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Blog posts : "General"

Elephant & Macaw Banner: System Basics

Part 2 of a series looking at The Elephant & Macaw Banner Roleplaying Game - see part 1, the overview, here: "What is The Elephant & Macaw Banner Roleplaying Game?"

The game is coming to Kickstarter at the end of January 2020, translated into English by yours truly. To be notified automatically…

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What is The Elephant & Macaw Banner Roleplaying Game?

The world of The Elephant & Macaw Banner is based on sixteenth-century Brazil, the beginning of Portuguese colonization, and adds to this world fantastic elements of magic and folklore. 

The information in the game book (including maps, available goods, peoples, prices and so on) is based on…

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The Enemy Within: Something Rotten in Kislev – An Audience with the Master (S4E6)


Captain's Log: 6th of Nachenheim, 2514.

So we stood there in the laboratory of the dwarf necromancer Annandil. We waited a good moment while he tried to collect his thoughts and explain what exactly brought about the unliving plague that now ruled the town of Cherz- ch- the once beautif…

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The Enemy Within: Something Rotten in Kislev – Zombie Town (S4E5)

Captain's Log: 1st of Nachenheim, 2514.

We will let our good friend here risk damning himself with his explanation of this whole sorry affair soon. It is important to recall for whoever reads this the full details of this harrowing journey into the very den of the unliving menace. Yeah, the v…

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The Enemy Within: Something Rotten in Kislev – Death Takes A Holiday (S4E4)


Captain's Log: 33rd of Vorgeheim, 2514.

Ah by the hammer... I can't win a staring contest with that green one on the ramparts!  He doesn't even have both his eyes, for crying out loud!  Can we have one of the braves guide it to the other side?  It's honestly getting on my nerves.  It's …

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The Enemy Within: Something Rotten in Kislev – Stones (S4E3)

Captain's Log: 31st of Vorgeheim, 2514.

I think I'm alive.  Yeah.  Aching head is a pretty good reminder.  Not gone down that metal trapdoor yet.  Sun is shining bright enough for such a bloody day.  Then again, we lived so maybe things will get easier.  Maybe I should get u... aargh!  Sittin…

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The Enemy Within: Something Rotten in Kislev – Ancient Ones (S4E2)

The personal journal of Harbull Furfoot

I don’t know what those other two pricks are playing at but fate seems to have spit on me again as I have the gross misfortune to be alone in the company of that oaf Werner. At least the other two on occasion can make for slightly interesting conversation b…

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The Enemy Within: Something Rotten in Kislev – The Beast Child (S4E1)


Captain's Log: 30th of Vorgeheim, 2514.


Well, let's think of the good news first... I found my old journal. Had to scavenge among the ruins of bloody Wittgenstein but I did eventually find it. The One recovered her blessed blade, a sign of Sigmar's favour. That was good too. Th…

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The Strange Arctic Town

An interesting excerpt from The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett


"There is a strange sort of a country 'way up north beyond the ice, and strange folks living in it. Gaffett believed it was the next world to this."

"What do you mean, Captain Littlepage?" I exclaimed. The old ma…

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The Dracula Dossier: Ernesto's Exciting Adventure

Ernesto VH Guerrero 12:50 AM

Without discussing this with the others... I draft a handwritten letter, in the finest cursive writing I can manage. Addressed to Count Szekelys. I enclose a copy of my book  'Dracula: From historical figure to myth'. I identify myself as a GCHQ asset, part of a taskfor…

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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – Traitor Unmasked (S3E12)

Captain's Log: 28th of Vorgeheim, 2513.

Going to gain an audience with Graf Boris himself. A proper audience this time. I swear to Sigmar, we all better get rewards for this like a new ship or something... I'm getting ahead of myself.

Rhea proved to be very self-congratulating. She w…

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Water Margins & Dragons


Being an exploration of why D&D is surprisingly good for playing games in the setting of The Water Margin, and how you can do some specific, quite simple things to do so. 


Above: your D&D party, yesterday. 


The Water Margin 水滸傳 is a classic adventure novel almost certai…

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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – The Cultists' Den (S3E11)

Captain's Log: Still the 27th of Vorgeheim I think? I'm honestly losing both sleep and track of all this. Hunting evil so frequently does that to you, I suppose. Need to keep my head together... 2513. Right? Right.

Werner, The One and I shuffled our way into the important people's section of …

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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – Pit Stop (S3E10)


Captain's Log: 27th of Vorgeheim, 2513.

I don't know where Harbull and Petra are so I'm going to have to ask you to write this entry down for me... you already are? We're starting now? Right, thank you The One.

After Frau Kenner!

Our morale was boosted by the chance to not only wi…

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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – Ball, Ball, Ball... Snotball! (S3E08 & 09)

Captain's Log: 25th of Vorgeheim, 2513.

I cannot completely forget what I saw in Castle Wittgenstein. Couldn't rest properly for nearly the entire night in the Templar's Arms. As soon as I got a wink of sleep the screaming started downstairs. At about five o' clock in the morning, mind you. T…

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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – Too Close for Comfort (S3E07)

Captain's Log, 23rd of Vorgeheim, 2513.

Seventy two gold crowns are in my possession. Haven't had so much money since... Bogenhafen, perhaps? I would pay much more than that to forget what I was subjected to yesterday. Ah, it's all for Sigmar in the end and perhaps the heavens will recognize …

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ItO-inspired injuries for games in the style of The Water Margin

Here follows a 'heroic injuries' system for when a Player Character hits 0HP in OSR games. It was designed for use in my Water Margin game of Blueholme. It creates situations more akin to those that befall the heroes of the novel and, as Chris McDowall has noted, a wounded party member is dramat…

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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – The Graf's Champion (S3E06)

Captain's Log, 22nd of Vorgeheim, 2513.

I'm currently leaning against our loyal steed Dennis. There's a bit of a lull in the garden party so I'm taking the chance to record this. Harbull has decided to try to win the affections of Petra so The One will be writing this down instead. Dennis is …

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The Enemy Within: Power Behind the Throne – You Are Feeling Sleepy (S3E05)


Captain's Log, 21st of Vorgeheim, 2513.

Our drinking had returned us to the morning warmth of the Templar's Arms. Al had brought his good friend Rallane Laffarel, the court musician, to join us in our usual quaffing. From my conversations along the Reik, I had been taught to believe tha…

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BLOCK BY BLOCK, Design Diary 3

One of the useful things about playtesting online is that it can bring into sharp relief a friction that is easy to paper over at a face-to-face table. The reverse can also be true. 

I ran the first session of a four-part BLOCK BY BLOCK playtest over Google Hangouts last night. I'm still pondering…

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