Friday, 18 July 2014


I can now be found over on my WordPress site JotJotIota. Come on over for posts about my latest actual play, ideas for games, as well as more on my Old Crown fantasy setting.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Things to know:

My campaign setting for the FATE roleplaying game, the Old Crown, will be published through Occult Moon sometime in the new year.

I'm currently working my way through the thing, rewriting a bunch as I go. I'm about to finish the third chapter, and then I have five and change to finish.

I'm currently (f)unemployed, so I'm managing to get through it OK. I've pulled the third chapter together in about two weeks, which isn't amazing, but with an ongoing hunt for jobs too that's not so bad.
Plus cleaning the house. Lots of that going on now.

I've got the History and Races chapters down, with Organisations ready to go in short order. Next, Gods.
I've got a few tweaks to the default skill list done, added in reputation with the organisations in a way that I think works, and fiddled a debt mechanic too. Those need some more testing, but I've run one session so far with my group that went well enough. More to come there!

After that, I'm tightening up the Magick system and flavour (look, it's spelt with a K!), and then the Geography is less rules-y so I should be able to get through it a bit quicker.
I'm still debating how to handle the example locations, but I'm thinking a quick rundown similar to Occult Moon's Toys from the Sandbox series.

Bad Guys, GM ideas and polishing my intro are last on the list.

I started playing with tumblr but didn't really jump into it. If anyone has any useful hints and tips, please send them my way!

I'm going to try and throw some more blogs up too. I've got some ideas kicking around that I want to vent before I forget them, and they're nothing to do with what I'm working on right now.


Saturday, 29 June 2013

Condensing my blogs

OK, I'm trying to be determined to be good and actually get back into the habit of blogging again.

Of course, having a regular connection to the internet would help, as would Blogger not crashing my phone when I try and write something.
But I've been feeling ill and sorry for myself today, despite it being bright sunshine out here by the seaside, so I feel I should do something vaguely productive with myself.

And it means I can put off packing, because I'm moving into a new place next week.

So, here's the current state of play:
I'm thinking of collapsing down my blogs to just this feed. Kingsmead Chronicler was fine as a starting point for my setting creation, and sharing with the world about it, but I feel like I could throw up the posts here just as easily.
And factoring in the scope of the setting now, the push away from the town to the bigger population centres and neighbouring/competing nations, I feel I could probably ditch the focus on Kingsmead itself.
Things in the setting that are done:
RACES - done.
GODS - done, or at least at the point where there's only minor fiddling. Relationships between the Ascended could do with a little fleshing, and a couple of them need a tweak or two.
GEOGRAPHY - done for the most part. Needs some bits adding to a couple of areas, and then dropping details across from my custom wiki to the written document. I need to add in some stuff about crime and punishment here, and maybe some of the hobbies and stuff - cockfighting, falconry, drakery. That sort of thing.
EXAMPLE AREAS - needs a bunch of work, and I keep putting it off in favour of cooler bits and pieces. Terrible of me I know, but a large chunk of this is in a wiki document and just needs porting and tidying - notable NPCs, adventure and character hooks, all that jazz.
FACTIONS - the various players, guilds, foreign agents and so forth are done, but need some more details adding. Again, a lot of this is written but not in the one place.
BESTIARY - needs a lot of things adding, but I have an idea of what's going in and what needs fixing.
MAGIC - done, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.
FICTION - a few snippets need writing, and I've managed to start one for the Ascended, fleshing out the Beggar's arrival at godhood. Needs work, but I have the thing planned out.

I also need to work out what I'm doing with rules conversions. I know I can do a conversion for FATE Core by fitting the magic rules to the setting. If I want to write a conversion for other fantasy games (and here I'm thinking D&D and Pathfinder etc.) then things get a bit more hairy, but still manageable.
I need to sit down and have a read through of the AGE rules, but I think they'd work OK from what I've seen (and how it was handled with the Midgard setting from Kobold Press).

I have a feeling I'll be throwing up little snippets from what I've got so far, see what people think of it, whet the whistle and all that.

Other news:

I've finally installed Ubuntu and I'm having a play around with that. Need to actually sit down and see how it works, so far I've done very little with it at all, but it is a joy to use just for speed. I didn't realise how slow Windows had gotten.

I need to set aside part of my time just to writing, since I seem to have fallen into the habit of doing something every few weekends. This must be fixed!

I want to get this done because I have a few other things stewing in my subconscious that I want to get written down. I have a very tentative idea so far titled PolyAlbion. We'll see where that goes, and how well I avoid a Captain Britain rip-off!

And that's that.

Incidentally, what's going on with my blog traffic suddenly spiking whilst I'm not doing anything? Really strange!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Missing, presumed fine

I've been inspired to get back to publicly writing today. I imagine that the passing of Jack Vance had something to do with that.

Contrary to popular belief, I haven't in fact dropped off the planet. I instead disappeared into darkest, wildest Ireland.
I haven't had easy internet access, but I have managed to keep myself vaguely sane with writing. Once I finish it to my satisfaction, I've a short story to throw up here about downloaded and clone consciousnesses (very transhuman-y image sure).
I've been powering on with my fantasy setting too, so some snippets from that should make an appearance too.
As it stands, image mostly bound to my smartphone at the moment. If I can, I'll write a proper post up here soon.

What else I've been doing:
I'm very much enjoying reading through the new FATE core rules, so they shall get a little discussion.
Reading Ian Mortimer's guides for time travellers. They've definitely helped me think about new parts of my setting that I hadn't detailed.
Enjoying the sunshine.

