In Development, Patreon, Releases 0 comments on Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

Mother’s Love has been a massive leap of faith for me—one where I have wavered on many decisions. In the outcome, I’m deliriously pleased that it has turned out so well. I hope that you can come and see it in person at UK Games Expo, supporting the continuation of The Cthulhu Hack line.

Up to Three Faces of the Wendigo, The Cthulhu Hack was all me. I might have used the springboard of others in publishing something, like Convicts & Cthulhu, but essentially it was me doing the writing. Wendigo took that to another level—as I joined with two other writers. Even then, I used existing artwork to round out the final product and created some of the other elements myself.

When I decided to extend the ideas presented in The Dark Brood—my very positively received take on the entity Shub-Niggurath—I chose to leap into the abyss and bring on-board three writers broadly unknown to me and commission the majority of the artwork. Last September, there was definitely a moment when I thought, “Should I have done this as a Kickstarter?

I was commissioning three pieces of original writing, with three pieces of original art, plus a map—and at that time I didn’t really have a clue what I was putting on the cover, although I had a fallback. I knew that I would need to do all the editing and layout myself, with some dependable friends to provide proofreading, but the content would all be commission work.

That was scary.

It grew more scary as time slipped by. Passing Dragonmeet at the end of the year. Then rolling into the New Year. I could feel the presence of mid-year and Expo, a looming shadow. I realised that it needed to get done before then, because there’s some measure of fanfare and gamer-access at an event pulling in attendees in the tens of thousands. That face-time with existing players and newcomers makes all the difference.

As the final texts came in—after multiple tweaks and shuffles—invoices were raised, paying for word and art. That remained really scary. I’m still worried, I’m not afraid to admit. When you invest so much money—for which I have my publisher All Rolled Up to thank to no small measure—and time—time enough for me to sketch out, playtest, write and publish another investigation—in one thing, the outcome demands even more of you. Now I have the promotion to consider—the exposure, the play, the reviews…

If early feedback has anything to offer, it’s positive. I’m torn by the delight of seeing the hardback for the first time on Friday—a decision made because if you’re all in, why not really go ALL IN—and the prospect of the remaining work to come. And remembering that there are other projects yet to come, great stuff that means I don’t really have time to stand still—Deadbeats. Island of Ignorance. De Cultis Ineffabilibus. And the SecondfinalEdition.

I hope you enjoy it.

Adventures, Releases 0 comments on Mother’s Love Hardback

Mother’s Love Hardback

All Rolled Up have just taken delivery of the new hardback investigation collection for The Cthulhu HackMother’s Love.

A 76-page collection of three investigations, written for The Cthulhu Hack but usable with any system. The book is hardback with a red ribbon bookmark, with a wraparound cover by Wenqing Yan.

The collection of three brand new investigations are all set in the late 20th and early 21st Century.

Deep Roots – In 1950s Canada, officers of the law and Children’s Services investigate a double murder and kidnapping that seems to connect back to an abandoned orphanage, in the backwaters of lumber country.

Gift of the Flesh – A team of animal activists seek to infiltrate the abattoir of a company growing rich on the sale of luxury meat products, with evidence of shady practice and possible bribery of European food standards regulators.

Ggantija – In celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death, theatre director Peter Catterick organises a special performance of The Tempest held in the Neolithic Temples at Xaghra. But rehearsals descend into dark events and suddenly the actors find themselves pursued by something far worse than critics or paparazzi.

All Rolled Up has posted Mother’s Love up in their web store. Copies will also be available wherever All Rolled Up/Just Crunch Games attend conventions in the UK.

http://www.allrolledup.co.uk/catalog/product.html?fold=mothers-love&file=TCH-Mothers-Love-HB

Events, Releases 0 comments on Lovecraft Special Edition

Lovecraft Special Edition

I’ve created – and teased – the Lovecraft Special Edition boxes. While the white box may well become an on-and-off special, the red (“Red Hook”) deep box is a limited edition because I don’t have access to any more stock once these have gone. I originally used the red boxes for a Gen Con special with a different design (in 2017); these Lovecraft ones will be the last of them.

