Sunday, 1 March 2015

We have a winner!

The Great Red Wyrm has spoken, and Ryan Hobbs has won the Player's Handbook raffle!

The raffle raised an amazing £662 for Games Aid. That's over a thousand dollars, and 331% of the fundraising target! Many, many thanks to all who donated - it's a great cause, and the money will go a long way to helping some seriously ill kids. You're the best!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Autographed 5th Edition Player's Handbook Raffle!

Last year I won the EN World D&D Next Adventure Contest with an adventure entitled "Mind Blast!". My prize was a copy of the D&D 5th Edition Player's Handbook, wonderfully autographed by the majority of the D&D design team. I have always intended to raffle this gift for charity, to raise funds for children. This week I finally received the book, so it's all systems go!

I have decided to raise funds for Games Aid, which is a brilliant UK charity that supports smaller charities that help disadvantaged and disabled youngsters. JustGiving is a safe, simple and secure site to manage these donations - they won't spam you or share your email address, and they save time and cut costs for the charity.

To buy a virtual raffle ticket, please visit my JustGiving page below and make a donation of £2.50 (that's just under $4 for those in the USA). For each £2.50 you donate, one ticket with your name on will be added to the grand prize draw. Donate £10 and I'll add an extra ticket for free! JustGiving also accepts eight common currencies, so you may want to run a currency converter if you live overseas. If you don't wish to enter the draw, any donations to the cause - no matter how small - are still welcome! The winning ticket will be drawn on Saturday February 28th and announced here on the blog.

The book is unused and in completely mint condition. I will personally pay for delivery anywhere in Europe or the US - if you live elsewhere, you may have to contribute towards postal expenses!

Thank you, and good luck!

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Haunted

*Blows dust off blog*

Marvellous. You're still here.

Things have been quiet on the blog for the past two or three months. I'm pleased to report that I've been busy writing one of the upcoming Adventurers League scenarios for 5th Edition D&D: "Outlaws of the Iron Route". It's part of the "Tyranny of Dragons" storyline, and it's going to debut in November at the Gamehole Convention in Wisconsin. I'd love to be there, but you know - thousands of miles away. If you get a chance to go, I'd get a real kick from hearing how the scenario played out for you.

A mysterious entity manifests! Art by Tjaart Kruger.
All this 5th Edition malarkey has got me fired up to get started on my own campaign. In fact, right now I'm gearing up for DMing two regular games, and consequently, we've been mulling over a whole bunch of new character ideas. Stacey's got this idea for playing a warlock who's haunted by the spirit of her elfin husband: she's planning her as a mix between Michonne from Walking Dead, and some sort of medium. I figured that instead of just winging this in-game, it would be cool to codify the haunting with some actual rules. A background seemed appropriate (I think backgrounds have promise for defining heroic character concepts as well providing mundane origins).

So, to kick this blog back into shape, here's the "Haunted" 5th Edition background. Use it to play any cursed, spirit-hounded, or demon-possessed character that comes to mind. I think it would work well for a warlock or a necromancer.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Mind Blown!

Earlier this week I received the good news that "Mind Blast!" won the EN World adventure contest. I was thrilled to hear my adventure had taken the grand prize, especially coming from such noted judges (Sean K. Reynolds, Keith Baker, and Kevin Pulp). Go here to download the adventure, and be sure to take a look at the other entries. There's some great stuff there.

As a concept, "Mind Blast!" has been hanging around in my head for a couple of years now. The basic premise - a psychic disaster on a colony world that causes personalities to be swapped - came from a Doctor Who game I worked on briefly. It never came out, but we had some fun levels planned for it.

In one, the Doctor comes across a Dalek whose mind has been swapped with the colony's cook: a teenage girl from England. The Dalek-girl escorts the Doctor through the burning colony, using her new body to help him past obstacles. When we saw the scripts for the upcoming series I discovered my idea was oddly close to one of the new episodes, so we ditched it. The idea stuck though, and I was pleased for the opportunity to adapt it to D&D. I now have an owlbear instead of a Dalek, but the basic premise remains the same!

If you get a chance to play the adventure, I'd love to hear how it worked out. Be sure to check out the pre-generated characters I made, and practice your owlbear impressions. You'll need them!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

D is for Dracolich t-shirt!

You want a "D is for Dracolich" t-shirt, don't you? I want one. Who wouldn't want one?

Well, head on over to the Tyranny of Dragons t-shirt competition and pop in a vote for Stacey's entry. If she wins, we can all spread the joy of learning our ABCs through D&D monsters. Come on, let's do it for the kids!

You can check out the other letters in her series here.

Monday, 2 June 2014

All hail the Lizard God!

I'm delighted to report that "Island of the Lizard God" has won the grand prize in the one page dungeon contest, and if all goes well, will be published in issue #5 of Gygax Magazine! I'm blown away to have won against so many other great entries (my money was on Ramsey Hong's "Crimson Maelstrom" or Lorenzo Santini's "Revenge of Xarr-Zuul"), so I'm feeling pretty humbled. It's also worth mentioning that this year's competition was managed with military efficiency, so props to Mundi King for pulling everything together so quickly.

I was in Birmingham for the UK Games Expo when I found out that I'd won. Receiving the $500 cash prize couldn't have come at a better time (or worse, depending on how you look at it). That morning Stacey and I hit the trade halls and came out with a treasure trove of gaming goodies:

We had a fantastic show, managing to squeeze in sixteen hours of roleplaying across four different RPG systems in three days. We traveled back to the Dark Ages for a rain-soaked murder mystery in Call of Cthulhu, ran riot as goblins in Labyrinth Lord, went on a dungeon heist in 13th Age, and mashed up our favourite characters using FATE Accelerated. It was a real mix of DM styles - narrative, sandpit and ad-lib - which was great to see. When we left, two of our group had purchased new games from the show and were even talking about trying out GMing for themselves.

Overall, we couldn't have hoped for a better weekend!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Island of the Lizard God

This is my entry into this year's one page dungeon contest!

"Island of the Lizard God" was inspired by the "Isle of Dread" D&D module, and the Fighting Fantasy gamebook "Island of the Lizard King" - both old favourites of mine. This year I flirted with various one-page dungeon ideas: a Call of Cthulhu adventure, a walking castle, even a fold-your-own random dungeon generator. In the end I settled on something simpler, something that spoke back to the classics.  Plus, two dungeons on one page!

This competition gets hotter every year, so I don't hold out much hope of winning. It's fun taking part though, and combing through the other entries is always a great source of inspiration for my games.  Best of luck to all the other entrants!