Tag Archives: RPG

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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CJ’s Strange Games: Cthulhu Live 2000, “To Play The King”

It’s all a game, and nothing more, needless to say. But it was huge fun, and while in today’s more paranoid world we might not be able to do it, as even blatantly fake guns and people dressed as monsters may upset the public, back then the police just laughed out loud and were happy we warned them where and when it would all occur. They were fantastic, and we went to huge lengths to ensure the public were not disturbed: something many larp groups have failed badly, indeed potentially tragically at. I won’t name the players, as many of them are now “respectable”: I doubt anyone can recognize them from these pictures, but if you want to be removed just let me know. What follows is a piece written by one of the players after the first game, in character — it should give you a very real idea of how it all worked out! Although it looks terribly amateurish it’s actually a lot more intense than it sounds. 🙂 Continue reading

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The Sundered Eagle for Ars Magica; thoughts from one of the authors

OK, I was one of four authors on this roleplaying games book, and I must say it was a real pleasure to work with Matt Ryan, Mark Shirley and Andrew Smith (not to mention our editor David Chart and publishers Michelle and John Nephew) on this one. It’s a supplement for the wonderful Ars Magica 5th Edition roleplaying game, (which you will need to use it) and as the book is now being sent to the distributors and available (though it may take a few more dyas to reach Europe) I guess I can say a little bit about it now, from the perspective of just one of the writers. (We can’t talk about books while they ar ebeing written, or until published, for obvious reasons .) 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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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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Indie RPG Review: Polaris — Chivalric Tragedy at the Utmost North

In the prevailing icy conditions, it seems only to apt to add to my blog this review, written last year when the weather was rather more clement! This review is “Adventures in running indie games with hard core war gamers … Continue reading

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From Ricall to York: Our New Ars Magica Saga Starts

A few days ago Tom and I were chatting about how much fun it would be to start a new Ars Magica roleplaying game saga. So being CJ, this happened and quickly. Tom, Ed and I discussed the setting and decided on the Stonehenge Tribunal (roughly speaking England & Wales) and as I have long wanted to do a game which covers the Angevin/Plantagenets from Henry II through Richard, John and Henry III we decided on a start date of 1160, and a fast saga with a few years between stories. The changing of the seasons and usurpation seemed appropriate themes, and we therefore decided to go for the players as new magi arriving at a Winter covenant that had declined in to a crumbling wreck. Tom wanted to set the saga in York, and so the stage was set. Continue reading

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