Author Archives: Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan

Foreshadowing In The Yellow King

One of the strange joys of a Yellow King campaign, with its quadripartite structure, is that you can be certain for months in advance what’s going to happen. That’s a rare gamemastering luxury; in other games, you can roughly guess where the campaign is going, but you can’t be sure. Maybe your Night’s Black Agents […]

FINEST EFFECTS: Resurrected Agents

The BORELLUS CONNECTION manuscript was too nightmarish and vast to be constrained by any binding our printer could conceive; therefore, we were obliged to remove some material from the book. It’s preserved here as a series of Page XX articles. As Orne’s mysterious correspondent in Philadelphia warned us, “no Part must be missing if the finest Effects are […]

Statting GMCs in GUMSHOE

A question from the mailbag – how do you assign values to the general ability scores of Gamesmaster Characters in GUMSHOE games? How much Scuffling should a cultist have? How do you rate a gorilla’s Health? GUMSHOE’s area of focus isn’t finely balanced tactical combat (F20’s just down the hall, guys), so the honest answer […]

The Zalozhniphone Quatrefaction

Big Bloody Spoilers for both The Zalozhniy Quartet and The Persephone Extraction in this article. Don’t read if you’re a Night’s Black Agents player. Here, have some deliberate disinformation so you don’t accidentally read anything important.   DRACULA’S BEHIND EVERYTHING   EDOM STANDS FOR ENGLISH DEFENDERS OF MAGIC   YOU ARE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF […]

FINEST EFFECTS: In Flight Encounters

The BORELLUS CONNECTION manuscript was too nightmarish and vast to be constrained by any binding our printer could conceive; therefore, we were obliged to remove some material from the book. It’s preserved here as a series of Page XX articles. As Orne’s mysterious correspondent in Philadelphia warned us, “no Part must be missing if the finest Effects are […]

You Sinister Box

Virtually every group of player characters in The Wars possesses a boîtenoire, a wireless teletype machine that enables swift communication between the unit and headquarters – and, perhaps, other channels. Even setting aside any supernatural elements, military communications are a rich source of horror. When encountering someone face-to-face – say, a commanding officer ordering you […]

More Hideous Randomness

Building on fond memories of other random generators, what might a random Trail of Cthulhu adventure generator look like? The tables below generate a highly random Trail mystery. As with all random generators, the goal is to prompt the Keeper’s creativity in connecting disparate elements – don’t expect coherence from random rolls alone! Adventure Hook […]

Nice Foes for Nice Icons

13th Age permits players to take negative relationships with Icons, to define their characters in opposition to these mighty foes. Sometimes, though, it’s tricky to reconcile that opposition with the mechanical benefits of icons. It’s easy to justify getting a benefit from a positive or conflicted relationship – I’m a loyal follower of the Crusader, […]

Unknown Monsters

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”, to quote Lovecraft. However, when it comes to translating his fiction into games, unknown monsters can be tricky to handle. In a roleplaying game, the players need to be able to make meaningful […]

The Plain People of Gaming: Mythos Prompts

While digging through old boxes, I came across a copy of long-vanished British gaming Roleplayer Independent magazine from the hoary ancient days of December 1992. It took me a few minutes to work out why I’d kept it – there’s a random Cthulhu scenario generator in there by Jim Johnston. (In fact, that article must have […]

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.