Category Archives: Tabletop Gaming

D&D- The Lost Laboratory of Kwalish

character art by one of my players, Yazzart

Our D&D game continues. I’ve woven the official adventure The Lost Laboratory of Kwalish into the next arc, which has them retracing a historical expedition into the Barrier Peaks. I’ve modified the story to fit with the existing world, and that has resulted in some interesting shenanigans.

Last session, the group were exploring an area despite rumours of some sort of creature that can turn you to glass if you look at it. The group proceeded blindfolded, relying on the verbal guidance of Gearbox, a little drone that is along with them. Of course, they got attacked by an Ooze during their travels- which they had to then fight blind, with only the high-pitched terrified voice of Gearbox going “No, no it’s over there! On your left!” It was really quite entertaining.

100 Chapters of Civilization Battle Royale

Hi there folks. Good lord, I can’t believe we hit 100 chapters- but this October it will have been two years since I began my endeavour, releasing one chapter a week to adapt the entirety of the Civilization Battle Royale. Well, here we are- and 100 chapters in we are rapidly approaching the endgame. In The Thin Green Line, Forces are mobilising for what will be the final war of this epic game. I estimate we have another 20 chapters of content remaining, give or take a few for wrapping up, so I can say with some certainty that the book will be complete in the first few months of 2019, perhaps around February.

Dungeons & Dragons continues- at the moment the players have worked out that an evil organisation is hunting one of them- but they could be after one of two players, so it’s all resulting in delightful paranoia. The two of them have escaped the wreckage of the Prophet I, but it seems their problems are only just beginning.

In other news, I’ll be starting my first actual lectures at the university soon, which I am looking forward to delivering. It includes a unit that centres on tabletop games, including D&D– which is literally perfect.

Until next time!

The Rings of Pelagius

Hi folks.

I ran a wonderful Dungeons & Dragons session last night, one I had put considerable planning into as the culmination of the party’s recent quest. Continuing on our sci-fi adventure, the party had been searching for a lost science ship known as the Prophet I, last seen in the rings of Pelagius, a vast blood red gas giant in an unclaimed region of space. Our players began having strange dreams and headaches as soon as they arrived in the system, but they were able to complete the side-quest on a nearby moon to fire up a relay tower with which to locate the craft.

Last night they found and boarded it, only to discover that the interior was immaculate, warm food left out on the tables, the television in the corner playing some old comedy movie… The party were incredibly suspicious of course, and determined that the two spacesuits in the corner were not only enchanted, but had something inside. After going right up to the glass case they were in, their cleric had the smart idea of using the spell command on the enchanted suits, with the order to reveal, and I read out the following text:

You cast the command, and the space suit on the right begins to turn. Its body creaks as it faces you, one hand reaching up to the golden visor that obscures its face. As it pulls back the visor, you see the emaciated corpse within- and suddenly everything changes. The lights go out, and you see how the room truly is; a horrifying husk of a living space. Most of the furniture is broken, the floor littered with blood and rotting debris. Messages have been scrawled over the walls in haphazard, jagged letters. “I must pour it out of my head”, “This is the dream”, and much more illegible mess. There is a shrine against one wall, a painting of the planet and rings in blood and some other dark liquid, maybe engine grease. Below is the message “Praise the red god”, the letters irregular and smeared. Turning back, you see the second space suit suddenly jerk into motion- and both begin to step towards you.

They were then trapped for several quite nasty fights. In time, they discovered that something about the planet itself was off; it corrupted the minds of those who tarried near it for too long. Alas, the poor crew of the Prophet I had been there a very long time. They were able to rescue the lone survivor in the cargo hold, who had sealed themselves in there and constructed magical barriers to keep the madness at bay- and then they got the hell out of there. As they flew away, they spotted the frozen body of a lone crewman who had thrown himself out of the airlock years prior- even in death, his body bowed in prayer to the red planet.

It was a great session, and one I very much enjoyed running. They were highly unnerved by each new horror as they progressed further into the ship. D&D has been on my mind a lot recently, as I will be running a unit with the university focused around tabletop gaming.

In unrelated news, the Civilization Battle Royale is approaching its 100th chapter. I’ll make a post about it in mid September when that comes to pass. I have also added a bar for it with the other novels, as its now over three quarters of the way to completion. Till next time!

Solent & Sci-fi

A new job is on the horizon for me! Starting in the new academic year, I am moving on from my video game desing teaching role at the college to lecture at Southampton Solent University! I am really looking forward to the new changes and opportunities over there. The university has some truly amazing facilities for video games- and I’m already working out lectures for the game art students over there.

The Civilization Battle Royale Novel hit 120,000 words this week with its 92nd chapter. The novel is a little over two thirds of the way to completion judging by the progress of the game over on Reddit, which is itself close to finishing.

On the side, I’ve also been running a new D&D campaign for my close friends, using some custom rules and homebrew content to develop a science fiction setting. The first puzzle of the campaign involved them having to stop their capsule from spinning chaotically as they entered the atmosphere of another planet. The control panels of course had no markings on them, the labels having long since rubbed off- but they did adjust the pitch, roll and yaw of the craft. It proved for some entertaining if panicked experimentation on their part, but they did land successfully.

D&D Pirates, CBR 41-45

Hi there folks. The aforementioned D&D campaign got up and running over the last month, and it’s been a lot of fun. It began with a module I wrote called Mansion of Nothing, in which the party cleared out a haunted house and delved into its secrets therein. Of course, once they had cleansed the whole thing they decided to keep it, and it’s become quite the base of operations for them in their adventures. We have four characters in play- Phlanne the sea-elf, Trixie the mischievous pixie, Franque the drunk and Bonnie the six foot human who believed until very recently that she was a dwarf. Needless to say, they are an incredibly functional team.

In the most recent session, they were sailing through dangerous seas, and pursued by pirates. Noticing that the pirates seemed to be using magic to keep pace, our witty sea-elf leapt overboard, swam over and released the anchor of the enemy ship. The magic of course ripped the pirate ship in two and threw the crew overboard. It was a feat of unexpected brilliance, and I awarded them a ton of pirate loot for it.

This month also saw, as always, five more chapters of the Civilization Battle Royale novel. Those five are The Brazilian Bulletin, To Stand the Test of Time, One Last Dance, The Northern Storm and The Battle of Appalachia. The epic saga of our world continues, as rifles and artillery quickly become a neccessity on the battlefield. As always, those are available on the page for the project.

Returning to the D&D Table, CBR 36-40

I’ve been planning a fresh D&D campaign for some friends who are visiting from the Netherlands this weekend. This has provided me with the opportunity to finally try the fifth edition; I’ve been using the fourth since 2011 and never bothered to switch over until now. Well, fifth edition has been around for three years now, so I thought it was worth a shot. We’ve yet to run my new campaign, but even a cursory look at the books gives me the impression that fifth edition is a whole lot more streamlined. I’ll not give anything away on the campaign in case my players read this, but it should be entertaining.

The latest five chapters of Civilization Battle Royale are up of course; World’s End, Cold Winds in Europe, Rifling, A Continent in Turmoil and The Last Day. I’m particularly fond of that last one. This book could well be over a hundred chapters when completed; it’s swiftly becoming the most lengthy and comprehensive text I’ve ever written. One of the most important themes in the book is the nature of time; the stories of Civilization are told over six thousand years of course. If you haven’t read it yet, go do it; it’s all up for free on this site.

Till next time!