Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Midweek Character - Erminda Steadfast

Here is another player character, this one is from one of my old Gloranthan games. Erminda Steadfast was a character I came up with for a scenario I was running at Convulsion 2002.
Playing a character that worships Ernalda, the Earth Goddess, is a fairly hard to play as they are not really good for adventure. They are more capable at the hearth and stead and being sensible about life. Who in their right mind would go out adventuring?
I think I did well with Erminda as she has some important reasons to sort out what is wrong with her own clan and helping the other PCs to sort out the issue.

Erminda Steadfast ready to defend the Hellbreak settlement. © Darran Sims

Erminda Steadfast's Story

“Doubts and mistrust are the mere panic of timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer, and the large mind transcend.”

“The greatest honour history can bestow is that of peacemaker.”

Erminda Steadfast is one of the seven ring members and the Hearthmistress of the Solni Bloodline based at Hellbreak.

Strong and with a meaningful glare she gets things done and persuades and encourages everyone to keep working. However she is respected and revered by her community and she is fiercely protective of it.

Articulate, blunt and forthright she aspires for peace and intransigence.

Erminda fears the Predark but she perseveres bravely due to the espousal of her personal circle.

Erminda has helped and aided many Tarsh Rebels especially at the Battle of Karnge Farm and has gained the Jade-Glow Armring.

100 words



Heortling 13

Hearthmistress 7M

Enferalda Devotee 14M



Blunt 17

Fears the Predark 1M

Fiercely Protective 19

Wants Intransigence 14M



Aspires for Peace 17

Forthright 17

Perseverance 1M

Revered 19

Steadfast 14M




BLOODLINE [Solni] 18

CLAN [Hruling] 13

CHIEF [Eldon] 13

Ernaldan Temple 17

Espousal of her Personal Circle [Followers] 5M

Respected by Community 1M

Tarsh Rebels [Contact] 19

Karnge Farm Veterans 19

Predark [Adversary] 2M




Bear Heavy Burden, Ignore pain, Go Without Sleep, Remain Standing, Survive Battle.


Diminish Injury, Ease Pain, Make Less Tired, Prevent Dying, Remove Hurt.


Boost Confidence, Kiss and Make up, Prevent Anger, Reach Consensus, Sting Pride, Stop Argument.



1H Spear Fighting 18

Articulate 17

Encourage Others 14M

Gets Things Done 16

Give Aid 19

Help Others 17

Keep Working 18
Know Hellbreak Settlement 4M

Meaningful Glare 18

Persuasive 2M

Strong 20


Personal Circle

ENARIN - Erantha Gor Initiate 2M

- Warrior 6M, Big Axe 13.

FALEENA - Nevala Initiate 2M

- Shepherd 6M, Know Area 13.

WEGINA - Mahome Devotee 6M

- Steadwife 2M, Know Darklore 16.

RIBENEA - Enferalda Initiate 2M

- Steadwife 6M, Loud Voice 13.


Special Abilities

Jade-Glow Armring 3M


Old Maps and Adventures

So was talking about his first map he drew for a role playing game.
I mentioned that I still have all my old maps, drawings and character sheets back from 1981.

My first map was a large manor house built into the side of a cliff. Lots of corridors, rooms and caves.

I drew in the details like the type of material the doors, walls and floors were made of and I marked in all the killing arcs of the traps and even the reach of the chained up monsters.

I then filled it with every creature from the RQII core book. It was deadly as the PCs were killed in the first corridor by a repeating ballista trap. The players didn't want to visit it again with new characters either!

That map is buried under tons of junk at the moment but I have found some from 1982 that I drew.
I used A5 graph paper and coloured pencils, each type of stone or wood used in the flooring had a different colour and texture. Unfortunately the browns seem to have faded into greys.

Old Map 1
The map of 'Dead Lock Forest' showing the location of Greyhelm House.

Old Map 4
The ground floor of Greyhelm House. Note the main hall is built leaning out over the cliff.

Old Map 3
The first floor of Greyhelm House.

Old Map 2
The underground chambers of Greyhelm House.

I have been also reading the adventure I wrote to go with this, written on A5 paper and filed in a folder. I would write the sections I would read to the players in red ink, the secrets I would write in blue ink and the GM bits and stats I would write in black ink. Very colourful!
The adventure was very deadly still, even though I had toned it down, but this time the players were able to loot the traps, the treasure, even the armour and weapons off the denizens of the house. They made enough to retire!