As a Patron of The Cthulhu Hack, you have first dibs. As a Special Edition, both the white and red boxes run to £10 each. You can order them separately (empty) by sending an email to contact@allrolledup.co.uk or get additional books and accessories to go inside by placing an order through the All Rolled Up web store and noting “Red Lovecraft Just Crunch” (or “White Lovecraft Just Crunch”) in the Where Did You Hear About Us? box.

If you’re coming to Dragonmeet, I’m happy to set the box aside for you. State “Dragonmeet Pick-up” in the Where Should We Send Your Order? box.

Sale 0 comments on New Year, New Game in 2018

New Year, New Game in 2018

The annual affair that is the New Year, New Game sale event dawns at the Just Crunch Games store on DriveThruRPG and with that in mind, all the Bundles for The Cthulhu Hack have levelled out to provide an even better deal.

As it happens, the event scoops up a bunch of material regardless and applies a sale saving – and that meant that several individual products had a better price outside the Bundles than they had inside them. It made sense to nip in and make adjustments – then after the event ends, the Bundles will return to their original state (which will still provide a saving over buying the individual books).

And, if you already have some of the books, the DriveThru (and RPGNow) site will adjust for what you have and only charge for the rest.

Oddly enough, as a collector of games I’m relieved they put this functionality in place, as I have dim and distant memories of once buying a PDF in a bundle only to discover that I already had it. Annoying, but something I’m OK with – because if I wanted it in the first place I clearly valued the material enough to reward the creator/publisher for their efforts. Sometimes, it’s nice to leave something more than expected in the Tip Jar!

In the Bundle offers, The Cthulhu Hack includes:

  • The Core Bundle – the Core Rules, From Unformed Realms and The Haunter of the Dark – is now $12, saving $2.85 (off full price of individual PDFs).
  • The Unformed Bundle – From Unformed Realms and The Dark Brood – is now $6, saving $1.90 (off full price of individual PDFs).
  • The Investigation Bundle – The Haunter of the Dark, Save Innsmouth, Thro’ Centuries Fixed, and Three Faces of the Wendigo – is now $17, saving $4.52 (off full price of individual PDFs).

DriveThruRPG New Year, New Game Sale – Cthulhu Hack Bundles

And, I’m maintaining the reduction off of The Cthulhu Hack Investigations bundle in the All Rolled Up web store, while stocks last. Once the original slim version of Save Innsmouth is gone, it’s gone. That’s about $17.60 plus postage, or £13 (saving £4 or – approximately – $5.45 off the full price of individual printed books).

All Rolled Up – The Cthulhu Hack Investigations

The DriveThruRPG New Year, New Game sale runs for another 10 days (around noon on 22nd January 2018). The offer on The Cthulhu Hack Investigations at All Rolled Up Just Crunch web store will run for the same period.

Releases 0 comments on Three Faces Released in Print

Three Faces Released in Print

After a successful release through One Book Shelf at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, I’m happy to say that you can also get physical print copies of Three Faces of the Wendigo through the All Rolled Up web store.

It’s easy. Hit Add, then Cart – and you’re ready to buy (unless you care to add anything else into the shopping cart first!). Enter your name, email and address, then someone will come back to you with an invoice for the total payment including shipping/postage.

If you’re coming to The Cthulhu Hack for the first time, you can also buy All Books for 10% the standard price of the individual books – that The Cthulhu Hack, From Unformed Realms, The Haunter of the Dark, Thro’ Centuries Fixed and Three Faces of the Wendigo for £30.

I will make every effort to add the book as a Print On Demand elsewhere, but this takes time – so, I’ll post an update when it’s ready.

News 0 comments on The Cthulhu Hack – New Version, Old Stock

The Cthulhu Hack – New Version, Old Stock

In the process of updating to the new edition of The Cthulhu Hack, I’m now closing on a completed version of the whole text. However, I haven’t got to the point where I can get a new proof or order fresh stock – so, that means that I have had to take boxed sets Out of Stock over on All Rolled Up’s web store.

I hope that I can get the proof very soon and turn all those boxed sets back on. In the meantime, you can stick get single copies of The Cthulhu Hack or boxed sets with just the rules. However, even those will be running short soon.

