Questers of the Middle Realms – second edition

Questers coverA new edition of this system-light, affectionately humorous take on traditional fantasy games is now out.

You can get the pdf over at DriveThru and RPGNow. A print version will be coming soon.

Questers was my first product using Chad Underkoffler’s light and flexible PDQ system, way back in 2006. There’s been a print version available through Lulu, but as a thin Letter-sized book it was never a satisfying artifact, which led me to do much better with ‘Jaws of the Six Serpents’. Over the last few years I’ve wanted to do a fixed version and make it available through the integrated print option at DriveThru. Finally we’re getting there!

This is really a revised version. The rules and content are pretty much unchanged. But it’s got a new layout and section structure, making it more like Jaws. It’s had another editing pass, and some artwork changes. And it now incorporates the old mini-supplements ‘Character Assistant’ and ‘Ten Magical Thingies’.

Previous pdf purchasers on DriveThru and RPGNow who are set up to receive publisher mailings have been sent a link to get a free update.


New Jaws product – The Blizzard’s Teeth

Gosh, it’s a long time since I updated here! I’ve got a new product to let you know about.

blizzards-teeth-cov-200The Blizzard’s Teeth is a Jaws of the Six Serpents adventure of fantasy survival horror by Scott Dorward, designed for convention or one-shot use.

A set of provided characters are drawn together at an isolated keep while a deadly storm howls outside. They’re a dubious lot with secrets and agendas that will drive events. Will they work together in the face of a terrifying enemy?

What you get: the adventure in the same book format as previous Jaws products, plus the player character information repeated on Letter-size pages.

Check it out at DriveThruRPG.


You may also be able to adapt this for use with ongoing characters, if you really want to. You could certainly adapt it for other systems, and there’s a box on the very simple workings of PDQ to help.

This adventure has bad characters making unpleasant choices. It’s probably not suitable for pre-teen players.


Video review of Rocket Amoeba

The Gentleman Gamer has added my Rocket Amoeba RPG rules toolkit to his video review series!

That was a nice surprise this morning. Particularly as he liked it, and picked up on its simplicity and value for new GMs or running something at short notice – things I was aiming for when I wrote it.

Give it a look-see. It’s a shade under 15 mins.

He also did a video review of Jaws of the Six Serpents back in February, which I cruelly neglected to blog about.


Jaws in Bundle of Holding

This week, the Bundle of Holding ‘Fantastic Valor’ offer gives you great games in pdf at a knock-down price – including Jaws of the Six Serpents.

Bundle of Holding is industry stalwart Allen Varney’s project to give gamers great deals and raise some money for charity. In this package you also get Beast Hunters, High Valor, Hellas, Honor & Intrigue, Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies and Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries – for what it would normally cost to buy one of them! The offer runs till Friday.

Games Expo 2013

This weekend I had a stall at UK Games Expo, the UK’s biggest gaming convention. I chatted to lots of people about my games, and did a decent level of sales. It was a great experience, and I’ll happily go again.

Expo takes place in Birmingham, our second-largest city after London, well placed for visitors from around the country. It covers board games, card games, roleplaying games, miniatures games and pretty much any other sort of game. It’s still quite a young event: this was its seventh year. It’s a sales-focused convention with loads of trade stands, but there’s also a substantial game-playing programme of pre-booked slots and a lot of board game demos.

This year Expo had made the bold and slightly scary step to a new venue: the Hilton hotel near the NEC and airport. I think everyone had liked the old venue, but they needed more space – and game-playing areas not hidden in the basement labyrinth! Fortunately it was a great success, with around 3500 people attending over the three days. 3500! And almost 100 exhibitors.

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Rocket Amoeba launch at UK Games Expo

I’ll be in Birmingham this weekend, at UK Games Expo – the UK’s biggest trade-focused show covering the breadth of gaming. My stall is P19 in the Palace Suite, sharing with my friends at Wordplay Games.

Rocket Amoeba imageThe main focus for me is the launch of Rocket Amoeba, with the first appearance of the release edition in print. It’s a light, generic RPG ruleset focusing on story rather than tactics, with a flavour of TV and comics action.