Room 1. The Hallway

When the thick, wooden double doors are opened the Hallway goes northward for eleven metres. At the end of the passage there is a one metre wide stairway leading to a door two metres up. There is a pit, one metre in diameter, to the right of the stairs. There is a eastward door seven metres away from the entrance.

When the characters go to either door a ghoul climbs out of the pit howling.

Ghoul Stats snipped

When the ghoul is dead nothing else will happen. There is no Treasure in the hallway. The door in the wall leads to Room 2 and the one at the top of the stairs leads to Room 3.
There is a ladder going down the pit into Room 38 four metres down.
When any character steps on the top stair, the wall springs out knocking the character down the pit doing 2D6 damage. There is a 10% chance of missing the pit but doing 1D4 damage.

Room 1a. Eastward Hallway

This is a one metre wide passage going Eastward for eleven metres. At the end of the passage there is a door (leading to Room 18) and another door two and a half metres away from the entrance (leading to Room 17).

Room 2. The Tomb

The door from the Hallway is locked but a successful picklock will open it. The door has a bar but it isn't drawn. The door leading from the South (Room 17) is bared and locked. There is a dryed up well in the Southeast corner one metre in diameter with a half metre wall around it. There isn't a bucket or rope about.
If a Spot-Hidden is done there is a ladder joined to the wall of the well, one and a half metres from the top of the wall. This leads down twenty metres down to the bottom of the well.
If more than SIZ 25 in total is on the ladder at once, the ladder will shatter with everybody falling down to the bottom doing 12D6 damage for the character at the top of the ladder. For every character blow the one at the top take 2D6, of the 12D6, for each one. Armour will protect as normal.
At the bottom of the well are four weapon snakes.

Weapon Snakes Stats snipped

There is a dead body at the bottom of the well with a broken sword. (This is the main Quest Item of the adventure)
Halfway up the well (ten metres) there is a bronze ring in the wall with a metre of rope connected to it. The brick which the ring is in is loose and if any character over SIZ 10 hangs on falls doing 8D6 damage. Behind the brick there is a Weapon Snake.
There is a large space behind the brick in which there is 2 Wheels (Gold Coins) and an Iron Death Rune.

The tomb is two metres by five metres. In the tomb there is a sarcophagus two metres long in the Northeast corner. It is intact but the side is chipped as if someone tried to open it and succeeded. It has been resealed with three locks (-10% off lock picking). There is writing on a bronze plate which is in Old Pavic.
'Here lies the body of GreyHelm Tarper, Hero of Sartar. He died with treasures untold.' Painted in a corner is 'Do Not Open' (-20% as it is untidy).

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Midweek Character - Vic Mackey

Here's another HeroQuest character for one of my up and coming games.
I just loveTV show
'The Shield'  and I would like to run a game with the Strike Team as the player characters. A hard game to run as there would be no mythic, mythos or supernatural events - just a straight hard-hitting corrupt cop story.
Also a slightly different style of 100 words as this is written in the first person.

Vic Mackey’s Story

"Good cop and bad cop have left for the day. I'm a different kind of cop."

"Hey, option one is: we take him alive. But feel free to consider option two."

I am the tough, leader of a Strike Team, a four-man anti-gang unit in the Farmington District of Los Angeles. Captain Aceveda thinks that I am an extremely corrupt police officer; that I steal drug-money from drug dealers, I beat and torture suspects, and I may have committed murder more than once. I see my brutal tactics as a means to an end. I am not wholly bad, however; I am a devoted father, a loyal partner to other cops on my team, and will swiftly protect those I see as innocent victims.

"I don't step aside, I step up."

100 words.


Vic Mackey


Strike Team Leader 5M

Corrupt Police Officer 10M



Considered Corrupt

Deemed a Multiple Murder





Not Wholly Bad




Devoted Father

Distrusted by Captain Aceveda

Hates Drug Dealers

Known to Gangs

Leader of the Strike Team 1M

Protector of Innocent Victims



Beat Suspect

Brutal Tactics

Ends Justifies the Means

I don't step aside, I step up

Knows Drug Dealers

Knows Farmington District

Loyal Cop Partner

Steal Money

Swiftly Protect

Torture Prisoner


Understands Gangs



'The Shield'

Backup Snub-nosed Revolver

Bullet-proof Vest

Smith & Wesson Model 4506 Pistol


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Midweek Character - Sam Winchester

Here is Sam from Supernatural. Again a very capable character and did seem great fun to play even though he is usually the more serious Winchester brother on the TV show.


Sam Winchester's Story

"Dude, dude im not using this ID because it says "bikini inspector" on it!"

"What kind of a house doesnt have salt? Low sodium freaks!!"