No pressure on me to get that version edit done, right?

Events, Thoughts 0 comments on Sales at UK Games Expo

Sales at UK Games Expo

Just Crunch sales of The Cthulhu Hack through All Rolled Up at UK Games Expo exceeded expectations, though I think I need to moderate the sales patter!

Setting down individual books, whether sold by themselves or as part of a box, this is the numbers in total from the three days of the event:

ProductSold
The Cthulhu Hack Core Rules36
From Unformed Realms27
The Haunter of the Dark30
Save Innsmouth (part 1): A Student Documentary32
Thro' Centuries Fixed31
The Cthulhu Hack: Convicts & Cthulhu26
Character Sheets (pack of 10)7
Insanity Die17
Elder Sign d66

Overall, on a gut feeling rather than any hard stats, I think the sales rate was about 1 in 5 pitches, maybe 1 in 4. My throat would tend toward the lower rate of success!

UK Games Expo provides a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and sell your game to a wider audience. If someone listened and walked away without buying, I hope they’ll remember my spiel about the game and come looking later for the PDF or pick up the game through All Rolled Up.

The games I ran in the evening definitely felt valuable – both as a chance to introduce new people to the game (and, indeed, to gaming in the Mythos in general) and an opportunity to playtest new ideas. I recommend the approach to independent game designers – to both sale by day and run games, whether as a demo alongside the stand or in the downtime outside the sales room.

Reviews 4 comments on Wildly Speculative

Wildly Speculative

Website Reviews from R’yleh has posted a review about The Cthulhu Hack: Convicts & Cthulhu – which just recently picked up Best Copper Seller on DriveThruRPG (which is no mean feat for a Pay What You Want, as only paid purchases count!). You may see certain comments about the adventure therein and use of the term “faintly ridiculous”, which on the face of it is not a bad thing as a one-time writer for PARANOIA. I could have done with more ridiculous at times, faint or otherwise.

Anyway, I leave this list here, on the off chance you care to take a look, because even Fake News is news of a sort and fiction has a heritage of playing with alternate timelines, strange theories and unfounded rumours. Really, many writers of Lovecraftian fiction still rely on strange tales and urban legends, weird claims and left-field theories, as the source of their work.

On another note, the print run of The Cthulhu Hack: Convicts & Cthulhu runs low and will not be reprinted. At the moment, you can get a copy if you buy all the Cthulhu Hack books or one of the multi-book box sets. The PDF will remain available through RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

Extras 0 comments on Dry Wipe Character Cards

Dry Wipe Character Cards

Rather than paper sheets, new boxed sets will come with A6-sized dry wipe cards. You can still print your own sheets, obviously, but these will provide a reusable alternative.

They’re laminated on one side and they work with any dry wipe pen — or even felt tips.

I would recommend the Staedtler Correctable pens (available from All Rolled Up, along with all the in-print books for The Cthulhu Hack), but you can use whatever you have to hand.

They’re available from the All Rolled Up store, £5 for a pack of 10.

Podcasts 0 comments on The Smart Party

The Smart Party

I chat with The Smart Party grandees Gary Bee and Baz Stevens about the genesis and expansion of All Rolled Up – the home of award-winning dice bags, dice trays and gaming essentials; why The Cthulhu Hack exists in a marketplace filled to capacity with the Mythos, as well as quick routes in to Lovecraft’s universe; and the explosion of Swedish goodness in our balanced gaming diet, including Symbaroum, Tales from the Loop, Mutant: Year Zero, and more.

Head over to The Smart Party web site for more podcasts.

Events 0 comments on AireCon and ConVergence UK

AireCon and ConVergence UK

Just Crunch will be at AireCon – the Analog Gaming Festival – in Harrogate this weekend.

AireCon – 10/11/12 March 2017 – is a friendly family focused event, catering to all manner of gamers; the event offers a library of board games to borrow and an enthusiastic offering on the role-playing front. AireCon is sponsored by both Travelling Man and the UK Games Expo. Just Crunch will be there with All Rolled Up with a full stand for the event – offering a plethora of gaming goodies, dice bags, folding dice trays, and more.

