The Alternative Campaign Journal

4 June 2013 in Uncategorized by

I’ve recently started to sketch a campaign journal during sessions using Paper on the iPad.

Now I’ve never been great at drawing but Paper does tend to make the best of your efforts with it’s simple and enjoyable tools and interface. What’s come out of the other end of this process is some fun sketches of memorable moments from our ongoing campaign.

I’ve documented the campaign on our metagroup’s tumblr page.

Here’s a sample from last night’s session, when our Druid made use of his most recently acquired spell.

See the rest here: http://hertsrpg.tumblr.com

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UK Games Expo

4 April 2013 in News by

UK Games Expo

UK Games Expo 2013
24th May to 26th May

If anyone is interested I’m going to be attending UK Games Expo, I’m running 5 games over a busy weekend, which I suspect may involve some drinking too. ;-)

I’ll be running…

  • 2 slots of a game called Cold & Dark which is a game being published by Chronicle City on behalf of Wicked World Games.
  • 2 Slots of a game called Airship Pirates a game published by Cubicle 7 with a little twist, I’ll be running it using Æther a game system published by Silver Gryphon Games a percentile dice system I’ve adapted for this purpose.
  • 1 Slot of the Cthulhu Masters tournament, uh-oh pressure much?
  • I’ve written the C&D and AP scenarios myself and have yet to see the Cthulhu scenario, I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I do like to prep and estimate running times so getting hold of this will be crucial.

    At the moment I’m trying to put the 2 scenarios I’ve written into some semblance of coherence for other people to use, I may just take them with me to Condamned too so that I can contribute to that convention too.

    Ah well, wonder if I’ll get time to playtest these prior to the convention, which by the way is in 7 weeks time, yikes I’d better warm up the printer.

    Originally posted over at ExSanguinated


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    David Braben turns to Kickstarter for a new version of Elite

    6 November 2012 in News by

    I know this is not really RPG realated, but Elite was influenced greatly by Traveller back in the 80s and was a major part of many peoples gaming upbringing.

    David Braben one of the developers of the original Elite has turned to crowd sourced funding to get a new version of elite released.



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    DDI API Sample Code Example

    8 June 2012 in Articles, Resources by

    People have been asking for the proof of concept hack I slapped together that shows how to login to the ContentVault service.

    I couldn’t find the original project, so I just took 15 minutes to hack it together again. So glad it didn’t take what it took the first time! Thankfully the hard bits were in a previous post and I didn’t have to go hunting through the Silverlight code to find out how to do stuff again.

    Download DDI API login example - C# console app that shows how to consume DDI content service..


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    Airship Pirates

    27 March 2012 in Articles by

    Airship Pirates
    What more needs to be said, other than it’s an RPG?

    Obviously because an article needs a little more than that I will say a bit more.

    Just enunciating the title is enough to get the mind working, the imagination fires up and we have people dressed in Victorian clothes, with odd looking contraptions literally brimming with pipes, lenses and brass surrounding them. This is a game based on a band, Abney Park, and their music, it’s Steampunk and it’s proud.

    I have been running a bit of this game for C7 at the odd convention and I love it, the players get into the swing of the world very easily and the system is pretty darn simple. All the dice are d6, stat+skill dice pool in red dice, add in some black for difficulty, 1 or 6 is a success on red and a negative success on black, red 6′s explode i.e. you get to roll another red die for each 6 to try and add further successes this carries on ad infinitum. If I’m honest I don’t really like the skill resolution system, it has a number of items that I have a problem with, for a start I don’t like dice pools with loads of dice, I also don’t like the statistical probabilities inherent in this system, the combat is cumbersome and I find I wing it more often than not.

    I have also been running a game on a Monday night for HertsRPG I’m not sure if it’s the system or my style but the players seem a little detached from the action, I don’t normally see this kind of issue and am going to assume for the sake of my ego that the system seems to promote this.

    Bearing the above in mind I have decide to convert Airship Pirates to BRP, it seems like the natural conversion to me, it’s simple, the rules are fairly clear and the experience system ties in well with the current system, I’ll be documenting the conversion over on ExSanguinated if you want to see where it goes.

    Thanks for reading,

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    WestHertsRPG! grows beyond its borders. Becomes HertsRPG!