Sam Winchester commands vast knowledge of the supernatural and is intellectually driven. An academic thinker, Sam is adroit in recalling chants written in Latin, which can be used to exorcise, summon or vanquish demons. Sam pre-empts any hunt by researching the paranormal entities involved and has an uncanny sense of direction and time.

Sam exhibits precognitive dreams and visions though they are currently dormant.

In addition, with the training given to him by his father, Sam is a skilled fighter, proficient with firearms, adept with shotguns, and capable with melee weapons. Sam possesses many abilities that are frowned upon by law, including lock-picking, computer-hacking, and disguised conning.

107 words



Hunter of the Supernatural

Paranormal Investigator

Academic Student



Martyr Complex with his Brother Dean

Returned from the Dead

Must Save Dean From Hell




Intellectually Driven




Brother to Dean

Distrusts Bela Talbot

Frowned Upon By the Law

Mourns his Mother, Mary

Respectful of his Father, John

Relies on Ruby

Trusts Bobby Singer



Adept With Shotguns

Adroit in Recalling Chants

Capable With Melee Weapons

Commands Vast Knowledge of Supernatural

Comprehensively Trained


Con Victim


Exhibits Precognitive Dreams

Exorcise Demons

Knows Chants to Exorcise Demons

Knows Chants to Summon Demons

Pick Locks

Pre-empts any Hunt

Proficient With Firearms

Read Latin

Research Paranormal Entities

Skilled Fighter

Speak Latin

Trained by his Father

Uncanny Sense of Direction and Time

Vanquish Demons

Visions Currently Dormant



Arcane Paraphernalia

Beretta 92fs

PowerBook G4

Sawed-off Shotgun

Friday, 6 February 2009

Removing the whiff factor from HeroQuest.

HeroQuest's main mechanic for dealing with conflicts and PC interaction is the Simple Contest.

Players roll a d20 dice add have to roll under their target number of the ability they are using in the contest. If they do roll the target number or below they Succeed and if they roll over the target number they Fail. A roll of '1' is a Critical and a roll of '20' is a Fumble.

The GM or another player rolls the resistance on a d20 dice. Again they have to roll under a target number and could get one of the four results, Critical, Succeed, Fail or Fumble.

Those results are compared on a chart to get whether the player has won or lost the contest and at what magnitude the Victory Level is.

Victory Levels are:

Critical vs. Fumble = Complete Victory.

Critical vs. Fail or Success vs. Fumble = Major Victory.

Critical vs. Success or Success vs. Fail or Fail vs. Fumble = Minor Victory.

All Ties = Marginal Victory [Lowest roll result wins].

Fumble vs. Fumble = Tie.

Critical vs. Fumble = Marginal Defeat.

Success vs. Critical or Fail vs. Success or Fumble vs. Fail = Minor Defeat.

Fumble vs. Success or Failure vs. Critical = Major Defeat.

Fumble vs. Critical = Complete Defeat.

Getting a high level is good and getting a low level of defeat is bad.

So far so good.

The trouble comes when the results Tie.

The most common one is the Success vs. Success. Now in the rules it states that the lowest roll wins the Marginal Victory.

Now the probability of getting a Success vs. Success tie is quite high and it does occur often in each session. It then boils down to what was rolled and the lowest roll wins.

This is one of the 'whiff factors' with HeroQuest as it makes the whole contest about who rolls lowest and not about the level of success.

Far too often a player is making a crucial move in game and the stakes are high. The player is in a simple contest and rolls against their ability. They roll a '8', well below the target number so therefore a success and look to win the contest. However the GM has rolled a '4', below the target number and below the player's roll as well. Unlucky? Well yes but it does suck as both the GM and the player have rolled successes.

So here is a fix.

Over the weekend at Conception 2009 I ran four different HeroQuest games using this new fix and it seemed to work. Most of the players were new to the system though a few were old favourites of my games.

Now in any contest there is usually someone that starts it off or initiates it. We will call them the Instigator.

Contests will run as normal using the chart below using the first column [labelled 'Player'] for the Instigator of the contest. More often than not it will be the player that starts a contest. They are always looking for a fight!

The different success results compared will show what the Victory Level is at the end of the contest.

If there is a Tie though the Instigator wins the Marginal Victory. There is no comparing of the dice results or numbers just a comparison of the Success Results.

Main Table
The new Simple Contest Chart.

A player is making a crucial move in game and the stakes are high. The player instigates a simple contest and rolls against their ability. They roll a '8', well below the target number so therefore a success and look to win the contest. The GM has rolled a '4', below the target number and a success. The contest result is a Tie, Success vs. Success. As the player instigated the action though they win the Marginal Victory.