And in less than two weeks, we have the first ConVergence UK, in Stockport.

ConVergence UK – 17/18/19 March 2017 – kicks off for the first time this year, at the Northern Gaming Centre in south of Stockport, along the A6. It’s gaming from the Northern Powerhouse; and it’s on my doorstep! As ever, All Rolled Up will have a range of game rolls and dice trays on offer – and the event offers war games, board games and roleplaying games (including the Pathfinder Society) organised through Warhorn.

I hope (even plan) to run some of The Cthulhu Hack at the events; I’m also very happy to chat about the system, a fast and lightweight route into the world of Lovecraftian investigative horror.

Sale 0 comments on All The Cthulhu Hack Sale

All The Cthulhu Hack Sale

In a spirit of celebration, the Christmas decorations have gone up around the office and the house, and I’m sat here wearing a silly Star Wars themed Christmas jumper. While we all celebrate at different times and for different reasons, I think we can all agree we’re all a little bit closer to When The Stars Are Right.

With that in mind – Just Crunch Games offer up a special festive offer to Great Cthulhu and his followers. Buy all The Cthulhu Hack Books in print and get more than 10% off through the All Rolled Up web store.

Normally £18, you can pick up all the books for £16, including:

  • 44-page The Cthulhu Hack core book, for character creation and the lite mechanics of the game
  • 20-page From Unformed Realms, an intricate array of tables to generate new horrors or their spoor
  • 88-page The Haunter of the Dark, a guide to turning Lovecraft’s stories into tabletop adventures
  • 36-page Convicts and Cthulhu setting book, taking the horror to 19th-century penal colony Australia
  • 10-page Save Innsmouth, a modern investigation into corporate greed and the heritage of America

All in mono throughout on 80gsm off white bookwove with 250gsm matt laminated covers in full colour. If you have picked up a copy of The Cthulhu Hack before you won’t have one of these – unless you already have a full set of books – as single copies are gloss laminated.

The sale will run until Monday 12th December and only applies to The Cthulhu Hack (All) while stocks last!

Gate into the All Rolled Up web store now!

Events, News 0 comments on The Cthulhu Hack at Spiel

The Cthulhu Hack at Spiel

cthulhu-hack-at-spiel-16-essenSpiel proved to be an incredible experience, with attendees in the tens of thousands strolling through the doors and weathering the crowds. Some days, you could hardly shuffle for the press of people – and somehow the days flew by. I had the chance to meet so many existing customers of All Rolled Up and Just Crunch Games, while also introducing many, many more to our products.

I think “It’s a fast-to-learn horror investigation roleplaying game that you can read in 20 minutes, explain in 5, and generate characters in 2.” must have tumbled through my lips hundreds of times.

How does it work? “It has two mechanics. Threats hurt your character and you need to save them. If you’re being chased, you Save on DEX. If someone is attempting to control your mind, you Save on CHA. If you roll lower than your score, you succeed. Equal or higher, you get hurt or compromised or just inconvenienced in a bad way.”

“The other mechanic is Usage Dice. When you want to use a resource in limited supply, like Sanity or your focus on Investigation, you roll a die. All resource start with a die, like a 10-sided or 8-sided. When you see a horror or want to search a room, you roll. You always succeed, but a roll of 1 or 2 means you lose resources or lose control for a moment. The die size drops down a level – so, a 8-sided becomes a 6-sided.”

“If you rolled your Sanity, you screamed or blacked out as well. If it’s investigation using a Flashlight or Smokes, you foudn what you wanted, but it’s getting harder to focus or people are hearing about your questions and might just stop talking to you. Roll a 1 or 2 when you get down to a 4-sided die and you go insane, lose focus, or burn all your contacts.”

“That’s it. Those are the mechanics – Saves against Threats and Usage Dice.”

Having said that it takes 5 minutes to explain, I proved it time and again. I had to get it down pat because I doubted my voice would last the weekend otherwise!