I’ll also have copies of Albion, Jaws of the Six Serpents, and the Serpents’ Teeth supplement for Jaws. We should have a little demo space, so if you want to try making a character or running through a quick scene, or just to chat, do drop by.


GM’s Day sale at DriveThru and RPGNow

In the DriveThru calendar it’s March 4th for GM’s Day! This annual sale gives you 25% off a whole load of PDF products.

I missed getting officially included due to being off gryphon-trekking amid the moons of Jupiter, or some equally manly and spectacular reason.

The good news is, I’ve knocked 25% off all my products anyway, so you can add them to your basket alongside the other cool stuff. Hooray! The sale runs for a week and a bit.

Go here for the goodies.

Try a new game in the new year – sale this week

Happy new year! DriveThruRPG and RPGNow are running a 40% off promotion for the next week to encourage people to check out a RPG they haven’t tried before. I put Albion in, and there are loads of other goodies too.

Not content with that, because I’m in with the cool publishing kids (yo!) I can give you the super sekrit code happynyng2013 for an extra 15% off – put it in the box on the check out page.

So if you were thinking of giving Albion a go, now would be a good time! You can check out the free preview first if you like: the link is at the bottom of the Albion page, or it’s available as a free product on DriveThru and RPGNow.

View from the Branch

Hi all. I thought you might like a round-up of what’s been going on and what’s being planned. Please do leave feedback in the comments.

Looking back on the year, family stuff and a couple of health speedbumps certainly didn’t help in getting stuff done. (For the curious: shoulder injury, and bronchitis followed by weeks of rubbish voice.) I did manage to get out and about though, building more contacts among industry folks and customers; and I made a foray into ebooks and non-game publishing. (For more talk on that see my other site The established game lines expand their audience slowly but steadily; and Silver Branch continues to raise its profile.

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Escape from Dragonmeet mountain

Hi to everyone I met at the convention on Saturday. Scroll down for a special limited time offer…

The 7am train was an early start for me, but I found some crazy people (hi Dom!) had beat it by several hours. After dashing through frosty landscapes I reached the slightly less picturesque cityscape of London and made my way to Kensington Town Hall, setting for the annual Dragonmeet event.

I had a sales and demo table in the trade hall, and was able to show Albion, Jaws and Serpents’ Teeth to lots of folks. (Only slightly hampered by the voice problems that have lingered from autumn lurgy.) Thanks to Tim P who ran Albion in the afternoon slot. I was also able to do plenty of networking with other designers and publishers. It’s a very cooperative and interlinked industry; perhaps the friendliness is one benefit of being small.

The organisers had done better with advance communications this year, which apparently had resulted in far more advance tickets sold. I thought it was a bit busier in the hall than last year, though not everyone agreed. Historically Dragonmeet is a trade-focused event, but there was an excellent crop of games being run this time. The London Indie RPG folks had a “games on demand” area upstairs with a continual buzz, thanks to improved publicity, great organisation and of course generous and enthusiastic GMs.

I attended one of the seminars, Ken and Robin (and Simon) Talk About Stuff. So if that gets released as a podcast you can hear me adding to the ambience. I believe recordings of all the seminars will appear in due course: watch @dragonmeet for news. They’d moved to the big council chamber this year, and once I clocked the rather wonderful ceiling sculpture made of illuminated optic fibres I’m afraid I spent most of the time looking at that rather than the panellists.

After all was packed away I decamped to the pub with the Indie RPG folks. I may have been a little too focused on filling myself with pie before the train trip back, but hopefully I was reasonable company!

So Dragonmeet 2012 is slain, making a barely noticeable impression on Kensington in its ruin. But no doubt the brave folk of London and dwarves of Ireland and Scotland will build again…

A post-Dragonmeet offer

If you meant to pick up one of my books and missed out, here are some DriveThruRPG links that’ll get you the PDF versions at 20% off till 8th December, one week after the con. You can find further info on the products through the Games section.