If the the player was defending against an action the GM instigated the player would have scored a Marginal Defeat instead.

Now if the contest was between players instead of a GM vs. Player situation and it seems that both instigated the contest than I would rule that the contest ends in a Tie. The players would have to be happy with that result or instigate another new and different contest instead.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

Conception 2009 con report.

0 Conception X. Naish Holiday Village, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset, UK.
Wednesday 28th January - Sunday 1st February 2009.

Conception is a fantastic convention. I go to it to run some games and relax with my family, something I can’t do at other conventions as I am more often than not far too busy.

This time I took my granddaughter Trinity along with my wife, Jenny and my brother, Russell.

We set off from Derby in the early hours on the train – a quick change at Birmingham and then a very pleasant three-hour train journey down to Brockenhurst for a nippy local train to New Milton. There was a thick fog and travelling through that landscape was a touch eerie. The fog did seem to flatten the view and hide much of what was out there.
At New Milton we saw several people that were obviously going to the con but several of them got in separate taxis instead of sharing them – weird?
Our Taxi driver remarked on our destination as “You going to that strange war-game event then? You are the sixth lot I taken there already.”

The lodges of the Hobourne holiday camp.

Our arrival at the reception desk at the main complex of the holiday camp was met with happy greetings and an efficient sign-in for our lodge keys. A pleasant surprise was the convention goodies for the attendees. A large plastic mug with ‘Conception X’ on it – perfect as the cups in the lodges are fairly small, a Convention Booklet, a pencil case, again inscribed with the Conception logo, that contained a Conception pen, a couple of Conception pencils, a couple of Grim Reaper dice, and a couple of Conception dice. This was a nice touch especially the Convention Booklet as it had some very helpful information about the venue and the convention itself. Also my little article about Convention Gaming was published in the book along with my game descriptions, I was over the moon!

The Conception X Goodies!

We then dropped off our luggage at our lodge, passing the burnt out remains of a lodge that suffered a fire the day before. It came as a bit of a shock as it did remind us of how fragile the lodges are. The smell of burning plastic and wood did linger in the air, and with the addition of the deep miasma, it was a strange and poignant start to the convention.

Then it was a walk along the cliff-tops in the mist and then down to the beach to watch the wild sea crash into the breakers. That was followed by a trip to the local Sommerfield at Highcliffe to get the supplies in - both food and booze. Trinity decided to play hide and seek and hid under a large shelf. Had a big gripe there as we had to wait for 45 minutes to get a local taxi back to our lodge with all our shopping.

So we get back to our lodge for a bite to eat, finish unpacking and headed back to the main complex for a bit of a socialise. Trinity was already stripping off her shoes and coat as we entered the building so she could play in the coloured balls in the inside play area!

I handed my sign-up sheets in at the con reception to be put up on the signing boards at the appropriate times. This was a great help as the sign-up sheets went up as that slot’s board was ready and it saved me from having to remember to do it in time. Also there would be no bias on my part as the sheet went up with all the other games in that slot.
I was rather chuffed to see that within ten minutes of my first sheet going up that it was full of six names already! Nice!
I also booked my gaming tables for each of my games, very useful as I could pick tables that suited my needs. I choose the sofas for my Gloranthan and Dad’s Army games, a moody quiet table in corner near an old fire place for my Supernatural game and a large round table that would accommodate seven player plus myself for my Firefly game.

Then we hit the bar and the Ringwood Bitter flowed well. It seemed a little bit pricey as our round of three drinks came to just short of twelve pounds in total though Trinity’s drink came from the vending machine for just 90p. I spent most of the evening nodding as all the familiar faces passed and I caught up with a few people.
We did leave a bit early to get Trinity to bed and to relax a little after a long day of travelling.

Woken up early on the Thursday morning by my granddaughter Trinity jumping on my bed; “Open eyes granddad and wake UP!” We had a big breakfast of bacon and eggs then I went to the main complex to set up ready for my game on Thursday morning.

Slot 2 – ‘Winter Warriors’ Glorantha HeroQuest.
This was a change to the advertised game ‘Street Urchins of Ancient Pavis’ as I wasn’t happy with the scenario and some of my handouts were incomplete.

The players in my Gloranthan HeroQuest game.

I had a full game of six players none of whom had played in my games before. A few had played HeroQuest before though one player thought it was the Milton Bradley board-game!
The players were a little bit shocked to find out they had to create their characters themselves there and then but they all took it on with enthusiasm.