I had the chance to speak to a lot of people who have played other Cthulhu-themed games in the past and most walked away with a slim black box. The addition to the explanation here was that all your existing material works fine with The Cthulhu Hack – as skills in Call and Trail broadly come down to search for things or speak to people, and anything else is a response to threat. I have done conversions on the fly with no prep at all — although, I think to get the best payback it’s worth reading through an adventure once and highlighting potential clues from the outset.

(Check out The Haunter of the Dark for more guidance and advice on the read-through-and-highlight process of adventure prep!)

The slim black boxes sold the best, packed with all the current books for The Cthulhu Hack. It feels nice and hefty and worked out at 26 euros including the new adventure, Save Innsmouth.

I got a lot of smiles when I explained the premise of Save Innsmouth – and James Raggi commented that he liked the cover image. I wanted to get an innocuous image on the front with Innsmouth clear and legible. Anyone with a fate idea of where and what Innsmouth is immediately smiled.

“A tycoon plans to bulldoze a town on the coast that has been abandoned since the Feds raided and razed half of it during Prohibition more than 80 years ago. He plans to redevelop the site as a spa resort. Students at Miskatonic University plan to protest the project, and a few make the trip north-east to take video footage of the place – a documentary on the threat to America’s heritage. That place is Innsmouth and… well…”

I sold about half of the physical copies of the adventure – which means I will have stock for the web site at All Rolled Up and Dragonmeet, all being well.

I’m also really pleased that I’ve managed to sell 50 copies of the adventure through RPGNow. It would be nice to go Copper in the first week — so, if you haven’t picked it up, you can grab a copy through RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

If you have anything to report about the adventure or just want to help promote it, remember to tag your post — anywhere — with #SaveInnsmouth and I’ll track it down!

Also, and finally, Lulu has a coupon — NIGEL35 — which means you can pick up a physical copy of The Cthulhu Hack on Lulu at 35% off.

Events 0 comments on Just Crunch at Spiel ’16 – A132 in Hall 2

Just Crunch at Spiel ’16 – A132 in Hall 2

I will be at Spiel ’16 this year with my wife, who fronts All Rolled Up  – the ready-to-game roll/dice bag.

We’re at A132 in Hall 2.

On the map, that looks like the middle of the south wall to me. Directly opposite Modiphius Entertainment. Between the two doors into Hall 1.

spiel-16-hall-2

I will have all the books for The Cthulhu Hack – and this will be the first time you’ll have a chance to pick up physical book copies of the newly released The Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark.

I’m happy to say ‘Hi’ and have a chat. If you’re truly mad, you could bring along something PARANOIA and I’ll sign it. It’d be nice if it was something I’m credited in, but I’m up for signing anything else, probably. Oh, I’m also happy to sign copies of Symbaroum under the guise of The Iron Pact. I didn’t write any of that, but, like I say, I’m pretty much happy to sign anything.

Hope to see some of you there. Though the size of the event might make that a challenge…

Reviews 0 comments on I Can Endorse This

I Can Endorse This

Cthulhu-Hack-Dice-Tray-All-Rolled-UpNoted a nice summary review by T to the E to the O in the Google+ RPG Enthusing community of The Cthulhu Hack:

I’ve read through it, and quite enjoyed seeing how The Black Hack was further hacked for the sake of Cosmic Horror.

In The Cthulhu Hack, researching, recalling, and noticing things are handled using a Flashlights die. In the same way, chatting people up, persuasion, and interrogation are handled with a Smokes die. This metaphorically lines up with the illumination, and social misdirection that might go on during such adventures. I am a bit more literal, so would call them the Investigation die and Communication die though, or something along those lines.

What’s great about it, no matter what they are called, is how the Usage die mechanic is used to make either a finite resource (you run out of ideas, or get fatigued) that can be replenished, and presents a form of risk, in that way.

They have also done up a rather brilliant three page summary of Mythos. Using, by their own confession, totally out of context descriptions to frame incomprehensible intentions into something digestible, and workable for a new gamer, or someone that is just new to running games set in Cosmic Horror.

Many worthwhile ideas, and the extraordinarily portable dice tray pictured below also seems worthy.

You can pick The Cthulhu Hack up on RPGNow or boxed through ENnie award nominated All Rolled Up.