More to come soon!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Missing due to emigration

I've been out of the loop for a while. Terrible I know, but I was a bit busy emigrating to Ireland.
I'm still technically without internet, but I can obviously borrow it occasionally. So, what's going on with me recently?

It looks like someone out there keeps checking back on this page every few days. That, or my posts are being read at random. I'm fine with either.

I've been looking again at my 1001 Nights-inspired setting again. It was made for a FATE game, and no doubt I'll have a fiddle with it with the new version of FATE Core, but I think I'm going to have a look at how to fit it to other systems too. D&D is probably pretty likely.

I had a couple of ideas for a setting where the Moon has conquered and slain the Sun itself, so that the world exists in a constant night. Everything else is sort of normal, because magic.
More on that soon. There's also some miles-high towers of precious stone too. I need to work that out properly really.

I've been reading through Burning Wheel. I really like the system, although I'm now at the stage where I think it's getting more complicated. But I can see a good few games that I would love to run or play in that system.

My biggest problem at the moment is going to be finding players and games. According to any sources I can find, there just aren't any hereabouts. The local game shop closed down December 2011, there just doesn't seem to be demand for anything like it.
I have a couple of people I might be able to persuade into it, apparently. However, I've not actually met either of them. The next closest person that would definitely be interested lives roughly an hour away.
Ah well.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

What happened in November?

OK, I've been dark for a month, so about time I picked this up again really.

I've been a little preoccupied with other things: a job in a nightclub, my godfather's civil ceremony, a whole heap of trimming my life down a bit and finding the stuff I need to do and when. Etc etc.

My fantasy setting is still shaping up. I haven't touched it in a little while. Maybe that year's end goal was far too lofty, but I intend to get it done ASAP.
I managed to play for an evening in it, and added a bit to the setting overview that I'm happy with. It was only a few hours, and not the most outlandish game, but it helped.

That game was also powered by my NaGaDeMon rules, which were so good I may actually write up how to play the setting using them.
No combat though, so would still have to give that a quick test run.

I should probably describe the NaGaDeMon rules.
Players pick 3 traits - usually these are racial or a role or a motivation or an affiliation.
Players pick skills - I used a pyramid made of 10 points, 1 level 3 skill, 2 level 2 skills and 3 level 1 skills. Dice rolls are a number of d6s equal to the skill level. Success on 4, 5 and 6.
Everyone starts a session with 1 bonus point, and can earn more via good roleplay or pulling off something against the odds (rolling lots of successes or multiple 6s, still not clarified). Bonus points can be spent to ignore a dice roll and barely scrape by in succeeding, or to make dice succeed on a 3+. You can only drop difficulties if a character trait would help - the quick playtest had a plant person dropping the difficulty on a botany roll.
Without a skill, roll 1d6, success only on a 6, bonus points can't be used/earned.

Standard health of 10hp, race tends to be the modifier - Lizardfolk scales act as a natural armour, lowering damage dealt, Wildfolk healed faster. Giantkin will likely have more hp but are a bigger and easier to damage, so I suppose 12hp would be fair.

Bonus points not spent count as extra experience points at the end of a session.

And the beauty of that system is it can be transferred pretty easily to other settings.

What else have I got on my mind?
I'm still thinking about the Legend of the 5 Rings game I have in my head, the characters at a wedding, the little intrigues I could enact on people. How exactly it would work out I'm not sure, but if I get a chance to run it I'll report back.

I've been getting my hands on some history books and stuff recently, for purposes of reference. I have a feeling a lot more ideas will start to bubble over in the next few months, if I actually manage to get them read!

Hopefully going back to some regular updates soon.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Forming an idea for L5R

In the last week and a bit, I've been messing with some ideas for a Legend of the 5 Rings game.

My old 1st edition Unicorn character managed to pick up an ancient Crab katana whilst adventuring in the Shadowlands. For whatever reason, he promised the Hida daimyo it would pass on to the Crab upon his death. Basically, I'm changing the wording of what he said, all those years ago.
"It will pass on to my grandson upon my death. Whether he is Unicorn or Crab is yet to be seen. But I am unwed."

So yes, the plan is to run some kind of wedding scenario. So far, it looks like I'll be putting it either in Shiro Ide, since it's the big Unicorn diplomatic concern, or Shiro Koatsuki no Higashi (Face of the East Castle), which is basically the same thing but for Crab lands.
I have a feeling I might throw it into Crab lands, if only for what I have planned.

So there's an inter-clan wedding. And since it's the Unicorn and the Crab, I might be able to manage an excuse for some kind of hunt in the nearby mountains and forests. And maybe a ghost story or something as extra flavour.
There's also the question of the other sword in the set, which was forged for the Phoenix clan, and that's where it's ended up currently. Plenty of room for some more political manoeuvring and stuff.

The big issue I'll be facing is converting all the things into 4th edition, and making sure the rules aren't that much different. I have a good hunch as to how to add some neat twists in, and some unexpected surprises.
Luckily, a lot of the NPCs are already made and sitting happily in my head - there's the two Crab samurai who adventured into the Shadowlands too, the Phoenix clan rival, and I got bored one day and bluebooked some downtime involving the rest of the Unicorn family.

If I actually manage to run this, and I really hope I do, then there'll be play reports I'm sure. Maybe I'll write them out as short stories again.
Though last time I tried that, I made the first 5 minutes of a game into 2000 words pretty easily. So maybe I shouldn't.

If I don't run it, it'll have to stay as fiction I think. We'll see how this works.
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