Return to the Furnace

Just finished a very raw, very rough draft of The Furnace, one of the scenarios that is going to be the scenario book The Tournaments of Madness and Death, for my mate and esteemed Crypt Keeper Julian Hayley who will be running it on Sunday afternoon at UK Games Expo.

Its been a hard process, taking a scenario I ran as my return to D&D a good seven years ago. Pulling out of my brain, looking at the scraps of notes and scans of maps (which I dumped entirely as too fiddly), and trying to make something that to be honest ran much better in reality due to some cracking players (Tony Murray-Clay and the Leicester Lads) than the mess that was on the paper.

I’ve no doubt Jules will makes it his own and rock it hard, and I’ve learnt a lot from writing it up, with lots of ideas about what makes a Crypts and Things scenario tick and different from all the other dungeon crawl games out there. Ideas that will make it into The Tournaments of Madness and Death which is meant to have an article about writing/running C&T adventures for one shot conventions.

Glad to get it done, but man does it need a very hard edit before I let it loose on you uncivilized savages 🙂

If you too are feeling nostligic here’s the series of posts I wrote about the Furnace when I ran it at Furnace Convention (hence the name) in 2010.

The Graveyard Shift for Crypts and Things

The Crypt Keeper by David M. Wright

Since the kickstarter I’ve planned to support those heroic and enthusiastic Crypt Keepers who run games at conventions, at their local gaming store and online,  with a Disorganised Play Programme, of support documents, and a library of ready-made adventures.

Well we are now open for business. If you backed as a Convention Champion or Hero on the Kickstart you would have got an update about this and the Tournaments of Madness and Death book.

If you didn’t back the kickstarter but want to join the Graveyard Shift, drop me a line at

UK OSR Round Up for November 2016

Dragonmeet, the annual games day held in London this year on Saturday Dec 3rd, is nearly upon us. It’s being co-sponsored by Lamentations of the Flame Princess as well as Chaosium and there are many UK OSR publishers attending as well as us:

Among the guests are old school heroes Ian Livingstone & Steve Jackson of Fighting Fantasy/early Games Workshop fame and Joe Dever author/creator of Lone Wolf.

D101 Games is in attendance and I’ll have a big pile of Crypts and Things with me, as well as OpenQuest and River of Heaven among the pile of D101 goodness

The Design Mechanism  continues to surge ahead on the Mythras release front.

First off is the return of Mythic Rome by Pete Nash, originally released as an BRP version which won a Silver Ennies, in a time when the Ennies were dominated by D&D product, updated for Mythras with brand new art as a lovely hardback.  It covers Rome from its foundation to the end of the Republic. If you want to run games inspired by Steven Saylor’s Sub Rosa series or HBO Rome this is the book to get.


And because Pete and Loz love you and want you to try out Mythras for the next couple of months they are going to putting out standalone adventures compatible with both Mythras and the free Mythras Imperative. The first one is a Sci-Fi (they’ve already taken Mythras in that direction with their Luther Arkwright book and check out M-Space by Frostbyte Books) called A Gift From Shamash ( in pdf via and in print from Lulu ).


Crypts of Indormancy for Lamentations of the Flame Princess and other OSR games funded recently and everything is on track for November release  according the latest backers report.  Keep an eye out for its release, it will be a good ‘un 😉

Grogmeet happened in my home city of Manchester….and I completely missed it. My excuse being a I was already signed heavy weekend of family fun, but hoping that this becomes a regular thing 🙂  Here’s a quick highlights movie they made.

Finally not strictly OSR (because its for 5Th Ed) but Cubicle 7’s Adventures in Middle Earth hit the shops this week, and I bagsied a copy. I must confess I usually by C7’s Tolkien stuff for the gorgeous art, and this book keeps up that tradition using the same smooth colourful layout with lashings of fantastic colour illustrations, but from a quick skim its a seamless version of 5ed blended with Tolkien flavour and the unique rules that made the One Ring so special ported over.  Looking forward to picking up the companion Loremaster’s Guide when it comes out. This one has a special place in many UK Grognards heart’s because Tolkien was very much part of growing up in the UK, for example many people read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as part of their English education at school, and even though there wasn’t an official D&D adaptation many people played the game with a strong Tolkien flavour. So 30 years on its very heartwarming to finally see an licensed adaptation for D&D and see it get so right.

Adventures in Middle Earth by Cubicle 7, I has it my precious!!!!

Adventures in Middle Earth by Cubicle 7, I has it my precious!!!!