I described the setting to them avoiding going into too much detail and then took them through the simple rules that make up the HeroQuest system. It took about forty minutes for us to start the game proper once I had finished my introductions and they had generated their characters.

The scenario did run well as the players were very inventive and had come up with some great characters. They planned well, coming up with some good tactics and there were some great character moments. I almost felt sorry for the NPC ‘Pretty Boy’ as the PCs and the players took a very strong dislike to him from the beginning. He definitely got his comeuppance at the end of the scenario. Also we discovered a few new ‘truths’ about Glorantha.
An excellent game in all and one that I recorded so hopefully it will appear as a podcast soon.

After my game my wife and I along with Trinity went swimming in the indoor pool located on the site. It a good swimming pool, especially for kids as it isn’t too deep, the deepest is about just over chest height, more than enough to swim in yet is fairly safe for kids.
Trinity loved it in there, so much so that I struggled to get her out of the pool when it was time to go. Only by reminding her about lunch did I get her out.

The swimming pool on the site.

After a late lunch we returned to the main complex so that Trinity could play in the balls and we sat in our usual spot in the main corridor.
We went to our lodge early to get Trinity to bed and the grown ups watched a few DVDs.

Friday morning we went down to the beach to get some sea air into us before going to the swimming pool again as it was quite sunny.
In the afternoon Trinity did the Goblin Hunt with a little help from her granddad though she did the drawing of the ‘Dice Goblins’, six goblins each with a side of a dice, herself. I didn’t think she would win as other kids were entering their drawings in as well.
We went back to our lodge for a roast chicken dinner then I got ready for my next game Friday evening.

Slot 7 – ‘Crop Circles and Lights Out’ Supernatural HeroQuest.
This was the game I was nervous about. I haven’t really GM’d many investigation type scenarios and I haven’t ran any Call of Cthulhu or other horror games before either.

The players of my Supernatural game minus one.

The players I got for this game were all fans of the series, and played their characters with gusto. Mik Reed, who played Bobby Singer, brought some of the season guides and some other books on the series. Very useful as he could look up some of the entries on the creatures from the TV show as part of his research that his character would normally do.
I was a little bit worried that the characters of Sam and Dean would dominate the play and at one point it did seem that they would. Fortunately the other players were able to step forth and lead part of the investigation. All the players were fairly confused about what exactly was happening and who the ‘big bad’ was. On learning what exactly was being summoned and the consequences of it were the PCs did group together and slaughter a whole collective of supernatural entities to prevent it.
There was some great scenes played out that felt like they had come out of the TV series; to the point were the players were able to name what part of the season this ‘episode’ took place and there were some cool character moments to boot. Of course the Bela character left with the big book of summoning leaving a trail of slashed tyres as she got away. Cool.

I was happy with the player characters I had made as I thought that they did capture the characters from the TV series well yet make them playable.
I also thought I had done enough handouts for the scenario yet it seemed in play that I will need much, much more than I normally have, even for my Firefly games. I did make a Hunters Journal though it was more for show than anything else yet I will improve on that and have a finished version for the next time I run this.
It is a game where a laptop or netbook might be useful as googling live in game would have its advantages. Also I do need more than my usual list of six names as the players were very inquisitive and I will possibly need a little bit more tighter structure to the scenario than I usually do.
Again I have recorded this game and hope to podcast it soon.

Saturday morning I was still on a roll with my games I was up early.

Slot 8 – ‘Echoes in the Black’ Firefly HeroQuest.
This was also a change to the advertised game ‘Rocks and Hard Places’ as none of the players had played in my Firefly games before. I do really like this scenario, having run it now twenty-three times in total.

The players of my Firefly game.

I had a good group of players who managed to role-play and stretch out the introduction of the game set in the docks at Persephone so much that I had to cut some sections of the scenario and rush some others. It was interesting though that they distrusted the Alliance Lieutenant so much yet didn’t want to part with any money for the bribe to him. They even dug themselves deeper when the Lieutenant asked them instead to snitch on their new patron, a ‘Made Guy’ who was known for giving people who up set him Columbian neck-ties, they hadn’t met yet. They were certainly the first group to explore this part of the setting and seemed to have fun trying to play both of them off on each other.
Fortunately the survived that little hick up and straight away decided to take the job from the barkeep at the same time just because he paid upfront.
Also they got very obsessed getting spare parts for the ship called ‘Engine Manifolds’. They stole six from another ship in the docks plus were asking everyone else thy met for them. I think they ended up with an additional couple of sets in total!