    1 August 2011 in News by

    The meta gaming group, WHRPG has outgrown it’s West Hertfordshire borders as we expand further to encompass Hertfordshire from the east to the west.

    And so we’ve changed the name to HertsRPG.

    We now have five groups either running or getting revved up to run. Watford, Apsley, Tring, Welwyn Garden, and Bishop’s Stortford.

    Checkout the new website: http://hertsrpg.com.


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    The Secret Fire – Yours to wield soon!

    1 August 2011 in News by

    The Secret Fire RPG*, from Secret Fire Games will be released on the opening day of GenCon in PDF and ePub formats. Hard-copies of this refreshing new RPG will be available soon after, possibly even by the end of the weekend.

    Everything I’ve read about TSF so far has been good. It sounds old, and yet it sounds new, which is pretty much what’s said about many OGL remakes of old D&D.

    TSF though is not an OGL clone, it’s something different. TSF’s developers have taken the best of the old and blended skilfully with modern RPG ideas. A blend I can’t wait to read about and play when I get my hands on the book.

    So here’s looking forward to August 4th and the release of The Secret Fire.



    * the RPG previously known as Legends & Labyrinths

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    Legends and Labyrinths has a new name

    22 July 2011 in News by

    Legends and Labyrinths, as George Strayton recently revealed, is not actually the name of his new game, but a codename it was developed under.

    The production name is “The Secret Fire”, a Tolkien reference if there ever was one! The company producing it is Secret Fire Games and I’m sure you can all spot the reference again in the logo.

    I’ve been re-reading Lord of the Rings recently. Also I’ve been out cycling a lot in the countryside surrounding my new home, parts of which seem very shire like.

    I’m playing in a Pathfinder game, which is great fun, but it doesn’t capture that spirit of exploration and adventure that D&D was for me in the early 1980s as a young Tolkien fan. The Secret Fire promises to bring back that feeling and I can’t wait to both play and run it.

    I looking forward to reading the book when it’s released, it’s going to be an interesting RPG. For more information see the following sites:



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    Legends and Labyrinths

    13 July 2011 in News by

    Thanks to some incoming posts on my Google+ stream, I’ve spotted a new upcoming RPG recently, by the name of Legends and Labyrinths.

    I was directed to a blog post that outlined how L&L is different from other fantasy RPGs and it makes for a very interesting read.

    My first reaction was, do we need another old school remake of early D&D? But I was wrong, it’s not an OGL clone but an entirely new creation from the dark mind of George Strayton, screenwriter and game designer.

    It’s seems to have a feel of early D&D melded with elements of more modern RPG thinking and I can’t wait to give it a go.

    I was so taken with the ideas and game-play possibilities, that I pledged some cash to the L&L Kickstarter Campaign, thereby securing my hardcopy of the book on release. That release date of course will be GenCon next month.

    Check out the blog post about how L&L is different and if you it tickles your fancy then why not secure your own copy!?

    I’m looking forward to making some helpful little L&L software projects to aid my job as GM.

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    4 May 2011 in Reviews by

    I’m not DMing at the moment, someone else has taken the helm of our group for a while. After a bit of a vote we’ve ended up playing the first Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rise of the Runelords.

    I’ve got to say that the Adventure Path does seem very well written, although I’ve not peeked at any of the books. It’s very reminiscent of the old 3.5 stuff that Paizo wrote for Dungeon when it still existed in print.

    I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the return to 3.5, although after a couple of weeks it feels kind of homely and comfortable like the return of an old friend. I’m still into 4e and must get back to regularly attending the local weekly encounters session, but I’m also finding something in Pathfinder/3.5 that I feel is not as emphasised in 4e, which is the differences between classes.

    I understand this was the whole point of 4e design, balance, balance and more balance. Which in my opinion the design definitely achieved, but is it at the expense of a feeling of variety? I’ll know more when we’ve played further and the Wizard has become overpowered and I feel left behind!

    I’m playing a Cleric, and I like some of the changes that pathfinder has made to 3.5, such as the ability to Channel Energy a number of times per day, and so not use up all my carefully chosen spells being the party band aid.

    The campaign is going well and I’m looking forward to playing more of it.

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