So, Here’s The Thing.

I write stuff, I write lots of stuff, in fact I churn out stuff by the virtual page on pretty much every day.

Sometimes the stuff sees the light of day, like this blog for instance, but more often it stays buried in the depths of my computer, never to see the light of day, or any sort of public release.

I’m not quite sure why I never fully finish stuff, sometimes it’s because I’ll write a large amount of material for a campaign and then at some point something will happen which means the campaign is never played through to the end. I have a Drow campaign that’s been rewritten into 4 different systems, I shit you not. There are other times when I’m enthused about something and I start work on it, then something else comes along and enthuses me more, off I go on a different tangent leaving the original piece to sit in the dark wondering why I never visit anymore.

I get that a bit more discipline is needed and I could bring each piece to a satisfactory conclusion but ultimately I suspect that I’m the only one who cares about what I am writing so therefore it doesn’t really matter if I finish something that, in the end was only for me.

I’m on holiday at the moment, sitting in a sunny apartment overlooking the Mediterranean the waves lap against the shore, the sun shines down constantly, yet I’m inside tapping away at my keyboard yet again, this time it’s a story of a young man for a coming RPG, I’m the only one who will ever see the whole story, mostly because it probably won’t fully fit into the game, so things will have to be changed, but I don’t mind, it helps me to understand who he is and what he will do later in his life.

This new game is going to happen on a monthly basis where possible and I’m really looking forward to it, we will be playing “Les Ombres d’Esteren” or the Shadows of Esteren a rather delightful game written by some French Chaps/Chapesses, it’s really intriguing the way they’ve put together the character creation and skills system. If I’m honest I feel that it may need a change of mindset to fully appreciate the intricacies and the way it focuses on the actual character and not it’s stats, I’ll write up a play report after our first session, but for now I’ll just say it looks really cool.

Ah well, time for dinner and time also, for me to put this keyboard away.

Asta Luego.

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Monsters & Magic


A Brave New Old World

Monsters & Magic is a new game by Sarah Newton of Mindjammer Press based on the current trend of going back to the heady days of OD&D and BD&D known as the Old School Renaissance (OSR).

Now, in a departure from a lot of the other stuff out there it’s been designed with some rather new style mechanics to complement the old style mechanics, I’ll be honest and say it up front I was already a fan of Sarah’s work, if I hadn’t been at the start I certainly would be now.

In Monsters & Magic Sarah has effectively blended mechanics from the more narrative FATE style games to some very old style systems. After my first read through of the rules I felt this might even be a gateway drug to the full on FATE rules, more on this later.

The character creation relies on the standard six attributes between 3 and 18 and the method of generating these scores is pretty much up to you and your group, the races and classes presented are the standard fare of the fantasy roleplaying game and to be honest I think anyone with a little experience in games can get a feel for how the game works just flicking through the rules.

The system is designed to allow you to use all your old characters and modules from back in the day, a shrewd move when you think that there are loads of us from back in the day with much more disposable income than we used to have, not that the cost is outrageous you can buy this game on PDF from Drivethru for a measly £6.46 or $9.99.

Now then, back to the FATE style rules, this game uses something called “The Effect Engine” which at its core is a tool to allow the participants to narrate what happens and assign an “Effect” to it, the “Effects” can be anything appropriate that fits within the graded scale or level your success brings. To determine that scale you roll 3d6 add modifiers and compare to a resistance determined by the situation, the situation could be anything at all, this is actually one of the main strengths of “The Effect Engine” in my opinion and a genuine reason for everybody to try it out.

Combining this style of narrative with the very old style play and feel does in my mind make a very gentle introduction to FATE, the way the PCs determine personal traits and advancements as they level up will bring about a general acceptance and comfort with what to a lot of people are some of the more difficult aspects of FATE.
(did you see what I did there?)

As to be expected for such a new release from a small publisher the support for the game is currently residing with the author and is likely to be mostly community driven there’s a Google+ Community here if you want to get involved.

TLDR: It’s great, go and buy it!

