17 Jul

RuneQuest 6 is announced, new life breathed into Gwenthia

Peter Nash and Loz Whitaker, the people I’d trust most with RQ, are to publish RQ6!

Its with great pleasure and excitement that I’m able to announce that The Design Mechanism, the new company formed by myself and Pete Nash, has successfully reached an agreement with Issaries Inc to become the new licensee for RuneQuest.

The full Press Release can be found on the RuneQuest page at www.thedesignmechanism.com along with a detailed Q&A sheet for those who want to know more about what we have in store for RQ.

Greg Stafford, Issaries President, had this to say on the agreement: “RuneQuest is an old, highly respected brand that requires creativity, dedication and knowledge of the product. I know that Loz and Pete have that, plus enthusiasm and professionalism that will keep up the reputation and good name. I am pleased.”

Clearly its early days for both Design Mechanism and RuneQuest’s 6th edition but we have exciting plans for the game building on the work Pete and I have already done with Mongoose’s RuneQuest II and we look forward to sharing them with the roleplaying community as we develop the new rules.

Lawrence

Pete and Loz essentially rewrote Mongoose RQ I (the 4th edition of RQ) and fixed and mended and made it whole again in MRQ II (the 5th edition). Then Mongoose decided it wasn’t working for them commercially and have let the licence go and so Loz and Pete have formed a company (yes using the name we used for the Gwenthia development, they did ask and we all said “yes”. Combined with a deal with Moon Design, who now do all Glorantha publishing and the rights to publish a wide range of Glorantha material, for example 2nd Age Glorantha (the period Mongoose did) and 3rd Age Glorantha (the original period published by Chaosium in the olden days), plus I suspect that since Moon Design publish HeroQuest materials for Glorantha, we’ll see dual statted products in the future so you can choose a strong semi-simulationist rules based rpg if you want or a very loose narrativist one, or switch between them and use the same source materials with no work.

Pete and Loz were part of the team that developed and wrote Gwenthia, and indeed had started to do d100 rulesystem work before the project stopped in a mix of my illness at the time, disagreement about rule systems, the lack of will to manage the conversion to a commercial project from me, and the simple fact that we’d had a lot of fun and we all had lives. Loz has said clearly that Gwenthia will probably have a role in RQ6 and I for one would be delighted if that could be the case, with Loz and Pete clearly in the driving seat commercially and management wise.

So.. a portentous day.. I can’t wait to buy the new edition and start statting up my AurUrbis religions and running some Gwenthia with the new ruleset. Now.. given that the new ruleset will probably be very close to the previous edition, I may set myself the task of some cult write-ups this summer as a bit of solo mind relief from work.

Having also fallen in love with Songs of Blades and Heroes as a skirmish wargame ruleset I am starting to look for minis that I can do Gwenthian skirmish games with, first step has to be to find masked minis for the Zhari of Mull..

05 Jul

Continuum 2010: Sunday

Sunday, the last..

Up far too early since, despite being in bed by 1.30.. I blogged and read rpg books until 2.30. Had shower, ate quite a good breakfast and then played an AWESOMELY good game of Savage Earthdawn which EvilGaz ran. I think 3 or 4 of the players were Smart Party and as such the gaming was fast, competent and well paced. Gaz is a great GM and I have loved Earthdawn for years although never run it. It rocked for me.

Then, after a quick visit to the B&B to mark down stock, I joined the rather fine Serenity freeform. Much fun, as I played the incompetent and venal Lt. Tillman. Faded a bit by 5pm, but by 6-ish I was assassinated by the hot dog seller. [I just knew he was an urban guerilla, or possibly a street vendor, or both.] Great game, maybe I didn’t fully rise to it but had a good time.

I then hit the tiredness wall and having already dropped out of Scott Dorwood’s horror game I dropped out of DrMoos’ Toon game and instead talked to people. At first I was almost unconscious, but got back my wind as the night progressed ending with an impromptu storytelling session where Oliver Dickinson delivered a new Griselda story and Jamie “Trotsky” Revell regaled us with one of his.

I made quite good return on the B&B and got rid of a lot of stuff, talked to a lot of friends, old and new, and had my best con in a long time.. but Furnace is coming soon and that’s always a great blast.

Tired now, I have a cup of tea, so a few more pages of rpg books and then sleep, and tomorrow on the train to Nochet.. I mean Newcastle..

04 Jul

Continuum 2010: Saturday

I have had a great day again. Sensibly I didn’t play all day, leaving me time to read my scenario for tonight, and also help out on the B&B stall again. Then I joined the Chivalry and Clockwork game being run by Ken Walton of Cakebread and Walton, and had an absolute blast as all my 17th century religious and political upbringing came flowing out in an awesome game and setting (YMMV). This is what I shall spend my credit note with Cubicle 7 on!

Then I ran the ‘How to run a Mini-Con’ panel with Graham S, Darran S and Neil S and I have to say it was great panel and we had an appreciative audience that seemed genuinely interested.

In the evening I ran Nathan B’s charming Winter Song OpenQuest game with 6 dear friends (4 I knew already, 2 we befriended in the game) and suffice to say, they convrted the orcs and dragons to Christianity and saved the kingdom and the werewolf..

Good chat with Graham, Newt, Tim, Stephen and off to bed to write this and sleep.

FULL day Sunday..

02 Jul

Continuum 2010: Late Friday Night

Well, day one of Continuum 2010 is finished and wrapped, and I’ve done quite a bit. Graham rolled up about 1pm and we unpacked all our Bring and Buy stuff from his boot. I wasn’t doing the B&B but it seemed unfair to pass the organisation to someone else so Graham and I ticketed up and organised the stand, both our stuff and many others. It’s a slow job and took us until about 7pm to complete, but I quite enjoyed playing shopkeeper and it meant I could chat to my god friend Bob “Grim” from Reapers Revenge and the staff of Mongoose Publishing. We sold quite a lot of stuff and handed it on to Dave Williams who will be running it for the rest of the Con. I picked up the new Traveller Little Black Books from Mongoose: The Traveller Rulebook, Mercenary, High Guard and Scout. The pocket size (and they really are pocket sized) and the price point (£10) means they hit the sweet spot for me. Problem is, and this is a sad sign of age, that I will probably not be able to read them without glasses on, but hey.. I have glasses..

Popped to the signup boards and signed up for lost of games. Met Simon Beaver, popped up to the D101 games room, picked up my complimentary copy of OpenQuest, said hi to many people and had a fairly weak vegetable curry. [Mind you fish and chips for lunch was good..]

After dinner I went and played in Darren Driver’s Dragon Age roleplaying game. I’ve followed this game in development as the author, Chris Pramas, blogged about it as he and his company Green Ronin wrote and published it. It’s light, nice mechanics and captures a very dark yet familiar D&D style. It remind me a lot of Basic D&D, and I know Chris wanted that kind of easy-starter feel.. but the mechanics are much better and easier. We played it very dark an grim and my female PC seduced and murdered her way inside the party until Sean Varney’s female mage did for me.. before my PC’s dragon mother did for his.. Big thanks to all, and especially Jaran Wood and Sverre Larre who played into my witches hands so well and happily only to discover she wasn’t very nice after all!

02 Jul

Friday: Almost started

Here we are, sitting in the bar waiting for the registration to open at 1pm, and finishing off some proper work work before launching into gaming. I won’t even list who’s here, since I’d miss someone off, but hey, the gangs not all here and it’s already great to see everyone!

I have prepared the basic outline of the panel on running mini-con and have had a nice cup of tea, so I’ll post this, ring the missus, and then jump right in..

01 Jul

Continuum 2010 Part the Prelude

Here I am in John Foster Hall in Leicester, site of the twice yearly roleplaying convention Continuum. I have come a day early rather than coming all the way from London to Sheffield and back to Leicester in the morning. London wanted to charge me a lot to stay there, and here I can hang with the cool kids: the Committee.

Very hot and drained in this hot and humid weather I have freshened in the room and once I have typed this update will go and find Loz, Darran, Colin, Simon, Rich and the others again and see what’s what.

I had a not great Continuum last time, I was not really recovered from my sarcoidosis and it all was stressful and not great. This time I have a few commitments, a few games, but my key goal is to relax, not worry, have a few beers, and chill with old friends before setting out to Newcastle on Monday by train.

If I see you, hiya! If you see me and I don’t see you, hiya! If you’re not here.. well there’s always Furnace..

26 May

My Traveller game starts

My Mongoose Traveller went like a dream, it was great. I am running a Star Wars Saga adventure converted week by week and largely on the fly, for Empire read Solomani, for Rebel Alliance read 3rd Imperium (yes but the players chose which side they wanted to be and they chose the Imperium). It’s set in the Gemini subsector and started in a tethered spacesport above the planet Gwynedd. It’s a simple pick up and go mission for the PCs who are all operatives of Imperial Naval Intelligence, which has started to heat up as the SolSec (SS) have started to focus in on their contact and the cargo that the PCs are to collect. After a short bloody firefight (which the PCs survived but which taught them a lot about Trav combat) they have had to abandon plans to go back up the beanstalk to the space station and are now stuck on the surface of Gwynedd, on a mountain full of sheep, rain and locals who not only are strongly Solomani but also Welsh, Methodist and always singing!

I am very keen for advice on how to run Traveller games, a longer set of guns for the players, and the best way to map and record my new planet data.

Now for a movie: http://www.traveller3d.com/traveller-trailer.avi

24 Mar

Steam games to come to Mac!

It’s official, Valve’s digital distribution service Steam is coming to Mac, and bringing Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series (along with Source) with it this April. But there’s more. Apparently, through Steam Play, gamers will be able to play supported titles (anything built on Source, it seems) on a PC (say, at work) then continue the game from the same point on their Mac (say, at home). Both versions of these games come bundled in one price—which is completely, totally, unbelievably forward-thinking and awesome.

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15 Mar

Gardening, Reading, Gaming,

Branch with catkins in early spring

Image via Wikipedia

Last week was 3 days at home working hard, with a seminar at Sheffield Hallam University by the CILT on the recession (but as usual became a row about bus regulation), then 2 days in Newcastle at the Industrial Research Strategy Group presenting on freight modal shift and it’s decline as crown on EU freight transport policy.
Then Saturday I was up at 7.30 and did some full on gardening, tipping and sorting my compost bins, some great compost from there, and all from teabags and vegetable clippings and cardboard! Beds nicely rejuvenated after I discarded the broad beans that had died of chocolate spot and the cauliflowers that had frankly been frozen and thawed so many times that all but 3 were rotten. Colected my parcels from the Post Office, 2 nice new pairs of trousers, a copy of a Zombies: A Field Guide, and True20: Revised Edition. Sunday was an aching day for me, but we got our act together and went and bought a Pussy Willow tree, a Virgina creeper and a sieve to sieve the remaining compost of the not-quite ready bits of cardboard.. Then a good shop at Asda and home. We’ve been watching Sopranos quite intensively. We finished Season 3 last week and started Season 4 this weekend.

I have been reading Games of Thrones by George RR Martin and (despite the fact that everyone else read it 14 years ago) have really got into it. Will not buy into the current rpg, but I so would like to play it at a con or locally.. hint hint. I have been reading OpenQuest, which  is a very nice lighter (it’s not LITE) version of the RuneQuest I played for so many years. I running adventures set in the Savage North at Cons all year, and I am looking forward to it. I also bought and read the Dungeon of the Bear, the classic T&T dungeon from the mists of time.. Wow! What an amazing artefact of it’s time. Traps, puzzles, swinging doors, utterly inexplicable locked rooms containing 3 orcs who must somehow be in suspended animation to have survived in there. I’ve never run T&T as a GMed game, so I have madly offered it as a game for the March21st TomCon, with Savage North as the alternative. I suspect I may need to re-acquaint myself with the rules. True20 calls me as ever, offering the lost hope of a class/level/d20 rpg that is playable, flexible and doesn’t set my hackles up.. I have already bought more rpgs this year than I will run in 5, so nothing new there, but I hope to sell on quite a few at the Con-Quest bring and buy stall, or ebay if needed.

The weather improves, I have trays of seedlings popping up all over a table in Matt’s room, and having cleared the back bed the weekend before last all look good for the spring garden. It’ll be time to brush off the Leica and Canon and get out for some photography.

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