March 2017: View from the Pelgrane’s Nest

Czocha Castle By Rafał Konieczny – Own work, GFDL, Link

Both Cat and I attended the College of Wizardry LARP, which was pretty all-embracing. Luckily we have Alex ensuring that the company ran in our mental and physical absence. This month, Cthulhu Confidential, Valkyrie Gambit and the TimeWatch GM Screen and Resource Book  has gone to the printers. Out of the Woods, our first Trail of Cthulhu collection is available for pre-order – text version now. We are pushing throught the 13th Age backlog. Rob Heinsoo is making excellent progress with the Bestiary 2 and The Book of Demons, and Gareth has turned in the Book of Ages.

The College of Wizardry LARP

Cat and I travelled to Poland to participate in College of Wizardry – Harry Potter with the serial numbers off The location was incredible. The rules for magic were deceptively simple. You indicated what you wanted to achieve either through spell names, or with a note (on potions, curses and the like). Then it was entirely in the hands of the recipient to decide how to react. It’s a pretty solid system. There were some conflicting agendas – some people wanted a public school feel, while others wanted world shattering rituals, and everyone appeared to have an implausible back story. But it all hung together pretty well.

There are a couple of good LARP rules I pulled from that game which also work for tabletop. The first is “Isn’t it awful?” which is where you see other characters having a dramatic or dangerous interaction and you just talk about how awful it is rather than intervene. The tabletop equivalent would be to let other character have their spotlight scene, without jumping in to rescue them. until it’s needed. And by that I mean by the player. It’s also a decent GM rule to leave characters in peril a while before allowing for intervention from others.

In LARPs people often go around looking wistful or angry, and they are often signalling they want to be questioned, often to tell you a little of their back story. Ideally you can offer advice in character, or even get involved in their plots. In tabletop I call this “Tell me about your character.” Ask questions in character to elicit their back story, or even encourage them to make stuff up, then reincorporate that into the game. While this is often a GM tool built into a game, it’s a great thing for players to do, too.

13th Age

Rob Heinsoo is making excellent progress with the Bestiary 2: Lions and Tigers and Owlbears. There are 17 contributors, and the original art team of Aaron McConnell and Lee Moyer have worked together to create a stupendous cover. The Bestiary 2 has plenty of creatures with tricks up their sleeves to bring unexpected challenges to blasé players who have met your other monsters. Some of them phase in and out of combat such as reavers; others such as the flux elemental can change their powers from round to round, while the laughing demon uses your laughter to summon mooks to fight you. Not so funny now!

The Book of Ages is a grab bag of cool stuff from previous Ages monsters, magic, feats, legends, adventure seeds. It’s ready for copy editing. You can read a sample here.

The Book of Demons is ready apart from the Demonologist character class. Rob is looking at it while working on the Bestiary 2.

Cartography is underway for the final Battle Scenes book, Fire and Faith.

The Free RPG Day release Swords Against Owlbears is in layout, and it’s back to back with a TimeWatch release.

Trail of Cthulhu

Out of the Woods – a collection of arboreal adventures – is on pre-order with the text version now.

Fearful Symmetries is on the cusp of completion, almost ready for additional playtesting.


A set of three adventures for TimeWatch, The Valkyrie Gambit and The TimeWatch GM Screen and Resource Book are on pre-order this month. They are now at the printers.


Now that Cthulhu Confidential is out, we are sketching out the future of One-2-One, and our next endeavour will be in the Night’s Black Agents setting.


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