As a group they managed to avoid the radar dilemma rather well and by-passed the Reavers completely. Their plan for doing the heist meant that they also avoided dealing with a Firefly crew and avoiding the complications there in as well.
The look on the players’ faces when I dropped the big stack of money on the table was priceless!
And of course they must have been only the third group to actually open the cases at the end of the scenario to see want was inside before handing them over.
I have recorded this game and hope to podcast it soon.

We spent Saturday afternoon relaxing, with Trinity playing in the play area while we had a few drinks. I did check out some of the stalls in the trade hall. Leisure Games had set up stall on the stage for the weekend though they had sold out of ‘Monsters and Other Childish Things’ a game I am interested in looking into.
I did buy some excellent dice earrings from Pagan Angel for Trinity and for my wife, Jenny.
Highlight was the Clone Trooper from Star Wars in full costume that was wandering about and posing for photographs. A nice bit of spectacle at the convention.

The Clone Trooper taking Julian as a prisoner.

The rest of the Saturday we all just chilled in the lodge watching DVDs. Nothing beats watching ‘Happy Feet’ with your granddaughter.

Early Sunday morning was the last time we went to the swimming pool; we had the pool to ourselves for most of the time, before having an excellent Sunday lunch at our lodge.

We headed for the main complex in the afternoon for the speeches and the raffle in the trade hall. We got a good seat at the back of the hall with a table that we could spread all the raffle tickets out on.
The good news was that Conception X managed to rise over £10,000.00 for the various charities they support.

Also they announced the winners of the Goblin Hunt and Trinity was one of the winners! She was really chuffed to get a prize, a Conception Conference bag full of goodies donated from Hobourne Holidays that included a cap, four kids T-shirts, soft toys, a mouse mat, two beach balls, and some seaside gifts.

Trinity with her prize bag.

There was also the Golden Badger Awards, the most spectacular PC deaths during the games at the convention. Some great stories of player stupidity, bad luck and gory death scenes. I never really have any PC deaths in my games but perhaps next year I might change that just to enter the Golden Badger Awards!

Next followed the raffle with Andrew, Julian, Duncan, and John drawing tickets out constantly it did go fairly quickly. They had a huge table full of goodies all donated by various traders and game companies.
Russell managed to have a winning ticket and picked up a copy of a pockets-sized RuneQuest Deluxe and I had a winning ticket also getting a copy of ‘Zorcerer of Zo’, a fairy tale role-playing game, and a copy of ‘Lashings of Ginger Beer’, a somewhat tongue in cheek role-playing game set in an idyllic vision of England. I was rather chuffed with the result; we managed to get a good stock of prizes and booty that certainly brightened up the last day of the convention.

Next I got ready for my last game I was running, and I picked a nice spot on the sofa area of the bar.

Slot 12 – ‘We Are the Boys…’ Dad’s Army HeroQuest.
A great ending to the convention, a good funny game though slightly intense as the players are in character for most of the time.

A couple of players from my Dad’s Army game.

Two of the con organisers joined in the game, Andrew Mussell and Julian Hayley, possibly their first chance to get a relaxing game during the whole con.
Again the players did very well in staying in character and there were plenty of madcap hilarity as they tried to beat the Eastgate Platoon.
Captain Square of the Eastgate Platoon even made an appearance at the gaming table! A photo on the wall seemed to be the spitting image of him!

Captain Square

Captain Mainwaring’s main plan of attack was turned into a distraction while the real plan devised by Private Walker and Sergeant Wilson succeeded in winning the day.
As in all role-playing games of mine there was wanton destruction as the windmill was set on fire!
A great game to finish off the convention on. I have recorded this game and hope to podcast it soon.

We spent the rest of Sunday afternoon relaxing on the sofas while Trinity played in the play area. We said our good byes to some of the attendees already leaving and watched the convention wind up. We then retire to our lodge to start packing ready for our trip home on the Monday.

Monday morning we discovered that it had snowed overnight.

Snow on the lodges.

We decided to head to the New Milton railway station earlier to make sure we got our connection at Southampton. I handed in my keys and said my final goodbyes and thanks to the organisers before diving into a taxi. Quite a few of the trains had been cancelled but fortunately we made it to Southampton to catch our connecting train to Birmingham. We had a pleasant three hour journey as we had a table to ourselves and we could watch the snow covered landscape pass in relative comfort. At Birmingham we had two minutes to run from one side of the station to the other to get our Derby connection – we made it just!

So we had a good day of travelling despite the weather and got home in the afternoon. I had discovered that my fishpond had leaked so had to rescue that though everything else was fine.

So another great convention of running game for some excellent players as well as having some relaxing time with my family. It can’t get any better than that!

