A random Land of danger

Although I plan to write quests (scenarios) for Children of the Wyrd, my Scottish Pictish ttrpg, the core rulebook will contain a large number of random tables to support a ‘procedurally generated’ gameplay experience. This is in part inspired by Shawn Tomkin’s Ironsworn, a superlative game (which takes place in a similar setting) that features […]

Children of The Wyrd

Whilst waiting for the train, I often do mental brainstorms in my mind. What if‘s that imagine various genres, styles and subjects to consider turning into tabletop games or scenarios. Most are forgotten about once the train arrives. This week, one stuck. A low-magic grimdark system and setting based on the Dark Ages Pictish tribes […]

Why I use AI art

First up, this is not a defence. Nor is it an attempt to convince anyone I’m right (or — even worse — that they are wrong). Instead it is a post that sets out the reasons I am (currently) using Midjourney to create visual assets for my tabletop roleplaying games. Isn’t it morally wrong? I […]

The Trinity Code – campaign structure

In my urban horror ttrpg The Trinity Code, the concept of the campaign came first. The game is set in the modern ‘real’ world, albeit with the same tone of heightened magical realism and covert conspiracies that the likes of John Wick and The X-Files have. And whilst the genre may be horror, it doesn’t […]

Spooky Season musings #1

Over a decade ago, I used to be a freelance photographer, specialising in event photography. Back then (let’s face it, ever since I was old enough to form conscious thought…) I was still drawn to the dark side: the spooky, the odd, the quirky and the macabre. Now another Halloween season is upon us, and […]

Welcome to The Trinity Code

A couple of years ago, before embarking on my Call Of Cthulhu scenario-writing journey and before designing The Aether Throne, I wrote about 80% of a Powered By The Apocalypse system and setting called The Trinity Code. Inspired by the likes of Supernatural and The X-Files (and therefore Monster of the Week), I am thinking […]

Dev diary – Professions

One of the most important parts of The Aether Throne is the list of professions that players can choose when creating their adventurers. These range from fortune hunters to inventors; mystics to skyship pilots. Each profession has a starting set of skills they are trained in, as well as a starting ability that sets them […]

Pulp (steampunk) fiction – 2

‘Weren’t you scared?’ Tommy finished cleaning the wrench and laid it on the table. Flint leaned back in his chair. ‘Scared?’ They all looked at him as he sat, his hands clasped behind his head, his gold tooth glinting in the arclight.  His top lip curled into that sardonic smile they had all become familiar […]

Dev Diary – The setting for The Aether Throne

An excerpt from the ‘introduction’ section of my ttrpg-in-progress: There are many different settings for tabletop roleplaying games. Some feature brave adventurers in a fantasy world filled with monsters and magic, others cast players as space-faring voyagers amongst the stars of a far-flung future. It’s fair to say if you can imagine a world, there’s […]

Dev diary – Automata rules

Now that I have the combat rules for The Aether Throne more or less complete in a draft format, I am considering if they stand up to solo/GM-less play. To run combats in this mode, enemies need some kind of AI/automata rules. I’ve seen these work well in the boardgame space (with the likes of […]

Dev diary – An Essay on The Aether Court

An essay on The Aether Court, by Professor Bartholomew Horatio Cottingley, 1898 Even in these enlightened times, there are some amongst us who still believe in magic. Truth be told, such beliefs are not misguided. Since Emma Forrester first drew back the veil almost two decades ago, the existence of aether — and those beings […]

Pulp (steampunk) fiction – 1

One bite from this cursed creature, and it would be over. Not now, perhaps, but later. Sick and fevered in some nameless ward in the bowels of The Ministry, wasting her last breath on a rattling cry of hopelessness and pain. It had been close. She had reeled from its rancid breath, reeking like a […]