Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Happy Holidays!

Om nom nom - Beholder Pie!
My friend cooked this pie for one of our epic weekenders: two days of solid roleplaying to mark the culmination of a campaign arc. Tonight, as the Christmas turkey digests and we reach for that extra glass of port, let's remember the reason most of us play: to catch up with friends, break bread together, and have fun. Usually it's not the adventure that matters most, it's all the great times that go with it. I wish you all a happy holiday, and ask you to join me in a toast to 2013 - may it bring good gaming to us all!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

G is for Grell

Grells are levitating horrors whose dangling tentacles secrete a paralyzing poison. They like to lurk high up in caves, dropping silently on their prey and hoisting them up to the ceiling, where they rip them to pieces with their sharp beaks. As a species they live together in weird "hives", communicating in a semi-telepathic language of chirps, squawks, and thrashing tentacle gestures. Each hive is run by a Patriarch, whose orders are passed on to the common workers by a caste of Philosopher Grells.

Strange that Grells feel the need to philosophize, given that all they do is eat people. Maybe they're looking for meaning. Judging by the picture above, they certainly seem to enjoy eating people - in fact, they find it pretty bloody humorous. That's okay. We find them humorous too, with their silly brain heads and daft beaks.

The internet tells me that Grells were invented by Ian Livingstone, which is pretty cool. As a kid I was fanatical about his Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, and even wrote letters begging for this-or-that to be included in future titles (probably Vampires! or More Wizards!). I actually met him later on in life, and had one of those silly moments where I just shook his hand and smiled instead of saying how much his books meant to me. Anyway, I'm far from alone in my fandom - in fact, Jonathan Green's got a kickstarter going on right now to create a commemorative book for their 30th anniversary. If you have any interest in gamebooks - even the history of D&D - I'd suggest you head over there and pledge!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Dungeon 209: Tears of the Crocodile God

A sacrifice to Bansouk's vicious Crocodile God finally meets her maker...

Just a quick post to let you know that my first adventure is soon to be published in Dungeon magazine. Back in March I pitched Tears of the Crocodile God through the DDI submissions channel. I heard back from them shortly after moving to Guildford, and spent much of June writing and play-testing. It's been a personal goal of mine to have an adventure published in Dungeon, so it's fair to say I'm over the moon! If you're a subscriber, I hope you'll enjoy it, and maybe find some use for it in your own games.

Best of all, this isn't the only adventure I've got coming - after submitting the final draft, the folks at Wizards have been in touch with more work, and I now have more projects in the pipeline. Though Beholder Pie will be baking at a lower temperature until I'm done, I'll try and post updates when I can. The good thing about adventure design is that it keeps you thinking about the game, so there's lots I'd like to share. Until then, I hope you'll join me in raising a tankard to the Crocodile God - may he forever wallow in the blood of fallen adventurers!