I put twenty-four players through my games through the convention. Though I don’t do fast-paced action all the time, or indie-hippy game systems or heavy, gritty crunch mechanics, they were very gentle paced games of setting emersion and character inter-action [therefore player inter-action]. The players seemed happy with the games I ran and a couple of them did come back for more.

There are more photographs on my Flickr site here:

Midweek Character - Azcal Breen

This week’s Midweek character is a NPC from my Serenity/Firefly HeroQuest game ‘Echoes in the Black’.

A bartender of the bar the player characters meet their main patron in he gets the players to part with their guns before entering the premises. He also offers the PCs a quick job for a 1000 credits. Seems too easy but every group of players takes the job even though their main patron told them to have no distractions while on the mission.

Of course it all goes wrong for the players and it seems that Azcal knows more than he is letting on.



Azcal Breen’s Story

“The hard part about being a bartender is figuring out who is drunk and who is just stupid”

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder”

Azcal Breen is the barkeep of the Palace Saloon and Karaoke Bar in Eavesdown Docks on Persephone. He is very fastidious about having guns in his bar; he has a Newtech Gun Detector protecting the main entrance, yet will allow knives in even selling them at the door! He has a habit of eves dropping on customers’ plots by using clever acoustics built in to the bar.

Azcal is self-delusional leader of the Bounty Hunters Guild even though he is the sole member. He has an armoured spacesuit and he uses limpet mines with dead-man’s switches to trap his quarry.

100 words.

Azcel Breen



Barkeep of the Palace Saloon 

Bounty Hunter 



Eves Dropper 


Allows Knives in Bar 



Bad Habits 





Barkeep to Dock Workers 

Leader of Bounty Hunters Guild 

Sole Member of Bounty Hunters Guild 



Knows Customers’ Plots 

Knows Eavesdown Docks 

Knows Persephone 

Protects Main Entrance 

Sell Knives 

Trap His Quarry 

Uses Clever Acoustics 



Armoured Spacesuit 

Dead-Man’s Switches 

Limpet Mines 

Newtech Gun Detector 

Palace Saloon and Karaoke Bar 


Midweek Character - Bela Talbot

So here is another of the characters from my Supernatural game.
I think that Bela will be great to play especially if the player manages to stitch up both Dean and Sam!
I just hope that the game does go well.
I have just finished the first part of the Hunters Journal as well so I'll post pictures up of that. I have not got all what I wanted in it as yet but it does look good. Should be a nice prop.


Bela Talbot's Story

"I don’t get out of bed for three grand."

"Let me tell you a little something about me. I don't respond well to threats. But you make me an offer, and I think you'll fine me highly cooperative."

Bela Talbot knows about the supernatural world and is acutely aware of what goes on though she’s not a hunter. Bela has a murky past and makes a profit by selling stolen occult artefacts to clients who are the highest bidder. Bela is consummate professional and a crack-shot with a pistol. Bela has impressive skills in bargaining and exploitation; she will lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, and if pushed will severely hurt others to achieve her goals.

Bela uses an Ouija board to contact spirits to divine information on the whereabouts of persons and objects of desire.

Whenever possible, Bela will hire auxiliaries to do her dirty work.

107 words



Thief of Occult Artefacts

Murky Past



Always Looking Over Her Shoulder

Hates To Be Pushed

Her Murky Past Will Catch Up



Always Achieves her Goals

Consummate Professional


Strong Will



Contact Spirits

Distrusts Sam

Flirts With Dean

Intrigued by Ruby

Knows Dodgy Auxiliaries

Underworld Contacts

Wary of Bobby



Acute Awareness

Avoid Dirty Work


Cheat Others


Divine Information

Exploit Weakness

Find Whereabouts

Hire Auxiliaries

Knows Supernatural World

Lie Well

Make Profit


Not a Hunter

Sell to Highest Bidder

Severely Hurt Others

Steal Occult Artefact



Arcane Paraphernalia

Desert Eagle

Mo-Jo Bag

Ouija Board


Midweek Character - Annalee Call

This is another of the crew of The Betty from my Firefly game, this time Annalee Call. 
Played by Winona Ryder in the film Alien:Resurrection, she is one of the key characters in the game. Useless in fire-fight though she has other uses as she can [reluctantly] hack into computers. She is the most 'human' of the crew and is often the conscience of The Betty.
Trouble is she is also a little light-fingered as well!  


Call’s Story

“Jesus Christ, Johner. What did you put in this shit? Battery acid?”