What D101 is up to?
I’m currently busy getting the adventures for the Crypts and Things Kickstarter together. Tombs of the Necromancer is getting some clean up work done, some extra bits by author Paul Mitchener, and Life and Death Zarth Edition is getting new art and layout. Its neck and neck which one will get released first. Blood of the Dragon/The Dark Path (new) and Fort Boneguard (new) are all getting put together along with a new scenario, The Lost City of the God Emperor, into one book called Under Dark Spires. Tournaments of Madness and Death is quietly trundling along.

I've got me nose in a good book :)

I’ve got me nose in a good book 🙂

David M.Wright who did the art for the main rule book is signed up to do the art for the adventures. David recently got his rulebook and was dead chuffed with it 🙂

“C&T encapsulates pretty much everything I love about classic 80’s RPG fantasy (which was all around when I was growing up as a lad), but with all the naff stuff removed!  It’s a 100% pure Sword & Sorcery game.  There are Barbarians, Warriors, Sorcerers and Thieves, all pitted against an ever expanding assortment of monsters, amorphous Hell-Spawed demonic crypt dwelling conglomerations, and the like (none of your wishy-washy elves, gnomes, and sappy fairies here!). There is Blood, there is Fire, there is Magic, Muscle, Mist, and Steel!  : )”

Oh and to keep us going until the adventures land I’m putting a C&T fanzine together called “From the Shroud”, a little A5 affair that currently has a couple of articles by me and a small introductory scenario called “The Secret of Skull Hill”, that I’m hoping will be on sale at Dragonmeet. If you are interested in contributing get in touch via The deadline for submissions is tight however, this coming Sunday 20th November.

I’m also starting the playtest of Beyond Dread Portals (the new name of Paul Mitchener’s Empire of Ys ) this week, which will run into early next year with an aim of getting out in the first half of next year.

In non-fantasy-land I’m putting wrapping up the last bits of writing on the River of Heaven Companion, so that should be out early 2017 🙂

Remember my reporting on this UK OSR Update is only as good as my attention span on G+, so if I’ve missed anything just point it out in the comments below.


Embarking on a Quest to UK Games Expo!!

Okay dokey, tomorrow me and my wingman Guy are driving down to the home of Metal, aka Birmingham, to set up shop at UK Games Expo.

Friday afternoon the show opens up to the public and carries on till Sunday.

D101 Games is in the Monarch hall and I’ll be trading on Stand 23 🙂

I’ve got OpenQuest Deluxe and the entire range of adventures, River of Heaven + Reunion and I’ve found a box of Crypts and Things 1st Ed, which I’m going to let go for a bargain price. This is in addition to our other games like Monkey, and our Gloranthan Fanzines, of which I’ll be releasing Hearts in Glorantha 1-5 Collected and Gloranthan Adventures Issue 2.

So come up and see us, buy a book (or three) and have a chat. I might even have some C&T 2 art work to show off 😉

Some of the books I'll be selling at UK Games Expo.

Some of the books I’ll be selling at UK Games Expo.


Old Steel Ruins

In three months time I’m off to the 7 Hills Convention (tickets still availble), in Sheffield 18-19 April.

The con has a general theme, last year it was Sci-fi this year its Steel (Sheffield was a major Steel manufacturer). I also traditionally do an OSR game on Saturday night, which this year brings me onto:

Old Steel Ruins (Newt Newport)

System: Crypts and Things

In days of yore hot molten metal poured from the wounded Zarth. Mighty Sorcerers melded it into buildings of glittering Steel. They enslaved the land and the people. Until the Gods themselves were moved by the evil wizards hubris and buried them and their city under hot scolding sky fall ash! So the Steel Empire came to end, its treasures buried for millennia, its location a mystery.

UNTIL NOW! Brave scouts have discovered the City of Steel and have shared its location. Join the expedition to explore the Old Steel Ruins and discover THE SECRET OF STEEL!

An adventure for up to six 5th Level characters, using Crypts and Things a distinctly British Old School game, based upon the classics from the late 70s/early 80s, of Swords and Sorcery Adventure.

Tags: OSR, D&D, Swords & Sorcery, Foul smelly Khaos, Hair caked with the ash of ages, Lightly Gritted Sinews.”

Burnt out by the Furnace

I’m shattered. Its day three after my return from Furnace and I’m still cream crackered 🙂

Even though I was marginally geared towards the Storygames side of D101’s output, there was a lot of good stuff that came out of talking to folk and playing games.

  • OpenQuest is still highly regarded by some of the folk that helped put it together. Thanks Graham and Tom 🙂
  • Talking of OpenQuest, had a chat with Dr Mitch and he’s going to be throwing one of his adventures set in Ancient Rome into OpenQuest Adventures, the last bit of the great OpenQuest 2 IndieGoGo campaign (which has streatched to long).  Bigger update on this soon but this means I’ll have a complete five adventure book come this XMAS.
  • Crypts and Things still sold well at the stall, and people liked the teaser image I showed them (see last couple of posts, and yes I told them what it was).
  • My minimalist D100 system Mediyfal went down a treat even though we didn’t get through half of the Scenario Bad King John, so there will have to be a part 2 at 7 Hills in April next year (18-19 April, the same venue) and possibly a part 3 at Furnace 2015.
  • After years in the wilderness on the UK con scenes D&D is firmly on the menu with games of D&D 5th and 13th Age being run alongside the new shiney games (such as Savage World and Fate).

So Furnace was very very good as usual. You see here in Little Northern Britian we don’t need none of this large GenCon nonsense to have fun 🙂

More fun incoming April 18-19th at 7 Hills, Furnaces’ little sister. I’ll be there 🙂

Furnace wards we go!

Its that time of year and I’m off to Furnace a weekend convention in Sheffield.  I’ve mainly got my storytelling games hat on this year (Fate, Wordplay and Tenra Bansho Zero on Saturday) but I’m also debuting Mediyfal (Medi – for Medieveal and Yfal which is Old English) a Weird Fantasy game set in Middle Ages, with this scenario.

Bad King John

The Year is 1216 of our Lord

All of England is aware of King John the First’s public shortcomings as a king. His unsuccessful wars to retrieve English lands in France, paid for by an ever increasing tax burden on his people. How his impiety and refusal to play along with the church has got the Pope to publicly declare him an Atheist! His falling out with his Barons, who are at war with him after he annulled the Magna Carta, a mighty document of law to curtail his reckless spending, which they forced him to sign at the start of the summer.

As bondsmen of the Bishop of Norwich, a close ally of the King, you’ve also seen his majesty at his worst first hand at court. The drunken murderous rages and the blasphemous words that froths constantly at his lips. The pale faces of those who cross him when they know they are going to be ‘disappeared’ by his lackeys after spending a cruel night as his plaything. Whispers at court say he is in league with the devil, but you know he is willingly possessed by Satan!

Now your Liege Lord has has called upon you to serve him. So with heavy heart you prepare to take yourselves through dark pagan woods that surround the god forsaken port of Bishop’s Lynn, on the North Norfolk coast, where the King and his army currently camp. You suspect heavily that the mad bad king intends to take his army across the stinking marsh of the Wash to do battle with the rebel Barons in neighbouring Lincolnshire. It’s September now and the weather is turning bad. This will be an ill journey, where cunning, treachery, and baseness will have to be employed to keep body and soul together.

This one has been a fun one to put together. It started out as a Lamentations of the Flame Princess game, but its grown into a hack of OpenQuest and from that its own thing (an extremely light D100 varient).


Off to 7 Hills see ya!

So the day has finally come to bugger off to the new spring con being held in Sheffield this weekend – 7 Hills.

To give it some uniqueness the con’s organisers have given it a Sci-fi theme. I’ll be flying the D101 flag with sci-fi themed games of Crypts and Things (“Zarth Wars“), The Company (“Operation Mud brick” ) as well as giving the River of Heaven a spin.

Plan to have a ton of fun catching up with friends old and new.

Then its back home to the forges to transfer any inspiration I’ve gained from the con back into something tangible.

Fiendish Friday: Zarth Wars!

A small idea for a Convention game next year at the Seven Hills Convention (in Sheffield weekend after Easter weekend) which has a Sci-Fi RPG gaming theme. Here’s how I blend Planetary Romance, Spell Jammer with the magnificent evil that is Crypts and Things:

Few of those who crawl in the dust of ancient empires that litters the dying World of Zarth even suspect of the mayhem that rages in the skies above their heads. Of the wars fought between the evil Uzil and the insane Yikirk. The clashes between the Space Gypsy Skyships and the foul luminous floating discs of Olz. The insane gravity of the Topaz moon or the ominous silence of the Dark Star.
But the Grand Astronomer of the Crystal Moon summons you the appointed heroes from your Zarth bound life, to rise up into space to rescue the Princess Zarisula from the clutches of the Fiend who would be Emperor of known space.

So grab your flame lance, don your crystal armour, prime your needle gun and set sail on Rocket Ship Zargaz to the Obos, the moon of Infinite Doom!

Planetary Romance meets Swords & Sorcery using the OSR D&D rules of Crypts of Things.