Sometimes Things Just Come Together

Sometimes Things Just Come Together

I hadn't planned to write an Roleplaying Game (RPG) this year, but that's what's going on.

Plans for 2022

This year was going to be all about Portugal and making a new life in Porto. Most other things would be allowed to pootle on, writing blog posts, creating gaming e-books, learning languages.

So it was with surprise I've found myself writing a roleplaying game, which I had no plans for.

Things Coming Together

Looking back is easier than looking forward. And from here I can see strands coming together from decades ago.

Which were

  • Writing my own RPGs
  • Publishing my own e-books
  • Dabbling with many RPG Systems
  • Drawing on British Games

Writing My Own RPGs

I wrote and ran my own game in 1997-1999 while at Uni. Which my players called "Duncans and Dragons". The game was fun but overly complicated.

When D&D 3.0 came out in 2000 I abandoned all most ideas of making my own games for about 20 years. With exceptions for Troll: The Rending and a simple rpg using Combat Cards.

Publishing My Own E-Books

In the last few years my main work has been publishing digital books for Dungeons and Dragons, mostly series of random tables. I've been doing most of the writing and all of the editing and layout for these.

And this April I published a 63 page pdf, which has given me the confidence that I can produce larger works.

Dabbling with many RPG Systems

I've always played and run lots of RPG systems, and had a healthy interest in game-design, aided by playing many board games and collectible card games. Then in the last year I've been listening to podcasts Solo RPGs, and also playing some.

Solo RPGs is where you are the player and the gamesmaster all at once. It's grown even more in popularity during Covid. Listening let me see a whole world of how other people play their games. And this exposed me to more roleplaying games Knave, Alone in the Dark, Dungeon World, Starforged. And Warlock!.

A British Gaming Feel

Warlock! is a new roleplaying game based on many British RPGs such as Fighting Fantasy, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Troika! British roleplaying games generally have a grittier feel than many American ones (such as D&D) and go outside the "class-based approach" in a number of ways.

And also embracing of Random Tables.

My Devon group have been playing online through Covid and started playing Warlock! in Feb this year. We like the game and with it's simple system it's easy to adapt and run things such as quasi-dream sequences.

We occasionally talked about how we'd do the skills list differently, or the magic system wasn't a great experience. But how we overall liked the simplicity, the deadliness and the overall experience.

And Then Your Brain Won't Stop

And I found myself kicking about the idea for a game, taking a few pieces.

How I could base a game on several older British Games shown in Warlock! With the core lessons learned from 5th Edition D&D bounded accuracy. The careers that I first saw in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition. And the comrades of Only War. And the open-endedness, hindrances, edges and other features of Savage Worlds. And the magic system principles of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition.  And the groups mechanics of Only War and Blades in the Dark and WFRP 3rd edition.

And make it solo-friendly. And fun to make characters using random tables. With a good amount player agency.

It could be an awful mess or something actually worth playing.

I decided maybe I was thinking enough about it to make a go of it. As I can write larger pdfs and make rules and know people who have done similar things.

So I've made a first version. And played it Solo. Not yet for others to see. But it's a slippery slope.

Finishing Up

What creative endeavours have crept up on you and ambushed you without you realising it?

Have a great week.




Duncan is an aspiring creative nomad, who publishes random lists and tools for roleplaying games. Hobbies include salsa, games, books, podcasts, languages and history.
It varies. Probably in Europe