It is actually written for a RPG review site, but for the moment, here is my review of the HeroQuest2 roleplaying … Continue reading

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The Plot, the Story and the Players – some thoughts on running rpgs

I write about many different subjects on this my personal blog, but it is possible that some readers are not aware that one of my great passions is roleplaying games. Not the kinky “you be a naughty nun and I’ll … Continue reading

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Report from the Grand Tribunal of Stonehenge: Ars Magica UK convention 2010

For anyone reading this who does not really know me well, Ars Magica is a roleplaying game set in 13th century Europe, as it was believed to be. Dragons live in the mountains, wizards study in lonely towers, and faeries haunt the forests. It’s not a computer game — it is a game played like Dungeons & Dragons by people with pencils, paper and funny shaped dice. This was the fourth annual Ars Magica convention here in the UK; I ran the first two, Neil and Sheila ran last years in Cambridge and will host the event in 2011, and there have been three now in the US as well, held the same weekend. This was the largest so far: a total of 37 people being at at least some of the event, though not all were gamers, some were guests of friends dropping in to say hi! Continue reading

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Join DADD! (Dawkinites Against Dungeons and Dragons!)

Tired of religious nuts having all the censorious fun! Join my new campaign!

I hereby propose a new organisation, DADD, short for Dawkinites Against Dungeons And Dragons. It has long been troubling my conscience that one of the industries in which I work, role playing games design, encourages theism, supernaturalism and belief in the occult and magical thinking. Continue reading

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Dunwich, Anno Domini 1988!

…Then I thought of Dunwich. Dunwich is still remembered in the titles of the local diocese, and in the 13th century was a major town, prospering at a time when Ipswich was in recession. The Great Storm of 1287 silted up the harbour, and the town went in to a terminal decline. Then as the years passed, the coastal defences were not maintained, and the town was lost to the sea as the cliffs eroded.

There is practically nothing left of the old town of Dunwich today, just a gravestone from the last Church to vanish. The village of Dunwich still exists a little inland as I recall, and I took the Student Parapsychology Society to the site of Dunwich a few years back, but there is really little to see.

However, as well inspiring the name of Lovecraft’s fictional Dunwich, Massachusetts (which gives the name an eerie and gothic tone immediately) Dunwich has become home to all kinds of legends and stories. While marine archaeologists and historians deny it was ever the great city with fifty churches one reads about in romantic Victorian books, it certainly was a major town, and if it had not been for the gret storm of 1287 would today be a major East Anglian port and cathedral city.

In my World of Darkness, that is exactly what happened. I have set about recreating Dunwich for the game, but Dunwich as it might have been, in 1987! I am not sure what use a fictional history of a lost town is anyone, but iif anyone wants to join in by creating more places, personalities, or lift some of it for a game they are running feel free. The yuppie-era Vampire game exploring Thatcherism from the bloodsuckers perspective may happen yet – and this might amuse anyone who has ever tried to create a fictional town! Continue reading

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Running Ars Magica – advice for new story guides, part one

Ars Magica 5 – Advice for new Storyguides!

I am writing this article to hopefully help new Storyguides (referees/gamemaster) in coming to terms with the roleplaying game Ars Magica, published by Atlas Games. The whole Ars Magica community is hoping that the new edition will bring many new people into the game – it is much clearer and better presented than the 4th edition in my opinion, and makes an ideal starting point. However certain things about the game are not immediately obvious, and so hopefully these simple ideas will prove useful in coming to terms with what is a unique, challenging and very rewarding RPG experience! Continue reading

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Heroquest 2.0 – the first mini-review?

It’s just gone one here, one hour since Heroquest officially became available! And here are my very first thoughts, pending a proper review later in the week, to be posted on rpg.net. I cheated, Jeff Richards gave me a copy of the pdf on Friday so I could get cracking on the review, and even with the weekend from hell behind me i have no had a chance to make a very brief first foray – full review to follow soon… Continue reading

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Great News – and a missed opportunity.

My friends Andrew and Mel are having twins! Many many congratulations! I have always been fond of twins (Martin Peters and Hugh will get the joke at least…) Excellent, wonderful news, though I was dreadfully troubled, nay mortified, by the … Continue reading

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