I Will Survive

Cover of XP Edition

Cover of XP Edition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, 2014 presents us with Paranoia‘s 30th anniversary, and the suggestion of something to look forward to. Seems like only yesterday that Paranoia XP appeared to celebrate the 20th anniversary, and I toiled amongst the Traitor Recycling Studio producing some rather interesting, exciting and dangerous supplements.

Alas, the various volumes produced a decade ago have now become rather hard to come by - requiring a root around the local game store or in the hallowed eaves of eBay. Not that’s acquired any great value (as of yet), just that you can’t currently pick them up without a root around.

As often happens, the world has moved on since Paranoia XP hit the shelves. Specifically, the face of gaming has continued to spin around and around. Yes, we still have some of the mainstays and a lot of classic – or renaissance – materials going around, but we have many threads of commonality going on that make many games a more collaborative experience. I’m not talking outright story games, but those where the gamemaster fiat balances against player agency. Read the rest of this entry »

Return to the Pit of Filth

La Fosse Aux Ordures

I had almost forgotten about this.

Some time ago +matt jackson set a challenge based on a very small map. He asked that participants take the map as the basis for an adventure and he’d choose a winner. In the end, he highlighted a bunch of great adventures people had come up with and I got a PDF of Moleskin Maps as a runner-up prize.

It was fun.

Anyway – I wrote my adventure to use the Fighting Fantasy system, or (bizarrely) a simplified version of it (yeah, that is possible). After making the adventure freely available, I was contacted by a member of the French Fighting Fantasy publisher who wanted to translate it. I admit to being taken aback, but agreed without reservation.

And then I forgot about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Choosing Wisely

English: Slum in Glasgow, 1871

I generally approach Monday nights with a creeping sense of dread. Don’t get me wrong – I love gaming night. I also enjoy the whole business of gaming. What kills me can be the uncertainty about whether I actually will GM or not. If I do GM, what size group will I have and what sort of game would they prefer to play.

I try to do what prep I can and have a drop-in game or three in my back pocket – but that does not come without some forethought. I like to think I can improvise without any prep at all, but that simply isn’t true… I need to have a grain of something to work with and the energy to do something with it.

I was tired last night as I took the reins of gamemastery for the weekly session, stepping in after the unexpected sickness of the planned GM.

I decided to play a Fate Accelerated version of Arclight Revelation Tianmar, Victorian steam mecha versus the Red Weed. Read the rest of this entry »

Pit of Filth


keep out

Matt Jackson – over on Google+ – created a mini-map on an index card and challenged readers to come up with an adventure. This was my own stab – the Pit of Filth. Given the existence of more than one horror adventure in the Fighting Fantasy solo adventure book range, it seemed an ideal fit for a system – and meant I could turn out something that you could play without knowing many mechanics at all.


This is a horror scenario for a single player and a GM. The adventure uses the basic Fighting Fantasy system. Read the rest of this entry »

Reading, Gaming, Challenging


I have been really falling behind on my reading this year. Well, actually, I have been really falling behind on logging my reading this year.

I have been using Goodreads.com for the last two years to manage my reading challenge, and this year is no different. However, this year a third of my target relates to gaming books, and many of the older ones I really want to read don’t have a barcode and/or don’t have an entry on the website. I have occasionally added books to the site before now, but I don’t really want to get into the habit of it. It takes time and effort, and if I add something that someone else never ever reads, what was the point?

I might have an easier time of it now that Goodreads.com has made an agreement with Amazon to link into their book data, but older books still might not appear. I have history and gaming books without ISBN codes, and no wish to become an unpaid cataloguer for anyone.

I might opt for spoofing books with comparable reads. Maybe I can find a book of comparable page count and pretend I read that instead, just to keep up with the challenge? Or, I could get over myself and do the cataloguing. Better yet, do away with a website challenge count and just read the pile of books I have waiting for me without getting all bothered about keeping a precise count.

I have continued to enjoy expanding my reading, especially with the addition of gaming books in the pile. Over the weekend I read a game I purchased in 2009. I doubt that’s the oldest unread gaming book I have in my possession. In this instance, I bought Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 3rd Edition on release, at considerable expense. I started reading, but got waylaid and never went back. Now that I have read it, I regret leaving it so long, as I really quite like the mechanics and I’m familiar with the background. With the reading done, I have started playing a game with my wife and kids.

That’s good, valuable reading effort.

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