The Edinburgh Files

The publication of Tourist Trap sees the fourth scenario of my The Edinburgh Files Call Of Cthulhu 7E campaign see the light of day. Back in June this year, I started to read about the Write Your First Adventure course from the wonderful Storytelling Collective. My relationship with D&D had long since petered out, but […]

Dev diary – character sheet design

Now that I’ve made the major design decisions for my steampunk ttrpg system, I have started to write the first draft in earnest. I know how I want the major parts of the system to work, and as such I know what attributes, characteristics and values I want players to be able record on their […]

Playing the Game(s) – TTRPG plans for 2023

A significant amount of my free time is spent creating ttrpg scenarios, systems and products, but a chunk of that is always carved out for actually playing them too. I’m an eternal GM (through choice – call it my control freak nature if you wish…), and I generally try and maintain four separate groups, each […]

Dev diary – Welcome to The Aether Throne

The Aether Throne is an alt-history version of our own world, in a time period resembling the late 19th century: the Victorian Age. In The Aether Throne, a distant Queen rules over a vast Empire, her prosperous rule having allowed huge advances to be made in science and technology. The powers of steam, clockwork, arclight […]

Dev diary – The Aether Courts

As a break from the mechanics of my steampunk ttrpg system, I’ve started to think about the setting and worldbuilding. Playing cards are a core mechanic of the game, and I have a magic system of sorts in the shape of aether. When I started to think about how I wanted magic in the game […]

Dev diary – It’s tricky

One of the key mechanics I want to include in the system uses playing cards. Now, I’m aware this isn’t the first game to use a deck of cards as a mechanic. Deadlands is one in the ttrpg space, and Malifaux is another in the skirmish wargame field. Interestingly, both have a steampunk/weird science/weird west […]

Dev diaries – Combat

I’m at the stage of design thinking for my steampunk ttrpg system where I’m considering how I want combat to work. I don’t want combat encounters to take place on a 5×5 grid or similar, but I do want range to be important. I also want opponents in combats to be able to be controlled […]

Dev Diaries – Jobseeking

The final part of character creation is selecting a profession. Like classes in some other systems, this will give a character a role (to an extent) and a set of skills and abilities that define what they are good (and not so good) at, and complement other roles in the team. Professions and character progression […]

Dev diaries – Mad skillz

So far, I’ve settled on my steampunk game characters’ primary attributes and secondary characteristics. I’ve also started thinking about some aspects of the gameplay, which I want to be a D20 roll vs a Target Number, with modifiers from a number of sources. One of these sources will be skills. I love games with character […]

Dev Diaries – Designing through design

I’m on to thinking about skills and professions now, and whilst my thoughts have still to settle and land on something, I decided to switch mental mode and design a page layout for the game that doesn’t exist yet. I enjoy doing design & layout, and Affinity Publisher makes this a pleasure. So this mockup […]

Dev Diaries – Secondary Considerations

A character in my steampunk ttrpg system (which I really need to come up with a name for soon…) is defined by four primary attributes: Fortitude, Dexterity, Wits and Charisma. Of course, those alone aren’t enough to describe each character’s specific variances and abilities. They will have professions and skills that describe a little bit […]

Dev Diaries – All About The Numbers

Now I have settled on the attributes in my steampunk system, I am now thinking about how players will use them. At the end of the day, I want this to be a D20 system, with most player actions requiring a roll to meet or exceed a target number. I’m fond of Paizo’s approach to […]