Hi, I’m Paul Baldowski.
I’m a UK-born and based writer who has been involved in role-playing since 1984. That year, I played my first Red Box Dungeons & Dragons game and got a copy of the Games Workshop edition of Iron Crown’s Middle Earth Role Playing game for my birthday.
Leaving university, I bundled up my game collection and took to working far more than playing. While I wrote a couple of pieces for Games, Games, Games (long-running small press ‘zine) and attended a few conventions, nothing more happened.
In 1999, I finished running Play-By-Mail games out of pure exhaustion. I got married the following year and discovered (or re-discovered) collectable card games, having dabbled in the early 90s. Several thousand Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering cards later, I rediscovered a bit of gaming mojo.
In the mid-Noughties, I stumbled across Allen Varney‘s project to re-launch PARANOIA. I offered my services, writing a couple of dozen pages in the new XP edition (which have also found their way into more recent editions). After that, I became part of the Traitor Recycling Studio – and participated in writing Crash Priority, Flashbacks, Stuff, Stuff 2, and Service Service, culminating with The Underplex, my first major solo writing project.
Later in the Noughties, I stumbled upon Arion Games‘ Graham Bottley, who was looking to revive Maelstrom, a popular paperback game of my youth, when Fighting Fantasy made its mark. I assisted with the writing of The Maelstrom Companion, a supplement to the original volume, before writing The Sward and The Stone, an adventure, and The Beggars Companion, a larger volume providing considerable detail on running a Tudor beggar character or beggar troupe.
Over the last 20 years, I have dabbled across a broad range of freelance projects:
- On a small scale, I wrote a Neanderthal versus zombie adventure for Outlive Outdead (Happy Bishop Games).
- I was excited to add to the Dracula mythos for Night’s Black Agents in the ENnie award-winning Director’s Handbook of the Dracula Dossier (Pelgrane Press).
- I wrote about The Deep Kalduhr for the ENnie award-winning game Trophy.
- In one of my most thoroughly researched adventures, I contributed The Repairer of Reputations (an intentionally misleading title) to the Liminal Casebook.
- I took the events of the graphic novel Enemy of My Enemy as my source and turned them into a mission for The Terminator RPG: Campaign Book.
In 2016, I started work on a game of my own, adapting the mechanics from The Black Hack to write The Cthulhu Hack, a simple and flexible game of Lovecraftian investigation. In 2023, I published the 2nd Edition, a considerably expanded full-colour edition of Cthulhu Hack, exploring new and darker angles of the Mythos.
Parallel with Cthulhu Hack, I developed The Dee Sanction, a game of espionage and dark magic against the backdrop of Elizabethan Europe.