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UK Games Expo


UK Games Expo 2013
24th May to 26th May

If anyone is interested I’m going to be attending UK Games Expo, I’m running 5 games over a busy weekend, which I suspect may involve some drinking too. 😉

I’ll be running…

  • 2 slots of a game called Cold & Dark which is a game being published by Chronicle City on behalf of Wicked World Games.
  • 2 Slots of a game called Airship Pirates a game published by Cubicle 7 with a little twist, I’ll be running it using Æther a game system published by Silver Gryphon Games a percentile dice system I’ve adapted for this purpose.
  • 1 Slot of the Cthulhu Masters tournament, uh-oh pressure much?
  • I’ve written the C&D and AP scenarios myself and have yet to see the Cthulhu scenario, I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I do like to prep and estimate running times so getting hold of this will be crucial.

    At the moment I’m trying to put the 2 scenarios I’ve written into some semblance of coherence for other people to use, I may just take them with me to Condamned too so that I can contribute to that convention too.

    Ah well, wonder if I’ll get time to playtest these prior to the convention, which by the way is in 7 weeks time, yikes I’d better warm up the printer.


    Posted in Airship Pirates, Call of Cthulhu, Cold & Dark, gaming | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

    Dettol & The Sludge of Doom


    I guess that’ll teach me not to get involved in bets and eBay when drunk, I was out drinking with Max, I was telling him all about my recent adventures in KickStarter which had resulted in me owning some really cool Dwarf miniatures and how I now needed to set myself up with some painting materials, we were reminiscing about how painting was something we’d used to really enjoy.

    This was all going swimmingly and we were exchanging ideas about decent paint brands and other geeky stuff like that when we got around to talking about Warhammer 40k, Max pointed out that John has an army, I’m fairly certain it was him that postulated it would be really cool to each put together an army and fight him, it’d be a lot of fun and we could get drunk whilst doing it and to make sure we did it, we’d bet on it being done by the end of July.

    Uh-oh, betting each other is to the pair of us, what calling Marty McFly chicken was to him.

    So here I am just a week later with at least 50 models in need of paint stripping, I rather suspect it will be a fair few more as the results of betting and being drunk in charge of a smartphone with eBay access keep rolling in.

    With all of this pre-painted plastic arriving I decided to look up the best method of stripping acrylic paint from plastic models, it turns out there’s a couple of really effective ways of doing it and whilst there’s a decent amount of votes for DOT3 brake fluid, I happen to know that’s an evil liquid and should not be toyed with lightly. I would not under any circumstances be using it to strip paint from models in the house, which means the next choice is Dettol?


    Apparently the active ingredient in Dettol, Chloroxylenol is rather good at removing the most hideous of pigmental abuse from the sturdy little plastic chappies, with this in mind I’ve left a bunch of them stewing in a sealed airtight* container overnight, by the time I get home more than 24 hours will have passed, I’ll update this post after I get home and survey the results, I may even post some pictures.

    The Sludge Pot itself…

    I’ve stuffed as many as I could get into that container above.

    Okay, it’s approximately 10 hours later and here’s the update.

    The Dettol really works, it takes a little effort with a toothbrush and to be honest I’m thinking of investing in an electric one to make sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies, I’m also thinking that maybe leaving a model in for more than 24 hours will do a better job.

    Take one Miniature with about 7 layers of paint…

    Don’t forget the gloves…

    No really, do not, forget, the gloves, your hands will stink and there will be black goop all over them.

    I think they turned out alright…


    This mess doesn’t look that bad, it is…

    *Seriously dude, that container needs to be airtight, Dettol can make the whole house stink, don’t ask me how I know, I just know alright!

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    Blimey, 2 in a row

    I’m sitting in a pub (The Papermill in Hemel) having lined up a pint of Guinness and some much needed sustenance and I find myself not really interested in doing the reading I had planned, what on earth is occurring?

    A little self reflection brings me to the conclusion I’m looking forward to tonight’s session of the HertsRPG group as we’re planning on being creative, the idea for tonight is that we start designing a multi-part world that each of the GMs takes on an area and we try to build a cohesive whole from the parts.