“Look, I can make it all stop. The pain, this nightmare. That’s all I can offer you”.

Annelee Call is the Betty's mechanic: a tough, resilient character whose bravado belies a

profound inner turmoil. Though young in years and seemingly naïve, Call is a veteran of

the misfortunes of life. Quick and agile she defends herself with her hidden stiletto knife.

Call has a natural affinity with anything mechanical or electrical and can repair almost any

machine though she harbours mistrust for computers and Artificial Intelligence.

As the newest recruit Call has proved her worth on the Betty and is respected by Elgyn.

Her true nature is revealed as generous and humanist -- but she hides a shocking secret.

104 words.



Mechanic of The Betty 17

Former Thief 15



Bravado 1M

Cunning 15

Generous 10M

Humanist 15M

Inspired 17

Methodical 15

Naïve 1M

Patient 5M

Perceptive 15

Profound Inner Turmoil 19

Resilient 5M

Tinkerer 17



Gang [Former-Member of] 17

Former Comrades [Friends of] 17

Gang Boss [Adversary] 10M

The Betty’s Crew [Loyal to] 19

Black Market [Contacts] 15

Underworld [Contacts] 15

Parts Supplier [Contacts] 17

Respected By Elgyn 10M

Proved Worth to Crew 19



Agile 5M

Bypass Security Measures 15M

Defend Herself 19

Electrical Natural Affinity 7M

Harbours Mistrust for Computers 5M

Hides Shocking Secret [+6/-6] 10M2

Mechanical Natural Affinity 9M

Mistrusts Artificial Intelligence 5M

Newest Recruit 19

Needs to Prove Her Worth 2M

Quick 5M

Repair Almost Any Machine 8M

Reveal True Nature 19

Tough 15M

Seemingly Naïve 15M

Sleight of Hand 5M

Understand Function 5M

Veteran of Misfortunes of Life 1M

Young in Years 19



Standard of Living: Common 13

WEAPONS:- Hidden Stiletto Knife, Wrench.

ITEMS:- Fake Papers, Assortment of Loot, Assorted Tools, Spare Parts, Dark Clothes/Overalls, Lockpicks.

Midweek Character - Dean Winchester

So here is Dean Winchester, one of the player characters in my Supernatural game that takes place at this year's Conception convention. 
It is still a work in progress so there are no target numbers associated with the abilities and keywords as I haven't done the other characters yet. 
I am interested in some feed-back as I am still not sure about his abilities and I need to define the keywords somewhat.

Dean Winchester

Dean Winchester's Story

"And I tell you what else helps. Killing as many evil sons-of-bitches as I possibly can."

"I think he wants us to pick up where he left off. You know, saving people, hunting things... The family business."

Dean Winchester is ruthless, aggressive and highly resourceful. Dean possesses excellent combat and hunting prowess; comprehensively trained by his father as a paranormal investigator and hunter of the supernatural. Dean has an instinctive ability to 'read' behavioural characteristics and manipulate people.

Dean has extensive knowledge of the supernatural and mythology. He is well versed with how police and government agencies operate and conduct investigations, and knows how to both impersonate and evade them effectively. 

Dean is a virtuoso of escape, evasion and stealth. Lastly, he is also skilful in areas frowned upon by the law; lock picking, by-passing security systems, car jacking and gaining an 'advantageous purchase' comes naturally.

109 words



Hunter of the Supernatural

Paranormal Investigator





Martyr Complex with his Brother Sam

Sold His Soul

Going to Hell




Appears Well-disposed

Facade of Humour


Passionately Despises What He Hunts

Rough Charm with the Ladies





Brother to Sammy

Distrusts Bela Talbot

Evades Law Enforcement 

Frowned Upon By the Law

Obsessed With His Car

Mourns his Mother, Mary

Reveres his Father, John

Suspicious of Ruby

Trusts Bobby Singer

Wanted by the Police



By-pass Security Systems

Car Jacking Comes Naturally

Combat Prowess

Comprehensively Trained

Conduct Investigation

Evade Investigation

Evasion Tactics

Extensive Knowledge of Mythology

Extensive Knowledge of Supernatural

Gain 'Advantageous Purchase'

Highly Resourceful

Impersonate Government Agent

Knows How Feds Operate

Manipulate People

Pick Locks

Possesses Hunting Prowess

Read Behaviour


Skilful in Illegal 

Trained by his father

Virtuoso of Escape

Well Versed in Police Operations



1967 Chevrolet Impala

Arcane Paraphernalia 

Trunk Full of Weapons

Colt 1911

Sawed-off Shotgun

EMF Meter 'Walkman'