    Uh-oh someone’s turned up, I need to stop this creating malarkey or it’ll become a habit.

    We didn’t get an awful lot of creating done at all, a board game of Ticket to Ride and some card games of Flux got in the way, however it did get me to thinking I can resurrect my C&S campaign from 15 years ago, I have the old papers in my flat, they provide a good start, I also still think about the political details from time to time.

    Posted in C&S, gaming, Miscellany, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

    I’m crap at this

    Every time I start one of these things I have so many ideas I think it’ll be filled to the brim with words, how wonderful it will be to clear my head of these ideas and get them out there, for whichever value of out there you fancy.

    I start with trying to get the layout of the site right and somewhere along the way the writing falls prey to the design and I never finish what I started, as I posted previously I am prone to ADD and it is partly to blame, although my girlfriend tries to guide me towards coping mechanisms, I never seem to get around to it.

    This is me picking up the baton once more in the desperate hope it will continue longer than me thinking about how, the font isn’t quite right or, I wonder how I can make the them look a little more this way than that way.

    Ooh something shiny over there…

    Posted in Miscellany, Personal, writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

    Airship Pirates – BRP

    Abney Park's Airship Pirates

    Where to start?
    I mean it’s got pirates and airships in it, add to that clunky steam engines and Victorian finery, how much more do you need?

    Personally I love the idea, the scenery and the setting, I have been having a few issues with the system, mostly because I think it detaches the players from their characters.

    To that end I shall be writing up a conversion to BRP, the write up will be posted into the Airship Pirates pages on this very website here.

    Why BRP?
    When I first thought that the system needed an overhaul, BRP was the first thing that popped into my mind, it seemed to me there was a natural fit. The key to the whole conversion lies in the skills, put together a skill list from AP and BRP map them across and Robert’s yer Muvver’s bruvver. Obviously there’s a little more to it than that, like statistic mapping and cultural modifiers, but nothing too onerous, the combat system should just slide into place like a well oiled…

    I think I’ll just leave that description to your imagination.

    Posted in Airship Pirates, gaming, writing | Leave a comment

    How long before Bionics are available?

    Those of you who know me will know I’ve been battling injury since November.

    For those who don’t, I’ll explain.

    Despite my advancing age I decided to return to the rugby pitch, this was going well until a game in November  when I overreached myself by not warming up properly. I didn’t know anything was wrong until I sat down at home and had a few beers, alright more than a couple, I tried to stand up afterwards and I had zero power in my leg.

    So about 4 weeks later, I was about ready to return to the field of battle and an incident at work involving my Patella, a steel chair leg and an unwitting colleague left me with a chip out of the meniscus covering the end of the femur and Patella Tendonitis.

    I have been having Physioterrorism on the left knee pretty much ever since, today is the first day that I have felt like it is over, I cycled 40km and during that distance I climbed a couple of proper hills.

    Not a lot of discomfort afterwards leaves me cautiously optimistic about my recovery, I can’t bloody wait.

    Thanks for listening,

    Posted in Miscellany, Personal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

    Hello world!

    Rather than delete this post I’ll edit it instead.

    My name is Glenn Berry and I’m addicted to playing games, I’ll try anything once and quite often do, whilst I love playing board games, my major addiction is Role Playing Games (RPG) and I have over 36 years of experience playing/writing/designing them.

    I am by nature a little bit distracted, unfortunately I was diagnosed as having ADD at the rather late age of 35, this means that I never really developed proper methods of handling it and I usually have about a dozen writing projects on the go at any one time. Sometimes I think I’d just like to work on a project from start to finish without any distractions, but then I see something nice and shiny and off I go on another tangent.

    I currently have a number of projects on the go, ranging from a FATE conversion for SLA Industries to a completely new game based on Supernatural, with a number of other projects in between.

    Anyway, enough from me at the moment, I’ve just seen something shiny I have to go and investigate.


    Posted in Miscellany, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment